It seems as though a new beauty brand pops up every week and I’m going to be honest: It can be hard to keep up with the dizzying number of options lately.
Luckily, online retailers are keeping up with the beauty avalanche to offer us a variety of destinations for nearly every beauty need. Whether you shop solely for clean beauty, or you have specific requirements for skincare, there’s an online beauty retailer for you.
We tapped several professional makeup artists who specialize across the beauty spectrum to gain insider knowledge on the best places to shop for makeup online. We all love the bright lights of Sephora, yet Violet Grey, a relative newcomer, boasts an editorial aesthetic that a visually-driven shopper may love. And those who want to experience all the latest TikTok trends firsthand may have better luck with Shopbop’s beauty collection, while K-beauty diehards live for Soko Glam.
There probably aren’t many of you who are unfamiliar with Sephora. The brand’s reputation for providing a large selection of makeup brands, skincare products, perfumes, and tools and devices have solidified its position as a go-to one-stop beauty shop..
Plus, as an international brand, they make beauty easily accessible for people around the world. Take makeup artist Samira Manss, who finds most of her products while perusing their online assortment all the way from Germany.
They also offer special perks to Beauty Insider members, including curbside pickup, same day delivery, and deals for your birthday.
Shipping Policy: Free for Beauty Insiders while non-members receive free shipping with a $50+ purchase | Best for: Wide variety of beauty products | Price Range: $5 – $400
Many of us in the beauty world have been anxiously awaiting the launch of Moda’s beauty vertical, and we’re thrilled to say the wait is over. Former magazine beauty director, Jessica Matlin, is responsible for curating the site’s best-in-class selection across makeup, hair- and skincare, along with tools and devices, making it the hot new retailer for beauty lovers everywhere.
According to the brand, Matlin has “seen, tried, and written about thousands” of beauty products over the years, so you can trust that her recommendations come with extensive knowledge and an editor’s eye. You’ll be met with a list of exclusive brands like Ever Amid, Monika Blunder, and Violette_Fr, making this a great resource to familiarize yourself with some of the buzzy new brands on the beauty scene.
Shipping Policy: $10 for standard shipping | Best for: Luxury products | Price Range: $18 – $500
Credo Beauty is the go-to spot for all things clean and sustainable.
“As someone who tries to only buy cruelty-free, I know that’s one of their criteria [when selecting which beauty brands to sell],” says influencer and former makeup artist, Claire Marshall.
Credo vets every brand for sustainability, safety (free of chemicals that can be harmful), and ingredients, so that you don’t need to. By only offering brands that abide by their Credo Clean Standard, you’re guaranteed to shop an assortment that is developed ethically.
Another cool element? “You can take your empties back to their store to be recycled,” says Marshall. Unfortunately this does require you to physically visit one of their locations, and you won’t be able to send via mail.
And of course, there is a generous rewards system as well, where you can rack up points everytime you shop and redeem a free gift in the end.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders $50+ | Best for: Clean beauty products | Price Range: $9 – $125
Violet Grey takes an editorial approach to beauty. Their ultra curated shop showcases some of the most sought-after brands in Hollywood.
In order for a brand to be sold at the retailer, it must pass their “Violet Code,” meaning the brand’s products have been personally recommended by one of the beauty industry’s top hairstylists, makeup artists, dermatologists or experts. It also doesn’t hurt that most of the products at Violet Grey look impossibly chic and sophisticated on a bathroom vanity for your next #shelfie.
What’s more,if you peruse their blog, the Violet Files, you’ll be met with a deep dive into specific products, ingredients, and why celebs are obsessed. Even the pros themselves give it a read: “It‘s important for me to get informed about the latest bestsellers and new products on the market,” says Manss.
Shipping Policy: Free with orders $50+ | Best for: Luxury, expert-approved picks | Price Range: $20 – $400
While you may know Revolve for their fashion stylings, don’t sleep on their beauty category.
You can find everything here, from makeup brands like Pat McGrath to skincare saviors Summer Fridays and Osea. Their massive beauty directory reads like a who’s who of all our favorite brands, as well as plenty of up and coming newbies.You can shop by concern for hair and skincare, or by their curated collections, including sections devoted to clean beauty, sleep hygiene, and wellness essentials. The real kicker, however, is that they offer free standard two-day shipping within the United States.
Shipping Policy: Free two day shipping | Best for: Trendy products and brands | Price Range: $10 – $200
To search for the latest up and coming beauty brands, look no further than Shopbop. While you’ll have to look elsewhere for tried-and-true beauty staples, like NARS or MAC, you’ll find nearly every trendy product that has recently gone viral on TikTok or Instagram.
