Shot of Beauty

Where do beauty bloggers buy their products? Survey results are in!
February 4, 2013, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , , ,

Even beauty bloggers on a spending ban know how to dedicate A LOT of cash on new and/or staple products, but are we making the most out of the money we spend?

While I was tweeting away last night and watching all the bblogger responses fly up, I was thinking about my beauty buying habits and how much I had bought online as opposed to in store recently. That is so unlike me, as I like to see and feel what I am getting before I invest. So, I decided to tweet my thoughts and ask you all where you buy your beauty products and why, and got some really interesting responses. I then created a short survey and managed to get over 25 lovely bloggers to share their thoughts for this post, and here is where you get to find out what everyone else has said!

I want to thank you so much for your help and would love to hear your thoughts on what I found. If I have made any mistakes or confused the response, please let me know so I can correct it and I’ll do this straight away. Happy savvy beauty shopping!

Where do you buy your beauty products?
First things first, I will tell you the overall result from the first question, which was in multiple choice format and had three possible responses.

  • A whopping 74% (20) of you voted in store as the best place to shop
  • 37% (10) preferred browsing online
  • Only 3% (1) shopped in blog sales

Why do you shop in store?
Sensory instinct
: Five bloggers felt it was important to be able to feel and smell products before buying them. Sheona said ‘touching, swatching and feeling a product in my hands is what helps me decide whether to buy’. Helen wanted to ‘see the product and handle it’. Lil Fairy Doll needed to see products in the flesh to ‘test consistencies’. Grace said ‘for skin care it’s nice to sniff them’. Bettina wanted to ‘feel the products before purchasing’.

Lack of or misleading product information and photos: Five of you expressed concerns about the accuracy and depth of product information and photos. Orla wanted to see products first hand as she felt that ‘sometimes the photos online can be very deceptive’. Ingredient lists were of high importance to Grace, who felt these were ‘often not listed online’. Taylor wanted to try the products in store as she felt afraid products were ‘going to turn out the wrong colour/different to the photograph’. RaRa said ‘buying online can be misleading when it comes to exact shades’. Sheona felt that online stores don’t provide ‘full enough descriptions or show enough pictures for you to really get a feel of it’.

Swatches and colour matches: Swatching in person and making sure colours were right were top priorities for eleven bloggers. Sophie said she ‘likes to see the colours in person’. Lil Fairy Doll wanted to see what colours ‘REALLY are in the flesh’. Gem likes to ‘be able to swatch the product and see it in the flesh’. Donna preferred to own something new that she had ‘swatched in person’. If buying makeup, Grace likes to swatch items. Allie wanted to be sure colours matched correctly with her skin tone, as this can ‘sometimes be hard over the internet’. Callie wanted to ‘swatch the products there and then to ensure it’s the product that’s right for me’.

Getting it right for your skin type: Three of you wanted to check products matched your skin type in store before buying them. Ambarina said ‘I like to try before I buy, especially as I have indian skin, so need to be sure colours/formulations look good on my skin’. Ebony said testing products for your skin type is ‘beyond important’ for a pale-skinned lady as ‘foundations are so finicky’. RaRa felt buying online for fair shades was difficult and she didn’t want to look ‘washed out’.

Try before you buy: Nine of you wanted to sample products or use testers in store before investing in any beauty buys. Sophie said ‘I like to sample all the products. It makes a huge difference rather than shopping for them online and not being able to try a sample’. Ebony likes to ‘sample everything properly’. RaRa likes to ‘use testers to get a better idea of the product’. Taylor wants to ‘try products out and look at the colours’. Ambarina likes to ‘try out before I buy’. Another beauty blogger likes to swatch before she buys. Callie likes to ‘test the products there and then’. Bettina wants to ‘test the products before purchasing’. Megan likes to ‘try it out in store first, unless there are a LOT of good reviews’.

Cost of post and packaging: Annabelle raised an interesting point that shopping in store could ‘save money on postage and packaging’ and the money spent on this could ‘go towards something else such as trying products you aren’t sure about’.

Consultant advice: Two of you liked to chat to a consultant when looking into buying beauty products. Orla likes to ‘take advice from the sales assistant, as long as they are not too pushy’. Helen wanted to get advice from a consultant also.

Money concerns: Gem wanted to make sure she was spending her money on the right products as she doesn’t have a lot of her budget dedicated to beauty shopping and needs to be careful about what she buys.

Confirmation of choice and further exploration: The Ladida wanted to confirm her initial choice of product and look for different shades. She said she ‘really enjoys browsing and seeing what is out there before I decide on my purchase. Most of the time I know what I want but am undecided about the brand or sometimes even the shade’.

Why do you buy online?
Niche, natural and organic products
: Sarah felt limited by in-store shopping as she only likes ‘natural and organic products’. She said ‘it’s a niche market and you won’t find these products in Superdrug or Boots’.

Geographical barriers: RaRa Giggles felt online shopping enabled her to access a wider range of products as she only lives in a small town and works 9-5, making ‘selection outside of drugstore brands very poor’. Being from Israel, Lorraine wanted to get ‘American and European beauty products online’ as this made her ‘so happy’.

