What is your process for seeing whether a product works for you or not?

Some products I know within one use (e.g. a really dusty, sheer eyeshadow is not going to work for me, and even over primer, the improvement is not enough–too many top-notch formulas out there to bother, for me). If it’s a color I’m certain about, I might try it with a few different pairings to see if it gets better/worse.

— Christine
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First of all, before even buying something, I research it. Then, even if it received some iffy marks, I know what I’ll be dealing with. That said, I’ve been pretty consistent about sticking with higher rated/graded products. A few times I did go off the grid: UD Vice 3 (90% of it to work perfectly fine with primer) and UD Naked Smoky (have to use a black primer or Nyx Knight JEP to do the really dark looks or use Fix+ for Radar). Won’t lie, Naked Smoky has challenged me. Especially in the beginning! Now I’ve done it again: I bought KVD Alchemist last night. Here’s hoping!

So far, I adore Sapphire and Emerald! Amethyst, not so great on my olive skinned cheeks, but does look gorgeous as an inner corner or lid eyeshadow or topper. Haven’t gotten around to using the peachy-pink yet. I actually love that it’s less intense than some indies, because I don’t have youth on my side! ?

First off I do research and contemplate prior to purchase. Testing in store helps too. But generally if I’m drawn to it, I know it is for me. As for skincare, if it has fragrance, synthetic or real, or if it has alcohol or if it has too many emolients it is not a product for me. Generally I stay away from any sort of cream contour or cream blush too

My process is coming on here to check reviews first before I buy! I haven’t gotten a dud in quite a while (thank you, Christine) but if I do end up getting something that is underperforming, I’ll try to work with it (adding it to/with another product, like maybe a balm or a primer, etc.) before returning.

Happy New Year! 🙂

I use to have a lot more problems picking makeup that would work for me but as time has passed and I have become more familiar with my skin type, undertones, preferences and have found resources to help me with the quality of products, such as Temptalia, I don’t have as many issues. How willing I am to work with a product really depends on the product. If I have purchased an eye shadow palette that has received good reviews and meets my color preferences and I find it doesn’t work for me then I am more willing to try different ways to make it work, however, if it doesn’t then it is going back. If I pick up a “cheaper” lipstick and it doesn’t work then I am less likely to try and make it work. There are too many really good products out there to waste a lot of time and money trying to make something that is relatively cheap work for me. I guess I am a makeup snob but if it is expensive then I will work harder to make it work than I would with a cheaper product that doesn’t work. I try to learn from my mistakes and avoid products that are the same or similar to products that haven’t worked for me in the past. I said above that the product would go back if it was expensive and not working for me and that is relatively new for me. I didn’t use to really take much back but I have realized that product manufacturers will continue to provide the same products that don’t work if no one returns them or complains about them so that is my new plan for this year, return it!!

I never thought of it that way, returning as being a way of sending the message that a product is underperforming. That’s a good perspective.

Well, since I have super oily lids, I always have to test out eye shadows to see if I have to return them. The best quality shadows work simply with my regular primer, WNW Fergie. But other shadows might need more help, and it can be pretty laborious testing process. If my WNW primer doesn’t work, then I try various cream shadow bases ( LM Caviar Sticks, Bobbi Brown shadow sticks, ELF cream shadows, Sephora crayon, Armani Eye Tints), and if those still don’t work, than Too Faced Glitter Glue, although it usually makes shadows very hard to blend. If I like the color enough, I will try everything in my arsenal, but if I don’t like the color that much, I usually stop midway and just start looking for the return receipt.

I was so lucky to get a remaindered Fergie eye primer at dollar tree. Tried to get it instore, but once Fergie was de-crowned, they off loaded ‘her’ products. Also got a huge coppery highlighter blush, each 1 usd. Coworkers got eye quads that look good on them. Every once in a while, there’s a close out score, and that primer is it.

