The Importance of Truth in Reviews | A Reflection of 12 Years

I’ve been reflecting over Temptalia and blogging for the last couple of weeks, as October signifies the anniversary of the blog (12 years now).  I’ve been thinking about where I fit in with the current beauty community, how I interact with brands today compared to a decade ago, and how I’ve been shaped as a person through my experience blogging, building a business, and continuing that business today.

I think that the outcome of my body of work is this sentiment: a commitment to reviews readers can trust and rely on.  I have spent over a decade building trust with my readers and with the larger community; every day is another day where I work to earn that trust over and over again.  I can tell you that it has been worth it, that it continues to be worth it, and I’m successful and happy in what I do and why I do it because of the readers I have.  My readers have rewarded me with their time, loyalty, readership, comments, and support, and they show me time and time again that what I do here is useful to them.

When I first started writing reviews, I wrote them as a die-hard MAC fanatic who was always checking out and swatching their newest collection in store. I started to recap and share my thoughts based on swatching (you can see one of my first reviews published on the blog here for MAC’s holiday ’06 collection for kicks), but at the time, what did I know about the art of reviewing? What did I know about who I was writing for, why I was writing, and what might be the impact of what I was writing? I didn’t. I loved makeup. I was 19. Beauty blogging was still finding its legs.

How I review products has changed significantly from 2006, which isn’t a surprise as I’ve learned many lessons since then, I’ve grown as a person, and how I look at and experience my world is quite different as a result.  In late 2009, the foundation of today’s Glossover rating system was created.  By this point in time, I felt it was increasingly important to be transparent with how and why I review, which was based on trying products myself,  comparing performance against the product’s claims.  The rubric in 2009 considered overall efficacy (“Product”), Value, Ease of Use, and Packaging, which yielded an overall letter grade.

In mid-2011, The Glossover was officially born, and I made modifications to my 2009 rubric with the biggest change being the removal of the “Value” metric.  My reasoning, at the time, was “value is simply too subjective,” as “one person may find a $10 eyeshadow cheap, while another finds $15 outlandish.”  I still agree with that sentiment, though I think of the concept as what’s “worth it” to someone.  It’s a question I get asked routinely:  “is it worth it?”  I’m sure not everyone likes my answer, because I usually answer with several questions as what’s worth it is relative to what you already own, what you love and will use, what your budget is, and so forth.

What I’ve learned since is that there are instances where information about price, perceived and actual value, and how a particular price per ounce fits within the grand scheme of things; like the Hourglass Confession Lipsticks being unusually small and still being luxury priced making it one of the more expensive lipsticks on the market.

In late 2012, I removed Packaging as a metric from the Glossover, keeping Product (overall efficacy), Pigmentation, Texture, and Application.  These days, you’ll find a “Review FAQ” linked in the footer of every page on Temptalia, which includes relevant Disclosures, my Review Policies, in-depth details on The Glossover, and insight on how I take photos/swatches.  In 2016, I added a rubric for Tools, as the original Glossover did not and couldn’t apply to something like a makeup brush or cleanser due to something like Pigmentation.  This secondary rubric was designed to be more catchall, so it is a bit more generalized to fit a slew of products.

The number of Glossover ratings from 2011 to present

I have spent almost a decade trying to painstakingly articulate my review process so that new and old readers know where I’m coming from, what I look for, and how I approach products I’m reviewing.  I have also done that to help myself help you; consistency is key between reviews, and if I don’t hold products to the same standards and review metrics, it is hard to stay consistent.  It is hard to be completely objective in a review, especially since I am the test subject, but the goal has long been to provide information about how a product performs to help readers make better purchasing decisions as objectively as I can.

Being truthful in reviews is critical, and it is why word-of-mouth marketing works and why the current landscape has some taking advantage of the relationship between reviewer and consumer where for a long time, some of us may have trusted reviews with little skepticism.  Without truthfulness and transparency, we’re all going to lose out because we’ll feel like there’s no one left to trust but our own experiences, but we can’t all afford to try everything ourselves nor do we all want to go through 20 iterations to find “the one.” What about those in areas that don’t have flexible return policies?  Trial and error can be a costly journey without having some guidance and insight gleaned from reviews.

Yesterday, luxury skincare brand Sunday Riley confirmed to @EsteeLaundry that they participated in having employees post positive reviews “at the launch” of a certain product. The behavior came to light after a former employee shared an email they received on /r/skincareaddiction. Here’s their statement:

As many of you may know, we are making an effort to bring more transparency to our clients. The simple and official answer to this Reddit post is that yes, this email was sent by a former employee to several members of our company. At one point, we did encourage people to post positive reviews at the launch of this product, consistent with their experiences. There are a lot of reasons for doing that, including the fact that competitors will often post negative reviews of products to swing opinion. It doesn’t really matter what the reasoning was. We have hundreds of thousands of reviews across platforms around the globe and it would be physically impossible for us to have posted even a fraction of these reviews. Client word-of-mouth, sharing how our products have changed their skin, has been the cornerstone of our success. In the end, our products and their results stand for themselves.

In the last few months, the online beauty community has had a particularly bumpy road as consumers have more loudly questioned their trust in influencers and brands, have exhibited more and more skepticism with respect to influencer and word-of-mouth marketing, and paid more attention to how they’re being sold to.  But it is no wonder, right?  The review landscape, across sites and industries (not just beauty), has changed drastically over time.  I know that I’m far more skeptical of reviews anywhere whether that’s Amazon or Yelp or the thousands of reviews that go live by everyday consumers because of companies like Influenster.

Learning that Sunday Riley “encouraged” (seemed more like it was part and parcel of one’s duties, and the fact that they provided detailed instructions on doing so undetected just makes everything seem so much more underhanded) employees to write reviews in a way that seemed designed to take advantage of how vulnerable people can feel when dealing with acne is troubling.  It isn’t necessarily surprising, but it is still upsetting and just continues to erode consumer trust in the beauty community, which has been reeling with a bigger dose of skepticism over the last few months.

How many of us implicitly trust the reviews found on brand’s websites? How many times have you seen a comment by someone on the internet that Sephora deleted their review? How many of us trust 1,000 Influenster reviews that show up at a product’s launch on Sephora? What happens if we can’t trust online word-of-mouth anymore? 

I have been working with brands since 2007.  The first brand that ever reached out to me was MAC Cosmetics–the brand that made me fall in love with makeup and the brand that gave me the passion for makeup to start the blog to begin with.  My first experience as “press” was a press-only dinner in August 2007 with MAC to kick off San Francisco’s Fashion Week.  The first press samples I ever received were full collections from MAC.  And like a snowball, other brands followed shortly after.

Looking back at my older reviews (which is, admittedly, a painful experience for me; if it was up to me and didn’t have my husband holding me back, I might hit delete on about eight years of work), I see someone who wasn’t as critical as I am today.  I see someone who is reviewing products they really don’t have a lot of experience with.  Seriously, who was I to write about Creme de la Mer at sub-25?  (Funny enough of all the skincare products I’ve given my mom, who’s really not into beauty at all, the original Creme de la Mer is her favorite–and I’ve had her try so-called dupes to no avail… she still won’t buy it on her own so I buy it for her.)  This is part of life, though, where you make choices and they’re not always the best or right ones, but you, hopefully, learn from those choices over time and use past experiences to make better choices in the future.

It doesn’t actually matter if companies like Influenster ask their audience to be honest in a review.  The perception exists that “negative” reviews may lead to less sampling opportunities both to those who consume reviews and those who review. It has long been the perception when it comes to beauty reviewers on blogs and YouTube.  This type of attitude that exists within some who merely consume review content; that an influencer should be happy and thankful they received a product rather than speak critically (or “negatively”) about it.

I can only share my insight based on my own perspective and experiences: I routinely receive press packages with inserts that go over how to disclose and that whatever I say should be honest.  A lot of the brands I reviewed a decade ago and received samples from, I still receive samples from, and I can tell you that MAC, NARS, and Urban Decay have earned As through Fs.  I have come down on MAC for cultural appropriation; I penned a deeply personal commentary in the middle of the night when NARS released a collection inspired by Guy Bourdin; I canceled a sponsored post with Tarte (hours before it was to go live) on their new Shape Tape foundation after seeing the range and subsequently wrote a post about how disappointed I was.  These brands still work with me in the same ways that they always have before and after.  Those were posts where I went far beyond what a “negative” review might mean to a brand.

There are very few brands that have even pushed back on a “negative” review from me, and the majority of my negative experiences in working with brands are when they are smaller, indie brands.  I have had a few major brands acknowledge “negative” reviews by offering to send another product (in case one was a bad batch) and others say they’ll take the feedback to product development.  There are few brands that even acknowledge “positive” reviews.  It has always felt a bit like “any press is good press.”  The perception, the fear, of brands pulling back because of a “negative” review just isn’t accurate from my dealings with tons of brands over the years.  I’m certain that there are some that do; I’m certain if I reviewed a brand poorly on every product, they would stop sending product–and that would make sense, because I certainly wouldn’t keep buying products from a brand that I had a bad experience with every time!

