When it comes to shopping for beauty products online, it’s easy to think that Sephora is the beginning and the end of the entire process. And while we love the almighty S, there are lots of other amazing online stores that you need to have bookmarked. So to inspire your shopping, we’ve rounded up 8 of the best beauty shopping websites that you really should know about. Get your credit cards ready—after all, the holidays are coming!
More than a retailer, Beauty Bay is packed with make-up tutorials, colour trend reports, get the make-up look tips with product recommendations, and tried and tested reviews. With over 10,000 products available from the very best UK and International brands – think Jeffrey Star, Sigma and Anastasia Beverly Hills – you’ll be hard pressed to leave this site empty handed. They also have a blog which is fab for keeping up with all the latest beauty news.
'Top Rated', ‘Exclusives and 'New In' are just some of the ways you can filter the cherry-picked beauty products from more than 130 brands on Cult Beauty. “Our mission is to demystify the beauty industry, combining consumer trials with the vast knowledge of our expert panel to filter out the blaggers and braggers from the gems that do what they say on the tin. The result is a beauty hall of fame – you can shop in the knowledge that anything you buy will be outstanding.” Big claims, but they are well and truly substantiated with some real beauty corkers up for grabs.
Europe’s number one retailer for beauty, Look Fantastic has over 14,000 products from more than 350 brands available on its site across hair, make-up, fragrance and men; there really is something for everyone here. The site is super-easy to navigate and even allows you to search by brand. We also love the fact that they have introduced the Beauty Box; a monthly subscription which means you can take home premium beauty treats worth over £60 for just £15 a month plus a copy of the latest Elle UK.
Much as we love other beauty superstores, Ulta has always been our happy place—and their online store is even better. Carrying a mind-bending range of products from drugstore go-tos to high-end products, Ulta has fast shipping and zero-hassle returns. We especially love that they carry hair tools at every single price point in addition to products—and that their gift section is seriously second to none.
If you’re a skincare addict, you need to bookmark Dermstore immediately. Not only do they carry a truly mindblowing range of brands, but the site is arranged so that you can shop by issue or concern. The community of reviewers is active—so practically everything on the site, from hair care to tattoo cover-up, comes with a side of real-woman experience. And if you have questions, Dermstore has answers—not only is their customer service the best on the internet, but they have an expert advice section where skincare professionals answer the beauty questions you didn’t even know you had.
Space NK was truly revolutionary when it launched, and it continues to be one of our favorite online shopping destinations. It carries all our favorite high-end and niche brands, the site is beautifully designed and easy to use, and offers free (fast) shipping on every order. We also consider their loyalty program one of the best in the industry—don’t miss out if you’re a frequent online shopper. And if you’re looking for that special holiday something for the beauty-obsessed person in your life? Their incredible gift section will help you find the perfect present in just a couple clicks.
When it comes to game-changing beauty products, everything good is coming out of Korea right now—and Soko Glam is your ultimate K-beauty shopping destination. Founder Charlotte Cho is also a licensed esthetician, so if she chooses to carry a product, it’s because it’s met her incredibly high standards—and it shows. Not only does the site carry an incredible range of makeup and skincare products (including this life-changing toner), you can also read detailed reviews of standout products on The Klog. Shipping is fast and secure, and they offer free returns and exchanges. If you’ve been looking to get into K-Beauty, this site is where you need to start.
This is the ultimate fragrance destination. At the risk of sounding like Stefon, this site has everything: every kind of fragrance you can possibly imagine, detailed reviews that are also really easy to understand, and a simple rating system showing where every fragrance falls on a masculine-feminine scale. Not only do they carry previously hard-to-find niche brands (Le Labo and Il Profumo being two of our favorites), they make making sense of the scents impossibly easy. And because the only real way to get to know perfumes is to try them, Lucky Scent also offers samples of every perfume they carry. Becoming a perfume genius has never been easier.
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)!