Review Disclosures, Policies, and The Glossover Rating System

Review Disclosures & Policies

Disclosures:  Any pertinent disclosures will be included in the specific post.  Common disclosures you will find:

  • This review features press sample(s) sent for consideration.

Brands, their representatives (such as their public relations firms, marketing affiliates, and the like), and retailers will send a product for consideration.  Consideration means that the product is submitted to us so we can check it out and determine whether it is a product we want to include on the blog.  We make all decisions regarding when, how, and if it is even mentioned on the blog.  We do not accept compensation for our product reviews.

  • This review features product(s) purchased by Temptalia for review. 

To distinguish from posts that feature a product submitted by a brand for consideration, we also have a disclosure for when we have purchased the item ourselves.

  • We use affiliate links where the retailer gives us a commission if you click and purchase.

The majority of links to third-party retail websites are affiliate links.  We only receive commission if you purchase the product through the link.  It does not add any cost to you as the customer.  The commission comes out of the retailer’s pocket, and the commission can range from as little as 1% to as much as 10% depending on the retailer, campaign, product type, etc.  For many of our affiliates, if a product is returned, the commission is returned as well.

  • This is a sponsored post.

Sponsored posts are specific posts that we have been compensated for.  Occasionally, there are sponsored giveaways, where the compensation may be in the form of prizes and/or financial compensation for exposure.  We do not endorse or otherwise review products for compensation, so you will see topical content (e.g. “5 Tips for a Girl’s Night Out”), giveaways, or advertorials (advertiser/brand-written content).


  • Personal Experience:  All reviews are written based on the Author’s personal experience with the product and is not influenced by third parties (advertisers, brand representatives, public relation representatives, etc.).  Products are tested in the way(s) and for as long as necessary to properly test a product–e.g. a lipstick requires less time to test than a moisturizer.
  • Based on Claims: Each product is tested and reviewed based on the claims the product makes.  As much as possible, we defer to marketing/advertising text as written by the brand.  Whenever we feel we have to make interpretations, we try to walk readers through that interpretation.  We typically err on the side of the customer rather than give the brand the benefit of the doubt.
  • Fairness:  We review products in full and do not hide or ignore areas that could be improved.  When you see a review that doesn’t mention any cons, that means we couldn’t find any.  Similarly, if you see a review that’s all negative, it’s not because we want to bash a product–it’s because the positives weren’t there!
  • Rating System:  We use our own rating system, known as The Glossover, to help guide readers through our reviews and understand the components that makeup the overall rating.  Please see below for an in-depth explanation of The Glossover.

The Glossover Rating System

Our rating system looks at five specific areas.  Each area is given a score, and all five scores are added up, and the total is divided by the total possible points (45) to yield a percentage.  This percentage is converted to the American grading system.

What do the letter grades mean? An A is an outstanding/excellent product; a B is a good product, but there may be better ones out there; a C is an average product that isn’t good but not awful; a D is a below average product; and a F is a product that fails to meet stated claims.  It is imperative to read both the review and rating to get an accurate assessment as to where the product excelled or failed.

  • 99-100% = A+
  • 93-98 = A
  • 90-92 = A-
  • 87-89 = B+
  • 83-86 = B
  • 80-82 = B-
  • 77-79 = C+
  • 73-76 = C
  • 70-72 = C-
  • 67-69 = D+
  • 63-66 = D
  • 60-62 = D-
  • 59 or below = F

Please note that the rating system has undergone changes throughout the life of the blog.  This is an explanation of the current system (labeled The Glossover) utilized on the blog, so there may be differences to the rating systems employed previously.  As of October 2012, we have removed packaging as a component of the rating system.

The Five Areas

Naturally, because of the nature of cosmetic products, one characteristic may impact multiple areas.  For instance, a very creamy lipstick may also be prone to bleeding color or the creamy texture may enable it to glide on more easily, while a dry lipstick may be harder to apply and drag on lips, it may wear longer.

Product:  This area is made up of two sub-sections that look at 1) the claims the brand makes and how well they meet them; and 2) the overall quality of the product.

Pigmentation:  This area looks at whether the color payoff is as described (by the brand) and color trueness.

Texture:  This area is concerned with assessing how a product feels and includes, but is not limited to, characteristics such as dryness, softness, creaminess, evenness, weight, powderiness, smoothness, streakiness, and so forth.