The best that we can do is, collectively, to try and be more critical when we write reviews or share product recommendations, to make sure we disclose if and when there’s something to disclose, that we support those who we feel we can trust, and that we be respectful when we’re skeptical of something or someone so that we’re adding to the discourse.  I’d like to see more disclosure and review policies by those who review regularly because I think the transparency in how they work with brands would go a long way to answering questions that readers and viewers have so instead of wondering, the audience can read all about it at any time.  I’d like brands and retailers to accept and understand that not everyone is going to love their products and that maybe, just maybe, there’s something they can learn from and improve on as a result of critical feedback.

For years, the increase in sheer number of reviews (and the diversity in the people writing them) and the accessibility to those reviews has contributed to giving us better products as misses don’t just fall through the cracks any more. It has enabled so many new brands to come to market and thrive.  We have seen the power of the community’s collective voice with better shade ranges and representation in campaign visuals.  We’re able to see products in action, whether live-action or still photos, to see how they perform and look that isn’t overly edited by Photoshop with the sole desire of making the product “look good” (instead of “look accurate”). There is so much good that has come from the power of reviews that if we believe in them, we all have to do our part in fostering a community that really does value–both in what it says and how it acts–truthfulness in reviews.


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Shailly Avatar

I rarely comment on ur blog but i can truthfully attest yours is my favorite and trusted blog for all time. I am a makeup enthusiast and read several blogs but always come to yours for detailed review or suggestions!! Weather its just for swatches or review or Beautiful eye look you always inspire me !
Thanks for being this amazingly, truthful and honest blogger of all time !
Keep rocking our makeup world and good luck for future.

Mauren Avatar

Me too!! The only beauty blog that I’ve read since 2008, every day. Also, the only reviews that I really trust. You made me enjoy makeup (and myself) since those old videos “how to apply foundation”. Thank you so much!!

sarah Avatar

Christine, I have followed your blog since my very first “high-end” makeup purchases from the MAC Venomous Villains collection. I check your blog before I buy anything whether its the review or just for swatches and dupes. I thank you for always providing honest and consistent reviews on the products you feature on your blog. The online beauty community feels like a train wreck lately with all the drama that seems to unfold at every turn, and I appreciate that I can always count on you to have the information I am looking for with out the background noise to filter through.

Shelley Avatar

Thank you for this thoughtful piece, Christine. Yours is one of a very few sites I feel I can rely on for clear information about the quality and performance of a product. I saw the post on Reddit yesterday about SR and it made me feel duped. The response from the company actually made it worse. I will now go out of my way to find alternatives to a few products I enjoy. Makeup is a joy and a diversion for me. Your site allows me to make purchases that keep the joy going and also allow me to feel a connection to other like-minded folks.

Christine Avatar

I’m not surprised, Shelley! Even if we rationally know lots of brands (in and outside of beauty) do things in this vein, it’s quite different when you know and have it confirmed by the brand – it just leaves a bad taste, especially knowing that it seemed to come from the top down (since the original email referred to reaching out to Sunday for help on what to write!). It’s a shame, too, because I think there are many who enjoy their products but now all reviews are suspect.

Celesta Avatar

Thank you for this, Christine! The current clime of the beauty community lately has left a horrible taste in my mouth, especially on the YouTube side of things. The behavior of some of the bigger influencers has been absolutely deplorable, and leaves me questioning if can I trust anything that comes out of their mouths.

I can honestly say though, that I implicitly trust your honest reviews and know that if something works for you but doesn’t for me, it doesn’t mean that either of us are lying about our experience with a product. It’s just make up, it looks different on different people and it’s really not that deep!

Thank you for all the hard work you put into your reviews and making this site an invaluable resource for me and so many others. I appreciate you and your ability to state facts but not add to the noise.

Christine Avatar

I really appreciate that you understand that we can have different experiences and neither of us are wrong! Sometimes that is how it goes 🙂 It’s always good to get a mix of reviews, too, because sometimes there can be commonalities or something like a skin type stands out as “this seems to work well for oily skin but not for dry skin.”

Thank you, Celesta!

Grace Avatar

Thank you for all your hard work over the years! I love reading your reviews, browsing your pictures, and using all the tools you provide to find products I love. You are such an important part of the online beauty community, and your reviews are often held as the gold standard among bloggers and vloggers. There story of the evolution of Temptalia into the site it is today is so inspirational, and I hope you continue to celebrate all you have accomplished and continue for many years!

Elizabeth Avatar

Thank you for the work you do. I love your reviews. I will confess that I translate your ratings into my own much simpler rubric: “obviously outstanding,” “sample in store first” or “nope, nope, nope.” ?

Elizabeth Avatar

“Obviously outstanding” refers to something that (based on your review) is clearly, unquestionably excellent overall and also outdoes the competition in at least one respect. I have a tight budget so I may or may not buy this item but I will gaze at it longingly! The most important thing is that I will definitely use it as a benchmark for evaluating dupes.

I note something as “sample in store” on my buy list if it looks pretty wonderful and I think I might want it but something about your review or photographs raises a question for me. I reserve my full opinion until I have a chance to check it out myself.

Also, I just realized I actually have a multi-nope system! One “nope” means “it seems interesting, but I can tell it’s not right for me”, two nopes means “it seems awful, and it’s definitely not for me” and three nopes means “this product is hereby declared null and void in the interest of public policy.”

Elizabeth Avatar

Aw, you are so welcome! The work I do involves lots of information synthesis (that’s what compiling a review is too, right?) and I think you do a great job of giving us all a starting place for making decisions. I’ve been reading other comments here and I think if you make future updates to your review system you wouldn’t go wrong adding on a non-hierarchical notation system that would quickly indicate certain pieces of desirable information, like “FF” for fragrance-free, “Sc” for scented, “In” for inclusive or diverse lineup, “H” for hydrating, “T” for on-trend… 🙂

Holly Avatar

For me, anything under a B+ is a nope, nope, nope. And I only buy under an A- if it’s really unique or there are enough A rated shades in a palette that I like. I’ve learned through experience that I will regret it if I don’t follow that plan.

Raeanne Avatar

I’ve been a loyal reader for about 5-6 years now. As far as I’m concerned, Christine not only sets the bar, but she IS the bar. Your honesty, transparency, consistency, and professionalism can’t be beat. I know I can always trust your reviews even though we have completely different undertones and my lips are more pigmented than yours, so nothing looks the same on me. Haha. Your swatch gallery, foundation matrix, and dupes alone put you in another world. I sometimes wish you would give us more of a glimpse into who Christine really is in “real life” but the fact is, you have stayed committed to keeping this space all about the makeup and I feel that’s your legacy. Thank you for all that you do!

Jujubes Avatar

I have been reading you and Isabella Muse for many years though rarely commented before, you two have saved me so much money and I always check your reviews first before my purchases. I don’t trust the reviews from the brand sites or even Sephora. I had bought into those reviews and purchased subpar products that I regretted. I am thankful for your site which I read daily, especially for your honest opinions. I appreciate your honesty especially when I see a PR sample rather than your personal purchase and I am sure someone with less integrity would be less truthful in order to keep receiving free products from the brands.

Thank you Christine I appreciate all your reviews! ?

Christine Avatar

I’ve heard about so many reviews being deleted from Sephora that it is hard to trust reviews there 🙁 It’s a shame, too, because they sell so many brands and products that they can’t all be A+++ every time. Hopefully, one day everything will come to a tipping point and retailers will have to step up and put in more checks and balances on their review systems.

Katinka Avatar

I think I just had a review deleted from Sephora. I rarely review, but I thought the Bobbi Brown Night Drama palette was just that poorly done. And I have a very high tolerance for palettes, too! But the shadows were chalky and…not great, especially considering the price. So I returned it to Sephora (which again, I rarely do) and left a 2-star review on the site some weeks ago, which is now nowhere to be seen. There are plenty of 4 and 5-star reviews from people who were gifted the palette, though. 🙁

I appreciate all you do, Christine!!

Robin Avatar

I find your reviews to be the most helpful and want to thank you for all the work that you do. I am not trying to criticize in any way, and I know I am in the minority, as a person that suffers severe migraines from added scent, and everyone’s perception is different as well, but a helpful tool would be to know if a lipstick or eyeshadow, etc. is unscented. For example, I find the Urban Decay Vice line to have no detectable scent, as well as most of Clinique’s products. Once again, thank you!!

Christine Avatar

Thank you for the feedback, Robin! If I notice any scent/taste, I try to remember to write as much in the review, but you will likely see it under “Formula Overview,” which is tab next to the list of dupes. Occasionally, especially with products that aren’t typically scented or brands that scent everything (like Chanel powders), I may forget to note it but you always welcome to ask! It’s already on my mental list of things to include but don’t always remember / don’t always smell it (I don’t have a great sense of smell).

Katrin Bartas Avatar

I’m really glad that you addressed this, as it has been such a hot topic in the beauty world. I find that it’s hard to find bloggers and youtubers who give you the truth, however there are a few who I completely trust, you being the main one. I’ve gone to your site for years before I became a beauty addict, and I love your honesty. You are a breathe of fresh air in the beauty community. I hope that you keep doing reviews for years to come, as you really are one of the best <3

rachel Avatar

I don’t think I can adequately convey just how much respect I have for you and what you do, and I truly appreciate every second that you (and the web team!) put into this website.
And I knew I couldn’t be the only one frustrated by seeing a thousand five star Influenster reviews on Sephora product pages, lol
Thank you, so SO much, for keeping it real!!! There is a reason your reviews are the gold standard. This is why.