Oh yes, the Fergie WNW primer is a miracle worker, total game changer for my super oily lids! When they DC’d it, I bought 6 backup tubes. Supposedly they re-issued it, without the Fergie name, but ingredients are supposed to be the same, so the new one should work as well, although I haven’t really tested it yet.

When it comes to creamy product first I will do the sniff test…If I can get past the smell, I will do a patch test to make sure the product does not break me out. Once these two hurdles are crossed I will use the product where it is supposed to go. Three strikes and it is out is my policy, unless it is a product which I know will take a certain amount of time to see results.

If it is a foundation or concealer I will try to see if I can get a sample. As far as other color products, I will swatch then see how it looks against my skin and if the texture is tolerable.

I don’t think I have a specific process. It’s more like an accumulation of experiences about understanding my needs and preferences. The more I know, the easier it is to make good purchases. Color and texture tend to drive my color cosmetic choices. (Believe it or not, 85% of the market color products are not for me; so that leaves only 15% that I need to concentrate my focus upon. It makes the ‘process’ a whole lot easier.)

Skin care, though, is more difficult for me. Like finding your favorite jeans or your most comfortable bra, it takes a bit of work and a lot of patience. I cannot tell you how many products I have tried for my very dry skin – but it has to be dozens and dozens (mostly by samples, ingredients or dumb luck). I have found though, if you find one product in a line that really works for you, try another from the same line. Chances are good that that line will have other products that work for you, too. I now know what lines have given me the best results, so I tend to stick with them (and there really aren’t that many given my skin type). Once I’ve had a good skincare experience with a product, I quickly note the ingredients. (My skin loves chamomile, lanolin and beeswax, for example, and it can’t tolerate any type of retinol ingredient. Good to know!)

To me, the crux of the ‘process’ is all about knowing thyself. The more you do, the better the results.

I used to always research it first and read reviews but I found with glowing reviews it didn’t work so if I really want to try it I’ll buy it and I like you know the first time if it will work. Don’t like barely there eyeshadows or eyeliner that won’t stay on the waterline.

Usually once or twice, I will know if a product is a dud for me. If it’s a highly recommended product, like the Viseart Sultry Muse palette that I’m having such a problem with, I will keep going for a few weeks, leave it in my stash and come back to it. Honestly, I really don’t like the palette at all, but I’m trying…

It’s a strange combination of things. Swatched with a finger on my arm, the colours look good, on my eyes, which are golden brown, not so much. I also experienced “kick back” and fall out with some of shades, and some were a bit patchy which was VERY bizarre, for such hyped shadows. I use excellent brushes and a decent primer so it was disappointing.

1. Choose carefully – by doing research, reading reviews such as your blog Christine to check out the shade and the ratings.
2. Have a good go – pair it with other shades if it is an eye shadow or wear the lipstick a few times with different outfits to see if it works.
3. If the product is foundation and it doesn’t work, I get rid of it straight away. Life is too short for bad foundation. I see it if it is a shade that suits my daughter in law and pass it onto her if she likes it.

Thank you…life IS too short for bad foundation or any other product or look you don’t love. If you don’t like it, just toss it, or return it if that’s an option, but don’t feel guilty.

Basically I just use the product for a month. (Or try to use it.) We can’t return or exchange things here in India so I really try to make it work once I’ve purchased a product. I rarely buy things without researching them anymore so I rarely have a dud.

I try to avoid issues by researching and reading/watching reviews. This works most of the time.

Otherwise, I try it on. Some fragrances or tastes are an automatic “no.” I can immediately know if the color is awful on me, or if an eyeshadow has an excessive amount of fallout, or if a product has crappy pigmentation. If anything oxidizes over primer, it’s never going to work for me. Usually if I wear any product around for a day, I know whether it’s going to work out or not.

Lip colors — I might working with them a little, trying different liners and other lip colors. It depends how much I love the color or finish, how much I paid for it, and whether it’ll be easy to return.

Eyeshadows — I’m willing to try a few things for less-than-perfect shadows with shades or finishes I love. I always wear primer because I have oily eyelids. Primer fixes most issues with pigmentation and blendibility. Other times, a sticky base does the trick. I’m not really willing to jump through hoops for every single color in a palette, though. If it’s all finicky, it goes back to the store or given to someone who does like it.

