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I’ve seen a few influencers talking about Aliexpress recently, but I don’t think everyone knows about it yet (if you don’t, it’s like Wish, or a Chinese version of eBay). Everything on there is pretty cheap, so it’s great if you want to try a new look without spending a lot of money.
There are some serious bargains over there, but I totally get it if you’re worried about accidentally buying fakes or getting a mascara that will burn your eyelids. I was too, at first! Of course, I’ve bought quite a few products from there now, and there are a few things I’ve figured out along the way. So if you’re thinking of trying anything for yourself, here are my tips for shopping on Aliexpress.
Buy from the official stores.
If you’re looking for a Focallure eyeshadow palette, go to the Focallure Official Store*. You’re far more likely to get genuine products, that will be adequately packaged for their journey and arrive in one piece. If you can’t find an official store, look for sellers with good feedback. You can see the seller in the top left corner of the product listing, as well as how long their store has been open. Hover over the store name to see their feedback score. Always go for stores that have been open for years (not months), with average or above feedback.
Shop for dupes, not fakes.
There’s a big difference between buying a dupe product and a fake product. Dupes are products “inspired” by a higher end brand – like this Ucanbe Aromas Palette*, which looks very similar to the Huda New Nude Palette. Whereas a fake product would completley copy the higher end brand, including their logo. Fake products often duplicate the higher-end packaging including the ingredients list, even though their own formula will be completley different – this means you have no idea what ingredients you’re putting on your face. A duplicate product made by a genuine brand will be regulated and safe for use.
If you see a Jaclyn Hill or ABH palette on Aliexpress for a fraction of the RRP, you can safely assume it’s not the real thing. Personally, I wouldn’t bother buying any brands on Aliexpress that I can get over here – I specifically look for brands that are hard to find in the UK, like Miss Rose*, UCANBE*, or O.TWO.O*.
Read the reviews.
For every product you look at, scroll down and read the reviews before adding it to your cart – just like you would for any other online store. I tend to buy products that have lots of orders, with ratings of four stars or higher.
Spend less than £15 per transaction.
Whenever I order anything from abroad, I try to get the total to less than £15 including postage, so that I don’t get customs charges. It’s very easy to keep the total to less than £15 as everything on Aliexpress is so cheap! (The majority of my orders are less than £10 when I’m buying cosmetics.) If you do want to order more though, just do it in separate transactions.
Be patient with delivery.
Most items are shipped from China for free or less than £1, so be patient when you’re waiting for your product to arrive. Most of my packages take six weeks to get to my door, but I would allow two months. You should see an estimate on how long things will take when you’re buying the product, and decide if you’re willing to wait that long. Usually by the time I receive my parcel, I’ll have forgotten what I ordered, so it’s always a pleasant surprise!