Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Last week, we asked for your feedback via a survey, and all of the responses we received were really great and just helped us develop a picture of where we are and what we need to change up in the future.  Here are some findings/explanations, just because the audience is split on some things, so I don’t want half of you to think we’re ignoring your suggestions–because the other half loves what you hate!  (I think the adage “you can’t satisfy everyone” applies!)

  • Drugstore vs. high-end:  about 15% of readers seemed to want more coverage of beauty products available at a lower price point, while 75% were happy that there isn’t a lot of coverage of drugstore brands.  Solution: Money-Saving Mondays — the theme is to cover and feature products that are more affordable, at least on a once-a-week basis.
  • MAC vs. non-MAC:  about 10% of readers feel like this blog is all MAC and nothing but, while 20% of readers say there aren’t enough posts about MAC (and about 5% say skip other brands and only write about MAC).  The majority of readers (about 75%) are satisfied with the level of non-MAC to MAC ratio.  Solution:  keep on keepin’ on.  If MAC keeps putting out a zillion and one collections per year, we’ll be there to cover it.  We’re still trying to do our best and cover other brands’ releases, too.  We can’t always get to all of them, but we certainly give it a go!
  • Reader Participation: about 20% of readers dislike at least one or two of participation-based posts (The Hit List, Rant & Rave, Temptalia Asks You, etc.), but the overwhelming majority loves to participate in these.  Solution: we’re going to take a look at our schedule and likely ditch Project Revamp (that’s your call to save it, if you wish) and potentially scale back others so that there’s some but not too much.
  • Sales/Deals: several readers commented on not wanting sales/deals clogging up the front page… Solution:  we already adjusted this about a month ago so that the majority of sales/deals are only posted on the deals page.  We’ll, of course, still feature some deals on the main page, depending on whether we think it’ll interest you, as well as the weekly deal round-up on Mondays.
  • Guest Posts/Submissions: some readers commented that they’d like to see guest posts/reviews/looks/tutorials.  Solution: we’ve actually always welcomed and asked for submissions — we just rarely get any!   We will try to make more “call to submit” posts throughout the year.
  • Rating System: there seems to be a fair amount of confusion over the rating system — some love the addition of it, others think it’s pointless.  Solution: at this point, I’m probably going to get rid of it.  It seems like it requires more explanation to avoid the confusion, which seems like it’ll clog up the post.  But to clarify here:  I don’t actively seek out products I dislike, which is why I don’t have a lot of “terrible” reviews.  I try and buy what I think I’ll like.  A “C” product is average – not bad, but not great; a “B” product is good, but I think there’s something better out there; and an “A” product is great, and it’s something I’d buy again.
  • Disclosure: a few readers were curious about how Temptalia will work with the FTC’s disclosure requirement.  Solution:  we have had a site-wide disclosure and policies page up for about a year now — in general (in the past), if I didn’t say I bought it, I probably didn’t.  But since the revisions came out (so about two weeks now), we’ve also implemented a post-by-post disclosure system.  (Anyone notice it? Here’s an example.)  We don’t do paid reviews, we don’t promise positive reviews–hell, we don’t guarantee we’ll review anything, period.  Bottom line, I review stuff I like/love or products I think readers are interested in.

There’s one major area that we could use further feedback on:  NAVIGATION.

It definitely seemed like a fair number of readers experienced some issues with navigating the site.  Because we are, quite obviously biased, we have no idea what’s wrong with it.  We can navigate the site just fine, darn it!  So to help us understand where you’re coming from, could you tell us what problems you’re having? What’s not working?  Maybe an example of a navigation that would work for such an unwieldy site such as Temptalia?

Any insight on making your site experience better, more streamlined, and just more enjoyable would be most appreciated. This is the time of the year where we start working on our layout and redesign, so all of your feedback is vital to the process.  (If you want change, you gotta speak up!)

Thanks so much for participating in the quarterly reader feedback survey!

(And, of course, if you have any additional feedback, suggestions, comments, or questions, you are always welcome to post them — whether on the blog or via email.)

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

112 thoughts on “Reader Feedback: Some Results, Solutions, & Plea!

  1. I think the Project Revamp is probably the most pointless type of post on Temptalia. Even if we wanted to revamp a product, nothing will come of our hopes for it. :/ Separately, I looooove the new rating system. Your explanation explains the pros/cons of products but in the end you sort of tally up (without my having to do so) what that means overall. Please keep the rating system!!!

  2. Rae

    Hi Christine! I just wanted to say that I, too, absolutely ADORE the rating system… please keep it!! Also, I like the new disclosure system, and just wanted to say “thanks for doing it” — it’s discreet and out-of-the-way, but still there.

