Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher Review, Photos, Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher (£30.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a medium, peachy brown with a satin finish and warm undertones–when blended together. The outer shade is a lighter, peachy-beige with a pearly sheen, while the interior shade is a muted, rosy brown with a mostly matte finish. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is browner. NARS Luster (P, $29.00) is warmer, more golden, more shimmery. NARS Gina (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, slightly warmer. MAC Seasonal Appeal (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Margin (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, rosier. MAC Barefaced (LE, $21.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The texture is very, very finely-milled, smooth, and silky to the touch.  The center shade was just slightly powdery, but the blush didn’t look powdery at all once applied to the skin; in fact, the powder came together and blended beautifully against the skin.  Both shades individually had good color payoff, and the pigment was still rather buildable on–it could be applied lightly, more normally (medium coverage), or heavily.  The blush wore just over seven hours on me, and it was noticeably faded and a little patchy after eight hours of wear on me.  I liked it, and the texture is really, really lovely, but I wish the wear was a bit longer.  The compact was also surprisingly lightweight–could use a bit more heft to feel like a luxe product.

According to the brand, the product is supposed to be applied in two steps, where you apply the outer shade first across along the cheek bone (“to structure the face”), and then apply the interior shade to the apples of cheeks. I wish the compact was split in the middle or horizontally, because it’s not as practical to use them separately as it is together, and to a degree, they are really layered with the two-step technique, but the outer shade is meant to more defining, while the center shade does more of the blushing, I suppose. You will likely get a little bit of both on your brush, though, unless you use smaller-than-average blush brushes.

Note on purchasing: I bought mine at Selfridges online, and I will say that it took almost two weeks for my order to clear customs, where I was on the phone with DHL almost every other business day for ten to twenty minutes (probably forty minutes for the first call). Selfridges claimed they’d handle all customs paperwork and the like, but I can’t say that was my experience.  I had to give a lot of very, very private information to DHL/FDA as well as prepare documents to show packaging, ingredients, etc. DHL was polite, but it was extremely time-consuming and it took so long that even if it didn’t clear, I’d be out of luck because I’d miss the date to return to sender and it would have been destroyed.  I was also disappointed that Selfridges put a couple of sheets of tissue paper around all the products and that’s it–and so the products had a lot of room to shift around. For an international package, I’d expect more protection–I’m just glad nothing broke.  I don’t know if I would ever order internationally again for cosmetics from Selfridges as a result of my experience, so just a heads up.  Hopefully we’ll see the line here in the states next year.

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher (outer)

Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury First Love Cheek to Chic Blusher (inner)


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Kate Avatar

I have to say that my experiences with DHL, both professionally and personally, have been almost uniformly terrible. They’re almost the only courier used in Europe, but their service in North America seems fraught with problems and packages shipped via DHL seem to be flagged by customs more often than from any other courier, which leads me to believe that they either aren’t processing the paperwork properly themselves or aren’t adequately advising their clients what information they need to provide.

Christine Avatar

Yeah, Selfridges just made it sound like, “Don’t you worry, we handle customs, duties, taxes, blah blah blah,” so I was like, cool deal. For £25 to ship, they could have at least provided tear sheets or ingredient lists or whatever customs/FDA would normally require. Or you know, return one of DHL’s calls. I’m still chafing over the lack of bubble wrap/packaging, though, lol. I opened the box and saw nothing protecting it but yellow tissue paper and held my breath.

Christine Avatar

DHL is THE most terrible deliverer in Europe, too. They’ll leave valuable packages at your doormat in multi-party houses!! They’re the only deliverer to do that. For a short time, Asos delivered with them. I had 2 parcels with value over 200 EUR each disappear in 2 months’ time. I’d photographed every Asos package that was left on my doormat before, and Asos was great in refunding me (of course it should not have been a problem viewing the deliverer had no signature anyway..). Shortly afterwards, Asos stopped working with DHL. Who would’ve guessed.

Christine, why a B? your review does not seem to say anything negative?

Christine Avatar

Hey Christine,

Wear was a big issue: “The blush wore just over seven hours on me, and it was noticeably faded and a little patchy after eight hours of wear on me.” I average around eight hours of wear – maybe with a little fading, but patchiness isn’t something I see that often.

