“ Cosmetics and haircare online. „
Order was late.Received the wrong order.Tried to contact customer care twice no reply.The wrong order does not work. Very bad service. Not happy.
This year I decided to treat myself to a new set of GHD's having had mine for a good 2 and a half years. I'd seen the Precious set advertised in magazines and basically decided I needed it!!
After browsing on the internet hoping to find a cheaper, geniune set (I would never buy fakes!) I came across a site - www.beautybay.com. Beautybay sell lots of higher end cosmetics, skincare and hair care from brands like Bare Escentuals, Mario Badescu and Terax, and the site is easy to browse through with clear pages and different sections.
Anyway, back to the GHD's! These are advertised on beautybay at £137.99 and if you pay £3.50 for recorded delivery they upgrade it to DHL for you - so no having to trust Royal Mail for my delivery!
The purchase process was very simple on this website, and easy to follow, and once I'd put my card details in I recieved a prompt email confirming the order. I recieved a further email just a few hours later confirming that my order had been dispatched, and it arrived the very next day, packaged well.
I was very impresed with this website, and will definitely be returning again - I already have my eye on a few Urban Decay items I want!
If you have ever read my reviews, it will probably come as no surprise to you that I love my beauty products! I decided to treat myself to a few new ones recently, despite having enough to stock an entire branch of Boots already! I did a few internet searches on the products I was intending to buy and the site that came up as being the cheapest for the majority of these products was www.beautybay.com
This wasn't a site I had used before, however I had read a few reviews of the it on Dooyoo which gave positive feedback, so I decided to make a purchase.
The site as I'm sure you can guess by the name, sells beauty products. These are mainly from higher end and salon brands, such as TIGI, Jurlique and Gatineau. As such, the products are usually in a higher price range, but as mentioned I managed to find a lot of items cheaper than they would be in store or in a salon, as well as on other internet sites.
As I already had an idea of the items I wanted to purchase, I found it very easy to find them and add them to my basket, as there is a drop down box allowing you to search by brand as well as a search bar. I have found, however, that should you wish to search a product type, even though the site is split into separate sections, such as 'hair care', 'make-up' etc... it's not so easy to search. For example, if I wanted a shampoo, I would have to type 'shampoo' into the search bar, and I would be given a list with pictures, but the results are difficult to find your way through, as they're not very clearly set out.
Other than this slight problem, I found using the site fairly straight forward. You can see the amount of items in your basket and how much your basket totals in the top right hand corner, which is useful so that you don't get too carried away!
If your order totals less than £60 then first class delivery will cost £2.50 and second class £1.95. There are also options for recorded delivery which are much pricier. If your order is over £60 you can have it sent free by second class, although you can still choose the other options if you wish. I chose second class as I wasn't in a hurry for my items and didn't see the point of paying extra for postage costs.
My order was placed on a Sunday, I received an email to say that my items had been dispatched on the Monday and I received my order on Wednesday, which I was very happy with.
The items were packaged well, and the site has a free returns policy, so if you're unhappy you can send the item back - providing it is unopened and unused within 14 days for a refund or replacement.
My overall experience with this website has been good, and I will certainly use it again in the future. The postage costs are relatively low, the items were delivered reasonably quickly and packaged well and I have had no problems to speak of. If you like using salon brands but don't want to pay salon prices, this site is worth checking out.
Beautybay.com is a place where you can apparently get 'the Cheryl Cole' look, now does that come with the fully body make over as the home page of the site tells me that I too could 'look like Cheryl'. Emergency liposuction and full body lift may be called for here for me to look anything remotely like Cheryl.
The homepage is very girly in colour and on initial glance you would maybe assume that this site is targeted at the female of the species but it is worth noting for the guys out there who like to look good that there is a men's section also with a nice easy link to take you straight there. No more trawling round the shops with you partner stopping at every beauty counter within site before you can get to the important manly stuff.
