Get Updates by Email

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


Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the post above for information regarding pricing, availability, dupes, and availability, and keep discussion on-topic.

Please do not ask if/when a review will be posted as we cannot review everything and often change priorities from day-to-day. If you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us. Thank you!

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

Comments on this post are closed.

My answer is similar to my previous one in that no brand has my total devotion. I don’t have that much faith in any brand that I’d purchase a product without a review or at least a chance to swatch it myself. It’s not just a matter of quality but also a question of whether a certain shade or product flatters me, works for my skin type, is laden with fallout, etc.

Amen to that, Mariella! Also the part about needing to try something on to see whether it will jibe with one’s own unique coloring and such. Especially true of lip products, I find. Last night, for instance, I tried on roughly 9 or 10 lipsticks and glosses at Sephora that I liked on here, only to come away with zilch. Almost bought ABH Resin and Latte, but just wasn’t in love with either enough to get one. Dusty Rose almost won, though!

Totally agree! I was convinced (recently) that I would buy all of these eye palettes:

Nars Narcissist
Marc Jacobs Egitorial
ABH Subculture

Three times I went to Sephora without eye makeup and brought my own brushes. Three times I walked away from each without a regret. For the $ outlay, I want to be fairly sure it’s a winning deal for me.

Linda – I bought Edgitorial a few weeks ago and the store didn’t have a tester – they had them for 4 of the 6 palettes but not this one. I bought it and I’ve been struggling with it ever since and I’m actually pretty sure I’m going to return it, something I rarely, rarely do (it’s probably been 8 years since I returned a product).

I’m so glad to hear that –not that you’re unhappy and have to return 🙂 — but that my assessment was right. Working with it seemed beyond me, and now I’m sure of it.

Because I was up that way (had to pick up my car at the dealer’s), I packed it up, bill and all, and returned it. I’m upwards of $70 to the good now (it’s just over $70 with taxes here in Ontario – highway robbery!) and not feeling the least regret about it.

Any brand really. For me, I need to look at swatches at least so I can get an idea of the color and what it looks like on the skin. I’m a college student, so I can’t really afford not to look at swatches and reviews before buying a product.

Too Faced! Their quality has gone so far downhill in the last couple of years. Also, most holiday releases in general, because they seem to be rushed and cheaply made.

Urban Decay actually. Just because I have decluttered so many out of my collection and have had such a different experience that most I know. For me to buy UD I have to see all of the swatches, read all of the reviews and probably pray a few times.

Too Faced for sure, as well as Huda Beauty eyeshadows, Tarte and anything super high end – I’m not gonna spend ridiculous amounts of money without trying it first!

Reading your list (with which I completely concur) made me realize that, if I’m unsure enough about a brand to need reviews and swatches before making a purchase, I usually don’t buy from them. I do have more than a few items from the brands you mentioned, but it’s either because it’s something I know works for me (i.e. TF Perfect Eyes eyeliner), or I’m swayed by some other factor (like a great sale which I’ve come to realize is not a good reason in and of itself to buy something).

I’m least comfortable buying brands I have little or no experience with if I haven’t read anything about them. I wouldn’t do this unless I bought from Ulta or Sephora, where I could return the purchase. But I don’t like returning used makeup, so I try to be informed before I buy.

I had two negative experiences this year, in which I took an Ulta sales associate’s word and bought without reading reviews. A few months ago, I was convinced to buy an It Cosmetics Universal Eyebrow Pencil, and several months earlier a Nudestix lipstick. Both were huge failures for me and got returned. I now look up reviews on my phone in the store before buying.

I look to reviews or swatches for everything, but certain labels and specific products set off off alarm bells in my head: MAC LE anything, NARS LE, Dior 5 pan, Chanel yeux stylos are some examples. There are labels I just do not tend to like such as UD, and Stila that I absolutely would not buy without review and still less likely to purchase because I haven’t been happy with their products in the past.

Bobbi Brown and Tarte. Speaking of Tarte, do you have any of their new holiday collection? I’m close to pulling the trigger on some, but have to remind myself, Tarte is on my least-comfortable without seeing swatches list!

