Let’s be real for a second, during COVID, online shopping has become one of our best friends. Well, or our worst enemy when we are trying to save money. Not being able to go into stores sucked because I would see a lot of things trending online and I when I researched more about the products, I would end up wanting them. At least being able to order it online made it possible. It makes it great for people who are unable to shop in-person to still be able to get things but it also causes you to spend on things you might not need. I love buying skincare and beauty products so sometimes I have a hard time stopping myself. There are so many websites to choose from and they all provide different products. I have found it extremely helpful to have online shopping because I am able to send people gifts for birthdays or for whatever occasion might be happening. There always seems to be more deals and coupons which is awesome. Why would I want to go into a store when I can get more for less online, and it can be shipped to my house? Though, the wait for products can sometimes be lengthy, it just really depends on the product and how much you are willing to spend.
Amazon is one of the fastest deliverers that I’ve ever ordered from. Depending on the seller, sometimes the products take a little longer. The products I’ve had more difficultly with are Korean skin care products, but I’m not as surprised since other places I’ve ordered similar items from normally take longer. Amazon has deals of the day and normally has better prices compared to the actual company. For example, when I order Innisfree products from Yesstyle, Amazon normally has cheaper pricing and quicker shipping.
Amazon has so many options and most have many choices or colors. It makes it hard for people that are indecisive. I am one of those people that can’t make up their mind. Also, Amazon has a free trial of Prime shipping for I believe around three months for college students. Otherwise, you have to spend a certain amount to be able to qualify for free shipping. Shipping prices change depending on where the seller produces the product and how quickly you want it. Small businesses typically up their prices more than bigger companies. If you order a product through Amazon’s choice or that qualifies for Prime shipping, then you might be able to get a better price or possibly get it free if you spend enough. I’ve only had an issue with Amazon once, where my order didn’t come at all, but it was an extremely long time ago. I think Amazon is great for more immediate need.
I used to use the website, but I have switched over to the app. I find it very easy to use and it will show items related to the ones I click on. Most apps and websites do that type of marketing anyway. The only thing I dislike about the app, is the difficultly of choosing a credit card and address. Since I have shipped gifts to many different friends, I have a bunch of addresses saved. I also sometimes have gift cards or different debit cards I use to earn points. When it’s saved, sometimes it doesn’t always switch to the preferred address or card. Sometimes if I change one but the other one is correct, it will change the correct one to a wrong one. The biggest issue is when I use gift cards and then I need to use a card to pay the remaining balance. I’ve had it switch before that I only want to use a card and not the gift card. It works after a couple of tries but it can be somewhat frustrating.
I love the pricing of Forever 21’s clothes. Something that is really great about them is that you can normally use many coupons. Most websites only let you use one coupon. It’s great if Forever 21 is having different types of deals and you can use coupons for the different deals. For example, they have a coupon that can be used specifically on clearance items, while they also have a coupon that’s 15% off all of their items. Being able to use both can save a lot of money. I wouldn’t say that everything I’ve ever bought from them has been the best but for how cheap it is, I can’t really complain. My favorite thing to buy from them is actually their ankle socks. I love the different patterns and the different animals on them. They are really cheap if on sale online. Plus, who doesn’t like cute designs?! It’s a great way to add a little bit of spice to your outfits.
Anyway, one thing I will say is if you aren’t logged into your account on the app while shopping and you go to purchase whatever is in your cart, you may lose them. I had that happen to me recently and I was extremely frustrated because I had viewed so many items, I wasn’t even able to go to my history to try to find them. I had to re-search for them and some I wasn’t able to find again. I ended up getting different pieces instead, but it was upsetting that I had spent so much time looking through their selection. They don’t have an option to buy things as a guest, which most sites don’t because they want you to be able to track your order. It’s great to have an account that tells you what you ordered, the tracking for it and anything else you may need as your order arrives.
Besides that, I would say the app is generally simple and manageable to navigate. So, if you are looking for cheaper clothing, this is a pretty great choice. The only downside is that shipping takes a little bit longer. If you need something sooner rather than later, this might not be the best site.
