Every time I go for a holiday, usually once a year, I come back with suitcases and cartons full of make-up, skin and hair products, instead of shoes, clothes bags etc. and I’ll tell you why…a few days back a client came to me with two Bobbi Brown eye shadows; one that she had bought from Dubai that had almost finished and another of the same which she purchased from a store in Lahore. She insisted that the result of the one bought in Lahore was totally different and to my surprise it was. The eye colour was a bit too powdery and when applied there was very little colour visible and more shimmer. It was a replica and a very good one also!

Thing is, there is really no way you can tell if a product is a fake or a replica just by looking at it! The packaging looks the same, the colour looks the same, smells slightly different sometimes but it’s only when you apply it that you see the difference. Like the eye shadow or for instance the easiest way to tell if a liquid foundation is genuine or not is by the texture; it will be considerably less thick than it should be. So now that you have opened the packaging and used it, there is no way it can be returned or exchanged and of course the sales person you got it from will say there is nothing wrong with it!

I mean forget fake rupee notes or forging signatures and producing fake college degrees and passports, Bobbi Brown wasn’t even spared! What talent this country has…so anyway this lead me to do some serious market research. There had to be some products in the market that were safe to buy! Here’s what I found.. tried and tested!

1. Masters Color by Guinot’s, Paris: We all know about Guinot’s professional skin care but what few know is that they have a very exclusive range of make-up products. What I liked best in this collection is the eye shadows; an array of colours to choose from and when applied the colour comes out just right and is long lasting. Though a bit hard to find as it’s only available in very few hi-end salons but trust me the search will be worth it.

2. Artdeco – A brand of cosmetic products based and produced in Germany. It hasn’t been too long since they have launched in Pakistan but now their products are quite easily available. They have a complete range of make-up products and their mineral foundation is simply amazing; A must have!

3. Zoya’s range of Herbal Skincare – This is one of the best herbal products we have. I personally never really believed in herbal lines; never quite saw any good results and they all looked a bit phony to me until I came across this. Produced in Pakistan and shipped abroad to some very big names.

4. Luscious – This is one of our leading cosmetic lines, produced internationally and the quality of the products is exceptional! Reasonably priced and easily available. I’ve always just used their nail colours but I recently came across one of their lip glosses and am looking forward to trying the rest of the range.

There are so many more amazing products that have been in our market forever that people don’t know about and even if they do or have heard about them, are a bit too brand conscious to use them! The best example of this ‘Hashmi’ a brand known for its ‘surma and kajal’. I haven’t come across anyone who doesn’t know about or hasn’t used it. Amongst a variety of other products they produce is a rose water spray that is better than the Evian spray I would get cartons of from my holidays.

Happy shopping!

Redah Misbah Qureshi
Creative Director
Depilex – Beauty Clinic & Institute