The International Makeup Swap

Inspired by all the international looks I’ve been loving I’m organizing my first (hopefully annual) International Makeup Swap (IMS).

The rules are as follows :

You may sign up for as many as two (2) spots.

For each spot you fill you must send in six (6) of the same local drugstore brand products that you use yourself.  These items must be of good quality and NIB.  This means no 1$ Store stuff and no bargain bin, no cheep stuff.  No kiddie makeup!

You will mail them to me, along with a label that includes your return address (so there is no mislabeling of boxes, etc).

For each spot you filled you will receive five (5) different international products back.  Everything will be mixed, so it’s possible that no one gets the same 5 items and you will not get one of your products back (or anything from your own country if I can help it).

Instead of messing with money for return postage, I’ll pay the return fees on the condition that you understand that the 6th item you sent was for me in lieu of postage.

If you sign up, but don’t send your package within the allotted time, you will not receive anything back, obviously.  So don’t worry that anyone will get anything they didn’t earn.

Sign ups will be open until October 3rd at which time everyone who signed up will be contacted and given my mailing address and an update posted.

You’ll have three weeks to purchase and mail your items and then there will be two weeks for me to receive them.

Once the time limited allotted has passed I will organize and mail pack all packages and again post an update.

Space will be limited to 30 participants.

To sign up, comment here with your country as well as suggestions for things you’d be interested in receiving in return (this does NOT mean I’m going to sit and pick through things to send you specifics, it’s just to give others an idea of what others might be looking for).  By signing up you agree that you will be responsible to follow through with your commitment and that you will spend as much as 40$us or more.  If you have any questions, please ask!




There seems to be some confusion about the ’40$’ I included above.  This is NOT a limit or a suggestion, just a notation that this swap might end up expensive for some, so please keep that in mind when you enter.

Also, you must send six (6) of the SAME item.

There are only two spots left as of 10:45am PST September 11th.

There is ONE spot left as of 11:25am PST September 11th.

The swap is now full and Sign Ups are closed!  A follow up will be posted on the IMS page and everyone contacted soon!


67 Responses to “The International Makeup Swap”

  1. Damn I really wish I had the money to do this. It sounds like so much & I’ve been dying to get my hands on some international products. Oh well. Perhaps next time ill be able to join.

  2. Wow, this is great!
    I’m from Argentina and I’d love to participate.
    I’m into nail polishes (dark colors) and eyeshadows (any kind!). Here we do have a good selection of Rimmel, Revlon and Maybelline, so if it’s ok (and not too picky) I’d rather to receive some other brand.
    I’m not sure of all the items, but I will be sending my favorite local eyeliner and nailpolish (I will be reading the comments just to see which items are more wanted).
    So, I’m in! 🙂

  3. I’m in for sure. In the US, and I’d like to receive anything not widely for sale here! Especially colorful stuff- eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. The more punk/goth-esque, the better.
    Also can you please include guidelines on what’s allowed to be shipped overseas and what’s not?

    • I was looking into it, and from what I gather I can’t ship aerosols or nail polishes. I’ll include this in the follow up post after the sign-up closes.

      • Just delurking to add a quick comment. Alcohol based perfumes or anything else with a flammable solvent are not allowed to be sent airmail as there is a risk of explosion.

        Australian customs dislikes vegetation (fresh or dried) to point of confiscating teas with seeds/herbs etc. I’m not sure how many other countries have that one in it.

        I don’t think I’d be participating as I don’t use a lot of stuff from the chemist or a lot of australian origin stuff except skin care.

  4. Yay!! I’ve been wanting to do something like this! I’m from the us. I would really love any product from a brand that’s only availiable in that certain country. Just to try! Bright colors anything really.

  5. I’m interested in participating but I can’t think of many products which are available in Canada but not elsewhere. I’d love to receive eyeshadows or skin products; I’m not into nail polish at all. This may sound a bit crazy but I could certainly send some candy which is not available elsewhere & think that kind of an exchange would be fun too.

  6. I’d love to participate! I’m in the US, and really like red/orange lipstick and neutral eyes. I’m mixed, so it’s really hard to find foundation that matches my skintone– but I figure since it’s all by chance that might be too much to ask XD;
    I’m a little worried about postage, but otherwise I’ll be hitting up Target for some good ol’ American standards! 😀

  7. Dammit I wish I could do this, but $40 could probably only buy like 2 or 3 Australian drugstore products =/ oh well, I’ll enjoy reading and seeing what everybody else gets!

  8. Sign me up for a spot!

    I too, would prefer brands I can’t get in the UK – and if people allow it, Indie makeup companies, as I’ve only tried Fyrinnae. I’ve no colour preferences, except, I’d prefer no dark lipsticks. I’d love to try mascaras, blushes/highlights or lipsticks in particular.

