In my “final” Hauluary post, I mentioned that I was waiting for a couple more shipments – this is one of them! In mid-January, I heard about TheBalm being on HauteLook for 50% off from Kaily – I was both excited and a little bit apprehensive. I’ve contemplated for years about ordering makeup off HauteLook since they hold such amazing sales, but living in Canada often adds a whole layer of complexity – not to mention expense – when it comes to ordering from US-based sites. So how was my first HauteLook experience from a Canadian perspective?
Pretty great, actually! 😀
First, let’s look at what I ordered, and then I’ll discuss my experience ordering from HauteLook.
One of the reasons why I jumped on this deal was to get my paws on this item: Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette
I own the Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette which is in the same format and contains more neutral matte shades. The Meet Matt(e) Trimony leans more cool-toned overall with some great transition shades. I’m very excited to try this as it has great reviews online – check out Kaily’s review of this palette here.
Balm Appetit Palette
I just couldn’t help myself with this palette because of how cute the packaging is! The die-cute lettering “EAT UR♥ OUT” is just a cover – when it’s opened, the shadows are normal square shaped pans. 😉 The quality of the shadows in this palette is a mixed bag though – the consensus is that the mattes and shimmers are good but the satins (bottom row) are poor. Read Kaily’s review here and also Thoughtful Pigeon’s review here. Another palette I toyed with getting was the Nude ‘Tude but I think I probably already own all those shades in my stash in various formats.
CabanaBoy Shadow / Blush
This says it’s a blush and an eye shadow? I’m leaning toward using this more of a blush than an eye shadow, personally.
InStain Blush in Argyle and Pinstripe
I mentioned in my review post of these InStain blushes that I wanted more of them and here we are! 😉 I think I now own all the shades from this range.
As for the experience of ordering from HauteLook, here’s what I thought under each of these considerations:
The biggest consideration for me was whether shopping on HauteLook yielded significant savings. Even though everything was 50% off the regular price, all of the prices are shown in USD so I had to factor in currency conversion. In addition, there were shipping / handling fees and an international surcharge that HauteLook charges. I actually put everything on a spreadsheet (are you surprised?) to do a side-by-side comparison before I took the plunge:
Despite our poor exchange rate, I still saved 67% shopping on HauteLook vs buying these same items in a Canadian store. 🙂 I kept my order to less than $100 in an attempt to avoid any import duties – I’m really not sure that the “magic” number is – but I did not incur any additional charges on my shipment. Presumably, the international surcharge takes care of that?
TheBalm is accessible to me as it’s sold at some Rexall beauty departments, and they do have sales from time to time (usually 25% off or buy 1 get 1 at 50% off). However, I’ve not come across either the Meet Matt(e) Trimony or the Balm Appetit Palettes in person yet. From Canadian online stores, I can order TheBalm from ObsessedCanada.com (or NailPolishCanada.com) which carries pretty much the whole TheBalm range but they rarely have sales. In the HauteLook sale, I was hoping to get my hands on the Bahama Mama Bronzer, and the BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer but they weren’t listed (they had the tinted moisturizer but not in my shade). But overall, the selection of TheBalm products was quite good.
I placed this order on January 17th and it arrived February 13th so it wasn’t terrible in terms of shipping time from California to Toronto. I was honestly expecting the order to take a minimum of 6 weeks to arrive since the order confirmation stated:
Ships in 2 – 3 weeks from order date. When this event ends, this item is sent from the brand to HauteLook, and then from HauteLook to you.
I had heard some nightmare stories of Canadians shopping for gifts and the items not arriving in time. I was in no rush to get these items but it would be odd if I posted this haul in March when I’d ordered them in January. 😛 I also liked that it was shipped via Canpar since I’m not home during weekdays – the parcel was held at a nearby location for me to pick up at my convenience. I should also mention that the items were packed securely with ample bubble wrap and in a compact sized cardboard box that was suitable for the items inside.
All in all, a great first experience with HauteLook and I would consider purchasing more from the site in the future. 🙂 I guess it’s not surprising that I enjoyed shopping on HauteLook since it is operated by Nordstrom.
Have you tried any of TheBalm items I bought? Do you shop on HauteLook?