In my job as a beauty editor, I'll often be sent products to test and review. So, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I don't really need to buy beauty products. The truth is, once I've tried a beauty product that I really love, I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is, and I'll buy it time and time again. There's also the thrill of online beauty shopping, and I'll often scroll through my favourite online beauty stores–it's my favourite pastime.
With so many online beauty retailers, it can be tricky to know where to start. Every retailer has its own shopping experience and while some are great for finding niche perfume brands, others are great if you're looking for premium skincare or speedy delivery (because running low on a product is a beauty emergency). Others might offer a loyalty scheme, brand exclusives, gifts with purchase, samples or even a great discount. Below are some of my favourite online beauty stores to shop, as well as what I've saved to my basket for each.
1. Space NK
Space NK has a brilliant selection of premium beauty brands across hair, skincare, fragrance, makeup and body care. It has a loyalty scheme called N.Dulge, where you'll earn 1 point for every pound spent. Once you've spent £100, you'll a £5 voucher to spend. You'll also get exclusive access to sales before everyone else, and samples on your birthday. If you're a big beauty spender and buy £1000 worth of products within 12 months, you'll be upgraded to N.Dulge Deluxe, where you'll earn £10 voucher for each £100 spent and you'll also get a full sized product for free on your birthday. I personally love Space NK for it's makeup and fragrance selection – here's what's currently in my basket.
I'm yet to try this but the whole Who What Wear team–and every beauty journalist I know–raves about this, so I've added it to my basket.
If you're after luxurious beauty, then Net-A-Porter is a great beauty destination. With several cult brands from Dr Barbara Sturm to Augustinus Bader and Le Labo, you're really spoiled for choice. If you're London-based, you can benefit from express delivery to receive your order the same day–handy if you need a new lipstick for a night out or just realised you've run out of your favourite serum. It goes without saying that your order will also arrive in a black ribbon-tied box for that luxurious touch.
I'm a Diptyque fanatic and its Do Son fragrance is one of my favourites. I spotted this listed edition set on Net-A-Porter, which comes with a hand cream in the same scent. If you're a fan of tuberose fragrances, I think you'll love this too.
While it may have a penny price tag, this is one of the best moisturisers I've tried.
3. Cult Beauty
As its name suggests, you'll find all the cult brands that you love here. From Olaplex to professional skincare brands such as Medik8, there is plenty to shop here. Cult Beauty has launched Cult Status, a loyalty scheme with three tiers of benefits. Expect free samples, vouchers and a discount on your birthday, too. Cult Beauty regularly run gifts with purchase on lots of brands, so make sure to check the offers tab.
My skin is sensitive, so I've been searching for a sensitive skin-friendly retinal for a while. This is the lowest retinal strength from Medik8 and I'm about to stock up again because it's effective yet gentle.
This is such a cult product, so it's in my basket.
4. Farfetch Beauty
Farfetch has recently launched beauty, and I'm really enjoying its curated edit of brands. You'll find Off-White's new beauty offering of fragrances and makeup, as well as loved brands like Tom Ford, 111SKIN and Gucci Beauty.
In my opinion, these sheet masks are second to none. Victoria Beckham and Rosie Huntington-Whitely are also fans. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
5. Browns Beauty
Beauty is another expansion for Browns, and it's a treat to shop. Not only do they have several cool brands (Virtue, Bread and La Mer, to name but a few) but they have a assortment of beautiful model imagery, so you can really see what the products look like on the skin. They also have a conscious beauty tab, so you can shop brands that are reducing their impact of the environment.
While I don't need a leather lipstick case, I want one. This fits Le Bouche Rouge's refillable lipsticks and the case looks so chic.
6. Harvey Nichols
Harvey Nichols is home to some truly great beauty brands. Here you'll find everything from Maison Francis Kurkdjian to Fenty beauty. It has a refillable shopping section where you can buy top ups sustainably, too.
Kate Somerville's Goat Milk range is great for sensitive skin.
7. Liberty London
I love a trip to Liberty's incredible beauty hall. However, I don't live in London so I enjoy browsing their selection online. They have an amazing edit of fragrance brands such as Byredo, Vilhelm Parfumerie and Frédéric Malle. Liberty has The Beauty Drop incentive, where you sign up for £20 a month (which is fully redeemable on purchases) and you'll receive three boxes a year with a curated edit, as well as other rewards a free delivery.