    Oh, and lastly, I don’t have any problems with site navigation :) On the contrary, I think that Temptalia is one of the best organized beauty sites out there. It’s always easy to find stuff with the label system and the search bar!

  3. Hinahon

    Actually I like the letters rating system
    When I don’t really have time to read all, I look at the letter and if it’s too bad, I won’t bother. I don’t have that much money and your rating system really helps me.
    So please keep it ! Modify it perhaps to make it less confusing for some but it is REALLY helpful to me

    And btw, what should i do if i want to suggest a look? I need several pics? or they need to be explained like yours on the blog?

    • Thanks for the input, Hinahon! If you want to suggest a look – do you mean for me to do or submit a look you’ve done? I don’t really take suggestions – I don’t specifically work to fulfill requests, but I am always open to hearing them but make no promises to do them. If you want to submit your own look, I need quality photos (at least 3) of the look with a full description of the products you used.

      • Hinahon

        Yeah it would be more to “show” you a look I’ve done.
        In case I want to show something. Since apparently you said you were not having that much looks coming from outside, maybe one day I could show you one of mine :)

  4. Andrea

    I also love your rating system, and never could understand why people had a problem with it!!!

    With respect to site Navigation, I also don’t have a problem with it!

  5. Mel

    I love pretty much everything about your site, that’s why I’m on it every day. Don’t change it!!!!!!

  6. Kelly

    I love the rating system, as well! If you’re reviewing a product I wouldn’t normally care for, I can just glance at the bottom and if YOU’VE given it an A+ I have to find out why!
    Also, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the navigation system– because there are SOOOO many posts, I’m able to find “new to me” posts all the time! I love the “ah!” feeling when I find a particularly necessary one. =)
    Keep up the good work!!

  7. Mariana

    Christine,

    I really like the rating system and don’t see why others view it at as a problem. I think it works well, please keep it! Also, I have no navigation problems with the site. I think you do a great job and appreciate all you do. I love the MAC reviews and also enjoy the reviews on the other brands as well. I have been reading alot of negative opinions on blogs lately and I just don’t see why everyone can’t appreciate all the bloggers hard work and just let it go! :)

  8. shontay

    The ratings system makes things extremely easy. It gives me your opinion instantly if I don’t have time to read the entire post. I am baffled as to how anyone can find it confusing.

    • I think there is confusion on how I come to certain ratings – e.g. I base value within a band and against direct competitors but not every other brand out there (I don’t compare Chanel to Wet ‘n Wild).

  9. Abby

    I really like the letter rating system – most of your “out of ten” ratings are pretty similar, yet your letter grade is kind of like the “bottom line” of what you think and give the reader a better picture. I kind of gloss over the number ratings, but if I see something gets a high grade, I take more interest in it – like those beauChanel glosses!

    I also greatly appreciate the disclosures. Maybe I’m naive when it comes to beauty blogs, but I had no idea bloggers where sent so many promotional products! (I’ve honestly thought, “Man, her beauty budget must be ENORMOUS!”) While I know you strive for honesty and giving your readers the best review of a product, I do like knowing when you didn’t buy something with your own hard-earned money – I take that fact into consideration before I buy something reviewed. Just because I’m skeptical and think a person is more critical when the product is something they’ve purchased – but that’s just me!

    But no matter what you do, Christine, I think you’re doing an awesome job – much better than any of the haters could do – and keep up the good work!

  10. Let me preface my comments by saying I love coming to Temptalia. I visit several times per day for information about upcoming collections and product reviews. But I am bothered by the site’s overall design…it’s very cluttered.

    There are images, text, italicized text, bold text, pictures of text, text text text, images next to text that really don’t have any purpose, more text that is below it that is smaller but should be emphasized more…it’s feels very cluttered. A good example post of what I’m trying to illustrate is this latest post: Temptalia Asks You – Will you be partaking in Sephora’s Friends & Family sale this year?

    Most of the time, I can’t tell what to click on, so I skip the entire post and look for the “Keep Reading” link.

    If this site continues to use the “Read More” style of cutting posts, then why not put everything behind that text cut EXCEPT the initial image and a few lines of text? It’s overkill to have most of the information, release dates, product descriptions and opinions on the main page, with the product photos behind the cut. Just cut it all and have a teaser image with the “Keep Reading” link. Then reader’s have a reason to keep reading :)

    Also, it would be lovely if all of the smaller informational links like date, number of comments, tags…etc, were also behind the text cut. Maybe I’m a little spoiled from looking at Tumblr blogs and modern web design but, I think a lot of that kind of clean up would make Temptalia so much more readable and navigable.

