#INDIANSPICELEAKS: With the recent spate of news regarding knock-off cosmetic brands, we’ve decided to check out the Foccallure cosmetic range.
Shiloh Woodarajh promotes the cosmetic range excessively on social media in Durban through a business known as Perfect Shade cosmetics. Woodarajh has previously owned, Glo Cosmetics, which was lambasted to a point that it liquidated after allegations of relabelling knock-off products, hit the news.
Evidence of Focallure appearing to copy cosmetics descriptions from better-known brands can be seen again and again through their website.
The hunt to find the source of Focallure
Upon searching for the brand ‘Foccallure‘ on Google, the search engine brought up some questionable sites that sell the cosmetic product range. This is why several aspects of shopping Focallure stood out as possible yellow flags.
What we found out about the brand ‘Focallure.’
If you Google the address of the ‘lab’ or warehouse of Focallure we discovered that it’s an empty single family home.
Don’t take our word for it have a look yourself; the address is 304 s Jones Street Las Vegas, NV.
According to complaints filed by consumers, here’s one of them
It’s not a business that’s for sure. They also claim their products are made in the US. That’s so false. You can tell from the typos in their correspondence that they aren’t in the United States.Sara Marie, Reddit post
Aliexpress has been on a rampage to eliminate blatant plagiarism, and brands like Focallure offer replica or inspired by versions of cult products, and from Diane Penelope’s experience, are comparable, maybe with cheaper packaging, but the colours are just as pigmented, and do vary slightly from the original.
Lifestyle blogger, Beautraveler has reviewed the Focallure range and found some red flags on the product apart from loving it.
She had this to say about the brand.
Focallure is a Chinese brand that can be purchased on Alibaba according to this blogger.Beautraveler
And pretty much like most of Chinese products, the packaging comes with some not-so meaningful English phrase that we’re not quite sure what this is all about. On this one, it says “We Care Your Favors”.Beautraveler
As we started our standard process of reviewing the cosmetic categories on Focallure’s website, we noticed that the written product descriptions describing categories had a higher than average frequency of grammatical errors.
For example, the description on the Focallure Face Collection page states:
“Our mineral face collection contains natural ingredient makeup easy-to-use and defines, illuminate or enhance your requested features. Our collection has Foundation in 3 colors vary by your skin color, Highlighter and the famous Complete-Coverage® Concealer that also available in the variety of colors.“
Poor grammar alone isn’t a major red flag indicating a poor quality product. Though it’s worth noting as possibly raising questions as to whether or not Focallure was truly made and sold in the U.S. as they claim.
Moving on, as we read through Focallure’s individual product descriptions, we noticed that they sounded surprisingly similar to some of our favorite brands.
For example, here’s the description of Focallure Foundation Setting Powder from their website:
“With just five pure ingredients, Focallure Face Foundation delivers flawless coverage and the creamy minerals are clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin over time. It looks like a powder, feels like a cream, and buffs on like silk, giving skin a natural luminosity while feeling as if you are not wearing any makeup at all.”
From Ulta, here’s the description of bareMinerals Matte Mineral Foundation:
“With just five pure ingredients, bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation delivers flawless coverage and the creamy minerals are clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin over time. It looks like a powder, feels like a cream, and buffs on like silk, giving skin a natural luminosity while feeling as if you are not wearing any makeup at all.”
Because the ‘bareMinerals’ brand has been around for over 35 years, we’re pretty confident that they came up with this description first.
For example, Focallure Ultimate Eyeshadow Palettes 1-4 all use the following description:
“Loaded with 10 bronze-hued shadows in an insane range of finishes only Focallure could dream up—including matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle, Naked takes neutral eye color to a new level. From the palest champagne to the grittiest gunmetal, it’s everything you need to let eyes go laid-back, beachy vibe, or black-tie drama.”
This is a near verbatim use of the description for Urban Decay’s popular Naked Palette, as seen at Sephora:
“Loaded with 12 bronze-hued shadows in an insane range of finishes only Urban Decay could dream up—including matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle, Naked takes neutral eye color to a new level. From the palest champagne to the grittiest gunmetal, it’s everything you need to let eyes go laid-back, beachy vibe, or black-tie drama.”
To be clear, modeling your makeup after a better-known brand is the cornerstone of knockoff cosmetics. The appearance of lifting another company’s descriptions doesn’t necessarily mean that Focallure is selling poor quality products.
But it does bring their ethics into question—if Focallure did, indeed, copy the description of more popular makeup brands, can consumers trust their other promises that might be more important, such as a commitment to cruelty-free cosmetics, including sun protection, or being free of talc?
Again, just because a company appears to have copied descriptions doesn’t mean that you’ll receive a poor-quality product. But, it does bring into question the ingredients and methods used to create the product you’ll receive.
We Tried to Contact Focallure Customer Service
To give Focallure a fair chance at responding, we attempted to reach out to their customer service representatives.
Our first attempt was through their Contact page, where we found that there was only a form to request contact—and no phone number listed.
This is another potential yellow flag that we mention in our list of tips when trying to determine if a company is legit.
In our experience, legitimate online retailers should list where their business is located, as well as a phone number an email to reach them.
In a final attempt to contact Focallure, we reached out to customer service through their Facebook page.
Per our interaction with the company, the representative who responded stated that no phone number was available. When pressed for any information that could confirm that they were based in the United States, the representative stopped responding. Follow-up questions regarding the product descriptions that appear to be copied were left unanswered.
Focallure Return and Refund Policy — Final or Not?
Prices for Focallure products vary with your purchase. But what if you’re unsatisfied?
To wrap up our research on Focallure, we headed to their Refund Policy page where things take a final confusing turn. At the top of the page, shoppers are told:
“All products are sold ‘as is.’ You assume the responsibility for your purchase, and no refunds will be issued. All sales are final.”
Next, customers are instructed to contact customer service if your product arrives damaged. Following is a list of products for which partial refunds are applicable, including books and CDs—of which we didn’t see any for sale on the website.
This is followed by additional info on potential refunds, and the statement that they only replace items if they are defective or damaged. If shoppers need to exchange it for the same item, to send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay then, we pretty much gave you all the information you need to make an informed decision on the Focallure brand.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below.