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Veronica Avatar

Most of the time, online. It is quick and to the point. Plus with all the information available now, such as your blog, it is easy to see colors and reviews. However, some days I love to go to Sephora or to El Palacio de Hierro (big department store similar to a Nordstrom with some Neiman Marcus thrown in) and browse and swatch to my heart’s content.

Debbie Avatar

I need to touch, to feel, to see what I am buying, but once I am done and I see the ridiculous lines I will do my purchasing online. I also want to make sure about color, since the online pics are never that accurate and I want to minimize returns.

AB Avatar

In store, definitely. Nothing beats trying an item in person for color suitability, etc., and I’m also less likely to impulse buy. These days I very rarely buy online in fact.

Carmen Avatar

I’m patologically shy and find salespeople intimidating, and the whole buying experience is an ordeal to me, so online shopping is not only an option, but my only way of buying makeup, clothes, shoes, etc. Basically everything that is not self-service. Of course, sometimes I buy a wrong shade or a product that doesn’t suit me, but that’s a price I’m happy to pay.

Mariella Avatar

Absolutely and positively IN PERSON! For starts, I really dislike returning cosmetics because it is so wasteful – the products just get tossed and the cost inevitable gets passed on to all of us (you can bet the companies don’t “absorb” it). But I also like avoiding mistakes for my own sake. I like to see how a product looks and feels on ME. I also like the instant gratification – I want it in my hot little hands RIGHT NOW, not in 3 days or 7 days or 14 days but NOW!!!

Mariella Avatar

…oh, and when it comes to stuff like SHOES – how do you even do it? I can wear anything from a size 6 to a 7.5 so I have to try on. Comfort is also really important (I’ve had knee surgery) so I need to know that a shoe is comfortable for me. I can’t be ordering a shoe in 3 or 4 sizes in hopes of getting a good fit and then hoping again that the comfort and general/overall fit I want will be there.

Alecto Avatar

I’m the opposite — I’m a really classic size 7 in length, so that almost anything marked that size fits me length-wise, but I have a solidly wide foot, and the vast majority of brick-and-mortar stores either don’t carry wides at all, or carry them only in a limited selection of styles (usually styles I’m adamantly not interested in). If I’m to find shoes that fit me — physically and aesthetically — I *have to* shop online.

Emilie Avatar

I tend to prefer the instant gratification of shopping in-store, plus it’s always fun to swatch new products I haven’t seen in person yet. Lately, I’ve done more online shopping because I can’t turn down some good Ebates cash back! I hate when I have to pay shipping, though.

Alecto Avatar

I kind of hate that I feel this way, but definitely online. You didn’t ask about what *kind* of shopping, but I’m going to assume this isn’t limited to cosmetics and skincare.

Speaking of which, my favorite cosmetics companies don’t have any physical store presence — indies. My favorite skincare now does, but nowhere that’s convenient to me to stop by. As for the rest, I’m just not a shopper — I’m not the kind of person who likes to go up and down aisles, browsing, waiting for something to catch my eye. I can count on one hand the number of times I went into Sephora or Ulta looking for skincare — in the case of Ulta it was because I had to be in the mall for another reason; in the case of Sephora it was because it was an expensive item and I knew I could get a sample from them, which I felt was necessary to make the decision whether or not to buy.

Clothes … hands down … online. Even when I do find local stores that carry clothes I’m interested in, the same company usually has an online presence which is more convenient in every way. Travel time to store aside, this was reinforced recently when I opted to have clothes I bought online get shipped to my local store for free; while I was there waiting for the lady to bring my packages out, I saw a coat I really liked, but they were sold out of my size. I ended up going back home and buying it in my size online in a color I liked even better (which wasn’t in the store).

I would seriously love to support local businesses — even chains, as they hire people locally — but we’re spoiled for choices online. Being able to shop online has allowed me to craft a wardrobe which is very me (same thing with cosmetics). I tried to do that 30 years ago by buying locally, and it was literally impossible. At the time, my two choices were dress “generically,” or learn to sew well. Frankly, I didn’t have time for the latter. I honestly think that not being able to find things to my taste is why I’m not a traditional shopper, but internet shopping changed the game for me.

Joanna Avatar

I like to research any purchase, and if it is available in store, I will definitely go swatch. Inconveniently, I can never get in store all the items I have waited to get with a sale. Getting just the few online will not qualify for free shipping. Although it feels a bit ridiculous, even though I am there in store and decided to buy, I go home and order online. I wish beauty products could be shipped to store! I’d like to be more environmentally friendly and save the retailer money shipping to a store they already ship to regularly rather than so many little shipments. Then I could buy what is available in store when I pick up the shipment, and support the local sales team.

kjh Avatar

Cosmetics, skincare: Start online. Go see, if unsure. (Shades or unpublished ingredients.) But I seldom get it instore, unless it’s hard to get… 95% or so are online. After all, meet the free shipping. Even clothes or shoes, at this point. My needs are limited, and I know the sizing for the usual suspects. If I ever needed a new dress, instore for sure. I used to shop clothes and shoes with a friend, but no needs =far less to no buy.

Nancy T Avatar

Interesting question! This past year I have been doing far more online shopping than I ever had previously. Mostly due to health issues. However, I actually have more fun when I get myself in gear and go out to the store itself and browse, having a swatchfest, swoon (or grimace), and possibly purchase something very interesting! I need to make myself get out more. Because this sitting inside days on end just isn’t mentally healthy, really. That said, at least when I do order online, I have much greater confidence in my choices due primarily to this site here, plus some very honest and thorough YT’ers, as well.

