June 23, 2015
When it comes to beauty products, it’s the truth that sometimes it’s better to swatch before you buy. But here’s the case for beauty online shopping: Sure, you can’t try before committing, yet international e-tailers have opened up the virtual doors to a whole new world of cult brands that aren’t available on physical shelves here. See someone on the other side of the world rave about a particular product on Instagram on YouTube? You probably can have it shipped to you at a price that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Here are the five beauty online stores that are firmly on our bookmarks list, as well as the brands you should be stocking up on on each one.
An obvious choice, since it’s based in Singapore so delivery is free for orders above $40, and a mere $7 even if your total is under $40. The main point is, they actually stock a decent number of overseas cult brands alongside more recognisable ones, so you can even stock up on your favourite drugstore brands without actually visiting the drugstore.
Shipping: $7 for orders below $40, free for orders above $40. Self-collection options also available.
Brands to get:
Swedish professional haircare brand Sachajuan feels like the preferred haircare brand of the cool kids, what with the minimalist packaging and branding. The more important thing is it actually works, thanks to the use of high-quality active ingredients and something they call “Ocean Silk Technology”, with various types of sea algae to improve the hair’s moisture and shine levels.
People go crazy over this Aussie brand’s Secret Weapon Mascara, which has a formula free from irritants like alcohol and mineral oil, and a lash-lengthening technology that has won it multiple beauty awards all over the world. They also use organic Australian ingredients, and package their products in sleek designs that make them look like beauty from the future.
It’s as the name says: beauty products considered “cult” all over the world, gathered in one place for your shopping pleasure. Since it’s based in the UK, there are a good number of European brands here, if you’re into trying those.
Shipping to Singapore: £6.95 for standard shipping (7-10 business days) for orders £50 and under, free for orders above £50.
Brands to get:
If it’s good enough for Emma Watson, it’s definitely good enough for us. She’s professed her love for this organic Australian brand, calling it the “best range I’ve found”. The Rose Soothing & Protecting Moisturiser is one of Cultbeauty’s top 10 products, and the brand’s high commitment to ensuring only quality, truly organic ingredients go into the products makes it very suitable for sensitive skin.
The BECCA look is all about natural-looking yet flawless skin that glows, through quality base products like primers and illuminators. Put in more effort into getting your base right, and the rest of your makeup will look better, for sure. Must try: the Shimmering Skin Perfector, in liquid or pressed powder form.
NET-A-PORTER needs no introduction, but people might be less familiar with their beauty offerings as compared to the luxury wear and accessories they’re more famous for. Their beauty section is well worth a look, though, for a selection of luxury beauty brands that have been curated as carefully as their fashion collections.
Shipping to Singapore: US$15 for express shipping (2-3 working days)
Brands to get:
Your brow game will be strong with this LA-based brands range of brow products, in all forms including pencils, pomades, powders and gels. If only their salon services were available here in Singapore too – but we’ll content ourselves with stocking up on their brow items for now.
This namesake brand of a British celebrity makeup artist gets our attention for the luxurious detail on the packaging (gold accents and elegant cases), and many have raved about the Charlotte’s Magic Cream moisturiser and Lip Cheat lip liner in Pillow Talk.
The previous three sites stock mainly Western brands, but we do have lots of love for the Asian-centric e-tailers as well. We like Singapore-based Beauty Direct for their selection of lesser-known Japanese brands that are worth a try, and look cute to boot (they’re Japanese, after all).
Shipping: $1 (2-3 business days), free shipping for orders above $50
Brands to try:
A hairstyling brand that includes hair treatment products as well, all in packaging adorned with dreamy illustrations. Those with dry hair should give this brand a try – they actually work, and work fast.
“Keana” means “pore” in Japanese, so you can be sure this skincare brand is all about eradicating the dreaded “orange peel “skin. Its specialty is using baking soda to cleanse out your pores of sebum and to gently exfoliate the skin. Who knew baking soda was so useful outside of the kitchen?
Yes, we know UO shipping isn’t cheap, and it might seem a bit extravagant to pay so much to have beauty products delivered to you. But the site stocks some seriously offbeat brands that just seem so fun to try, so what we’d do is buy more or throw these in together with your fashion buys, to make the shipping fee worth its while.
Shipping: US$30 for economy shipping (10-12 business days)
Brands to get:
There’s just such a free spirit about this brand, especially since it was created by a photographer and filmmaker who were inspired by their travels. It has a nice minimalist yet carefree aesthetic, and reminds us of lazy weekend mornings. They use mostly natural and organic ingredients, and the product range includes skincare and aromatherapy – their Positive Seeds Lip + Skin Balm is a UO.com favourite.
This kooky makeup brand is all about spellbinding makeup, inspired by the magical side of natural ingredients. Which means rich, bold colours on lip, eye and cheek colours, all handmade without the synthetic nasty stuff like parabens and synthetic dyes and fragrances.