I don’t trust any higher end brand blindly. I think especially —

Lancome for anything but mascara
Dior — prove to me your eyeshadows are improving
Chanel — can be outstanding or a mixed bag
ABH — Ditto
Marc Jacobs — mostly good, but I’d rather check first. I was drawn to the Egitorial palette, then swatched a glitter bomb. Nope.
Tarte — check before buying
Bobbi Brown simply underwhelms me
Anything, any brand LE

I have written off Too Faced and Lancome (just about) completely.

I have recently been pursuing more Indie brands and more S. Korean brands and obviously you cannot swatch and test. I usually try a few items and then expand if I am liking what I see. My mind set use to be that I would order enough product to get free shipping but recently have decided that is not a good idea. On the surface it seems like it but shipping can be as little as a couple of dollars and if I do not like the products I have wasted my money. I also live in a very small town and so I frequently have to order sight unseen but if the product is not LE then I will wait until I have another trip to the “big” city to test. If it is LE then that is where a wonderful blog like Temptalia is so key to my personal process. Brands that I would not buy without swatched first or an A rating from Temptalia are Too Faced, Benefit, Estee Lauder, Lancôme, Stila and many of the pure luxury brands as there products are so expensive that I don’t want to invest unless I have swatched.

Most of them, since almost all lines can be so hit or miss anymore, and at the higher end the cost consequences are greater — so, Lancôme, Dior, Chanel, MAC, Cle de Peau, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Too Faced, Smashbox, Tarte, Zoeva, Sephora, Laura Mercier (except for primers and powders), Shiseido, Clinique. The only way I’d take a chance with any of these would be if Temptalia reviewed a specific product.

All brands are constantly reformulating one product or another at some point, and/or adding new products/formulas, so I’m not 100% comfortably with any brand. That said, I did just pull the trigger on a pretty substantial Illamasqua haul, including some “new”/newer products, but I’ve at least seen photos…

Luxury brands mostly, a lot of drugstore stuff I just rely on recommendations and skip the rest, because I realized I was amassing way too much stuff that didn’t work for me, simply because it was cheaper. I also tend to be wary of natural brands because a lot of them don’t have formulas for what I like in a product. I also am very careful of skincare now, after buying a lot of stuff that was just too irritating for my sensitive skin (I’m looking at you, Boscia!). I tend to follow reviews and ingredients a lot more closely than I did in the past.

I almost never buy anything without looking at reviews or swatching it myself. Especially if a product is expensive, I want to see how it has performed for others before buying so I can have an idea of how it might be for me.

Pretty much EVERYONE. Not even kidding. Although, if it’s an inexpensive brand with very consistently good quality, I will sometimes buy something not yet reviewed. Last night, I did order CP Angel Food based solely on swatches, but no in-depth review on it. But once prices go mid-end and higher, I must have swatches, plus a review, before I plunk down my $’s!

That’s easy “no one”. No brand is exempt from putting out a dud. I also have to see if the product will work with my skin tone. I’ve purchased a lot of Fyrinnae shadows without reading a review, but I definitely need to see swatches.

I do not (and doubt I ever will) “blind buy”. I need to see actual swatches to know if something suits me. I also try to read trusted reviews on a product since quality control seems to be a dying concept in the world of cosmetics. Swatches/reviews help me to be more frugal and invest in quality products that work for me.

Forgot to add that the only products I’d buy without swatching/reading reviews would be a refill of something I’ve previously owned/gone through. And thats assuming the formula didn’t change otherwise…no way.

I generally don’t buy much if I can’t see it myself in person. Even if I see swatches, I still like to see the color in real life before I spend money on it.
I have been convinced by poor reviews to skip something I had been considering and I have been persuaded by swatches and reviews to go and check something out, but I don’t buy sight-unseen very often.

New brands, really expensive brands, and recently, Urban Decay. They were my first makeup love but over the last few years they’ve released so many duds that I don’t trust them automatically anymore.