The other thing is the way the product is sectioned, I really don’t find the two-step technique to be as fluid as it seems so applying it the way you’re supposed to isn’t quite as easy. The pigment (not fully pigmented) and texture (slightly powdery) were good, just not perfect 🙂

Wwendalynne Avatar

Rolling my eyes in complete agreement. DHL is the absolute worst here in Canada as well. They can never find my address despite a perfectly valid postal code and countless times the dimwit drivers try to deliver my packages to my barn.. seriously.. which always results in a missed delivery and subsequent re-direct.

They royally scrooed up a shipment from Rouge Bunny Rouge this summer and it took 3 weeks, after multiple shipping attempts to the wrong address, mutliple telephone calls, to get them back on track to deliver a package containing 2 tubes of mascara.

I try to avoid shopping with on-line retailers who deal exclusively with DHL. Apparently there are plans to have the Charolette Tilbury website eventually offer international shipping and maybe there will be better luck or at least other options for shipping..

p.s. Christine: blush looks lovely on you, but this one really reminds me of NARS Gina…but not at all in the weird

MJ Avatar

I almost placed an order with Selfridges yesterday for some Tilbury and Suqqu items, but then thought better of it. I’m just going to have to wait for it to come to The States or plan a trip to London. Much rather do the latter!

Christine Avatar

Big thing I’d recommend is being prepared, LOL! They wouldn’t take links, so I had to screen shot about 30 pages off of Charlotte Tilbury’s website and luckily that was enough to get through – but it took awhile before we go to the point where they were going to accept it!

Elyse Avatar

I love simple packaging like that! It’s a very cute shade, but I already have a few similar ones, so I think I’ll skip it.

Sorry to hear about the customs debacle! Yikes! I’ll be sure to steer clear of that retailer, since I’m also in the states. Importing makeup can really be a hassle!

xamyx Avatar

I’ve ordered from the UK twice (once on ebay, once through a small online retailer), and both came in less than a week. I do believe both were through USPS.

aykhan Avatar

It’s odd that you had so much trouble with customs. I’ve had stuff (mostly yarn) shipped from the UK costing much more than £30 without any customs issues. I was dealing with small businesses, and as far as I can remember, the shipments were all through Royal Mail and then USPS.

Thank you for the effort you put in to find and review products!

Christine Avatar

Going through Royal Mail/USPS is definitely different (and in my experience, easier) than if you’re going through a larger company like FedEx, UPS, or DHL! I’ve had various things arrive that way (not always makeup, though I’ve ordered Sleek via Amazon, which came from UK through Royal Mail and then onto USPS). I haven’t had issues with FedEx international but I have never ordered something that way (just have received a few things from Illamasqua’s PR department that way).

Jeanatte Avatar

Wow.. This looks amazing on you Christine! That’s unfortunate about your experience. As much as I love this and would want to order this beautiful product, I would hate to see something happen to it in transit.

I’m curious Christine, have you tried any Korean products or plan to?

Zahra Avatar

That sounds like a ridiculous amount of effort! Thank you south for your review however! If you do need anything from the uk that isn’t readily available, please let me know, I would be more than happy to help! I know how bad it is trying to order internationally, unfortunately we don’t have sephora 🙁 x

Christine Avatar

Thank you so much for the offer, Zahra! 🙂 A friend of a friend was going to do it, but Selfridges takes out VAT when it’s just under like ~230 pounds (anything over, and VAT was taken out and then taxes/duties were added, so it was a wash), but I’m not sure the savings was worth it after all, lol!

Nichole Avatar

My SUQQU items took two weeks as well. I received a couple of auto-voicemails from DHL, but didn’t have to talk to anyone. My guess in the delay through customs was their brow pen, but I didn’t pick up any other make up items but brushes. I wasn’t interested in the Charlotte Tilbury line.

femputer Avatar

There’s a girl on youtube, her username is tarababyz, and she ordered a bunch of Charlotte Tilbury stuff from Selfridges as well. She reported the same wrapped in tissue paper packaging. Only her blushes were shattered and inexplicably had water damage as if the package had been dunked. She was so cool about it but I would’ve been fuming. As far as I know she still hasn’t been refunded and it’s been like a month. I’m -never- ordering from Selfridges.

