Shopping on Beauty Bay from South Africa is not as nightmare-ish as I initially anticipated it would be. So someone is going to need to take my card away from me they are going to break my piggy bank. I’ve successfully received two sets of orders (or as Beauty Bay affectionately calls it – hauls) from them now, so I think that gives me enough to base a review on.
WHAT IS BEAUTY BAY?
Beauty Bay is an international online store based in the UK. It houses a wide variety of familiar and not so familiar skincare, haircare, and makeup brands. I first heard about the store from a South African Youtuber and I was quite intrigued because I will never miss an opportunity to place an online order which doesn’t require me to fight the Post Office. When initially browsing, I was pleasantly surprised at how wide their selection of products and brands was. Some I recognized, like NYX, L.A Girl, Makeup Revolution, Dose Of Colors etc but mostly were brands that were quite new to me like The Ordinary, Mario Badescu, Sample Beauty as well as their in-house brand. I don’t think they stock the likes of Revlon or Mac but there are definitely so many other good brands you can shop.
MY FIRST BEAUTY BAY ORDER FROM SOUTH AFRICA
When I made my first attempt at shopping on Beauty Bay, it was September last year. I was just starting to dabble in the eyeshadow space and so I was drawn to the Beauty Bay Fiery 16 Colour Palette because of the neutral but vibrant colours. To test the waters, I placed the order and waited with bated breath for either a missing parcel, late delivery, or customs scamming me. To my very pleasant surprise, the parcel was delivered 2 weeks later in South Africa, to my door by Aramex with no customs charges. For a beginner like myself, I found the palette itself to be quite good in terms of pigment and blend-ability. Some of the colours might not show up as well on dark skin compared to fairer skin but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad palette. Overall, I was happy that all went smoothly so I was confident in placing another order.
MY LATEST HAUL
My most recent loot had me very excited. I placed an order at the end of December last year for 2x of their in-house 42 colour palettes, a 12 piece eye brush set, and a bronzing powder.
Bright Matte 42 Colour Palette
This is a stunning, vibrant palette with purely matte shades and no shimmers. It comes with a large mirror which is always appreciated. It does get a bit heavy when holding it to do an eye look but really, it’s a big palette so that can be expected. The colours are a bit on the powdery side so expect a bit of fall out when applying.
Price: Normally $20 but I bought it on sale for $10
Origin 42 Colour Palette
I absolutely love the colour by number concept. This palette is ideal for beginners who are unsure of what the transition colour needs to be, which colour is best for the crease etc. These are actually quite bright and pigmented but can also be powdery.
Price: Normally $24 but I bought it on sale for $14,40
With this bronzer, I was actually trying to find a dupe for the Smash Box Contour Kit colour in Terracotta Bronze. One of my favourite South African Beauty Youtubers, Cynthia Gwebu, uses it but I was finding it hard to cough up R800 for a 3 colour palette where I will only be using one shade. The bronzers come in 8 shades and I chose the colour Chestnut, which is a matte mocha with warm/red undertone.
Price: Normal price $6 but I bought it on sale for $3,60
12 Piece Brush Set On A Brush Roll
Now, this is a gem. There are 12 super-soft eyeshadow brushes in this set and they all come in this brush roll bag which will make life so much easier for travelling. As an eyeshadow person, you can never have too many brushes. I haven’t used the brushes yet but they feel good and given the test-blend I did, they do a good job at blending too.
Price: Normal price $25 but I bought it on sale for $15
PRICES AND SHIPPING
Let’s get into the logistics and the nitty-gritty. To be fair, Beauty Bay sends out the parcels really quickly – on the same day, actually. It’s the international shipping process once the order leaves BB Headquarters for the destination that feels like pulling teeth.
This second loot took almost a full 30 days to arrive, but I blame that on the pandemic as when I did my second batch of shopping on Beauty Bay, we were just entering the second wave in South Africa. As for customs, I was highly annoyed. I have had one parcel before which I bought on Aliexpress stuck at customs but I was notified via email to clear it before it came to me, which is the respectful thing to do. For this order, I followed the tracker religiously and I noticed that the courier company was now FedEx and not Aramex as per my previous order. My parcel was cleared at customs and sent to the depot with no payment requirement, so I was quite relieved. So now, imagine my shock and horror when FedEx rocked up at my door with my parcel in one hand and a R300 charge for duties and taxes on the other! I didn’t have this experience with my first order so I don’t know if it’s the courier company, the number of items I ordered, the address I shipped to this time around or the fact that we were mid-second wave in South Africa. So just allow for that when shopping on Beauty Bay that you might get an additional customs charge in South Africa. Even though it is a UK based company, they charge is US Dollars so bare in mind exchange rate as well.
I think the pro of it all is that they deliver to your door and you can shop a wide selection of products for a fraction of the price compared to how much they retail for here. I am also excited because Beauty Bay still stocks NYX, which has been discontinued in South Africa. They do charge for shipping, which I think varies because there was a $5 difference between my first order and my second one.
Overall, I have no complaints about the quality of the products I have ordered. It’s just the delivery lead times and of course not knowing whether or not customs is going to pick on you.
Leave your comment below if you have ever placed an order or are planning on shopping on Beauty Bay from South Africa anytime soon!