How to look like your make-up icon without burning a hole in your pocket

Aug 27, 2017, 11:41 IST | Heli Shukla and Debjani Paul

Yes, you can look like your make-up icon. Our in-house experts show you the way, and no, you don't need deep pockets

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and YouTube and lusted after Kylie Jenner's signature lip or wanted JLo's glow? So have we. To snag the make-up we saw online, we've burnt our fingers, and ended up with bad lipstick. But, it need not be the same story for you. Here's how to smartly navigate the web and avoid the fakes floating around.

Get it on the 'gram
Why: If you haven't heard of Huda Beauty, you need to log on now. She is one of Instagram's biggest make-up influencers and we think her eye shadow palettes are to die for. They can be bought on her website. There are others you can check out too like Kat Von D. You can even opt for a number of make-up stores on Instagram, like, beautybuyindia, and makeup_international brands that are known for their authentic merchandise.
Bear in mind: Link in bio isn't always the best resource. Orders placed here are best taken with a pinch of salt, as the products can turn out to be fake. Even so, most of these stores provide receipts that one should insist on.
Shipping+customs: The seller will usually quote an all-inclusive price, but you can bargain.

SOFU, so good
Where: Ship Out From USA
Why: Because it helps us ship popular American and indie brands without paying excessive customs. We bought a Jeffree Star lipstick called Masochist. It's a deep pink that does not dry and lasts an entire day! You shop directly from the brand website you prefer, and get Ship Out From USA (SOFU) to send you the products anywhere in India. The buyer is given a virtual address in the US, which is of SOFU's warehouse – this means brands will only charge domestic shipping.
Shipping+Customs: Domestic shipping charges apply, while SOFU charges for shipping to India. Customs charges are more reasonable.

Why: If you're looking for an affordable dupe of the high-end make-up flaunted by celebs, this brand is the answer. For instance, $6 gets you ColourPop's Creeper (classic blue-red in ultra-matte finish), a near-perfect match for Kylie's $29 Mary Jo K lip kit.
What: Wide range of colours in every texture imaginable - matte, satin, liquid or solid bullet. The same applies for eye shadows and highlighters.
Shipping+customs: On the brand's own website, you can avail free shipping for orders above $50.

Do yourself up right

>> In stores, don't hesitate to try a product before buying it. Sephora also offers take-home samples.

>> Look for discount codes from YouTubers.

>> Always look for swatches and reviews online before buying any cosmetics. Several review websites like Temptalia and MakeupAlley, and YouTubers like Stephanie Nicole and Tati Westbrook delve into the nitty-gritties of products and give you tips on whether they're worth the splurge.

>> If you decide to place your bets on getting make-up from an Instagram store, ensure you get authentic receipts of the order. There have been reports of such stores selling first copies, used or worse, fake products.

>> When you order from international websites, you will be charged customs. If you are one of the lucky ones, you could evade the charge or be levied a minimal amount.

>> Choose express shipping websites, to reduce the levy.

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