What makes a beauty shop great? Well, the answer can range, but most likely it will have to do with the products themselves: Variety, price, quality, and so on. But here’s a more difficult question: What makes an online beauty website stand out?
So many retailers have moved their businesses to the digital space that it can be hard to know where to start if you’re looking to buy cosmetics online. Sure, shoppers want to know that they can trust the brand. But they also want to be able to find the products they are interested in with ease, and they want them fast.
How can you ensure that your beauty website communicates all that and even more? Through stellar web design, of course.
When it comes to an e-commerce website, buyer behaviors matter, and there is plenty of data to back good web design.
Thirty-nine percent of people will stop interacting with a website if it takes too long to load. Additionally, 38 percent of consumers will leave a site that's unattractive, disorganized and chaotic.
Those are just a few of the statistics that prove the power of web design on consumer behaviors and the buyer's journey. So your website needs to look the part if you want it to sell.
And certainly, if you're in the business of beauty, you need to look good, making this industry a gold standard of beautiful, engaging, and highly-converting digital destinations. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best websites in the cosmetics niche and see what we can learn from them.
Dior has made a reputation for itself with its haute-couture clothes and amazing fragrances. But their beauty department needs a shout out as well.
The Makeup and Skin Care sections serve as a pretty neat makeup assistant. Each product comes with a detailed description about formulas, available shades, and even application tips.
There’s nothing impressive about the product pages (and, as counterintuitive as it may sound, that’s a good thing). The color scheme is bland, the layout is simple and clean, and there’s plenty of white space. And, that’s good because you want to focus the attention on the product not distract it with unnecessary elements.
On the landing page, however, the web design features multimedia elements, like gorgeous videos and photos that keep the user engaged.
Overall, this is a web design that is intimately engaging and straightforward. The simplicity of the design is innately compelling, encouraging interaction through a subtle layout, comprehensive product descriptions and a fluid checkout process that encourages a seamless and sophisticated buyer's journey.
Guerlain is a famous French fragrance, makeup, and skincare house with a big following and an international reach. They are a trendsetter when it comes to fragrances and pride themselves on the quality of their products.
Although Guerlain is an industry leader, it doesn’t crowd the website with products. Instead, the navigation is simple and supports the content. Moreover, the product pages feature more than high-quality photos and basic information. You can also find helpful videos, similar items, direction for use, and a social media menu. Everything is created so that it provides a complete on-site experience.
There's a moodiness to this design that comes from the dark background, clean layout and bold CTAs. This adds an element of luxury that's regal and authoritative. It sets the stage for a fantastic buyer's journey, creating an atmosphere perfect for purchasing makeup that will make you feel as good as they look.
You may think that with a brand like Sephora -- which features thousands of products from different brands -- it would be impossible to find your way through their website. But, that’s not true at all.
The design is amazingly clean and breathable, and the simple navigation menu makes exploring it quite enjoyable. The platform also has a Tips and Tricks section and an online community you can join. But, probably the best thing about it is that it allows you to access new products long before they are available in the brick and mortar stores.
Sephora is ahead of its game. It's innovative and exciting and extremely engaging. It's a website that prides itself on giving its users access to a product before they ever hit stores. And it's a website that learns from your behaviors, customizing suggested items to make the process even simpler.
Not to mention the fact that the website lets users try three product samples with each purchase. this gives users the ability to try before they buy in a remarkable user-friendly and intuitive way.
Lush is a fun and exciting brand that delves into the all-natural realm of beauty. It specializes in handmade, all natural products ranging from soaps and bath bombs to eyeshadows and lip glosses. It’s a brand with a personality and a soul — and they infuse it into their web design.
Step into any of our shops, and nearly everything that you see has a handmade touch. The products on our shelves are all lovingly handmade by devoted compounders who slice, squeeze and mix up fresh batches every day of the week. If you’ve got a packaged product, you can see who compounded it and when by peeking at the face sticker on the back of the bottle or pot. Even these stickers have a handmade element: our graphic designers draw the cartoon versions of our compounders’ faces by hand. Ever since our humble beginnings, handmade has been a part of our story. It’s not just part of our name; it’s part of who we are.
