August 25, 2015

Worst Online Retailers for Shipping and Packaging

worst packaging

I’ve discussed What’s Your Worst Beauty Shipping Experience but I don’t think I’ve covered the Worst Online Retailers for Shipping and Packaging yet. I’m talking about online shops that ship things out without even bubble wrapping them which, of course, results in items breaking.


Not cool!

What are some of the worst online retailers you’ve shopped at that have packaged up your purchase poorly?

Target! Target, Target, Target! I love to shop at Target, I love everything about the Target experience. However, about 99% of the time the Target experience is in store one for me. I hate their website. Let’s not even mention the hacking issue but also the fact it loads slow and it’s difficult to find what I’m looking for. But that’s neither here nor there considering we are talking about packaging issues.

Target is one of the worst retailers in my experience when it comes to online shopping because they ship everything in large boxes without any cushion, bubble wrap, or protection of any kind. I’ve literally purchased one lipstick from them and they’ll toss it in a HUGE box without anything else inside. I’ve had this happen to me three times. The first time it was fine but I thought the huge box was really a waste. The second time, the lipstick opened and smeared all over. Yes, just a lipstick, in a BIG ASS BOX! I’m talking HUGE box! And finally the third time the box arrived but there was no lipstick inside, apparently it appeared to have slipped out as the tape was kinda loose around the top of the box. So yeah…that happened.

I also ordered a makeup brush set and an eyeshadow palette which also came in a BIGGGGGGGGG box (I’m talking a condo size box you could live comfortably inside) and again there was nothing to hold either item in the box. No bubble wrap, no extra paper, nothing so of course, the shadow palette ended up busted.

Needless to say I avoid shopping at unless it’s an absolute necessary evil.

Lush UK is another online shopping offender! I appreciate their green mentality and I know they want to be kinder to the environment but shipping products “naked” to the US just makes for a really messy experience. Lush UK always says to put a note in with your order to tell them to package things a bit better for US travel but they never read those notes obviously. Honestly, for me, Lush is a better experience when each of my bath bombs or bubble bars are packaged in small bags. Failing to do this makes for a mess, breakage, and also the smells seem to combine or even weaken without the extra packaging. So yeah, Lush, please don’t ship my products completely naked. And let’s not talk about the fact they were using popcorn for a while as an alternative to packaging peanuts which made everything smell like popcorn 🙁

What’s your worst online packaging experience?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Jackie

    I’ve had Nordstrom send a very large box with something small in it, which is at the bottom with the packing paper on top of it. Same with and even MAC a few times in the past. I’ve emailed someone, maybe all of them, to let them know that they need to train packers to actually surround the item, not put it into the box then crumpled paper on top. I got a palette from Stila that had breakage & they immediately sent me a new one. I’ve just always figured a lack of training on their pack & ship workers, but everyone is good about sending out replacements for any breakage so it’s all good.

    • Isabella Muse

      Oh I’ve had nordstrom issue too. Big box, no packaging, small purchase!

    • kimkats

      I’ve had the same problem with Nordstrom’s!! Just an item rattling around in a *huge* empty box!! One time all I got was the box – the product I ordered wasn’t even sent!! is the same way – just fling an item into a box and cram it in the mail. NOT cool, guys…

    • Chynna

      Nordstrom is one of the WORST. I once ordered two Deborah Lippmann nail polishes from Nordstrom and they shipped each one separately, each in a giant boot box. I took pictures and posted them to their Facebook page. It was years before I ordered anything from them by mail again. QVC is another because they also don’t group most orders. If I order 4 things, I’ll often get four separate boxes. They sometimes group if I order two items by the same brand or two pairs of shoes they can put in one bigger box, but most of the time it’s one shipping box per item. That’s a waste of resources all around, from the packaging to the transportation and tracking of all those individual boxes.

  • Jenna

    I won’t say they’re always bad, but the worst packaging I ever got was when I ordered my VICE LTD palette from UD when it first came out. The palette was just stuck in a small slightly padded envelope. Thankfully mine arrived in good condition but a lot of people complained theirs arrived broken.

    Also agree with LUSH packing, I prefer to just go into their store now that I have one in my area.