The home page gives you what is deemed the 'weekly picks' and has a broad selection that does give you an idea of what is available to buy online from here, everything from the totally essential tweezers that come in different colours for those who really must accessorise to Extreme mouth spray.p
Navigation around the site is easy as all you need to do is click on the relevant tab for the type of product you wish to look at, choosing from Hair, Skin Care, Make up, Fragrances, Accessories, Men's and Essential Beauty. The speed of the site is excellent and I have never been left hanging waiting for the screen to change even from my tatty old PC at home which is about to die. If you know exactly what you are looking from there is also a drop down pick list on the home page for you to pick by brand thus negating the need to browse through all to find your favourite. You can also search by product type with a search facility, eg moisturiser
Setting up an account is straight forward, all you need to do is click on the 'my account', (yes I know you don't have one yet) where you are given two options, either login in using existing details or register as a new customer, all items to be completed being the standard, name, address, email and password, no credit / debit card details are required up front.
It is also worth noting that you can look at the prices in different currencies, GBP, USD, EUR and Kroner (Sweden, Norway and Denmark).
Looking at an item in more details could not any more simple, just click on it and rather than just having a pop-up window you will see that you are taken to what is effectively the items own little page which gives further details including, stock availability, if an item is out of stock and indication is given as to when it is expected to be available again in days. There is a description for the item, information about the brand, reviews that have been posted for the product on the site, details of how long delivery is expected to be, eg 1st Class 1 to 3 working days and the delivery cost more about this in a bit and returns. On the right hand side there is also a small group of products that relate to what you are viewing that are suggestions as to what else you may be interested in buying. So if I am looking at tweezers the suggestions I have are two other types of tweezers an eyelash curler and toe nail scissors an element of control is required otherwise you could end up spending a fortune on items you did not initially intend to buy.
Once you have decided that you really want a particular item all you need to do is click the 'Add to Bag' button that is clearly visible in a grass green colour with white writing - note that this may cause some issues to those who suffer with colour blindness, depending on bad a case shades of grey may only be visible.
You can access your shopping bag from any part of the site as this forms part of the main header which is visible at all times along with the links to your account, Delivery info, Free Returns, Contact us and Help an Advice.
We have already covered the 'My Account' so moving onto Delivery info you are given clear and precise information as to how much your delivery will be. For a total spend of less than £60.00 the cheapest delivery price is £1.95 for 2nd class, however, these days I really don't see any difference between 1st and 2nd class post, at least not where I live as everything seems to take an age to arrive. The most expensive price for an up to £60 spend is for the guaranteed next day delivery which is currently £7.95 and this I would only consider is it was a last minute gift that was urgently required due to forgetting a birthday. For a spend over £60 1st and 2nd class post is free and the same price for the next day delivery. Underneath the pricing scale is a bit more detail and examples of how long a lead time is normally to be expected based on your choice of postage. There is also a bit at the bottom of the page for International postage, handy if you are buying as a present for somebody as will save you having to post on at additional cost.
I am not going to go through each section individually as this would take far too long, however, as I would dearly love to look like Cheryl I am going to hope to the Essential Beauty section and see what it has to offer - this section tells me that I can look like Angelina also; decisions, decisions. Thankfully this section does not advise me that I have no hope over ever looking like either but does offer full details of what products you would need in order to obtain 'the look' with the product names clearly highlighted in yellow, right down the type of hairbrush and the clip in extensions.
Drilling through further than I would normally on a beauty website I find that there is an Agony Aunt page where you can find advice for Acne, stretch marks with a letter and answer page type of layout, I assume that you can just use the 'Contact us' link to send in a letter
Once you have your delivery there may be times when an item you bought is not what you thought it was or damaged and needs to be returned and this is free of charge providing it is unopened or unused, the instructions on the site are clear and state that you must contact Beautybay prior to returning an item either by email or telephone otherwise your return may be delayed in being processed, in other words may take a bit longer to get your money back. Note that free returns only apply to the UK.
