15 July 2016

USA Makeup Haul with ComGateway: How to Use a Mail Forwarding Service

I have been umming and ahhing about doing a USA makeup haul, given the poor Australian dollar compared to the US dollar. I also didn't really NEED any new makeup but my wishlist had been growing steadily. I was dying to make an order from ColourPop and after doing a dummy order and seeing that shipping was going to be $30 USD, I figured I would actually save money by using a mail forwarding service and creating a combined order from a few different US retailers. If you'd like to know more about what I picked up and the process for using a mail forwarding service, keep reading!

ColourPop was definitely the site that started my interest in doing a US order, because the shipping to Australia is just ridiculous considering the products themselves are quite affordable. The products I decided to purchase are outlined below. I managed to also catch a 20% off sale which threw me over the edge to finally decide to purchase these. Prices are after the discount has been applied.

Littlestitious (ultra satin) $4.80 USD
Echo Park (ultra satin) $4.80 USD
Frick n Frack (ultra satin) $4.80 USD
Chi (ultra matte) $4.80 USD
Rooch (ultra matte) $4.80 USD
Beeper (ultra matte) $4.80 USD

Total: $37.60 USD and free shipping to my US address instead of paying over $30 USD for shipping to Australia.

ColourPop Liquid Lipsticks, Top to Bottom: Frick n Frack, Echo Park, Littlestitious, Rooch, Chi and Beeper

My first impressions are that I am very happy with these liquid lipsticks. I seem to favor the formula of the satins over the mattes because they provide a lot more hydration, however the mattes have great staying power. I find them drying but if you wear a balm underneath they aren't too bad. My favourite shades so far are Echo Park and Littlestitious.

After hearing so much about the Ofra Cosmetics liquid lipstick trio from Manny MUA, I felt like I really wanted to try these liquid lipsticks. I really love watching Manny on Snapchat and I was convinced I needed these babies in my life.

The Manny MUA x Ofra Cosmetics Lip Set is $49.70 USD but with discount code MANNYMUA there was a discount of $14.91 USD so it came down to $34.79 USD with $4.95 USD shipping to my USA address. Total: 39.74 USD. The shades are hypno, charmed and aries. I can't tell you about my first impressions as I have not yet tried these out but I am super excited to use them!

Next up from Anastasia Beverly Hills, I was dying to order  the Modern Renaissance Palette ever since I first saw pictures on instagram. It's quite a unique palette and a breath of fresh air from the overdone nude palettes we have seen do the rounds with every brand. I will be putting a full review of this one up on the blog so stay tuned. I also picked up two liquid lipsticks and a highlighter from the website.

Total: $110 USD + Free Shipping to US address

So far I am really happy with all my purchases from ABH although I do feel like they are very overpriced so it is difficult to narrow down the items to just a few things. I am looking forward to playing around more with the Modern Renaissance palette to create some warm-toned looks.

Finally, for my birthday in May, I received a gift voucher for Sigma Beauty from my lovely sister-in-law who knows me so well. Sigma are based in the USA, and their international shipping is weight-based and can be quite expensive to Australia. I really wanted to make the most of my voucher so I decided to add this order to my US address 

Sigma Beauty Haul (L-R) F35 Tapered, F10 Powder/Blush, F40 Large Angle Contour, P84 Precision Angled, E80 Brow and Lash Brush and Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette

Free Gift - P84 - Precision Angled™ (Full Size Brush) ($19 USD Value)
Total - $117.04 USD + Free US Shipping

Note: These are affiliate links, however all of these products were purchased with my own money.

I have always been a huge fan of Sigma Brushes and I feel that they are excellent quality. very comparable to Zoeva. My first ever professional brush set was the Mr. Bunny Essential Set and it is still going strong after 5 years of use. I have been loving the blush brush set that I purchased, especially the F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush

I'm still deciding what I think of the Dry'n Shape Tower. It was easy to put together but I found that it was quite tedious to get the brushes to fit into the elastic bands to dry and it took me a long time of fiddling around with them to get mine in there. Once they were in there it's a great little device to dry your brushes and have them easily hanging upside down. 

How to Use a Mail Forwarding Service:

There are many services that allow you to register with them so you can obtain a free US address such as Shipitto, MyUS and ShopMate. My favourite service is comGateway and I have always had a good experience with them. I have used them about half a dozen times now. This is how the process works:

GET YOUR US ADDRESS - As soon as you register with comGateway, you'll be given a free, sales tax-exempted U.S. shipping address, and the fun can begin!

START SHOPPING - Shop U.S. online stores, ship packages to your new U.S. address. (The only sites that I have found that do not work are who block mail forwarding services and will cancel your order, and some sites that do not allow for an Australian credit card or paypal account to be used). If you want to use these sites you would have to use comGateway's Buy For Me Service which is a lot more expensive.

PACKAGES ARE SHIPPED TO YOUR U.S. ADDRESS comGateway will notify you as soon as your packages arrive via e-mail. When you log in, you'll have full control over what happens to your package next and you can view the packing slip to see who the package is from and that everything is in the box.

SHIP YOUR PACKAGES HOME - Make sure everything you ordered has arrived at your address. You have up to 30 days of free storage to wait for all of your packages to get to your address which is great. Then you can choose how you want the items to be packed, and give comGateway the OK to ship them to you. You’ll be able to track the packages until they arrive in 3-8 business days.

I have found that many times, even when I have 4+ boxes, I don't have the option to repack the items when I log in online. However, if you send them an e-mail they can repackage the items for you into 1 box to reduce the volumetric weight and therefore save you on your final shipping fee. This costs $10 USD so it's only worth it if you have several boxes like I did. My initial quote from ComGateway was around $70 USD and with the repack it was reduce to $30 USD.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my USA haul and learning more about how you can get a free US address and use a mail forwarding service to save on expensive shipping to Australia. I feel like these services are only really worth using when you are ordering from a few different stores and doing a "bulk order" so you are saving a lot more on shipping at once. If you are only buying from one place it most likely will seem expensive and not worth your while.

Have you ever used a mail forwarding service? What was your experience?

*Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by comGateway in any way. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. All products were purchased by me with my own money.

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