Appearance-focused online stores offer great deals


You would never guess it by looking at me, but makeup is my passion, and playing with it is a guilty pleasure – despite the fact that I rarely wear it. It’s a hidden creativity and obsession, and I’m sure my roommates would be frightened by the sheer volume of my collection if the bulk of it wasn’t stashed at my parents’ house eight hours away. I have it all, including more lip glosses than any normal person could use in a lifetime. People seem surprised when they find out, maybe because most of it was bought online – by both me and long-suffering friends – and thus the purchases were concealed for the most part.

Despite the sad truth that buying makeup online prevents you from trying it out beforehand, the internet provides great opportunities for buying makeup and skin-care products – even for men, especially in the perpetually image-obsessed Los Angeles.

The site that offers the most help to students – both men and women – by far is, which offers deals and discounts on anything and everything that could be offered in a drugstore, including hair, skin and makeup products. is ultimately the most practical store listed in this article because of the prices used on the site – cutting down on the purchase of makeup over the last couple of years has forced me to look into lower-priced options, all of which can be found at this site in case you are too lazy to leave the house and go by an actual store.

The site is a step up in quality from, though the two online stores are controlled by the same company. However, the jump in price from to this site is cushioned by the guarantees offers in case of the buyer’s dissatisfaction.

The free samples and color guarantees that the site gives to potential clients decreases the horrible possibility of buying an insanely expensive lip gloss online only to discover that the actual color is less than flattering and you don’t have any chance to return the product. I’ve been there, and that’s never fun – luckily, this site offers a way around the problem.

Lastly, there is, an online version of the famed beauty emporium that sells products from more than 265 lines. For those who can afford the store’s items, which include several lines of good products for men, both the store and its online counterpart are fun to explore, but this can still be true if you’re on a budget, which most college students are.

By visiting the Sephora stores themselves (the locations in Santa Monica and Hollywood have a particularly good selection), you can test out products and then try to create the look for around a tenth of the price; Sephora also offers its own line that is far less expensive than the upscale brands the store carries, and through ordering online, you can receive free products through promotional codes.

Send Lauren Robeson your favorite makeup tips and products at She loves that kind of stuff.