Overall this site is very nice to look at but I feel is a bit on the pricey side for some items, personally I would not pay £9 plus postable for tweezers but as with everything it is always worth shopping around. The layout is excellent and easy to follow and read about each items and navigation is easy but I still do like to browse on the highstreet and touch things before I buy them.
First things first, I am not your typical girly girl. I'd rather spend my earnings on something to do with a camera, a computer or something electrical of some kind, however I do every now and then have to update the basics I use to slap on my face every day, and one of these days when I needed to update, I ended up on this site.
======How did I end up on BeautyBay.com? ======
I do use a lot of one particular product and that is Dream Matte Mouse, I can get through quite a lot in a year, but the prices for it are quite excessive in shops. A mate of mine gave me the link to this website when we were talking one night over the internet and I ended up on the site, and was slightly disappointed when they do not sell anything like Dream Matte Mouse, but I did find something that caught my eye. This product was Bio Oil. I had heard quite a bit about it over the few months before I brought it, but never really thought about getting it until I went onto this site.
======Who Are BeautyBay.com? ======
BeautyBay.com is one of the trading websites for FragranceBay.com Ltd who have been trading for 10 years now. The site provides the public with premium beauty products, at great prices and on the website they say their prices are considerably lower than a High Street retailer.
When you type in BeautyBay.com into your URL, then it will take you straight to the home page. The home page does have a very girly feel about it, they have managed to use a small amount of colours on the page, but the colours (pinks and purples) all make it stand out that the target audience of the site is really women. The name of the website is in big capital letters on the left hand side of the page in green and purple lettering. I think their branding could have been a bit better; the really dull green, almost grey colouring they have used for the BEAUTY really does clash against the purple letting of Bay.com.
When you get onto the website you will also notice that everything that you really need is at the top of the page. Near the logo is some little purple swirls which I'm sure are there for no other reason than to make the page look pretty, to the left of that you will find the Shopping Bag and then to the left of that you will find important information on a variety of things.
======Home Page Layout======
On the home page you pretty much get all of the information that you could want in the first quarter of the page. The links are pretty much self explanatory and it also allows you to use a search bar to search for a specific product or shop by brand. If you like Armani for example, use this shop by brand tool and you can go to a special page designed just for this brand.
On the page as well you also get a little scroll bar which is telling you about the latest news. Below that at the moment is a picture of Cheryl Tweed or Cole however she's putting her name at the moment. On the left of the picture is a highlighted pink link which says Look Like Cheryl. If you click on this you are taken to a separate page which tells you all of the things Cheryl apparently uses to look like she does in the picture. On the left is a section called Get The Look, and you can also choose to get the look of Scarlett, Eva, Angelina, Posh, Keira and Sienna.
On the same section where you can look like Cheryl on the home page is a rollover link which allows you to choose from the following things: Becca Cosmetics, Step Into Spring and 10 Free Gifts.
Below that is four links, I think by default it's on Weekly Picks, but you can also choose from What's New, Clearance Bay and What's Hot. If you click on any of these links you are taken to a page which shows you some of the items in each section. I myself am put off by the prices shown here, even in the clearance Bay, I believe that the cheapest one on the entire page is £7.99.
======My Account ======
This is one of the easiest sites I have found to login or become a new customer on. If you want to become a new customer then you have to fill out a little bit of information including Name & Billing Address. It'll take you two minutes tops; it does give you a chance to fill out things like Home Telephone, Mobile, DOB and Gender, but in my opinion, a waste of time. You will need to enter your email address and create a password with the site, and then make sure you read the small print at the bottom, they automatically tick the box which allows them to send you stuff, but as always I tick no as I already have enough things filling up my inbox. If you want to login then just enter your email address and password and then you are logged in the site.
The My Account section allows you to look at your details to check that they are correct as well as that; it allows you to take a look at your recent orders. This will help you if an order goes missing and should tell you the date that the item is sent.
