Happy Monday Everyone!
I’ve a bit of a special post today =D
It’s about an online drugstore I found that for of us in the UK (or even in Asia/Australia/USA) might be one of the best options for European makeup/skincare we could have!
A week or so ago Farmaline, an online pharmacy based in Belgian, dropped me an email saying they liked the ParsiPenny site and offering me the chance to trial some of their products/services in return for linking to their site. I did some research on their online store first and decided to give it a go, especially since they said the content of the post containing their link would be entirely up to me (this is important I feel, since I really want to keep opinions on this blog unbiased and sincere!).
I know most bloggers just add a little ‘sponsored post’ or ‘pr samples’ disclaimer at the end of their post but seeing as I’m relatively new at this I thought it warranted a more full-on disclosure =)
Also, after using their site, looking at their product range, doing some price comparisons and receiving the actual parcel, I’ve decided that I actually quite like Farmaline and I’d hate for an unexplained ‘sponsored’ tag to make readers feel the e-tailer is any less amazing than it actually is!
Anyway, moving on! I’ll be doing a review of their online store today and giving a run-down of the products received =)
I’ve done my fair share of ‘website testing’ for e-tailers and a big thing is always how easy it is to navigate the site, so that’s one of the things I tend to instinctively look out for when using a new site.
The layout and colour scheme/décor of the site in general feels very ‘pharmacy’ (if that makes sense) and definitely not ‘beauty’. Whereas beauty-focused sites like Escentual definitely feel more feminine and well laid out. Sites like Boots and Superdrug, which are definitely more drugstore than beauty focused, toe a nice line in-between the two. So low points on visual appeal of the site.
That put me off slightly initially but one thing I really liked was that the first page showed you the post popular buys and 2nd in line is a twin-pack promotion of the much-loved Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water! That’s a great buy so thumbs-up from me.
The brand selection directory at the left hand side is really comprehensive, a little too comprehensive to browse through with ease, a shopping tip for those of you who are interested: I thought the best way to browse the site is to input the brand name you want into the search bar on top. You can also input the product-type you want but you get more unrelated results that way, shopping by brand was my favourite way to browse =)
Since I tend to do my research before buying a product (ie. I already know which product from which brand I’m targeting) I didn’t find the site hard to use. If you’re more of a ‘browse and see’ type of shopper I would suggest you browse by popularity =)
5 Stars for me on this!
When they asked me to select a product to trial I immediately looked up the European brands/products I knew were on my list to target and I’m happy to say that they’ve got most brands covered from the more readily available La Roche Posay and Vichy to the currently Europe-only brands like Bioderma, Lierac, Filorga and Caudalie.
They also offer a good selection from each brand, so whether you’re after the more high-end products or you’re looking for something mid-range or even budget, there’ll be something for you.
Also, worth noting they’re much more skincare-focused than makeup! You won’t find your Europe drugstore makeup fix here unfortunately.
Right, a price-comparison on some times shows that they aren’t any cheaper (eg. Bioderma on Escentual) but for the Europe-only brands I mentioned above that aren’t as readily available online (eg. Lierac and Caudalie) Farmaline really seems the best bet for an online shop. Definitely cheaper than a trip to Paris just for some face creams 😉
Oh, they also do free delivery on orders that are over 75 Euros, this seems pricey at first but if you’re a high-end shopper and want to try, say, Filorga, you’ll hit this price point in no time at all.
Otherwise, I recommend you club together with a friend or perhaps do some gift shopping online while you’re at it to make use of the delivery discount =)
Finally, pictures time!!!
My box arrived about 3 to 4 days after my last email to them, which is pretty speedy I think. If you order from them you can also track your delivery electronically and apparently ordering is also an easy process.
Happy to say I’m pleased with the packaging, everything seemed so padded and safe and all the products were definitely well preserved.
Finally, here are the products I received!
The product I choose to trial is the Lierac High Peel Cream, I’ve oily to combination skin so exfoliation is a massive concern for me! I’m currently using the Paula’s Choice BHA gel as a daily exfoliant but I’ve been wanting to try a treatment for awhile. Will review it when I’ve given it a proper run =)
The rest of the products were chosen for me after I gave them my hair and skin type information. I basically said my skin-type was oily/combination and my concerns were exfoliating and mattifying (also slight concerns with redness). As for hair, I’ve thick and straight hair and my concerns are volume.
Lierac Luminescence Serum (for reducing appearance of pigment and redness)
Lierac Magnificent Yeux (eye treatment for puffiness/wrinkles/circles)
Lierac 3 White Flowers Shower Gel sample
Lierac BB Cream samples (in Sand and Golden)
Rene Furterer samples (volumnising shampoo/conditioner)
Uriage Hyseac A.L. samples (to reduce blemishes/mattify skin)
Farmaline SPF 20 Lipbalm
I’m quite pleased with their choices for me, I like that they added in quite a lot of Lierac products, probably guessing that I have an interest in the brand since I chose my product from that brand.
Also, a lot of the products are what I’d call ‘travel sized’ which I absolutely love (as you know!), I already know that the shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are coming with me for my next trip away!
Besides the High Peel itself, I’m most excited to trial the eye treatment and will review it in a couple of weeks =) Sorry I always seem to say ‘review pending!’ and the reviews take so long, I tend to like to use a product for ages before I review it, skincare more so than makeup.
On a random note… I love that the lipbalm has SPF (like the E.L.F. ones I mentioned ages ago here that I’m still using/loving) and I also quite like the pen. Haha! It feels good to use, unlike most promotional pens that fall apart after 5 clicks…
The Farmaline website can be found here. Right, that’s all from me about Farmaline but stayed tuned in the next couple of weeks for my reviews on the skincare!
What’s your experience with European skincare? =)
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