Los Angeles counterfeit makeup had traces of animal feces, urine, police say

Cosmetic brands

Make-up brushes are seen backstage before the Sangue Novo Fall/Winter 2018/19 collection show during Lisbon Fashion Week, Portugal March 9, 2018.

Officials found bacteria and animal waste in $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics seized during an LAPD bust at the Fashion District, police said.

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Police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of products which were cheap imitations of popular brands such as Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics. The products look nearly identical to high-quality eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara but, authorities say, their prices should have raised eyebrows. The investigation was initiated after customers called the actual cosmetic companies with complaints about rashes and bumps caused by the products. Caught off guard when the customers said they purchased the beauty products in Santee Alley, the Anti-Piracy Unit went undercover to test the products.

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The LAPD detective also said that companies must meet health and safety standards, which are often expensive.

Detective Rick Ishitani told media outlet and CNN affiliate, KABC, "Those feces will just basically somehow get mixed into the product they're manufacturing in their garage or in their bathroom - wherever they're manufacturing this stuff".

Six of the store owners were arrested by local law enforcement. The rest were sent cease and desist letters.