We all love shopping online – how else did anyone stay sane during the pandemic? It can be trickier to choose some things online than others, and beauty products are a special type of challenge.
The usual routine would be to head to the local chemist or department store and hit the testers. You’d check shades and tones in different lights and check how good that bestseller all the influencers are talking about really is.
Buying beauty products online needs a different approach, so we’re going to walk you through our top five tips about:
- Knowing you’re buying from the right place;
- Getting the best beauty deals online;
- How to avoid getting scammed for online beauty products.
1. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
You’ve heard this line before, right? It’s generally true, especially on the internet!
Everyone is out to sell you what looks like a great deal, and it can be a minefield of potential scammers and fakes out there. It’s important your pursuit of the hottest deal doesn’t cloud your better judgment; ask yourself how a $50 moisturizer could possibly be getting sold for $5?
There are some simple ways you can check whether you should be trusting a website selling your favorite beauty products. We recommend that you:
- Check the website URL carefully – scam sites might look very similar, such as Amazon.co or walgreen.com.
- Look at the website’s security certificate or SSL. In your browser address bar, you should see a padlock next to the address, which can give you a level of confidence in what you’re looking at.
- If in doubt about clicking a link from an email, advert, or social media, Google to website directly to get the official company site.
2. Keep your data safe
We all need to be savvy when buying online, no matter how good the beauty deal looks!
When you’re browsing online, it can be possible for malicious software to download to your computer, known as malware. This can track your online activity and figure out where you live as the start of a scam or track your card payment details.
As well as being sure you’re only going on reputable websites, you can protect your browsing location with a VPN. A VPN lets you set your public location to a different location or even a different country – we’ll look at another way this can help your beauty shopping in a sec.
You can also make sure you reject cookies when a website asks, or even browse in incognito or private mode. Cookies are tiny bits of tracking data on your browser that tells websites your history so they give you targeted pricing or personalize ads. Rejecting them stops anyone from knowing where you’ve already been shopping, for example.
3. Shop around for the best deals
This might seem obvious when thinking about a trip to the mall, but you can get access to great deals from around the world when you shop online.
Lots of websites will detect the country you’re browsing from and send you to their location-specific site. This can be great for fast shipping, and your beauty buys priced in your local currency.
However, you can change the location your computer shows and access different branded websites from around the world. This can help you tap into different discounts or even find a product that’s exclusively available only in European or Asian markets, for example.
Next time you’re hunting for an international bargain, get a VPN free trial and test out accessing different versions of your beauty websites around the world.
4. Dig into the reviews section
You can check the coverage, greasiness, or how a tone looks in a certain light when you buy online. Instead, you need to trust those buyers who came before you to give their honest opinion.
Read all the reviews you can of a product. Even if you’re planning to buy direct from the company, you can still check out reviews on major retailers as well. This will give you the best chance of picking the product that’ll work for you.
You should also check out reviews of the actual company. Sometimes the prices might be great but you’ll have a hell of a time returning unsuitable items or wait weeks for a refund.
5. Read the ingredients and check the expiry
This goes back to things being too good to be true – sometimes super cheap products are priced that way because they’re old or no longer compliant with rules.
You might be doing a little dance of joy that you’ve found that discontinued palette that gave you the best eye look you ever did, but is it a couple of years old? If so, the texture might not be what you remembered or the pigments could even have faded. Always check the expiry of items you’re buying online.
Different parts of the world have different rules on ingredients. Particularly if you have sensitive skin, check that a product from a different continent doesn’t have anything that’ll give you a flare-up.
Buying beauty products online
It can be such a thrill to load up that online cart and wait for your next beauty haul to land, ready to be unboxed. Make sure you’re sensible when shopping for your beauty items online, so you’re not disappointed and left dealing with return shipping and refunds.