The best part, however, is that Shopbop’s site allows you to hyper-focus your search for products. Aside from the usual categories like “skin concern” or “A – Z brands,” products are further organized by specific ingredient preferences, like cruelty-free, fragrance-free or paraben-free, product formula including balm, bar, gel, and gloss, or hair type, just to name a few.
If you’re a shopper looking for a specific feature or quality, Shopbop makes your shopping experience a breeze.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping and returns | Best for: Trending and solution-oriented skincare products | Price Range: $25 – $300
As the name might suggest, Dermstore was originally founded by a board-certified dermatologist with a focus on providing the best skincare products available. It has since expanded to include makeup, fragrance, and hair care as well, but the founder’s underlying promise to provide good-for-you products remains the same.
Not only does Dermstore offer one of the widest selections of skincare out there (there’s more than 1,300 options just for “vitamin C”), they also prioritize shopper education by providing a comprehensive overview of each product, including the benefits it provides and a list of its key ingredients, as well as how to use it, making it a great place for beauty beginners to shop.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders $50+ | Best for: Skincare, beauty beginners | Price Range: $20 – $300
Similar to Sephora, Ulta is a well-known, mega beauty retailer. You’ll find a lot of celebrity-founded brands, like Fenty (and perfumes by Ariana Grande or Billie Eilish), as well as drugstore favorites, like Maybelline, plus a smattering of high-end collections from Chanel and Dior.
In addition to their stellar site online, they also have brick and mortar locations across the U.S., where they offer beauty services and even piercings, in addition to a traditional shopping experience.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders $35+ | Best for: Everyday favorites with high/low options | Price Range: $10 – $150
Soko Glam is the online destination to shop for the most popular skincare and makeup in Korea.
To learn the latest beauty trends out of Korea once required insider knowledge and an international plane ticket, but now can be accessed by all, courtesy of Soko Glam, founded by Charlotte and Dave Cho.
The site lets you browse their collection of more than 100 K-beauty brands by productor skin concern or typeIf it’s your first time diving into the world of Korean beauty and aren’t sure where to start, try giving their blog, The Klog, a read to help you navigate all the ins and outs of the category. Like many of our favorite beauty retailers, there’s a rewards system that will grant you access to exclusive offers and free samples as a loyalty member.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping orders on $35+ | Best for: Korean Beauty | Price Range: $5 – $105
Amazon offers a surprising – and growing! — number of authorized storefronts from some of the world’s most popular beauty brands, including Supergoop, Tatcha, and Dr. Barbara Sturm. With Amazon being Amazon, you can find almost all of the beauty brands you use on the regular, but with faster shipping and surprise sales.
While you might have trouble finding some of the newer or emerging brands, the tried-and-true options like L’Oreal, Olay, Neutrogena, CeraVe, Covergirl, e.l.f., and more, all reside right here. While perusing, you’ll also likely be met with tons of reviews, so don’t be shy about reading up on a specific product before you make a purchase (although if you do buy it, try it, and realize it’s not for you, Amazon’s generous return policy makes regrets a thing of the past).
Shipping Policy: Free for Prime members | Best for: Trusted brands and reading product reviews | Price Range: $5 – $150
Like a reliable older sister, you can find exactly what you need at Nordstrom, from luxury splurges to daily essentials. With a selection from more than 500 beauty brands, including designers like Gucci and YSL, and classics like MAC and Clinique, you’ll find fab options in a range of price points that fit every budget.
Almost every beauty product is accompanied by customer reviews so you can read all the insider details before making a purchase. Plus, you’ll get free shipping and returns on every order – no minimum spend required.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping and returns | Best for: Mid-to-high-end selection | Price Range: $5 – $250
Net-A-Porter is beloved by high-end fashionistas everywhere, and if you’re looking for that same kind of decadence for your beauty routine, you should start here.
Net-A-Porter is quick to spotlight the latest and greatest within the world of luxury beauty, whether it’s an influencer-backed device or a dermatologist-founded eye cream. You may be unfamiliar with some of the brands standing alongside staples like La Mer or NuFace, but rest assured – these newbies are going nowhere but up.
Net-A-Porter takes pride in their editorial approach to photography, making each product look special and luxurious, so you’ll enjoy browsing their curated collection perhaps just as much as trying a new product.
Shipping Policy: Free standard shipping | Best for: Luxury and expert-founded brands | Price Range: $30 – $900
Why Shop with Us
Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer for InStyle with two years of experience covering fashion, lifestyle, and beauty products. As someone who prefers to do as much research as possible before purchasing an item, she finds online shopping to be the best way to familiarize herself with what’s in the market, and thus knows exactly where to go for her specific needs. In order to write this article, she consulted well established make up artists Claire Marshall, Samira Manss, and Joy Adenuga, to learn where the industry’s leaders go to shop for makeup online.