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Is your partner cheating on you?

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 06 Juli 2014 | 23.08

David Koch offers some tips on how to budget successfully.

Keeping financial secrets from a partner is a dangerous move. Picture: Thinkstock Source: ThinkStock

SNEAKY partners are hiding their spending habits from their loved ones and even lying about their income.

Experts say being untruthful to a partner about finances is destined for disaster and the key to a successful relationship both in love and money is being open and honest from the beginning.

New results show one in three Australians (33 per cent) admit to scouring their partner's credit card statements — and females are the worst offenders.

About 37 per cent of women admit to checking their partner's plastic spending habits compared with men (30 per cent) new research by insurer Budget Direct shows.

And when it comes to income levels, about one in 10 admits to lying to their partner about how much they earn.

AMP financial planner Dianne Charman says keeping financial secrets from a partner is a dangerous move and urged couples to be honest.

Couples should be open about finances and agree on shared goals, say experts. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

"Money tends to be an issue if you are not open,'' she says.

"If you are in a partnership and you want to achieve goals together then you should be open and transparent about these things from the start."

Charman says setting up a budget and working out financial goals together is a good plan of attack and doing the opposite rarely succeeds.

"Keeping secrets doesn't tend to work,'' she says.

"As an adviser, I find it's very difficult to deal with a couple if they are not on the same page."

The findings also showed about 15 per cent of respondents hide purchases from loved ones.

They most commonly hide spending on clothes (69 per cent), shoes (55 per cent) and entertainment (50 per cent.)

Budget Direct spokeswoman Margueritte Rossi says realistic financial goals can help stamp out disputes.

"Agree on how much you can both spend on the outset,'' she says.

Originally published as Is your partner cheating on you?
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

House Rules winners are grinners

Dream come true ... Melbourne couple Adam Dovile and Lisa Lamond have won House Rules. Source: News Corp Australia

LISA Lamond and Adam Dovile are a step closer to getting married and starting a family after winning House Rules.

The Victorian couple will have their home mortgage paid off after triumphing over Western Australia's Carole and Russell Brampton on Channel 7's home renovation show.

Life-changing win ... Adam Dovile and Lisa Lamond say the win means they can get married and start a family. Source: Supplied

It was the public vote that got Lisa and Adam across the line. The pair were trailing Carole and Russell by two points - 17 to 19 - after judges' Wendy Moore and Joe Snell's vote.

Lisa and Adam, engaged for two years, are set to marry in September. The House Rules win looks likely to fast-track the couple's plans for children.

"This (win) is the most amazing thing in the world," Adam said. "Being on House Rules has changed our lives.

"Lisa is just amazing. I love her so much."

Lisa added: "This means we can get married and start a family."

Adam is a carpenter and builder but Lisa had no renovation experience when she applied for the show.

Constant bickering ... WA couple Carole and Russell missed out. Source: Supplied

The final renovation project for both couples was to create an outdoor area including a bar and spa for each other's homes.

Lisa and Adam wanted a James Bond theme to the back of their 1960s three-bedroom weatherboard home.

Carole and Russell asked for 6-star Bali for the rear of the former rundown fibro cottage. The Perth grandparents continued the arguments that have plagued their entire time on House Rules.

Cute couple ... Lisa Lamond and Adam Dovile proved popular with viewers. Source: News Corp Australia

At one stage, Russell had to make 15 trips from the tile shop to the couple's car after Carole refused to get out of the vehicle.

Despite the emotional upheaval, Carole and Russell scored a perfect 10 from Moore and a 9 from Snell for their outdoor spa and bar area which included a gold bullion wallpaper feature.

"You created the ultimate party area," Moore enthused.

Carole and Russell had admitted that their constant bickering could lead to a poor public vote - and it looks as though that happened.

"If we had to lose to anyone, we're glad it was Adam and Lisa," Russell said after the result was announced.

Originally published as House Rules winners are grinners
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Voice girl breaks down after snub

Can't cope ... Romy bursts into tears when the judges fail to turn around — despite her singing her heart out. Source: Channel 9

THE parents of the 12-year-old contestant who broke down in tears on The Voice Kids have defended their decision to let their daughter audition for the talent program.

