How I get the most out of my online shopping experience

It's almost that time of the year. Sale time! Black Friday sales, holiday sales - good times. But I live in East Africa, I can't pop into the nearest Sephora, SpaceNK or experience the joys of Amazon Prime. 

Getting skincare here can be expensive. I need to plan and shop for skin care responsibly. Behind every skin care purchase is research, discussion, organization, planning, and deliberate decision making.

Adulting, ya know.

Step 1

Before making any purchase, I look at the spreadsheet which tracks my routine. This was a genius tip I picked from Cat of Snow White and The Asian Pear.

This spreadsheet is everything. It provides perspective on how much skin care I can realistically use at a time.

Step 2

After looking at the spreadsheet, I analyse the skin care routine and determine whether it's in line with my skin care goals.

I think it's important to  write down your skin care goals at least every year. What do you want out of your skin care. Is it to heal acne? Brighten and even the complexion? Moisturize and hydrate? Age well?

With a clear goal, you can find out what effective products help with the targeted skin concern.

For example, my goal this year is brightening. So I'm all about skincare that evens and protect the skin e.g. niacinamide, vitamin C, arbutin, licorice extract, AHAs and sun protection.

Step 3

After finding out which products contain these ingredients, it's time to look for product reviews on sites like Makeupalley and Reddit.

I also check the ingredient lists of suggested products for potential irritation on CosDNA.

Step 4

When I have a list of potential products, I start hunting for the stores that stock them and their delivery policies.

If it delivers to Kenya or Uganda, Hallelujah! If it doesn't, I turn to online shopping services and ask for a quote. The process takes minutes.

I want to know  exactly how much it would cost to get the product from the store to my room. So the price should include shipping, taxes and delivery.

Step 5

With this quote, I figure out which product gives the best value for money. I calculate this using a simple formula from the Beauty Brains.

Value of Product = Total Cost Of Item (incl shipping, taxes and delivery) / Quantity

For example, you want to buy a gentle cleanser and you have your eye on two.

By the time Cleanser 1 gets from the store to your bathroom, it costs KES 2,000. The product is 355ml which makes the value:

VoP = 2,000/355 which is KES 5.6 per ml

By the time Cleanser 2 gets from the store to your bathroom, it also costs KES 1,500. However, the product is 177ml. The value will be:

VoP= 1,500/177 which is KES 8.5 per ml

The difference is clear. The savvy choice would be Cleanser 1.  It offers the best value for money. 

Finally, step 6

Now, it's time to dip into the "belle fund" and make a purchase.

Every month, I put away some money for self care. The belle fund is meant to cater for any beauty and wellness. Because: again, adulting.


What skincare are you hoping to get during sale time? I have my eye on some Dr. Jart!

 Image by CreateHER stock

Image by CreateHER stock

This post is updated and was originally on my previous beauty blog Wolf + Moroko

Skin Care TipsClare Oparo