Christine Avatar

Ouch – that is horrible! I get sent things in almost no packaging, and honestly, a lot of it does survive 100% intact. Not always – I have had broken bottles of polish (the worst) and various cracked or broken powders, but you’d be amazed at how much *does* arrive safe and sound with no packaging, LOL!

I was SUPER worried because the last thing I want to deal with it having to return products internationally.

xamyx Avatar

When I’ve ordered in the past from MAC, Sephora, & NARS *everything* was just wrapped in tissue. Luckily, everything was intact, but still-if I’m paying for shipping AND handling, I expect the additional cost apart from the actual shipping cost to be applied to proper shipping materials. None were international orders, but they were cross-country, which really isn’t that different. With NARS, at least the box was small, and extra tissue was bunched up to help buffer the products; MAC & Sephora, however, both send huuuge boxes, with no effort to fill any empty space.

Christine Avatar

My orders from MAC and Sephora have like… the entire box filled with TONS of tissue paper, which is fine when it’s actually used as a packing material (so it’s wrapped in a 4-6″ thick tissue layer), but this was maybe two sheets tightly wrapped – kind of like how a fancy department store will wrap a sweater and slip it into your bag.

Bengisu Avatar

A youtuber whose channel name is Tarababyz was also complaining that one or two of the powder type products were completely shattered when she got the delivery. And said Selfridges didn’t fund the actual value of the broken products back although they did give her a coupon or something. I mean the amount was far from what the broken products costed.
Thank God I’m not crazy about getting my hands on this and also my country has prohibition on purchasing cosmetics and especially make up products from the sites outside our country. Seems so sad that most of you go through the same things with this line.

Christine Avatar

I wonder how far her package went ground – mine went from UK to Los Angeles, then Los Angeles to San Francisco, so I wonder if hers had a longer journey. It doesn’t matter, though, because they should package the products better–for domestic and international–and there’s no excuse with the price on international shipping not to throw in some peanuts or bubble wrap or ANYTHING other than a flimsy piece of tissue paper!

Christina Avatar

Hi Christine,

Thanks for sharing your experience with Selfridges because I was going to put a couple of orders in for some Suqqu stuff. I recently had a bad experience ordering internationally where the company placed my eyeshadow palettes at the bottom of a box with only a tissue paper thrown on top. It took almost two weeks for my order to arrive (Fedex), and as soon as I opened the box, I knew just from looking at the packaging that I’d have broken palettes. True enough, both of my palettes had shattered eyeshadows. You’re lucky yours didn’t break! LOL!

I really want to try some of the lines that Selfridge carries, but I am definitely worried of running into customs problems!

Christine Avatar

Seems like I really did get lucky that nothing did break! Or at least, I haven’t seen anything yet. I haven’t opened everything (too busy with LE holiday stuff to really get into my Charlotte Tilbury order – just kind of photographing a couple things at a time when I’m doing other things), but I didn’t see a bunch of powder everywhere, lol!

NotSoFrivolous Avatar

Sorry to hear about the shipping issues. I’m in Canada and there are so many brands I want to get a hold of from the US or Europe but I just don’t because I don’t want to deal with customs. I would be furious that Selfridges didn’t return the calls. That’s just unacceptable customer service. Regardless, I’m glad that your products weren’t broken at least.

Marina Avatar

Hi Christine,

I’m so pleased you’re reviewing this, there was a huge anticipation for Charlote Tilbury’s line over here in the UK but so far I haven’t really seen a lot of bloggers reviewing a lot of the products. I bought a couple of items from the line (The Golden Goddess eyeshadow quad and Colour Chameleon eyeshadow stick) and I have to say that I was expecting a little more on both the quality of the products as well as the packaging. It’s marketed as a luxury brand, so the quality should follow right?
Thanks very much for the review!

Lulle Avatar

My golden rule when shipping/receiving stuff internationally is: regular post only! Courier shipments seem to be inspected almost systematically by customs, while packages in regular mail almost always make it through without being stopped. If your package is sent from and to a developed country, it usually works perfectly fine.
I’ve sent a lot of stuff from France to the US when I moved here (including some of my own makeup, I just couldn’t take my whole house in a plane!), never had a problem, and the packages were making it within about 7 business days in general (to the West coast).
On the other hand, I remember ordering a pair of jeans from Lucky Brand to France which came through UPS, and the amount I paid in customs tax was higher than the price of the jeans :/

This is a pretty product but definitely not worth the hassle!