Romy, now 13, burst into tears when Joel and Benji Madden, Delta Goodrem, and Mel B failed to select her during the Blind Audition round on Sunday night's episode.

Big effort ... Romy, 12, sang Adele's Turning Tables, but was hurt when the judges didn't turn around. Source: Supplied

The youngster, from Sydney's eastern suburbs, performed Adele's Turning Tables, and was clearly hurt by the snub.

'HIDEOUS': Producers in plea to Voice Kids trolls

The judges rushed to console her on the stage when it became clear she was upset.

The emotional scenes are sure to add fuel to critics who say children are too vulnerable to be thrust into the spotlight on television shows such as The Voice Kids.

Did they go too far? ... the judges were visibly concerned for the girl's wellbeing. Source: Channel 9

Romy's upset comes a fortnight after Channel 9 executive Adrian Swift pleaded with social media trolls to spare the youngsters from "hideous" online attacks.

Romy's parents, Liza and Richard, have justified allowing their daughter to compete on the show, saying that her decision and that they didn't want to stand in her way.

Too much to bear ... the judges rushed to console the youngster when she broke down in tears. Source: Channel 9

"We were extremely nervous as any parent would be," Liza and Richard said.

"Romy had never done anything like this before. She sourced the (application) forms herself, ensured that we would be available to do the audition, collated her submission and the rest is history.

It's OK ... Voice Kids judges Mel B and Delta Goodrem comforted a distressed Romy. Source: Channel 9

"Romy would have been very upset and disillusioned with us if we had stood in her way. Children who enjoy this process are driven by their passion and whilst we want to protect her we also didn't want to stand in the way of her pursuing her passion.

"Each situation has to be judged on its merits and we believed Romy would deal with the outcome. She has always been an intelligent, strong-willed but grounded, resilient child.

In despair ... Romy's concerned family watch backstage as she breaks down. Source: Channel 9

"We are very proud of her for making it through the audition process — 8000 (kids) down to 98 (who competed in the Blind Audition rounds).

"We discussed with her the possible outcomes and she felt comfortable that it was worth the possible risks. We were nervous for her but excited at the same time."

All smiles ... Romy, pictured at home, has bounced back from her Voice disappointment. Picture: Adam Taylor Source: News Corp Australia

Liza and Richard have assured viewers that Romy has bounced back from the disappointment and might even audition next year if The Voice Kids goes to a second series.

"The coaches asked her to (audition next year) at the end of her blind audition and — with some hesitation — she said she would," Liza and Richard said.

It's all good ... the plucky teen says she might even audition for the next season. Picture: Adam Taylor Source: News Corp Australia

"She is adamant that she wants to show what she is really capable of and is determined not to let her nerves get in the way again.

"The Voice Kids team have been very supportive, consultative and empathetic throughout the entire process."

Originally published as Voice girl breaks down after snub
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Machines to overtake humans in near future

Will robots wipe out humankind? Source: Supplied

IN JUST 30 years time, the top species on Earth will no longer be humans. That is the chilling warning from physicist Louis Del Monte who believes that new artificial intelligence (AI) technology will threaten the survival of humankind.

In a world where machines have become part of the way we live, where already artificial limbs replace our own, Del Monte believes we will become cyborgs — part human and part machine.

Our reliance on machines is increasing more than ever as they improve productivity, make breakthroughs in medical technology and improve our quality of life.

Part human, part machine, the future of artificial intelligence. Source: Getty Images

But Del Monte is concerned that the future may come down to man versus machine, when machines become more intelligent than humans, and that machines, like robots, may view humans as unpredictable and dangerous.

Speaking to Business Insider , Del Monte said: "Today there's no legislation regarding how much intelligence a machine can have, how interconnected it can be. If that continues, look at the exponential trend. We will reach the singularity in the time frame most experts predict. From that point on you're going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines."