Longevity:  This area assigns a rating based on how long and well a product wears relative to how long it is supposed to wear.  When a brand does not indicate a specific wear time (often the case), we interpret based on industry standards (e.g. “long-wear” doesn’t mean one hour if you look across the industry) or see how it falls against the average wear time of similar products.  Longevity is not purely based on time but how it wears and considers such problems as chipping, creasing, fading, and smudging.  For your reference, here are some average wear times based on the Author’s experiences over six years:

  • Blush:  7-8 hours with very minor fading
  • Eyeshadow:  7-8 hours with very minor fading but no creasing (without a base), 8-10 hours with no creasing/fading (with a base)
  • Eyeliner:  8 hours with very minor fading but no smudging
  • Foundation:  6-8 hours with minor fading around t-zone
  • Highlighter:  6-8 hours with very minor fading
  • Lipgloss:  2-3 hours for extremely sheer color; 3-4 hours for all others
  • Lipstick:  3-4 hours for extremely sheer color; 4 hours across all; reds and colors prone to staining tend to last 5-6 hours
  • Nail Lacquer:  7 days with minor tip wear (with a base/top coat), 7 days with minor tip wear (without a base/top coat)

Application:  This area focuses on how easy it is to apply a product, whether it requires instructions, how difficult is it to remove it, does it bleed/feather, how evenly does it apply, and the like.

We have specifically considered (at great length) and removed the following metrics over time:  price/value and packaging. 

A Note on Primer

People often ask me why I test things without primer, and the reason is that after reviewing products for awhile, I really started reading how brands were marketing/describing their products. I repeatedly saw eyeshadows being described as richly pigmented, long-wearing, crease-resistant, fade-resistant, blendable, etc. Some brands have eyeshadow but not an eye primer (less common now, I think). In an effort to hold brands to what they claim (even when it seems ridiculous), I started testing without primer. It is entirely possible to put out a formula that is intensely pigmented, blendable, and easy to use without primer–and for me, longevity is there, too, which is an aspect that can be your-mileage-may-vary (I have normal-to-dry lids, for example). [Note: in the same vein, lip products are not tested with lip balm, lip primer, or lip liner; cheek and face products are not tested for longevity with primer or set with powder; foundation is often tested for several days, if not weeks, and various ways.]

I wore the same eyeshadows over bare skin and over primer (MAC Prep + Prime 24 Hour Base) — I couldn’t tell the difference between the two until after 10 hours of wear, and I couldn’t tell while applying, either. For me, the key takeaway is that primer extended the wear, but the eyeshadow itself was effortless to apply and use, no tricks necessary–it was still a quality product on its own. Viseart isn’t the only one formula that works well alone or paired with a base/primer, but it was just something on my mind recently. Since Viseart had tested so well in the past, I thought they’d be a good example to show what good eyeshadow is capable of. 🙂 (And if you’re new, unless in the caption, any look/swatch is posted without using primer.) That being said, I love that eye primer exists, and I totally understand why it’s a staple in many people’s routines–it’s worthwhile product to have in ones stash for the extra insurance/peace of mind for impeccable wear as long as you need it. I figure if primer is part of your routine, it is easy enough to add a 1/3 to full grade up depending on where products missed 🙂

Viseart Cashmere Theory Palette
Viseart Cashmere Theory Palette

Viseart Cashmere Theory Palette
Viseart Cashmere Theory Palette (over MAC Prep + Prime 24 Hour Base)

Temptalia Recommends

This feature was added October 2012, so it will not be seen in earlier reviews.  It is a designation awarded by the Author to particularly worthwhile products and the recommendation is subjective.  The recommendation is not awarded purely because of a grade, as there are many highly rated products that will not have this designation. Whether a product is or is not listed specifically as “Temptalia Recommends” has no impact on the overall rating.

The best way to explain why a product is recommended is that it is an overall look at how well a product performs, how interesting/unique it is, where it falls against competitors, if it is of particularly good value, and the like. It’s the difference between a product you know is good and a product you love and want everyone else to love and have and adore. It’s the answer to, “But would you buy it? Would you recommend it? Do you think it’s worth it?” It’s for products that stir us, move us, and truly impress us.