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Last Updated: Jun 2024

Top 10 Best Makeup and Beauty Websites & Online Stores

Discover the best sites to buy makeup online so you can avoid stores and find new and affordable products.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do online beauty store prices compare to in-store prices?+-

Generally, online beauty stores offer products at a more competitive price because they have lower running costs. It’s not uncommon for beauty websites to consistently have offers throughout the year—including free gifts and discounts. While in-store shopping can include parking and travel expenses, many beauty websites provide free shipping when you spend a certain amount.

What are subscription-based beauty box services?+-

As beauty products can be expensive, many of us don’t want to purchase a full-sized bottle of something without trying it first. With a subscription-based beauty box, you can receive a selection of beauty products—monthly or seasonally—by paying a subscription fee. Most subscription boxes feature recommended products based on your preferences.

Are there online beauty communities that recommend products?+-

There are lots of online beauty communities that recommend products. You can find many of them via social media platforms. Head to a social site and use the search bar to type “beauty community”. This will show you a list of ones you can join.

Do any online retailers offer virtual try-on or personalized beauty recommendations?+-

The beauty apps from Sephora and Ulta let you try on makeup virtually to see how certain products would look. Sephora also has personalized beauty recommendations. Many online retailers such as Space NK, Skinstore, and Credo Beauty have a team of beauty experts who can offer free consultations and product advice.

Can I purchase beauty products from international retailers online?+-

Yes, beauty websites usually offer international shipping. However, this can increase shipping costs. Check you’re shopping in your region as beauty websites can have different sites based on location. For instance, a USA URL will likely have .com while a UK version would have .co.uk The currency of the products can also tell you what country you’re shopping from.

Are there any security or privacy concerns when shopping for beauty products online?+-

All online shopping has some security and privacy risks. Data theft of your credit card details or your personal details being shared with third parties are the main causes of concern. Shopping via reputable beauty websites can minimize these risks. Read a website’s privacy policy and check that there is a padlock on your URL to show your connection is secure.

Find Your Beauty Essentials Online

The rise in beauty websites means you can now purchase your beauty items without having to visit different stores. Besides the convenience, online beauty sites provide competitive pricing, free shipping options, and good return policies. 

If the thought of buying the wrong shade has put you off from shopping for beauty products online before, you no longer need to worry. Not only do beauty websites offer expert guidance, but some stores also have technology that lets you virtually try on products.

If you’re not sure where to shop or how to get a good deal, we have tried and reviewed the Top 10 Best Beauty Brand Websites to help you choose the right one for you. Keep reading to discover what popular beauty Ecommerce sites have to offer—including tips and tricks for finding the best discounts.

What Are the Advantages of Buying Beauty Products Online?

As mentioned, popular beauty websites have fantastic deals and prices that are not always available in a brick-and-mortar store. This may be because Ecommerce sites don’t always have the same overheads—such as rent and running costs—as physical stores. 

While a brick-and-mortar store can run promotions on and off throughout the year, lots of beauty platforms have “offer” pages that consistently provide discounts. This typically ranges from 10%-50% off. Many beauty websites also offer a discount code when you join their newsletter or when you make your first purchase.

Although you can test products in person at physical stores, product information can be difficult to find. Not all in-store sales advisors have beauty knowledge and some beauty consultants are biased toward the brand they work for. Many beauty websites have helpful blogs and experts who can recommend products from a large selection of brands.

Ecommerce sites also provide a detailed product and application description as well as a list of ingredients. Additionally, you can read and compare reviews from a wide range of beauty brands without having to click on lots of different websites.

What to Look For in a Beauty Product Site? 

Before you shop for your next beauty purchase, here are some key things to look out for. 

Firstly, check reviews and product range. A beauty website that stocks a variety of brands and has mostly positive reviews suggests it’s trustworthy and reliable. 

For security, check that the URL—the address of the webpage—is not missing the “S” in “HTTPS”. The “S” stands for “secure” and shows that a site is using encryption to conceal third-parties from accessing your data.

Other things to pay attention to include deals and promotions, free shipping opportunities, and return policies. Make sure you understand your return rights in case you change your mind. Look to see if a website has personalized recommendations and virtual try-on technology to see how a product would suit you before buying it. 

All legitimate beauty websites should have a customer services team with contact hours listed.

Tips and Tricks for Finding the Best Deals on Beauty Products Online 

Signing up for newsletters on beauty websites is a great way to find deals and exclusive offers. Some sites such as Sephora have a loyalty program where you can earn points on purchases, which can be redeemed as rewards. Be sure to follow your favorite beauty companies on social media and download the brand’s app as these can provide exclusive discounts.

Another way to find the best deals is to search for discount codes. Type in the name of a beauty site that you want to buy from with the words “discount code”. If you like testing different beauty trends and products, an online subscription box could also be a cost-effective way to shop.

Some beauty websites have referral schemes where you can receive a discount if you recommend a friend.

Online beauty communities and their recommendations for products

To sell more products, beauty brands can pay bloggers and influencers to recommend products.  Some brands have even been caught asking employees to write positive reviews. 

Honest product recommendations are more likely to be found in online beauty communities. You can find them by searching forum sites and social media platforms. Because beauty communities are mostly made up of customers, the reviews are generally unbiased and honest. Some communities also include share advice from makeup artists and beauty experts. 

Security and Privacy Concerns When Shopping for Beauty Products Online 

Online transactions can lead to data theft—including your personal and banking details. Some sites may sell your personal details to third parties for advertising purposes. Additionally, some Ecommerce stores may sell counterfeit beauty goods which could lead to skin irritation. 

Shopping from the most popular beauty websites can provide peace of mind. When you click on a website, check that there is a padlock next to your URL to show that your connection is secure. This can help prevent security risks.

Subscription-Based Beauty-Box Services and Their Offerings 

If you love trying new products for a discounted price, a beauty subscription box could be for you. For a set subscription fee, you can receive a tailored monthly or seasonal box filled with all kinds of beauty items. This typically includes makeup, skincare, and hair products.

Because the retail value of the products inside a box is higher than the subscription fee, you can save on selected beauty items. Additionally, subscription-based beauty boxes are beneficial for beauty lovers who like to keep up with the latest trends and sample new brands. 

Bottom Line

The online beauty world is finally catching up with fashion. These days, it’s much less confusing or difficult to shop for beauty products online thanks to several factors. This includes technology that lets you virtually try on products, beauty experts, and product reviews. Our top 10 beauty websites stock an extensive range of beauty brands so you can conveniently and quickly shop from the comfort of your home. 

However, online shopping can put you at risk of data theft—including your credit card and login details. Look for the padlock next to the web address to ensure your connection is secure. Our list of top beauty websites is comprised of sites with a long-standing, trustworthy reputation.

How we created this
Compiled from “Best of” lists published by the world’s most trusted sources, and with our own recommended brands peppered in - this Top10 list aims to help consumers make smarter decisions.