Buying Natural Makeup Online? Here’s Your Cheat Sheet

Online Shopping Cheat Sheet | Makeup DetoxMost health food stores are pretty good for personal care products like lotions and deodorants, but they suck for makeup! They often have just one or two brands. Do you think Sephora would survive with only two brands? No. Rebel Beauties like us want options. That’s why, unless you’re a ‘lip-balm only’ kind of gal, you’ll likely be doing your cosmetics shopping online.

Buying makeup online is an adjustment at first, but there are some tips and tricks that make it work. Keep these things in mind as we move forward.

Website Photos

  • Colors vary depending on the computer screen.
  • Website images aren’t always accurate.
  • Don’t ever trust website photos to choose things like foundation or concealer. Like, ever.
  • You can’t tell color saturation unless the company shows a swatch (the product swatched on skin). Some lipsticks that look bright red in the tube can come out quite sheer, while others pack a punch!

Buy Samples

  • If a store doesn’t provide samples, I would skip it. Samples are key for shopping online.
  • Exception #1: if it comes with a good reputation and is inexpensive (under 10$).
  • Exception #2: if you’ve done a ton of research (see below).


  • Google Images is your friend – chances are some beauty blogger’s arm has been adorned and photographed with the exact shade you’re looking for.
  • Search for blog posts and reviews. Best keywords= [company name + product + color + ‘swatch’ or ‘review’]. For example ‘Revlon, lipstick, Regal Red, swatch’. But not Revlon.


  • Email the company and ask questions. Most often they’re quick to respond and happy to help (if not=red flag).
  • Ask on social media, on Makeup Detox, people love to give advice!

Be Realistic

  • Understand there will be some trial and error. Don’t get discouraged – it’s part of the process. In no time you’ll find your faves and will be slavishly devoted to them (seriously, there may be shrines involved).

In the comments, tell us: have you ever bought beauty products online? Was it a good experience or did you run into problems?

Non-toxic kisses,

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The 2-Step Trick to Reveal if Your Beauty Products are Toxic

Leave a Comment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Vikki December 20, 2013

I think asking for samples and then buying on line requires just a shift in thinking, like forging a new neural pathway, which, once you accept it, isn’t so hard. It’s all part of being open to going a bit further to get a really good product. The first time you do it, it feels odd, and then it becomes normal.


Michele December 20, 2013

Yes totally. Most online beauty companies allow you to purchase samples for really cheap. It’s a little more effort. But also fun – getting these packages in the mail and being able to try them out at home instead of in a store with a clerk breathing down your neck… it’s actually a treat.


Sabrina January 30, 2014

It seems more appealing to be able to see how they look in natural lighting right away, too!

Michele January 31, 2014

Yes, seeing the products in person makes such a difference. Most websites don’t use very helpful images, which is silly, because it would up their sales.