I’ve only ordered from Ulta a couple of times but the items they have online are slightly different then their in-store products. Most of the items in store can be purchased online but not always. It’s nice that they do have different merchandise online because sometimes they have better deals or are more likely to have sales or coupons. Ulta doesn’t really have many coupons and the major ones only happen a few times a year, so it’s nice to be able to sometimes save money on more expensive brands.
Shipping is decently reasonable, but I honestly haven’t ordered enough to know how their prices range. Another point to mention is that stores like Ulta and Forever 21 will offer free shipping if you ship it to a store near you. I have done that for both Ulta and Forever 21. All you have to do is show either a barcode or an email confirmation and then they give you your purchase. I live close to both of those stores so it’s not as big of a deal but for some people it might be more difficult, which leads to them having to pay for shipping if their order doesn’t reach the free shipping amount.
I think the app is easy to use and their items are categorized. Something that is really nice is they have a lot of information about which products are a good starting point. They also help you figure out what type of skin you have in order to find skin care that will help you satisfy your goals or needs. They have quizzes you can take to personalize the experience. They have a foundation, eyelash, haircare and skincare quiz. So, if you need more assistance about what to get or what brands to research, taking those quizzes will be extremely helpful and make shopping a lot easier and faster. When I first started my skincare routine, I took many quizzes and watched a ton of Youtube videos to figure out what my skincare goals should be and to also learn more about my skin type. Most people don’t have a lot of information about those types of things, so it’s great that Ulta has those tools available.
Something that I think is really nice about Ulta is that they have a page on their app dedicated to Black-owned Brands. After all of the violence that happened during COVID, many people and companies worked really hard to promote Black people’s work. Ulta has continued to have this page up even after most people slowly stopped promoting. It’s really nice that they are representing different communities and have so many different models to represent all people.
The last online website I want to share is Yesstyle. This website has Asian skincare, fashion, makeup and other products from Asian countries. It allows people that aren’t able to buy products, for example, from Korea, online. It’s a great website to be able to purchase international products. I believe that Korean skincare is a lot safer and has better ingredients than American skincare. Although there are American brands that are very great, I personally haven’t had the best results with them.
Yesstyle is very much like Forever 21 when you compare the quality of their clothing. I’ve had many issues with Yesstyle and their clothes. Also, most of the time you can’t return or if you can, it’s so complicated of a process that I just don’t find it worth it. I normally just give my friends the things that don’t fit me since they normally run smaller. I will say though that the customers on their website are so amazing about giving reviews and their measurement so that you have something to base it off of. It’s normally why I buy clothes on their website. Most of the time I just buy t-shirts or tank tops to stay safe. A few times I’ve bought fancier shirts and I haven’t always had the best of luck. I never know what will fit which makes it interesting I suppose, but sucks when you can’t always return things.
I will say though that it’s really nice when I see a product I’m considering purchasing and they have it on their website since Amazon doesn’t always have everything. There are items that can be really hard to find, and they are a lot cheaper than even Amazon and most of the time Amazon is on the lower end for pricing. For Yesstyle, they have different benefits of membership depending on how much money you spend. When you make purchases, you earn Style Bucks. These bucks go towards your level of membership. There is bronze, silver and gold. You get a certain percentage off of all items and different amounts of coupons. I’m a gold member so I get 10% everything and during the month of my birthday, I get 12%. Like I’ve mentioned before, they give different amounts of coupons (with different values as well) depending on your level of membership.
Sometimes the app crashes while I’m on it which is extremely annoying because then I have to find the thing I wanted again. They always have deals or clearance items plus if you have a membership, you get the additional money off. I’ve never had any issues with their skincare or makeup products. It’s only ever been with the clothes. Since their warehouse is in Hong Kong, shipping takes a while. It can be three or four weeks before it will come. I find it worth the wait because I’m not able to get these products anywhere anyway. Most of the skincare stuff is decently priced. Eye cream and moisturizer can be costly, but I don’t think it really matters where you get it from.