The Truth About Cult Beauty: A Critical Review

Introducing Cult Beauty

As a self-proclaimed "cosmetic connoisseur," you likely have high standards when it comes to curating your skincare routine and makeup collection. Big-name retailers like Sephora and Ulta carry an overwhelming array of products, making it a challenge to separate the gems from the junk.

That‘s where Cult Beauty aims to differentiate itself. Founded in 2008 by Jessica DeLuca and Alexia Inge, this London-based e-commerce site declares its mission to be "providing inspiration as well as elevation" by cherry-picking products that pass muster when it comes to ethical practices, efficacy, innovation and overall wow-factor.

But does Cult Beauty live up to the hype as a one-stop beauty mecca? This detailed review will analyze if the retailer deserves its glowing reputation.

The Good

There’s no question that Cult Beauty offers access to an impressive array of coveted brands across skincare, cosmetics, haircare and fragrance. The site stocks bestsellers as well as rising stars and niche labels you won‘t easily find elsewhere.

The editors also do seem to have high standards when vetting products, as evidenced by the “proof points” labeling particularly noteworthy launches. Plus, Cult Beauty pledges to continually evaluate labels based on transparency, ethical conduct and demonstrated results. Brands boasting clean, vegan formulas find a natural home here.

Beyond the product selection, promotions like free luxury samples on $69+ orders and seasonal sales sweeten the deal. reasonable shipping rates and policies provide further incentive.

The Not-So-Good

Perhaps a victim of its own success, Cult Beauty receives mixed reviews when it comes to customer service and fulfillment issues. Delayed shipping and incorrect/damaged orders generate a share of complaints across review sites. The company earns mediocre ratings for responsiveness in resolving problems.

While Cult Beauty claims to carefully vet brands, some questionable labels still make the cut. Controversial names like Drunk Elephant sit alongside up-and-comers lacking much evidence yet to back up big product claims.

Further dampening the "ethical beauty" image, only a subset of offerings are vegan or cruelty-free. Those adhering to strict standards may find the inventory hit-or-miss.

Spotlight on Best Sellers

Labels carried by Cult Beauty range from under-the-radar gems to skincare superstars beloved by beauty editors and influencers. Here‘s the scoop on a few top sellers:

Inkey List Salicylic Cleanser

This vegan formula packs acne-fighting salicylic acid plus smoothing allantoin and protective zinc. At $15, it punches above its weight for banishing breakouts.

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector

The celebrity-approved treatment deeply penetrates damaged hair, repairing bonds broken by overprocessing. It delivers undeniable improvement in texture for $28 a bottle.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

A potent AHA/BHA acid blend resurfaces dull skin while extracts like horse chestnut and antioxidants provide added benefits. But the $90 price tag gives pause.

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

This luxury fragrance balances musky wood and spices with bright floral and leather notes. Fans call it “addictive,” but you’ll pay up to $290 for the largest size.

How Cult Beauty Compares

As an established online destination for hard-to-find beauty buys, Cult Beauty attracts comparisons to similar retailers like LookFantastic. While both sites offer extensive cosmetics inventories, a few differences stand out:

  • Cult Beauty emphasizes exclusive and upscale brands
  • LookFantastic incorporates more drugstore options
  • LookFantastic offers beauty boxes and loyalty perks
  • Cult Beauty provides higher-end free samples

For shoppers focused purely on premium products, Cult Beauty owns bragging rights. But those wanting more choice across price points may prefer LookFantastic.

The Verdict: Is Cult Beauty Worth It?

There’s no denying the superior selection when you shop Cult Beauty‘s meticulously curated inventory. Skincare addicts, makeup maximalists and fragrance fanatics alike will feel giddy browsing the site.

Just brace yourself for lackluster customer service should any order issues arise. And moderate your expectations about scoring bargains, as discounts prove infrequent.

Overall, Cult Beauty deserves its spot as a premier online retailer catering to discerning beauty lovers. But I recommend placing small test orders first before investing heavily, especially for international shoppers facing pricier shipping.

Have you ordered from Cult Beauty? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

How to Buy

Ready to shop? Visit to explore the retailer’s full range showcasing coveted skincare, makeup and hair brands. Use code NEWBIE10 for 10% off first orders over £50.


Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about Cult Beauty below:

Who owns Cult Beauty?
Originally founded by Jessica DeLuca and Alexia Inge, The Hut Group acquired Cult Beauty in 2021.

Where is Cult Beauty located?
Though now owned by the Manchester, UK-based Hut Group, Cult Beauty retains headquarters in London, England.

What is Cult Beauty‘s shipping policy?
Cult Beauty ships free to a dozen countries including the UK, US, Canada and Australia with no order minimums. Tracked international delivery typically requires 5-10 days.

Can I return Cult Beauty orders?
Yes, returns are accepted within 30 days in new condition. But you must cover return shipping costs outside the UK.

The Last Word

While Cult Beauty isn’t perfect, the impressive brand portfolio and focus on ingredient-conscious formulas keep me coming back. For beauty fanatics craving new product discoveries, it satisfies the urge to explore emerging labels and trends.

Have you ordered from Cult Beauty before? I‘d love to hear your experiences shopping this retailer in the comments below!

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