    Here are a few samples of blogs that have lots of text and photos but with a more concise design:

    http://www.designspongeonline.com/
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/

    • Katie W

      I actually prefer temptalia’s layout to either of those… but I DO really like the letter rating system… and really, if you went to any kind of school you should understand it. (Well, any USA school, I don’t know about anywhere else.) So PLEASE don’t get rid of it!!

      • Roxanne

        I have to agree with Katie. Those lay-outs don’t look appealing to me at all. I can see why you would say that though.

        The Keep Reading link doesn’t bother me at all. A picture with a title above it would probably make me think “nah, not intresting”. I feel some text (not all of it, depending on how long it is of course) invites you to read on rather than getting in the way. I’ve been often surprised by what’s hiding behind that link!

        Also, I’m not from the US and we don’t have a letter rating system (basically we have numbers ranging anywhere from out of 10, 20,… up to a 100) but I agree that it really isn’t that hard to understand. (Of course I’m really intrested in how that works so I’ve already looked it up but) Most people should know that A is grand, B is good and C is so-so, right?

    • Thank you for your suggestions, and I appreciate you linking to those two other sites!

  11. Christine, I love your site. I think you and your team are doing a wonderful job =) Your layout is uncluttered and easy to navigate. I’m unclear as to why others would think otherwise.

    I like the rating system. Your reviews are very well detailed and are enjoyable reads.

  12. Hey Christine!

    I LOVE this post, because I love hearing about stuff like this and getting to participate in the discussion whenever I can. You do a great job, and as I’ve said to you before you’re a huge inspiration behind The Gloss Menagerie!

    The rating system I can take or leave. I like it for when I’m cheating (skimming) a review and just wanna know if you like it or hate it, lol, but if the majority decides to get rid of it I won’t mind.

    The navigation is a tiny bit cumbersome for me too, actually. I know you support the site with adverts, but I was wondering if there would be a way you could possibly make the banner ads smaller and the content area larger? The ads are pretty distracting, especially that rollover ad from walmart (which I find myself constantly accidentally rolling over, eerrggg).

    Layout-wise, I’d suggest thinking about a 3-column layout with smaller nav bars on either side of the content, and nixing the network tabs on the left side (putting those links elsewhere).

    • LOL, cheating. I like it!

      There’s absolutely zero way to make the advertisements smaller or place them anywhere. They’re all standard sizes/placements, and there’s just not a lot of deviation. We have to make the layout compatible with those viewing on smaller resolutions (e.g. 800×600), and I think even as it stands, readers on 800×600 will struggle to see the whole site at once, so there’s not much room for expanding the content area :(

  13. Brie

    I’m definitely someone who commented on the rating system. I don’t think the rating system is confusing, I just think that it’s odd to rarely see anything get below a “B” grade though.

    I mean…. NO ONE actively seeks out products they dislike. Who does that? We all buy things with the hope that we will enjoy them. But, I can safely say that sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. How many times have I purchased something thinking I will love it, only to find that I really disliked it? Quite a few times and I definitely purchase a small fraction of the number you purchase because you have this blog. My opinion was more that I think that the rating system was not necessarily reflecting the reviews. I could read the review and get the clear impression that you felt it was below average and maybe even sub-par. And then I’d see a “B” grade. Which doesn’t make sense even by your own description of what a “B” grade means.

    I think it would be a really helpful system if it were evened out a bit. Maybe if you had a point rating system which could convert into a letter grade. It would mean a more even and regulized rating system. Such as:

    X points for packaging
    X points for smell/texture
    X points for color payoff
    X points for pricing
    etc

    And then the points organized into letter grades. X points = D, X points = C, and so on. So at the end of the review if you stated that the packaging was kind of a pain and the texture was okay and the color payoff was not great, that it would likely be a C or a D and not a B.

    That’s just my suggestion though! I visit Temptalia every day, and I enjoy the site and appreciate the work that goes into it. Grade ratings or not, I will continue to read it!

    • Roxanne

      I think that’s a really good idea, Brie! That way it would be based more upon a standardized system instead of your own “feelings” at the time (for lack of a better word).

    • Hi Brie,

      I currently do give points for product (how well it works), value (price vs. quantity), packaging, and ease of use. I’ve been doing this for a few months now. I’ve always weighted product at about 60% (so even though it, in the past, said x/10 it’s really worth 60% of the total overall score), so I have changed the points to reflect this so it’s clearer. The points have always corresponded to a letter grade, and of course, since I don’t give out half points, I do have a slight fudge factor on the “did I like it overall?” which may bring something up or down by 1/3rd of a grade (e.g. B to B+).

