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

Haha, all of them, since I typically do! But brands that feel more consistent (ratings could be wrong) to me would be (and I say this more that I know what to expect, even if that might not be A++ quality): Becca, Bite Beauty, ColourPop, Giorgio Armani, Guerlain, Hourglass, Kat Von D, MAC, Marc Jacobs, NARS, Natasha Denona, Tom Ford, Urban Decay, Viseart.

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

At this point in my life, NONE. Unless I’m repurchasing a product I’ve used in past, I will only purchase if I can see it and swatch it or read a comprehensive review like the ones you do, Christine. There is nothing I need so much that I can’t live without it if I miss out. And seeing the skyrocketing prices on some brands, often accompanied by inexcusably poor quality (the Lauder/Beckham new releases are but one example of this), I won’t buy anything without a trusted review and even then, I’m happiest when I can try it for myself too.

Miska Avatar

I second everything Mariella said. All I can think to add is that I don’t blindly trust any brand. I’ve had hits and misses with just about every brand I’ve tried. I cannot think of one brand where i’ve been happy with every product that i’ve tried.

Joanna Avatar

So true! I typically will buy UD palettes and NARS and Becca cheek items without swatching, unless it’s a repurchase, and that honor goes to Chanel, Anastasia, Tarte brow items, and MAC lippies (most, at least).

I feel like companies are expertly using IG and YT vloggers, which is totally fine–hey they gotta make that money, right? It’s hard to see past the hype nowadays, even with tried and true brands because overall even their new releases have been underwhelming and definitely not worth the hype. Case in point: ABH Subculture. They’re continuously demanding A+ prices for B- palettes. Thank God for honest and in depth reviews here ๐Ÿ™‚

Christina D. Avatar

In no particular order: anything Viseart, Urban Decay eye shadow palettes and blushes, KVD palettes, Marc Jacobs eye shadow palettes and eye liners, Lorac Pro and Unzipped palettes, BareMinerals 8.0 and larger palettes. I can add Natasha Denona to the list although I only have two of the larger palettes (but I cannot wait to get my hands on the Lila palette).

Joan Avatar

I typically know that I am going to buy from Natasha Denona (at least the eyeshadows) before I even see a review. I think that is the only brand that I am set to buy without being influenced by reviews. Pretty much everything else I seek out all of the reviews. I will say I used to have strong feelings for Lorac in a similar fashion, but I am finding that I am overwhelmed by their releases this year…kind of feel like they are “Too Face-ing” me.

Erica Avatar

Natasha Denona is interesting. Her products are not bad but it’s no better than brands that charge fraction of what she does. Plus for such pricey items, she uses junk packaging. If I buy a $60 Tom Ford, at least I will have decent packaging so I feel the higher price is more warranted. Her and Bobbi Brown have no excuse for drugstore packaging.

Joan Avatar

Erica, I am glad you have products that work for you and your packaging needs. I don’t buy Tom Ford due to their CF status, but the packaging does seem sturdy.
I actually find that Natasha Denona shadows/products work for me very well and give me a lot of impact, especially for colorful looks. I also like the packaging. But I understand not everything works for everybody. ๐Ÿ™‚

LT Avatar

MAC and Bobbi Brown. They are the two that I have worn for almost 20 years so I am normally comfortable choosing their products because I know what works for me.

Kate Avatar

In general, it depends on the product, because I trust different brands to do different things well, at this point. The one that stands out to me is Bite, because, while I’ve heard of other people having bad experiences, I’ve never once been disappointed. (Ok, I was disappointed with the Agave lip mask, but that was because I had an allergic reaction, not because of the quality.) I’m generally more willing to take chances on lipstick than anything else, because I find that the overall quality varies less. I’m very hesitant to order eyeshadows without testing them.

LindaP Avatar

Me too on the Agave Lip Mask! I had to return in. That product desiccated my lips like they were the Sahara. Awful for me. Still looking around for something hydrating (v. dry lips), but The Ordinary Rose Hip Oil is working well at the moment.