Lora Avatar

Thanks for sharing your story Christine, I was planning a Selfridges order myself but I think I’ll cancel that thought (AND save some $$$!). However, I must urge you not to give up on international orders. More than half of my (shamefully huge) makeup collection is purchased from Asia, from various retailers and ebay sellers, and they’ve always come to me not only wrapped in tons of bubble wrap but taped to it as well (and I usually buy from ebay sellers with free or super cheap $2 shipping)! I guess Selfridges is just a bad example, and I hope you have better luck in the future with international orders should you choose to give them another go. =)

Chelle Avatar

Here, here, on DHL being absolutely abysmal. I used them (not by choice, but it’s what uses to ship out international products) and the little bastards made one attempt to deliver my package then sent it back to the sender without notifying me via call, e-mail or packing slip. I had to find out for myself via their web site (which, I’ll also add, only seems to get updated three days AFTER a package has checked into a location) only to find that the package was already being whisked back to the US! After multiple calls (various of which operators told me that “oh no, that’s ANOTHER area of DHL, we can’t help you here!”) I finally got through only for them to tell me there was nothing they could do.


Anne-Sophie Savard Avatar

Yeah I had a very similar problem with DHL. I’m from Canada and it took more than one month to get my order. I ordered from iHerb . com (real techniques brushes). I paid the shipping fees too and thought that everything would be alright. I waited and waited… one day I went online and saw that my package was kept at a dhl location. I sent an email to DHL and the next day, they left me a message on my voicemail saying I had to pay custom fees. I called them back to the 1-800 number, nobody knew what I was talking about, they said my package was at a location, I called them, they said no, it’s not here… Finally (after many calls), one employee of another DHL location gave me the personal number of the lady that initially called me. I left 3 messages on her voicemail (over a week, called her every other day). She didn’t call me back! But one day, luckily, she answered her phone and I was able to know how much to pay for customs and how to pay the fees.

Its the worst experience I’ve ever had with online orders. Royal Mail shipping was much faster and less complicated. I will definitely take a look at which company ships the order to me the next time I order something online.

Ryou Avatar

Ugh, I was considering ordering some Real Technique brushes from iHerb as well (I’m in Australia). But now I’m worried it would be too much hassle, especially with Australia’s rather militant customs (Airport customs are trained to confiscate teas if it has citrus peel in it, for instance).

The way DHL handled your situation was just too unprofessional, IMO. I have seen the very corrupt Indonesian customs doing that, but it’s not something I’d expect from a commercial freight company in a developed country.

Sue Avatar

DHL is the worst with international shipping. I ordered sunglasses from the UK (to the US) and did not receive them because DHL regarded the sunglasses as medical equipment and asked for a lot of information I could not obtain. They wanted to know about drop tests and other technical aspects of the plastic. I kept explaining that the sunglasses were not medical devices, to no avail. Ultimately, they were returned to the UK (hopefully not destroyed!)
With DHL’s poor record, it’s no wonder they stopped shipping things within the US back in 2008.

Emi Avatar

It sounds like a frustrating experience, but I hope you don’t let it put you off from ordering internationally (though I can certainly understand if you decide not to order from Selfriges / anyone who uses DHL!). I order makeup internationally fairly frequently, and I’ve never had a problem. I prefer to order 2-3 items at a time (so it’s a small package and not too valuable) – did you have a large order?

I always prefer my packages to be delivered by USPS and I usually just have it shipped via regular mail – no tracking – but it’s sometimes possible to have a tracking number, which is even better.

Ryou Avatar

So sorry of your experience! It’s happened to me back in Indonesia (where customs SO corrupt they are KNOWN to hold your package hostage for bribe money even if its value is well under the taxable limit), but I’ve had the spouse order some things from overseas to be shipped to the US and we never have problems. Then again, we only ever got anything shipped via DHL once or twice, and both were for relatively small orders (around $100 or so). It’s so silly to pack an international package so lazily, though, especially since you paid a hefty price for shipping.