  14. JillyB

    Probably the thing I look for the most is your guide to upcoming collections. I usually want to see what date a collection is coming out. The only way I know of to find it is to click on Features, then on Product Guides. Then scan through everything until I find the post with the link to the Upcoming collection. Then I click on the link and finally get to it. I realize bookmarking that page, as you say, would be the smart thing to do, but my one suggestion would be to make that item easier to find. Otherwise, I’ve been able to find most other things I was looking for.
    Thanks for listening, I love your site.

    • It’s actually a featured post that you can always access by clicking on the content/post box right under the logo – it’s a box that has MAC launches, Popular Posts, and Featured Posts. It’s under Featured Posts!

  15. Nicci

    I really like the rating system. For me, it is easy to understand. It helps me decide if I will even give a product a try. Not worth my time if something gets a C or D.

    I like the layout of the site as well. For me it is not messy or cluttered. I like the different colors & fonts, it is eye-catching. I think it is really organized as well. I like how everything is already there, I don’t need to do additional searching. If I want to though, it is easy to find – right on top of the page listing home, features, looks, brands, tutorials, etc.

    I also like all the reader type questions that are posted. It is a great way to interact w/the readers I think.

    I will say I am one of those people that did think at times not all the time that it seemed like there were a lot of MAC posts and reviews. But I do know you cover tons of other brands, it is not 100% MAC. What is strange is that I have actually started reading the MAC review myself and checking them out. Before I would totally skip them. I don’t have much experience w/that brand. I bought one lip gloss that really disappointed me and I pretty much said bye to the brand for awhile & because of the negative reviews I have heard about some of their products but that could be said for *any* brand. The last time I was at the mall, I actually went to the MAC counter. I surprised myself. I found a eye shadow I really liked, didn’t purchase it…yet. I guess I take the comment back I made on the survey :)

    I visit this site everyday and love it. I drop by a couple of other sites but they don’t even compare. I’m slowly just visiting yours…keep up the good work! :-)

    • Thanks, Nicci! I appreciate your feedback, and I think it’s great to hear that you stopped by a MAC counter. I can totally relate to poor experiences or inexperience with a brand that keeps me away for awhile :)

  16. SarahT

    I love the ratings system! Like others have mentioned, if I only have a few minutes I skip straight to it to see the bottom line – it is nice to be able to do that sometimes. As far as layout – it is simple for me and I don’t think the ads take up too much space, interfere, etc.
    Keep up the excellent work! So glad I found your site last year :D

  17. Alice

    Christine, I can’t fathom the amount of time and dedication that must go into maintaining this site, especially posting as often and detailedly as you do, so thank you!

    I, like many of the others who have commented on this post, love the ratings, and especially the final letter grade. I love discovering a new product which, at first glance, doesn’t spark much curiosity but captures my interest after I see a good grade from you. It has definitely happened more than once.

    Your swatches may be my most favorite part of the site. It’s amazing how clearly and accurately you capture the colors/textures of the products.

    All in all, I’m addicted to your site– it’s like a drug and I have no qualms about indulging myself!

    • Thank you so much! It’s really great to hear from people who do like the rating system, because the survey reflected a much larger majority more against it (either as it stood at the survey date or else wanting to do away with it, period).

  18. Sounds to me like you’re making a lot of great changes. I would *love* to do a guest post. What sort of things do you accept? I’m not that great with makeup tutorials but am always up for product reviews.

    Your ratings system is exactly the way I like it – simple and you get an idea right away if the product is worth your money.

    This is always the first place I come to, even before Specktra, when I need MAC info. Your swatches beat out the rest of the competition.

    • Hi Taryn,

      We accept all kinds. It’s kind of “email us and tell us what you want to submit” or just submit it and if it seems like a good fit, we’ll publish it. In the past, it’s usually been looks, but we definitely accept product reviews and nothing is limited to *just* looks/tutorials.

      Thank you!!

  19. Bethany

    In terms of navigation:

    I find that the search bar is not that helpful. If I search for “Red She Said” – reviews on the Red She Said collection are not the first thing which appear, I need to go through several pages to find what I am looking for.

    If you were able to change the way searchers are prioritised so that it looks for matches in the post’s title first and THEN in the main body text, I think that the searchers would be more successful. (I am assuming that the search programming only looks through the main body text)
    Or add the ability to do an advanced search where you narrow down brand and year perhaps?

    • Lorna

      I would have to agree with this comment. Whenever I do a search a lot of articles come up where there are just brief references to what I am searching for but not the main article or review. This tends to happen a lot when I search for past collections or limited edition products.

    • Thanks for the help, Bethany! We are definitely working on an advanced search and working on a better way to present even basic search results to make it more searh-friendly.

