Wednesday, 5 August 2015


I am a massive lover of indie cosmetics, as you may have noticed. But for all the beauty and ingenuity that indie makeup and perfume bring with them shopping indie does come with its own drawbacks. Especially as an international buyer, and in the grand British tradition of complaining I thought I'd share them with you.

  • TAT and shipping. While the TAT (or turn around time – the time taken to process and ship out an order) is a problem for every indie customer, regardless of where you’re from, the shipping times for internationals can suck. Especially when your parcel takes the most interesting trips to get to you. Some of those parcels can be super well travelled.
  • Leading on from the point above we have customs and handling fees. I understand customs, though the £15 limit before you start getting charged is irritatingly low, the handling fees charged by companies are insane. Royal Mail and their £8 (which can be half the cost of the order) or if you’re really unlucky I’ve heard of companies that charge £13+. Just to tell you you need to pay more money. I imagine there’s a legit reason, but damnit I resent those payments. Both of them put me off ever making big orders, which then puts me off shops with high shipping fees or buying heavier things like body butters and scrubs because I know the extra money it’ll cost me once it gets here will be crazy.
  • The biggest problem with buying online of course is you can’t try before you buy. No way of swatching that eyeshadow on the back of your hand or sniffing that perfume, you just have to look up other people’s reviews and swatches and hope for the best.
  • Related to the above, some shops just don’t have a lot of people posting swatches or reviews of their stuff. This is mostly true for lesser known or randomly discovered gems of the indie world, but can be for some of the bigger brands as well (Geek Chic I am looking at you!). It’s a pain, but sometimes you just cross your fingers and hope for the best.
  • Shops who don’t sell samples are a minor pain, especially when it’s a perfume shop. While indies are generally amazing value for money, shelling out $20 or so on a full size bottle of perfume (plus shipping and probably customs) which you might hate is a bit of a pain and a risk. That’s why I love destashes and decant circles.
  • Finding new shops and being wary to buy from them because you can’t find CS reviews. This is again a minor thing but damnit, if I’m spending money I want to know that my stuff will get here and won’t have hair in it or something.
  • Trying to buy indie polishes from overseas can be a nightmare with the new guidelines, also the shipping costs can be horrible.
  • There are very few UK/European shops especially for non-polish companies (Common Brimstone, Future Primitive, Missile and White Rabbit are the only ones I know of, though I’m unsure whether the latter two are currently active or not). I know why this is, EU guidelines are much much stricter when it comes to cosmetics and such, but it’s a pain.
  • And the last problem - no one knows what the hell you’re on about if you talk about them. When someone compliments your eyeshadow/lipstick/perfume and you tell them it’s x from y and they stare at you blankly… the stare just gets blanker and blanker as you talk about indie companies. It sucks sometimes.
Please don't let this put you off shopping indie, indie companies are absolutely amazing and also both cruelty free (in that I know of zero indies who test on animals themselves, whether some ingredients have a history of animal testing I couldn't tell you though if that is a concern you can ask) and often vegan. The owners are, on the whole, some of the friendliest and most honest people. You can always email them with questions and concerns you might have and they'll answer. I love indies deeply, that's why I have so many!

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