Caveat Emptor

In Latin, the title of this blog post means “Let the buyer beware”. I spend a great deal of time internet shopping, and I have learned–sometimes the hard way–that there is no such things as a sure thing when you order online. Just in recent months I’ve had products that never showed up from e-tailers in China, a polka dot scarf that only turned out to be 1/4 polka dot (it had four panels–white, black, and polka dot), and a handbag that was smaller than it was supposed to be. None of these has turned out to be really upsetting (aside from the stuff that never got here–and I’m still trying to get those things), but I do tend to see it as taking chances.

Let us take, for example, the case of the MAC nail polishes.

I’ve been looking at the latest MAC collections online to see if there is anything that interests me. The Cook MAC nail lacquers and the Vera nail lacquers caught my eye. I find these formula to be pretty good—I don’t have near as many MAC polishes as Zoya polishes, but I have some. Then on Friday I made my way to the MAC counter in Macy’s to check them out in person. And I found that the colors were not exactly as expected.

I guess the fact that the “red” is called “Kid Orange” should have tipped me off, but I didn’t expect it to be so…orange! The picture looks more red than it actually is. The Al Fredo has a touch of green to it instead of being as yellow as expected.

When it came to the Vera polishes, Midsummer’s Dream was more grey than expected, making it read almost lilac. The big disappointment was Play Date, which was on the top of my list to get; it looked like the perfect coral, but again, I found it too orange.

As tempting as it might be to buy cosmetics online (especially if your MAC cosmetic counter is a scaled-down version, like mine is), you might want to check out the colors and formulas in real life before you buy. Otherwise…caveat emptor!

Have you had any disastrous online shopping experiences? Share in the comments!

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