Beauty products make me happy. The hunt for hard-to-find but well-loved makeup and skincare items makes me even happier. It goes to show that we take pleasure in not just using these things, but also in the sheer act of buying them.
This can be said for a lot of stuff: shoes, dresses, that limited edition handbag only a few people in the world have on their arm.
But maybe because beauty items straddle the fine line between need and want, we can easily justify choosing an expensive eye cream over another pair of mules. You can’t put a price on your skin, after all.
Last season’s so-chic bucket bags, no matter how ubiquitous, will always end up on the shelf. But a moisturizer in an A-list makeup? That will never go out of style.
My never-ending search for beauty items and cult favorites becomes more insatiable, ironically, the more they are accessible online these days. The more I click, the more I see. And the more I see, the more I want. And when I want I usually hit “Add to Cart.”
I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from. The rise of the beauty industry shows not just an increase in the earning capacity and financial independence of women (hurrah!), but also how meticulous we can be where our beauty is concerned.
We’re no longer satisfied with the usual fare. A celebrity endorsement won’t really get me to buy something. Effectivity and price points do, and when you know you’re the only one for miles around who uses a product because you love it—that’s added personal touch.
Since makeup and skincare are perhaps one of the most intimate choices we have, akin to a relationship, that mascara assumes added value when you know it’s made with utmost care, and with a particular kind of woman in mind, when it’s made as if your name were written on it.
I guess this is also why we beauty junkies don’t mind road-testing various products.
Think of it as relationship-building. You go out on a couple of dates to see if you’re compatible. This holds true for almost every product, from that liquid lipstick that promises 16-hour wear to that bottle of perfume.
And when you’re on a hunt for that perfect one, the find becomes sweeter. That beauty product not available in all of the brand’s outlets but is loved still by all? That brand that’s famous in its country of origin but never bothers with international shipping? All these things make those products even more covetable.
If you love the hunt for not-readily available makeup, here are three online places you can visit. Each carries brands that reflect their vision and the women they cater to. Each has a different beauty philosophy and could just be carrying that one product you’ve searched the world for.
My primary pick is Violet Grey. Think of this as one curated stock of beauty brands and items you’ve only heard about in whispers. It’s where the ultimate secrets are kept, like the , a treatment inspired by the thermal water of Hungary, or the Hair by SamMcKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist for that Vogue-worthy look.
Violet Grey is all about luxury—it’s where you can order the famous but elusive Rodin Face Oil or the Kjaer Weis Lip Tint Compact.
There are also the cult secrets such as Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum and the Indie Lee Blemish Lotion.
The website also has content for all things beauty-related, called “The Violet Files,” where you can read celebrity profiles on Chanel Iman, Vanessa Paradis, and Iris Apfel, and extensive beauty reviews on their chosen products.
If you’re looking for a mix of high-end and independent labels which sell only online, you can also check out Beautylish. Here you can shop for some Pop &Suki (the brand of Suki Waterhouse and best friend Poppy Jamie), with vlogger pick Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream.
Beautylish has a happy and very outgoing vibe. It’s for those who are not afraid to experiment and try out brands they may have never heard of, such as Takahashi Hiroko or Sonia G. Cosmetics.
Be ready where the beauty world takes you. As you can see in these websites, a few clicks will bring you deeper into various makeup and skincare obsessions.