Christine Avatar

Yeah, sometimes they can be so overwhelming that you’d like to at least compare and contrast to non-Influenster reviews at least! The problem with Influenster-style review systems is that it’s hard to “verify” each person’s review – almost seems like a vetting process has to occur. I’m not sure what solutions will work, but it seems a lot of us are skeptical of the reviews in aggregate, when I’m sure many people write truthful reviews.

Sarah Avatar

I so appreciate what you bring to the beauty community! Thanks for posting this and for faithfully doing your best to provide reviews we can trust when it feels like we can’t trust much in this industry anymore!

Christina Avatar

Congratulations, Christine and family, on 12 years of blogging. I have been following you right from the very start. Like you, I was young and just loved makeup in general and excited to find someone like me. I always wished I’d bump into you at the stores when you still lived in the South Bay. LOL!

I’m fortunate enough to witness how your blog and rating system have changed over the years, and I can say with absolute certainty that you are the only reviewer that is completely transparent in how you grade things. There are a lot of respectable reviewers out there that also aren’t swayed by PR, etc., but you are the only one that I know of that discloses how and why you rate things–and more importantly, you remain consistent. If a product scores poorly, I know exactly why it does, even if it seems counter intuitive, as in the case of an eyeshadow with fantastic pigment but is marketed as having a sheer finish. I can’t argue with the score because you’re basing it off of what it’s marketed as. I can then use your objectivity to help me form my own opinion of whether or not I want to purchase.

I know it’s been said countless times before, but your reviews are credible and trustworthy. I appreciate all the effort you put into your site, and I’m glad that you feel this is a rewarding career for you. I wish you many more years of success, and I can guarantee that I will be a loyal reader for as long as you continue to publish.

Christine Avatar

It is so much easier to have a lot of written down when I’m dealing with tons of products – even as it stands, sometimes I’m like, “Wait, I did rate the last shades of this formula against this criteria, right…” and I’ll see that the marketing spiel has been tweaked since I last wrote! But at least I have somewhere to hang my hat, so-to-speak, rather than trying to rely on my own memory alone!

“I can then use your objectivity to help me form my own opinion of whether or not I want to purchase.” — Exactly! This is my goal. Sometimes someone wants a sheer blush, so it being pigmented and getting 10/10 doesn’t interest them, but if it was supposed to be pigmented and it was sheer, it might just be a winner to them.

Thank you, Christina!

Mandy Avatar

The work that you put into your blog does not go unnoticed or unappreciated! Thank you so much for your time, effort and knowledge! I never once had cause to question your integrity and i am so thankful for that, especially with how the beauty community has gotten recently.
I cannot belive SR would do such a thing! Its not something i expect from a brand that supposedly does that well! Deeply disappointed in them. If they were this orchestrated with sephora reviews, what else where they dishonest about? I now will have to question previous glowing reviews on some blogs and youtube channels! Were they paid too? Were competitors products badly reviewed on sephora and by influencers by SR? I have so many questions for this company. Its a shame because they lost alot of trust from would be purchasers. I certainly am not very willing to try their products as i was intially.

Christine Avatar

This is what happens when you lose trust with someone, brand or otherwise! You start questioning what else they may have lied or misrepresented, you question how many reviews are real or fake… and so you end up feeling like you can trust any of them.

Could Sunday Riley do anything to earn your trust back?

Marcela Avatar

That’s a great question to ask. I had no idea of the SR issue until I read on your blog but for some reason, did not make me angry or bummed out to read. I always felt their products were unattainable to me because of their price range and recently purchased their Flash Fix kit from Sephora to try since it is only $28. I found the Good Genes to have a chemically smell I could not tolerate and it made my skin feel itchy and gave me a slight rash. I stopped using and once my skin cleared up, began with the cleanser..only to break out with it 🙁 I have not written a review on Sephora’s site but will just for the purpose of seeing if it will be deleted!

Laurel Des Lauriers Avatar

I started reading your blog way back when. I’m a long time makeup addict and even owned an aesthetics/ make up school for several years. It’s become a habit to always check out your blog and makeupalley before purchasing new brands or products. I’ve given up on YouTube influencers after watching them all the way back to Panacea81’s beginnings.

Thank you for always being fair and honest.

Lesley Avatar

I read your blog daily, including reviews of brands that I choose not to purchase because they are not CF, because I learn so much about makeup generally from your thoughts. I also am totally inspired by the looks you create. Thank you for all you do for us and for the industry. I hope you keep blogging for another dozen years. I am 71 now so maybe I won’t be so into makeup when I am 83, but life is full of surprises.

Lily Kelley Avatar

Thank you Christine for all the work you do as i have been following your blog for at least 10 years. I can honestly say that your reviews are the ONLY ones that influence me on a purchase. As long as Temptalia and you are here for us readers i will be here reading your blog. You are truly awesome!

Melissa Avatar

I’ve been reading your blog almost since the beginning and I have always appreciated your honesty in reviews. That along with really clear images really helps me in deciding what to purchase. I almost always check to see if you’ve reviewed something before I’ll buy it. In regards to how your reviews have changed over the years, I think that is normal. You have tried so many products at this point that you know what is possible and expect companies to live up to a certain level of quality. I feel like I’ve grown up with you. Anyhow, I don’t always comment but I do continue to read your blog every single day. Thank you!

Stephanie Avatar

Thank you, Christine, for all your hard work. You are the one source I really trust for reviews and swatches. I check your blog before I make most purchases, and you haven’t failed me yet. Keep being honest, it’s a disappearing trait in the beauty world.

Margaret Avatar

I originally started following your blog for swatches because I had a bunch of “influencers” who have similar skin texture/shade as I do that I relied on for reviews. Over time, I’ve slowly become more and more dependent on your blog because of the trust and transparency that you’ve built. Thank you for staying true to your purpose and for being someone we can rely on and trust in this unpredictable beauty industry.

Alix Avatar

I’ve said it before and will say it again — you’re the hardest working blogger in the beauty business, Christine! Appreciate your honesty, integrity, and transparency. I ALWAYS turn to your reviews before making any major makeup purchase.

Thanks for all you do, and please be sure to take time for yourself… we don’t want you burning out on the job!

Jenny B Avatar

Dear sweet Christine, thank you for sharing this with us! You are the one blogger I trust after all the influx of vloggers and influencers everywhere. I admire your professionalism and work ethic, and I believe the cosmetic companies should value your honesty since your longtime reputations is worth more than any hype-of-the-day. I applaud you for your work and your amazing blog, and will keep to you as a beacon of trustworthiness.

Kim Avatar

Thank you Christine. I love LOVE your blog. I never buy anything without checking your reviews or at least the swatches.

I appreciate the professional manner in which you handle negative reviews or sensitive releases. I also very much enjoy that you take the time to write carefully with correct grammar. Maybe it’s because I’m a little older, but I’m turned off when I go to blogs that are informal and use too many emojis… probably because I end up googling them to understand what they are talking about!

Thanks for your work! I’m usually a daily visitor!

Carrie Avatar

Brava! Beautifully said!

Personally, I automatically dismiss any review that came because of Influenster – I just have no reason to trust it’s real because of that fear of not getting more to try.

On the flip side, I trust you implicitly because your reviews are so thorough, do look at all colors in a palette and because you refrain from reviewing foundation/skin care/fragrence like normal in respect of how personal those products really are.

You are a bastion of security in a world where I feel like I have to side eye most reviews, and I appreciate all you do!

Christine Avatar

Thank you so much, Carrie! It is hard to trust such an onslaught of reviews when the Influenster ones go live, unfortunately, without… knowing more about how they’re facilitated, how many people have written “negative” reviews and still have been offered products in the future etc.

AB Avatar

Christine, I’ve been following Temptalia for about three years. It’s the only beauty blog I do follow, as it’s the most trustworthy and consistent I’ve ever visited.

I’ve also had a lot of fun learning from this community that’s developed. And I greatly appreciate your high standards for respectful and positively-toned discussions.

All of this plus the quality of your reviews and commentaries has directly affected how I engage in this sport called makeup and beauty. I’ve have fun exploring in makeup in ways that I wouldn’t have had confidence or even interest to before.

Thanks for all you do.

Amy Gordon Avatar

Thank you for pointing out a very vital idea — both positive and negative criticism create a net-positive effect, for the reviewer, the consumer, and the brand. At the end of the day, honest and well-reasoned reviews (and, by extension, brands not pushing for them) create trust and brand loyalty, and keep consumers coming back (to the brand and the reviewer). If we have learned anything from the recent uproar over influencer sponsorship, it’s that consumers will eventually see through dishonest reviews. The power of the influencer is primarily based on a level of intimacy with the reader they build, and can lose anytime. Dishonest reviews value a short-term reward over their long-term implications — something I feel will certainly come to head in this climate. Thank you, as ever, for continuing to give us reviews we trust, for your astute observations on this community, and for being self-critical and transparent about your role in it. I hope both brands and other reviewers follow in your footsteps, Christine!