Author of The Artificial Intelligence Revolution, Del Monte warns that machines will start to acquire the capabilities to protect themselves and view humans as enemies the way we view harmful insects.

He predicts that between 2040 to 2045 machines will outmatch human intelligence.

"The implication is that they're also learning self-preservation," Del Monte told us. "Whether or not they're conscious is a moot point."

Our reliance on machines is higher than ever. Source: Supplied

Originally published as Machines to overtake humans in near future

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Harris ‘abused me on live TV’

Rolf Harris has spent his first night in jail amid criticism the sex offender's sentence is too lenient.

TWO celebrities have come forward to say Rolf Harris assaulted them.

Former TV presenter Vanessa Feltz says Harris slid his hand up her dress while she interviewed him on live TV, while singer Linda Nolan also came forward to say she was abused by Harris when she was 15.

The two women came forward after Harris was jailed for five years on Friday after being found guilty of a string of sexual assaults.

Feltz, who is now a BBC radio presenter, says she was assaulted by Harris as she interviewed him live for an 'On the Bed' segment for UK breakfast TV as his wife Alwen looked on, she told The Express.

PLUMBER 'FOUND CHILD PORN IN HARRIS HOME'

Shocked ... Rolf Harris on the bed with host Vanessa Feltz on The Big Breakfast TV Show in London. Feltz has come forward to say Harris abused her on life TV as his wife looked on. Source: Austral International Press Agency

Meanwhile, Irish singer Linda Nolan has claimed she was groped at the age of 15 by Rolf Harris while supporting the entertainer on a tour of South Africa 40 years ago, with the entertainer licking her neck.

Feltz decided to tell her story in hopes of encouraging other victims to come forward, she said.

"I clearly remember being excited about interviewing Rolf Harris because like millions of others I had grown up with him," said.

"When I was in make-up some of the girls said I should watch out because it was known in the business he had wandering hands. I said 'Rolf Harris? You have to be joking."

The interview started out well, with the pair chatting on the bed.

"As the interview continued, with his wife watching and with the crew all in the room, I suddenly felt a rustling at the hem of my dress," she said.

"I was on live television so I could not look down but I sensed that his hand was at the bottom of my dress and he was slowly gathering the fabric up and moving his hand higher and higher up my leg.

Jailed ... Harris on the bed with Vanessa Feltz on The Big Breakfast show. Source: Austral International Press Agency

"He was carrying on talking as though nothing was going on, smiling and joking, as he moved his hand further up," said Feltz.

OZ PAINTING: HARRIS MURAL WILL BE PAINTED OVER

"Suddenly his hand reached my knee and he was still going up and travelling at speed. I was so shocked. This was Rolf Harris. I could clearly see his wife. How could this possibly be happening? But, of course, as he knew perfectly well, I could not say anything."

BINDI'S PAIN: 'I HAD HIM ON A PEDESTAL'

Singer Nolan and her sisters from The Nolans had joined Harris for a six-week tour when the Australian, then 44, allegedly cornered her backstage and started kissing and licking her neck.

Nolan told UK newspaper the Sunday Mirror she was wearing a dressing gown and about to get ready for a show when Harris "came out of nowhere and in seconds his hands were all over me".

"He came right up to me and got me in a huge bear hug," Nolan, now 55, said.

"His arms were all over my back, right around me so his hands were touching the sides of my breasts.

"He rubbed up and down and started kissing and licking the back of my neck.

"He towered over me. If I'd had to fight him off, I couldn't have. It was horrible and I was totally dumbstruck.

Justice ... Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court to be sentenced, in London on July 4. Picture: AP Source: AP

"But after a couple of minutes of me trying to wriggle him off without him stopping, I whispered to him `Please don't Rolf, please, please stop.'

"He did stop then, but looked at me like I was an idiot. He laughed it off and said `don't be silly, I'm only giving you a hug.'"

Harris was sentenced on Friday to five years and nine months' jail for indecently assaulting four girls in Britain between 1968 and 1986.

Nolan paid tribute to the abused women who testified against Harris in court.

