It's been a while since we've had an open thread here on The Sunday Girl, but as a community we all have to look out for one and other, and if that means talking fellow beauty bloggers - and lovers alike - out of the odd splurge online so be it.
With pretty much every beauty brand - and product for that matter - having some form of online presence, beauty shopping has never been more convenient but not necessarily easy; for instance some online stores have product exclusivity, meaning you can only purchase a certain brand or product via them, and them alone, so if you are planning an extensive beauty splurge (or haul as all the kids like to call it) you could, in theory end up shelling out for numerous shipping charges. That I could overlook if I didn't live in the UK , but as the general policy here is that you can not return a beauty product to any British store for an exchange or refund unless faulty, you will find the average Brit is a little more cautious when it comes to throwing money at a product online.
Foundation - I rate this to be the most risky online purchase any beauty consumer can rush into, unless it is of course a repeat purchase - then again certain brands have been known to change their formulations and shade ranges with next to no notice.
We've all bought a foundation that does not suit our skin tone before; it could be due to the lighting in store, perhaps you accidentally picked up the wrong bottle, or you ordered via their online store without being able to properly gauge what shade is for you.
Yes most of the beauty giants have some form of shade gallery, aimed at helping you select your ideal shade but you have no idea if they have digitally altered swatches, what lighting has been used for such photo and of course just how much work (blending etc) went into application of the product before such photos were taken - you would be surprised.
By all means read all the reviews you can possibly bear of any foundation you aim to try before purchasing but if possible (and I know it isn't) head to your nearest counter so that you can a, be colour matched - either by yourself or a staff member (again the latter isn't always possible); b, have a feel for the product - is the foundation the right consistency for you. In some instances, larger companies such as MAC, Chanel, Estee Lauder et al will be able to offer you a sample of your chosen shade to take home before committing to a bottle of foundation - a try before you buy incentive.
Fragrance - Again I fully endorse and enjoy fragrance reviews and features but is very seldom if ever that I blindly purchase a new bottle online. Some beauty writers are beyond talented and can all but bring the notes of a fragrance alive on the page but nothing quite beats being able to smell the finished product in person and of course, spray a little on your skin to see if it agrees with your natural body chemistry. In my experience, personal fragrance tends to not only be one of the more expensive items but also personal products we splurge out on, so to not try before buying (again when you have no previous encounters with such item/scent) could be disastrous.
eBay - Not an item per say but an avenue you want to avoid when seeking out brand names of cosmetics as it a market flush with replica and frankly dangerous products. I am by no means saying that every Urban Decay Naked Palette or Benefit Blush (the two most replicated beauty products and brands for such marketplace) happen to not be the real deal but as there is often no real way of telling until your product arrives, it is best to leave well alone.
What product/s would you add to this list and on a related but separate note have you ever been stung by eBay as far as replica products go?