We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • MAC Cosmetics15% off with code THANKS15, ends 9/25.
  • Macy's15% off beauty purchase with code VIP, ends 9/25.
  • Nordstrom15% off major beauty brands, ends 9/25.
  • Ulta40% off Sleek Makeup for Platinum members through this link, ends 9/25.

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Get Updates by Email

How often?
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the post above for information regarding pricing, availability, dupes, and availability, and keep discussion on-topic. If you have general feedback, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

Comments on this post are closed.

Not normally. I will buy something online but only if I’ve seen the colour in the shop and tried it out to see if it will suit me.

Only if its really super limited edition and buying it online is about the only way I am gonna get my hands on it. Like the Dress Camp and Manish A’whatever…both of those were sight unseen buys…but no regrets on either 🙂

I’ll pretty much only purchase MAC without actually playing with the product, and that’s usually things like eyeshadow and blush. I recently made a PRO order and got a few shadows and blushes that I hadn’t seen in person before…and really like them all 🙂

That being said, I do my research – I generally won’t buy anything without finding a swatch somewhere online, so I have at least an idea of what the color looks like. I also ask around on the forums 🙂

Depending on the situation, I will buy things sight unseen, ie pretty pink boxes and BeautyFix kits. I already know I’m going to get those and just be surprised by what comes inside.

I do sometimes, yes, but usually once I’ve seen them swatched by you or someone else, or if it’s something really nice that I just want anyway. (Like Guerlain Meteorites or LE eyeshadow palettes.) But even after seeing your swatches of lipsticks/lipglasses, I’d still go and try them out in person. Eyeshadows are less of an issue I will happily buy them unseen.

Typically I never buy anything I have never seen before. The only time I do is when Clinique/Lancome/Dior have those giftsets with purchase. And only then because I don’t feel so bad if I give it away or something since it was free!

Not typically, but I do if its something I can’t find in a store (usually Sephora) and if the retailer has a good return policy 🙂

I won’t typically buy products like eyeshadows, blushes, foundation ect.. online if I never saw them in person before. Things like primer, or mascara I will buy online though.

Yes, because I buy online pretty often, and sometimes I can’t get to the stores to check things out firsthand. It may be against my better judgement, but in the back of my mind I know that most of the places I purchase from have excellent exchange/return policies. Also, I read and watch a hellofa lot of reviews and blogs, so most of the time I know what to expect with “blind” purchases.

Sometimes – I generally buy Shu Uemura sight unseen as we don’t have a counter here. I know Shu is excellent so I don’t have a problem risking it. I also try & do as much review online through blogs & such if I’m considering buying something without seeing it in person beforehand.

I did quite frequently for a while – up until Sephora opened a store in Denver, the only brands close by were the normal (around here) range of department store brands – Clinique, Lancome, Estee Lauder, etc. Even by taking the hour long drive to Denver, I could only get additional access to a handful of brands – MAC, Dior, Chanel, Benefit – so I bought quite a few items from Sephora.com or Beauty.com without seeing them in person first. Now, I like to try things before I buy them. Some brands, it’s less of an issue with (I rarely buy things without reading reviews, so I usually know what I’m in for before I even test out a product!), but some things (like MAC eyeshadows, which look so different on my skin than in the pot) I really prefer to buy in person.

No matter whether I’m buying sight unseen or in a store where I’ve tried the product out, a good return policy is very important to me, because I have very sensitive skin and a lot of contact allergies, so sometimes I won’t know until I’ve worn a product for a few hours, or used it for a few days, whether my skin will tolerate it.

No, not at all. Even reading about it online and looking at swatches can’t tell you the whole story. No matter how much I want something, I have to play with it, and think about it hard before I actually buy it.

I bought Nars Orgasm sight unseen because I had only ever read raves about it, and I needed a new blush.
Boy, is it bright! I wasn’t expecting how bright it was, or how little goes a long way. I’ve been using it almost daily for about a month now, and I’m still learning the best way to get a nice flush, and not look like a clown!
Had I seen it in person first, I am not sure I would have bought it because of the brightness, but overall it’s very pretty.

