The Story Behind “Qamar” An Egyptian Counterfeit Makeup Vendor

Thanks to beauty bloggers, more women are buying cosmetic products than ever. Picture this, you have been dying to buy that new fancy fifty shades of blue eyeshadow pallet, you search online to find that it costs you a fortune. That right here is why thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit beauty products are being made and sold everyday. But when do we draw the line between saving money and our health?

The Case of Qamar

In one of Cairo’s most popular destinations for cheap finds “El Wekala”, you may come across Qamar. She wears a black abaya and a veil showing her striking colored hair and bold makeup and carrying many boxes. Qamar sells knock-off international cosmetics and skincare products where the usual prices range is between 400 and 500 Egyptian pounds. Qamar’s prices are much more competitive as she sells one package for 15 and 20 Egyptian pounds.

Videos of Qamar selling her products have been circulating the internet and people have been reacting differently. Some are mocking her products and prices where others are warning against buying them. There are hundreds of people selling knock-off cosmetics, but what makes Qamar so special-other than her prices is her persuasive style and self-taught marketing skills. In the video, Qamar stood surrounded by a heavy crowd of girls saying, “all my products are original, and I try it on myself before I sell to other girls”. Amongst the products sold by Qamar is the “Dark Kiss” lotion by international brand Bath and Body Works, which she seems to have perfected in terms of the scent and texture but missed on the color. She insists that the products are original and she challenges people to check the packaging and barcode. This has got people wondering that she refills the original product packaging with her own formula.

Amidst all the chaos and controversy, Qamar was arrested and later released on a 20 thousand pound bail. The reactions of her arrest were mixed, where some were relieved with her arrest, others expressed their sympathy. Some users took to twitter to explain that Qamar isn’t the only one selling knock offs, in fact the whole area of Wekala is known for selling counterfeits for an affordable price. The story of Qamar has got us thinking about how people make a conscious decision of buying counterfeits and is it worth saving a couple of pounds?

The trade-off

Surely counterfeit cosmetics may be better for your wallet but that is about it. Those who produce knock-off products are not authorized to sell them and typically don’t follow standard cosmetic safety regulations and this increases chances of the product being contaminated or perhaps toxic. Dermatologists and experts have warned people against buying cosmetic products from unknown sources. Those products can cause the appearance of pimples, scars, spots, irritation and peeling of the skin and may even develop serious skin diseases. On a similar note, unreliable eye makeup products can cause Inflammation in the eyelids and other eye diseases.

Settling the debate

Although we are all in for saving money, counterfeit cosmetics come with a high risk of harming your skin. Perhaps considering both sides of the argument is essential for making a conscious and informed decision.

WE SAID THIS: Have you ever considered buying knock-off cosmetics to save some cash.

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