What brands are you least comfortable buying without reviews or swatches?

These are the first three brands that I came to mind that I’d be uncertain about purchasing without reviews/swatches because of a lot of inconsistency in past launches: Wet ‘n’ Wild, Stila, Laura Mercier.

— Christine


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Seraphine Avatar

MAC is the first one that comes to mind. I’ve been disappointed a few times when I’ve bought products that I didn’t swatch, even when they reviewed well.

Wet ‘n’ Wild is inconsistent, but I don’t mind taking a gamble on their products because they’re so cheap. I don’t use them often, but I’ve had pretty good luck with this brand.

Nichole Avatar

Mac (primarily their LE products) and sadly UD, Nars and MUFE. Since UD got bought out and Nars and MUFE revamped their eye shadows, the quality has dropped a peg or two.

Mariella Avatar

Honestly – all of them! From high end to lower priced, every brand has some real stinkers look at disappointments from Dior, Guerlain, Hourglass….). The only product I’ve returned in recent years is the Marc Jacobs Edigtorial e/s palette and the store didn’t have a counter test of it so I was going strictly off online swatches and Christine’s review. Had I tried it/swatched it in-store, I’d have passed it by entirely

Ana Maria Avatar

I don’t feel comfortable purchasing without reviews from new brands and from drugstore brands.
With new brands (released only in the last 3-4 years) I don’t feel comfortable purchasing both because of my lack of experience with the brand, and because they are still on the `learning curve`; in the end, as an emerging product, it’s expected to have some misses with formulations and labs, until the process is refined as the brand gains experience in time.
With drugstore brands I feel like they have too many inconsistencies across the product lines. Brands like NYX, Maybelline, L’oreal. Physicians Formula definitely have some amazing products; but for each great product I have tried from them, I had 4 or 5 big misses.

Nancy T Avatar

Too Faced, MAC and Urban Decay. I actually have precious little from Too Faced due to their insistence on adding sodium saccharin to so many of their products, but what I have I love. So often, though, these 3 brands have become pretty inconsistent in their quality in recent years. Therefore, I do feel that I need to see how they swatch and review before I drop any $’s on them. I would also have to add Tom Ford and Dior to the list of highly inconsistent brands, as well.

Deborah S. Avatar

The three that come readily to mind for me are Too Faced, Lancome and Nars. If I am being honest, all drugstore brands are suspect in my book and while increasing in practice, in general, they don’t let you test them in store. The bigger drugstore brands like Maybelline, Covergirl, L’Oreal, etc. are really hit and miss so other than mascara, I really don’t buy anything from those brands. I think Elf, NYX, Milani and Sonia Kashuk have slightly better odds but I have definitely purchased things from all four that I regretted. I think part of the reason I like HE makeup is the fact that I can test it myself, get samples to try and reviews are more readily available.

Anne Avatar

I cherry pick my makeup from all brands. I gave up on new DS releases a long time ago because I rarely liked any of them. Not being snobby, just don’t like buying a pig in a poke. (I’m probably dating myself w/that expression. Oh well.)

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