    I really don’t like any packaging that ends up making a mess all over the place for me. Packing peanuts are annoying but some alternatives are even worse – popcorn, shredded paper, etc.

    • Isabella Muse

      wow no kid! surprised at UD, jenna! shredded paper don’t get me started haha!

    • Rina

      Yup, UD is terrible! It doesn’t stop me from shopping them, I just don’t buy anything breakable…

  • Ray

    I have ordered lip-glosses from & they ship a single lip-gloss, in huge boxes! I also ordered 3 of the same exact makeup brushes from them in one transaction, and they shipped them all separately in huge boxes. They were shipped within minutes of each other, and shipped from the same exact warehouse! I contacted them & they acknowledged that they should have all been shipped together & that it was an error on their part. I also have ordered items from them and then received completely different items from what I ordered. Then you get stuck with the hassle of having to return the wrong item to them before, they will even ship out the correct item that you ordered. I have also ordered 2 of the same exact items & when they arrive there is only 1 in the box. Then you have to contact them & they make you feel like your lying about only getting 1 of the 2 items that you ordered. Needless to say I’m done ordering from!

    • Isabella Muse

      SAME HERE ray! I’ve ordered like two smaller makeup items and both come in two boxes what in the world!? I never return to Target as they are super hard to return items so even if it is broke, etc I don’t bother because they make it such a hassle to return. I feel your pain completely!

  • Brittanie

    I bought a blush palette off amazon and when it arrived it was in a box with no bubble wrap. When I opened it there was powder all over. I have heard that this is an issue with amazon when buying cosmetics.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’ve never purchased makeup from Amazon but sometimes they package larger items without any wrap or anything so they end up jiggling around the the box ends up opening during shipment!

      • Brittanie

        They have really good customer service and sent me a new one no questions asked and thankfully that one was okay when it arrived.

        • Lorrie

          I’ve tried twice to order makeup from Amazon, both times loose and powder all over my other items. And my replacement wasn’t padded either. I don’t think they’ve learned even still from what I keep hearing.

  • Emilee

    Broken or missing GWP’s. Refusal to replace what’s broken.
    I am so done with ordering online from them… I will take my money to Ulta from now on.

    • Michelle

      Agreed! I just ordered from Sephora last week, my 250 point perk was missing! And it’s not the first time something was missing. Not ordering online from them anymore.

  • Jenna

    With Lush UK, why not order from lush US out of Vancouver?
    They are packing tightly although with shredded paper.

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s cheaper to order from Lush UK even after shipping, there products are lower in price also they have items that Lush NA doesn’t have plus they have Lush Kitchen 🙂 which we don’t have.

  • Kimmwc03

    I’ve been lucky as I’ve never had anything break in shipping. MAC has sent me stuff in overly large boxes before but everything was OK. Nordstrom is always the best for packing and shipping in my opinion. Gerard Cosmetics takes forever to ship items (but I don’t think I will be ordering from them again)!

    I’ve never ordered anything from since the site is so hard to navigate. If I wanted anything, I always hoped it would arrive at one of my local stores (or I ordered directly from Pixi or other sites).

  • Rina

    Barney’s NY is bad too. I bought a 10ml perfume vial. It came in a HUGE HUGE HUGE box, covered in HAZMAT tape!

  • Staci

    I had a bad/odd shipping experience recently. I’m thinking it was a fedex problem though. I bought a couple Charlotte Tilbury things from Beautylish. When the package got to me, it contained one crushed box from an item I ordered and then two bottles of pills. No actual cosmetics were in the box. The pills weren’t even something Beautylish sells. I looked them up on Google and they were $70 each. The box wasn’t sealed when it was dropped off at my house.
    Beautylish did resend, and the next box I got was wrapped and packaged nicely. They ship super fast too.

    • Isabella Muse

      weird! it probably busted open and UPS was trying to save it but maybe they replaced your items with another package that also got damaged?!

  • devon

    years ago i bought a stila palatte and it was completely smashed. i called them and they sent me a new one right away, but it could have been avoided with wads of balled up paper or tissue. i also had a horrible experience buying a power source for my old laptop–it came in a paper envelope and the part that plugs into the computer was crushed. there was no return label, no packing slip, nothing.