The next page tells you everything about their delivery system and how much you have to pay. I would check this out before hand as you may be paying more than you want. The page tells you if you place an order before 4pm then it'll be posted on the same working day.
======Post & Packaging Prices======
Orders From £0-£60
1st Class = £2.50
1st Class Recorded = £3.50
Next Day Delivery = £7.95
2nd Class = £1.95
Orders over £60
1st Class = Not Available
1st Class Recorded = £3.50
Next Day Delivery = £7.95
2nd Class = Free
This may seem extensive to some, but this does include every item that you buy. So if you brought 10 items under £60 then you will only have to pay £2.50 First Class Delivery for all 10 items together.
You are also able to buy if you are abroad, and the prices are pretty reasonable as well. It'll only cost you £2.95 for the first item if you are in the USA and 50p extra for each item. If you are in Europe you will pay £3.50 for the first item and then again 50p extra for each other item. The rest of the world, you will be charged £5.95 for the first item and for each other item that you buy, you will be paying an extra £2. Expect about 3-7 days for your items.
======Free Returns ======
The site allows you to return the item free within 14 days of purchase. All you have to do is contact them by the phone number or email address on the website, they'll send you a pre paid returns address label which must be put on the parcel to send back. Easy.
======Help & Advice ======
This section tells you all about the website, and then gives you comments and feedback of the website. Of course, like you would expect, all of these comments are completely biased, as obviously they wouldn't really put something bad on the website itself. It also gives you information on security, returns, payment methods and discount codes and vouchers. These vouchers and discount codes will be sent to you via email, so you have to sign up to get them.
======Shopping Bag ======
The shopping bag is pretty much the same on every site where you can buy products, this one is a big more girly than say the one you'd get on amazon, but at the same time it's pretty easy to use. When you find a product you like, click buy and it'll be put into the shopping bag. Once you're done, click on view/checkout and it'll take you through everything you'll need to pay for your goods.
======Overall Opinion of the Website Layout======
All in all, not many websites are able to go wrong with the website layout. This is not the best I have seen, or the worst, I think that anyone should be able to navigate themselves around this website brilliantly well and they should be able to get a great amount of information from each page that they are on.
======Products That BeautyBay Sell======
On the home page, well any page that you go on with this website you'll find a static link bar at the top of the page. These links will help you narrow your search down and help you find the product a lot easier.
On the Hair Care page you have a variety of things to choose from. The main portion of the page is taken up by pictures, I assume by default the page is kept on Editor's Picks, but like you could on the home page, you can choose between, Clearance Bay, What's New and What's Hot.
From my experience with the site, even back when I first went on the site a few months ago, is that the prices are a bit extensive, I'm sure to some that they will be fine and reasonable, but I myself would prefer to shop somewhere which provides the cheaper end of the market, because 9 times out of 10, I end up leaving half of a certain product because my tastes change. On the left of the hair care page you can choose by brand, if you are looking for GHD products, then you would use this bar to narrow down your search.
Cheapest In Clearance Bay: Wella Lifetex (Shampoo) = £6.75
The skin care section is pretty much the same as the hair care section, again you have the editors picks, clearance bay, what's new and what's hot, and of course you can view by brand on the left hand side. Again like you had on the hair care section, the prices can scare away quite a few people, I think with this site you have to remember that you are paying post and packaging, until you go over £60 and the items will easily get you to £60 pretty quickly.
Cheapest In Clearance Bay: Talika- Makeup Removal Disks = £7.99
This section is laid out the same as the previous two, again it is pretty self explanatory, you are looking at the makeup section and amazingly, this section is all about make up. This includes things from nail stuff, foundation, blusher, lipstick; you name it, everything makeup is here, except the one thing that I wanted, foundation mouse.
Cheapest In Clearance Bay: Anatomicals Fruity Lip Gloss = £3
I was prepared to have my eyes bulge out of my head on this section, but amazingly the prices are pretty reasonable. On the home page under editor picks, they actually have two fragrances that we have in our house somewhere way under the price we paid for them.