Christine Avatar

I’ve always felt that having reviews for products that are great, so-so, and total disappointments really gives a reader a better idea as to how I review, what my reviews are like, and so on. I know that I really rely on being able to see a full spectrum of reviews in order to be confident in trusting their opinion.

I am nervous, but hopeful, that things will change in the next few years, because it is hard to imagine reviews losing their meaning altogether.

Litha Avatar

This, this, THIS! I don’t even read reviews on retailers’ sites anymore because I no longer trust their authenticity. That, and all the ubiquitous Influencer ‘reviews’, which I have come to loathe have soured me on some brands I once loved. The beauty community has indeed become even slipperier of a slope in recent years. You are 100% correct that it is unrealistic for consumers to purchase and/or sample every product prior to buying whether due to financial reasons, distance to a retailer, or no retailer presence in their locale so honest reviews are paramount to many people when contemplating what to buy.

Thanks for ALL of your hard work and honest reviews, Christine. Your blog is the first resource I consult for my own beauty purchases. I don’t folllow any ‘gurus’ and I don’t watch YouTube videos. As a seasoned beauty enthusiast, I trust my instincts, and yours. 🙂

Christine Avatar

It’s so frustrating because sites like Sephora have access to thousands of customers that can and do provide useful information, but it can be so hard to weed through the reviews, and then you find out things like what Sunday Riley was doing and just lose so much heart. I hope retailers like Sephora will implement verified purchases and the ability to at least filter reviews by something like that… though I know that can be abused, too.

Thank you, Litha!

Lubna Avatar

Your reviews have saved me a lot of money on products that don’t perform very well, and I thank you very much for that. I have become much more critical and now I don’t spend my money on subpar products. Whenever I get the chance I still do swatch products in person because I know that sometimes a product can work for one person and not work for another, but there are times when that isn’t possible. I believe your blog is particularly helpful to people who cannot try products out in person because they live in a country where they’re not available in-store or for other reasons.

Ana Maria Avatar

I totally agree with your point on being more critical and I also agree that unfortunately there are many not so honest reviews out-there, but consumers need to start doing more research than simply buying products because one reviewer or influencer said `you need this in your life`.

With reviews the thing that people seem to always ignore that in the end, beyond truth, it’s a matter of personal taste and suitability. An reviewer can have the most honest opinion and truly hate or love a product, while some followers can have a different total taste or reaction to that product.

The thing is that I can trust a review, but at the same time I cannot rely on it; products that stay put all day on the reviewer can smudge/flake/disappear from my face mid-day; colors that look beautiful on an influencer can make me look sick; my go-to subtle contour or blush shade might be `worst pigment payout` in the opinion of a reviewer; the lipstick that looks pink on Christine lips looks purple on mine; Christine works indoors most days, while I wear I walk to work 30 minutes each day (so I wear my make-up outside in the warm summer and in the humid rainy winter).

Opinions are different; tastes are different; our skins are different; our lifestyles are different. People need to start processing reviews, analyzing them and realizing that a reviewer truth won’t necessarily be their truth. Even if reviews are not so honest (or people simply tend to be `nicer` with some brands because they receive PR or simply because they don’t mean to offend) or they are biased (even I have my bias against some brands), the consumer can do a more thorough research and find his/hers own truth.

Christine Avatar

This is a great mindset to have, Ana! It’s important to consider your own needs/preferences, which is why sometimes just finding a reviewer who has similar criteria as you works out just fine. I certainly have friends who love A product, and I didn’t care for it at all and vice versa.

Renee Avatar

I think I have been following you for probably 8 or 9 years daily. Although I read other blogs, if I want specifics of a product, I go to Temptalia. Plus, you are one of the few that show what the product looks like on your entire face, not just a swatch or the localized area shown which is important to me when looking to purchase a product. I often think to myself how hard working you are because of the volume of product reviewed and the detail that you put into them. I can truly say that you have saved me a considerable amount of money of the years as well as led me to some holy grail products. For that, as well as your honesty, thank you Christine!

She-ra Avatar

Your approach to reviews and ratings is objective and downright scientific which is why your site is so trusted by those who love make-up and seek honesty.

As I’ve said before…I come for the swatches, but I stay for the science.

Keep up the great work, Christine!

Stella Hawkins Avatar

Big congrats on your anniversary Christine! I think I found you around 9 years ago and you’ve been one of very few bloggers or YouTubers who I fully trust. Your reviews are absolutely second to none in their content. So thorough! It helps me see the wood for the trees in the product landscape and I find myself only buying the products you rate well and particularly those recommended by you! You don’t hand out that accolade frivolously and we’re all extremely thankful for it! Well done and thank you for staying true to yourself and maintaining the very highest of standards 🙂 xx

Janice Avatar

I discovered your blog a couple of years ago, & I’m so very happy I did! I love everything about it. The way you rate a product, your dupe list, & the looks you create with the products. I won’t even purchase a product now, unless I see your review first.
I must admit, I check daily on here now, lol. And, when I want to know about a specific product, I google temptalia to see the colors, ratings, etc.
I’ll tell you, I have some beautiful makeup products because of you! And, I avoided some costly mistakes as well.
Thank you, thank you, for all your hard work!

Jennifer Stewart Avatar

Christine, you have been my go-to for accurate reviews and swatches for at least a decade. I can remember when you told us to use the birthmark on your lip to gauge the opacity of a lipcolor (I still do!). Your product reviews are thoughtful, informative, accurate, and beautifully photographed. Thank you for all that you do through Temptalia. You have simultaneously cost me and saved me thousands of dollars over the years!

Sarah Avatar

I really appreciate the work you do here, Christine. Your rubrics help keep the grading consistent and your swatches are of course helpful as well. Maybe more importantly, I’m really appreciative of the community you’ve been able to foster here. I love having a place to come and have nice, respectful discussion when it seems so many other beauty communities on the internet have gotten more toxic and prone to infighting. Your website is pretty much the only place I like to check these days.

Also congrats on the 12th anniversary! I’ve been reading your blog since the days of the original Naked Palette release, and I hope there’s many years ahead as well!

Sarah Avatar

Oh and just to comment on the Sunday Riley/general beauty community drama…it’s disappointing, but not surprising. Maybe I’m a cynic, but I’ve always taken those kinds of reviews with a huge grain of salt. When there’s so much hyperbole about how amazing every product is, it becomes pretty obvious that something is fishy.

OlderNotWiser Avatar

Christine, since I learned about your blog on MakeUpAlley, yours is one of the few besides MakeUpAlley I have found consistently helpful. But, my comment does not concern your honesty, with which I feel pretty darn comfortable. Rather, I am commenting because your writing is so clear, concise and stylish. In this day of poorly written, abysmally edited social media of all types, your writing is so welcome.

Sam Avatar

I’m so grateful that I KNOW I can come on your site and trust what I’m reading in your reviews. Thank you for your dedication to accurate, truthful reviews!

Jennifer Avatar

The one time I disregarded a review of yours (ABH Subculture) I ended up making a return. Your reviews, swatches, and dupes play a critical role in my purchase decision making! So grateful to be able to rely on an honest opinion- they’re pretty hard to come by.

Kate Avatar

There’s very little for me to add here that others haven’t already said. I started following Temptalia after a friend sent me a post of yours announcing Mac’s forthcoming (at the time) Style Black collection- pretty far back! Your success is deserved and comes entirely because you have shown such consistency and professionalism.

Lizzly Avatar

Christine, you’ve been a wonderful resource without questions I’ve trusted your reviews and kept it in the back of my mind when purchasing a product. Before purchasing something I’d double check your reviews among other sources. You were there when I first got into make to guide, during the time where makeup was a giant part of my life and even now where makeup isnt the center of my life. I thank you for everything you do and for the hard work you put out.

Silvia Avatar

Thank you so much Christine, for all you do, because not only you do it well, you do it exactly the way it should be done, and that’s rare, very rare. You’re a gem in the world of makeup reviewers.
I’m so glad I and the beauty community have you, and I’m sure on saying that many of us would be lost (and so so much poorer – I live in a country with no return policy) without your honest reviews.

Keep the good work up!

Mariella Avatar

Christine, I have relied on you and your excellent approach to reviewing cosmetic products for years now and I appreciate so much having this resource to use to help me decide about so many of my purchases. I don’t always agree with your findings (we’re simply all so different and are sometimes looking for different things in a product) but it’s rare! You have the unenviable lot of not often being able to wear makeup you simply like because you like it; you often have to wear 2 different eye looks and 2 different cheek colours at the same time while the rest of us get to wear a look we like over and over or wear a look “just because”. But I and so many others appreciate all you do to give us this first rate (and always improving) volume of information! (I only wish you were still doing tutorials and I miss all those youtube vids you’ve recently deleted – even if the products in them were old, I rewatched to hear that thrilling music and recapture the excitement of seeing products for the first time!)

Christine Avatar

You know, in some ways, it has made me even more open to new color combinations and trying any color/combo once…. and sometimes I am a bit surprised at how few people comment on two different eyes 😉

I didn’t even think anyone was going to notice that I deleted a bunch of those videos! Aww!!

