All those models may seem like they roll out of bed looking gorgeous, but we all know that kind of perfection takes hard work-and makeup. You can start your hard work by rolling out of bed and heading to your computer. Resources for buying and learning about makeup online are plentiful, and include online stores, blogs, and magazines discussing makeup techniques, homemade beauty products, organic makeup, and animal-test-free products, as well as supplies and beauty tools.
There is an array of different Web resources for finding makeup, including department store Web sites, online-only stores like Amazon, specialty makeup stores, and brands' own Web sites. These sites point you in the direction of many types of makeup, including brands you'd find in the drugstore, organic brands, high-end brands, and more.
- Visit the "Beauty Products Online" section of the Beauty Guide for even more makeup suppliers not listed below. These sites are also valuable for other beauty products besides makeup.
- One problem with buying makeup online is that you can't sample products as you can in a brick-and-mortar drugstore. The best way to get around this is to check the brands' own Web site to see what deals they are offering on samples, discounts, or free new products, or to only buy products you have purchased before.
- For coupons, explore the site RetailMeNot, which lists known coupons and discounts available online and in-store for a variety of cosmetics and other products. Users of the coupons add them to the site and rate those they have used.
For drugstore brand makeup ...
has the most extensive online selection of drugstore brand cosmetics and accessories like brushes, tweezers and nail supplies. Although it is not easy to navigate the site by brand, you can narrow your search to a specific area of the face (even leg makeup is available) and browse all brands' products in that category. The site ships nationwide and also has a good selection of other drugstore products similar to what you would find on sites like Drugstore.com.
For premium brand makeup ...
is a satellite division of Drugstore.com and features luxury makeup brands like LORAC, Kevyn Aucoin, Urban Decay, and others. This partnership allows you to do your makeup shopping along with your regular product shopping at Drugstore.com. You'll find an extensive selection of beauty supplies and tools here, along with regular cosmetic products featured by the partner site. Products are rated by customers and individual product pages feature ingredients, application instructions, company contact information, and often an FAQ section about the products offered.
is an online retailer selling hundreds of top makeup and beauty brands, including up-and-coming names, brands you'll find in specialty chains like Sephora, and international brands. The wide selection of products includes all-natural, organic, top-of-the-line, and mid-range. The average prices on the site are comparable to those at Sephora, but you'll benefit from additional features like trend updates and articles that can inform and supplement your shopping experience.
is a celebrity-endorsed brand that bridges the price point between high-end cosmetic lines and drugstore brands like CoverGirl or Neutrogena. While it used to be sold only through Avon representatives, you can now shop for Avon's products on their Web site (or alternatively, locate a rep through the site).
For all-natural and organic makeup ...
is a San Francisco-based, all-natural cosmetic company that sells its products through its own Web site as well as through retailers like Sephora. On this site you'll find makeup basics like foundations and powders, eye shadows, lipsticks, makeup tools, and the company's skincare line, md formulations. You can also order Bare Escentuals products over the phone. Finally, visit their "about bare escentuals
" section to learn what makes the products "natural."
is an American company selling organic cosmetics, beauty products and aromatherapy products. The company ships internationally to 30 destinations and features multiple makers of organic cosmetics including Dr. Hauschka, Jurlique, and Primavera. Many of the product pages include a "Kirstin's Comments" section, where an organic beauty expert gives her opinion on the product.
Pretty by Nature
is a blog that reviews organic and natural cosmetics and other beauty products, providing photos, detailed descriptions, and places to buy the products online. The author of the blog is a mother with years of experience writing about makeup and creating her own sites to do so. For recommendations on how to shop for natural cosmetics, this blog is unbiased and helpful.
For companies that don't test on animals ...
The Body Shop
is a longstanding, affordable retailer of cosmetic products made without testing on animals. If you can't make it to one of their many stores, you can shop on their Web site where you'll find an array of products in their makeup line. Visit the "About Us
" section to learn about the company's upstanding philosophy.
is a globally conscious supplier of makeup, hair and other beauty products. Like the Body Shop, Aveda is conscious about energy use, promoting sustainable environments in the countries that supply the ingredients, using organics whenever possible, and not testing on animals. Shop their Web site for makeup for all skin types, or use the site to locate a brick-and-mortar store (Aveda shops are often found in malls and department stores). Visit the "Our Mission
" page to learn more about the philosophy behind the company.