With all the b.s. reactivity I have going on, I research stuff within an inch of my life. First ingredients, then I cosdna any ingredient that I don’t recognize. If there isn’t FULL disclosure, I write. Wrote to curology, bec the carrier solution is not fully disclosed. Wrote that off. Anne is on the right page. You have to know what works for you. Most color cosmetics I like to see in person, but with LE/OOS craziness, s.t. that’s impractical. But experience lets you infer a high degree of likelihood that s.t. will suit you. VLGs and Mona did not disappoint. Between the Benzyl salicylate and the chem sunscreens, foundation would never succeed without a massive vetting process. And Sephora is a big offender for no ingredients listed. Btw, oddly, The Benzyl is listed as a fragrance ingredient on many products, and sunscreen on others.

I buy on impulse more than by revising bloggers and recommendations which of course get me tempted to search for more. I find I been pretty lucky with my choices lately mostly drugstore and few high ends. I think most colors work on this pale canvas and I like to blend to avoid having harsh lines or too much color. I guess Revlon highliters both the pink and bronze have been a let down they are pretty flat even on this face but I kept them for an all over swipe since I like the strips. If too flat or powdery blush or eyeshadow I don’t like. Also I’m picky about what first touches my face instead of primer I opted for using CeraVé before my foundation and my skin has improved more plumpy and less dry. Loving Cera Vé!

I’d like to add I regret talking bad about the Revlon bronzer strip highlighter. I tried them both the pink strips and the bronzer funny I cannot find the peach shade anymore anywhere? I applied yesterday all over face and was wearing a light blue sweater which makes me look like a ghost. It brought a beautiful lightest healthy tone to my face (besides I been fighting a cold with all sorts of nasty allergies and haven’t seen lots of sun rays in weeks so I’m like a ghost right now can’t wait to get back to a long run again and work on some color. Can say i can tan, cannot tan only turn red like a shrimp! And I’m suppose to be tropical. Lol! Lord help me get some decent color! Hate my legs as milk!). Yes! It turned out beautifully! So happy! Other three things I should mention, I tried the Cera Vé containing aha comes in white jar with light blue letters. The stuff is awesome! I have a few of those milie acne under my chin and it does help break open them up but without dryness as my prescription one! I have the facial cleanser, moisturizer and aha both in a big jar those products have made a difference in my combination dry/normal skin. Much plumpier and clear loving! Loving Cera Vé! On the other hand, the red jar Regenerist it gave me a mild red burn on my cheeks first time I tried it…never again! Just saying to help others looking for skin care products or with sensitive skin issues I’m not aware mine is sensitive but badly reacted to Regenerist one. I’m super satisfied and love all my drugstore products lately, have learned through time trying various brands, colors, powders, creams, etc. but on skin care I am most careful. L’Oréal Revitalift (white small) jar is great too. So is Eucerin Q-10. They moisturize and leave face clear without dryness or reaction or better yet, braking the bank. Oh! Talk about WnW Fergie I only have their eyeshadow fat little squared palettes. WnW never lacks in throwing good color consistency but oh. Boy! These are all super pigmented I order them all from Walmart had to try them. I think they are wonderful to make the smoky eye one hint of color and there goes tons of pigmentation like a mother! Lol! The bright Summer colored ones are a knock out! The peach with brown, the silver, blues, one has yellow. All gorgeous and do have glitter. I come out like a raccoon playing with those but love them! Is like playing with charcoal on your eyes. ☺️

I just buy what I think I want. I’m pretty flexible with color makeup…there are just a few things I know don’t work for me, like liquid eyeliner and red lipstick. Even those, if I get them in subscription boxes, I try them anyway. I also understand how to pick my skin toned stuff – generally neutral or warm undertones. The thing that’s hard to predict, and this is mostly with mascara, is whether I will have an allergic reaction.

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