Online Makeup Acquisitions

— are they really worth it? Some people still think that buying makeup online is more of a hassle than a convenience. I would agree to some extent, but the frequency at which I’ve been buying from Multiply shops or otherwise hasn’t abated at all. I suppose the pros just outweigh the cons for me. Let’s run through those real quick, beginning with the cons:

Cons of online makeup shopping: 


  • No swatching. Some retailers will provide photos of swatches, but there are some products that you just have to see against your own skin to be sure. The Cargo powder pictured above (from Stuff in Style) is really great and finely milled, but I picked out shade 30 which is just a shade too light
  • The inability to swatch leads to long hours of research about the quality of a product online — which, to some, can be enjoyable, but it’s loss of time nonetheless
  • If you don’t have a credit card and/or PayPal account, you will often need to deposit payment at a bank
  • You can’t be sure that a seller stores their products in an ideal manner. There are great sellers who understand how to handle makeup, but again you need to research
  • Shipping– you are sometimes required to shoulder shipping and the very idea that the makeup will be shipped in the heat of the Philippines isn’t too appealing

haul.jpgHowever, there are always the PROS to counter the cons:

  • You can get things not readily available in the country, such as the Sonia Kashuk brush set and the UNII palette pictured above (purchased through House of Flair)
  • The products available both here and abroad are usually cheaper on online stores (Revlon lipbutters for example sell at over 500php locally but are approximately 300php online, depending where you can find them) although that may change soon (read: taxation on online stores)

haul 2.jpg

  • No need to leave your house (or the country). These Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target are some of the best I’ve tried and they are sold at a very reasonable price.


  • Some retailers even offer a cash on delivery option now. This Wet N Wild palette is available on Zalora, which I can’t say enough negative things about, but their cash on delivery option is admittedly convenient
  • Variety. There’s just so much more to choose from when you’ve got the world as your cosmetics supplier, and you didn’t even have to deal with customs!

It may be that I just love makeup too much to wait until I go abroad for cheaper/better alternatives… or I’m impatient. haha! But I truly love the convenience of online shopping, so long as the items are ones that I’m familiar with. It can be a bit of a hit-and-miss experience, but I’ve stuck it out and I hope that doesn’t mean I’m crazy. The best things to source online (in my experience) are: Seche Vite top coat, all brands of imported nail polish, Bioderma, NYX cosmetics (their eyeliners are amazing), EOS lipbalms, and any other item you may be lemming after that you’ve tried but aren’t willing to pay the inflated price for! Just do your research and you should be fine. ;)

Here’s a list of my favourite online shops (mostly Multiply-based):

  1. Digital Traincase – the best, best, best at choosing what products to bring in! Love! 
  2. House of Flair – They do the US preorder service I’m always going on about! They also have onhand items extending beyond makeup!
  3. Stuff In Style – good, wide selection. Sometimes very random but they’re good surprises! haha
  4. Polish Please! – loads of polishes and you can choose by colour! They feature one polish a week, which sells on a discount.
  5. The Nail Shoppe – they’ve got the classics and most of the latest collections.
  6. Care Free Shopper – Again, a good selection of beauty bits. You may have to shoulder shipping for this store.

I have ordered items from all of these shops except for Care Free Shopper, so I can vouch for their honesty and the authenticity of their products. The only reason I haven’t dealt with Care Free Shopper is that I can often find their items are cheaper prices elsewhere, but I still included them because their MAC lippie selection is wide.

Are you an experienced online shopper or a newbie? Thoughts? Do share! :)

8 responses to Online Makeup Acquisitions

  1. Hi Iana! Just so you know – I saw EOS lip balms in a little shop in Power Plant Mall, near Happy Lemon. I don’t remember how much they cost, but they no longer come in the original packaging (i.e., the cardboard backing and the plastic shell, although they’re still sealed) and they look a little old. :s

    • Mariana – Author

      Hey Lexi! :D Yes I’ve seen those and they do look disturbingly old! haha. Sometimes online sellers have the ones with the cardboard backing + plastic. Always better to check when they got their stock… if they are willing to answer at all. haha. :)

      • The EOS and other makeups at SoFA Retail Lab (near happy lemon) is actually ours too. The tangerine and lemon with cardboard packaging came from Target, the sealed ones from another store, but either packaging, they’re both not old as we restock them frequently ;)

      • Mariana – Author

        I had a feeling that was you guys!! I saw Bioderma there, too! :) You also have a spot inside Hip Stop right?

        Good to know that you replenish stocks regularly! :) Does seem pretty hard to keep those sealed one clean.

  2. Lia

    Just curious what problems you have with Zalora? I’ve been purchasing random items from them for quite a while and haven’t encountered any issues so far. It’s just a bummer that they offer Zalora credits as refund and not actual cash when you return items.

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