Do you find first impressions on products useful?

There are certain products that I think a lot can be said from limited testing, but I think that, at a minimum, products have to be applied as intended in order to determine pigmentation, whether it’s buildable, blendable, how it sits on the area, whether it gets patchy or fades initially, is there fallout, and so forth. If someone normally wears eyeshadow primer, I don’t know that longevity tests are game-changing since most eyeshadow performs very well over primer.

However, for other products, like foundation or lip color (as two examples), how it wears/breaks down is critical, whether it’s drying/hydrating, and so on are all things that can’t be known without at least wearing once. I also think that it’s more important to limit just how much new is incorporated, e.g. new primer, new foundation, new concealer, and powder together makes it harder to see what’s doing what and where compared to using one’s go-tos and then a new powder.

— Christine
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19 Comments

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I completely agree, Christine. We’re so saturated w ‘first impression’ type vlogs/blogs that it’s almost unfair, not only to a company who (presumably) gifted said vlogger/blogger X product, but also the consumer. I view it as a rookie or an ego mistake. I say this bc if rookie, it’s the vlogger/blogger thrilled at gifted product and they have to show off. Ego, bc vlogger/blogger wants the ‘first’ hits and clicks so they rush to post. It’s a fine line and a dangerous one bc it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of a product being good or bad.

I personally am partial to ‘reveal’ posts (like what you do sometimes), when you share the swatches and real life pictures of the product. This will always pique my interest and keep me coming back bc I know that a review is most likely coming. If no review, then at least real life swatches to gauge and guide myself by. (This is also useful when I’m on the dupe hunt).

It doesn’t get said enough, but thank you so much for what you do. You take time to detail the product, and I especially appreciate that you list the product amount (literally every single blogger out there should take at least this tip from you) and not just the cost. I like to know what I’m paying per oz/mg. It’s as important a determining factor as the review.

I do like first impression videos, depending on who it is and how it is done. I just recently watched a video by a woman testing Besame lipstick. She read the directions out loud (with a sense of humor) and followed them exactly. Then she checked back hours later and described what she had been doing that affected the lipstick’s wear. I found it really informative. I usually will not make a final decision to buy a product based just on a first impressions video, but I can find them useful.

First impressions are useful, but yeah, I need to see how the product actually performs on me for its intended use. That’s why Ulta’s policy/practice of not allowing or giving samples of its products is so maddening. Just trying it once in store isn’t the same as getting a sample. Their policy is short sighted.

I just went to Ulta this weekend and left with an arm full of foundation and concealer swatches. 😆 With the foundation and concealers released lately I have notice a lot oxidize darker. So just trying in stores is useless; I need to see how the shade will look in 30 minutes (although some oxidize all day long). A swatch in store is not enough.
But at least in Ulta I can swatch drugstore foundations

I only find them slightly useful, and it’s only when A) the reviewer applies and uses the product as it was directed by the company, B) they use it all day and provide feedback at the end of the day, and C) they aren’t also using another new product that may interfere with that product’s performance.

On a related note, it bothers me when I read negative reviews online from other people that have used a product incorrectly. For example, don’t complain that a foundation dried your skin out if it’s intended to be a matte finish for oily skin, or saying it’s “cakey” when in actuality you used way to much product.

Only to a limited degree. They DO give one a glimpse of the shade(s) and finish of the product. Sometimes, even the level of pigmentation. Beyond that, it still doesn’t tell me how it applies / wears/ works with other products. Therefore, I DO appreciate full, thorough reviews afterwards!

I don’t find first impressions useful; maybe entertaining (sometimes), but not useful. For the purpose of swatchingcolors they’re OK, but first application and a day long wear can be deceiving.
Myself change opinions a lot on products in weeks (even months) of usage. I think one needs to try a product with different tools and techniques, in different environment, with other products (for example the primer or even moisturizer can impact a lot the foundation). I can’t trust just one day of wear; not even three or a week.
That’s why I would love youtubers for example do less of `first impression` videos and more `that’s why I love this product after 1 year of usage`. And 2-3 minutes dedicated to the product in a favorite is not enough.

