When it comes to buying beauty products, I’ve always been a very tactile kind of shopper. From the age of 5, I’ve had a thing for sparkling, lacquer-finished stores like Nordstrom and MAC. They were my favorite pit stops to make at the mall, and as I grew older, sleuthing for new beauty products at other retailers like Sephora, Ulta, and even the drugstore became a kind of tranquility-inducing therapy for me. (Unfortunately, my wallet got the short end of the stick with that one!)
Not only did I simply enjoy strolling through the aisles filled with tempting vials, jars, and bottles, but I also loved swatching and testing my forearm away to see how shades would (or wouldn’t) flatter my skin tone or how the consistency of a serum or oil would lie with my skin. Hygienic? No. Fun? Very much! That said, now that IRL beauty sampling is not what it used to be, we’re turning to online beauty buying more than ever before. You might already feel well versed in shopping for beauty picks via the World Wide Web, but for people who aren’t used to the process or who prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store as I do, it can feel like a daunting and overwhelming process. There’s a greater risk of not liking a product, and it’s disappointing to have to repack and ship back a formula you had high hopes for.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.