This is a playful and creative website that keeps the Lush branding consistent throughout. From the cool and quirky typography to the playful patterns and exciting color and image overlays — this beauty website knows how to inspire and have fun.
It also knows how to interact with its audience, presenting a simple, straightforward list of products that make it easy for users to browse through the offerings and choose the solutions that are right for them.
The Lush website plays with the color black in a moody and sophisticated way. And most of its packaging is encased in that same color, bringing the Lush brand full circle. It’s an intuitive brand with products perfect for anyone looking for natural, organic ingredients.
And navigation is simple, with a clean layout, straightforward menu bar and clear list of products. Bold black boxes with white bright text grab attention instantly and lead users throughout the site. It’s an attention-grabbing choice that encourages users to get lost in its beautiful interface.
If you’ve spent a decent amount of time in front of the TV growing up, you’ve probably heard the Maybelline slogan a couple of times. This renowned cosmetic brand has made a name for itself by selling high-quality products at accessible prices.
Maybelline was sure to transfer its core values and communicate the strength of its brand in the digital world too. They’ve taken a bold approach to the way they display their content, featuring grids, big typography, and large, high-quality images.
In addition to the regular product sections, the Maybelline platform also features a Trend tab that allows users to stay up to date with the latest news in the beauty niche. It’s a nice perk that encourages users to spend more time on site and explore it further.
Gain access to products first-hand and stay up to date on all the latest trends in beauty with the help of this forward-thinking website. There's a modernity in this website that is seen in the overlapping images and colored blocks, intricate product pages and cool vibes.
Navigate through product section with a swipe of your mouse, relying heavily on the impactful product images that take up the majority of the screen. This is a bold design that makes you want to learn more with ease and satisfaction.
If you’re looking for high-quality, science-based skin care products, then Olay.com is an excellent option. From the moment you land on their website, you are welcomed by a hero image that communicates their unique value proposition: Real women, real results.
The menu is designed in a way that it anticipates and meets the needs of users. That makes navigation quite easy and allows you to find products you might not have otherwise.
It puts natural beauty first, taking the superficial and corporate feel out of the overall design and promoting positivity and excitement. This modern and natural website is a clean and clear display of brand excellence. Olay is a brand that cares about beauty and skincare, and it shows this in a serene and peaceful way through its fluid and airy web design.
Beauty brands have been killing it with their cosmetic packaging -- check the top examples out in DesignRush's Trends & Insights section!
Ulta is a beauty website that connects users with a host of beauty brands and products. It’s a marketplace for all things beauty, but don’t think that means this website is clunky, outdated and unoriginal.
On the contrary, it’s a fun, playful and lively site that uses product imagery, intuitive navigation and a comprehensive layout to showcase the products and brands that are new, trending and catered to you.
A menu bar runs down the left-hand side of the screen, outlining the areas of beauty you can search through. And then once you make your decision, you’re welcomed with an expansive grid that holds dozens of products that can give your beauty routine a major upgrade.
Shop by brand, by product and everywhere in between. This is a great website for makeup and beauty lovers that want to try new things and learn about new brands and products with ease.
This fun and flirty website captures the essence of youth and playfulness. It’s a creative and cool website that transforms the makeup-buying experience — offering consumers the same experience they’d get in-stores, only right at their fingertips in the comfort of their own homes. You won’t regret losing an afternoon in this website.
The KKW Beauty website is a clean, modern and serene interface that connects users with some of the trendiest beauty products available today — The Kardashian line of cosmetics which beautify, excite and set a dark and seductive mood.
This trendy website plays with a smooth color palette and a clean layout to ease users on their journey. From the image-heavy homepage to the consistent, mauve coloring in the typography and the product packaging — this website is consistent and fluid from homepage to checkout.
This creates a seamless and streamlined, user-friendly experience that encourages users to keep shopping.
This is also a very image-heavy, text-light website. Product pages are made up of only images and products — no copy, no explanation. But these images really do stand out against the clean, white background.
The KKW website is an exciting change from other websites, putting the products first and creating a seamless journey. Navigation is serene, and picking products are equally easy.