  20. Jen

    I sometimes have a problem with navigation, I can’t always find “upcoming mac launches” when I type it in the search engine and I don’t know another way to find it? I would also like to be able to get to a previous Mac review and swatch quicker than scrolling back thru every page of them, if possible.
    I have a question, why are you reviewing and swatching a Mac collection broken down and not all on one page or post like it used to be? I used to be able to click on the collection and get all the review and swatches on that one page but now you break it down to several posts for the same collection, did someone request that? Thanks

    • Hey Jen!

      Just to let you know, it’s a featured post and you can always find it by clicking on the “featured posts” tab on the top of the page (right under the logo)!

      I do this for several reasons: 1) to review like things together so it isn’t an essay; 2) to reduce the server load — because if I put everything in one post, that means everyone is downloading a lot of content and images, and many may just be interested in one product or only the lipsticks–by spreading the posts out, this lets smaller loads and requests go through and makes the site faster (and the site needs every bit of help in this aspect!); and 3) it makes it easier for search–whether you use the blog’s search box or Google, having specific titles makes searching more efficient after the posts drop off the first few pages.

  21. Lindsay

    Hi Christine! I love the letter rating system! Also, I really like when you tell us what we must, should, or pass in a collection.

  22. I love your rating system and the whole ‘must haves, nice to have, skip’ stuff.

    For navigation I feel like things are pretty good.
    You may want to re-design the buttons at the top righ tfor Forum, Look book, Product Gallery, MAc database, to make the text bigger, or to make the buttons stick out more, the grey borders on the grey background don’t stand out as well as your youtube/twitter/rss/facebook buttons.

    I love your site and I always come here to check out MAC releases. That’s how I originally found your site. I think you’re a great blogger :)

  23. J

    I personally love the rating system – I dont know how people can be so confused by it, it’s exactly the same as getting grades in school? =S Giving it a specific quantified rating helps me decide whether I’ll try something or not, I like knowing that something is a B+ because it’s amazing, but does have its drawbacks. It’s also useful for those tl;dr moments because I can just look at the rating and make up my mind :)

    I love that this site is so heavily MAC, though I would like to see some more coverage of brands like NARS. I’d also prefer that you did away with the whole “define brows using a coordinated power with the 266 brush” that prefaces EVERY look/tutorial, because I feel like that’s an optional thing that should be written at the end. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but it just bugs me :(

    As for navigation, I tried to navigate the ‘looks’ section and I found it was overly categorised. I just wanted to view all the looks in one page, but the site wouldnt let me do that, and I had to go view all of the categories individually – this might be fine if I knew what I was looking for, but it’s awful if someone just wants to have a browse.

    • Haha, tl;dr moments. Total ONTD moment right there for me.

      I totally understand what you mean by the redundancy of the eyebrow filling in portion. I actually eliminated the foundation information because it never changed, but I get a lot of requests to add this back! I’m going to have to think about this a bit more.

      Thank you, J!

  24. Lily

    i love all the MAC pix, swatches, reviews, makes my life easier!
    i not so much like reviews on makeup that is $40-60 for a lipstick!!

  25. I am sorry to see your ratings will be going away. Whenever I see anything less than an “A” it is my reasoning for not looking further into the product.

    Just one idea: I am a lover of high end (not Guerlain high end as I think it is just ridiculous to pay half of a Franklin for a blush or highlighter)and drug store products. I would absolutely love to see both. For instance, Sally’s has Femme Couture mineralized eyeshadows in a new collection somewhat copying the latest from MAC. Seeing these and your ideas would be great. Also, thing like what you think of the new Revlon Color Stay Mousse Foundation. It would be great to see what you think of one drugstore product, mid and high end products. I don’t think most think they want to see drugstore but if you were to approve of something, I think that may just change. I appreciate your website, but I have to go by when seeing so many items $50 and over for one item. I feel good about it in one way knowing I can’t look at it as I cannot justify it, but at the same time it would have been wonderful to see something their about the awesome cream liners everyone is raving about from Wet N Wild that are better than most high ends I have tried. I love products from $2 to $35 from the most part. Again, I love your site, I just look at the topics at the top and decide if it is something I want to check out. However, I always try to give positive feedback where feedback is requested or answer your questions when asked. I hope this was somewhat helpful.

    • Wow, less than an A! LOL! I don’t think I’ve given too many out, haha. From the feedback here, I’ve tweaked the rating system a bit (to hopefully make it more apparent) as well as a full written “what it all means” so hopefully that will help going forward.

      I’m definitely trying to include more budget-friendly products as I can!

