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Brandbank Guest Blog: The Changing Face of Beauty Buying

November 30, 2016
Written By


The beauty sphere has blown up in recent years – in particular beauty eCommerce, which is set to grow 8% year-on-year to 2019. The health and beauty sector saw an increase in online sales of 22% last year, with 38% of online shoppers purchasing beauty products.

These stats are especially surprising when you consider how high-involvement beauty buying can be. One of the biggest obstacles beauty eCommerce faces is shoppers not being able to try before they buy. Any shopper wants to see what they’d be getting before they commit to a purchase, but with beauty products, you need to consider colour matching, texture, and value for money.

So how has online beauty buying managed to flourish in the face of adversity?

Product Reviews

We all read them and they have become invaluable to us when making considered online purchases. One website that has a proven reputation amongst health and beauty buyers is (MUA)

MUA gives you the ability to select products by skin type, tone and age, enabling you to see what other users with a similar skin tone as you, think about a product. A rating is given by each user and the MUA bots attribute each rating to give an average score out of five and a repurchase/popularity percentage.


As the beauty industry grew, so did the online YouTube beauty community, with vloggers such as PixiWoo and Lisa Eldridge providing their subscribers with hair, make-up and nail how-tos, as well as invaluable reviews of make-up essentials, such as foundations, giving accurate reviews of the longevity of the product. With assistance from these digital beauty gurus, it has helped us approach online beauty buying with more confidence.

War Paint or Well-Matched? Finding the Right Colour Online Can Be Tricky

Foundation: some people say that a good one is worth its weight in gold, so finding a colour match is clearly very important, yet online, this task can seem impossible.

Are you light, beige, wheat, suede or spice in colour? Do you need a cream, powder or liquid for your sensitive, combination skin? How much should you spend and which brands are best? Never fear, the colour matching websites are here. Created to help consumers purchase beauty products online, the likes of are a veritable treat for the foundationally-confused. You simply input the foundations or BB creams you have previously used and Findation provides an accurate colour match based on your choices.

Foundation fledgling? That’s okay too. The clever folks at BareMinerals have designed a foundation finder to help battle tidemarks and the age old creosote colour conundrum. Based on your skin concern, whether it’s aging, uneven or a bit dull and taking into consideration the type, finish and coverage you’d like, it then recommends various products based on your choices with a range of tools to help you apply them to gain maximum results.

Try Now, Buy Later…

Parting with what can often seem like a sizeable chunk of money for such a small, unknown item can often seem like a bit of a gamble and one that might stop people from committing to the final purchase. Enter ‘try before you buy’ – a real gem of the online shopping world. Quite simply, participating brands work with online boutiques such as and opt to send a complimentary sample with each full size item purchased. If you then decide that the product just isn’t for you, you can then return the unopened, full size version for a refund.

Sites such as and offer 10-15% off your first purchase which entices new customers to part with their money and also offer a choice of 2-3 free samples with your orders.

With beauty eCommerce continuing to broaden its horizons, it’s been predicted that the online health and beauty sector will exceed its 16% growth rate from 2015.

Check our Profitero’s Beauty microsite for more eCommerce insights and trends on the beauty category.

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