What helps you determine if a review is trustworthy?

If I’m looking at reviews on a retailer, I look for longer reviews that are more in-depth and detailed – usually not using exaggerations when describing product performance. If it’s more of an individual person, then I like to go back to reviews of products I have tried in the past, which helps me get a sense of how we align or whether I felt like they addressed the pros/cons thoroughly.

— Christine


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Jen Avatar

I like balanced observations without a lot of positive or negative hype that has support for their observations. Details like, how much a foundation oxidizes, or how comfortable a lipstick was over time I find helpful. I also like details about the reviewer’s skin/hair type and their expectations for the product so that I can gauge how similar I am to them and what I might expect in result. It also gives me a good way of filtering out those reviews from people who seem to get exactly the wrong product for their needs or wants then complain it didn’t work for them rather than a problem with the product itself.

Nancy T Avatar

Having used to have only used Makeup Alley and a few written reviews before my daughter turned me on to your site and YouTube, I then went off of the person expressing pros vs cons, longevity of product when worn, how close their complexion type and coloring were to my own, did they ever give any other products less than glowing reviews (for my determining their ability to be honest).

Upon discovering YouTube, the same logistics applied, plus how they did their swatches (I prefer live swatches so that I can immediately see if they look any good or not), also watching them use them in practice and listening to how they describe the ease of which the product applies and if they are encountering any issues. All of these factor in to whether or not I view the individual to be unbiased and transparent in their reviews, as well as accuracy.

On here, I already have come to depend on your written reviews as always being honest and thorough. So much so that even if I have a different experience with a product/shade, I know that I can chalk it up to my having a darker skintone than you, an oilier complexion and possibly my receiving a bad or better batch of said product.

Ana Maria Avatar

Speaking about YouTube, I tend to trust more people that film with the camera really close, even if the angle becomes unflattering.
All those reviewers sitting way in the back can hide a lot of patchiness for example. Nowadays with 4k is hard to lie when a product applies poorly. One of my guilty pleasures is watching the comment section bash an influencer that praises a product, when the low quality is more than obvious in the way the product looks on their skin.

Rachel R. Avatar

I trust reviews more from sources that disclose sponsorships, PR, etc. As they should. Also, longer, detailed reviews that give pros and cons. If a source has given trustworthy reviews in the past, I trust them more. I don’t trust e-zine or magazine reviews, they’re always about advertising. I don’t trust reviews from individuals on retailer or company websites any more.

Ana Maria Avatar

Trust is a complex thing… I would say that really trustworthy reviews come from people I follow for a long time and have proven to be generally honest and usually non-biased. I don’t except perfection, we all have our biased and we cannot be 100% honest 100% of the time, so I personally accept some slips.

But generally I look into reviews that are long, detailed and have a personal touch. It’s quite easy to see sometimes that a review uses a script provided by a brand (from the use of specific wording and emphasis on specific features).
I trust reviews that explain use in various situations and combinations, that have a balance of positive and negative notes.
I also tend to trust reviews with mediocre quality pictures. It’s like, this person is clearly not a professional, but still took the time to take a photo and that shows how much they liked / disliked a product. 😅 This reminds me of a review I left for a Maybelline liquid eyeliner; I never put photos with my makeup reviews, but that one smudged so bad in the first hours, I had to document how bad my eye lids looked.

Genevieve Avatar

A review is trustworthy to me if the person provides swatches and comments on how the product applied, the pros and the cons. There’s quite a difference between a Youtube presentation and a written review, like this blog.
I prefer reading written reviews like here, there is more opportunity to decide whether or not the product is going to work for me. An objective rating system helps me to decide the quality of the product, rather than a personal opinion.

brendacr1 Avatar

If they’re short and sweet they are usually not worth the read. I like detailed in-depth reviews. I want to know the negative and positive, most times I will read just the negative reviews to see what it is that people don’t like about the product and if it is a deal breaker for me. In return I only leave detailed reviews, why I like the product and how it performs as much detail as I can remember and other people need to know, so they can make an informed choice.

krb Avatar

I no longer trust reviews on Sephora and some other sites because many of these people receive the product for free. Most YouTubers are iffy too. I come here for the unvarnished truth and also used to use Makeup Alley but forgot the site exists until I read these comments! It’s been years since I used it.

It’s very hard to find trustworthy people nowadays. The makeup world is saturated with used car salesman types. 😂

Chelsea Avatar

Agreed Sephora has white washed their reviews. I purchase aand review enthusiastically and without bias. Can’t tell you how many times my reviews are pulled and Sephora says my review cannot be posted. Yeah. Because I bashed an unworthy product! I have finally disengaged from you tubers as they’ll fawn over a product and thirty days later it’s listed in their worst product ever section.

Jane Avatar

Similar as you Christine. I actually like reading the cons first. If I’m even reviewing the product, I already know I am interested and that the pros will likely only encourage me, so I like to see what most people dislike and if there’s concordance in the dislikes.

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