How to Buy Makeup Online

Buying makeup online can be an overwhelming process. There’s a gazillion brands out there with one hundred million gazillion products. How does a girl know what to get? And what’s with those weird digital color swatches—how are you supposed to tell which one represents your shade?

Fear not, for I knew one day all my internet shopping would do some good (aside from filling the pockets of everyone but mine *smh*). I’ve put together some tips to take out some of the anxiety.

General shopping tips:
1. Buy from a well-known retailer with a clearly defined return and/or exchange policy. You don’t want to get stuck with that too-light foundation or dead-wrong-what-was-I-thinking lipstick.
2. Always google for coupon codes before you hit submit. One of the greatest things about the internet is that there’s so much info out there. You can find anything—like a secret free shipping or 15% off code.
3. Be prepared to buy more than one shade when you can’t pin down which shade is your best bet.
4. Google image is your friend. So is Makeup Alley. Just type in the product you have your eye on and see if a swatch of it comes up.

Makeup specific tips:

1. Check out my Foundation 101 post to help you understand your undertones and which formulas work best for you. Then also check out the genius Foundation Matrix created by Temptalia. If you know your MAC shade, you can find your match in other brands with a quick scroll through.
2. Not all brands follow a uniform color guide (some brands use numbers others use names). Warm undertones are also called yellow, peach, orange, and sometimes red. Cool undertones are also called pink, blue, and sometimes red. Confusing, right? Like I mentioned, since there is no uniform color guide for makeup, brands have their own interpretation of colors. When in doubt, buy both shades and return the one that doesn’t work.

1. Understand lipstick finishes courtesy of MAC
CREME: High impact and high color with lots of shine for a dramatic look.
FROST: Shimmery frosted finish. High shine glamour.
GLAZE: A shiny finish tinted with colour. Gives lips a sexy sheen.
LUSTRE: Slightly sheer, with an ultra shiny finish. Gives lips a high impact, wet, lustre look.
MATTE: Intense colour, matte finish.
METALLIC FROST: Frosted colour with a metallic, high-shine finish
SATIN: Semi-matte finish with lots of colour for soft, smooth lips.
SHEER: Just a tint of colour in this barely there, natural sheer colour treatment.
2. You can find some color recommendations in these past posts: Makeup for Fair Skin Girls, Makeup for Light Skin Girls, Makeup for Asian Girls, Makeup for Olive Tone Skin, Makeup for Dark Skin Girls

1. The general rule for blush is the darker your skin, the brighter you can go in blush color. Be sure to also check out NARS Blush Guide for All Skin Tones and Blush 101.

1. I created a quick guide here based on MAC Eyeshadows—check it out: MAC Eyeshadow Guide and MAC Eyeshadow Highlighters.

I recently revamped the site’s search engine to make it much easier to search for just about anything. This is where you’ll find it:

See it? Hope you find everything you’re looking for!

Why so much MAC? While my kit is filled with brands across the spectrum, I often mention MAC because it’s likely one of the most swatched brands on the internet. So if I say get a blue-based red like MAC Ruby Woo, you’ll be able to find tons of images of it on real people and know what I mean about a blue-based red!

And of course, if you need help, feel free to contact me. I’ll help as much as I can.



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  5. joann
    August 27, 2010 / 2:43 am

    Hey Danielle!Its as if you read my mind.

    I was just about to ask you about becca stick foundation which you recommended btw :)
    I want to place my order but not sure
    I'm an NW45 so I'm guessing my choice would be chestnut?right?

    • August 27, 2010 / 8:32 pm

      Hi Joann! Yes, try Chestnut. My sis is about NW45 and Chestnut looks great on her. I\’m NW47 and wear Almond which is the next shade after Chestnut. Keep me posted on hwo you like your Becca ;)

  6. joann
    August 29, 2010 / 11:21 am

    Thanx a bunch & will do!

  7. September 6, 2010 / 7:59 am

    Thank you !I love MAC makeup products and I know a professional mac makeup website wholesale M.A.C makeup discount price, good quality, Express shipping, accept PayPal.

  8. vikky
    December 14, 2010 / 4:07 pm

    i am nw47 but would love to try other products .what shade are you in Nars, bobbi brown,fashion fair, and others.

    • December 14, 2010 / 7:16 pm

      Hey Vikky!

      I haven’t tried Bobbi Brown foundations yet (had to draw a limit somewhere…lol) and don’t use Fashion Fair (although I’ll have to check them out again) but….

      I’m Trinidad in NARS
      Almond in BECCA Concealer and Foundation Stick
      Nutmeg in BECCA Fine Loose Finishing Powder
      #178 in Make Up For Ever HD
      #218 in Make Up For Ever Duo Mat
      Mocha in Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer (the regular Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Mocha is a lighter color)
      Chocolate in YSL Perfect Touch
      Shade M in Stila Perfecting Concealer

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