Erica Avatar

The quality is there with Bite imo but the color range is so horrid. So many milky nudes. Everything is such a bore imo. I want to purchase something but I cannot bring myself bc I find the colors unappealing. I feel the same with the NARS Audacious too. Want to try but the color selection holds me back. And yeah maybe a lot has to do with my sizable lipstick collection so it takes more for me to be wowed and willing to purchase ๐Ÿ™‚

Macy Avatar

I think for each brand, there’s different products that I trust without reviews/swatches! Like Urban Decay, I trust their eyeshadows, just because I’ve always loved using them! With Becca, I think they’re highlighters are outstanding. But for both of those brands, if I’m trying something new, I’d probably look at a review/swatch first! If that makes sense!

Zhe Avatar

Burberry, Tom Ford, NARS, colourpop.

I look up swatches anyway especially for lipsticks because Christine, your skin tone is similar to mine and I can judge if a lipstick would look flattering on my skin tone from looking at your swatches.

Lena Avatar

You’ve spoiled us so much that I don’t buy anything without checking a review or swatches on Temptalia! Most of the time, I can find anything I am lemming for here and make an educated purchasing decision ๐Ÿ™‚

Lulle Avatar

None, to be honest. I try to always look for swatches and reviews, and if none are available, to go to a physical store to swatch and get my own feel of the product. When it’s not possible (online only, LE that will likely sell out before reaching stores, etc) I would only purchase from a retailer who has a good return policy.
While I have my own favorite brands, I can’t say that I a single one never disappointed me!

Nancy T Avatar

Because at my age I can clearly remember the days of you’re when there were NO swatches, NO reviews, so one had to buy blindly trusting or just hoping something would turn out well (unless it was upscale and supplied testers), my answer is: NONE. Not because there aren’t some fantastic brands out here that are consistent in their product quality. But because I am now of a very different mindset, and prefer to know ahead of time exactly what I’m getting! It wasn’t always so easy, believe me!

Mariella Avatar

Nancy, I don’t find ANY brands are entirely consistent…even luxury brands like Chanel and Guerlain have some real duds and they’re pricey duds at that. Even a brand I love, like BITE – not all the colours are quite as they appear somewhere like Sephora’s site (notoriously bad for gauging colours) so I need to see them “in the flesh” and even on MY flesh to see if they work for me.

Nancy T Avatar

Mariella- True. I ought to have phrased it as *fairly* consistent. Will say, I’ve never had a dud from Viseart or Bite yet!
I’d definitely say that lip products are an item that no matter how nice it looks in a swatch, it is still best to try to try it on because of skintone variables and differences in lip pigmentation and color.

Deborah S. Avatar

As brands go there are only a couple that I would buy from without review or swatch and those are Bite Beauty and ColourPop. Within brands there are certain products I would buy without reviews such as certain lipsticks that were releasing new shades of a formula that I like. Palettes are pretty much a no go without Temptalia review and if possible swatching myself. Swatching is difficult for me since I live out in the middle of no where.

Silvia Avatar

Forgot to mention I buy mostly from drugstore and am quite happy with my hoarding. One, Almay the eyeshadows hardly deliver any color I never tried anything else from them. WetnWild lately I follow blindly and Colourpop. Essence I love their eyeshadows palettes and prince mascaras but the ombrรฉ blushes which drew me in like a bee for the bright colors don’t show as much but still ok., highliters are also real good from Essence like I need one more! L’Orรฉal, Cover Girl foundations, I’m into Nyx lately after trying the UD heat wave and ended up with Neutral Warm from Nyx gorgeous and smooth. Physians Formula. Oh! I love Boots/No. 7!

Nicole Avatar

Swatches are a must but brands I will buy without reviews are, Bite, Colourpop, Milani, ABH, NYX, Becca and Nars (prior to selling in China).