I myself am looking for some perfume, and as I search for two of the ones I really would like, I notice that the site is not as well stocked as I would like. Both of these perfumes are well known and have been around for a long time (still in shops) but are not on this site anywhere that I can see. I was quite disappointed here.
Cheapest In Clearance Bay: Giorgio Beverly Hills So You = £6.99
Here they sell things from eye shadow brushes to something like looks like a blusher brush, but I hope I am wrong considering the price tag on it is an amazing £20.99, I hope I am wrong considering for a brush that's ridiculous.
Cheapest In Clearance Bay: Model Co, Foam Brush Applicator: £6.99
This site may look like it's target audience is women, however the men are still able to buy products from this site, you can get things from defining cream, toilette spray and even whitening toothpaste. Like the other sections, you can choose products by brand which is always helpful.
Cheapest In Clearance Bay: Jack Black- Cool Moisturising Body Lotion = £14.99
The little extra addition to the site is a company called Essential Beauty, Essential Beauty have made an addition to the site with their section which allows you to find out the latest news on things about your favourite celebrities, you can access the essential beauty section either from the static link on the home page, or there is the link with the picture of Cheryl Cole on the home page as well. As well as that the essential beauty section also gives you advice on beauty things and the agony aunt section, we've all seen these in magazines where people are asking about their problems, well you can do the same on this website.
======My Experience with BeautyBay======
I brought the product of Bio Oil for what I consider quite an important reason, especially considering I'm a young girl and because of problems with scars and things on my legs I am a bit hesitant about showing off my legs.
From my thighs down I am covered in multitudes of scars from the combination of being quite an active child wanting to try everything and then at the same time, being probably the biggest klutz in the world. This has meant that I do have quite a few scars, the most prominent one running down the top of my right thigh to knee, caused from an accident on a bike, and I have to say I did use this product and the scar is almost none existent. I am now veering off topic a little bit so back onto the site.
To be honest when I first went on the site about 4/5 months ago, I really did not browse as much as I have done for this review, and I have to say I am shocked. Remember this review is coming from someone who buys 50p shampoo and condition because I can't find any different results with more expensive shampoo. I do splash out every now and then on foundation products, but I am always the one to look for a bargain and I don't think I've ever paid retail price for any make up before as it is in my opinion, a waste of my money even though I'm only saving a few pennys.
The site from the prices that I have shown you, I hope you will agree that they are a bit pricey. On the home page, you will find some Rubis Sweezer Aluminium Tweezers, I am unsure if you get all three in the picture or just one of them but either way, £9 for fricking tweezers is just a waste of time and money. I believe my tweezers which look the same as them, okay they're silver and not blue or green, but they do the same damn job.
I have to say in hindsight I really should have shopped around for my bio oil, after my scar on my thigh disappeared slightly, my mum moved the bio oil (she was cleaning up and now can't remember where she put it), so I really did waste my money on that product until I find it again.
The products they do sell, do seem to be of good quality, but you are not going to find really big names on this site. For example, I was looking for some CK IN 2 U perfume and this site does not have it, as well as that, it doesn't have a lot of the more well known hair products we as a family use or the makeup that I use.
I do believe this site will appeal to quite a lot of people, but for me, the time it takes to walk down to my chemist in the middle of the village it's a lot more worth it to pay their prices instead.
======Ease Of Use/Navigation======
The site is pretty easy to use, there is no doubting that, if you are comfortable on a computer and know how to browse a website, then you should be fine with this website. For example, my nan could probably use this website as she has a computer of her own and does use EBay a lot, however my Great Nan would struggle to read the writing, so this site is not really aimed at her.
The site is always up to date and tells you whether an item is in stock or not in stock, which is always helpful, I have previously used sites where they tell you the products are in stock, but later you get an email saying regrettably that they do not have the items in stock.
