Today is officially Cyber Monday -- the moniker assigned to the Monday following Black Friday when holiday shoppers rush online to spy, scour and snap up deals from behind the comfort of their computer screen.
But before you embark on hours of surfing for sales, you'll want to make sure you're protected -- or else risk having the grinch steal Christmas from you.
First, make sure that your computer is up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as, a secure firewall before you begin lurking around every corner of the Internet, lest you pick up a nasty bug that will have you asking Santa for a new laptop.
Next, give your business only to retailers you're familiar with, or who check out with a clean record when you search them.
"Shop on reliable websites. You should always do research on the seller's status and record for customer satisfaction," advises Ileana Quinones, creative director of DesignerChatter.com, a online boutique that sells designer clothing at discounted prices.
This is also an instance where you'll actually want to pay with a credit card for your own financial security. "Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don't receive the item," says Quinones.
When shopping for beauty products that you can't test, touch or smell over a screen, stick to sites with generous return policies in the event that the sheer blue eyeshadow you thought you had bought shows up in a shocking shade of Mimi blue.
And be sure to also keep documentation of your order. Typically, you'll receive a confirmation email after you complete an online order. The Better Business Bureau recommends saving a copy as a record of purchase, which you can easily organize into a new "Holiday Shopping 2010" folder in your email box.
The clock's ticking, and those sales have already begun. Here's our roundup of the best Cyber Monday beauty deals around the net.
Ahava - The Dead Sea mineral-infused line of products are discounted in tiered fashion today. Spend $50 and get 15 percent off and a deluxe sized Hand/Body/Foot Cream with code GIVE15. Stacking up $100 worth of products gets you 20 percent off, plus the cream and an exfoliating washcloth and Botanic Bliss Set with code GIVE20. A $200 splurge captures 30% off, as well as, the cream, washcloth and botanic goodies with code GIVE30.
Bath & Body Works - When this popular bath time retailer debuted their sleigh load of holiday gifts this season, we picked out our top five. Today's a perfect day to nab one -- with 25% off all purchases online, with code CYBER25.
Bath by Bettijo - The natural brand features both vegan and raw bath and body options with skin-saving ingredients like cocoa, mint and shea butter. Code HOHOHO will get you 25 percent off the site.
Beauty.com - The purveyor of all things pretty is discounting 20 percent off hair tools, 40 percent off Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel, and up to 80 percent off Laura Geller sets and palettes. And when you order $50 worth of treats, you'll be gifted a Lela Rose Tin packed with 24 samples and a complimentary $10 Beauty.com gift card.
Bobbi Brown - Stock up on your favorite best-sellers like palettes and foundation sticks, and then enter code HAPPY11 for three travel-sized gifts of Crystal Lip Gloss, Extreme Party Mascara and Intensive Skin Supplement, as well as, free shipping.
Chella - We were most recently impressed by the brand's new brow growth product, and now you can try the Brow Full-Fillment Conditioning Treatment at a 20 percent off discount all day -- or any of their other products on site including cleansers, creams and brow tools.
Clarisonic - The cult hand-held cleansing brand will discount 20 percent off any skincare pairs purchased on site, which applies to the Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System, Opal Sonic Infusion, brush heads and cleansers bought in pairs. Enjoy free shipping on all orders, as well a,s a free gift with purchase: a limited-edition normal pink brush head, a six ounce Gentle Hydro Cleanser and matching travel bag.
Dr. Gerald Imber - The New York-based plastic surgeon and author is serving up his star product, Youth Corrider, at a 20 percent discount through December 3rd. The serum boasts 10 percent vitamin C, vitamin E and melatonin to revitalize aging skin with powerful antioxidants.
Elizabeth Arden - The luxury beauty brand will lure shoppers into her big red doors today with a chic black makeup bag stuffed with 31 pieces of cosmetics, including lipstick, eye shadow, blush, eye liner and makeup brushes. It's yours for free with any order of $65 or more, as is free shipping. Enter code CYBER65.
Glowology - Hypoallergenic and naturally derived from plant-based ingredients, this fair trade and celeb-loved skin care brand is offering a buy one product, get the second one free special all day with code NOV29.
Ilana Jivago - A Beverly Hills-based fragrance house to the wealthy and connected, you can enjoy 20 percent off site-wide with code GOLD20. White Gold and 24K Gold are two of the brand's recent sensual floral launches, featuring sparkling notes of jasmine and Bulgarian rose.
Juicy Couture - If you've been lemming the new fruity floral Peace, Love & Juicy Couture scent from the brand known for its luxury take on dressed-down velour tracksuits, you can spend $175 and get a free reversible tote bag both online and in stores. (The first you've heard of the new scent? Glimpse the commercial here.)
Kahina Giving Beauty -- A line of natural skin care based on the healing powers of argan oil, Kahina is offering 20 percent off their website with code CYBER. A full 25 percent of all profits are always donated to fair trade women cooperatives that source the oil in Morocco.