Convenience and choice: Gemma liked being able to ‘shop around, look for discount codes and get the best deal’. Gemma Bolton loves ‘browsing the newest brands and products any time of the day’. Sheenie said ‘online purchases are time-saving and often cheaper’. Tolly Dolly Posh said shopping online was ‘easier’ and that there were ‘cheaper brands in store’.

Gifts: Scott made the good point that shopping for beauty products online may allow you to get a gift as a reward for purchasing. He said that ‘sometimes there are gifts with purchase online that are not in stores’.

Crowds: Gemma Bolton prefers to ‘browse the newest brands at any time of the day without going to endless shops’. Gemma likes to shop for beauty products ‘without having to deal with the crowds’.

Lack of resources and sold out product ranges: Another interesting point raised by Scott is ‘sometimes products are sold out on the counter, other counters try to sell you stuff you don’t want, or during busy periods someone from another counter will serve you who doesn’t know the brand that well’. Sarah was concerned that stores do not ‘stock the products I am looking for’.

Why do you prefer blog sales?
Good reviews
: Although Annabelle was the only person to mention blog sales, she said that as long as the product had good reviews and was trusted, she would buy them from a blog sale.

Megan Lillie,, @meganjanelillie
Sheona Ranson,, @thebeautyboss
Sophie Halbert,, @dontwear
Sarah,, @sugarpuffish
Ebony,, @ebzo
RaRa Reid,, @rara_reid
Helen Gray,, @unevenlemming
Lil Fairy Doll,, @lil_fairy_doll
Rara Giggles,, @raragiggles
Sheenie Shaikh,, @sheenieshaikh
Gem Seren,, @gemserenx
Tolly Dolly Posh,, @tollydollyposh
Donna,, @vonfluffy
Lorraine,, @beautifulyoul
The Ladida,, @theladida
Taylor O’Callaghan,, @taylorjanway
Grace,, @allthatslap
Ambarina Hassan,, @ambarinahasan
Gemma,, @makeup_magpie
Annabelle John,, @annabellejohn
Allie Smith,, @allieee_smith
Gemma Bolton,, @buffbeautyblog
Callie Rose,, @catdicko
Orla Barrett,, @orlabarrett
Bettina,, @beautyswot
Scott,, @sbgblog
A yet to be identified beauty blogger! Will update this when I know your name!


20 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wow!! The amount of effort y’all must have put into this is impressive!!! I love this blog πŸ™‚ Thanks so much!!

Comment by Lorraine

Thank you so much for taking part – was so much fun putting this together and finding out how we all spend our money! So happy you like my blog x

Comment by shotofbeauty

Love it, great idea – glad to be a part of this post. πŸ™‚

Comment by Ebony

Thanks Ebony – was a pleasure to have you involved and really pleased you love the post x

Comment by shotofbeauty

Great post, funny in a way to think that the majority of us bloggers prefer to buy in person when what we do is talk about it online! I think that’s probably why we do what we do though, to give those more comprehensive descriptions you just don’t get on a retail site. Glad to have helped, Sheona x

Comment by thebeautyobsession

You hit the nail on the head there – that is funny isn’t it! And also with video tutorials too you see how the product works in action. You can’t beat beauty blogging it’s fab. Thanks Sheona x

Comment by shotofbeauty

What a brilliant post

Comment by Not Just Inside

Well it had you in it so it had to be πŸ™‚ thanks so much x

Comment by shotofbeauty

Great post and it is interesting to see where other bloggers prefer to shop πŸ™‚

Comment by scott

It is isn’t it! I liked that shopping in store is alive and well – even though online is more convenient, it’s such a nice experience talking to a consultant (if they are there!). Thanks Scott, have updated your links too x

Comment by shotofbeauty

Thanks. I probably prefer shopping in store but online is easier for me, but it is probably split 60/40. Being a guy I’m less likely to be picking up a colour product so I don’t need to worry about which shade I go for which is the main benefit of shopping in store x

Comment by scott

very true – i tend to buy online if its a repeat purchase or a brand i trust, but with new stuff it’s almost always in store x

Comment by shotofbeauty

Fantastic post! It’s interesting to read everyone’s opinions. And I’m very pleased to have been included in this. πŸ™‚
Ra β™₯

Comment by rarareid

You had to be in it as one of my favourite bbloggers πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for taking part and so happy you like the post πŸ™‚ x

Comment by shotofbeauty

Great post – Love how detailed it is and how you managed to go through 25 responses! Glad I took part in your survey πŸ™‚

Comment by Tea @ The Ladida

Thank you! It definitely took a while but was so worth it and so happy I got lots of people to respond. Happy to have you and thanks for taking part! X

Comment by shotofbeauty

Really interesting, very glad I was able to take part. I would only realy buy something online that I’ve brought before, used and know that it is ok for me. I used to be make up consultant for a brand so I know how much training consultants have, as well as they know the inside story (as well as the upcoming offers!) x

Comment by Helen 'Unevenlemming'

Thanks Helen – was a pleasure to have you get involved! Such an interesting post to write so my pleasure πŸ™‚ I would only buy online if it was a product I knew and trusted, or a brand. Really interesting that you have a beauty consultant background x

Comment by shotofbeauty

So interested to read this

Comment by Susiesuesalma

Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it x

Comment by shotofbeauty

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