It's easy to see how many items you have in your shopping bag and unlike some websites, the overall price of the items, is shown on every page and you do not have to check out before you can find out the overall price. Make sure you know how much postage you will want to pay as well, as depending on when you want the item to arrive it could cost you a arm and a leg.
The site is pretty easy to use and I'm sure most of you reading this review should be fine with it.
All of the reviews I've read, either on this site or on their actual website state that the prices are very competitive. I have to disagree, remember I am writing this review from a skint student perspective, so I really do think £9 for tweezers is just a little bit over the odds. I think if you are buying things like hair gel or shampoo, especially if its specialist stuff, then this site might be good for you and it might be worth checking out.
Please don't think you can come on this site for a bargain, from my browsing I have not seen anything under a fiver on this site, that is usually my limit when it comes to beauty products anyway. Not only do I believe that the prices are a bit excessive you really do have to remember that they do not give you free postage until your order is over £60. I do think this is something they could change and it would make me think twice about buying something on the site, without having to add the extra three quid or so onto it.
The delivery for my Bio Oil was pretty good in my opinion, however usually with sites like this one, you are expecting to get your items about 2-3 days after purchase. I brought my item on the Monday and got it on the Friday, I remember at the time I thought it was a long time for post, as I had brought some DVD's from amazon the next day, which was free postage by the way and it arrived on the Thursday, I brought this after the item from BeautyBay and then got it before the item from BeautyBay.
They did send me an email on the same day of purchase however to say that they had dispatched the item, so I assume that it was the royal mails fault that it took a bit longer than I would have wanted. It wasn't a problem however, as I did not need the product urgently so it wasn't a huge problem.
I do believe that the site is laid out brilliantly, this is one of the highlights for the website, the reason why I have given this site a lot lower rating than the others on the site, is because in my opinion I do think that the prices on the site are over the odds and not really competitive. I'm sure for some products it is competitive however in my experience I was shocked at the prices on the site, especially in the sections when it was supposed to be cheaper prices. This was not the case however, and I did find myself amazed that in the clearance bin, which you would imagine would be cheaper, they were still selling the items, over the odds.
I do think the post and packaging could be better, I have only brought one item from this site and it took 4/5 days to arrive which is a little bit longer than you would expect considering you really are paying for the postage on this site, unless you spend more than £60 which I'm pretty sure I'll never do on this site.
I have seen reviews on this site which say that the site can save you pennies, well I have to disagree, I'm sure you can with some products but you really are not saving money in my opinion, if you want something special like hair gel etc, then you could save a few pennies but things like Bio Oil you are spending more than you would spend in the shops.
The site is good, and I would recommend that if you do like to buy a lot of beauty products then it might be worth your while to check out this site, however if you are like me and the little make up and products that you do buy, are an alright price for you to buy from places like Boots or Superdrug then this site is a waste of time for you as the prices are not competitive enough to really save you much money.
All in all, I would recommend that you look at this site if you like beauty products however if you do not, then it's a waste of your time.
(C) Kirsty 2009
Hope this helps.
Ok, so, set the scene, you've run out of your favourite hair care product that you normally only buy from your hairdresser, and let's be honest, you buy the product at a ridiculously overpriced rate, and have only recently begun to take notice of how much money you're spending because of the global credit crunch, so you start to look at ways to save money. I find that I save a lot of money purely by searching for my favourite products on-line. There are so many stores to choose from and you can get everything you could ever need or want from at least one online retailer. You save money on petrol and parking as an added bonus and don't have to spend endless amounts of time standing in queues or trudging around shops to find the perfect product for your needs.
Beautybay.com is one such online retailer that can save you a lot of time looking for a variety of beauty products, some of which aren't that easy to find on the high street and some of which when you do find them are ridiculously overpriced. Now I'm not going to claim to be an expert on purchasing beauty products from beauty bay as I have only used the online shop a couple of times but my aim is to provide you with my honest 1st impressions of this one stop shop for beauty products.