  • dia

    Elf uses practically no padding materials. That’s fine, because I usually just order brushes from them, but once in a while, I get a blush or powder, and it always arrives shattered. I don’t bother contacting them for a replacement, because it’s just $3, but it does prevent me from ordering cosmetics from them again.

    Sephora, for some reason, uses tons of butcher paper as its padding material. The last time I ordered from them, I counted 26 huge sheets of (hopefully recycled) paper.

    • Brittanie

      I’ve had the same problem with ELF or my order is missing items but they are always good about replacing missing/broken items with no questions asked.

    • Susan

      Maybe it’s because I usually order from ELF during their sitewide sales and end up getting a lot, but even though they don’t use padding materials they send them in a smaller box so there’s less room for things to get knocked around. I haven’t had a problem with broken items from them.

  • Vanessa

    Sephora and Ikea.
    Sephora – Missing GWP and items that came as a set. Their packaging was really bad too, I had purchased the huge bottle of Philosophy facial wash that came together with a small bottle of Microexfoliant, the latter was missing, the philosophy box that it came in was literally opened and shipped to me just like that.

    Ikea – don’t even get me started on their packing and shipping services! I had 1 order transaction with 5 huge furnitures. When I asked for a replacement item because their furniture and the nuts and bolts that it came together with were faulty, they shipped me wrong pieces, double shipped pieces I didnt ask for and for 1 transaction, everything was delayed and rectification prolonged for a whole 2 months. Impossible people to deal with, customer service was the worst I’ve experienced (yes, even the managers & in-store customer support). I will never buy furniture from them ever.

  • jazmyne marquez

    Forever 21 one time I ordered jeans from them and they were wet disgusting

  • Lulle

    You know the big Target security breach did not affect online but in-store transactions right?
    Macy’s is not very good with packaging either. I’ve received eyeshadow quads in huge cardboard boxes with very little padding. Thankfully they were intact each time but it was just luck!

    • Isabella Muse

      yup! sorry I should have been more clear in my rant Lulle, I know it was in store 🙂

  • Moda31

    Sephora seems to have done away with their small square box size, so now tiny things ship in bigger rectangular boxes. Hate it.
    Ulta is annoyingly slow. ships with little to no protective packaging. And ugh shredded confetti paper is a crime against common sense, I’m looking at you body shop & sephora 500 point perks!

    • April

      I agree I ordered a eyeshadow pallet and because it wasn’t protected and in a way to big of a box they were all over the place and damaged, not shopping on line anymore from sephora, only going to get my things in the store!

  • evilyn1983

    THE WORST is ULTA. I’ve ordered 2x and both times it was a nightmare. 1st was a box full of nail polish (a whole collection) that arrived half broken and spilled everywhere with just 1 sheet of bubble wrap used as a bag for 12 polishes. HORRIBLE. 2nd time was $100+ of curling irons that was lost, then they sent me a notice saying they attempted to deliver (LIES) and I wasn’t available, even though tracking showed it was delivered to the WRONG address. I fought tooth and nail and eventually got a refund.
    Next would be Hautelook. LOST packages that I was never notified about until I contacted them, packages with NO items inside, over sold items that were never canceled until I hounded them regarding the status,…etc..
    Finally, Nordstrom. I once ordered a MAC Lip Erase (the size of a silver dollar) and it arrived in a HUGE box big enough to fit a pair of boots with no tissue!! LOL….so wasteful.

    • dia

      With outlet sites like Hautelook and Myhabit, you have to pay attention to their estimated shipping time. Sometimes it says your item will leave the warehouse in 1 to 2 days. Other times, it will say 12-14 days, which if you include the actual shipping time, means you won’t get your purchase for a good three weeks. But they do state the time frame before you make your purchase.

    • Dania

      I’ve only ordered once and never had any problems thankfully but I heard horror stories about their shipping! It seems to be a problem with their west coast customers, so I will be sticking tight here in my Detroit suburb!

