Don’t let ‘bad beauty’ ruin your big day!

Don’t let ‘bad beauty’ ruin your big day!

It is no secret that weddings can be extremely expensive with most couples usually looking for ways to save money and cut corners in order to make their big day a reality. The average bride spends at least £220 (or more) on beauty, with so much to think about and so much to spend out on who’d blame a bride for trying to save a few pounds wherever possible.

DC Bouquets Hattie Wedding Headband

DC Bouquets Hattie Wedding Headband

Wedding hair, beauty and make-up can pose many a dilemma for brides. Do you have everything done by the professionals? Do you let a friend have a go at helping you out? Do you save money and go down the DIY hair, beauty and make-up route?

There are a few things that are worth keeping in mind when making these decisions. Allergies and reactions to products are real possibilities and can have dire consequences, not to mention a bad job of your hair or make-up, or ending up with an unsatisfactory result. All are situations that can ruin your day and your wedding photos, and of course none of this can be replaced!

For your wedding it is very common to use different make up to what you normally wear, so the risk of allergies is higher, you may be opting for long wear make-up, most likely waterproof mascara or just need to wear something different to achieve the shade or look you want.

It is vital to skin test all make-up you may be considering wearing on your wedding day. You can carry out a skin test by applying a small amount of the product you intend to use just behind your ear, you then leave it and over the next 48 hours look out for any swelling, itching, redness, basically anything unusual that could be a reaction or indicate an allergy. Any make-up artist that considers themselves a professional will always carry out a thorough consultation with you first and ask about allergies and relevant medical history. A make up trial is always advisable.

Skin tests should always be carried out before any hair colouring, eyelash tinting or brow tinting or any beauty treatments near the eyes. It is also advisable to do a skin test before applying fake tan.
I remember very well becoming allergic quite suddenly to a high end designer mascara that I had been using daily for years! At first I thought it was hay fever but after a couple of days realised it was the mascara. I was unable to wear eye make up for quite a few weeks afterwards and my eyes have always been particularly sensitive ever since.

So why oh why would anyone want to expose themselves to even further risk by using counterfeit cosmetics? This is where brides are at high risk as it is tempting to save money on buying fake beauty products and cosmetics, especially if the only time you intend to use them is just for your wedding day, but it is not ‘just ‘your wedding day, it is the most important and special day of your life. Fake beauty products and cosmetics have high potential for allergies and are huge health and safety concerns. Fake products have been found to contain toxic chemicals that can cause allergic reactions, including lead, arsenic and mercury.

Counterfeit make-up is often produced in un-sanitised and un-hygienic factories and there have been cases where rats’ droppings and poison have been found within the products. It is not worth falling into the fake beauty trap of applying make-up and perfume with these very horrid contents, least of all on your wedding day! Not to mention other fake beauty buys that could even set fire to your home or sun cream that actually contains no sun protection at all. Fake beauty and cosmetic products are an unglamorous gamble that just doesn’t pay off.

Counterfeit cosmetics seized by PIPCU

Counterfeit cosmetics seized by PIPCU

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has found that consumers are putting themselves at considerable risk by buying and using fake beauty goods. They have launched a campaign “Wake Up Don’t Fake Up” to highlight the dangers of buying and using counterfeit goods such as make-up, perfume, electrical hair stylers and sun cream. 

It is estimated that in the UK consumers spend at least £90 million per year on fake goods. Auction sites, online market places, rogue websites and social media are making counterfeit products increasingly common and easily available. Customers buying on line are particularly at risk as they are deceived by not being able to gauge the look and feel of a product as you would in a high street store. Customers are also lead to believe they are buying the real deal by deceitful sellers featuring generic stock images.

The PIPCU has helped to protect consumers from being ripped off online by suspending more than 5,500 websites selling fake luxury branded goods as well as seizing more than £3.5million worth of fake goods within the last 18 months.

Counterfeit cosmetics seized by PIPCU.

Counterfeit cosmetics seized by PIPCU.

Fake beauty electricals including straighteners, hair dryers and curlers are not subjected to the same vigorous safety tests as genuine items, this often means the fake products can be very dangerous. By using fake electricals you run the risk electrocution, the appliance may overheat and catch fire and you could potentially end up with burnt hair, skin and scalp as well as putting homes and lives at risk. Increasing the likelihood of these possibilities by using fake electricals could make for a very disappointing and even dangerous wedding day.
Electrical Items

Poisonous chemicals such as cyanide and even human urine have been found during laboratory tests on counterfeit perfume. Toxic chemicals and harmful substances including mercury, lead and arsenic have also been found in counterfeit foundation, mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss. All of these can cause allergic reactions, such as skin irritation, swelling, rashes and burns as well as leaving the consumer with longer term health problems. A reaction like this could ruin your big day with you having to spend the occasion visiting doctors rather than celebrating with friends and loved ones. No one wants to look at thier wedding photos and be reminded of an unslighlty allergy or reaction that could have been avoided, you want nothing to get in the way of looking your best on your wedding day.

