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

Most, ha, ha, ha, since I regularly do! In terms of brands I feel comfortable buying because I think they’re more likely to be hits than misses… Giorgio Armani, ColourPop, and Pat McGrath are the first three that came to mind.

— Christine
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Lower end stuff, since I can’t return it. Nyx at the top end of that. I have a few Wet and Wild lipsticks which were worth the £2.99 punt, Nyx lip liners, that sort of thing. Basically the more expensive it is, the more I’ll research it (recent partial exception of Dior 999, but I got it with loyalty points, and I got a recommendation from the sales assistant, plus I tried it on all day and photographed myself in various lights before committing. More normal is, the only other high end lipstick I own reviewed extremely well here, I hunted for dupes, and it haunted my dreams for two months before I tried it on)
If I’m comfortable with the sales assistant, I do sometimes buy lipsticks they’ve recommended and I’ve tried on without looking at reviews at Mac and Urban Decay. Although oddly I’ve yet to get a truly badly performing one.

I’m with Amy on this one. Returning items is different in th UK, and I come from a country where all sales are final, so I feel guilty everytime I take something back to the shops. If something is less than £10, I’d probably feel comfortable enough to buy based on fisrt impressions and ingredients

I take this chance with Viseart, Hourglass, Colourpop, Marc Jacobs and Zoeva across all their offers. I feel the quality is consistent enough. For specifics, I’ll take the chance with Urban Decay single eyeshadows and Vice lipsticks; Chanel powder blushes.

Well, there are swatches up, but the CP colored liners are an example. Run, don’t walk. Insta-gone. Although I do look for swatches and reviews, feel sufficiently comfortable with the offerings of SG, Zoeva, Strobe, Lunatick. Unlikely to be duds. For CP and Nyx, it’s no great loss, if you err on an acquisition and give away. The flip side of this question is which brands do you no longer trust, without reviews and swatches? Oops, maybe that’s tomorrow. Answer: most of them: UD, even Viseart, Nars, French brands, MAC. Reviews and swatches can reinterest me in brands I have written off, like Tarte and Too Faced, as well.

Honestly, I don’t care who they are or what their track record is, I need to see swatches first. And preferably done live! This is as much to get an idea of whether the quality is there as much as to see if I think the shade or shades are something I’d love wearing and would flatter my coloring. So, for live swatches and preliminary swatches on your site: Viseart, Pat McGrath, and sometimes ColourPop, MAC (mostly just lip products) and Natasha Denona (hers a bit more rarely). I did also take a few leaps of faith when I purchased the Dominique Lemonade Palette and the Dose Of Colors Desi & Katy products from a few years ago based on preliminary live swatches. Thankfully, I lucked out with both.

There are a few brands that, as to quality, I generally would trust. But yes, everything needs to be swatched, to get an idea of what the shade looks like when performing.

Based on previous experiences with the brands, I feel comfortable purchasing without reviews from MAC (permanent collections), Estee Lauder and Becca (mostly foundations, concealers, primers; I didn’t tried their powders, eyeshadows or lipsticks), maybe from Clinique and Hourglass as well.

With these brands, even when some products weren’t that good for me (aka I won’t repurchase) I could make them work somehow in the end. But most times I was quite satisfied with my documented and impulsive purchases; and I can’t actually think of a time in which I hated a product I tried from them.
With other brands (like L’oreal, Maybelline, NYX, Urban Decay, Too Faced, MUFE) I had products which I couldn’t simply make them work for me no matter what, even with different application techniques and other uses.
Again, maybe these brands don’t always have great quality products, but they are at least decent quality and workable. I think that this tells a lot about the brand and the maturity of their labs in formulating products.

Not to mention that I have zero issues with shade matching in complexion products. And it’s not just a matter of perfect matching, but also moving up and down shades since the MAC and Estee Lauder system is easy to understand (Becca not no much).
I simply dislike that brands put foundation names like `Punjab`, `Buff`, `Vanilla`, even `3`, `120` or `fifty shades of Beige, Ivory or Deep`… I personally simply find them hard to navigate. It’s easier for me to understand that I’m NC20 or 2W1, than `True Beige` in foundation and maybe I want the next shade up in the summer, and the next shade down in concealer or powder; even when reading reviews, if I hear the word `oxidize` I know to go a shade (or even two) lighter.

Based on experience, I don’t think I ever need another Pat McGrath review. And I’d want to swatch lipsticks on myself because I SUCK at picking out colors.

Occasionally for some EA lipsticks on sale I have bought without seeing reviews and even swatches and most of those have been quite good.
However generally I prefer to swatch in person – particularly foundation, or at least see a review/swatch here.
There is no particular brand that I would buy swatch unseen from because, as this blog has shown, even the best brands can deliver duds.

Only stuff that’s cheap enough that I don’t feel like I’ve spent money on something that it turns out I don’t like. I know I can return things but I’m fussy about how colors look and want to see a color in person before I buy it to make sure I think it will work for me. I would buy a backup item online if I already know I like it but for a new product I really prefer to see it in person. Even with a review and swatches online I can’t be sure my monitor is showing the color the way it would actually look if I see it “live”.

Cle de Peau – never disappointed with their products, always true luxury & amazing quality

Milani- Favorite drugstore brand, always great quality, fun products in sturdy packaging

ABH and PMG are probably the two top ones. Otherwise I really like to see things in person and swatch them so I can make a decision with my own two eyes. I don’t like having to return things unless they under perform so I don’t like to purchase anything “blind”.

None! I honestly don’t even like buying stuff that I haven’t been able to personally swatch myself, though I do occasionally make exceptions for a few budget brands that are mostly online. I have a neutral-cool complexion and it’s really tricky to find shades that don’t look much warmer on me than they appear in the pan/tube. It’s too much of a crap shoot to guess which shades might work on me based on whatever color info exists on the retail websites. This is especially true since I’m not keen on relying on the return policies to get rid of something that doesn’t work for me because of the waste. It’s just easier for me to stick to brands and products I have access to in person.

It depends on the brand, the product, the price, and my familiarity with the product/brand. No brand’s foundation products, as I have so many issues with them.

I feel most comfortable taking a leap of faith with Apocalyptic Beauty, Notoriously Morbid, Darling Girl, My Pretty Zombie, Igneous Cosmetics (etsy), Black Beauty Cosmetics (etsy), Looxi Beauty, ColourPop, Juvia’s Place, Anastasia, Milani, and Pat McGrath. I’m pretty OK with trying Wet n Wild, Nyx, and e.l.f., as duds are easy enough to return if the product is bad. If the color is just bad on me, it’s not a huge loss of money, and I can pass them on to a friend or donate them.

I pretty much buy what I want with little to no reviews or swatches, other than the swatches on the brand’s website or in their graphics in-store. Brands I feel really good about are Colourpop, BH, and Huda. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a product from any of those brands. Those are brands I jump on as soon as there is a new release. Brands I jump on if the item interests me are ABH, Too Faced, and Morphe.

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