Do you trust reviews on retailer/brand websites?

Not so much any more — there are a lot of reviews that aren’t that helpful and so many that say little but give a five-star rating. A lot of brands/retailers seem to moderate reviews heavily, too, which makes it harder to trust accuracy.

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

24 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Nope. And I no longer believe reviews from youtubers and “influencers” who gush madly over every thing they’ve received free of charge (early on, I would blindly follow youtuber “this is the best thing EVERRRRRR” comments but I learned fairly quickly). The only 2 sites I really rely on are this one – Temptalia – and Makeupalley, where ordinary individuals can review products they’ve used (and it’s fairly easy to figure out which reviews are pretty faked).

No kidding. If I had a dollar for every youtuber that raved about a newly released product only to never speak of it or use it again, I’d have as much money as them!

Sadly I believe nothing online anymore when it comes to beauty products. Not only are the claims usually ridiculous-if it works so well why keep coming up with new products- but the reviews almost always seem fake. Especially when you see new products pop up on retailer sites. They almost always, especially on Sephora, start out as 5 Star, then as more reviews come in the ratings go down. Sometimes they are rated even though there is no way anyone has used this new product yet. Or if they had they have to disclose it was sent to them for free. They can’t only post great reviews, but they sure try at first. It also didn’t help that Sunday Riley was let off with a slap on the wrist for telling employees they must leave good reviews and pretend to be customers. They should’ve been fined a ton of money so maybe other companies would think twice before leaving fake reviews. There is also the fact that even if the review isn’t fake, you don’t know a lot of the time anything about the reviewer, so even if they love something, their opinion may be completely different from yours due to age, cost of item, experience with products, etc.. I always try to read bad reviews first and go from there, if I read them at all. And if the claims the actual company who makes the product are obviously false I skip product entirely. And since I’m on a rant here and going off topic anyways, what’s with the claims of Comedogenic or not? Lots of items make this claim and yet then you read ingredients and they are not true- but they are still allowed to say these things. Or they will say something is moisturizing or hydrating and then one of the top 3 products is Denatured or Isopropyl Alcohol. It’s sad that most companies nowadays value making more and more money from crappy products instead of just making better products. It seems as I get older and older the more cynical I become!

All those new products launching at Sephora with hundreds of reviews (more than products sold for years) before the item actually being on stock are becoming ridiculous. I understand that people might receive pre-release products to try and I’m not even mad about that.

But common… you can like an eyebrow pencil or a lipstick from the first time, but don’t tell me that face cream full of alcohol and fragrance fixed your patchy dry skin in 3 days. 😅

Not particularly, although that goes for basically everything and not just makeup. I basically use reviews as a way to identify trends in the comments that might suggest something about the product.

I’m the same way about unsupported reviews, Christine. I spent several years teaching freshman comp so whenever I see something like that I’m yelling “back up your claim!” in my head.

I mistrust reviews on brand or retailer sites in general since it’s too easy to fake or selectively edit which posts appear. The one thing I will scan for is if the same complaints keep coming up across multiple reviews because that, at least, tends to mean something.

I don’t. I come here, of course, but I also look at various subReddits (which I do find generally reliable) and have seen too many comments about negative reviews disappearing from retail or brand websites to believe that I would get reliable information on such sites.

I only will believe a review if they leave a detailed review describing their skin type and how the product works for them. Since makeup and skincare really boils down to personal aesthetic and how it performs on a skin type, most reviews are highly subjective. I feel like no matter how well something is rated, it is going to be left up to how it performs on me. Mostly I read reviews trying to decide how much something smells when I see fragrance listed in the ingredients.

Not even a little. And at this point I’m getting pissy about promo photos and swatches too. They used to be edited in their favor to make products look more intense or smoother than they are in real life, now they’re completely changing colors to go with currently popular color stories.

I used to believe the positive reviews posted on other websites, until I noticed that many of them used the same key words and phrases, like they were coached on what to say. Now, I will go on Sephora’s website and filter the reviews to “verified purchase” and only read the negative reviews. The negative reviews are usually more detailed and I believe more truthful. I always recommend this site to my friends as I feel you give the most detailed and non-biased review.

