Buying beauty products from Amazon

I made my first Amazon cosmetic purchase a couple of weeks ago, and I thought to do a quick post on the process since I’ve had many questions and comments since.

So, first things first. I’ve been obsessing over the Lorac Pro palettes for nearly a year, and I decided to spoil myself with one of them. After some back and forth I decided on the Lorac Pro 2 palette because it not only has a great selection of neutrals, there are a couple of special-looking non-neutrals as well.

The Lorac palettes are notoriously hard to find outside the US, and I eventually found one that ships to SA on I selected the product and proceeded to checkout, which was a fairly standard/simple process. Amazon adds taxes and customs upfront and even though the palette qualified for free shipping, a fee was added for that too.

The price of the palette was $42, and the other charges added up to $25.72, which made my total R820. I initially cringed at this price (the palette alone is around R500) but when I factored in customs and courier delivery I figured it’s not a bad deal – I’ve heard some crazy customs/duties horror stories where shoppers have been charged anything between 50 – 100% of the purchase price. I’ve personally collected some parcels where no customs have been added whatsoever, so it’s a gamble at best.

{UPDATE: About 6 weeks after everything was processed I was refunded R180 of the customs charges}

I was especially chuffed that the post office was eliminated altogether – the parcel arrived via Aramex couriers 12 days after I ordered it (which was at least a week before the estimated delivery date). It arrived in a padded envelope with some extra bubble wrap around the palette box, and even the outer packaging was in absolutely immaculate condition.

lorac pro 2 amazon
Lorac Pro Palette 2 in box


lorac pro 2 amazon
Lorac Pro 2


lorac pro 2 palette
Lorac Pro 2 sahdes – 8 matte and 8 shimmer


In conclusion – I’m really happy with the way this purchase worked out and I’m beyond impressed with my Lorac Pro 2 palette. I’ll definitely recommend using Amazon if you prefer convenient delivery (many sites don’t offer international courier delivery) and playing it safe customs-wise.

I’ll do a separate post with some pictures and swatches once I’ve had a chance to play with it. The palette I bought is here, but for some reason it’s now telling me it doesn’t ship to SA – no idea what’s up with that.

UPDATE: A big thank you to Anye who let me know there’s a filter option on the left hand side of the page (it will show up once you’ve searched for a specific brand/product) where you can choose to only view products that ship to your country. Didn’t even see that, but it will save me a lot of unnecessary heartache in future!

C x



  1. Anye
    Jan 15, 2015 / 9:51 AM

    I bought real technique brushes on Amazon and the service was just as good as yours. Been eyeing the Lorac palette too! I seriously wish they would ship more products to SA. There is a little filter on the left hand side where you can filer which products can ship to SA.

    I personally think it works much better with an all inclusive price and no post office service.

    • Jan 15, 2015 / 9:58 AM

      I’ve heard only good things from South Africans buying via Amazon, although I have read about other shoppers receiving counterfeit items too. Thanks for the tip about the filter, didn’t see it! I’ve updated for others who are as unobservant as I am 😛

  2. Danica
    Jan 15, 2015 / 3:55 PM

    Have you purchased beauty items from any other overseas sites (like BeautyBay etc)? I would love to hear about your experiences and the process…I’m so hesitant to buy from overseas websites especially due to the customs charges.


  3. Candice
    Jan 15, 2015 / 3:56 PM

    OMG it;’s stunning not sure I would ever pay that price!


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