Beautybay.com is one of those online retailers that specialises in hair care, skin care, fragrances, accessories and even male grooming products, with a wide variety to choose from and competitive pricing. The site is very basic but well laid out and easy to navigate. The colour scheme used is purple white and what looks to be some form of green colour. There is a bar along the top that allows you to navigate to the appropriate product range you are looking for in the following categories
1. Hair Care
2. Skin Care
3. Make up
7. Essential Beauty
The site has been in operation since 1999 and they have the following mission statement;
"To provide you with premium beauty products at extremely competitive prices 24 hours a day"
So after reading that mission statement I just had to have a proper look.
When you navigate to each product category there is a product bar down the left hand side of the screen which allows you to see easily which brands are available in a particular product range, so if you're looking for Bed head products for example in the hair care section, rather than trolling through pages and pages of products, you can easily select the Bed head brand name from the left hand column and it will take you straight to the full range of bed head products. You can also shop by brand directly from the home page if you know exactly what it is you are looking for by using a drop down menu and clicking on go, which again will take you to the brand of product you are looking to purchase.
Beauty bay have recently made an addition to the site with their essential beauty section, where you can go to find out the latest news and keep up with the latest trends which uses various celebrities as latest look models so readers can find out the hottest tips for looking like Cheryl Cole and a variety of other celebrities. The essential beauty section provides beauty advice including an A-Z guide to beauty from information on Acne right through to Zeno, makes for interesting reading if you want to find out more about skin complaints and their causes or even breakthrough technologies and so on. There is also an Agony aunt in this new section where site users can post problems and get responses via the beauty bay website.
***HOW EASY IS THE SITE TO USE?***
The site is very easy to use. As stated before, the navigation system could not be simpler allowing you to find your favourite products within seconds. All you have to do is find what your looking for select how much of the item you want and pop it into your basket by clicking on the; add to bag option. One of the things I like about this site is that you can see whether or not a product is out of stock whereas I've found in past experiences that online retailers sometimes show products on their site that are currently unavailable so it's nice to know with Beauty bay if it says a product is in stock, then it's in stock. You can see how many items you have in your bag and the total cost at the top of the web page and it even allows you to change the currency from GBP to USD and EUR and kr. When you're ready to pay for your items all you do is click on View/checkout located underneath your shopping bag and it will take you right to it, detailing all of your current products. You have the option here to remove any products that were perhaps impulse buys or un-necessary items and to choose your delivery options and you also have the opportunity to enter any discount codes before proceeding to the checkout. Couldn't be simpler if you ask me.
***HOW COMPETITIVE IS THE PRICING?***
The only products I have ever bought from Beauty bay are hair products. I have been actively using tigi bedhead products for a number of years now but do find that it is a very expensive brand. I can get my favourite shampoo and conditioner from Beauty bay for £8.99 per 750ml pump bottle which is a bargain as most other online retailers charge over £10.00 and it's even more expensive if you buy from your hairdresser direct. The postage isn't too expensive either charging £1.95 for 2nd class and £2.50 for 1st class. They also offer 1st class recorded and next day delivery but at an expensive rate so I'd steer clear of these. The next day delivery costs almost as much as the product itself at £7.95. If you spend more than £60.00 on the website then you can get standard first class postage for free. I can't really comment on the other product areas as I have never purchased anything other than hair care products, but I would like to think that the pricing is just as competitive throughout the site.
***HOW FAST WAS THE DELIVERY***
As I had placed my order before 4pm on a weekday I was notified on the dispatch of my purchase via e-mail that very same day and I received my purchase only a couple of days later. I was very pleased with the overall service and as I am due to re-stock on my Tigi hair products I'll be sure to use Beauty bay again, as they were one of the most competitively priced online retailers I came across and I found them very easy to use. Had I needed to return my products for any reason I could have done so free of charge provided it was within 14 days of purchase, but luckily I was more than happy with what I had purchased so had no need to use this service.