The best example is foundation; I try to search as many reviews as possible before a purchase, but most reviews are first impression with maybe 1 or 2 days wear. And it’s hard to `dig` into favorites videos to see if the foundation is really worth it. My wholly grail foundations are ones I hated at first because I didn’t know how to work with them; but I have grown to love them; and not surprisingly, they’re foundations with bad first impression reviews.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched as first impressions have migrated towards PR unboxings and arm swatches, which drives me bonkers. A first impression should be like others have commented: This is the product. This is how it’s supposed to be used per manufacturer. I’ve used this once (maybe twice) and these are my initial thoughts/initial pros/initial cons – all that should be leading to a full review after extensive testing and use.

I find blogs that do first impressions tend to stick with that formula, whereas so many of the “gurus” on YT are driving for views and PR lists that they do a “OMG This came today. This is what it looks like on my arms. SO STUNNING. I’M SHOOK. Y’ALL. I CAN’T EVEN.” and then we never hear any follow-up, see a look, or get a review about the product again.

I may be the only one with this opinion here but…

NO!

First impressions are a waste of time and I hate them! They’re long-winded and boring and they make me want to throw things around the room! LOL!

Seriously though, I think first impressions are for people who LIKE first impressions. I just don’t. Either way is okay.

I prefer a detailed, concise, well thought review that gives me the information I need and allows me to get back to my day. I’m usually only looking at a review because I’m considering purchasing so SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Yes. They alert me to items I may want to check out — wait for reviews, swatch in store, explore dupes (if I have qualms about or access problems to the brand), etc.

I rarely make purchase decisions on basis of a first impression — though not never — but they certainly inform my first step of interest.

For the most part, no. I want to know how things wear over the long run. Many products have pretty colors, swatch great, or look good at first. Then a few hours later the lip colors are bleeding, or the foundation oxidizes, etc.

I can’t honestly say that I find them useful at all. There are too many factors that go into whether a product is going to perform and most are not addressed in first impressions. When it comes to most products whether you use primer, your skin type, texture, application process, personal preferences, etc. have a high impact on performance. Even something as simple as attempting to determine the correct colour of a product is almost impossible unless you can find someone with your skin tone, undertone, lip colour , eye colour etc. If all else is equal, you still have to deal with your computer monitor giving you an accurate colour.
I love Temptalia and I think that Christine does a phenomenal job, but I have worn lipsticks that appear to be completely different shades on me as compared to how they look on Christine. It may be my monitor or the fact that I am super pale and have pretty pigmented lips. It doesn’t stop me from trying the product, however!!

First impressions are just that – to see whether the product might be one that you would be interested in – eg the shade, colour etc.
However first impressions don’t show the longevity of a product or how it feels or how it easy/difficult it is to apply. This is why we love you Christine!

Yes and no, depending on the product. With eyeshadows, I can tell immediately upon swatching or applying whether the product applies well or doesn’t show up on my skin or is too dry or has too much fall out. So, watching or reading a blogger/clogger first impression where the same issues are noted would be fine for me. For foundarions, most base products, skin care and hair products, first impressions aren’t helpful to me because I like to know how the product wears over a period of time, used in conjunction with different products and under different conditions.

I don’t expect every person trying out a product to put in days or weeks of research and wear tests. I shop with stores/vendors with flexible return policies-hence why I don’t use many small, online indie brands-so if I buy a product because of a vlogger’s first impression video and then hate it, I take it back with no problem.

In some regards they are useful.
If I see a first impression that I immediately don’t like the product’s package/look/colour etc. It’s off the list and I can forget about it.

Example: The new Too Faced Tutti Frutti and Then & Now launches. I have zero interest so I can ignore all or any hype.

If it looks interesting, I can follow up and do more research, and see what rolls out after the initial hype.

Yes i do not mind them but do not trust blindly either. What works on one person’s skin, shade, age doesn’t necessarily work or is preferred by others. I like to see new things and especially like to see swatches but I usually buy on impulse and fin listen to any hype. Justcreally like something especially a color and I’ll make up my mind right then. Or not.
I don’t tryst yiutuve gurus making a huge claim one day on something and then never showing, wearing or mentioning it again. No bueno! 😉

No not usually — especially with lipsticks. I prefer mattes, and they can swatch just like each other on my hand, while turning out drastically different on my lips. And it usually takes a couple hours of wear of … just about everything before I can say how I feel about it.

I can usually tell from my first wear of foundation if it’s going to work for me. To my memory, I’ve never worn a foundation and had it look especially good or bad, once and then notably different later.

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