Some people have a makeup regime set in place and no interest in varying it. But if you like to mix things up a bit, or have minimal makeup experience, you might want a bit of advice on what product to try next. For assistance, look to the guides and product reviews listed below.
- If you're concerned about the ingredients in cosmetics, consult the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which lists compliant cosmetic companies who exclude certain ingredients from their products.
- While certain brands cater specifically to ethnic skin, most reputable brands on the market, whether drugstore labels or high-end products found in department stores, are available for every skin type and tone. A good indicator of the breadth of products available is usually the imagery on the company's Web site. Often the companies showcase their products on models (e.g., Aveda's "Get the Look" section).
For tips and guidance ...
, a beauty specialist magazine, features a "Best of Beauty" rundown of top cosmetics on its Web site. This will guide you through the familiar and new products that have impressed the editors. These featured products include lotions and accessories as well as makeup.
For product reviews ...
is a neatly designed cosmetics review site crafted somewhat like a blog. Search by brand or product type on the top right-hand corner of the page to get a synopsis of what the product is like, its price, and a link to purchase it online. The site also has a "Features" section with special articles on trends, product searches, Q&A, and letters from readers. Click on "Our Rating System" to learn about rating criteria (scroll down the right side of the page to find it).
reviews high-end cosmetics and calls itself "the cosmetics resource for women of color." Brands reviewed include those that cater specifically to ethnic skin, as well as widely known product lines, such as CARGO and Laura Mercier. Reviews are based on tests and evaluations. The site also reviews grooming and hair products for men and other beauty supplies for women.
is a product review site that relies on user contributions. You can join the site for free to add your own product reviews, or simply browse the "Flower Report" section and sort by brand for reviews and ratings of the latest products. The emphasis is on makeup, including high-end and drugstore brands, but you will also find hair care products and accessories here.
For a product review blog ...
is a blog run by a woman in Toronto who reviews new cosmetic products from a variety of brands and in a variety of price ranges. In the past, she's included popular British brand Rimmel, now sold in drugstores in the U.S., and new brands from established companies like Victoria's Secret. The product reviews are lengthy and detailed, and include links to the products' Web sites where applicable.
Although most basic makeup sites carry makeup tools like brushes, containers and accessories, the sites below specialize in them. Learn about what makeup tools to buy, and where to buy them.
- Makeup brushes are an industry unto themselves. The most expensive brushes are made of animal fur (such as raccoon or squirrel), although ethically conscious companies are releasing top-of-the-line synthetic versions that are comparable to those made of fur and can be easier to clean. If you're not familiar with the different varieties, visit one of the sites below that can help you choose a product.
- For tips on cleaning makeup brushes, read a helpful article from Essential Beauty Supplies, which explains how often various brushes need to be cleaned and how best to do it, regardless of their material.
For help deciding what to buy ...
's article "Master List: Tools" provides a list of makeup brushes and other tools recommended by professionals and experienced magazine staff.
Smart Beauty & Makeup Tips
has a good article on the "essential eight" makeup brushes, including how to choose the best brush for each task.
For makeup tools and brushes ...
is a leading high-end makeup and makeup accessories company that carries a large stock of items through their Web site. They also sell their products at a handful of brick-and-mortar locations
and at department stores like Sephora. The company specializes in makeup brushes, an award-winning eyelash curler, and an array of makeup cases to fit all your items.
For storage options ...
supplies makeup, tools, accessories, prosthetics for actors and performers, as well as storage devices and more for your cosmetics. Popular with makeup artists, this site has an array of affordable products, including stackable containers and other storage tools that can be used for homemade makeup and beauty products.
The Container Store
caters to neat freaks of all varieties, and has an entire section on its site devoted to cosmetic organizers.
Depending on the type of information you're looking for, the Web gives you plenty of options for advice on makeup application and techniques. Makeup artists' Web sites are a great place to start. Or check out the independent bloggers and makeup enthusiasts whose experience on the Web yields some useful resources on makeup techniques, trends and application.