Mariella Avatar

I recall you commenting once before that people rarely seem to notice or at least not comment on the 2 different eyes! As for the videos, oh, I really did enjoy watching them! I remember my excitement at the overviews of A Tartan Tale, Venomous Villains, etc. It really was a thrill hearing that music intro and seeing them for the first time and it all would come back, re-watching them (sort of like hearing a song you loved from years ago, when you were a teen!) I bet I’m not the only one who noticed they’re gone and who misses them (then again, maybe I am!)

Christine Avatar

We kept getting random copyright strikes on the YouTube account for videos that did not include whatever music label was claiming (like one time, they said we used a music video… it was a video slideshow of Inglot photos and swatches that I took with properly licensed music, which wasn’t the music in question either!) so I ended up just doing a big culling of videos.

Tara Avatar

I almost never comment but I read every day and you’re right, it is hard to trust influencers. You have been a consistent source of honesty for years and while I may not say it in a comment, I do try to support you in other ways. Thank you for all you do!

JodiS Avatar

You are one of the few blogs I subscribe to and stay subscribed to. I look forward to your sneak peeks, swatches, and reviews on products, not only for products I’m considering purchasing, but for the sheer beauty of looking at makeup! Thank you for all your dedication and hard work. You’ve helped me so much with your comparison swatches, eye looks, and insights.

Kristen Avatar

Hi Christine, I have never commented before but this seems a good time to tell you how much I love your blog and how much I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you approach your work. I’m a make up lover too, because it’s fun and inspirational and pretty, but I also think about the deeper issues with how ideas of beauty are presented and at what cost. Thank you for going beneath the surface and for your integrity. It is much appreciated and admired.

Cam Avatar

Thank you so much for your honesty, Christine. As someone who once read 10+ beauty blogs regularly, yours is the only one I continue to read 7+ years into my makeup renaissance. Trust that your readers recognize that you’re a reviewer who will be straightforward about what works and what doesn’t, and that we keep coming back to you for that level of candor.

Sarah Avatar

Hi Christine – I never comment but I’ve been a daily reader for probably a decade. You’re by far the most trustworthy and dedicated beauty blogger out there, and your attention to detail is unmatched. I’ve also always appreciated your thoughtfulness and insight when you take the time to pen personal essays like this one. Thank you for everything that you do x

Given that the beauty community has been particularly tumultuous this year with all the drama and gossip, I think I speak for many of us when I say that we appreciate your voice more than ever!

Louise Sharpy Avatar

Do you have an Instagram ? I’ve been reading and following. I just love your reviews and your awesome !! You work really hard and I appreciate you

Stephanie Lea Avatar

I don’t comment very often, but I’ve been reading your blog for several years. I can honestly say that I have never questioned one of your reviews. I consider you the “authority” of beauty reviews. I trust your reviews whole heartedly. Thank you for not selling out, and giving us truly objective product information. You’re amazing!

CK Avatar

This is definitely one of if not the most reliable review site for makeup reviews and I think part of it has to do with the medium, the way you get to write and everything gets swatched. Your methodology is pretty transparent and it’s amazing how much work you do. I appreciate it greatly, and I definitely check here before I purchase anything significant. Thanks for all you do!

Genevieve Avatar

Christine, it has been an honour to read your blog over the past five years and to know how dedicated you are to providing honest, critical and fair feedback to all the products you review.
I trust your thoughts and rating scales implicitly as they are impartial and professional.
Your dedication is outstanding.

Ami Avatar

I think I stumbled on this just under ten years ago, looking for eye makeup ideas. I’ve followed along ever since, and often find myself waiting to see if you review something prior to purchasing.
While I may not share your desire for opacity in eyeshadows, and have learned through trial and error that no matter how good a lipstick looks on you, I still need to try it in person, I always value and respect your insights, and the time and honesty that goes into your work.
While saddened by the blatant dishonesty by I brand I had respected, I must admit that I take all reviews with a grain of salt. Now it will just be more like a handful. And I will save my money by not purchasing Ceramic Slip anymore. Because while it is a good product, I will not support brands who see me as someone to dupe.

Danielle Avatar

Christine, I’ve been with you off and on over this 12 year journey (my interest in makeup waxes and wanes but Temptalia is one of the first spots I hit up when I’m on an upswing), and I feel so proud of you reading this post. Eloquent, thought out, and clearly coming from such a good place. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and Temptalia, and I really hope you understand the magnitude of just how well-revered you are and how “full stop” your opinion can be. Not because you’re some crazy fear mongerer LOL, but because your opinion is so respected. Because you’ve built your brand from a place of love and a place of honesty. CHEERS TO AT LEAST 12 MORE YEARS! xoxo

Emma Avatar

Christine, I’ve been a voracious reader of your beautiful blog since finding your write-up for MAC’s 2009 Warm & Cozy collection. I remain impressed by how thorough, consistent, and professional your approach to reviewing has been at every level. As a beauty enthusiast and commentator on related issues that can’t be put in a pretty package, you have absolutely set the bar for honesty. As a person/public figure/businesswoman, I’ve always felt that I can hear you speaking with both authority and warmth; you’re incredibly genuine and your writing has always been as sunny as it is clear! Thank you for your thoughtful, respectful comments regarding this issue, and thank you as always for the fantastic content! Here’s to another 12 years of Temptalia’s success–I’ll be along for the ride!

Nicole D Avatar

Congratulations Christine on 12 years of helping and educating your readers in order for them to be able to make better and wise choices when it comes to beauty and makeup! I love your blog as you are transparent and have clear defined guidelines re: the rating system.

Recently, I’ve noticed a shift with respect to the consumers vs. (YT )influencers. It’s not a blatant shift yet but it’s becoming more evident than in the past. I’ve given up on many YT influencers and their superficial style. Their refusal to educate themselves, to correctly inform their followers about the ingredients (for skincare and liquid foundations especially), about products performance and/or to disclose certain “behind the curtains” sponsorships that led to biased reviews, became more apparent lately. Many of them feel entitled and changed a lot since their beginnings (and not in a good way). For instance, deleting all the comments pointing to the fact that the alcohol denat. listed as the 3rd ingredient for a mask promoted by a YT Canadian influencer led to some bad reactions and dryness for some followers (when the influencer in question complains of having very dry skin), is not a wise and mature thing. It erodes the trust and credibility. Consumers are not stupid. Or raving about the staying power and performance of makeup they just just put on in a GRWM without any follow-up.

So, thank you for your honesty and hard work. And yes, your blog continues to be very relevant and a reference in the beauty community, especially nowadays.

Christine Avatar

That’s too bad about the influencer who was deleting comments about alcohol denat! There’s definitely a fine line in moderating where you don’t want to create such an echo chamber, and you definitely don’t want it to feel like people can’t dissent at all — especially if everyone is doing so civilly!

Cate Dummann Avatar

Christine, you are positively amazing and so utterly subjective, even about yourself. I click on your daily emails without fail and the only thing I would suggest going forward, would be to create your own app! I know bloggers on YouTube who are creating their own apps at a slight monthly charge and I know I would definitely pay for the level of faithful and unbiased content you provide to us! It is simply unlike any other reviewer around so thank you for all you do! Much love from Wisconsin!

Katie Avatar

There are two reasons I always come back to Temptalia:
1) I have always felt like you did a really good job of letting people know what is sponsored, what is PR, and what you purchased yourself. Other bloggers/YouTubers either don’t disclose or try to put it where you won’t see it.
2) Your reviews are consistent. I have bought many products based on your recommendations over the last 7 or so years I’ve been reading, and I feel like I always have a really good idea of what I’m going to get out of an “A” rating. (I’ve also just been looking at your swatches for so long that I have a good idea of how the color will be in life based on how it looks on you!)

Thanks for all your hard work, Christine! Here’s to 12 more years!

katia Avatar

Hi, Christine. I confess I’m very new here. I found your blog when googling a complete source of reviews and swatches. When I saw your dynamic, I knew I had found what I was looking for. Your reviews are very well detailed, your images of swatches are excellent and the comparison with dupes is the cherry on top of the ice cream. Can’t buy anything anymore before checking it here.
I can only imagine the amount of time and energy you put into it, being a business or not. And I thank you very much for that. I’ve seen many makeup blogs but none at the level of Temptalia.

I hope you continue to prosper and grow in what you do, and thank you for Temptalia. 🙂

Deborah S. Avatar

Congratulations on 12 years of beauty blogging, Christine. I have been a faithful reader for the past 5 years but only started commenting about 2 years ago. Yours is the only beauty blog that I follow. I appreciate your commitment to accuracy, consistency and professionalism. Your rubric makes using your reviews so helpful. Sure my skin tone is different than yours and my skin is older and my eyes are older and my preferences may be different but being able to count on your reviews to use a consistent measuring stick is invaluable. I also appreciate that you are articulate and write well. When I tried following other beauty blogs I quickly got lost in their reviews due to poor grammar, spelling and their seeming inability to write coherently. Your written reviews follow a consistent approach which makes it easy for the consumer to both read and see your thoughts. Your pictures are crystal clear and the lighting, distance and head position are as close to the same as you can possibly make them. My laptop screen on the other hand makes colour problematic but that is my issue! Thank you so much for all you do and I know that you are your own toughest critic but I think you know we all trust and rely on you. Good luck on the next 12 years and it will be interesting to see where the beauty community goes over those 12 years. I feel a rumbling in the force, if you get my meaning!!