    Will you be emailing us too?

  9. This sounds absolutely fun. Thank you so much for hosting it. I’m from the US so I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard to find 6 items.

    I love browns, neutrals, bright red lipsticks, skincare items ❤ (I get a quite a few breakouts), cream eyeshadows & great indie makeup companies. I'm not too picky though.

  10. Sweet, so since I’m kind of a turd and can’t understand directions well, I can send in 6 super awesome Joe Fresh felt eyeliners? This is my favourite liner and I wish to share among the masses (and canucks don’t really have any other different makeup than Americans other than Annabelle, but I don’t use it that much)
    Or like 3 of the same liner and 3 blushes and you’ll split them all around for peeps?

    The thing I’m drooling over the most is that Sleek Circus palette.

    • I’m hoping people take mercy on me and send all the same product, so that it’s easy to look at right away know things are divided up correctly.

      • Even better, then I don’t have to wonder which thingy is prettier than the other. Done! 🙂 I’m pretty sure my store should still have at least 6 pens left. If not I’ll make the dude hunt another Superstore down!

    • If you’re going to do Joe stuff then perhaps I should choose something from Annabelle??

      I can go for one spot, Grey.

  11. Ooh, I’m in. lipgloss that doesn’t dry out my lips — I like light nude colors. Blushes are also good and favorite mascaras. I love eyeliners.

  12. Hmm….could I mix Japanese and American products to equal $40USD?

    Food for thought: The American dollar is very weak compared to other countries. In a lot of places (including Japan), $40USD would only buy 2-4 products….

    • You should send six of the same items to make swapping easier.

      Right, like I stated above, this swap might be expensive!

  13. How fun! I am in! I’m from the US.

    I would be happy to receive anything not widely available in the US. I’m not very picky. I would be happy to contribute either drugstore products or stuff from indie MMU companies. And if it will be easiest for you if I sent in 6 of the same products, that would make it easy on me too!

  14. Not sure if I can afford to sign up yet, will know hopefully before October, but what about identical lots of items?

    Like instead of 6 pallets in the 6-7 dollar range, 6 lots of glosses, liners, etc, that total up to the same price?

  15. Hi, I’ve always been a silent lurker on your site, but this is so exciting that I have to comment! I’m from Singapore, Singapore is a small country in South East Asia and I don’t think there’s any Singapore drugstore brand of makeup. However, I do have many Korean products (mainly BB creams which is a type of foundation / tinted moisturizer very popular in Korea, Japan and Singapore) Japanese products (BB cream and Canmake powder foundation), is it ok to use these items for the swap? If yes, I’d like to sign up for 2 spots! (Any 6 of these items would exceed US$40 after conversion.)

    I’d like to receive eye shadows and blushers in return if possible.

  16. Please count me in!

    am interested in:

    Bright colored eye goodies (liner, masc, shadows etc)
    Lipsticks in bright reds, corals,pinks, and black
    Not very picky!

    I’d love anything not available in the states. Here are some random Brand names of stuff we don’t have here

    (not necesarrily for me but more so for non-US participants who need an Idea of what we don’t have)

    Sleek makeup
    Barry M
    Eyeko (available online but not really in stores)

  17. Ooh I’d love to do this! I’m in Australia and there’s so much awesome drugstore stuff we can’t get here, at least not without paying stupid amounts for it!
    I’ve already got a few ideas on what to send – when I thought about it I realised there are actually a few decent brands that are unique to Australia.
    I’m not fussy, I like nailpolish, eye stuff, lip stuff, everything.
    Would love some Wet n Wild cos I hear amazing things about them and they’re hard to find online too!

  18. Ooh, I’d love to take part in this. I live in the UK and my favourite products are loose eyeshadows – especially in bright colours.

    By ‘the same item’, do you mean all six items exactly the same, or can it be the same item in different colours/shades?

    • Six of the same item, but yes they can be different shades. Just so long as the packing is the same so its easy to say, OK, this is from Maz so when they are divided I know no one from the same country gets the same stuff back.

  19. This is a great idea, I’d love to take part! I’m in the US and I’d be interested in getting just about anything except for maybe skin care products (crazy sensitive skin) or blushes. Thanks for this, Grey, it sounds like it’ll be fun!

  20. I’m in! Sounds like so much fun!
    As what I would want in return, im not super picky so yeah ^^

  21. Sign me up!

    It looks like a lot are planning on the same stuff.. is there going to be some sort of sign-up sheet? I’d hate to send in a bunch of stuff others already did.

    As for me, I’m interested in anything for acne-prone skin, eye makeup (esp. liners & shadows), and lippies (tinted balms esp., like Nivea!)

