Here’s a personal question: would you ever wear secondhand cosmetics? I have to cautiously admit that I am not… totally… grossed out by it? I mean, it’s not like secondhand cosmetics are found at the bottom of a purse at Value Village and sold on the street, right? I like to think if people are selling makeup secondhand, they know how to sterilize their products so it’s not a cesspool of germs and nasties.
The first place I saw secondhand makeup being sold was on Poshmark. The vast majority of the items for sale there had just been quickly swatched and rejected, so basically these were 98% new. Mostly the items were lipsticks that were purchased or received by accident, foundation that was off-color, and makeup brushes. Nothing crazy, nothing too used.
I even put a couple of swatched products up in my own Poshmark Closet to see what the response was, and clearly Poshmarkers are unafraid of a lightly used cosmetic – and I kind of admire that! Then I learned that it’s actually a violation of Poshmark’s TOS to post swatched or used makeup. Dangit!
Was there anywhere else to buy gentled used or swatched makeup?
I was surfing through YouTube (a frequent activity) and came across an unboxing video featuring Glambot.com. The gal doing the unboxing was pulling out limited edition eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, and high end branded makeup. Turns out, it was gently-used, secondhand makeup she purchased at a deep, deep discount.
Before any kind of transaction occurs, they’re sterilized, cleaned, and inspected for quality and quantity. Considering the sheer amount of inventory they have tells me that people trust them. They get their products from their customers, so they have incentive to treat them well and ensure their safety.
So essentially, if you’re makeup taste is high-end and your bank account is bargain basement: you’ve found your people. As long as you’re not weird about the idea of using someone else’s sterilized lipstick.
Glambot has its own bargain bins, too. “Dollar Store” products are available at $1 to $5 levels for eyes, lips, and face categories. Obviously, that’s what I decided to purchase when I made my order. I bought two mystery eye products and two mystery lip products, one each at the $1 level and $3 level. Yes, I opted to dip my toe into the secondhand makeup pool while also wearing a blindfold because I have no sense of self-preservation.
What you see above is what $8 of makeup looks like after taking the plunge. Here’s what came in the mail:
- Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Chocolate Brown (possibly full size?)
- BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick Sample in Get Ready
- Sephora Eyeshadow Palette in The Essential Mattes
- Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadow Palette Deluxe Sample
Each product has tons of use left in it, and came sealed with Glambot’s signature seal. That’s nice because it makes me feel like each product has been individually examined and sterilized, like they claim.
You can see that the products have been used before, like the “S” on the Sephora eyeshadow palette has been slightly worn off. These palettes and lipsticks are like 80% unused, though. Each lipstick looks brand new – they must melt or smooth the tip somehow – and none of the pressed quads have hit pan.
The two eyeshadow palettes are almost identical, except the Color Design quad has only shimmery colors, and the Sephora palette has only mattes. The colors are almost identical, too, which could be a major win or a major bummer depending on your preference.
The lipsticks were in great condition – you can see that they look totally unused. On the top photo, on the bareMinerals lipstick, you can kind of see where it looks like the tip has been smoothed and possibly melted? As if the lipstick had been pressed to an iron or something. It makes sense, as it would both sterilize and clean up the tip of the lipstick, but I’m not sure that’s what really happens.
I really like the bareMinerals lipstick, more so than the Shu Uemura lipstick because it’s a color I can wear every day. The dark, chocolate brown of the Shu Uemura shade is gorgeous, but probably won’t see too much use from me. Maybe I’ll give it to a friend.
Once again, just like when I purchased my first Colourpop products, I made my first purchase during an enormous sale event. This resulted in some extra long shipping times which concerned me, and I ended up writing to Glambot to see what was up. They confirmed that it was due to the gigantic Memorial Day Sale (where each day, they reduced the sale price by an extra 20-30%), and even gave me $5 credit on my account. Just because I was at all affected by the delay.
The only complaint I have, outside of the rectified shipping issue, is that their signature seals on the products left a really sticky, gross residue behind. I’m not sure if it was because my mailbox was extra hot the day it was delivered, or whatever – but it’s not cute. It can be mostly scraped off and is basically inconsequential, but it’s worth mentioning.
Some others, including Beauty Skeptic who I greatly respect, have had mixed experiences with Glambot. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my purchases, though I thought the high-end makeup products would be a little bit more exciting and/or high-end… But they were $1-$3 each. How complain-y can I really be?
Before you get excited about sending in every crappy lipstick color you wine-bought from Sephora.com, you should know that you need at least 20 to get them to send you a bag. I know, twenty items is a LOT. I’m going to try to round them up, though, so I can see what the selling process is like. Obviously, I’ll report back with all of my findings.
If you’re not squeamish, definitely check out Glambot and use this link to get $5! It’s really fun to be surfing high-end and designer cosmetics and seeing itty-bitty price tags attached to them.
Have you shopped with Glambot before? What was your experience?
*I used my referral link in this – you’ll get one, too, if/when you sign up. I think you get $5 for every referral that purchases, and each friend that signs up through the above gets $5 in credit instantly!