And product pages are also straightforward and image-heavy — with shades and colors open for choosing. They’re bright and airy and clean — which immediately soothes and excites visitors.
Glossier is a minimalist’s dream. From its product packaging to its simple formulas, this clean and engaging website capitalizes on growing trends in design and beauty and magnifies them tenfold.
When I started Into The Gloss, I wanted to make beauty as much of an element of personal style as fashion. As I interviewed hundreds of women, I became more and more aware of how flawed the traditional beauty paradigm is. It has historically been an industry based on experts telling you, the customer, what you should or shouldn’t be using on your face.
From the second you land on the website to the second you finish a purchase, this airy web design lulls you through the pages and products. The Glossier collection is full of natural, uplifting products that are created to bring out your inner beauty. And they make sure that while the products are on display, they aren’t taking away from the truly beautiful works of art — the people using them.
This image-driven website makes use of photography, product shots and cool and clever icons to engage with its user base.
And this brand knows who its users are — a group of young, hip and trendy millennials looking for products that can give them the perfect boost in their beauty routine.
This intuitive website makes it easier for users to complete a purchase, with the customize options clearly visible and in a fun and quirky way. Choose a product, then roll your mouse over to choose a shade.
There are a number of cool and exciting elements at play here. they play with old and new designs in a playful way -- the About page infuses old-school computer popups to get its point across. And that's just one example.
This website is in the business of making things easy for its consumers. And it works.
Apothecary 87 is a beauty website geared towards men — it offers products for beards and skin that will add life, volume and a smoothness that can’t be ignored.
And it’s a brand with a solid, impactful and organic history. Here’s just a taste of that authenticity and spirit:
As I was starting out on this new venture (and still thinking of a name), my Grandad passed away from Prostate Cancer. It was at the end of September ’13, and I decided to honour this great man’s memory. I would use something of his in the name. He was 87 when he died and as I was born in ’87, I decided it was a sign that it should be a part of the name. With my love of all things vintage and because I was mixing my own beard tonic, I named it Apothecary 87.I also wanted to do something to help fight the horrible illness which affects so many men and which my Grandad had so valiantly fought. So I created a moustache wax and supported Movember. We have continued to research other ways our company can support men's health.
And to match this gritty, rustic and sincere spirit, the Apothecary brand went with a vintage, traditional website design that put the products and their essence on full display.
This is an incredibly vintage-inspired design with a dirtied brown background, retro imagery and an elegant buyer’s journey. But it’s not just this look that adds class, sophistication and a moody edge.
Navigating this site is equally fun. Users can search for products through Instagram which is a new and exciting, yet very modern way to access a younger audience. But users can also search through this site more traditionally with product pages and a clean navigation that connects users with the grooming products they need.
From Logos To Packaging And Everything Beauty In Between
Of course, an online presence matters. And these 10 brands know how to make an impact. But it's not just an online portal that wows that'll solve all your problems. You need to have the whole package in order to stand out.
Capitalizing on current design trends in a logo and package design is equally important for engaging your audience and getting your brand heard. Packaging and logos have a way of capturing a brand and its identity. It's also a way for a brand to reach out to its audience and promote a personality.
Shape, texture and color all have a way of fostering an environment of excitement and buyer-friendliness. They engage on a personal and emotional level. Similarly, typography has a way of creating an emotional reaction that could mean the difference between a consumer choosing your products, or the competitor on the shelf.
Design is everywhere. Design is important. Design can make or break a brand. And you don't want your brand to fall by the wayside as a result of poor design. Web design might be where brands first interact with you, but it won't be the last place -- and you can make an impact at every step of the way.
In an industry jam-packed with new brands and new products taking advantage of current trends, it can seem impossible to keep up. But it doesn't have to be.
Make sure that your website speaks volumes about your business and delivers an enjoyable experience. Anticipate your customer's needs and make it simple for them to fix their problems, not waste time navigating through your products.
Great web design can have a major impact on the buyer experience and the overall buyer journey. It can create an urgency, hypnotizing and fascinating visitors in a way even in-store experiences can't match. And these 10 websites are the perfect design inspiration to spark your web design muses.