If you ever reconsider your stance on ordering make-up from overseas, all I’d say is avoid DHL as much as you can, and try to stick to slightly smaller retailers vs large (so Illamasqua website vs Selfridges or Debenhams, for example, although I’ve never had any problems with ASOS). I find that customs tend to be less strict on smaller/cheaper orders as well.

Christine Avatar

Yeah, unfortunately, Charlotte Tilbury was only available to order online via Selfridges’ (her website doesn’t!). I’m expecting to come to the U.S. next year sometime, but I don’t know when, so I figured maybe I’d do a little early reviewing! Didn’t think it was going to be quite so much trouble!

Lilac Avatar

Wow, what a mad story about the shipping! In Germany, DHL is the most reliable postal service, compared to smaller private delivery companies. We have UPS, too, but they are not that big and I think they mainly cater to business customers. However, also with DHL I heard stories of “leaving parcels on the doormat”-kind, though in fact they have to obtain a signature from the recipient for everything. So I wonder who signed in those cases.

I used to order nailpolish from the US a few times (back then when they did not sell Essie and others in Germany, or only for triple the price), which went via USPS and then regular German mail, and I had to go to the customs office in my area each time and unpack them in front of the customs’ people. Always got pretty mad looks! 😀 The unpacking is because they are not allowed to open the parcels, but they have to check that the content is legal and also one has to pay customs fee. I have to drive out to the customs almost every time I order something from the US, even if it is under the limit for paying any fees at all.

About the packaging materials (not) included by the stores, that’s the same here. Douglas always sends things with some wisps of tissue paper (but more for decorative purposes) and everything moves in the box. Miraculously, except for one time nothing ever broke. The exception was a MAC Vera powder (with the flowers!), which of course was sold out then, and I returned the broken one for refund.
Recently I got a parcel from Sephora France (where they have NARS and MUFE, which is not sold in Germany) and within the box also things were only wrapped very, very loosely. Luckily it was intact but I don’t get their aversion to bubble wrap!

Christine Avatar

I’m glad most of your packages have been all right, Lilac! Most retailers (domestic) seem to ship with enough packaging materials, though I do get press offices that send things with almost no protection, and I’m always surprised at how few things arrive broken!

Jenn H. Avatar

I buy a few things online, predominately my swim suits: Australia and UK and most of them are sent via AusPost (Australia) or Royal Mail (UK). I wonder if I can ask them to use Royal Mail to try to ship it. It should be cheaper.
At least I also learned what NOT to use for postal services, usually I would use USPS for sending my items out. (usually in a padded bag) Neiman used so much bubble wrap on my packages it wasn’t even funny.
eBay here I come.

Belle Avatar

I am really disappointed by the design of this blush, it seems so impractical!

On a different note, I have ordered several times from Harrods, all the way to Australia and have ALWAYS been impressed with the speed of the order, and how well everything has been packed. I have never had any issues except for some things not being available to ship to Aus. If you want to give international another go, I really recommend them.

Julia Avatar

I was very excited about her line, but it seems quite disappointing.

Oh and for anyone wondering, you can also buy the line from Net a Porter, but it’s based here in Australia. So I’m not sure what the postage is for international.

sierrablue Avatar

Now that I think of it, I had the same thought when I opened a package from Selfridges, I ordered the Shu Uemura Holiday Princess eyeshadow palette and really dreaded opening the inner packaging of the palette cause all they used was tissue paper in a too large box. The order did however arrive within 2 days to Germany…and unharmed, phew.

For the lady that wants to order Suqqu to the US (I lived there until recently), use other sites like Imomoko, they have a warehouse in Cali I think. Ordered there before and everything was packaged neatly and no hassle with customs.

I will have to check out Tilbury stuff when I get a chance to get away for a weekend to London. I am still curious to try some things.

Emma Avatar

Please please please review more of Charlotte Tilbury’s products! Especially the Film Star Bronze and Glow and their eyeshadow pens. I’m very interested in trying out her products but like always, I never buy anything without checking with first( honestly, I spent too much time refreshing than it’s healthy)

Malia Avatar

What a horrible experience. I have no choice but to order internationally but mine usually come bubble wrapped at least. That is really expensive shipping for that mess!

donna Avatar

I have read on MUA a few people ordering from Selfridges Suqqu and it arrived in less than a week to the US. Quite a few took that as a good sign and going to order.

