Whether you've been wearing makeup often through the lockdown or took a complete break from it, there's no denying the euphoria that comes with swiping on your favourite lipstick. Either way, the pandemic has not only altered our relationship with makeup, it's also heavily impacted how we shop. Spending an hour in the aisles testing new formulas or exploring the freshest launches at a duty-free counter all seem like a distant dream right now. While shopping online from the comfort of your home isn't new, when it's the only way you can, there are a few hang-ups that come into play. You can't see true colours, you can never be too sure of texture regardless of what the brand claims and it's harder to anticipate how satisfied you’ll be with your purchase. All in all, it's a gamble. We put together a handy guide to ensure that your online makeup purchases are actually worth the investment.The colour and texture of your skin are key
Not all makeup enhances every skin tone, type and texture, even if a brand may have you believe otherwise. For base makeup like foundation and concealer, check reviews to see if these products are prone to oxidise or change colour on your skin once they’ve settled in. Plus, always choose one that works with your skin type as well to avoid irritation and a too dry or too sticky finish.
For eyeshadows, liners, lipsticks and tints of all kinds, cheek products and nail polishes, do a quick search on the colours that look most flattering on your skin tone and type, and invest in those as opposed to something you’re unsure of. If you’d like to experiment, go ahead by all means. But if you’re looking for something new that’ll hopefully be a sure shot winner, do the research. In fact, if you want to try a bold new lipstick or eyeshadow, do so in a texture you enjoy, whether it’s matte, glossy or frosty—you’ll feel a lot more comfortable and feel confident enough to try it in another texture the next time.Befriend the search bar
It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping on a multi-brand e-commerce platform or a single brand’s own website, what you enter in the search bar and the filters you use can help narrow down your best options. The key to getting this right is, of course, knowing what you want. If you’re looking for foundation, head over to the subcategory and use the filters to tick the finish, texture and staying power you’re looking for. Then, compare your results to your own research of the category and explore the options to find your perfect one. When it comes to meeting your perfect foundation shade, being behind a screen can be a big drawback. The only way to get this right is to get your shade matched in a store, or else to compare your shade from a foundation that you’ve used to similar ones from other brands.
Temptalia has a foundation matching tool with a sizeable chunk of foundations from popular beauty brands as part of their selection pool. You can also take a look at MatchMyMakeup.com that allows you to do the same thing for a possible set of new options. For all other eye and lip makeup, a quick Google Images search can help you with swatches so you can understand the texture and finish of the products.Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean it’s worth it
Found one of your holy grail products that you've run out of on sale? Buy it without a second thought. Always wanted to try a product and it's now discounted? Sure, go ahead, add it to your virtual cart. Something new catches your eye and the marked-down price is tempting you to snag a piece? Give it some thought. Even though reviews on e-commerce platforms can give you a good idea, it's best to go ahead and do your own research by asking your close friends and family and also looking it up on a few blogs and on YouTube. Does that volumising mascara really give your lashes the falsies effect? You won't know till you try—or till you read about it, at least. Look through independent blogs, vlogs and editorials with beauty editor and makeup artist favourites. They’re often able to test new products before they hit the market or as soon as they do, saving you the bother of trial and error.Don’t check out in a jiffy
With new e-commerce platforms emerging in the beauty space ever so often, there’s a good chance you’ll find your favourite kohl pencil on multiple platforms. The beauty of shopping on the Internet is that you can compare prices of the same product across websites and get the best price possible from the comfort of your couch. Once you know what you want, run a quick Google search to see how the product is priced on other platforms, and if it’s got any special offers running elsewhere. When you’ve found the retailer with the best rate and/or deal, factor in shipping costs as well to see which one emerges as the most pocket friendly.
However, be wary of scammers and those selling fake products. Always make sure that the website is authorised, that it has been listed by the brand as an official seller and that it has a safe payment gateway. It’s common to come across local sellers with international beauty names that aren’t available in the country as yet, especially on Instagram, that promises genuine products. Since these sellers aren’t authorised, there’s no way to know that you will receive an original product with quality standards intact—steer clear and wait till you can get them IRL.Also read:
34 of the world’s best beauty products, according to fashion’s favourite makeup artists
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Face stickers, OTT lashes: 5 Instagram makeup trends you need to try now