For me, it is all brands. The trend now is to rush out product without much time given to how the product performs. I live in a very rural area and have to rely on youtube and Christine to give me a review. With youtube, I have to wade through people who are being paid for the review and those that are not being paid for the review. It’s a process. It is not as easy as just saying “return it”. Sephora limits the amount of returns a person can have. Many other websites do not have free returns. Nordstrom wins in this area. That being said, it’s just easier to be careful when making any cosmetic purchase these days.

For anything midrange I want either a good Temptalia grade or to try it myself in store. (Preferably the latter because we do not have the same skin tone and also I have a tragic history of buying lipsticks, specifically, that look good on other people and look terrible on me.) I have learned this one the hard way.

I don’t really trust any brand to be totally perfect and I definitely don’t trust my eye to pick the right colors for my skin tone.

Lancome, Lorac for anything. Bite, Nars, Tarte just because I’m not as familiar with their products. It has nothing to do with quality. Lancome and Lorac are quality related concerns. I decided that Too Faced is just not for me. I’ve returned too much so now I refuse to buy.

I responded before reading what everyone else had written. By the looks of the comments here (other than those who said they don’t buy without reviews and swatches) Lancome and Too Faced should pay attention to quality and all of the business they are losing.

As for eyeshadows – all brands are considered suspect, until I see the swatches and reviews here. And if I was living in the US – it would definitely be Too Faced, UD and Tarte. Also Dior, Guerlain etc as their eyeshadows have been pretty average for the past few years.
Lipsticks – DS brands like Revlon and L’Oreal I wouldn’t use unless they got an A+. And even the HE brands, I wouldn’t purchase a lipstick from them unseen because they are so expensive and some of their formulas may not suit me.
Foundations – again you can’t tell the shade by looking online, so you really do have to check it out for yourself, unless you have used the foundation before.

I check reviews carefully on every brand ! I know you can return purchases if not satisfied but I really dislike returning products . There is not a single brand that I can rely on completely .

Very difficult question as my answer changes often. I completely trust Laura Mercier for skin care to foundation. I don’t use LM for eyes that much I tend to love UD eye shadows in general but they aren’t perfect. Who is? I recently received an NYX eye palette from ULTA as a birthday gift and love it! Lippies are difficult for me as I dislike mattes.I prefer eyeliner pencils but am not stuck with a specific brand. Mascara is another subject. Eyebrows are easy. I like Anastasia pencils and Benefit brow “mascara”. So many voices, so little money but I LOVE makeup.

For mid range brands I find Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Smashbox, and Benefit to be bad offenders in terms of quality vs. cost. I used to buy Urban Decay no matter what, but their quality went down when they were bought out, so I haven’t seen many good products coming from them since that time. There are brands I trust for certain things, though (Hourglass for powders, Dior for lip products, Colour Pop for eyeshadows for example).

Pretty much no brand, tbh. I’m always looking at swatches and/or reviews of almost anything I’m thinking about buying. The only things I’ve bought without seeing swatches of have been nail polishes, and even then I know I’m taking a risk of me not liking it.

I can play with different drugstore items and am happy with many but do expect a decen performance from them. Milani baked blushes are good I think better quality than the rose ones which I still love for the design but are in the dry side and WetnWild blushes have been all great that I have tried for example. For mud and high end makeup I will search and do my research before purchasing. I’m not loyal to any love to try different things. Skin care is where I’m very picky especially first thing that touches my face it has to be apply well, easy and no streaks and forget a bad reaction then never again from that brand. I hate returning things used of non used so even if I don’t watch a video or blog do spend some time in the store deciding on color and quality. Lots of high end companies plain lie to us especially with skin care promising too much when a drugstore just does the same if not better.

Too Faced. Most definitely. I don’t even bother with them anymore. And Tarte (I love my Tartelette palette to death, but I feel like they can be kind of inconsistent). Unfortunately, Urban Decay can be added to the list as well, but I will say I’ve been a huge fan of the Basquiat and Naked Heat palettes, so maybe they’re improving things. I think Kat Von D is the only brand I’d feel fairly confident buying from without seeing swatches or reviews, because I’ve loved almost everything I’ve purchased from her.

If you don't see your comment yet, it's still in our moderation queue. We try our best to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind. Thank you for your patience!