I am in the UK and ordered Suqqu Himesango on the Sunday it arrived on the Tuesday, via Royal Mail. Wrapped in tissue paper and some more tissue in the box. But Suqqu packaging is pretty sturdy, or my first thought would have been, ‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ Other UK companies use the cushion balls or bubble wrap. I have ordered from Harrods,John Lewis,House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols. I have had ebay stuff wrapped better.

Romy Avatar

Christine, definitely order internationally again but just NOT from Selfridges! I watched Tarababyz’s Charlotte Tilbury haul video the other week and she also ordered internationally from Selfridges and two of her items ARRIVED BROKEN/SMASHED, can you believe it? !!!!
And Selfridges refused to pay her back/refund her/help her out about it at all – absolutely disgusting.
I live in the UK and I’ve ordered online from them before and it’s been absolutely fine, but if anyone out there is considering ordering from Selfridges internationally DON’T DO IT!!!!

On another note, the blush does look gorgeous! I have Sunbasque by MAC and it does look very similar to me, possibly another dupe?

Natalie Avatar

Net-a-Porter stocks the Charlotte Tilbury line and everything I’ve ever ordered from them has been exquisitely packaged. I think they do use DHL though unfortunately.

Claire Avatar

Christine, I WISH I would have came here earlier. My package of CT products were held at custom in LA and I was asked by DHL to provide lots of information about the products. Do you mind letting me know what information you include in the documentation (of course, minus all your personal information).

The DHL requires the following:
* Statement of intended use (is this just stating as blush, lipstick, etc?)
* Manufacturer (which I cannot find from CT’s website nor Selfridges)
* Product labeling (I don’t even know what this means, is this just the name of the product?)
* List of ingredients (which I can find from CT’s website)

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing this. Thanks, Christine, for your consideration!

Christine Avatar

Hey Claire,

I sent them a PDF with screen shots from Charlotte Tilbury’s website – I gave them a screen shot of the product itself (each shade), a screen shot of the ingredients’ screen. The statement of intended use, I assume, for you would be personal use – I think the big thing is they want to make sure it’s staying with your… if it’s being distributed/resold I imagine there is more to the process. The manufacturer I would presume is Charlotte Tilbury.

Claire Avatar

Thanks, Christine!! I will update my experience here for the benefit of everyone, in case anyone out there are in the same situation.

I do regretted that Selfridges do not take care of this. It is specifically stated on their International Shipping FAQ that, “Selfridges and our delivery partner aim to handle all customs documentation and formalities,…” I’m not a lawyer, but I think it should be evident from the above statement that “all customs documentation” includes all the necessary information to clear custom.

Thanks again, Christine.

Christine Avatar

I agree, Claire – that was part of the reason I was like, “okay, cool, they know what they’re doing and if anything goes wrong, they’ll take care of it!” I figured they’d send along documentation about ingredients, etc. or whatever was necessary – I mean they clearly know some things can’t be shipped (like nail polish), so it’s a bummer.

Claire Avatar

Hi Christine,

It’s Claire again. I promised that I will share my experience to your reader and here goes. Please edit as you see fit.

I contacted DHL last week and had about 30 minutes of phone conversation with DHL agent, who I think is very PROFESSIONAL and courteous throughout. From my conversation, I discovered it is actually Selfridges that did not hold their end of the bargain. DHL merely act as shipping company and it is the task of the importer (i.e. buyer, i.e. me) and exporter (i.e. Selfridges) to provide all the documentation necessary to clear customs. Now, provided that I am a customer (not an actual commercial importer) and have no access to the actual product before importing, also by noting Selfridges’ own policy “Selfridges and our delivery partner aim to handle all customs documentation and formalities,…” which are stated on their FAQ, Selfridges should have provided every document necessary to clear customs. DHL merely act as an intermediary between U.S. Custom, FDA and the importer/exporter.

I must give DHL a thumb-up. The agent that I was working with was very courteous throughout (despite my initial annoyed comments) and he kept me updated throughout the process via phone call and emails. I thought for what they have to go through (i.e. trying to hunt down information from exporters/importers) it was really not their responsibility to have a package cleared the custom.. well, maybe it is part of their responsibility, but really, they could have sent it back to Selfridges citing insufficient documentation and that package will never arrived here.

