Our love affair with online shopping runs deep. Whether it’s shoes and sweaters or hairspray and deodorant (thank you, Amazon!), finding a package on our doorstep always makes us giddy. However, some products are easier to purchase online than others. New mascara? Done. New foundation? That takes a little more work. But it can be done, if you know a few tricks of the online makeup shopping trade.
Scroll through to find out how it’s done!
Shade differences can be remarkably subtle. Often the only difference between two colors is that one has warm undertones and one has cool undertones. Knowing which one you need makes sifting through the seemingly endless array of foundations so much easier. Need a lesson in undertones? Try one of these hacks for figuring out your skin’s undertones.
You should have been able to narrow down your shade search to two shades using the websites mentioned above. But perhaps you’re not sure whether you’re Porcelain Ivory or Warm Ivory. Next, consult Google. Google image search the name of the foundation you’re looking for with the word “swatch” at the end. Seeing the actual product on skin is so much more helpful than simply judging from the bottles. You might not be able to find a swatch on someone with your exact skin tone, but just reference the one or two that look the most similar to your coloring. To make your swatching assessment even more thorough, you can also search for one of your existing foundation matches. It’s very possible at least of the one same beauty bloggers has swatched both products. You can even apply your current shade to your arm for a little IRL comparison to the photos you find online.
The tactics above will help you find your perfect shade match, but you probably want more information on the actual product itself—how’s the coverage? What’s the finish like? How does it wear on skin? To answer these questions, turn to product reviews. You’ll find detailed reviews on pretty much all of the major beauty retailers’ websites. Most come from customers who have built out their profiles to include information like skin tone, skin color, eye color, and age. On Sephora.com you can even filter the reviews by that criteria, so you only see reviews from other oily-skinned women. If you can’t find enough reviews to satisfy your curiosity on the usual websites, don’t forget to check out the brand’s website. Most brands now have product review sections similar to what you find on Ulta.com, Nordstrom.com, and Sephora.com. One word of caution: you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, so look out for fine print (some reviews may be sponsored). If you have a specific question that didn’t get answered in the reviews you read, check out the brand’s website. Many of the larger beauty brands, have experts available that you can chat with live.