    • Naomihk

      OMG yasssss. It takes like a whole entire month and I read reviews online with people complaining that it took longer then the 2 to 3 weeks that they said it would take. For my experience it was shipped after 3 weeks like they said but that’s still a very long time. But they do admit it takes a long time though. But people has claimed it took them two or more months to get their items.

  • LauraTheRedhead

    ULTA. I will never order from there again. EVER. They have broken every single thing I have ever ordered from them.
    the worst. boo. hiss. haha

    • Naomihk

      Luckily I’ve had a good experience with their shipping. Everything was bubble wrapped and in a medium small size box

  • Cat Ray

    Nordstrom is definitely a problem for me– they ship small cosmetics in giant packages, sometimes with only minimal packaging materials. It drives me batty. At least they have a stellar return policy.

    Also, 6pm is terrible– I order some Deborah Lippmanns on sale from them and they showed up in a giant box, no packaging at all! It’s a miracle nothing broke, honestly.

    • Naomihk

      I had a horrible experience with 6pm. Not their packaging but I ordered some Steve Madden loafers and they took forever to ship them so I called and asked about when it would be shipped. They told me it was out of stock so my card won’t be charged and they cancelled me order! A whole damn month later I get an confirmation email stating that my shoes has shipped and when they arrived, they charged my card. They wouldn’t even refund me and let me keep the shoes. They should’ve emailed me asking if I was still interested in purchasing the shoes after they cancelled my order but no. I ended up keeping the shoes but I was pissed. I haven’t ordered from them since.

  • Victoria

    I have Sephora Flash, and while I love that, I cannot STAND that they put such tiny items in enormous boxes. The amount of waste drives me up a wall. They wouldn’t need to wad so much paper in there if they’d just use a smaller box!

    Both Amazon and are “let’s throw it in a big box with no padding” offenders. I ordered an InstaNaturals lotion from Amazon once and it spurted all over the inside of the cap before I’d opened it.

  • Eb

    The worst shipment I ever received was from Pixi Beauty. I ordered two bottles of the Glow Tonic. Neither bottle was shrink banded or sealed under the cap to prevent spillage. There was no bubble wrap or loose fill in the box to insulate. Just two bottles side by side in an un-taped mailer. Keep in mind that mailers are the boxes in which the front tabs lock into the sides. They didn’t even care to use tape. My husband told me not to use the product. He was so afraid that it may have been tampered with.

  • Moja31

    Speaking of stupid shipping, I just got a 12×12 box from ulta today… The grand contents of which was 4 sheet masks, a 200ml bottle of toner, and a strip of packing bubbles. Lol.
    My worst shipping story though is definitely from sephora, the box arrived full of packing paper etc, but was missing one key thing, everything on the second page of my packing slip. 3 items out of 10 item order actually made it to me. It was a total nightmare to get it sorted.

  • Emily

    Ok, so not makeup, but still hilarious.

    It was November and Verizon sent me my new phone in the mail packaged in Halloween candy.

    No joke.

  • Nicole

    I think Target is the worst. I once had them ship me a glass vase in a bag. A BAG!!!

  • Vanessa

    Colourpop! My first two orders came nicely packed in small perfect boxes. The third one came in a padded envelop, UNSEALED! With one box of the lipglosses stuck at the seal! One of the lipglosses were missing so I asked for a replacement, but I thought about the possibility of tampering since nothing was sealed and the lipglosses looked messy at the openings, so I asked for a second shipment. They didn’t reply for a couple of days even tho in the auto reply it said within 24 hrs. I emailed Saturday night, they didn’t get back to me until Wednesday, minus the weekend, it was 72 hrs! They sent the missing one first, then emailed me again and said they’ll send the “replacements”. Except when I got the second shipping notice, it was only the missing one AGAIN! I asked them and they said they wouldn’t replace the other ones. Needless to say, no more orders from me! I researched online and others also complained about those envelops… At least seal the package!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m surprised and shocked Vanessa. They have always sent me my stuff in their gorgeous white custom boxes. Wow! Sorry to hear that!

