Do you need to see or swatch something before purchasing?

This Week's Poll

Most of the time, but there are a few products I can buy sight unseen!

48%, 1,069 Votes

Yes, absolutely!

31%, 687 Votes

It's about 50/50!

13%, 295 Votes

A few things but most I'm comfortable buying without seeing it first!

7%, 161 Votes

Other -- I'll tell you in the comments!

0%, 8 Votes

Total Voters: 2,220


Thanks to Nell for today’s question!
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24 Comments

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Nah, I will look for swatches online from multiple people. I have even bought foundation online without seeing the color first and honestly, I SWEAR I do a better job matching myself online than I do when I get help in stores or at the counter. 99% of the time, they match me to a color that is too dark for me or has the wrong undertone.

When it comes to shadows and blushes, i am happy to purchase sight unseen as long as I can see reviews and swatches from people I trust (You, Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog, Eshani on YouTube, EmilyNoel and a few others…. I like to see how things look on you in particular, Christine, because we have similar skin tones. If it shows up on you and looks good, I know it will look good on me.

As a general rule, I want to see how something works on my skin, because there can be a significant variance, even if I see swatches on someone else, due to difference in skin tone, skin type and undertone. However, there are things that simply aren’t available in stores where I live, so I’ve become willing to take the plunge from time to time.

Agree – that’s why I picked Other! I never see or swatch anything before buying. I detest shopping in person for almost anything and prefer to do it from my home (plus I get the extra cash back that way!) Ulta is less than 5 miles from me, but even a Sephora is a 25 mile drive. And forget any luxe products – no really good retailer within an 45 minutes from me and my “local” Sephora doesn’t carry most of the HE lines.

I swatch what I can! Oily skin + cool undertones means that colors aren’t always chosen with me in mind, and I’m picky about formulations.

I have to, at barest minimum, see swatches and reviews before I buy a product that’s an online only purchase! I definitely prefer reading reviews and seeing swatches, and even then, going and seeing it in person, swatching it on my own skin to see whether it works on me personally. Yes, I’m very picky and perfectionistic!!!?

Most of my purchases are online. Personally I prefer that. It gives me time to look up reviews and think about if I really want it. I do have a lot of stores close by, but shopping in person with people and music/various noises around and possibly a sales person next to me waiting for me to decide really throws me off. I find it disorienting. So I’m very used to not seeing/swatching what I buy and going solely off of reviews.

If it’s from a brand I trust in a formula I like, yeah, I’ll buy blind. If not, I’d rather see swatches on multiple people. There are very few uber pale bloggers with cool undertones so I tend to rely on as many as I can see before hand just to try to cover all my bases. My pH/coloring can still do weird things to lip stuff or foundation, turning things fuchsia or orange on the mouth and pepto pink or bronze/orange on the face.

I don’t necessarily need to see or swatch something /myself/, if I see swatches/reviews on a site like here or Phyrra I’m generally comfortable buying a product without seeing it in person first, especially since there’s not shops that sell brands I like close to me (and some brands aren’t sold in shops at all).

I enjoy the shopping experience, swatching and blending to see how they look/work on my skin tone. I’ve been called a ‘swatch queen’ at my Sephora store…not sure how to take that. I’d really rather know something is going to work out for me so I don’t have to return it.

I did purchase the Viseart Paris Nudes palette online, but only after a lot of research, and only because I had no other choice!

I prefer to swatch products before buying them, but if I can’t I’ll rely on swatches that I can find online. I always try foundations in person though.

Yes. Because I can see a beautiful lipstick that looks great on Christine, but unless it’s a darker color, it’s guaranteed not to look the same on my NC45/NC50 skin tone. I do multiple online swatches though, searching for those with yellow undertones. Makeup shopping with children is not fun for me. LOL

Because it’s harder to determine if a color will look good on my skin tone, I almost always want swatches on different skintones, or to be able to swatch on my own, before I purchase products!

With indie brands, I don’t have much choice but to buy them sight unseen, but I do go by recommendations. For everything else, I’d say about 50/50. Obviously, if I’m trying foundation or concealer I haven’t tried before, I need to find my shade and get a feel for the formula. Also, if I’m trying a new brand, I prefer to look at it and swatch it to get an idea of quality, pigmentation, etc.

Most of the time I do like to see and swatch products for myself: foundation, blush, lipstick.
For eye shadow palettes, I tend to rely on the swatches and ratings I have seen here in this blog and I don’t really need to see it for myself.

Often, I’m okay buying sight unseen if I’ve seen a number of reviews and swatches. More likely, though, I look to reviews to help source quality products or make choices among many options.

I guess I’m from a different generation (well, I KNOW I am) but part of my enjoyment in makeup is going out and looking, trying on, swatching, feeling. I actually ENJOY that. It’s the same with shopping for clothing or shoes. I can wear anything from a size 6 to 7.5 in shoes and even if they fit, how they FEEL is a big issue for me. I loathe the whole return process and I feel it drives up the price of products in the long run. But as much as I might dislike a long shopping trip generally and shopping for something specific can be a nightmare, I generally enjoy the shopping experience and trying on, seeing how it looks on me, whether it’s makeup, clothing or shoes, etc.

“A few things but most I’m comfortable buying without seeing it first! ” I always try to view lots of swatches and reviews before buying, so usually I have a pretty good idea whether something will work on me. However, occasionally a tricky color or formula will crop up, so I definitely need to swatch some things in person or at least try a sample first. Foundations and concealers would be the main products I need to swatch in person.

I think I misunderstood the question. I said I’m comfortable buying without seeing it first when it looks like I should have said, “Yes, absolutely!” I always look for swatches and reviews online before making a purchase. It’s rare that I will purchase an item that I’ve found no swatches of or reviews on. I buy approximately 80% of my makeup without ever having seen it or swatched it in person.

I don’t buy until I’ve read your review (and several other high profile reviewers). Then I check out online videos, then I wait for a sale.

Might seem weird but I just enjoy browsing swatches and reading reviews, even of things I already own or have no desire to buy. Buying something ‘swatch/review unseen’ would mean I miss out on one of the parts of makeup shopping I enjoy most.

The Bobbi Brown Nude on Nudes palette is one of my all time favourites but it was something I bought without having actually seen it in person. Thankfully I love it! Most of the time I want to play with something before I buy it but with so many sites and YouTube channels that review and test cosmetics, I find that I can trust those opinions.

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