Christine Avatar

Don’t get me started on color accuracy and screens — oh my goodness!! Even just looking at my photos across my devices (desktop PC, husband’s desktop PC, which has two monitors, my iPhone, and my iPad), there’s no consistency – and then if someone adjusts their settings at all (even brightness!)? Oh, I can’t. I try to get a happy medium across my devices in hopes that it is “mostly” as intended on “most” devices, LOL.

Thank you so much, Deborah!

Bonnie Avatar

Hi Christine, I enjoyed reading how you’ve evolved as blogger, influencer and person over the past 12 years.

I missed the drama over the last few months, but did learn recently about how some brands pay certain influencers for videos, instagram posts, etc. Call me naive, but I had no idea. Complimentary products yes, but trips, lavish gifts, and fat checks…no. However, I’m savvy enough to see through the 100+ instant consumer posts on a product that’s brand-spanking new to Sephora’s website. I disregard opinions of beauty experts who have nothing but gushing words of praise for sub-par products. And I particularly dislike the “-pedia” site that in addition to reviews, now peddles her own products. (which, by the way, always receive stellar marks, by her own hand ?)

That said, THIS is my go-to place, whether reading the daily posts, viewing swatches & looks, searching for the latest discounts, or most importantly, getting honest reviews on products when I’m deciding how to spend my hard-earned cash!! I trust your reviews, depend on your honesty, and truly appreciate the quality of your website and work.

Although I don’t post frequently, I’m always here. Thank you for everything you do. ?❤️

Christine Avatar

I actually enjoyed the reflection a bit more than I expected – I had no memory of when I implemented a lot of my review guidelines/ideologies, so I was very surprised to see I had done so very early on.

A lot of the trips and gifts have gone to magazine editors in the past, and then bloggers and now mostly YouTubers/influencers. My only comment is that people who do sponsored work are getting paid because the brand anticipates getting at least that in return. There’s a lot of money in beauty, and influencer marketing remains far cheaper than traditional forms of advertising and often has better, more trackable return (since so much is online). I think the importance is of disclosure and any content creator choosing to work with the right brands/companies that align with their brand while also ensuring that they still are producing content that makes sense for their channel and audience.

Thank you, Bonnie!

Irene Avatar

Thank you so much for your hard work over the years. Yours is the only beauty blog I still follow and read daily! I’m not a big beauty consumer anymore, as I focus more on quality over quantity, so your reviews are invaluable to me in finding just the right products. Your honesty and transparency really set your blog apart.

Kira Avatar

Awwww, I loved reading this. Your clear writing and clear ethics make you stand far above the rest. You’d have made such a wonderful lawyer. It’s such a trip to look at your old posts – it’s like a time capsule into a period in your life! Over time, people have progressed to microblogging, and this is the only blog that I follow anymore. I love it, and am really grateful for lengthy posts like this!

Christine Avatar

Pfft, I would have hated it and burnt out in a few years, I swear.

I’m always curious how people sustain microblogging (financially) compared to blogging, since a lot of it resides on a non-owned platform (like Instagram). One of the reasons I was glad I went blog for a long time was that I owned everything.

Kira Avatar

Totally. And then the platform changes their terms of use, licensing, advertising revenue, etc. every couple of months from underneath you, and then contracts need to be renegotiated, the percent entertainers/creatives receive from ad revenue decreases. It’s a very volatile and stressful industry, and one that favors posting quantity over quality. These days you need to make at least five posts a day among and like 6 or more stories for certain demographics to gain users on Instagram! The pace for YouTube is also insane. Really hard to maintain, even if you have an agency supporting you (with them also taking a huge baseline percentage of revenue). You have done great sticking to your core mission and delivering something unique.

Christine Avatar

Yep! Lived through that with Facebook and had very little motivation to spend time building up Instagram (even more now that it’s owned by Facebook). I remember all the effort of building up likes on our Facebook page only to have them implement a much harsher algorithm and now, if I want to reach fans, I have to pay to play.

I’ll say that YouTube and Twitch seem to be a little more favorable to creators than Facebook or Instagram presently, but they can change anything so easily!

Elise Avatar

Thank you Christine! Your post is timely, thoughtful and appreciated. I have been with you from the very beginning. I may not agree with every review and rating, but I respect it and appreciate another’s thoughts and perspectives. It helps us all , as beauty consumers, to make better, informed selections and purchases. Here’s to the continuing contribution temptalia makes to all things beauty! Chin chin! 🙂

Christine Avatar

I think that is so cool – that we can have different experiences/opinions about a product and agree to disagree – that it’s not “you’re wrong” or “you’re lying,” which I think can create a tough environment. Thank you for understanding that 😀

Julie Avatar

Yours is the first blog I turn to for swatches and reviews. Keep up the good work! It must be very time consuming, but your work is valuable to all us makeup lovers.

Carrie Avatar

Christine, you are amazing and I appreciate your in-depth, honest reviews. When I’m standing there in Sephora contemplating a product, I wonder “what does Temotalia think about this” and I research it quick on my phone before making a purchase. I rely on your blog so much for so many of my purchases! I’ve been a long time follower so keep on rockin it!!!!

ShariP Avatar

Christine, just another example of why you are THE leader in the review/influencer community. You truly have a pure heart when it comes to doing this job. Your ethics speak for themselves and that’s why I never hesitate to trust your review or to recommend your blog to someone. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Congratulations on another anniversary and thank you for your commitment and dedication. ?

Jennifer G. Avatar

Glad to have your opinion on this story!
I can honestly say that you are THE reference for me in the makeup world. I always check your reviews before buying, check for dupes too. Your blog has been not only the one place I can get detailed info and swatches on just about anything, but also indulge in luxury products photos and swatches. You made me realize it’s not always about the price tag and that I should value quality items before the “big name” (like when a Wet n Wild pallet performs better than a Dior quint). Thanks for your blog, your time, and honesty. Happy 12th! Looking forward to many more years of Temptalia!

Carly Avatar

Thank you Christine. Well said. Your site has been my go-to resource ever since I got into makeup. I appreciate your honesty, transparency, and consistency throughout the years! This latest scandal with SR is not surprising but their response is disappointing. They’re not even sorry for lying. Just a ‘yep, so what? other brands do it too!’. I know other brands are probably doing it too but that doesn’t make what they’re doing right. It’s so wrong to prey on people’s skin issues and insecurities to make money.

I agree brands and retailers shouldn’t take negative reviews as a direct attack. We all have different needs, skin type, etc. What works for me might not work for you. Even top-rated products will have bad reviews. I try not to take online review seriously but I’m sure psychologically we will naturally gravitate to a 5 star rated product than a 3 star product. I just want to enjoy beauty again without a weekly scandal! LOL

Anyways, happy 12th anniversary! Here’s to many more years!

Christine Avatar

It’s baffling to me that a skincare company could be surprised and desperate to eradicate/drown out negative reviews when it is a category that is so your-mileage-may-vary. The actual skin type/concerns can be varied from person to person, but it’s also what else one uses with the product, environment, etc. SO many factors that it’s 100% likely that you are going to have it work well for some and horribly for others (and if it worked horribly for most people… time to discontinue + redevelop anyway – that is GOOD feedback to have!).

Deb Avatar

Just a few days ago, I was looking up some slightly older palette & didn’t find a review done by you. I panicked. My boyfriend overhead me muttering out loud “…crap there’s no Temptalia review” And he tried assuring me that surely someone else would have said something about it. It struck me just how much I value you as a steady, consistent viewpoint and the depth of knowledge with which you provide your reviews because I was sincerely hesitating on getting something without your take on it! (I totally get you physically can’t review everything-I just valued your reviews so darn much!) You & your site is such an amazing resource, I appreciate how much you focus honestly on the product and giving us what we need to know, good & bad, no fluff or sugar coating. Congratulations on 12 years, many more reviews to come!

Michelle Avatar

Extremely well thought out and fearlessly candid answers to many of us who have been completely disgusted with the topic of fake reviews. I can honestly say that you are the only blogger I read and consider to be truthful, entertaining and educational. Keep up the great work!

Ruth Eileen Waldrop Avatar

First time posting here—only to comment on the eloquent and articulate way you expressed your thoughts and perspectives on your body of work for the past 12 years. I must admit that I have become dependent on your reviews of product prior to pulling the trigger on my purchases. “ What would Temptalia think of ( product name)”, I ask myself first! You have saved me from the heartache of getting disappointed by new releases (especially if it’s what is considered by many of us as on the high street) if I was considering purchasing them. Mind you, I also appreciate your reviews of drugstore brands, because it’s really an expensive proposition, as it turns out, if I got something from the drugstore, and it did not perform well.
I look forward to reading your daily posts. Congratulations on your 12th year anniversary blogging about beauty, and mentioning Mellan as well as sharing photos of your dear boy! Here’s to continued success, and above all—may you continue to find Joy in everything that you do in life, above and beyond beauty-related stuff. I wish you all the best!