      Thank you so much :)

  26. Nora

    I think the above comments are all very useful. My two cents would be:

    *I think the site is clean, but I agree that it would be nice to have less text before the Read More link.
    *It might also be nice to up the # of posts per page, if that’s even possible in the blog software, i.e. have 15-20 stories when I come to the homepage instead of 10 (or whatever the number is that fits), which would cut down on searching/clicking.
    *I, also, would love a Collections section. Specktra used to do it and still has a section, but it will go for months on end without being updated, making it completely useless. To have a Collections tab with a short description for each post and maybe the promo image followed by a Read More link would be convenient and attractive to many people, I think.
    *I would additionally be one of the people who would prefer more “drugstore” brand product reviews. Or, as others have mentioned, maybe find 3 similar products all along the economic scale and rate them, e.g. Blacktrack fluidline vs Wet n Wild cream liner vs Avon’s gel liner. There’s a reason those “what are your drugstore HG products?” forum posts are always so popular.

    I concur that I can’t fathom how much work you put into this blog. It is by far the best out there and I visit once a day! Your swatches are wonderful and I always reference your site before going out to buy or try makeup. Thank you for ALL THAT YOU DO! ^_^

    • Hi Nora,

      We currently display 10 posts per page, and I can understand why you might want more, but I just don’t think it’s feasible. The site is already pretty slow between the images, scripts for different features of the site (like the navigation or comments), plus ads of course, so to add an additional 5-10 posts to every page request would really overload the server. :(

      You can always drop a comment on the page to remind me to update, but collection information comes out in bursts usually – approximately four times a year, so there’s not too much to update between the bursts, just a FYI! We do have a page that has all of the upcoming collections listed with the date and any related posts (including reviews, swatches, etc.) as they become available. I try to update every 3-4 weeks, but sometimes I forget to update.

      Thanks so much for all of your feedback! We take it all into consideration and really think about every suggestion and see how it works, if it can work, and does it solve the problem (or create additional ones on our end).

  27. Angie

    Regarding the sales/deals section, you don’t have to make a dedicated post regarding a certain sale or certain discount code.

    You could have a permanent sales/deals section, or link, somewhere on your page where you will periodically update good online deals or discounts? Maybe like a mini twitter. Its up to the reader whether they want to venture there – I think they will!

    • Hi Angie,

      We do (and have had it for about a month now, perhaps two) have a separate, permanent page for deals/sales. I will continue to post a weekly round-up of different deals/codes as well as any major sales (e.g. Sephora’s F&F Sale) that I think people are REALLY, REALLY waiting for. There’s a tab in the navigation called “Deals” and that’s where most are!

  28. laura

    keep the mac. it’s your friggin blog…plus…dont you work at mac?

  29. amy

    Hi Christine,

    One of my favourite postings are Look Books because I love to hear other people’s creative solutions for products. How about doing one for Halloween?

  30. Kay

    Nooooooooooo. Don’t get rid of the rating system. I love it. It makes the review so much better. :’(

  31. Regarding navigation, maybe I’m totally missing it, but do you use tags? If I want to bring up MAC Style Black, for instance, I do a search, but the first thing that comes up is the Magic & Mirth collection, and you have to scroll down a ways to get to the swatches for Style Black. Same with “recent launches”.

    Any way to just bring up the collection you’re looking for instantly?

    Of course maybe some of this is user error on my part. :P

    • Hi Taryn,

      Yes, we do use tags! We implemented tags in early 2009, so not all posts are tagged (it’s one of those projects we want to do, but we have so many other projects that are of higher priority, so it’s on the back burner). The tags show up on the bottom of every post for your reference!

      We do have a featured post (listed under the “featured posts” tab on the top of the page), and there’s an “upcoming collections” post which lists all of the upcoming and recent launches and then links to different posts relating to it (from the info to promo photos to reviews).

  32. Chess

    - Ditch the Project Revamp
    - I’m happy for a little coverage of particularly great drugstore finds, but in general, I’m happy with the majority of posts concerning higher-end brands. The MAC/non-MAC ratio is also perfect.
    - Maybe just a letter grade is the way to go, in terms of rating.
    - I have no problem navigating! Everything’s super well labelled and easy to find.

  33. Jenny

    I love the rating system! I hang around the site when I have nothing to do but sometimes I’m just popping by for a quick look and those letter ratings are great at catching my eye. I also love them because I totally get where you’re coming from with them. I don’t have a ton of money and time and am only after the high preforming, not-comparable-to-anything-else-in-the-price-range items, and when someone with so much experience says something is A great, I’ll give it some serious consideration.

  34. Silvia

    Dear Christine,
    thanks for the great work. I would really like you to keep the rating system. I find it really good for an overall orientation.
    Please keep it :) have a nice SUnday!

