How to successfully buy make-up and skincare online

How to successfully buy make-up and skincare online

To buy your make-up and skincare online can be super difficult, since you can’t see or test the products. You’ll have no idea about the colour or pigmentation! However, there are some ways to buy make-up online without having to return half. Let’s dive into it.

Reviews, reviews, reviews

The first thing you need to do when you buy your make-up or skincare online, is to read a ton of reviews! On most websites, you’ll find some reviews from people that’ve bought the product and normally, they’re nice and critical. That means that most people only review when they were either really happy or really dissapointed with it and it’ll tell you a lot about what you can expect. However, often I’ve found that I am missing information about the person’s situation to really make a good decision, like their skin type and colour.

When that’s the case, I recommend going on to find out what bloggers and vloggers think of the product. They often describe their skin type and colour way better and they often show pictures. Since it’s in their best interest to be as honest as possible (unless it’s sponsored of course, but even then…), you can expect a good in-depth review from them.

Whatever you prefer, I do recommend looking for multiple opinions. Sometimes, you read one bad review in a sea of good ones, due to different expectations or a faulty product. It would be a shame if you wouldn’t buy a product based on that one opinion (or the other way around).

Dive into the ingredients

Another thing is to look into the ingredients in products. For me, this is a logical next step, since I also only want to buy cruelty-free and possibly vegan products, but you should always do it. How much perfume is added and does the product contain high quality ingredients in high quantities? Many brand love to mention ‘cool’ ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or CBD oil, but sometimes they only add a few drops. That won’t help you out! In addition, the ingredient list will tell you a little bit about how the product will work. For instance, there’s a large difference between eyeshadows and pressed pigments. Pressed pigments are in a way far more pure than eyeshadows. The big benefit of this is that pressed pigments are often way more intense in colour. However, the downside is that they can stain eyelids when you’ve used too much or when your skin is a little sensitive. You wouldn’t see the difference in a photo, so the ingredient list is vital for things like this!

To learn more about ingredients, you can use Google, but you can also use the app ‘Think Dirty’. This app will tell you what ingredients are in a products and if and how they can possibly harm you. They use the colour codes green, yellow and red, where green is obviously very clean and red is pretty harmful. It’s a really easy and quick way to learn more about what you buy!

lady getting ready

Match with your current collection

Now that you’ve read the reviews and you’ve gone through the ingredient list, you can try to look at your favourite products and home and try to match the ingredients and style to that one. Although you might want a similar formula, you might not want a similar style or look, since you already have that product. If you already have 3 neutral palettes, do you really need a fourth one?

Matching can however be quite difficult. There are often no specifics on how much they use of an ingredient, although you do see the order in which the ingredients are listed. In addition, a colour can be made really differently than another one and give similar results in texture. However, this method can help narrow some things down, especially ingredients that you don’t want.

Learn about the brand

Although not everyone cares about this (and that’s fine!), I like to know a bit about the brand. As mentioned before, I only buy from cruelty-free brands and I consider vegan products to be a huge plus. In addition, I try to buy from companies that treat (all) their employees well and that they farm their ingredients responsibly. I’ve worked in The Body Shop and they’re really strict about these values, so I guess it rubbed off on me. In my view, skincare and make-up is a luxury and I don’t want an animal, human or the planet to suffer because I prefer a little red on my lips.

However, next to the ethical concerns I have with brand, I also want to know how they are scientifically. Are they careful in not putting harmful ingredients in and how much do they care about quality instead of only focussing on quantity? A wrong skincare routine or bad make-up products can really damage your skin in the long term and I don’t want to regret my decisions later. Choosing brands that are focused on this and are transparent in these things can really prevent problems later on!

Recommended by the website

A lot of times brands or companies that sell multiple brands have a few products that they recommend. These are either sold the best or they have the best reviews. This is the product that they want you to know, the product that shows them off as a brand. Therefore, they must really believe in it and therefore, there’s a higher chance you’ll like this product as well. Most brands have a specialty, like Urban Decay has great eyeshadow palettes and Anastasia Beverly Hills has amazing brow products. If you’re not sure what to try from a brand, why not let them tell you?

I hope this post has helped you out when you don’t know which new make-up or skincare products to buy online. There’s so much to choose from and it’s only natural that can confuse you! What is the best thing in skincare or make-up that you’ve ever bought online and how did you find it? Let me know in the comments below! And if you want regular updates on this blog, please subscribe and get a free e-book on saving money (so you can spend it on make-up and skincare!). You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, so you’ll never have to miss a new post!

Lots of love,


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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

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[…] longer, so you need less of it and it therefore gets cheaper in the long term. Here are also some tips on buying the right beauty products for you online, so you don’t buy make-up and skincare products you […]

Sara James
3 years ago

These are some helpful and practical tips. Knowing about the ingredients and the brand by an app is a great and easy way to do it.

Thanks for sharing.

3 years ago

This was so useful! I’m reading a point where there are some replacements I need to start finding without being able to go into the shops but this offers such a good insight into the best way of going about it, thanks!

3 years ago

To be honest..I prefer going in to a store to purchase skin care products. I don’t mind buying makeup online.. but good tips for everyone that loves ordering all of these online.

3 years ago

I can’t remember if I’ve ever bought makeup up online before! It always made me nervous but these are awesome tips!! Thanks so much for sharing

Mind and Body Intertwined
Reply to  Amanda

Hope it’ll help you out if you need it sometime!

3 years ago

Great and useful post! Actually I never buy makeup or skincare online. I’m always nervous or sensitive with buying online stuff especially for my skin because of many reasons (fake products, don’t match with my skin color, etc). The one that I ever bought was a coffee scrub last year 🙂

Mind and Body Intertwined
Reply to  Merry

Oeh a coffee scrub sounds nice haha. Buying at a reputable store is definitely an important thing as well, you never know what shady stuff you get otherwise!

Sophia Patel
3 years ago

such a useful post! It is so difficult to determine shades online, but you are so right! Understanding formulas and reviews is so important – and my go-to! Thanks for this!

3 years ago

I need this advice so much – I finally started getting into skincare, but waited until we were in lockdown to do it, so had to explore online. I don’t really know what I’m doing or looking for, so this post is a great help!

Mind and Body Intertwined
Reply to  katylgoodship

Glad to have started you off right! If you’d like some help, I worked in a store where I got lots of tips and knowledge about it, so feel free to email or DM me and I could suggest some product types for your skin!

3 years ago

These tips are so true. I always try to look up a review before buying. Only a few beauty products I just purchased without looking at reviews. I am also just learning about ingredients for makeup and skin care products.

Mind and Body Intertwined

It’s a lot of work to learn all the terms and ingredients in the beginning but it’ll help you so much in the future! 😊

3 years ago

Great advice! I always make sure to check ingredients because my skin is so sensitive but I never thought of reviews – will do that next time 🙂 x

Mind and Body Intertwined
Reply to  Caroline

I hope it’ll help 😊