"Them speaking out made me realise that I wasn't a silly little girl, and that what he did to me was as wrong as I thought it was that day," she said.

Originally published as Harris 'abused me on live TV'
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Australia comes top of global drug list

Australia has topped a list for having the most recreational drug users. Source: Supplied

AUSTRALIA, a country of sports champions, innovators … and drug takers.

The nation has the inglorious distinction of having the highest proportion of recreational drug users in the world — an embarrassing new low, albeit from getting high.

Our collective craving for a hit is only set to heighten, with the number of drug users continuing to rise steadily.

The frightening statistics in the United Nation's 2014 World Drug Report confirm Australia as leading the world in the use of party drug ecstasy, third in methamphetamines and fourth in cocaine.

Of greater concern is the addiction­ to prescribed or black market opioids such as codeine and morphine. We rank second only to the US, with 3.1-3.6 per cent of people between 15 and 65 considered regular users, mostly women.

Ecstasy is an Australian's drug of choice, according to the report. Source: ThinkStock

More than 10 per cent of the working-age population regularly use cannabis, with 1.9 million people aged 15-65 using it in the 12 months before figures were collected in 2010.

And we top the pile on ecstasy use, although data suggests it is the only drug category that is declining.

Interactive map: World Drug Report 2014

"Expert opinion points to an increase in the consumption of cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens and solvents and inhalants but a decline in the use of ecstasy," it said."There is a wide range of drug analogues and new psychoactive substances currently available in the Australian illicit drug market."

Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation president Dr Alex Wodak said Australia's burgeoning appetite for illicit drugs was fuelled by both a cashed-up and unfettered new generation and an underclass of Australians disadvantaged by growing social and economic inequality.

"There is certainly greater demand for drugs and that is likely because of economic and social conditions. People on one hand have more money to spend and on the other there are more people who are at risk — and those that are at risk are getting worse because of high unemployment, poor job prospects, lack of optimism,'' Dr Wodak said.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

’I’ve never felt so loved’

These three couples have stuck together through the toughest of circumstances. Source: ThinkStock

IN MARCH, Newcastle Knights footballer Alex McKinnon suffered a horrific spinal injury during play.

After he announced his engagement to his girlfriend Teigan Power from his hospital bed, we spoke to three couples whose shared experience of illness made their love grow stronger.

LOVE ON A COLLISION COURSE

When Luci Canning, now 34 and a stay-at-home mum from Caboolture, Queensland, had a life-changing car accident, her childhood sweetheart, Andrew, 34, was in it for the long haul.

Luci and Andrew with their daughter Hayley. Source: Supplied

Luci:

"Andrew and I were inseparable in kindergarten and even held a mock wedding at Echuca Primary School in Victoria. Then I changed schools and didn't see him until high school. After I moved to Queensland, we lost touch until Andrew added a sentence to the end of a letter of a mutual friend I was corresponding with. We began writing to each other, which progressed into nightly phone calls where we'd crack each other up. It was the stirring of first love.

In late 1998, Andrew planned to visit me in Queensland the following January. I was 18.

In November 1998, I had a devastating car accident. I had a smashed hip, a broken pelvis and a serious brain injury that left me in a coma for nine weeks. Andrew kept his promise and spent his holidays at the hospital, as I lay bedridden, bald and dribbling.

As I began to heal, Andrew stayed incontact. His sense of humour lifted my spirits when life felt nigh on impossible. I fell in love with his gentle, caring nature. He moved to Queensland at Christmas in 2000, and in 2001 we got engaged and moved in together.

I was in a wheelchair for the first four years after my accident, so Andrew had to care for me and take on the cooking and housework.

It was confronting to be so dependent, but he never made me feel anything but loved.

We were married in 2002, and two years later our beautiful daughter, Hayley, came along to complete our little family. We're an incredibly close unit and the best of friends.

Love means knowing that we'll be there for each other forever, no matter what. Andrew has already proven that."

Andrew:

"I called Luci the night she had her accident. When I was told she was in a coma and not responding, it was scary. Yet I wanted to be there for her — I couldn't just walk away. You stick by your friends. But I had feelings for her, too — they didn't just evaporate.