  35. Ellen

    please don’t take away the rating system Christine. Most of the time, I don’t read the description unless you give it a good grade : )

  36. The A-B-C-D rating system is VERY American to me and definitely put Temptalia as an US site mostly made for US readers. Probably untrue but this is the feeling I have. I’m not fan of it because seeing “B-” on a product doesn’t mean much to me.

    • Hi Jellynat,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! At the end of the day, Temptalia is a U.S. site because I’m the one who writes it and I’m in the U.S.! I don’t have access or the knowledge about brands that aren’t available in the U.S. just because of my location. When I’m able to get access to international brands, I’m always happy to try them out, but the site is based in the U.S. so that’s kind of how it goes! The letter grade is merely another way of representing the point total, which accompanies every letter grade, so you can always look at the point system there and ignore the “grade” part for better understanding.

  37. Kristin

    I do like the rating system.

    Navigation is not difficult, but it is not convenient either. What I don’t quite like is that there is not an easy way to get to all of the new posts. If I want to read the full post, with all pictures, etc., then I have to click backwards or on home, then page down to see the next post. It’s just a lot of maneuvering. It would be nice if there was a list of quick links to the most recent 10 posts, or something like that. It would also work to have arrow buttons that take you to the previous post/prior post.

  38. Nice

    I think is AMAZING that ppl say u don’t cover MAC a lot because sometimes i do feel that your blog is mostly all about MAC.
    I’m really getting bored with MAC i think this year most of the products were things seen in previous collections and things that are easy to find dupes so…i shifted to ILLAMASQUA which i think has a lot of great different edgy stuff and the price is reasonable in Europe
    Drugstore brands i do think u need to improve on this area a LOT.Just Because ppl say they don’t want see it that does not mean u should not cover, ppl have some complex against cheaper products
    i have been buying MAC a lot because i didn’t had valid alternatives til i started to buy on EBAY
    NYX
    MAX FACTOR
    COVER GIRL
    L’OREAL
    ARE AMAZING BRANDS WITH AMAZING QUALITY, MY FAV LIPSTICKS ARE FROM NYX
    I WOULD ADVISE PPL STOP BEING SO OBSESSED WITH SPENDING MONEY ON MAC U CAN BUY AMAZING PRODUCTS AT LOW PRICE

    • Julia

      I agree, I am one of those people who has “gotten over” MAC and think there is a lot of MAC coverage on this site.. but at the same time, Christine likes MAC and it is her site, so why shouldn’t she cover it?

      All in all, a lot of people don’t like drugstore makeup because you can’t try it before buying it (true, you can return it in some drugstores, but that is such a hassle). I honestly don’t think Christine should spend extra money on drugstore items that most likely will not be up to par with what she uses.

      Also, I have never had any trouble with navigation… it seems quite straightforward to me.

      • I am definitely trying to keep coverage of non-MAC up and doing what I can to make it more of a balance, but MAC does put out 12074298374 more products than the average brand, so it is always going to be a little lopsided, I’m afraid :(

        Thanks, Julia!

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Nice!

  39. Ana

    I really love your website, but I find that I do have a bit of trouble with the navigation. As others have said, the search bar is particularly frustrating and not very helpful. I actually never use it because it doesn’t help much at all. Also, it’s really hard to find a specific post in any way other than just going back page by page. I do like the rating system, but if you got rid of it, I wouldn’t be heartbroken. And finally, I am happy about you giving disclosure about receiving products. I don’t think your views are swayed because of receiving the product for free, but I guess it’s just nice to be a little more in the know. I think it’s just interesting to see which companies send stuff from PR and which don’t.

  40. Brittany

    Hi Christine!
    I really love everything about your site. The only thing I’ve ever thought could be improved on was searching for things within your “looks” link. I’ve always thought it would be such a good idea if you could like enter a specific MAC color like for instance “amber lights” and then a list of looks you’ve done with that color could show up. I don’t know if a search engine WITHIN the looks part of the site would be one way that could happen or what.. but I think it would be a really great idea. I would love to type in a color and see what lovely looks you’ve made with it, and maybe attempt them myself ;)

    • We do have tags for early 2009 and later posts that do have every product that’s used in a look as a tag, so you can search via the tags. We’re working on creating some ways to go through different tags for this kind of searh :)

  41. Becca

    I definitely think Project Revamp should go…if I want to know what’s wrong with a product I’ll just read the reviews of it on MUA or here. The other participation posts are usually interesting though.