I would only buy sight unseen if it’s something that gets rave reviews that I really, really really have no way of trying out anywhere near me. For example, Majolica Majorca eyeshadow palettes or Paul & Joe Beaute. Still on the fence about both of those though. =/

I like seeing products in person before buying them….I don’t stick to one brand, I like trying out plenty….mostly drugstore though….but the other brand I Love is MAC and I wouldn’t buy anything from MAC without seeing it first in person…..a friend of mine purchased a few things online from MAC, she based her purchase by seeing pictures of the products online and thought she had got good things, she was wrong. She had to return everything she bought because it did not look the same in person…. so because of that- and my own personal preference I like to see things on my own eyes before buying 🙂

Given how often websites have fake or poor colour “swatches”, I prefer to see them in real life. I need to know the texture, the colour payoff, and how blendable it is.

The only things I can buy without first having seen are brushes. Everything else I have to see in person. Chances are, I’ll end up hating the color or I’ll end up finding a better color. I hate ordering makeup online for that sole purpose.

I think brushes would be the worst thing to buy unseen, cause you dont know the softness etc.

But anyways, I just think if you do your research on it, and you cant find it in stores near you, that’s when I will get it online/unseen!

I will only buy nail polish, brushes, and NYX sight unseen. Nail polish is much cheaper online and there’s plenty of swatches to be had, and my Ulta carries a handful of NYX products.

Not typically. I will try to find swatches (thanks Christine!) or get a look at it somewhere before I buy it. (I hate to return things, if I don’t have to, so I like to be pretty sure before I pick it up 🙂

I don’t live near MAC or a sephora, so I basically have no choice, but I usually cheack out swatches first!

I buy limited edition items online or those that I can’t find nearby. I bought Raquel Welch MAC collection, the entire Barbie loves MAC and Hello Kitty that way. Thankfully Sephora is opening soon so I don’t have to do as much ordering online from them.

I might buy makeup I haven’t seen in person if I already have several other products from the line and can gauge texture/blendability/color, or someone whose tastes are very similar to mine recommends it strongly. (Someone I know IRL, not a web site.)

The only time I will buy makeup unseen is if I have the intended item but cannot find it in a particular color, so I have to order it online. I like to know the texture and finish of a product IRL before I buy. I live in Canada and shipping and handling is quite expensive, plus, it usually takes forever to arrive here !!!!!!!!!! I really enjoy testing in store and talking with the sales girls, it’s a primitive ritual for us girls !!

All the time. With only the usual suspects in local department stores I have no option but to buy online. Maybe one day Sephora will deem my city worthy of a store.

I have bought stuff both seen and unseen and for me, I would usually prefer to see the item in person before deciding but for things like mineralized eyeshadows, 88/28 palettes etc, I don’t mind getting those online. But I would definitely purchase departmental stores in person as opposed to purchasing online unless they are available in my country.

Many times I buy makeup online with just a lousy, off-color swatch to go by, especially if the company has a return policy.

I wanted to try Face Stockholm lipsticks but they’re impossible for me to see in person so I ordered them online. They’re pretty much what I expected, so I was fortunate, but a lot of the time things don’t work out and I have to either send the item back or figure out a way to make it work. (Case in point – Nouba blush. It was really dark for me, so I used it as an eye shadow with success.)

I will buy anything that i really want but dont have time to run to the store and get but only from mac and urban decay

If its cost effective makeup I can definitely buy makeup without seeing it. Things like NYX and ELF I can buy without feeling any regrets. MAC however, is a brand that I always have to see as well as Clinique and Bobbi Brown.

Normally I will not. Well I guess I do. I’ll wait for swatches to come out…sometimes I won’t go play with it in stores, just buy it off what people on youtube or off of the swatches you provide!!!

I bought most of my hello kitty collection sight unseen, because I was scared i wasn’t going to be available to get my hands on any in stores!!

I buy 90% of my stuff online so it’s almost always unseen. I try to do my research & look at reviews and swatches if they’re available. If I can’t find reviews/swatches I’ll still take a chance occasionally if I’ve have good experiences with the brand in the past.

When I buy beauty stuff online, I first search for some swatches. And with brands like MAC I always know it’s (pretty) good.. 😉

Sometimes I do. I buy a bit off ebay, just trying to get the things I like from past MAC collections. Like I got the Manish Arora palette without actually seeing it and I don’t regret it. So far I haven’t had any regrets with makeup I’ve bought without seeing first.

With brands I trust, I’m okay with buying things over the internet. I’m usually a good judge on what colors will suit me and what wont. But most of the time, I’ll search for swatches and reviews on a good chunk of the products anyway.

But when it comes to a brand I have never used before or a brand I only use occasionally, I always want to see it and test it out in person.

If you don't see your comment yet, it's still in our moderation queue. We try our best to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind. Thank you for your patience!