So I went up to Queensland as planned, not knowing what to expect. Luci was in a very bad way.

I felt so sorry for her, but I also had a firm belief she'd get better. And she did. Luci fought every inch of the way until she could walk with a cane.

When we decided to move in together, her parents took me aside and asked me if I knew what I was taking on. I did and I wanted to, because I loved her.

I asked Luci to marry me on the Echuca paddlesteamer during a visit to the town where we grew up. When she said yes, it was as if we'd come full circle. I've never regretted it for a second. We have our ups and downs, but our marriage is a happy one. You can't ask for more than that."

LOVE WITH UNCERTAINTY

Acting school principal from Victoria, Cory Pearce, now 37, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 25, a year into his marriage to Tanya, now 42, a sales consultant.

Cory and Tanya with their son. Source: Supplied

Cory:

"From the moment I saw Tanya at a Melbourne nightclub in 1997, I was attracted to her confidence. When we started talking, there was an easy familiarity between us. After four years together, we got engaged.

Six months before our wedding in 2002, I thought I might have strained a muscle in my left eye. It became progressively worse, until I couldn't see a thing. I was diagnosed with optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve, which is a common precursor to MS. Thankfully, my eyesight almost completely returned.

We married in September, hoping the worst was behind us.

But when we should have been celebrating our first wedding anniversary, the optic neuritis returned in my right eye and I was diagnosed with MS. As a young married guy, it was confronting. It came at the time of life when I was trying to wrestle with the world — starting my marriage, buying a house and wanting to have a family. Suddenly my body was telling me I didn't have control over it.

The most frightening thing for both of us was the perception of what would follow: a steady decline, resulting in the need for a wheelchair and around-the-clock care.

However, what I've learned over the past 12 years is, it's not the reality for everybody.

I have relapsing-remitting MS, which means after a relapse, I am physically worse off.

The worst part is not knowing how the disease will manifest, and worrying if it's ever going to get so bad that I'll be fully dependent on Tanya. I hate the thought of it. We know that time could come at any point.

And yet we rarely talk about what it could mean for the future. Maybe it's a form of denial? I don't tell her when I'm having symptoms. I hide them, as if I'm putting a block between her and my MS.

I have refused to be defined by my illness. You can't live your life asking 'What if?' From the outset, I didn't abandon future plans. We have to live for the now, especially for our son, Sasha, eight. We're involved in fundraising for Foundation 5 Million Plus (f5mplus.org.au), which focuses on trying to find a cure. We remain positive."

Tanya:

"There was never any question we wouldn't get married. I loved Cory, whatever the future held. When the MS diagnosis eventually came, I remember sitting on a park bench outside of the hospital, bawling my eyes out, thinking, 'Why him? Why now?' But I wasn't crying for the future, I was crying for Cory and how unfair it was.

To be honest, he handles it better than I ever could. If it were me, I'd have curled up into a ball and shut-out the world, but Cory is blessed with a positive attitude, so there has never been an iota of self-pity. He is strong for the both of us. That is his nature. I'm a natural-born worrier, but I keep my concerns to myself. I'm constantly amazed by the way he handles the stresses of work and his illness. Every month he has to go to hospital and have drugs pumped into him to keep his MS under control. Sometimes it's hard to know how to support him.

We have been living with the shadow of MS for a long time now, and we hear stories of people waking up paralysed and unable to get out of bed. There is that worry, but we'll manage as a couple, whatever happens."

LOVE AT YOUR MOST VULNERABLE

Four months after Kelly Roberts, 34, a social-media consultant from Sydney, started dating Jiva Berry, 42, a systems administrator, she developed a string of viral infections that left her bedridden.

Kelly and Jiva. Source: Supplied

Kelly:

I was juggling two stressful jobs that were consuming my life, leaving no room for a relationship. So when my friend said I had to meet this amazing guy, Jiva, I didn't take any notice. 'Like-minded' was what she said. Months later, in January 2010, we were finally introduced at a yoga event. Heidi was right! Sparks few and it felt as if we'd known

each other forever. The next three months were blissful as we fell deeply in love.

