The new

I love (no - adore!) shopping online. With two small children on different nap schedules it's gone from something that I do out of convenience to a real necessity. The UPS man and I are on a first-name basis. You probably think I'm kidding. Vince can assure you that I am not.

You could say I have a bit of an online shopping habit: I buy clothes, shoes, books and even groceries online. But the one thing this beauty junkie hasn't done is gone online to buy make-up. Skincare? Yes. With skincare I can read the ingredients and promises and make up my mind about whether I want to buy a particular cream or cleanser from the comfort of my couch.

But make-up? I've been very wary to buy make-up online.

Thing is, I like to play with make-up before I buy it. In theory. I also tell myself that I want the expert help at the store. But the reality is that I'm truly grossed out by the displays at big cosmetic superstores and that I'm sometimes intimidated by the impeccably made-up ladies at the department store beauty counters.  (Just thinking of how many people had put that tube of lipstick to their lips - or worse, admitting that I don't know what to do with said lipstick is enough to make me ill.) So what really happens I go to the store to buy make-up is that I end up looking at a lot of pretty packaging but not touching or buying anything.

So when the people at Estee Lauder offered me a gift certificate to spend at I knew exactly what I wanted to spend it on. Forget their legendary skincare (for now) - it was time to buy some much needed make-up!

But the question was, how?

A quick look at their site put my mind at ease - they have lots of tools that allow you to "play" with make-up and that made it really easy to decide on what to buy. I don't wear foundation so I didn't use the foundation finder, but it's a lot of fun to play with. I did spend a lot of time watching their video tips and picked up a new way of applying eye makeup (the Estee Lauder classic look.) The video demonstration was great - and not just because we get a peek at what the model looks like without her make-up - it really shows how doable this look is. I took a look at their "Get The Look" pages and became smitten with Elizabeth Hurley's lip gloss, so I bought some Pure Color Crystal Lipstick...and then I bought the gloss sampler...and, um, one thing led to another....


And now I have an entire make-up wardrobe - purchased completely online. I'm giddy with excitement!


But here's the best part: You know those fabulous Gifts-With-Purchase you get when you buy cosmetics at the department stores? You don't have to give them up! Estee Lauder puts them right online! I got this awesome set and more eyeshadow than I can possibly wear as a free gift:


Buying makeup without leaving the house: It's a beautiful thing.

(More reviews here - or take me HOME.)