Christine Avatar

Trial and error can end up so pricey regardless of whether it’s drugstore/high-end, and I can appreciate that one person’s budget may be smaller than others so even a $5 mistake can be quite costly for one person. And nobody likes to waste money on bad products regardless!

Thank you so much, Ruth! 🙂

Jessica Avatar

I also want to join the othe others to express my appreciation and overall admiration of your hard work over these years. I comment infrequently, but have been following your reviews for some time too–I started searching out reviews and found yours for my second ever non-drugstore purchase (MAC’s Tartan Tale holiday collection; first purchase was the previous year’s Mischief Makers holiday set!). I was beginning my love affair with makeup in earnest and like you mention, it was a whole other world of makeup blogs back then 🙂

And over and over again since then, you have proven to be the most reliable, trustworthy, and thorough voice to me in makeup. It seems a little silly to say, but I feel as if I’ve grown along with you as my own interest in makeup has intensified and waned, and grown again to a comfortable place. I always go to you first for reviews. And I hope this doesn’t come off wrong, but I have also learned where your reviews and I may differ in what we value in a product, and factor that in accordingly. And your reliability, transparency, and superhuman posting schedule allow me to use your reviews as a yardstick by which I measure my own preferences and purchases.

I apologize for the lengthy comment! But please know that we do notice everything you’ve done, all the improvements and refinements, and are so, so grateful for your contributions to this community. You’ve built a place of warmth and postitivity here even when there is disagreement or when you give a low grade. Temptalia to me has been a sanctuary and a joy–and after all is said and done, isn’t that what makeup should be? I am thrilled you’ve been able to pursue Temptalia as your career. The most sincere congratulations on your twelve years! Thank you, Christine!

Christine Avatar

I love that you’ve found a way to take my review and apply it to your own needs because that’s really what I want – it’s less about me being right or wrong and more about setting expectations on what I experienced, so that there are no surprises when you go in. There are so many different needs and wants, plus brands often make crazy or otherwise unnecessary claims, LOL!

It brings a smile to my face whenever others find the community here to be as opening and welcoming as I do (and what I always wanted it to be). Thank you, Jessica!

Cindy Avatar

If I had a dollar for every time I was cursing at my phone because I have crappy service while standing in CVS waiting for your review to load, I’d have a whole lot of dollars! One thing that I have always loved about coming here over the years is that I never had to question the authenticity of your reviews. I have used your reviews countless times to determine if I want to purchase a product or not. I have never once purchased something after reading a favorable review and thought to myself “What was she thinking?!”. I have always trusted your word, and never had reason to doubt it. I can honestly say there are only a few bloggers and reviewers I can trust, with that list getting shorter and shorter unfortunately. Thank you. Thank you for what you do, for your honesty, and the amount of time you put into this entire community. Thank you for never changing, or giving into pressure, drama, bull-crap, and the negativity this community has an over abundance of. You are such a presence in the beauty community, and I hope you remain so!

Christine Avatar

Boo for bad mobile service, LOL!

It is so great to hear from so many readers on how they’ve reacted to my reviews over time, as one thing that has come through that makes me so happy is that my readers appreciate that sometimes we agree and sometimes we won’t agree but neither of us is wrong.

bella Avatar

Hi Christine,

I read you and Isabella Muse as well, and I watch way to many YT videos! I can usually tell when they are blowing smoke as if watch some of them regularly you can tell which products the influencers really like. There seems to be this all too human element as when something goes wrong– blame someone, anyone just don’t take responsibility for your own actions.
Everyone who reads your blog knows how committed you are. I always take everything with a modicum of salt. So, I go to Sephora and get samples!!!
I love SR too, but I am like your Mom..La Mer is the best–for me.
Thanks so much for your hard work!

Christine Avatar

You’d think that after so many years of social media under everyone’s belts that a proper apology would be a lot easier to formulate (feel like I know a decent template for would-be apologies, haha), and while I am impressed Sunday Riley admitted what they did, the rest of the response is even more telling.

Shawne Avatar

Christine, I’ve only been into high end makeup and participating in the beauty community for about two years now, but I thoroughly enjoy your blog and read your emails every day: it’s like a routine for me, whether I’m interested in the product you’re reviewing at the moment or not, I can always appreciate your thoroughness and consistency. I trust that if you’ve given a product an A rating, whether it’s $20 or $200, it must be good! I am always amazed at your shade dupes (the % of warmer, brighter, more shimmery, etc is fascinating to me) and value your insight. Thank you for all of your reviews over the years, I look forward to reading many more!

Christine Avatar

Thank you so much for reading every day, Shawne! 🙂 I was so glad to take “value” out of the rating system because it’s much easier to compare products across brands and price points, especially since each of our budgets, where we splurge/skimp, and what we value differ so much!

Colleen Avatar

Congratulations! Great article, I love this Letter From The Editor style post – I wish we could get one once a month instead of once a year (or once a beauty scandal, ha) but I know you’re super busy and having the time for one of these more often would be near impossible! I didn’t know about the Sunday Riley thing… wow. Super disappointing.

Anyway, congratulations again on 12 years! You do an amazing job and it’s so wonderful to know you exist as a source for thorough, unbiased reviews in a world where companies force their employees to write reviews specifically countering complaints real customers have!

Lauren Avatar

Christine, you have been my go-to reviewer for almost 10 years now. I hardly ever comment, but I want to echo the sentiments of others here: THANK YOU. Your commitment to honesty and integrity in your reviews is what keeps this website one of-if not THE top beauty review site.

Nicole Jeanne Avatar

This was an amazing read, Christine! Thank you so much for sharing your insight and reflection on the beauty community from your history and experience. I have been with you from the beginning when you were in law school (I think that’s what it was, something do to with law at least!) and blogging by moonlight, and to this day still check your site first for product reviews! Keep doing what you’re doing! <3

Rachel Avatar

Have never commented here before, but I always check Temptalia when considering a purchase. For newer products, if your review isn’t out yet, I wait! I so admire your objectivity and work ethic. Thank you for providing such a wonderful, reliable resource!

Lulle Avatar

I have been coming to Temptalia for years knowing that I can trust you for honest, unbiased reviews. I do not always agree with your opinion on a particular product (different people, different skins, different results!) but I know your ratings and remarks always reflect your personal experience truthfully. I like the scientific method you apply to your reviews, and how you always put the products first, rather than making this blog about yourself (although I do enjoy you sharing non-makeup related things like Mellan pics!). You are one of the good ones, someone who can be trusted, and I want you to know I genuinely appreciate your hard work. I hope I can keep reading Temptalia for the next few decades! By the way, I noticed that you changed your approach to social media a bit, with captions/tweets that are more than just descriptive and backgrounds that aren’t always your classic white anymore. I do like to see that evolution, I think it makes your social feeds more approachable and less “clinical”. I hope that adjustment helps you reach a new audience.

As for the current scandal, I think SR’s answer is infuriating. Not only are they taking no responsibility and refusing to recognize that what they did was unethical, they’re trying to deflect by saying other brands do worse. They were caught red-handed, and this response is making them look even less trustworthy. I hope they get penalized by Sephora for defrauding the review system. They can’t just get away with it, or consumers are just going to stop trusting anything they read or hear online.

Christine Avatar

I think it’s important that we can agree to disagree – we can have individual experiences and the fact that they are different doesn’t make either of us wrong (or lying). I really appreciate how so many readers, like yourself, understand the nuance of reviews and the nature of makeup in that respect.

Though I don’t know how much Sephora encourages/tacitly allows in some of the gaming of the system, they are likely the ones who will be able to effect change more since they have so much power within the industry and with brands.

Andrea Avatar

I’ve been reading your blog since late 2007. And your reviews I trust more than anyone else in the beauty community! I’m glad you haven’t deleted stuff from the past haha! I love going back looking through old MAC looks, reviews etc haha! Congrats on 12 years!

Nancy T Avatar

Christine, it’s your transparency, integrity and honesty that I personally find so refreshing in the beauty blogging/reviewing industry these days. All too often, especially on YouTube in particular, we see too much of either reviewers pandering to the beauty brands in return for the “goodies”, or we see all kinds of drama and other examples of people behaving badly. I’m not fooled by any of that. Nor do I believe that most of your other readers are, either. That’s why this is almost always the very first place we come to in order to see honest, fair reviews that are written in a clear, concise, and easily understood professional manner. Not that this site is dry, dour place though! Interspersed within these reviews, there are also moments of pure joy over a gem of a product or even humor in some instances. And then there are special features or in-depth well thought out editorials pertaining to some serious issues connected to a few specific LE collections that brands really didn’t think out all too well beforehand. A few of which you referenced to in this article. This level of bringing these issues to the surface is something I find to be extremely refreshing. We need this to expand, and to permeate the beauty blogging /vlogging world. In the meantime, just know that your “baby” Temptalia, has grown into a full-blown (and much appreciated) “Wonder Woman”!

Dani Avatar

Happy birthday, Temptalia, and congrats, Christine!

