The Ultimate Guide To Shopping For Beauty Online

How To Shop For Makeup Online - Without Wanting A Refund


by Daniela Morosini |
Published on

If you live in a town that's often described as 'picturesque', then the following struggle will be very, very real to you. Often with beautiful villages, rolling fields and gorgeous countryside, there comes a downside, in that the nearest shops are a good thirty minutes drive away. Oh, and they still carry TV guides and the closest thing to fragrance they have is Lynx body spray. Sound familiar?

In fact, even if you live in a city, finding time to shop for makeup can be nigh on impossible, and the blinding lights and pumping music of beauty halls isn't for everyone. While online shopping now dominates much of our fashion and food purchases, beauty can sometimes get left behind. Sure, it's hard to buy something essentially sight unseen when you're planning to put it on your face, but advances in online technology now mean trying to fit your perfect base or dream lipstick aren't so much of a stab in the dark.

1. Read reviews

There is a pool of women out there, and they all want to tell you EXACTLY how they got on with that one mascara everyone's raving out. Google products, plus the word 'review' before you buy and see what people say about the ease of use and finished effect. Lots of retailers have an in-built comments section, but try forum-style sites like, as well as beauty blogs. You'll be able to get a general gist of whether people rate it or hate it, and some reviewers will undoubtedly have similar concerns with their skin, like dryness or sensitive eyes, as you.

2. It's All About YouTube

****Lots of beauty videos are in review form on YouTube, but the advantage they have over forums is that you can see the product in action, which means you'll get to see the texture, the finish and how it transforms the vlogger - the only believable type of 'before and after'. Do read the fine print as some reviews are sponsored, but most vloggers will disclose if a review is paid. Plus, you can hunt down vloggers who look like you, and have the same kind of skin type or hair.

3. Enter The Matrix

Gone are the days of awkwardly squinting at tiny blobs of colour on a website, trying to work out which one is closest to your skin tone, and managing to narrow it down to twelve. Thanks to websites like Findation, you can find out exactly what shade you need - simply punch the brand, name and shade of a foundation you already own and know suits you, and the clever maxtrix will tell you what the equivalent shade is in the foundation or concealer you're coveting. Genius.

4. Swatch It Up

****Swatches are a huge blogger thing, and they're a super handy way to see how different shades compare against each other. For instance, if you're torn between the MAC 'Lady Danger' lipstick or the 'Ruby Woo' one, some lovely blogger will have the entire range, and will have photographed every single shade painted down their arm for your perusal. They're fighting the good fight, really. Google the product you want, plus swatch.

5. #NoFilter

****If all else fails, there's always Instagram. Search the hashtag section for the product you're after, and you'll likely find thousands of results. Sure, some might not be quite what you're after, but you'll see at a glance, tonnes of women either rocking or swatching the product so you can see lots of different ways to wear it. Happy browsing...

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