I've always been in a bind when it comes to beauty products. I love beauty products, but I hate the process of shopping for beauty products anywhere but in a totally anonymous drugstore, because I hate - loathe - being chatted up by cosmetics salespeople. You know, the ones that are all, like, oh, dear, you have dry skin you MUST try this moisturizer and oh, dear, you have oily skin you must try this astringent and you're not using SOAP on your face are you? and why on earth do you not use blush?
I hate that. I hate that so much that I avoid beauty counters at all costs. Which is why I was more than eager to test-drive Estee Lauder's new virtual beauty counter, where you can shop and explore secure in the knowledge that no overly-friendly woman with too much eyeshadow will corner you and bully you into buying the latest eyelash curling technology. Happily, the virtual Estee Lauder experience was so user-friendly that I may never need to brave the wilds of the cosmetic counter again.
The primary reason to visit a cosmetics counter - with its roaming packs of cosmetics-wielding saleswomen - is to get advice on what cosmetics best suit your skin type and your coloring and your lifestyle etc, etc. The Estee Lauder site provides a Skincare Finder and a Foundation Finder that assess your needs with a brief questionnaire, and thereby eliminates the need for real life assistance - which, if you're anything like me, is tremendously appealing. Both are easy to use and about as accurate as you would expect any salesperson to be. And there's something tremendously satisfying about creating your own skin/foundation profile (I have Fair, Combination Skin and Would Like To Prevent Future Signs Of Aging. If you're interested.) I had a lot of fun using the site (I actually plugged in all sorts of variation on skin needs, just to see what they would suggest, because it was just fun to pretend that I was shopping for every conceivable cosmetic need, and because, also, one just never knows when one might suddenly develop dry, flaky skin and need to identify a night cream, fast) and ended up filling my virtual shopping basket pretty quickly.
The site carries the same promotions that you'd find at a department store counter (the much-coveted gift with the purchase, the holiday gift packs, etc), so you're not missing out on any potential deals or goodies, and again, did I mention the complete absence of salespeople? Also, you can buy lipstick while wearing your pajamas. I might be addicted.
I haven't received my order yet - I didn't opt for overnight shipping - but I'm certain (being well and happily acquainted with EL products already) that it will be everything that I expect. But I didn't have to run the cosmetics salesperson gauntlet to get it, and that makes me very, very happy.
Check their site out HERE.