Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Makeup Return Policies

Like most people, I hate returning anything, because it means an extra trip to the store, or shipping a package back, and sales clerks (especially at this time of year) are often annoyed by return requests, as it requires paperwork and can be time-consuming. A recent NY Times article discussed a new trend in cosmetics and beauty companies relaxing their return rules, which is very exciting for all of us beauty addicts who have drawers full of products that didn't work, looked bad or broke (pencils, anyone?).

Because each company has a different policy on returns, I've compiled a list on the return policies of many of the most popular stores and companies, from online retailers to drug stores to department store counters. So next time you come home to find that the Clinique lipstick you spent $14 for looks awful in the light of day, or that the Cover Girl mascara from CVS dried up within a week, just refer to this list to figure out what you can return.

Sephora: Sephora is so nice about returns that I actually get excited about getting something I can return. I have returned products I received as gifts months before and USED, with no receipt or proof of purchase, and they gladly gave me a gift card worth the price of the product. It doesn't matter whether the product is defective or if you just decided you didn't like it. With products bought online, you can mail them back within 60 days for a full refund, and they pay for shipping and handling. After 60 days they will give you store credit, but won't pay for shipping costs. You can also return online purchases at their retail stores.

Beauty.com: Beauty.com will accept returns within 30 days for a full credit or refund, though they do not accept items that are opened or used. They do have a special policy called the "100% color guarantee" on many (but not all) of their color cosmetics in which if you don't like the color, you can return it for a full refund. For the holiday season, they're extending their return period until January 31.

Amazon.com: Partial refunds on used items and anything returned after 30 days.

CVS: For cosmetics and CVS brand products, they will accept opened or used products and will provide a full refund, as long as you bring them back within 30 days, with receipt. For other products, they only give full refunds on unopened, damaged or defective products, with receipt.

Bobbi Brown: If for any reason you're not satisfied, return the unused portion for a full refund. If you buy online, there's no refund for shipping fees.

MAC, Chanel and Estee Lauder: Each store has it's own return policy (though in my experience, I've been able to exchange used products). They'll refund used online purchases, but you have to pay the shipping fee.

Benefit: Accepts returns within 30 days, with receipt on unopened and "lightly used" products. If bought online, you have to pay the shipping fee.

Bath and Body Works: If for any reason you're unhappy with a product bought online or in a store, you can return it for an exchange or store credit. If you have a receipt, you can get a full refund.

The Body Shop: If for any reason, etc, you can return a product within 60 days of purchase for a full refund (receipt necessary). Without a receipt you can get store credit.

There were other popular stores and companies that I researched, but I didn't include those that were unclear or didn't mention a return policy. If you have a question about a brand I didn't mention, look up their customer service number on their website and call directly to find out if your product is returnable.


Rebecca said...

I might add, especially for teens on a budget, that Rite Aid has a "no-questions-asked" return policy on ANY and all make-up. (And yet people still insist on opening packages in the store and trying it on!)

BabsieD said...

Neiman Marcus will also take anything back without question, which I've done on more than one occasion (you think you look like a Nars ad when you walk out of there only to look like a hooker during the light-of-day, self-application process...).

New reader--great blog!

Meg said...

Rebecca- Thanks for the heads up! I myself am a Rite Aid junkie, so I'll definitely put that to use!

BabsieD- That's great to know about Neiman's. And I totally know what you mean about the "light-of-day" post-makeover phenomenon when you check yourself out in the car mirror and can't believe how awful you look! So painful.

And thanks for the compliment!