Long have I coveted Glossier! Though many of my favourite US makeup and beauty brands have made their way across the Atlantic (like Anastasia Beverly Hills and Kat Von D) and others (such as ColourPop) now offer reasonable international shipping rates, Glossier has always remained out of reach. And we all know that not being able to get hold of a product just makes it all the more appealing... I was recently contacted by My Mall Box, a US parcel forwarding company, to try out their service so of course I knew where I wanted to order from!
The Shipping Process
I think a lot of people are under the impression that package forwarding is a lot of fuss or extra effort and it's really not! To me, an extra 5 or so minutes is nothing when I really have my eye on something that isn't available in my country. All you have to do is sign up on My Mall Box (which is free) and you're provided with a US address (this includes a suite number, which is how your stuff is identified). If you want to scout out the potential shipping rate before placing your order, you can have a quick check - all you need to do is put in your country, post code and an approximate weight (I always check for 1kg and 1.5kg because an order of around 5 beauty products tends to come in at around that that and I'd rather overestimate than underestimate). Then you can see what your options are.
When I've used these services before I've always gone for the cheap option, which is Economy Airmail, taking between 5 and 12 business days for around the £15 mark (note that this varies in line with weight). This is perfect if you'd rather save money and wait a few extra days. Once you're happy with the shipping costs, all you have to do is head over to your website of choice and choose the products you want. (As a side note: if you also want to order something from Glossier, you can get 20% off by supporting fellow bloggers who are Glossier reps by using their referral pages. Two bloggers I love are part of this programme and have links to their pages on their blogs: Cindy H Yue and Beauty by Kesley.) However when you get to the point of entering your shipping address, you put in the one provided on your My Mall Box homepage (with that all-important suite number). Your billing address is exactly the same as it would be if you were ordering from a site in your own country (I left 'State' blank and where it says 'Zip Code', I put in my postcode). One thing to note is that (with my bank at least) your card may get initially declined and then you have to confirm via text that it was you placing the order. This is a security feature to prevent fraud. Therefore, if you have the option on your website of choice, I'd recommend using PayPal (though this isn't possible on Glossier).
Your parcel is then dispatched by the website you ordered it from to your suite at My Mall Box HQ. Obviously how long you wait at this stage depends on the shipping speed of the site you ordered from - I just chose the free standard shipping option from Glossier and was notified by email that it had arrived on the Friday (I'd ordered on the Saturday night the week before, meaning it had been 4 working days). So I logged back into My Mall Box and there my parcel was with an itemised register so I could check all was in order.
I then selected the address I had added to my account earlier (work, because DHL often don't deliver on weekends and their depot is nowhere near me!) and chose DHL Express because I was too, too excited to finally get my hands on some Glossier! Then you just have to pay and wait for its arrival (which was 3 days for me). If you chose a tracked service then you can click into the package number to check where your parcel is.
I assumed that because I had ordered so much that I'd need to pay customs on it, however I'd never actually ordered from abroad using a courier so was unsure what to expect. If you're unfamiliar with the procedure; you pay customs on goods you've purchased over £15. Sometimes you may not, however I always factor it in when I order from abroad and wouldn't bank on not being hit if I've spent over £15. You then have to pay 20% of the cost of your products (i.e. VAT) plus an £8 'handling fee' to Royal Mail (which is the part that annoys me!) However I didn't get a customs fee on my package this time which was lucky.
Everything arrived safely and in perfect condition. I also got some cute stickers in the order, though was pretty dismayed that one of their trademark pink bubble wrap packets wasn't included!
Milky Jelly Cleanser | $18 | I essentially picked this up to see how it would compare with the nice-enough-but-too-expensive Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel. Instead of a gel-to-oil consistency this stays as a jelly formula. It isn't at all thick or gloopy though; it's very lightweight and easy to spread across the skin. It makes my skin feel both clean (without being stripped) and very soft. I'll keep you posted on any long-term benefits I notice after I've given this a go for a good few weeks, but so far, so good!
Super Glow Vitamin C Serum | $28 | I knew I definitely wanted one of the Super serums but it took me a while to work out which. I eventually decided I have a couple of plumping serums and clarifying serums but I don't have a glow-boosting option. This isn't actually orange, that's just the packaging, it has a clear consistency and an dropper applicator. The consistency is very runny, almost watery and absorbs quickly without leaving even a trace of tackiness. So far I really like how fresh, healthy and glowing my skin looks when I use this. However I want to give it a more thorough test now I've finally trialled all the serums I picked up from the Ordinary.
Priming Moisturiser | $25 | The idea of a 2-in-1 primer and moisturiser definitely appealed to me for those busy weekday mornings, plus this seems to be one of Glossier's star products. It has a cream-like consistency but is even more lightweight than I expected. Unlike something like the MAC Strobe Cream, it isn't just a hydrating cream formula-wise, it does also act as an adhesive, helping my makeup stay in place as well as clearing up dry patches. So far, I'm a fan!
Coconut Balm Dot Com | $12 | Obviously the Balm Dot was going to be in the mix, as another Glossier classic, and I opted for the yummy-sounding coconut flavour. This smells absolutely incredible! It has such a natural coconut scent that I love being able to smell when I use it. The product itself is set to be a multi-purpose favourite, I think (it's very similar to the Lanolips 101). It's an intensely nourishing balm that's not too thick or greasy. It's soothing and repairing on my lips (and you can still easily apply your lipstick on top of it) but you can also use it on other dry patches; I like to apply it around my dry nose and it helps to clear things up.
Generation G Matte Lipstick in Leo | $18 | I was intrigued by this lipstick formula (billed as 'sheer matte') so decided to pick up the warm brown shade 'Leo'. It has a really interesting consistency - it feels very balmy but does have a matte stain-like finish. It's one of those perfect workday shades I know I'll keep reaching for. It wears decently, though not as well as a full-on matte lipstick. However you can literally apply this on a bumpy bus without a mirror; it's that quick and easy!
Boy Brow in Brown | $16 | This tinted brow gel is so hyped-up at the moment that I couldn't resist adding it to my basket. I really wasn't sure whether to opt for Black or Brown. I'm still not certain whether Black would've been better but Brown works well enough for my hair colour and actually looks a lot darker once applied than it appears on the wand (which was a relief after I felt duped by the very dark-browed model on the website!) This has a fantastic tiny little wand (even smaller than Benefit's Gimme Brow) making it incredibly easy to manoeuvre and apply without making a mess. It gives an impressive amount of volume without being thick or too obvious. It also holds brows effortlessly in place. On a low-maintenance day, or if you're blessed with thick brows, this is all you'll need.
Have you tried Glossier or My Mall Box before? Which US beauty products do you want to get your hands on?