Then in April, as work became almost unbearable, I developed what I thought was a throat infection that I couldn't shake. It grew worse until I couldn't get out of bed. I was diagnosed with glandular fever, which developed into viral hepatitis and, later, chronic fatigue syndrome. It was the sickest I'd ever been in my life.

Despite this, Jiva didn't pull back. Instead, he was there for me — bringing me food, medication, supplements and taking me to my medical appointments. When my housemate announced she was going overseas, Jiva suggested I stay with him. I had concerns about the pressure this would place on such a new relationship, plus the guilt of having to rely on him, but I was so grateful

he cared enough to want to look after me. I moved in with him one afternoon and never left. Jiva took care of me physically, as well as emotionally. I'd always been fiercely independent, and to relinquish control was challenging. This dynamic changed in our relationship. I had to learn to be dependent.

I'd never experienced being loved like that. Jiva loved me at my worst and saw me at my most vulnerable, yet he was prepared to stick around. That is a measure of a special man.

I was in bed for three months. It's been a slow recovery back to health over the past four years. My illness required us to allow a greater emotional intimacy into our lives, to really be who we are, which deepened our relationship. I don't know how I would have done it without him."

Jiva:

"When Kelly and I met, there was an immediate connection. I knew I could envisage my future with her in it, so when she needed my help, there was never any question. I cared enough about her to want to be there. I went to doctors, pathologists and specialists with her, to support her and understand what she was experiencing.

Her illness escalated our relationship pretty quickly and we discovered things about each other that may have taken other couples years to find out.

Kelly went through a lot emotionally, as her illness unravelled her. Instead of enjoying the first flushes of love, we were dealing with pain and suffering, and tears and frustration.

Kelly's illness changed both of our lives. Not only did I have to do everything for her, I also had to change my open-door policy at home — I was used to having friends drop in, but that didn't work when Kelly was so ill. It was challenging for us both to adapt to being around each all of the time.

We learned very quickly that we needed to communicate exactly what was going on for us. Now our relationship is based on great companionship, support and understanding.

There's a sense of security knowing we've got each other's backs, no matter what. Illness wasn't exactly a welcome arrival in our relationship, but we both feel grateful for all it has taught us, individually, and as a couple."

Follow Lollie on Twitter.

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Originally published as 'I've never felt so loved'
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Why fake make-up is so dangerous

Counterfeit make-up products are rife, and not always easy to spot. Photo: AFP/Atta Kenare. Source: AFP

OK, I'LL admit it: I once bought, and wore, a fake Von Dutch trucker cap.

Cast your smirks aside — surely at some point in your life you've bought (or at least thought about buying) something that wasn't the real deal?

The business of counterfeit products is a bigger issue than my questionable teenage sartorial choices, and extends to make-up.

"It doesn't matter whether it's Gucci handbags or Fendi purses — brand is king. It's no different for cosmetic houses," Myer's general manager of cosmetics Liz Webster explains.

"They spend millions of dollars promoting their brand and doing all the right things with innovation and product development, only to have somebody create a substandard product with false branding."

Fakes, she warns, aren't produced in the same way as the real thing, "with the correct formulation, fragrances and innovation".

Customers buying counterfeit products might believe they're snagging a bargain, but in fact risk infection and allergic reactions.

Quality control skips out the door quicker than you can say 'bargain-bin rouge' in the factories that manufacture them.

Australia's cosmetics industry generates nearly $4 billion a year, so it's no surprise grifters have us in their sights.

A recent study found one in 10 online shoppers have received counterfeit products, and more than a third have bought cheap make-up online.

When Hayley Hughes bought a cut-price MAC eyeliner online, she says she was surprised to receive "an obviously fake product, that didn't feel the same or have the same pigment" as the one she knew and loved. When she posted about it on her blog she was deluged with comments from readers who related.