      • Hillary

        I would vote for Colour Pop too. Their processing and shipping time is slow and things don’t seem to be packaged as well as they were when the company was first launched. My latest order came in pretty much exactly the same way Vanessa described – just an unsealed, unpadded mailer. Luckily nothing in my order was damaged or missing, but I was pretty shocked considering that my first order from them was so nicely boxed.

        • Becca

          I too received my third ColourPop order in a padded mailer, as the first two had come in a nice box. One shadow in the box order was broken. But i’m greatfull my padded mailer was sealed.But there is shipping is soooo slow.

  • Lauren

    Ulta by far. Received a humongous box today for two small hair barettes, a nyx skin elixir, a powder, and a lipstick. At least this package had bubble wrap and paper to cradle my items. Usually there’s nothing. They’re also the worst about leaving samples out of packages and taking forever to ship.

    • Rebekah

      Yeah, I’d say it’s about 50/50 with them actually putting the samples in the box.

  • Rebekah

    I’ve been pretty lucky with my online orders… I’ve ordered from Ulta, Sephora, ELF, Amazon, Tarte, Colourpop, Hautelook, QVC…. and I never got anything that was packed really weirdly or arrived broken. My biggest shipping complaint would be the way Colourpop took 6 business days to process my order, but I got a box so the shipping materials were nice.

  • breyerchic04

    Oh crud, I just ordered my first Lush UK order this weekend. I’m excited for it but ugh if they’re not bagged!

  • Rachel R.

    I do a lot of online shopping. My only issue with Target is they use huge boxes for small things, but I’ve never had anything broken or wrong. My stuff is has always been sent in padded envelopes or with some bubble pods for cushioning.

    E.l.f. uses no padding. Everything is just tossed together in a bag. Surprisingly, I rarely have something break. E.l.f. is excellent about quickly replacing items if they leak or break. I don’t buy the Lock & Seal online any more, though, because it always leaks. I ordered the Alice in Wonderland Curiouser and Curiouser eyeshadow palette and lipsticks, and they arrived in a large box with no padding. The mirror on the palette was cracked. There were none left to exchange it for. Disney offered to let me return it for a full refund, or I could keep it and they’d send me a gift code for $25 or something. I did the latter. (There was a protective sticky sheet over the mirror, so the makeup was fine.)

    Ulta is slow as molasses. I no longer get fragrance samples with my order, because half the time they’d arrive broken, but at least they were in a separate baggie. The merchandise I ordered has always been fine.

    My first two orders with had broken eyeshadows due to large boxes and no padding material. Customer service refunded my money when that happened. The second time, I took them to task for their crappy packing, and I haven’t had any more issues. They also said I could contact them to request special packing if I needed it in the future. used to be the worst. Huge boxes, no padding, and broken makeup. Once, I received two opened. USED lipsticks. Yes, used! I raised absolute hell with a supervisor for the site, as you can imagine. I was refunded and apologized to, and now my stuff arrives unused, unopened, in good condition and with adequate packing material. Shipping is still really slow.

  • Ryou

    I’ve never ordered anything from Target but I’ll definitely make a point to never order anything fragile!

    I find that Nordstrom and mac Cosmetics ship their packages in needlessly huge boxes! I’ve had a tiny single deluxe sample freebie shipped from Nordstrom in a HUGE box. WHY.

    But my recent worst experience with shipping? Urban Decay. I placed an order for three items and they arrived in three separate packages. And I don’t mean because they were backordered or anything, but because the first two packages were missing stuff. NOT OKAY.

  • Ash

    Zappos – I’ll never forget the time I ordered a small weekend bag from them, and they shipped it to me in a box that could have easily fit a refrigerator. And I don’t mean mini. I was furious enough to call the company and complain about a box, which sounds so stupid now, but at the time it was utterly ridiculous. I agree about Target, they have sent me things in boxes that were tattered and falling apart, which I had attributed to hasty delivery people, until I realized how consistent they were in doing this. And Hautelook can kiss my butt. Maybe I could justify waiting 30-45 days for an order if it were free shipping, no minimum. But I have never found anything on their site worth waiting so long for, that by the time it got to me, I’ve forgotten about it. AND, the product is damaged.

  • Katherine T.

