Knockoff Highlighter Versus the Real Deal

Hello world. It’s been a while. I’ve been going through some transformations, both inner and outer. One of those involves exploring my interest in makeup. Whenever I do something new, I want to buy the right materials for the job, but I don’t want to spend, let alone waste, a ton of dough. Buying junk is like throwing cash into landfill. That said, when it came time to embrace highlighters, I thought I would go for something fun: Anastasia’s Aurora Glow Kit at Sephora. I. FELL. IN. LOVE!!! Zowie! Now I could highlight with blue and purple! Soooo cooool!!! Then I learned of Anastasia’s Moon Child highlighters, which have bluer undertones compared to the redder/golder undertones found in the Aurora palette. Sign this glamazon up!

But these palettes are not cheap. Sure, using super little product delivers a topnotch result, but how much would I use it? Would it really be worth the money? Just for kicks, I checked ebay. Low and behold, I found a knockoff palette at a fifth of the price. I’m not a brand name snob, but I do believe in springing for quality. Still, money ain’t always easy to come by.

I decided to bite. I’m glad I did because now I get why knockoffs are bad. Let’s begin by comparing first impressions of the actual product. On the left is the knockoff, while the real deal (purchased at Sephora) is on the right. The colors are definitely different, but are the tones in one set better than those in the other? At this point, it’s subjective.

knockoff highlighter vs anastasia

On the left, a knockoff of Anastasia’s Moonchild palette.

Unless you noticed the difference in packaging, or know the real deal super well, you will not notice one is a knockoff until …

Here is a simple swipe test, each using Blue Moon (the color in the lower right section). Pretty obvious which one is the quality product, right?

knockoff vs prestige highlighter

Could the results of this swipe test be more obvious?

But I won’t use this palette all that often, so if I use more each time, it’s really not a big deal. Thus, oh well, right? Wrong. Take a look now. For the top finger, I RUBBED the knockoff Lucky Clover (bottom center) three times to achieve ALMOST the same volume as one gentle swipe of the real deal. The real deal is a lovely green. The fake is closer to a light silver.

I bought this palette because I wanted color, so this swipe alone speaks volumes as to what is worth my money. Also, notice how I said I RUBBED the palette to get enough product. Now imagine what you would need to do with your brush to achieve proper coverage. In fact…

When applied with a brush, one swipe of Purple Horseshoe knockoff showed a little sparkle, but zero color. This was tested with a swipe in the pan and then a swipe on my skin. One swipe of the real deal gave a nice hint of purple that was easy to spread and blend. Three scrubs of the knockoff  gave a similar intensity, but it lacked both color and dimension while sitting more like a worn-down smudge of lipstick than a powder; meaning, it is not blendable. It merely sits like you were hit with a highlight stick five hours ago and can’t get it off.

So far, the only use I have found for the knockoff is to possibly scrub my finger through and then apply it with some Mac Fix Plus added, but it is still faint and presents all the other problems listed above. It does cling to lip balm, but there is no way I am coating my lips in this.

Bottom line: This knockoff is a waste.

For this one, telling the difference without opening the package is obvious IF you know the product. (Grrr….) The real deal has embossed print, smaller text on the back (because it has more ingredients), and has the Vegan symbol. The real one (right) is stamped Made In PRC (People’s Republic of China) while the knockoff is Made In USA. (This is one of those times when being made in China does not equate to the product being what some call a “Chinese Knockoff”.) Other than that, the packaging on the real deal has a bit of luminescence (see below), but that is easy to miss, which makes the knockoff all the more convincing.

If you’ve got a suggestion as how to use the knockoff, other than part it out so I can recycle the cardboard, please let me know.













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