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Knockoff makeup may save you money, but your skin pays for it big-time

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Photo: Thinkstock/amanaimagesRF

Counterfeit designer bags used to be everywhere, but a new sector is dominating the mimic market—and it’s probably hurting your skin more than it’s helping your wallet.

Faux versions of everything from Kylie Lip Kits to Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighters and other luxury brand lipsticks are getting easier and easier to snatch up at lower prices—but these phonies are causing some serious health problems in the process.

Some who have scored killer deals on the forged products have paid the price in the form of numb lips and chemical burns.

The products you buy look real, feel real, and work decently well—so much so that sometimes you might not even realize you’re buying a fake in the first place. Until you wake up with a major eye infection or skin irritation, that is. The popularity of beauty counterfeiting is growing by the day, reports Refinery 29, and many women have already suffered the consequences.

Some who have scored killer deals on the forged products have paid the price in the form of numb lips and chemical burns.

When it comes down to it, getting what you pay for has never been more true when it comes to these knockoffs: Aluminum, horse urine, human carcinogens, and other scary ingredients have been found in the products seized by the FBI. (AKA things you don’t want anywhere near you, especially your skin.)

Adding insult to literal injury, Refinery29 found that the conditions of the counterfeit factories are incredibly disturbing: They’re dirty, full of bacteria, and are so unhygienic that they “make a frat house bathroom look like a surgical suite.”

The brands subject to this identity theft are working with government agencies to stop dangerous insanity. In the meantime, shop responsibly, read your labels carefully—and keep in mind that you do often get what you pay for.

If you want to try out makeup at home before you buy it, there’s an app for that. More into that au naturel vibe? Here’s how to look flawless without a drop of foundation.