Maggie Avatar

I don’t live around many of the brands I like but I generally prefer in-store if I can go there during non-busy hours. After decluttering with the Konmari method (where you have to touch something to get a better idea of whether it suits you), I generally prefer seeing and touching before buying. I can interact with the products and decide whether it will work with my needs. I do this by swatching and checking the finish/color, consider the storage, application, and aesthetics. I try to think of possible dupes I own (I should really keep a Google drive doc of everything I own). And I can get samples as well. The SA’s are generally quite helpful once I explain, especially with dupe hunting.

I used to only shop online and it got way out of hand bc I kept adding things I’ve never seen in person to the cart with the idea I could always return. When I couldn’t find time to try out everything I bought, I end up keeping things I can’t or won’t use. Setting aside time for deliberately shopping in person helps me effectively discern and filter out products that don’t suit me. I have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars by shopping in person. And I get to minimize returns and thereby reducing my footprint just a little more. I now only shop online for things I have already tried or if there is no other way for me to access the brand’s products (i.e., colour pop). In which case, I carefully do research for this smaller subset of brands. Some online stores will sell samples of products (Camera Ready Cosmetics and Paulas Choice).

Deborah S. Avatar

When I was younger I was a marathon shopper. I would spend whole days at the mall and would try on countless items of clothing and shoes. Of course, on-line shopping didn’t exist then. What a change in a relatively short span of time. I would still probably prefer to shop in person but many factors play into my preferring to shop on-line now. I suffered a really bad back injury at work in 2015 which resulted in my having to give up nursing. I then compounded the problem by falling down a rocky path which left me with some pretty bad hip pain. Both of those make it difficult to walk sometimes and certainly impacted my trip to Europe. Put those things together with where I live and frankly, I would never get to buy anything if I didn’t shop on-line. That is why going to the big city, Seattle, is such a treat as we can hit all the major department stores. If my back gives out I can sit and rest for a while or go back to the hotel and take medication. It is the small things in life that make it worth living and looking forward to going to Seattle is a special treat.

Genevieve Avatar

Most of the time I do like to shop instore so I can check out the shades and swatch myself. I use to make a lot of eyeshadow purchases online in the past, as the products were not available here in Aus., but now the international shipping rates are more expensive, I have to think about how much I want/need the product. Beautylish and ColourPop are pretty reasonable and I do order from them directly – especially when it has been reviewed here and received a stellar rating.

Brenda C Avatar

When I do go out to shop in the stores quite a few times they don’t have what I want. I end up going home and ordering online. I save gas and standing in the lines and right now trying to find a parking space. If I really want to feel, swatch, try something on, then yes I will go to the store. My niece has two young children. She orders her groceries online and swings by the grocery store on the way home and picks them up. With our time strapped society online shopping is convenient and necessary.

Natalia Avatar

Well, tbh, I prefer buying in the shops. That way I know there will be no dud and I will have seen what I am buying in person. Point in case – I bought Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette and, I heard soo many times that it smells like the bronzer. Well, mine does not :(. They do not smell alike whatsoever, although the palette performs well anyways and I am very happy with it.

That said, there are so many good deals to be had online, that I regularly buy something there and save a lot in the process. I try to buy smth I had already tried, though or smth that everybody agrees to be good. The Chocolate Bar is an example here again. I got it 45% off, which was great. Before you start saying that maybe I bought it from some shady place, no. I bought it from Sephora equivalent in our country (more so, they will soon all be turned into Sephora oficially). So, it is an official Too Faced vendor in here.

Silvia Avatar

Definetely in store! I like to swatch if is makeup related. See, touch and try on clothing since I’m a5’3 petite is always a real challenge finding sleeves and pants that will fit correctly. Preferably in stores although I have ordered from both Colourpop and WetnWild several times and have had no issue both arrive neatly packaged and never broken. For clothing if I don’t see petite on store such as Banana Republic I’ll order on line and usually they fit me perfectly. But I do love getting ready to shop, check out and compare many things and even also the interaction with other women in the stores is a positive feedback as I’m bubbly and talk a lot! Lol! I mean I’ll shop quietly but others talk to me and is fun or reverse. I’m actually a bit shy but no one wants to believe me. Going to shop means ending up having lunch with my mom, daughter, son or friends in this awesome weather in S. California and I’m surrounded by so many awesome restaurants right in my area I love it, on the cintrary ordering from home I have to cook which I’ll be happy if I can avoid I’m lousy in the kitchen.

Rachel R. Avatar

Online, because I don’t live very close to Sephora, Ulta, or a mall. I have to drive 30-45 min. to get to them; more if traffic is heavier. Plus, if I usually know exactly what I want, and I don’t have to deal with lines and annoying sales people online.

Shoes, jeans, and most clothing though, I prefer to buy in person. I have to be able to try things on. I have wide feet, big chest, short waist,.. I can be hard to fit.

Moxie Avatar

Online for anything other than books because you’re left alone in book stores and I also love just touching the books.

I loathe, LOATHE, sales assistants who zoom in on me and hover nearby. It has made me leave stores in the past, especially beauty stores because I’m already shy about needing, say, products for redness.

Jane Avatar

Both, as if possible, I always make it a two-step purchasing process : research (reviews, swatches, brand site look over) online and then final check (swatch, test) to final purchase in-store (unless online has some great deal that I get wind of by site’s like these.

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