We’ve all heard of counterfeiting in the beauty business.  While the packaging may appear identical, the product is just not authentic.  Some even counterfeit their spokespeople, as Christie Brinkley soon discovered when she was named in a recent lawsuit.  Carla Young of Tennessee claimed that she signed up for a trial supply of Skin Noir and Eye Noir skincare products which caused burns on her face.  But why is Brinkley, the beauty guru and founder of  Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare, being named?  According to the suit, “Christy Brinkley Skincare is known to have helped promote, manufacture and/or distribute the SkinNoir and EyeNoir products.”
      But this is not the case.  According to Kelly McCarthy, partner at Sideman & Bancroft, an intellectual property and brand protection group, fraud in the beauty business accounts for nearly $75 million in losses annually.  Sharing with with WWD she explains, “Cosmetics and skin-care companies are hit hard by counterfeiters.  This is unfortunate because counterfeit cosmetics and skin care can contain potentially dangerous ingredients which can pose a health and safety risk for the consumer.”
      So how are Brinkley and her company responding?  “We are sympathetic [to the victim] and want to find and pursue our own legal action against those damaging our brand,” shares Andrew Surwilo, chief executive officer of Atlantic Coast Brands, Authentic Skincare’s parent company. “We are not going to stand by idly.”   Brinkley suggests, “One way we can help women distinguish my products is that these fly-by-night companies don’t put my name on the bottle,” adding, “As soon as we get wind of it, we try to shut them down.”

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