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A Fecal Fiasco

Feces found in counterfeit name-brand cosmetics.

Counterfeit+makeup+being+sold+in+Santee+Alley.
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A Fecal Fiasco

Counterfeit makeup being sold in Santee Alley.

Counterfeit makeup being sold in Santee Alley.

Cara Gonzales

Counterfeit makeup being sold in Santee Alley.

Cara Gonzales

Cara Gonzales

Counterfeit makeup being sold in Santee Alley.

Ashlee Navarec, Contributor

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The Los Angeles Fashion District is home to wholesale businesses, retailers and designers. They describe themselves as the home of cutting edge styles that are influencing fashion throughout the world. However, on Thursday, Apr. 12, local authorities engaged in a counterfeit cosmetic raid on multiple locations within the District.

After receiving complaints that cosmetics were causing severe skin rashes, Los Angeles Police Department-Piracy Unit (LAPD-PU) targeted 21 locations in the Santee Alley shopping area and recovered over $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics.

Popular brands like Kylie, MAC, Urban Decay, Naked and Too Faced were all included in the massive collection of counterfeit cosmetics. According to a report from NBCLA, the cosmetics were tested and discovered to contain high levels of bacteria and human waste. Although the district hosts five market weeks a year, this was the second similar raid and recovery of cosmetics in the Fashion District since February 2017. 

According to an article by Joanna Chiu of Mashable World News, counterfeit cosmetics are often contaminated by being processed in unsanitary circumstances:

“The level of toxins in some of these products have led to severe allergic reactions including skin rashes and burns, disfigurement and long-term health problems.”

 Six people were arrested during the Fashion District raid and charged with trademark violations. 

Kim Kardashian West, fashion icon and social influencer, tweeted: “SO GROSS! Never buy counterfeit products!”

Counterfeit cosmetics are not only harmful to users, but to the industries they’re imitating as well. According to CBS News, Customs and Border Protection have calculated an estimate loss of $75 million for cosmetic industries in 2017. Though counterfeit makeup tends to be sold on the street, buyers are also warned against “legitimate websites like Amazon.”

LAPD Captain Marc Reina promoted the hashtag “#ProtectingOurCommunity”, tweeting about the details of the bust and warning shoppers:

 “The best price is not always the best deal!”

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