    Yep, Sephora uses boxes WAY too big for what was ordered, what a waste. But THE absolute worst? We ordered a baby monitor from Amazon. It came with ABSOLUTELY NO BOX, NO PACKAGING, NO WRAP, nada, nothing. It was literally a baby monitor with a shipping label slapped on it. I don’t know how many times it got thrown around or dropped while in transit. Surprisingly, it still turned on ok, but we didn’t trust it to keep working, and got a full refund.

  • Amber

    I actually, a couple of years ago, ordered something from nordstrom and it was a small makeup item, with of course they throw in samples. However, I got a shipping email and I got this huge box with just the samples inside. They were out of stock of what I actually had ordered and didn’t let me know at all. At least I didn’t get charged but it was a complete waste of packaging. Also, just yesterday I got a box I ordered from ulta, huge of course, and I had ordered the bareminerals gorgeous eyes unlocked. Small set, huge box. Of course they toss in those samples of perfumes and I’m allergic so as soon as I opened the box, instant headache. And then, although they had plenty of the air pillow things, the box looked like it had been stomped on, drop kicked and opened and retaped. I was amazed nothing was crushed. I also went to pick up a order, a bulletin boardm, on monday. I left without it because when they opened the box to check, it had been crushed. Probably by another package. And of course, they said, we’ll refund your money and you should see it in a week or so and you’ll have to re-order your product. Thanks. Now I get to wait how long? Ugh. I hate shipping. A girl on ebay literally wrapped tissue paper around a pressed eye compact. That was just powder by the time it got to me. 🙁

    • Rachel R.

      Their shipping prices are terrible. I only order from them if I know I’m ordering at least $50 worth of stuff to get the free. I know it doesn’t cost them that much to send a lipstick or an eyeshadow single.

    • Sara

      At my Macy’s they wave the shipping fee on any cosmetics order. So if I’m wanting to order something and haven’t reached the limit for free shipping I order it in the store.

  • Sarah

    I would say for me it’s ulta and I used to order from allll the time, because they had some wet n wild LE, ended up with smashed items, worse, my toner got smashed and leaked and ruined the entire box, but, I have to say that CS was really good, they sent me out replacements and they were perfect and they upgraded the shipping so I got it really quickly, can’t complain on that! But really, just use some paper or something, and the whole thing could have been avoided! And ulta is just as bad, huge box, ONE of those air bag things, smashed items. I haven’t ordered since!

  • Karen

    I have only ordered cosmetics one time from

    The Flower line was always sold out at my store so I ordered
    3 of the eye shadow quads online.

    You can guess what happened – The 3 were thrown inside a very large plastic mailer-

    No bubble wrap, tissue etc….

    That was bad enough, but when I called to complain and ask for a refund, the women never really understood why this was a problem.

    Each quad was pulverized – kind of like Bare Minerals before they added sifters to their pot shadows.

  • Jennifer

    Target for sure! Once they mailed me a product with one of their very own defective stickers attached! Horrible!

  • Pamela

    I have never had an issue with Sephora. All my products come quickly and they are always in perfect shape. Same with Amazon, no problems. And I order from both places on a regular basis.

    My husband and the UPS guy have interesting conversations about all the boxes being delivered on a regular basis. Luckily for me, my husband doesn’t really mind, he just jokes.

    Nordstrom, yes, those boxes are always far too large.

  • HammyMamma

    Oh my goodness…Hautelook is awful. I was recently sent 2 Too Faced eyeshadow singles in a box way too big and zero packing material whatsoever! Needless to say one of them was shattered. I’ve also purchased a Coastal Scents eyeshadow/blush palette from them a while back with the same scenario!!! It would have been better if they would send stuff like this in a padded envelope or something. I mean how hard is it to stuff some newspaper in a box?

  • Marasy

    I’ve only had two packages arrive with broken products. The first time was the ill-fated Urban Decay Vice LTD palette from their website. Arrived in a bubble mailer almost 3 weeks after ordering. Upon opening I quickly had gold dust all over my hands like I had murdered a fairy. I lost 90% of the gold eye shadow and part of another shimmery brown. I tried to press what was left but finally sent the whole thing back when I heard Ultra was going to have the palette. Had go argue a bit so that they would refund me the California taxes as well.

