Here at Byrdie, we do enough online beauty shopping to qualify for a makeup addicts anonymous group. Not the best thing for our wallets, we know, but here's the upside: We know the best websites for snagging cult brands, free shipping, and freebies with the click of a mouse.
Whether you're a K-beauty lover, a clean-beauty fanatic, or just tired of hitting up your local Sephora, we've got you covered. These sites make it easier than ever to indulge your inner beauty guru. If you're in need of a little retail therapy, keep reading for the scoop on the best sites for online beauty shopping. You can thank us later!
For binging on new beauty products, Beauty.com is the place to go. With brands like Tarte, Stila, Nars, BareMinerals, Smashbox, Elizabeth Arden, St. Tropez, and Urban Decay—and virtually every drugstore brand, ever—you'd be hard-pressed not to meet the $35 minimum for free shipping.
Peach and Lilly
Two words for this website: Asian skincare. Since venturing into the niche market can be intimidating and limiting, this Korean and Japanese beauty e-commerce business brings hard-to-come-by Asian products to U.S. consumers. Many of the lines sold on the site are exclusive in the U.S. (read: the only place you can get your hands on them without a plane ticket to Asia), and perusing the merchandise isn't overwhelming thanks to a carefully curated collection from the site's knowledgeable co-founders, Alicia Yoon and Cindy Kim. The selection may be smaller than some of the other Asian beauty sites out there, but Peach and Lily takes the guesswork out of the process (which is exactly why we tapped the co-founders to be our go-to gurus for all things Asian beauty–related).
This international beauty site is like a global bazaar of some of the world’s best brands. A favorite of the It crowd in London, the online version of the brick-and-mortar retailer carries both luxury body and beauty goods along with apothecary concoctions like aromatherapy and bath oils. You can even stock up on detoxes, cleanses, and supplements for your wellness needs.
Free shipping with no minimum? These days, that's a hard-to-find luxury. It's what makes Nordstrom a no-brainer for restocking favorites from MAC, Laura Mercier, Essie, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Dior, and more. Its free return policy also makes it easy to try new items sans regret.
Cult Beauty is a UK-based online shop that stocks brands beloved by makeup artists and beauty bloggers, such as Jouer, Kevyn Aucoin, Anastasia, and RMS Beauty. Filter products based on "must-haves," "expert picks," "best sellers," and "new-in."
What began as an exclusive dressing studio for A-listers like Victoria Beckham, Violet Grey expanded to an online beauty editorial space with informative and shoppable articles called The Violet Files. Founder Cassandra Grey wanted the e-commerce experience to provide an authentic portal to Hollywood beauty—showcasing the real products loved and used by leading makeup artists from the red carpet to the big screen. She carefully vets each product sold on the site to ensure it meets The Violet Code and is worthy of being deemed a "Hollywood hero" product. When you want a true taste of L.A. glamour, this is your destination.
Reasons to love Sephora: three free samples per order that you get to choose (we've discovered amazing new mascaras and primers this way); hair, nails, skin, makeup, and fragrance in one place; and extensive user reviews that lend a welcome hand when deciding between two products or wondering if an item really does what it promises. Plus, the Beauty Insider program lets you rack up points for more freebies and special gifts.
Ulta is similar to Sephora with its selection and freebies but is distinguished by its coupons, sales, and variety of drugstore products. At almost any given time, you can expect to take advantage of 20% off one item, or similar discounts. We also like the shop's eponymous line, which boasts budget-friendly makeup, body, and hair products.
Did you know Net-a-Porter has a beauty section? Since it's already a favorite destination for online shopping, it's a happy bonus to be able to add quality beauty brands like Chantecaille, SK-II, and Aesop to your cart.
The founders of Shen Beauty, Jessica Richards and Jules Stringer, are all about bringing under-the-radar and hard-to-find product lines to customers seeking quality and results. Rather than serve up "predictable beauty," they strive to source lesser-known brands with a more natural and small-batch focus, like Kate Logan and Mrs. Whites, who handpick their ingredients and hand-make every product. We love that perusing the product catalog means discovering tens of new-to-us brands versus the same old usual suspects.
Urban Outfitters has been seriously stepping up its beauty game recently. With brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Milk Makeup, and Mario Badescu, the site's beauty tab is a must-check the next time you're browsing for outfit inspo.
Soko Glam is a dream destination for all things K-beauty. In addition to every Korean beauty product that you could ever want, the site also has The Klog, a content site that provides the inside scoop on all your K-beauty needs.
This site was founded by a board-certified dermatologist, so you can be confident that you're getting the best skincare products on the market. Since its founding, Dermstore has expanded into makeup, haircare, and bath and body products, so you can just about anything you're looking for.
This one's for all you clean-beauty lovers out there. All of the products on the site are 100% natural, so you can feel good about what you're putting on your skin. Plus, Cap Beauty's founders are always adding new, exciting natural brands, so you'll never feel limited by choosing to shop natural.
Follain has three requirements for all of the products it carries. They have to be safe, effective, and luxurious to experience. To ensure this, every product on the site undergoes a five-step approval process, which involves research and testing. If that doesn't give you enough confidence, Follain's founder, Tara, personally tests every product to ensure it's up to her standards.
Now, happy shopping (and apologize to your wallets in advance)!