"I was surprised by the number of responses," she says. "[Before this] I hadn't realised fakes were a thing."

Becca, Estee Lauder, MAC and Benefit make-up products. Source: News Limited

L'Oréal, which owns brands including Garnier and Lancôme, made a net proft of $4.53 billion last year.

However, the sort of innovation and stringent quality control that proft pays for can be sullied by knock-off outfits that don't play by the rules.

"Counterfeit make-up is produced without the ingredients and formulations cosmetic companies spend millions of dollars patenting, researching and testing," says Webster.

"If a customer puts fake product on their skin, they are not sure what they are using." The knock-on effects, she says, are felt by everyone from respectable retailers to consumers.

"We don't want that sort of tarnish through the industry."

Jodie Matthews, MAC brand general manager, agrees the real loss is the customers' trust.

"We cannot put a price on how counterfeit products affect our business," she says. "Our real concern is the consumer's experience. When a customer purchases a counterfeit product, it doesn't come with the expertise and advice of a MAC Artist. MAC provides the highest quality, on-trend products and we take that commitment seriously."

Companies are going as far as engaging in legal action to ensure brand integrity is kept intact. "We have many different types of actions pending — civil, administrative and criminal," Matthews explains. "We work with customs officials and law enforcement to stop these products reaching consumers."

In December last year, Target settled a long-running legal case over the store's sale of allegedly fake MAC products. It was ordered by the courts to pay Estée Lauder (which owns MAC) $1 million, strip shelves of product immediately and display corrective advertising in its stores, catalogue and online.

Some of the best selling mascaras on the market. Source: News Limited

Although Target is limited in what it can say about the case, general manager of corporate affairs Jim Cooper believes settling was a cost-effective measure.

"The testing required to prove if the products were authentic would have been both costly and time-consuming," he explains. "So we took the commercially prudent decision to settle the matter — which was not an admission of guilt or liability."

"We are pleased the litigation is over," says Matthews. "The key element for us was the corrective advertising. We can't guarantee the quality or safety of products not purchased from authorised MAC retailers, and we didn't supply any MAC marked products to Target."

Which brings us to 'parallel product'. This is the name given to merchandise not bought directly from the source or authorised distributor. (In the Target case, the retailer bought its potentially fake MAC from a middleman in Texas.) While it may be real, odds are it's old stock, past its use-by date or mixed with counterfeit versions.

Myer's stringent means of sourcing product ensures parallel make-up isn't a problem.

"We sell everything that is fresh and coming from the right source — we don't sell counterfeit or parallel," Webster says.

"Parallel products might be five or six years old, or from two Christmases ago. While parallel is not counterfeit, you don't know the freshness of the product. Make-up, fragrance and skin care have use-by dates — like food."

And while it's fi ne to try to save a few bucks — especially when Australian cosmetics shoppers pay up to double US prices — make-up isn't an area you should scrimp on.

"If you're conscious about what you eat, why would you put something on your skin when you don't know what it is, whether it's come through the correct source or whether it's fresh?" Webster questions. "A handbag is a handbag. You're not putting it on your face; you're throwing it across your shoulder.

What's the worst it's going to do? The handle is going to fall off? But if you're putting something on your skin, you need to make sure it's fresh and authentic."

MAC lipstick and glitter make-up. Source: News Limited

How to pick a fake

The lettering on the packaging isn't right: Font is important to a brand; look for crooked

or off-centre type and rogue punctuation.

The packaging looks shabby: Legit packaging is symmetrical. With a fake, you may be able to see that the box hasn't been folded correctly.

The branding looks old: Cosmetic companies tend to spend big money when they launch something new and they don't leave the old stuff lying around. Familiarise yourself with past-season branding.

The fragrance isn't potent: Fresh, authentic scents shouldn't fade after an hour. Some fakes smell of ammonia, too.

The price is heavily discounted: If it costs $35 at the department store and $5 at the discount chain, ask why. If you can, check the age and effectiveness of the product. To be safe, always buy from recognised, legitimate retailers.

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Originally published as Why fake make-up is so dangerous
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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