I got bitten by the makeup bug recently and the credit goes to the plethora of beauty and makeup blogs over the internet.I used to be a kajal and lip balm person but my metamorphosis included the lure of names like MAC,NYX,Nars,Urban Decay and Elf.And that was awesome with a teeny problem.How to get my hands on them?
So I turned to google and was surprised to find that many women turn to online shopping to satiate their makeup needs and I was also introduced to NYX.I must say it is a very popular brand not only because its cheap but boasts quality rivaling MAC.Reading rave reviews of NYX round lippies and the Jumbo pencil I was a person obsessed.
But to be very honest I was very skeptical about ordering online.I'm actually very paranoid about my Visa.Eventually though my desire won over paranoia and I gave in but not before conducting a thorough research, which I will share with you today.
There are a variety of such websites but only a handful ship to India.I have bought from two of them and being the cynic that I am I ordered stuff worth only a 1000 bugs from each.So lets get down to them:
Cherry Culture www.cherryculture.com
It is based in California started in 2006 and the most popular among its contemporaries in the US as well as internationally.Just google “cherry culture haul” to get an idea of its popularity.That is why I chose this for my first ever online shopping destination and I was not disappointed.Well until my next purchase.I ordered
- NYX round lipstick in Fig
- NYX round lip gloss in True Red
- NYX long eye pencil in Black and Brown [read review here]
- Jordana blush in Sandalwood
- A variety of brands including NYX,Amuse,L.A. Girls,Playboy,Jordana.
- Regular discounts on brands and individual products.
- Good and prompt customer service.
- Easy to view previous and pending orders along with their status.
- Return Goods Policy(subject to terms and conditions).
- Sturdy packaging.
- A variety of Shipping options.
- Shipping rates are a little high.Minimum starts from $8.10
- No swatches of products available.
- Has an obscure payment gateway when checking out using your credit card.I did inquire about it from the customer service but I was not very satisfied.I have faith in Paypal only.
Shop Craze www.shopcraze.com
I got my Cherry Culture haul and was satisfied with almost everything except the shipping rates, so I decided to do some more research and I stumbled across Shop Craze.This is a fairly new venture about 2 years old but to its credit has some good reviews too.Plus it shipped internationally at better rates than Cherry Culture.So i gave in once again and ordered within a month from my last purchase.Greedy you say?Well I have nothing to say in my defense except that I'm glad I did cause in the process I discovered a great website.I ordered:
- NYX round lip gloss in Whipped and Real Nude
- NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Oyster
- NYX Mosaic Powder in Highlighter
The security certificates on Shop Craze
- Shipping rates are almost 3 dollars less than Cherry Culture.
- The NYX products were priced unbelievably low considering the fact that they are less to begin with(plus I got an additional 20% discount as part of 4th of July celebrations).
- Credit card checkout through Paypal.
- The website is certified by a number of other digital security certificates from various organizations.
- Sturdy Packaging.
- Frequent discounts(currently 10% on True Face products coupon code:TAKE10 )
- Fast Delivery provided you don't order on a weekend or US holiday.
- Provision of insurance at a nominal cost of $1.85 per $100(subject to terms and conditions).
- No Return Goods Policy.
- No provision for viewing previous or current orders.Only means of correspondence is Email which is not very prompt.
- Lack of brands.At present only 2 brands NYX and True Face are available.
- Not all shades available and lack of product swatches.
So that's my shopping experience in a nutshell.I would choose Shop Craze over Cherry Culture simply because of their better rates,low shipping and fast delivery but only for NYX products.For the rest Cherry Culture is great.
Packaging was same for both the orders.Each product was separately bubble wrapped
The Products(both hauls combined)
Here are some other websites that offer shipping to India though I haven't bought from them so can't really give an honest opinion.
- Strawberry.net inen.strawberrynet.com
It claims to be the world's leading provider of discounted designer skin care, make-up, cosmetics, perfume, fragrances, cologne and hair care and has free shipping anywhere in the world.
- Crush Cosmetics www.crushcosmetics.com.au
This is an Australian based company and has some good brands to offer like NYX,ELF,Barry M and Urban Decay.Though they have limited stock.The discounts are not great and shipping is higher than Cherry Culture.
On an end note I would say shopping is in itself an individual experience and should not be based on others views.Having said that I would also say do your research thoroughly not only on the websites but also the brands and especially the products.Most websites don't have product swatches so google swatches for products and better still try youtube you can expect loads of free advice.
If you do shop online on the above sites or come across something better or interesting let me know.
Till then Happy Shopping.