Wednesday, August 8, 2012

5 Online Sources for Indie, Organic & International Beauty Brands

When I travel, I frequently visit local pharmacies, beauty boutiques, day spas, and the like to spot hidden beauty and skincare gems. Even the hotel gift store (or spa) may stock unique items that I'll rarely find anywhere else. But what happens when you fall in love with the item and want to repurchase?

It's unlikely you'll be able to hop on a plane to Paris (or the Big Apple) just to stock up on your favorite makeup remover (or perfume). That's precisely why I wrote today's post. Here are my top 5 online sources for finding those much beloved independent, organic, and/or foreign brands that may not be easily accessible in your neck of the woods.


DermStore offers over 650 brands, including physician-strength formulas and hard-to-find specialty brands.

Rewards Program: Add a item to "Favorites" and get 10% off that item every time you shop. Plus, get $10 in store credit for every time a new referred friend makes a purchase. 
Shipping: Free standard shipping on all domestic orders all the time. Free 2nd day shipping on orders over $100.00 within the U.S.
Return Policy: 30 days of receiving the order for a full refund.
Site Reviews: Yes
Retail Storefront: Hermosa Beach, CA

LovelySkin is a premier dermatologist-owned and operated beauty web site under the direction of award winning board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Joel Schlessinger, M.D. The company offers a wide choice of dermatologist-recommended, advanced skin care products.

Rewards Program: A four-tiered rewards program providing 2-6% back in rewards, as well as a percentage off (12.5% or 15%) your favorite products. 
Shipping: Free U.S. shipping. 
Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund. Returns must be in their original packaging and must be postmarked or have visible tracking within 7 days of receiving a return merchandise authorization number (RMA). Any returns that are postmarked after 7 days of receiving an RMA# will not be accepted.
Site Reviews: Yes
Retail Storefront: No, but there is a LovelySkin spa in Omaha, NE.



In the past year, Nordstrom has been rapidly expanding its beauty and skincare offerings. You'll now find some niche brands that are available exclusively online and not in stores. I frequently check the "New Beauty Brands" section to stay up to date.

Rewards Program: No, but they do award points to Nordstrom cardholders for every purchase.
Shipping: Free U.S. shipping all the time.
Return Policy: Return anytime in store or by mail. The company's return policy is top notch!
Site Reviews: Yes
Retail Storefront: 231 stores in the U.S., but some brands are only available online.


NuboNau offers a wide range of natural and organic beauty brands. The company audits every ingredient contained within its offerering and also evaluates formulations via a team of independant, consultant cosmetic chemists who specialize in natural ingredients in order to bring you exceptional product integrity and performance.

Rewards Program: Earn points for every purchase via the Cloud Nine Club, as well as get $10.00 worth of points when a referred friend makes a purchase.
Shipping: Free U.S. shipping for orders more than $95.
Return Policy: No returns, but they do offer up to 4 free samples with every order.  
Site Reviews: Yes 
Retail Storefront: Sadly, no. They just closed their store in Encinitas, CA.


Pharmaca is an everyday health resource offering a traditional pharmacy, holistic remedies, and natural beauty items from such brands as Jurlique, Jane Iredale, Dr. Hauschka, and many others.

Rewards Program: Earn 3% back on non-pharmacy items via Feel Better Rewards program. 
Shipping: Free U.S. shipping (excluding Alaska, Hawaii) on orders $20 and more. 
Return Policy: Within 30 days of the date you received your order on unopened, unused, or defective items. Return via the mail or in store. Note that a 10% re-stocking fee will be charged. 
Site Reviews: Yes 
Retail Storefront: 24 stores in the Western U.S.

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