Why buy cosmetics online? It comes down to two possible reasons – either that’s the only way you can get certain products you really want (“I’ll pay anything to have a tube of RevellineGirl Discontinued Auburn shipped from anywhere in the world!”), or you can get a better price online. As this is a smart shopping publication, we’re going to concentrate on the price. Yes, it is possible to buy makeup online for less than you’d spend at the drugstore — even including shipping.
Of course, as with most bargains, you have to be willing to take what’s offered, not necessarily exactly what you want. If you think of it as trying a new look fairly often, you may find it’s actually fun.
Where to begin? If you look for sites that specialize in discontinued cosmetics, you’ll find lots of them cater to the “I’ll pay anything” customers I mentioned above; however, there are good places to get deals on discontinued, overstock, and clearance items.
Buymebeauty.com has a wide selection of brands and products, and a flat shipping rate of $4.95 (free shipping if you spend $35 or more and have it sent to a U.S. address). They have a large clearance section, with many items for $5 or less. Order something like Elizabeth Taylor’s Luxury Lip Gloss — marked down from $18 to $4.99 — and the discount more than covers the shipping. (If Liz is too rich for your blood, there’s good old Sally Hansen lip gloss at $2.96).
Our old friend Jordana (jordanacosmetics.com) has a “Beauty’s Best Buy Byes” page full of last-chance offers, many for just 99¢. There is, of course, shipping/handling to pay. The site will estimate shipping costs for you, as you go along. I ran a shopping cart through with a sample order, and the shipping started at $4.00 for one product. It didn’t increase even when I ran the quantity up to 10 — so while they don’t say they charge a flat rate, it comes pretty close. And you are paying next to nothing for the products themselves.
Sephora.com’s sale section features items up to half off, and you get three free samples with every order.
And don’t forget the Avon lady. You can order at Avon.com and have your purchases delivered by your local rep. Click on “outlet” at the top of the home page to find products up to 75% off.
There’s something online for everyone who buys cosmetics.