Q&A: Online Beauty Buys

By Erin Donnelly

Q: My beauty supply is running dangerously low, but I don’t have time to go to the mall and I’d really rather not have to make do with drugstore brands. Are online beauty shopping sites any good, or will I wind up with products that don’t suit me at all?
A: As with any online shopping, there is a slight risk involved with making your beauty purchases online. While you don’t have to duck and weave through a gauntlet of fragrance-spraying sales assistants, you are forfeiting the opportunity to sample the products for yourself. What looks like a pretty berry lipstick on your computer screen may arrive on your doorstep as a bold fuchsia, so proceed with caution and take note of the site’s return policy. It’s also a great idea to keep track of the precise makeup shades that work for you (especially for foundation), so there’s less guesswork involved when you go online to restock.
That said, taking your beauty shopping online is a fabulous way to discover new and hard-to-find brands that your local department store may not stock, all while bypassing the shopping mall crowds. Another bonus: Many sites offer user ratings, so you can get feedback on which body lotion is best.
Add these beauty sites to your little black book:
Beauty.com: Though Drugstore.com carries your bargain faves like Maybelline and Cetaphil, its sister site is a great source for more boutique brands like Kevyn Aucoin, Philosophy and NARS.
Blissworld.com: Pure bliss? Not quite. That’s because this site carries more than just bliss’s spa treats; look for Malin + Goetz, Rodial, Hourglass and dozens more.
LafcoNY.com: The destination for exotic skincare and bath products like Claus Porto soaps and Eau d’Italie shower gel.
LuckyScent.com: This scentsational boutique stocks a great range of fragrances, with samples available for as little as $3.
Sephora.com: It’s no surprise that the mega-beauty emporium’s online version houses an equally awe-inspiring array of top brands like Tarte and Frederic Fekkai (psst – you’ll find plenty of goodies here that’s not available in the stores). Shoppers can also score free samples with every purchase. 

SpaceNK.com: Look for a nicely edited selection of organic products and rare insider favorites.


More SMW Fashion & Beauty Articles:

Top 10 Best-Dressed Single Stars

Style for Rent: How to Get Your Hands on a Designer Handbag Rental

Red-Carpet Makeup Tips from Allison Pynn