    The problem with the navigation is that often times product names have common words and so when trying to find a post about a product or find swatches, searching for the product name pulls up lots of irrelevant searches. The gallery is nice a feature but either you’re not updating it with the newest swatches or when I search for some of the products it finds nothing. You do a pretty good job of tagging posts (especially the most recent ones) so it would be nice if there was a way to search only looks or only swatches, or ideally…some sort of system where you could check which categories you want to search in. This might require having a separate search page (like an advanced search option).

    • Hey Becca,

      You’re right – the gallery hasn’t been updated in so long! My boyfriend (the tech guy) handles a lot of that kind of stuff, but he’s had a lot of health issues which have cut into working time, but it’s on the list of things we need to get on!

      We implemented tags in early 2009, but we haven’t had the time to go back and tag a lot of older posts from 2007 and 2008 yet :( Yet another project!

      Thank you!

  42. Keep the rating system! It’s easy and it makes sense. If people don’t understand it then they are too stupid to leave the house to buy makeup anyway. God forbid they actually get behind the wheel of a car!

  43. Erin

    I love everything about the site. I particularly love the way that you do your makeup in the “looks” section. I have blue/green eyes and would like to see photos of looks that you create on other people as well as on yourself, to get an idea of what looks would look good on me.

  44. kat

    I think the navigation is pretty good; I like the layout of this blog!

    I also think that the balance of content is great and its amazing how fast you get reviews and previews online! I agree that I could do without the numerical reviews on the products because I feel its good enough to have your descriptive reviews! This site is my one-stop for makeup reviews. It’s always great to get different perspective (we all have our own opnions! I often agree with yours, but its always nice to get a second opinion) but your site is so thorough it’s good enough for my busy life! Just taking another opportunity to show my appreciation for your effort!

    • I definitely worry sometimes that people are skipping the written part and just reading the rating and discarding a product a bit blindly, you know? But it definitely sounds like it does help some readers, so it’s worth tweaking to see if it can work better in the future.

      Thank you so much, Kat :)

  45. makeuplover514

    Hi Christine! I love your rating system also, please don’t stop doing this! As for the navigation, your site is great. It’s much more navigatable than many blogs. One thing, I noticed that when I click on ‘Brands’and ‘Launches’ that the list is not popping up anymore like it used to. It’s been like this for awhile now. Just wanted to let you know.

  46. Toni

    Good morning Christine! Boo on getting rid of the rating system, but since it is starting to be more of a hassle to you than anything, I completely understand :) It’s just that I just feel a little left hanging now without it – I really value your opinion on each product you review!!!

  47. K

    Hi Christine,
    From a web design perspective, Fresco Phyrra is correct in her comments about the main navigation. The labels and tabs of each category need to be bigger and more prominent. When you look at the top of the site, what sticks out is all the stuff in pink while the gray labels of the navigation blend into the background. This is a pretty common usability issue in design and certainly an easy fix.

    I do think you could bump up the text size in the drop down menus as well. I don’t use search much, but I’m sure there are improvements to be made, there are with pretty much any site.

    My personal pet peeve is the lack of captions on product photos. You list all the products in a launch, then post photos, but don’t identify which products are in which photos. A caption would be handy to figure out which goes with which. Thanks!

  48. Ashley

    I agree with removing the project revamp posts, as I don’t really see how they are useful.

    I’d like for more drug store products to be included – perhaps include them as dupes to the more expensive products being reviewed. For instance, if a $40 product is reviewed, mention a cheaper product that you’d consider to be a suitable dupe (can be ds, or can be from a “higher end” brand that is just cheaper). Also, with the monday posts, it would be great if brands that are sold internationally were mentioned, as I don’t believe I have seen a post that mentions products that can be bought in Canada.

    As for the rating system, I really don’t want that gone! Perhaps a different TYPE of system can be implemented, but I like having a rating along with the review. Perhaps you could use a rating system like that on makeupalley.. So an overall rating out of 5 or something, state whether you’d repurchase it or not and if you would recommend it (and if so, maybe to who, like if it’s a skin care product or something as they don’t all work well for everyone). I generally like seeing a basic rating there first before reading the review, since I am usually too lazy to bother reading the entire review haha. I usually only read the reviews completely if it has a good rating – so I hope that some form of rating is kept!

    Oh and navigating, I have zero issues with that, so I can’t really say what the problem could be!

    • Hi Ashley,

      I appreciate your feedback! I’m located in the U.S., so I only have access to U.S. products, unfortunately, so it’s really hard to feature international brands or Canadian-only brands and the like.

  49. Madeleine

    I think one thing you should have on your articles are tabs like send this article to someone or share it on fb. I’ve seen a few article that I tot my sis would luv but unfortunately there’s no such tabs. And sharing it on fb would be an awesome idea I reckon where everyone can just read it…

    Other wise Keep up the good work!