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International Shopping 101: Choosing where to shop

International Shopping 101: Choosing where to shop

Hiya bellas,

I’m sure today’s post is the most exciting one yet in the series. If you missed my previous posts, you can check them out here and here. If you’re planning on purchasing items from overseas, trust me you’ll need them. So how do you choose where to shop online? Now that you have a PayPal and Aramex account, you’ve just opened up a world of possibilities. And my posts are not only to help people looking to buy makeup but also clothes, books, gifts and much, much more. 

Location of where to shop

First and foremost, you need to check your Aramex account. Basically, a perfect place to start is with the addresses of the 23 countries they provide for you. That way, you know you’ll be charged less for shipping since most stores either charge low fees or no fees for local shipping.

International Shopping 101: Choosing where to shop

Products of where to shop

Now, what is it that you are looking for? If you’re looking for makeup, either you have a specific brand in mind or you just want to browse around. Always search for reviews of the stores that you are buying from. If it’s from well-known brands such as ColourPop, Morphe and BH Cosmetics, then the products are always genuine. Unfortunately, if it’s a lesser-known store, rather check reviews to make sure they stock authentic items.

Prices of where to shop

Just as we have different pricing of items between retailers here in South Africa, you need to shop around when searching for items. Some stores have their own markups but it might just be that their shipping fees are less which makes it more feasible to purchase from. Also, check who is having sales where you can score at discounted prices.

Can I shop at Sephora?

Unless you’re physically travelling to a city that has a Sephora, the answer is unfortunately NO! Sephora, the shopping heaven for any makeup junkie, has put in strict measures to prevent us from purchasing on their website. First and foremost, they don’t accept international credit cards, even when using PayPal. I haven’t tried an American Express card because everyone I know has gotten rid of theirs. Now I purchase Sephora Gift Cards and use that to pay. But that still doesn’t solve the main problem. Sephora does not ship to freight forwarding addresses. 

If you read my post on Aramex here, I explained that Aramex provides addresses in 23 countries around the world. If you’ve signed up already, you’ll notice that we all share the exact same New York address. The only thing that differs is your identifying account number. Sephora was smart enough to put protocols in place to detect that multiple people using the same address either meant you’re living in a block of apartments or you’re using a freight forwarder. 

So how do I shop at Sephora?

As I mentioned, the main way would be to travel there yourself. Second to that, is if you have a relative or friend living overseas. A person with an actual home address. This way you would be able to buy a gift card, ship the products to your friend’s address and they would use local postage to send it to your Aramex account. Most of the local post charges are usually under R100 which if you really wanted the items, would still make it worth it.

Can I shop at Ulta?

If you watch a lot of international YouTubers you’ll know Ulta is another haven for beauty junkies. Whilst they do accept Paypal upon checkout, it needs to be a US credit card and even if you have a voucher/gift card, they still require credit card details to complete the order. So stupid. I haven’t tried stores such as Walgreens and Target yet so if you do, let me know so I can share the great news with everyone.

International Shopping 101: Choosing where to shop

I understand that Sephora and Ulta is a one-stop shop if you’re looking at purchasing multiple brands but you can also check out other online stores such as Kiss and Makeup NY, Vivadream Cosmetics, iHerb and Camera Ready Cosmetics. These stores stock multiple brands and do accept Paypal and Aramex details. You can shop for everything from ELF, NARS, The Balm, Eve Lom, Tata Harper and loads more. I have personally shopped from these sites so I know they are good and the products are legit.

Now that we’ve established how to search for stores and makeup that you are looking for, the next step would be to purchase some products. Don’t forget to subscribe before you miss out.

Love you lots! Happy shopping.

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