I have actually bought products from very detailed negative reviews. 😅 I love a matte finish foundation, for example, and a person with dry skin and loving a glowy finish can write a bad review for my favorite foundation.

I have also noticed the trend with buzz words, on website and YouTube reviews as well.
Unfortunately verified purchase doesn’t always work. They learn to trick the system, people actually buy the products but receive gift cards / money back for reviews. That’s how they did it on Amazon. I regularly review my Amazon purchases for fun, and I have been contacted multiple times with dubious requests to buy products and review them, then receive gift cards after I publish the review. I have reported them several times on Amazon, since some actually started contacting me on Facebook as well and I find it worrisome. Imagine that many people do this for a living.

Not amymore.

Fun fact – I have used retailer reviews to justify buying something I really wanted to buy but was on the fence about (i.e. “should I”, “do I *really need* it?”)

Noooo! Not with various brands and retail sites having the nasty habit of deleting and removing all and all negative comments/reviews. Too many are untrustworthy for me to take seriously.

No. There have just been SO MANY reports in the last 10 years of brands and retailers paying for 5-star reviews, removing negative reviews, and having employees write fake good reviews that I don’t feel like I can trust site reviews. Also so many product reviewers are actually “influencers” who are gushing over products but don’t disclose they were paid to review or given the product for free, or have gotten huge things like trips from the brand.

There are very few people I trust to give me honest reviews on makeup, and skincare is so subjective that I look more at ingredients (woo sensitive skin lol) and how the brand presents themselves. I basically read here, Phyrra, and a couple facebook groups of regular non-influencer people posting their experiences.

Unfortunately the answer is mainly no.

And it’s unfortunate because I love writing long comprehensive reviews that are helpful. And I know a few others also enjoy this.
But all the good reviews get lost in the sea of short reviews stating “love it’s, “best ever”, “worst product” without arguments. They get lost in the sea of fake reviews or reviews from people receiving samples (common, hundreds of reviews for products just launched?). They get lost because brands keep only 5 stars reviews on their website or make employees write reviews.

No, not any more. It’s too easy to tweak reviews in someone’s favour, and I’m always highly suspicious of those vague or word-for-word copycat ones which appear multiple times. When I do check out reviews, I always look at the negative ones first as they seem to be more believable in general.

I go by overall review percentage to get an idea of which items in a specific category to look at, then I narrow them further by reading the negative reviews in detail. Often that’s where a specific problem will come up — allergic reactions, bad packaging, poor quality, etc. Having said that, I have some favorite products that don’t really have fantastic reviews — I think the truth is in what you are looking for, and my criteria/skin/preferences may be different from other people’s.

Definitely not — and ESPECIALLY not if the product has five stars! The new Bobbi Brown palette, for example, looks phenomenal and scored really well on Sephora, but the bulk of the reviewers seem to have been sent it as PR. While I love Bobbi Brown eyeshadows, I know that they’re not all intended to be highly pigmented #instagram shadows, that that usually kills their reviews — so seeing it rated five stars on Sephora was a red flag for me!

I will say that I largely don’t trust influencer/social media reviews either unless they’re a dedicated reviewer channel/blog with a consistent reviewing standard over time — like Temptalia! I also take reviews from established artists with a grain of salt, because they have a skill set rooted in working with a range of formulas, and can probably make just about anything look good on the lids once they have an understanding of the product. You can cross-reference that same product with a makeup enthusiast’s reviews, who may have a specific application style or expectation of a product, and see it perform seemingly unsuccessfully — but that might be closer to how you would apply that product!

No – I can’t anymore. So many reviewers just receive free products so they’re biased toward positive reviews. I understand that in order to even get reviews in the first place (people are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive), brands have to tempt people. But now you see 300 5-star reviews for a product that came out the same day – I just don’t trust it. I really only come to Temptalia for my reviews, and Michelle Wang.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!