What's Your Beauty Buying Process?

Hey there! It's been awhile since I've written a post dedicated to beauty. Woops. Anyway...

How To Shop For Cosmetics - Leigh Clair

When I'm in the market for new cosmetics, I typically conduct some research before pulling the trigger. I guess I'm a little nuts- okay... I'm a lot nuts! But when it comes to cosmetics, I believe doing your homework is important (and only natural when manufacturing and selling them was your job.) 

But I want to hear from you guys! How do you shop for cosmetics? Do you take time to research and sample before you buy? How do you ultimately decide on a cosmetics purchase? Whose advice do you take stock in- friends, family, bloggers, magazines, etc.? I'm so curious!

Though I have no exact formula, I like to take a few things into consideration, which I'm sharing with you today (in no specific order):


Honest and unbiased thoughts from women (and men) from all over the world- I love reviews! I could surf Sephora's website until my eyes hurt (true story.) I admit, I am more likely to purchase a product with four or more stars- how about you? Sephora also has a lot of great filters to help you efficiently sort reviews, my favorites being photo and video reviews. Just select from the 'sort by' drop down menu and voila.

What other sites do you rely on for honest and trustworthy reviews? Do you read entire reviews or rely on stars? 


As a blogger, I look to others who write about their experiences with beauty products and tools. Though, I tend to shy away from products featured in sponsored posts. I think it's easy for readers to sniff out the fishiness of a not-so-honest plug. I myself only share stellar products that have changed my life (see the Dossier for my faves.) 

What are some of your go-to blogs for reviews? I love Byrdie and Goop but would love to add to my reading list of beauty blogs. 


Not only can you get to know a brand better, but you can interact, ask questions and best of all, be privy to contests and promotions! Case in point: I have won two skincare contests thus far- one from Nude Skincare (via Instagram) and another from Tata Harper (via Pinterest.) I've won over $1,000(!) in free beauty products. All you have to do is stay up to date- it's that easy! And I don't know about you but free products are the best products to try. 

What beauty brands do you love to follow? Some of my faves include EcoDiva, One Love Organics, Nude Skincare, Tata Harper, and Beautycounter


For me, ingredients are one of the most important factors in decision making. If you haven't used the Skin Deep Database, I'll fill you in: It's basically a rating system for cosmetics based on how hazardous or safe they are. You can search individual ingredients, brands, or specific products.

I *strive* to purchase products with an EWG rating of 2 or lower. The lower the rating, the safer the product (it ranges from 0-10.) With that said, I am willing to bend my 'safe cosmetics ideals' from time to time (ahem, Oribe, I love you because your products do what they say they'll do!) It's all about balance.

Are you familiar with Skin Deep? How important is the safety of a product to you? 


After selling natural cosmetics, one of my biggest takeaways is that sampling is crucial. Not only do people love trying things for free, but samples can help us make smarter, better decisions. Cosmetics can be pricy! Another benefit of sampling is that it decreases the risk for returning a product after purchasing and increases the likelihood of a sale in the future. It's a no brainer for the consumer and the company. 

Do you ask for samples? I used to be afraid but trust me, a company would rather you try something for free than have you unhappy with your purchase/return a product and put a dent in their profit.  

So, if you couldn't already tell, I take my time learning and sampling before I make a beauty purchase. I enjoy the process and don't mind being my own personal guinea pig- I consider it fun. What about you?