Finally, there is a piece of personal information that will be required to cleared the package through custom, and that is your SSN. This is indeed VERY ODD, but the DHL agent again explained that U.S. Custom needs SSN as part of tax identification. In lieu of SSN, you can submit tax identification number (such as in corporation, they usually have different TIN) if you have one, to the U.S. Custom. So, if you do not want to surrender one, and have an alternate number as your tax identification, you can submit that instead.

Given all these headaches, I probably would NOT order from Selfridges anymore until the straighten up all the necessary documentations for shipping abroad. I would imagine U.S. is a big market for them and I’m sure sooner or later they will have to take care of this problem.

Thank you, Christine, for sharing your experience about Selfridges shopping here. Glad I found this community where we all can exchange experiences along with makeup reviews.

Claire Avatar

Yep, my package cleared custom in a matter of ONE day. Sorry for the caps, but that goes to show the length that this DHL agent took to make sure my package was pushed through. He was on the phone with me 8 AM PST, right when the office was open, and he called back around 10 AM when my package has been re-submitted for clearance in the custom. He really didn’t have to make all those phone calls, but he did. This was all done last Friday. Yes, the Friday when someone could just postpone it for the weekend. I couldn’t be more pleased.

And thanks to YOU, Christine, for sharing with me about the documentations that I needed. Apparently, it was sufficient! Glad to have found your post here.

Finally, I think it worths always to be nice and courteous to all our carriers. It helps to remember that they are just doing their jobs delivering/as a mediary. When something goes wrong, the tendency is to blame, but really, with a little bit of elbow grease & cooperation, it now became just a slight annoyance.

Sorry for all the ramblings 🙂

Helena Avatar

Oh God, DHL. My dad has to use with them when dealing with his mom’s documents, and the back and forth between California and Venezuela is kind of ridiculous. To their credit though, mi mamama isn’t so good with providing correct information after her stroke, and the packages DO show up eventually despite paperwork errors. And it’s kind of funny when the delivery guy is like, “Um, is this the right address…?” Ha ha ha.

windycityamy Avatar

I ordered a couple of the eyeshadow quads on line yesterday for shipment to Chicago. I will keep you posted as to how it goes. I’ve ordered online for international shipment before and it was a very similar process. So far, nothing to divulge with the exception of filling out the typical cc information and ship to address.

We will see

tzwiggy Avatar

All I ever hear about DHL are complaints and negativity. I don’t get that at all! I’ve been using them for about 6 years now, about two packages every month shipped from the US to Norway (large and HEAVY packages valued at more than $1000). It takes less than 48 hours from Florida to my door. They always call if I’m not at home and we make an appointment for delivery. Nothing have ever been lost, shipped to the wrong place or left with someone else. It’s basically the only courier I’ve never had any trouble with. USPS takes 3 weeks (even the fastest shipping). UPS and Fedex don’t let me know that they’ve tried to deliver the package and I have to call them to figure out where it is. Norwegian customs is a real PITA in general (2-3 weeks for clearance), but with DHL it’s done in a couple of hours.

Christine Avatar

I’m sure service will vary from country to country – as long as you know what shipper works best for you, that’s great!

My complaint was primarily directed at Selfridges, as they were the ones who claimed to handle all aspects of delivery (duties, customs, etc.) and they were also responsible for packing up the package properly to begin with.

tzwiggy Avatar

Yeah, I’m pretty sure the main problem was with Selfridges not including all the required documentation. And not packing it correctly when it’s being shipped internationally is inexcusable.

I just wanted to share my experience with DHL as everyone else commenting here says that they’ve had major trouble with them. I really don’t understand why I’ve been so lucky, it seems like most other Norwegians hate them.

Catherine Avatar

I can’t believe it’s easier for us in Aus to buy these products than it is for you! This is so rarely the case. I’ve only purchased the mascara, from Net-A-Porter, but I’m so in love with it. The brand looks fantastic and I can’t wait to save up and buy a few more products! I’m sorry you had such an awful experience with DHL :\

SandraJT Avatar

DHL is, by far, the worst courier I’ve ever used. In ANY country. They’ve lost so many of my packages I’ve lost count. Their customer service is absolutely appalling. Worst ever out of all the couriers I’ve used worldwide.

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