The advent of e-commerce has been very kind to makeup fans. Where buyers were once restricted to what was available from their local drug store, women are now able to choose from literally thousands of different sites, all offering expansive product ranges, great prices, and a convenient shopping experience that is tough to beat.
However, buying makeup online is very different from going through the same process in a store. There is no way to swatch the colors and see how they look, nor to sample the testers in an effort to ascertain the product quality. Due to this, many women find that they place orders for makeup that they then find they cannot use, and that they cannot return to the store due to hygiene rules.
Nevertheless, buying makeup online offers so much choice and variety, it’s worth persevering – and the tips below should help to ensure the process of doing so is as smooth, and successful, as possible.
Only buy from stores you are familiar with
There are literally hundreds of different stores online, but it is incredibly important to be discerning about which you choose. Unfortunately, the internet is full of “fake makeup”, some of which can be outright bad for your health – and there’s no way of knowing which products are problematic just by looking at the product pictures.
The only way to counter this issue is to be cautious about where you shop, opting for trustworthy stores which you can be sure are selling authentic products. It’s best to buy the likes of the AVON makeup range direct from the brand themselves if possible; if not, opt for major, recognizable drug stores that you are familiar with. Yes, the options from smaller retailers and overseas stores might seem tempting, but the issues they can cause are extremely concerning; even if the pictures look good, what you receive may be far less impressive. By only buying from retailers you trust, you can be sure that your purchase will be safe to use.
Check the returns policy of the store you’re buying from
When buying the majority of products online, you have the right to return that product if it is not suitable for your needs. However, the same is not true for makeup: the vast majority of online stores will not allow you to return products once they have been opened. Stores implement these no-return policies due to hygiene reasons, which is understandable, but undeniably inconvenient – especially given that many products, such as lipsticks and eye shadows, need the packaging to be opened for you to see the contents.
Unfortunately, these no-returns policies mean that every online makeup purchase has an element of jeopardy, which is particularly concerning if you’re looking to buy high-end products. It’s therefore essential to read the terms and conditions of the store you are buying from, so you know exactly where you stand before purchasing. A small number of stores will allow you to return opened items, while others will only allow returns on items where the hygiene seal is still intact – and some don’t allow returns at all. By taking the time to ensure you know which of these scenarios is applicable to your purchase, reading through the returns policy before placing your order, you won’t find yourself buying a product you later discover you cannot use.
Look for reviews – but don’t put too much faith in them
When buying anything online, one of the major pieces of advice you will receive is to check reviews. However, when buying makeup, the reviews can negatively influence your decision.
Reviews are, by their very nature, subjective; they are based on the writer’s experience with that product. For most items, the subjectivity is somewhat balanced by the item itself – for example, whether or not a TV works isn’t particularly subjective or dependent on the individual. However, with makeup, subjectivity can be problematic; what works for one person and their skin type is not necessarily universally true. A reviewer may describe a product as awful, with poor wear times and heavy fall, but you could then use that product and have the exact opposite experience. This problem is worsened further by differing application techniques; for example, one reviewer could apply a foundation with a Beauty Blender and think it’s wonderful, but if you tried to use the same foundation, applied with a brush, you might have very different results.
Due to the issues mentioned above, be cautious when reading reviews of makeup – and, wherever possible, look for consensus. If one reviewer says that a foundation is too sheer, their application technique may be responsible, or they may have just received a product from a bad batch; however, if twenty reviewers say that same thing, the foundation is likely to be too sheer.
Be wary when selecting colors
When it comes to selecting products online, be extremely wary when choosing colors. Colors do not display uniformly across all screens, so there may be a substantial difference between the color that you think you are buying and the color you eventually receive.
Unfortunately, there is very little you can do about this problem apart from being aware of it. If you’re going to be spending a large amount of money on a product, it might be worth trying to check the color in person before making your purchase if possible – you can check swatches in local drug stores without having to commit to buying.
If this option is not available, the next best option is to view the relevant color swatch on as many different devices as possible – this should help to balance out some of the variation. If you’re happy with the color across all devices, then you can buy with relative confidence; however, if you’re only happy with the color on one device – or actively dislike the color when viewed on a second device – it may be best to look elsewhere.
By keeping the tips above in mind, you should be able to ensure all your future online makeup purchases are exactly what you need. Happy shopping!