July 16, 2014

C-II Cosmetics - Budget Brand with MAC Names?

There's a discount cosmetics store near where I work, called Cosmo Cosmetics, that I like to pop into occasionally. Ok, a lot. I noticed over the last couple of months that they've started stocking a brand called C-II which was very reasonably priced, I'm talking around $6.00 for each item. But what caught my eye the most was the lipstick shade names.

Look at the names on the bottom of the lipsticks. Sound familiar?

Yep, Shy Girl, Lady Danger and Pink Nouveau are all shade names of MAC Cosmetics lipsticks! And what do you know, the shades are also very similar to the actual MAC lipsticks. I don't have Shy Girl and Lady Danger, but I'd say from online swatches they're pretty close. I do own the original MAC Pink Nouveau and while they're not exact dupes they're definitely similar. I have a comparison swatch towards the end of the post. It wasn't just those lippies that had MAC names, there were maybe 20-30 colours in the range, and every-single-one-was-a-MAC-name.

I also ended up getting a concealer ($4.95) and the shade was called, wait for it, NC25! Can they get any more MAC on me here?

Now, I highly doubt it's a pure coincidence that these shades all happen to have exactly the same names as MAC shades. So whoever has created this brand is clearly trying to cash in on the MAC name, but not really labelling themselves as MAC therefore potentially not getting into trouble.

Which brings me back to the fact I could find absolutely no information about the brand. Nope, zilch, nada. Nothing online. And the packaging just says made in Thailand, nothing else that I can use to do my research on. The only reference I found was an ebay listing but even then there was no brand information.

That said, the quality of the products isn't actually bad. The lipsticks are quite creamy and very pigmented. They last around 3hrs on me, which is fairly standard and not bad for a lipstick that costs $5.95. And the concealer is pretty good at concealing dark under eye circles.

My only issue here is that I'm finding it hard to recommend this. Not because of the quality, but because of the shade names. I feel like they're fakes, but not really. I think if they'd used any old name I'd be ok with it, but the fact they're obviously trying to cash in on the MAC brand I feel lied to.

What do you think of this brand? Would you buy it? What do you think about the fact they're using MAC names?


  1. Wow I find that really interesting. I used to have a shop similar to that around the corner from where I lived and they sold products that looked exactly like benefit products just under another name and for a different price. And the lip shades are really similar in those swatches! And that is very strange how they are no where else on the internet! I wonder if MAC know about this? But even if they did I think it would be really hard to track them down! Love the post though!

  2. That is pretty interesting - I loved going into Cosmo Cosmetics when I visited Sydney but I did see a few obvious fakes in the mix...I guess I kind of like that they've made it clear that they aren't MAC, but they are capitalizing on people wanting those MAC shades so it is sort of clever in a weird way...

  3. Huh. Is that legal? Ah well, I love a good fake, so long as the quality isn't horrendous. Nice colours too!

  4. Oooh, interesting! Never heard of this brand, but I agree with you - it's just a little bit fake because of the names :(

  5. Very interesting. I actually had shy girl which my mum took from me so I might pop into my local Cosmo Cosmetics to get it and compare it. This is strange. I reckon they are fakes for mac and as you said by naming their brand something it is not illegal.

  6. My concern would actually probably be the ingredients! I'm not going to lie, though, that lip swatch of Lady Danger looks soooo good.

  7. I have the lipstick in Rebel which is an almost perfect dupe for MAC's Rebel. While they are super cheap, I would prefer paying the extra money to know where they came from and what ingredients are in them

  8. Sounds a bit sketchy to me, especially since you can't even access a website :S I'd rather pay the big bucks and just get the MAC

  9. It happened to me in Sydney. I thought I was actually buying a real Maybelline Baby lips! but then back home i realized it iz written C-II. The packaging is an exact copy of the real Baby Lips lip balm! That's why i didn't notice! The composition of the balm is quite bad...: Mineral oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polybutene, Caprylic Trygliceride, synthetic wax, bis-diglyceril polyacyladipate-2, beeswax, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, tocopheryl acetate. MAY CONTAIN: D&C Red No. 6 Ba Lake, Red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, black iron oxide, titanium dioxyde, Mica, Frangrance. All this just for a small lip balm.. cheap yeah but i don't know the compo of the real maybelline anyway...



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