BonBon Avatar

I’m a Becca, Urban Decay and Dior girl all the way. Plus others but I always go to my loved ones first. I’ve never tried Mac or Tarte before. I did just buy my first Tarte pallet and must say I’m disappointed. There is eyeshadow all over my cheekbones. Even after blowing eyeshadow brush. I couldn’t help but notice there were no (of the many I read) comfortable with Tarte reviews. If this pallet is an indication, I know why.

Seraphine Avatar

Which Tarte palette did you have a problem with? I have three Tarte palettes: Rainforest of the Sea, Amazonian Clay Matte, and Tease. I believe they all got pretty decent ratings here on Temptalia. Although UD Naked3 is my favorite palette, I really like the Tarte palettes a lot.

Megan Avatar

I’ve had zero misses from Pat McGrath, so I’ll buy anything from her line, without reading reviews or waiting for swatches. I’ve also had such wonderful luck with Givenchy Lipsticks that I’ll gladly purchase them as well. Other than that, I’ll wait until a product gets a Temptalia review before I buy- there are just too many misses and even “cheap” makeup is too expensive. This is a really great question!

Sabrina Avatar

The only time I chose to trust a brand based on my previous experience and purchased without any research/doubt was the Anastasia Subculture palette. I ordered it on the launch day, and so disappointed…
If I answer the question at this moment, I’d say Tom Ford lip color.

ShariP Avatar

UD, MUFE for eyeshadow. UD, MUFE, Clinique for blush. UD, MAC, Lancome for lipstick. Otherwise, I need swatches. If it’s something that I really, really want I’ll go on swatches alone. Otherwise, I’m learning to wait for Christine’s reviews. Sometimes it saves me money.

Genevieve Avatar

When it comes to eye shadows, I always check this site first – always. Because brands can put out duds (look at the recent Estee Lauder/Victoria Beckham offerings). And some of the brands you mentioned above are very tricky to get here and so expensive that you need them to be stellar to justify the expense.
As far as lipsticks are concerned, I have ordered heavily discounted ones from EA, Milani and Clarins that I have not seen myself, but the shade names and colours have turned out to be a guide and have worked out.
Foundations are a beauty item where I definitely need to test myself as the intricate systems for labelling shades that each brand has can be misleading.

Silvia Avatar

I’m like Dorothy (Nemo! ?) buy pretty much on impulse even after checking things out on YouTube. I forget all the recommendations, the good, the ugly and the bad. Oh! Look it that pretty new color! What’s that new? What’s full of glitter over there? That packing looks so pretty! Lol!

Karen Avatar

Sometimes it depends on the type of item I am buying. For instance I would be very comfortable purchasing any Viseart eyeshadow but would read up on the return policy for any other product from the line…just in case. Chanel blushes have never failed but I don’t think I’d ever purchase an eyeshadow palette from the brand without more information. Hourglass face powders and blushes yes, eyeshadows no.
The only brand I can think of that I would buy any product offered, without reviews or in-person testing is Colour Pop and that may be more a function of the low price than utmost confidence in the entire line.

Erica Avatar

I don’t know if I buy much sight unseen. I almost always look at swatches or reviews prior. Even though a review, good rating or not, isn’t what determines if I buy or not, I st least check out what people are saying first to I can make an informed decision. Though I only look at a small number of reviewers tbh

Helene Avatar

None, to be honest, though I would buy Colour Pop as they are so inexpensive. I did break that rule buying a Viseart palette recently, I couldn’t remember seeing any reallly bad grade for any of their palettes. It was a win, I like the palette so much. I didn’t do any research as I was in a hurry (it was on sale for 48 more minutes or something like that).

Lea Avatar

Ooops – answering these backwards since I’m behind on my Temptalia reading. My only trusted brands are CdP, Tom For, Chantecaille and Armani. Viseart is rising on that list, but it helps to see tones on their products since you can’t see them in person. Same is true of By Terry, some products are easy to choose from promo shots, but some can be a bit harder to judge and best done with a bit of research and swatches.

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