How do you feel about "first impressions" posts/videos?

I don’t mind if it’s explicitly stated as someone’s initial impressions (and if they did any testing/wear, I’d like to know what, even if it’s only been an hour or whatever!), but I like follow-ups as well. The one thing is I don’t want to see a lot of hyperbole before it’s been actually used – a lot of things are “pretty” at a glance.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

I actually like them, as they get my mind prepared for what I may later read or hear in the formal review. It definitely helps me not set myself up for disappointment, and on the other hand, may pleasantly surprise me. But again, I look for honesty. Not endless hype-filled drivel as they show the swatches either being done live or online. I do expect something in the way of a formal assessment at a later date after the individual has put the product into actual practice and therefore can give a valid opinion on it.

lipsticklustt Avatar

i don’t really like them. i think its a way for youtubers (more so than bloggers) to seem productive and “review-y” without any of the effort. i want a full (tested) review before i waste my money on something you got in pr!

Lulle Avatar

I think they have their place when products sell out so fast that a full, detailed review can’t be published before it’s gone. I also like to read them when they’re about brand new products, when I want to get a general feel of how they look and how they perform.

Katherine T. Avatar

I’m fine with them, as long as it’s clear it’s a first impressions video and not a review of a thoroughly tested product. The videos are helpful when there’s a LE item that might sell out fast, and you want to pull the trigger, but can’t wait for more thorough reviews. It’s kind of like the “sneak peek” swatches we get here. I also like to see videos where they do live swatches, so I can see if the blogger is really rubbing into the shadow hard to get pigment, or just lightly swiping it, how the pigment applies ( is it patchy? dusty? sheer?), etc. Then they should follow later with a final review.

Morena Avatar

I know for a fact that a first impression review vs trying a product out for several. Days first before reviewing would give totally different feedback.
Everyone is in love with a product the minute they open the box and try it for the first time but if u give it a week or 2 you’ll have more to tell about it (pros and cons)

Mariella Avatar

As long as it’s made clear they are “first impressions”, I think they can be fun. Hearing someone saying “Oh wow – I wasn’t expecting this” or “Oh, how sparkly….”, etc. can feel almost like when I am opening and trying something for the first time.

Helena Avatar

Generally, I don’t find them very useful or worth watching. They’re more like appetizers to a review/tutorial than actual content. But I’m reminded of something (article? forum post? comment? Don’t remember!) I read in defense/explaining the popularity of unboxing videos (although they were referring to tech, not beauty, unboxing)–the videos show a product and how it’s packaged in a way photos and reviews often don’t.

Erica Avatar

I don’t really get them. I mean you have to play around with a product, try it different ways, with different brushes before you really know if it is good or not. I find them useless. Now if they came back a week later and updated everyone on the product that would mean much more but otherwise, I don’t watch first impression videos or haul videos

Anne Avatar

First impression videos are only as good as the person who is giving them. If I’ve already determined the reviewer is credible, I enjoy and trust the first impression.

Wednesday Avatar

I’ve gone on record before to state how useless I find this type of video. I’m a quality over quantity person and watching some of my previously favourite youtubers move into the realm of the 30 second video as massive volume producers has been disappointing. On a positive note, I do see the benefit from a sneak peak perspective in order to get a glimpse of newly released products in action. However, I just need to mute the suckers during playback in order to avoid all the hype and superlatives.

Holly Avatar

Agreed! I think the way your regimen is way more helpful in that it follows through from initial sneak peak/swatches followed by a more complex review and actual rating system. First impressions are ok, but way too commonplace for no reason! They pretty much tell us all what we already know and have little value in terms of helping a consumer decide on a purchase!

Lacey Avatar

I’ll sometimes watch a first impressions video or look at swatches, but if there’s no follow-up, it’s not particularly helpful in purchasing decisions. Swatches and demos are great, but I also need to know about wear time and effects that set in later, like if it emphasizes pores, disappears, or creases.

Amy Avatar

Generally they are underwhelming for me because there is little information provided that I don’t already know by reading the promo. The only first impressions I kind of enjoy are the ones that are accompanied by a test for wear and at least some statement of how the product compares to other things like it.
Even then it’s always hit or miss because many people seem to “test” with 4 other products layered above and below the product being tested, so what’s even the point? At least do half the face with just the one thing.

LaMaitresse Avatar

I don’t mind them, at least you know immediately if the consistency is poor or patchy. A few of the video bloggers will document a whole days wear time, which is very helpful.

Lea Avatar

I feel the same. If it’s a vlogger that I’ve enjoyed other things from or have similar tastes to, I don’t mind the initial first impressions with application and the ones who do a day of wear are informative. The better ones will do it without too much layering, like testing a foundation without powdering to see how it holds up, etc. I even have one or two that I watch that do an unboxing/first impression application with all day wear, who then revisit what they bought and showed two weeks later to update what they think of it at that point. I know some vloggers will do the initial video and maybe follow-up on their blog, but if you don’t go hunting for it, you may never see the follow-up; so the secondary video is really kind of nice. Overall I really like reading the reviews here and would love more sites that are this comprehensive and frequent, but I haven’t found them yet!

AB Avatar

The only “first impression” posts I follow are Temptalia’s (I am thinking of the Sneak Peeks), and I follow, rely on and respect these. Not sure if that’s what this question goes to , though; I haven’t had enough time to delve into those who do videos about makeup.

Rachel R. Avatar

I don’t mind them, especially if the reviewer does check-ins throughout the day. I do like to see a follow-up video after the reviewer has used the product for a while. Plus, they can show the really bad products immediately. I don’t like when some just goes, “Oooh, pretty. I love this. Go out and buy it now,” or conversely, they say how much they hate it when it’s obvious they’re not using it correctly.