- In addition to the bloggers listed below, you might also consult some of the bloggers in our "Product Reviews" subsection (see above) for practical advice on shopping, testing, and application.
- Note that makeup artists, in addition to providing helpful tips, also tend to promote themselves and the products they use and create on their site. Sift through and find the information that's relevant to you.
- For those who really want to understand the artistry behind makeup application, Kevyn Aucoin's book, Making Faces, is a must-read.
For online makeup tips and advice ...
is a popular page for makeup and beauty products by makeup artist and author Paula Begoun. You'll also find tips and tricks
, like the article "Makeup Application Step-by-Step
," a thorough rundown of the cleansing, preparation, and application process as established by Begoun, who has decades of experience in the industry. Without pitching her own products, Begoun simply shares her knowledge with readers in a friendly, no-pressure way.
, the online home of Vogue and W magazines, sheds some light on runway makeup trends. Head to the site's "Beauty
" section for slideshows and articles on the current season's hair and makeup trends (and how to achieve the looks yourself).
has a thorough section on beauty and cosmetics where you'll find short snippets of advice on lipstick color, eyebrow plucking, eye shadow application, and other topics. The tips are rated by users of the site and each has its own comments section. Because writers are paid to contribute tips, you can be assured they are valued and vetted by LifeTips' editorial staff.
To find beauticians and makeup artists ...
is an online directory of makeup and beauty professionals that includes listings of bridal makeup artists, permanent makeup specialists, and others in over 40 major cities around the U.S. The listings provide contact information, specialty, and the artists' own Web sites, where applicable.
The surge in popularity of natural and organic products has made many people curious about making and selling their own beauty products. The following sites show you where to get the ingredients and recipes you'll need to create your own makeup.
- Many beauty blogs cater specifically-or often-to natural and organic makeup. Pretty By Nature, mentioned above, often has recipes for making cosmetics and other beauty products using natural ingredients.
- The government and government-affiliated sites in this guide's "Cosmetics and Health" section have useful information about common ingredients (including natural ingredients) used in makeup. If you're looking to sell your products, this site is especially important to consult.
has an extensive list of recipes for lotions, soaps, scents, makeup, and more that's worth browsing, despite all the ads. The recipes are based on many combinations of essential oils. The site's encycolpedia
can help you learn more about any unfamiliar ingredients.
Somerset Cosmetic Company
provides start-up kits for those interested in making their own makeup and other beauty care products. They sell an array of raw ingredients, recipes, tools, and containers needed to make cosmetics at home.
Natural makeup is one solution to the problem of cosmetic allergies, but in this section you'll also find resources to learn about some of the typical components in makeup and how you can avoid allergic reactions to the beauty products you buy.
- Government-regulated sites like the FDA are a good place to start your research and stay informed about potential dangers or risks associated with cosmetic products. The FDA provides an official rundown of the current litigation information available for products on the U.S. market.
- Nonprofit organizations concerned with natural products, fair trade, and organic produce are also valuable Web sites to check out (see below). However, you should always supplement the information you find on one of these sites with a second source, as each one has a distinct agenda and is not government-affiliated.
For cosmetic allergy advice and resources...
is run by researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. The site features reports and news about cosmetic and personal care product safety. You can report your own experiences with a product by signing up with the site for free, or simply browse the reports available on the site. This is a good way to keep informed about the ingredients, allergies, risks and dangers associated with certain products.
The Personal Care Products Council
is the trade association for companies that make perfumes, cosmetics and other such products. Read about different types of products, such as shaving cream or bubble baths, and the ingredients commonly found in them. The "Frequently Asked Questions
" section deals with how cosmetics are regulated, their history, and rumors. This site also has a glossary
is a women's site with articles on beauty, health, and lifestyle topics. Scroll down this beauty and style page for the latest makeup articles. Another interesting article is called "Allergic to makeup? How to handle allergies to cosmetics
," that answers many common questions on cosmetic allergies, such as the definition of the term AHA (alpha hydroxy acids, used in many products to reduce the appearance of wrinkles), whether to use tester products in department stores or drugstores and more.
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