One thing I love about your blog is the fact that you take pictures on the same lighting every time. Even though my skin tone is different from yours, I can more or less tell what a shade is going to look like on me by looking at your swatches. It’s super helpful, I’ve been able to find lipsticks that suit my undertones without having tried them first! I’m in a country where stores don’t allow returns and where you can’t always swatch products in store.

I really appreciate your review system as well. It’s so useful and as objective as makeup reviews can be. It gives a great idea of what a product is like.

And finally, I think it’s great that you interact with the makeup community in a direct, meaningful way. So many influencers seem to be unreachable and don’t really reply to comments. You take the time to read and write thoughtful replies, and share your experiences with the average consumers. And all this without creating or promoting drama!

Hope your blog stays around for many more years! ❤️

Christine Avatar

YAY! That’s what I like to hear! It’s always been my hope that readers, over time, can “learn” what something will look like on them through consistency on me. Trying to be color accurate across devices is a total pain, and while I certainly give it my best efforts to be “mostly” accurate across the devices I have access to… consistency is the key, I think!

Thank you so much, Dani!

Philippa Gates Avatar

Hey Christine, I remember stumbling across your blog after the MAC Tartan Tale collection came out as New Zealand didn’t have any sort of beauty news at the time and I was desperate to learn more (MAC employees here aren’t the friendliest!). I’ve read your blog since then and have always valued your thorough posts. Although there are products I’ve definitely had different experiences to than you, reading your perspective has helped me understand how different formulas work across different people. Thank you for all your hard work!

Christine Avatar

Fingers crossed that MAC employees are friendlier now! I recall a local counter being very unfriendly for years but then did a real 180 and became incredibly friendly, so it always made me wonder if MAC changed anything internally/culturally.

Thank you so much, Philippa! 🙂

Frizzylocks Avatar

I just want to say thank you for the work you do on this blog. I have been a lurker ever since the villainous villains collection from MAC where I spent hours researching on your blog for the products to buy with my very limited money at the time. As I went further down the beauty rabbit hole I relied on your reviews to make the most of my beauty purchases.

It is thanks to you I discovered some of my most favourite beauty items, exflokate, guerlain meteorites, nars persia eyeshadow, channel cream to powder blush (the name escapes me) and sugar pill eyeshadows that come to mind. I have never once doubted your integrity, knowledge and honesty as well as your dedication to this blog.

As someone who is trying to cut down on the amount of makeup I hord I don’t check your site obvessivily every day like I used to but I still check your reviews before I buy anything and look forward to your yearly beauty round up. I honestly trust your opinion before anyone else.

Thanks again for the enormous amount of work you do.

Zaza Avatar

I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing reviews, swatches, dupes and foundation matrix. This blog has truly helped me a lot in terms of what makeup to buy.

I also wanted to share that this blog is the reason I didn’t get the first Ambient lighting edit because I saw the actual value for money that I would be getting. Now I plan on buying the 4th with the knowledge that it isn’t the best value for money and I actually know what I am getting. Holding of on this product for years gave me a chance to buy a palette that has more options than just the finishing powder. Thank you for helping me be a more informed buyer.

Christine Avatar

I think setting expectations is the real meat of any review (or even marketing copy – if brands were more reasonable and said six hour wear over 24 hour wear, nobody would be disappointed it only lasted 12 hours, lol), so I’m glad that you found the right Ambient Lighting Palette to enjoy and won’t have any sudden feelings of, “Wow, this is all I got?!” with respect to dollar value!

Emily Avatar

I almost never comment but I have followed your blog extensively. I check here for any big purchase I make as I can tell you are not here to shill! You are about the only one I feel I can trust to tell the truth in the beauty community and I love how you stand by your values. Thank you for everything Christine!!!

Christine85 Avatar

Christine, you’ve been doing a fantastic job with your site! Between the honest reviews, swatches and looks you do, my make-up collection has expanded to be an extension to Sephora/ Ulta. I come here every day to see the next new product to buy. Keep up with the amazing reviews and my bank account will hate you <3

Aurore Avatar

I follow Temptalia nearly every day since 2009/2010. I remember a lot of the events you quote and I remember the old rating system, the first naked hype and so on. The biggest improvement has been the vanity and wishlist because I cannot shop without them now xD

And I stayed here because I feel like you have always been doing your best to give us objective reviews. I was so dissapointed in the past by press pictures and claims that when I discovered the blog I felt like I found at least one person I could trust about beauty products.

I know how my skin reacts to certain products compared to you but I take that into consideration and nowaday I rarely purchase without checking your reviews.

I’m not the more active person here but I try to post more : as somebody managing her “own public figure” I know what it means to have interactions.

I really wish you the best to you and your team/family for this year and the ones to come, keep up the good work !

Ivana Avatar

I almost never comment on your posts, but I have been following your blog since inception, and it genuinely the most reliable place for reviews for me.

You’ve stopped me from so many impulse purchases it’s not even funny – whenever I’m in store and about to pick something up, I will (almost) always look it up on temptalia first, and see what the rating was and what the dupes are… Anything under a B+ is an almost automatic no.

I love the transparency in the reviews – I know exactly how everything is scored, and I can make a conscious decision on whether a product is for me or not. I also have great respect for how you conduct yourself and your integrity – especially when it comes to your focus on being critical and questioning ourselves (do I really need this?), brands, and their individual products.

In short, your reviews are the cornerstone of my makeup purchases, and all I could possibly wish for is that you just keep being who you are (which I have no doubt you will)!

Thank you for the years of work and development you have put into making the beauty world a more transparent and conscious place for all of your readers. <3

Christine Avatar

Thank you so much, Ivana! It makes me feel really good about what we have here on Temptalia where people can indulge themselves but can also use everything available on the site to make better choices or even avoid making purchases. I often feel like I walk a fine line as I don’t want to push people to buy certain things, but obviously a lot of what I do revolves around new products and making product recommendations so I try to temper some of the “buy, buy, buy” aspect of product reviews/new releases with things like the Dupe List and trying not to make statements like “you need this” about everything.

Andrea Z Avatar

Your reviews have not failed me so far (hope I don’t jinx myself lol). I compare your notes to that with reddit to make decisions on purchases. Please keep up the honesty and good work.

Ashley Avatar

Thank you! I’ve never posted on a makeup blog but as an analyst (by nature and vocation), I appreciate ALL of this. I don’t wear a lot of makeup (mostly just mascara and lipstick) but man am I an ardent an passionate consumer of those! I rely on your critiques and dupes (though I’ve learned that while color *may* be a dupe, seldom texture is…and texture seems to be a larger driver for me personally). Over the past few months, it’s been nauseating to see a glimmer of “what’s really going on” and I’m a bit over then”my truth” stuff. All this to say that, for once, I feel your site, reviews, and this post ring as genuine as is possible. I’ve been a “lurker supporter” and sincerely appreciate this. Also, PS, go husband!!!!! I know it can be painful to look back but it is important to preserve your body of work. Thank you.

Christine Avatar

That’s the interesting thing about dupes… the majority of people looking for dupes are looking for a cheaper color dupe more so than a formula dupe; it’s almost like similar formulas would be an obvious plus but it’s more about the color and finish (matte vs. glossy). Others look for dupes for more nuanced reasons, like they only purchase from certain brands or they don’t like the scent of one formula or prefer the color in a specific formula/type of formula.

Always fun to see how and what people look for!

Amy Avatar

Love you, Christine! You’re a shining example of an ethically run blog. As for Sunday Riley, they need to sit down with a Real Housewife who can tell them that this non-apology doesn’t really fly.

Ryou Avatar

I’ve been following your blog for over a decade now, and it’s become so comfortingly familiar that I can’t imagine not reading it.

In an era where beauty blogs have mostly migrated to YouTube, I’m personally very glad you stay committed to written reviews — Last year I finally found out I have ADHD/ASD in my early 30s, and that explains so, so much about why I just couldn’t sit through an entire video review without pausing (among other things).

I always appreciate your honesty, your attention to detail, and your integrity. Thank you for doing what you do, and here’s to another 12 years and more of Temptalia. ♡♡♡

PS: If there’s ONE thing I miss from ye olde time, it’s when your husband would write reviews. I understand why he’s not up for it anymore, but I hope he knows that I appreciate the laughs that his reviews bring — I still re-read them from time to time!

Christine Avatar

My husband and I were just joking that his work has nearly been erased from the blog (he hasn’t been involved on day-to-day stuff for the blog in awhile, he works on separate sites these days), except for his very infrequent reviews. Though he then recalled that he was responsible for the header/navigation on the current design, so his presence is still here after all, haha. He will be pleased with your comment 🙂

Thank you, Ryou!

Nicole Avatar

Happy 12 years! Wow that’s amazing. I don’t recall what product first brought me to your page, but I’ve been checking in on your site for…gah maybe 6 or 7 years (maybe more)? I send people to you all the time if they are interested in a product, because I appreciate your technical reviews. I have come up with my own range of what will work on me based on how it will work on you (because I live in a humid environment, good pigmentation that is “dusty” often works better on me than products that are dense and creamy lol). I am willing to try a product if it scores at least a B on here. Thank you for this long and thoughtful post. I hope you, Mellan, and the husband have a wonderful holiday season (as, yep, it is coming right up!).

Christine Avatar