    The second time was with Bath & Bodyworks. I ordered several wallflowers in 2 packs for fall this year, along with lotion. Their packer apparently crammed as much as he could in the box. The package was delivered on a day my husband got home first from work, and he could smell something good as he came up the sidewalk. Turns out Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin had gotten crushed in its 2 pack packaging and left oil and glass over the other products, melting the pretty packaging on my Carried Away lotion. At least Bath & Bodyworks was great about sending a replacement for both items. 🙂

  • Doris

    Oh yeah, Ulta, I just purchased from and got only lotions which were in a box that was too big with no stuffing, so 1 ended up coming open and spilling over the other things inside! Amazon also recently shipped me a damaged eyeshadow, but they replaced it quickly.

    As for fashion, UK brand Boohoo SUCKS at shipping! Everytime no matter how much you order they send it in a simple bag (never a box) which always gets beat up during it’s international travels and arrives holey! And beware if you order shoes because they don’t stuff their signature shipping bag so the shoe box flys around inside, sharp edges adding to the holes being made in the bag, AND they don’t tape the shoebox closed so the shoes fall out of their box and are free roAming inside the bag getting bumped and bruised along the way! I received a package with my shoe partially out of a hole in the packaging! They’re SO lucky it didn’t get scratched noticeably or I’d have had a FIT!

  • Iris

    I purchased from two Etsy shops which both sent me a cosmetic product in a glass jar using a bubble mailer. One time it was fine. Another time the lid was badly cracked to the point where it was unable to close. There was also hair under the shrink wrap. I emailed them and they sent me a new lid and apologised. Right after changed their profile to read they were “not responsible for lost or damaged items”. Let’s hope they improved their shipping methods. I stay away from shops with this policy. I feel if it is damaged, it is likely due to impromper packaging.

  • CL

    I’ve only had one cosmetic item arrive seriously damaged; it was a palette from I sent it back at their expense and got a replacement. Those who order from need to take note if they’re buying from a third-party seller. Check the seller ratings on the site first. From my experience, Amazon itself is fairly good at packing items for shipping, but most cosmetics on their site are actually being sold by third-party sellers, and some of them are truly terrible.

  • It’s Gamayun

    Oh, Sephora. Such angry people you have in your shipping department. Every time I order from them my items appear to have been packed and sent out by roid raging gorillas. Don’t know what that’s all about.

    As far as wasteful shipping goes, I got my first SaSa order yesterday and it was such a wee tiny order (one eyeshadow, a hand cream, a lip balm, eyeshadow, compact umbrella) but in a HUGE box filled to the brim with styrofoam peanuts! I guess since I didn’t take advantage of the free shipping promo they wanted me to be sure I got my money’s worth in packing materials!

  • Barbara

    My worst online packing retailer is Walgreens. They toss a sheet of bubble wrap either on top of the products or a small sheet of it on the bottom but they don’t wrap the items up in any way that actually would protect them in transit. So I had the great joy of opening up my package from them to find 2 of my 3 different Wet’N’Wild Fergus collection shimmer palettes completely busted up & their contents smeared over the remaining items in the package (which included my new yoga block). While they were willing to replace the damaged items free of charge,they were out of stock on 1 of them, so instead I had to settle for a refund. With the palette that they did have in stock to reship, guess what? I’m the reship reship, they STILL didn’t use any bubble wrap. It was a pure miracle that their reship didn’t also get destroyed in transit to me.

  • Barbara

    My worst online packing retailer is Walgreens. They toss a sheet of bubble wrap either on top of the products or a small sheet of it on the bottom but they don’t wrap the items up in any way that actually would protect them in transit. So I had the great joy of opening up my package from them to find 2 of my 3 different Wet’N’Wild Fergie collection shimmer palettes completely busted up & their contents smeared over the remaining items in the package (which included my new yoga block). While they were willing to replace the damaged items free of charge,they were out of stock on 1 of them, so instead I had to settle for a refund. With the palette that they did have in stock to reship, guess what? I’m the reship reship, they STILL didn’t use any bubble wrap. It was a pure miracle that their reship didn’t also get destroyed in transit to me.