  22. I’m interested in doing this, sign me up! I’m from the U.S. and will try to send bright colored eyeshadow palettes, since it seems people are interested in that.

    In return, I wouldn’t mind getting some UK brands, namely sleek and gosh.

  23. This sounds so exciting. I’d love to sign up. I’m from the UK, so I’m interested in anything that isn’t widely available here.

  24. What a great idea, Grey! I will probably sign up before the end of the month.

  25. I’d like to sign up too please, this is an amazing idea! I’d like bright colours, glittery things, mineral make-up (because there aren’t that many brands here) etc.

    Oh, and I’m in the UK 🙂

  26. I’d like to sign up! I live in Australia.
    I’d be interested in getting primers, eye shadows (fun colours!), cheek colour or lip stains/tints.
    This is a fantastic idea! 🙂

  27. I love this idea! I have a brand in mind that I know many non-Europeans will love for sure. They are not 1$ items, but they aren’t really expensive either. Is that a problem? I mean you can’t expect drugstore brands to be expensive?
    I’ve included my e-mail so you can answer if you want to. I will sign up once I have the items. Until then this page is in my bookmarks.

    (The Netherlands)

  28. So, I went yesterday to see my (only) brush supplier, and I’ve found out that the pro makeup brand they sell (that I’ve always dismissed because I thought it was out of my reach) is actually affordable. Not cheap, affordable. So I bought an eyeshadow, matte, very close to Sushi Flower (I guess, I’ve never seen it in person), just to see how it works. I’ve tested yesterday for a few hours and the pigmentation is insane, but it deserves a better (and longer) judging. So if after the next two weeks I’m pleased with it, I’m gonna send this Argentinian brand to you. Most of you are asking for bright colors and this brand carries a lot of them.

    BTW I’m Cé, but when I log in from my blog it says only C.

  29. I would love to enter. I’m a bit worried though, I would not get paid until the 1st of October, so I was wondering if it has to be sent ON october 3rd, or BE THERE by october 3rd?

    • Sign ups end October 3rd.

      I won’t even be sending out my address until sometimes after that, and then you’ll have three weeks to get your items and get them in the mail, and then I’m allowing two weeks after that for them to arrive. So they have to be to me by roughly November 14th.

      But like I said, nothing but the sign up date has been posted yet, the final date may change.

  30. just found your blog and it’s great! I would love to join, and i’m thinking of interesting make-up. I would really like a nice purple lip color or funky hairdye. Anything unusual will go, but i would really like anything stargazer. I live in the u.s.

  31. Ok. I’m Carolina. I’m from Brazil.
    I’d love getting lip products, and blush/eyeshadow 🙂
    I already know what I’ll be sending, woo-hooo! Should I send them to you, Grey?
    Shipping shall kill me, but I don’t mind. 🙂

  32. I’m from Japan, I will join!

    As for international brands, Japan has what you’d expect… the big names, plus Japanese brands.
    I would like anything, except… please don’t send me anything orangey! I can’t wear orange, it’s too awful for me.

    • I’m with you elepehantdreams. I love some of the orange looks, but that color is horrid on me. I can do pale peaches though. lol

  33. I would like to join. I’m from the US and would like pretty much anything colorful/unique from another country. This sounds like so much fun. =)

  34. Hi! I’d love to join! I’m from Spain, the most important drugstore brand we have here is Deliplus, the price of their products is RIDICULOUSLY low yet most of them are good to great quality. I’ll check the prices to see if I send 6 or 12 products 😉

    I’m interested on blushes, eyeshadows, powder foundations and lip stuff.

  35. I’d like to participate. I’m in the US and it doesn’t matter to me what I get!

  36. Ohh now looking at the time frame sign me up. I am from Australia! Thanks 🙂

  37. Just wanted to add….I have two spots and I noticed there is only 1 spot left. I would be willing to give up 1 of my spots so someone else can participate. This is a really great idea and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out because I’m being greedy 🙂

    • That actually doesn’t matter. Even if you gave up a spot I’d only allow another spot, since I’m already shipping to you. Since I’m paying shipping I only want to mail out 30 packages, so your second spot is just… extra. If that makes sense!

  38. In the interest of my poor wallet/bank account, I would be willing to give up my spot to anyone that really wants to participate. 🙂

  39. hey im def up for a spot if there is one left.
    Im from canada and was thinking of either sending GOSH stuff or lise Watier.

    Im not picky with what i get. i find the magic of this is in the surprise!

  40. Ohhh I wish I could have signed up. Too bad it’s closed. 😦


  1. Two more things for this week… | Yoetke Beauty Blog - September 9, 2010

    […] ever-awesome Grey @ Le Gothique is organzing an International Makeup Swap. Read the details on her blog & sign up until October 3rd. It sounds amazing and I might sign up if I have the cash, but I got […]