Kiehl's - The highly charitable brand is running its annual Friends & Family through Tuesday, and the code FAMILY10 will get you 20 percent off all purchases, as well as, complimentary ground shipping on orders totaling more than $30. To redeem the coupon in-store, you'll have to print it out here and bring it with you.
LaLicious - The all-natural bath and body line that blends with yummy scents like passion fruit lime and brown sugar and vanilla is featuring a 30 percent site-wide discount on all of their scrubs, butters, oils and soaps. Formulations are free of both parabens and sulfates.
Laura Geller - With any purchase of $75 or more, customers will receive a special Laura Geller kit that features the antioxidant-rich Blush-N-Brighten, Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Fresco Nude/Baroque and the Clear Handled Kabuki Brush. All the free goodies ring in at a $98 value. Cha-ching!
LovelySkin.com - Carrying a diverse range of beauty brands from Fusion Beauty to RapidLash to Burt's Bees and Jane Iredale, you can expect 25 percent off the entire site today and double rewards points on all purchases. A Neocutis Lumiere Eye Cream will be gifted with purchases over $200.
Lush - The natural brand known for its freshly whipped up soaps and scrubs is gifting a free one ounce limited-edition perfume for purchases over $150. Choose from Olive Branch, Candy Fluff, Honey I Washed the Kids, and So White. Orders over $100 will also get free ground shipping, while orders over $120 will be rewarded with free two day shipping.
Nude Skincare - Known for its probiotic approach to anti-aging, the paraben, sulfate and silicone-free brand is offering a 20 percent site-wide discount today, with code MONDAY.
Ole Henriksen - Facialist to the stars Ole Henriksen is steeply discounting eight skincare kits. Standouts include Blemish Be Gone at 65 percent off and Head to Toe for all skin types at 67 percent off, as well as, Evening Perfection at 50 percent off and Lighten Up at 46 percent off. Only 50 kits remain of the All About Eyes, which is cut by 44 percent.
PürMinerals - All orders placed on the mineral makeup brand's website will receive a 20 percent discount through Tuesday, November 30. If you detest the traditional loose powder style of mineral makeups, fear not -- this is a brand that formulates all of their mineral shades in pressed compacts.
Shobha - If you prefer pouring on the hot hair removal wax in the privacy of your own home, check out this New York-based spa's sale today. You can score a hair removal kit, skin soothing lotion, strips, wax or any other product of choice while stocking up on a second one totally complimentary. Be sure to select "buy one, get one free" from the drop down menu before putting the product in your shopping bag.
Sibu Beauty - Containing nutrient-rich sea buckthorn harvested from the Himalaya mountains, Sibu Beauty's Wellness Holiday Set containing detox soap, reparative cream and revitalizing juice will be $20 off (code BLACK), while the Anti-Aging Holiday Set with gel supplements, sea buckthorn seed oil and dense eye cream will also be $20 off (code FRIDAY) until the end of today. That's an additional $20 off the sale prices for both items, a savings of 67 percent.
Stark Waxing Studio - With fancy candles, luxury body scrubs and the fashion-savvy RGB nail line in stock, this trusted waxing stop is offering 20 percent off all products, as well as, free shipping from Friday through Monday.
Stila - Beautyaholics will no doubt stampede the Stila sample sale today, where you'll find cult classics like convertible color, smudge pots and makeup brushes on sale for up to 80 percent off retail prices.
Three Custom Color Specialists - Known for bringing beloved, yet retired makeup shades back to life via custom-blending, look for 35 percent all online purchases -- which includes the discontinued archive. Other standouts worth scooping up are the Clarifier Pencil and Translucent Powder.
Urban Decay - The alternative brand known for its array of glittery power-packed hues is offering eyeshadows, colored mascaras and lip glosses for just $6 through 3am EST Tuesday, with chic nail polish sets and sleek shadow palettes going for only $12. And from 1pm to 5pm EST, you can snag a sneak peak of the 15th Anniversary 24/7 Pencil Set that will go on sale in the spring -- quantities are limited.
VMV Hypoallergenics - Sensitive skin sufferers, rejoice; this beauty brand is free of all or most of the known cosmetic allergens, and is celebrating Cyber Monday in a big way. All makeup will be 50 percent off, while Armanda Sun and Light Screen will be 15 percent off and all other products discounted 30 percent.
Zeno - If you've been wondering if the Zeno device really does zap zits on contact, you can find out first-hand with a 25 percent off discount plus free site-wide shipping that will run through Monday. (It did, after all, win an Empire Beauty Award his past year.)
Head over to our friends at WalletPop for more deals on the mega online shopping day!
And be sure to tweet and Twitpic your fab Cyber Monday deals using the hashtag #CyberMonday.