  • Diana

    I have recently had not so great shipping experiences with two high end brands. I’m talking about Bobbi Brown and NARS. With Bobbi Brown, their processing time was not terrible but it was not the best either and for somereason I received my shipping notice on the 5th of Dec but USPS tracking is still stuck on Preshipment.

    Nars on the other hand was a nightmare. I had placed an order on the on the 27th of December during their 20% off sale and understandably they were flooded with orders. I waited till the 3rd before contacting customer service and they just used the sale as an excuse. The next day contacted them once again and this time the agent gave me a tracking number and said my order had shipped. I was perplexed since I had not received an email informing of any shipment. The agent said it can take up to 48 hours after shipping will the customer receives shipment notice so I waited and waited. I finally got the email on 7th. I contacted them once in between and insisted the agent send me some kinda of proof of shipment as I was worried she was trying to pull a fast one on me, as in all the years I have been shopping online I have never hand any companies not send me a shipping notice the minute they had send preshipment information to their carrier of choice. The delay was always with the tracking information being updated by the carriers. Anyways it turns out that my item was shipped out on the 1st of December and I had to wait a whole week before I got notice from NARS. I spoke to the same customer agent every single time I contacted them and she was not at all helpful and did not make any sense. The trouble I went to just to get a shipping email was definitely not worth the products I ordered.

  • Pandokie

    My Sephora orders have always been great. I probably order from them 3-5 times a month, and every time is good. I usually use the packing paper to pack things I sell, and I use the boxes to be my recycle bin where I just throw everything in and when it’s full, it goes in the recycling outside. I’ve only had one bad moment where I got someone else’s packing slip, but I had my items, so it was all good. I also have no problems with Nordstrom. They have smaller boxes now! Returns for both stores are always quick too.

    Ulta is the worst. I rarely order from them anymore unless I have reward bucks to use, I have to restock on some essentials only available there, or it’s an Ulta-exclusive item I really want. I’ve had multiple things broken. They get smashed to point of the whole thing falling out of the pan. I even ordered a LE palette from them and a whole shade was completely smashed and just gone. It was just the pan and then all the crumbs all over the other shades. My Naked 2 Basics was also smashed in the corner of one shade, and now it continues to break apart really easily. And another bronzer was completely smashed to the point of just the pan. Their returns are terribly long too AND THEY’RE ALWAYS WRONG. They never refund the right amount. I’ve finally resorted to printing out my order confirmation, HIGHLIGHTING and CIRCLING my returning products and stapling it with the shipping sheet. That does the trick.

    Hautelook is another terrible one. I know it takes longer to get your items, but there’s no whatsoever protection in the box. I got my theBalm palette in a box. That was it.

    I have mixed feelings with Coastal Scents too. Whenever there are sales, things go haywire and later orders are shipped out before earlier orders. NYX takes a while to ship. And Glossybox is just terrible. Things have exploded like it was a party in a box.

  • Elisa

    I’ve never ordered from Lush UK, but I have issues with Lush NA. I don’t know why, but something almost always spills during transit. Whoever packs them must not check that all lids are closed all the way. This time it was my Sleepy lotion and the sample of Dirty Springwash that I requested. I never know what to do about it either, like do I try to return it or ask for a refund or what? So far, I haven’t contacted them, but those time was the worst. The tub of Sleepy was only missing half an inch of product, but my sample tub was completely empty. 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      They package horribly so does Lush UK! At one point Lush UK was packaging items naked (no packaging at all, thrown in the box with packaging peanuts) and it drove me wildly up the wall!

  • Anita

    Nordstrom!!!! I ordered an expensive bronzer from them and it came in a box with absolutely no packing. Needless to say it was broken in several pieces. I was so disappointed.

      • Anita

        The funny thing about it was that I had also ordered an Armani powder compact which I had received the week before. There was no packing in that box either but fortunately it arrived unscathed. When I called to order the bronzer I told the girl on the phone that they better put some packing materials in the box, especially since that bronzer cost a whopping $115! But alas, they did not and thus my sad tale of woe. I will NEVER order from Nordstrom again.