Reader question: Online makeup shopping

Hi Liz, I just want to ask you about online shopping. My dilemma is I love to shop for make up online because it's easy and tempting but sometimes I receive make up that has foul smell and I realized maybe old stocks na yung nareceive ko. Kahit trusted seller shop naka-receive pa rin ako ng old stock as in may liquid part na yung lipgloss. We don't know kung properly stored ba yung mga products or gaano na katagal sa place nila yung products so I would like to ask if you can recommend any online shops for make up? Thanks! - Chiena

The first time I bought makeup online was in eBay. I ordered this palette from Rustan's for a really good deal, I think it was P300? I was so excited to get it! And yes, I also bought it from a trusted seller. Imagine my disappointment when the eyeshadows were as hard as plastic and the lipsticks were this weird greasy stuff. It was a horrible waste of my student's allowance, to say the least.

Since then I prefer to buy makeup mostly offline and only in select stores online. Here are some tips on how to screen online makeup stores!

1. Research on the product you intend to buy. When was it released exactly? Find the earlist blog post about it online so you can make a reasonable guess. As a rule, you shouldn't buy any beauty product older than two years. Yes, even if it's sealed. They may not be expired yet when you open them but the formula may spoil fast anyway. So that Urban Decay limited edition palette released in 2009? Not a wise buy.

Products that are part of the permanent line are a little trickier. You can ask the store owner what the expiration date is. You can also check if there is any change in the packaging, and when it happened.

The NYX Lips Lipstick were from three or four years ago. They are now discountinued. Oddly enough, there are still some people who sell it.

2. Monitor how often the store comes out with new products or fresh stocks. If a store has something new at least twice a month, you can bet that their products are moving. No old stuff left behind.

3. Go for stores that are handled by owners who take their business seriously. I check their track record and the customer feedback. A quick scan of their Facebook page can tell you a lot!

And those are my simple tips. :) My favorite online store is Digital Traincase. I don't buy makeup often, to be honest, but my past few purchases online have been from that store. It has the hottest products in the international scene, for a really reasonable price to boot. As a matter of fact I just reserved the Bioderma Sensibio at the store an hour ago. That's an awesome makeup remover btw! 

MakeupHOLICS is an active newcomer. The store focuses more on MeMeMe and Beauty UK makeup, and always has something new in from those brands. 

So there you go, Chiena! Girls, can you share your favorite online makeup stores and shopping tips? Would love to know where you buy your stash!