If this is not enough to put you off then it is worth noting that fake products do not have the rigorous testing, quality control and monitoring of the genuine articles. The quality of ingredients are compromised so even though they may look like the real thing the fakes don’t offer the same results or beauty benefits as the genuine product. Make-up may not last as long and the colours may not be right, the cosmetics can smell unpleasant too, in addition to hygiene issues you are again exposing yourself to high risks of allergies and reactions.
Make Up

Last year 4,700 counterfeit versions of one of the UK’s most popular beauty brands, including foundation, bronzer, lip gloss, eye shadow and eyebrow pencils were found in a shipping container seized during a PIPCU criminal operation. In 2013, EU Customs seized over a million suspected fake cosmetics and perfume items with a retail value of more than 55million euros.

Counterfeit cosmetics seized by PIPCU

Counterfeit cosmetics seized by PIPCU

Counterfeit sun cream has also been produced by fraudsters passing it off as well known and trusted household brands. These often contain little or no SPF at all and so offer no protection to harmful UV rays which could lead to long term skin damage, as well as containing substances which could cause skin irritation. All wedding couples want a honeymoon to remember for it being a wonderful experience, not from being let down by a sun cream that didn’t offer protection or even worse a honeymoon ruined due to allergies or skin reactions.

The PIPCU is also urging online shoppers to be aware that by purchasing counterfeit goods online they are running the risk of their financial and personal details being compromised and being used for other fraudulent scams, in addition to exposing their computers to malware and viruses. At a time when having access to your funds and you are relying on being able to pay for those all important wedding must haves, an issue with credit card fraud or scams with using personal details is the last thing you want to deal with, or have time to sort out. Not to mention how devasting this could be if an issue came to light while away on your honeymoon.
Digital Fraud

It is certainly not worth the risk of ruining your big day just to save a few quid on fake make-up or beauty products. It is not bargain beauty it is risking your health and safety and playing a lottery with your looks on what should be one of the most beautiful days of your life, so be beauty safe and don’t buy fakes!

Always buy from reputable suppliers, even when buying online.

Always buy from reputable suppliers, even when buying online.

We all deserve better, safer beauty so what can we do to stay safe?

Know what is in your products: The Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) are the trade body for the cosmetics and personal care industry, they have created a website to provide clear factual information about the science behind cosmetics, visit

Check the credentials: If you have concerns about the quality of treatments in beauty salons and nail bars, or the competency of professionals carrying out beauty, nails, make-up and spa services, the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (Habia) have created The Register of Beauty Professionals. The register provides a system of regulation to ensure that registered beauty professionals have suitable qualifications and meet agreed National Occupational Standards, visit

The Hair Council hold the UK Register of Qualified Hairdressers and details of State Registered Hairdressers and Barbers, see

Shop online safer: The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has produced ten top tips for consumers to follow to avoid falling victim to counterfeit fraud when shopping online.

1. Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Legitimate designer items are rarely discounted, so do not rush and be fooled into believing you are getting a good deal.

2. Check the spelling and grammar on the website and of the URL – often the people behind these sites do not pay a lot of attention or care to this detail. Fraudsters may also try to deceive you by slightly changing the spelling of a well-known brand or shop in the website address.

3. Look to see where the trader is based and whether they provide a postal address – just because the web address has ‘uk’ do not assume the seller is based in the UK. If there is no address supplied or there is just a PO Box or email, be wary.

4. Only deal with reputable sellers – only use sites you know or ones that have been recommended to you. If you have not bought from the seller before, do your research and check online reviews. People will often turn to forums and blogs to warn others of fake sites. If you are buying an item online you can check to see if the website is a legitimate stockist by visiting

5. Ensure the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage – this indicates a secure payment.

6. Keep security software and firewalls up-to-date. Regularly update your internet browser when a new patch-security update is released.

7. Don’t access links in unsolicited emails – fraudsters will design these, along with websites, to look genuine to trick victims into entering personal information, when in fact they are fraudulent. Always type in the website address or use a search engine to find a site.

8. Ask the trader if there is a returns policy or guarantee. Most rogue traders will not offer this.

9. If you are not sure whether the items are genuine, do not enter your payment details – it is not worth the risk.

10. Watch out for pop-ups appearing asking you to confirm your card details before you are on the payment stage. Never enter your PIN online.

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