Lea Avatar

I just had a “debate” on that yesterday on a comments section (stupid idea) when the vlogger was bashing the CdP holiday shadows complaining that there were no mattes, transition shades and not enough pigmentation when that’s opposite of how the Asian style is applied. I’m fine when people don’t get on with a product, but at least apply it properly. It also annoys me how anything high-end or luxury is immediately the spawn of the devil amongst the viewership. The Temptalia forum is an amazingly friendly and open forum, regardless of whether you prefer high-end or drugstore. I’m not sure we all acknowledge each other enough for not being petty little whiners who want nothing more than to be nasty to each other.

Glenda Avatar

I like them well enough…I just want to know up front that it’s an initial look a real 1st impression. I also like follow-up so I’d like to see a full blown review or video on how it wears, color selection, lasting power, etc. but yeah, I like them for what they are.

Wendie Avatar

It honestly depends on the blogger or vlogger, the quality of the image, if it is a product that might sell out quickly or could be difficult to find in store or in the US. I also like follow up about whether a product causes any irritation and if it plays nice with other products. You don’t get that in first impression post/videos.

RMW (Rose) Avatar

Hi Christine & Temptalia,
I don’t go for any “first impressions”. I don’t even write down my own first impressions of anything or anyone! For a simple reason is that a product, when it’s brand new you tend to like it and hype up the review more than usual. Where as if you have given the product about a week or two, you have had that, “new product” excitement out of your system, and then you can give the product a more detailed and objective review, without having your head in the clouds still L. You can just give the fact’s, the pro’s and the con’s. And I noticed that people really DO give their reviews in better details. If it’s a person that you have to give a review on, or judge a person… I ALWAYS say that you NEVER EVER judge a book by it’s cover!! It’s honestly hard to judge someone for the very first time! I myself tend to ALWAYS be very, very nervous and then on top of being nervous, I normally am overly nice! And the only thing that is so wrong with that is you tend to overly and openly say too much!! Lol!! BUT, IT’S Me, all the time. I am an outgoing chick, who has just as many problems in life, but I just don’t show it. Being humble and kind are awesome attributes. My co-workers either loved me or hated me. But as my parents ALWAYS told me, just be yourself, treat everyone the same. If they like you great and if they don’t, great. That’s Life! I know that it was a simple question, Lol.. hopefully I DID give a simple answer in two different fields. ???

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Hmmmm. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them or paid attention. This is about the only blog I read. I occasionally watch you tube videos about application techniques but not often.

dixiedolittle Avatar

I’m kinda’ ‘meh’ about first impression videos. I don’t pay first impressions much heed and they don’t garner my attention the way a review will.

Nusayba Avatar

I like first impressions as I think they’re important, but there has to be a follow up and more in depth review, preferably in the same video. One exception is Julia Graf on YouTube. She receives A LOT of PR stuff and she has these unboxing where she opens them and states her first impressions. I feel like since she already has such an extensive knowledge of brands, makeup, and the way it works, her first impressions are valuable to me so I don’t necessarily care if she does a follow-up.

lizalea Avatar

I don’t watch them I don’t see the point, like others have said everything is nice right out out the box but all I really care about is how it wears. A swatch on the arm doesn’t help me, I want to know at least what it looks like 8 hours later.

Karen Avatar

I prefer them to the “Haul” type videos, in which nothing has even been tried. I’m not sure I get much value from those videos and I think they may even contribute to some of the undeserved hype that is pervasive in the YouTube video beauty community.
Basically, the more knowledgeable, honest, and in depth a review is, the more value it has for me. That said, my feelings about first impression reviews is also dependent upon the type of product being reviewed (a favorable first impression of a foundation, concealer and mascara are close to useless while blush and highlighter one day wear tests can give me almost all the information I need.)

Roxi Avatar

I find them irrelevant / uninteresting at most. Sounds a bit too harsh, but I generally don’t know what could I possibly have gotten from first impressions besides the youtubers’ mere reactions.. there’s no in-depth review, they haven’t tried different applications / different combi with other products either, and I don’t even like most people’s swatches (except Stephanie Nicole style). I mean I understand swatches are very essential and helpful for us consumers to look at and compare and I appreciate everyone’s effort showing them, but it makes me cringe whenever someone dips their fingers very hard and huge color blocks show up on their arm (sth a lot of first impressions videos feature) – it’s possibly a phobia of mine (I never swatch my own products at all, can’t stand finger grease in my makeup haha). I guess I can’t stand it when people are overly enthusiastic about sth they’ve just opened and tried for the first time.
I guess I really appreciate it when/if someone really likes a product and they have used it over and over again, before raving about it. There’s sth about a slightly beaten / messy looking product that attract me (love it when they hit pan also – i have a condition).

KK Avatar

I felt them to be pointless initially, but I’ve started enjoying them now – as i have reset my expectations from them. So, for me, now it’s more about the excitement of what’s new, seeing the actual product – rather than the media shots, getting a size reference, seeing whether anything excites me and then later i can check for reviews of only the stuff which i have interest in. Also, sometimes, when people share swatches – on video or thru a post – that itself gives you a fair indication of the quality of the product or the tone (too cool or too warm for me) and i can take a call whether thats something i’d wanna further explore or just drop!

Having said that, i do like to watch these videos/posts of only select few people – who keep it quick and don’t just stand there and keep swooning about a product – whose efficacy is debatable! 😉

Helene Avatar

I think they can be fun to watch, it all depends on what kind of first impression video it is. If it’s just swatches, it’s not very helpful. ( I get the feeling a lot of youtubers overload the finger(s) and really press the swatch onto the arm or hand, not like you’d do it on an eyelid.)
I like it when they actually use the products, and check back to shoe the wear over time.

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