***MY OVERALL IMPRESSIONS***
A nice, clean, easy to use site that provides premium beauty products at very competitive pricing with lots of additional features such as their essential beauty section. I can't complain about the delivery service as it was very good and I have had no reason to contact Beauty bay about any aspect of my shopping experience. I would recommend this site to anyone looking to save a few pennies on beauty products.
When it comes to buying cosmetics, despite my large collection, I rarely have the time to physically head into a shop to buy them, instead preferring to do most of my shopping online. My old first stop for makeup had always been hqhair.com, but when they stopped offering cashback, and I began to find that their prices had started creeping up, I decided to have a look around for alternatives and that was where I first came across beautybay.com.
Beautybay.com stocks many of the same brands as hqhair, including Bare Escentuals, Becca, Stila, Nails Inc, Urban Decay, Blinc, DuWop, and ModelCo. The site uses an attractive purple and white colour scheme and is nicely uncluttered, easy to browse and runs quickly with no waiting for things to load. You can shop by brand, or you can browse by types of item - the site is divided into haircare, makeup, skincare, fragrance, accessories, and mens. The front page of each section shows a few 'editors picks' and you can then further browse by the brands which are listed down the left hand side.
Obviously makeup is my favourite section - the range of brands is pretty good and the prices are reasonable (not showing massive reductions compared to buying direct from the manufacturer, but for the most part at a slight discount). My most recent order included a Blinc mascara (fab stuff - really innovative and puts little silicone tubes around your lashes that just slide off to remove) and Bare Escentuals foundation. Perhaps you'd like some DuWop lip venom to pucker up your pout, or maybe some YSL Touch Eclat to hide your dark circles? Each product shows a small picture of the product - these aren't always the best quality and sometimes a little fuzzy, but you can enlarge the picture to get a better look and that picture looks far clearer. There are a couple of sentences of product description for each item and the price is clearly displayed, as well as showing you whether the item is in stock or not (if it's in stock the item will usually be dispatched on the same day), as well as information on the brand itself, and any customer reviews. Customer reviews are fairly thin on the ground at the moment, but hopefully as the site takes off they will build on this.
The hair care section is also well stocked, with brands like MOP, Tigi, Bedhead, Matrix, redken, Paul Mitchell, Fudge, GHD and many more. Highlights of the skincare section include MD Formulations, This Works, Skin Doctors, Nude, and Murad. The accessories range includes Tweezerman, Tangle Teezer, as well as lots of ranges of makeup brushes. The only range that I find noticeably missing compared to hqhair is Benefit, but it's a range that is easy enough to get hold of elsewhere so it's not too much of an issue!
Ordering is pain free - when you choose to add an item to your bag a pop up will appear asking you to confirm and informing you that the item will be added and pointing you towards your checkout which you can see at the top of the screen, giving you a running total of your bill. When you click on the checkout you can view all of the items in your bag, remove any you've changed your mind about, select the delivery method you want and any gift box options, then proceed to the payment stage. They accept all the major credit cards, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Maestro.
The delivery is a big seller for me. I placed my order at 12.00pm and it was dispatched at 15.00 the same day, with an email to confirm it had been sent out. You can't say better than that! I received it 2 days later which for standard delivery is pretty impressive. Standard delivery (1st class) for orders under £60 is £2.50 (which I think is reasonable), 1st class recorded is £3.50, and next day delivery is £7.95 (pretty steep when you consider the speed of their standard delivery!) They also offer free returns for UK orders, as long as items are unopened and unused and returned within 14 days. In my opinion this is key for an online makeup store, as colour swatches aren't always accurate and you never really know exactly what a colour will look like once you get it in front of you. They also make it easy for you to contact their customer service team through a Contact Us section, and you can get in touch using phone, email or post.
All in all, I was pretty impressed with beautybay, and it's certainly a site I will use again in future and one that I hope continues to expand its range of products. The 7.5% cashback offered through cashbackkings is also a big bonus for me!