What products are you most critical of? Why?

I feel like I’ve tried a lot of eyeshadow and lipstick in my time, so as a result, I can spot more nuances between shades and formulas, which I find makes one a little more critical.

— Christine
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Definitely foundation. I feel like there are so many ways that I’m selective about it. Is it the correct shade? How’s the finish? Staying power? It’s definitely something that can ruin your look if it isn’t right.

I’d say since I’m oily and acne prone, I’m more critical of foundation and base products. However I know they can only do so much and I have given up to an extent

As a catergory , I’m much more critical of expensive, luxury items. I just feel if you charge more, you should get more. For eyeshadow, I expect to be wowed more or for there to be more variety in shade selection, for example. OK up charge for a name or fancy packaging but you better have decent pigmentation and smooth application. For skincare, I expect not only it to be free of bad alcohols and fragrance but I also expect it to have super beneficial anti aging antioxidant ingredients. Don’t charge an arm and a leg and have nothing more than aloe and glycerin which I can get at the drugstore for a fraction of the cost. Be more than just hype and clever marketing!

Pretty much the same here with regard to highly priced, “luxury” items that simply do not perform. If “value priced” products can deliver on their promises (I’m always in awe of the Colour Pop and Sydney Grace shadows I see on this site but I’ve also got more affordable products from many brands that really deliver on their promises), then I don’t see why the luxury brands can even have the gall to sell poorly performing products at inflated prices. I do expect more from a $50 lipstick than from a $10 one.

I am also more critical of eyeshadow and lipsticks, but especially those from luxury brands. I feel that if I’m spending luxury prices for a product, the product should perform as such, and a lot of times it doesn’t live up to the price tag. At least if I get a drugstore product and it doesn’t perform amazingly I’m not out a lot of money in addition to having a crappy product.

Foundation, it has to have the right amount of coverage, undertones and shade, it has to last through hot summer days and late nights. I’ve yet to find one that I can really rely on, but that is probably because my skin is changing with age.

Probably setting powder. I’m always looking for Prince Charming and I feel I’ve kissed a lot of frogs along the way.

Hi Lauren. Have you tried the No 7 pressed powder? I’ve heard some good reviews, but haven’t tried it myself…yet. Would be curious for your thoughts if you’ve tried it.

You’re totally qualified to be critical of the performance or other characteristics of those categories (and many others dealing with makeup). Myself, I’m a generalist when it comes to being critical. Basically, I judge critically anything I use on my face, body or hair. Irritations or skin reactions are top critics with their own sole (most powerful) channel. Performance follows second, and if I lack the experience in that category, I wouldn’t know if there are better things out there without reading your blogs and doing other research.

Finding a foundation with the perfect coverage that doesn’t oxidize, flake, congeal, or break me out has been difficult. But after trying dozens, from HE to DS, I finally found my HG a few years ago.

Foundation and mascara. Both are essential to my look and if they are not right, they can’t easily be fixed so they had better be right. In general the more promises a brand makes about a product, the more critical I will be.

I’m very critical about complexion products, because I’m very picky with my base. Primer, foundation and concealer need to be almost perfect for me. I’m critical on color match, from shade to undertone, to the way is oxidizes during the day (all foundations oxidise on me). I’m critical on performance usually, they need to look great without retouch; in normal times this might mean a work day + commute + any after work errand, which might mean 10+ hours. I’m critical on formulq (no fragrance and irritating ingredients) and finish (a matte but not flat finish, I don’t like dewiness).

Foundation, concealer and other face products, like setting powder for undereyes, bronzers and contouring powders. When it comes to my base products, I am very picky because I have to be. My skin’s olive undertone combined with a peachy-neutral overtone makes it a serious challenge to get a perfect match in foundation or concealer. Then there’s the actual formula to consider once I find a match, too. At 61, I still get breakouts and have a very oily t-zone, but also some crinkly areas on top of my cheekbones which show up under a too dry or fully matte formula. So it’s all one huge balancing act to get everything just right!

Skincare, absolutely. I’m fairly easy going about color cosmetics, much more finicky when it comes to foundation but what I use to take care of my skin is the most important thing. It’s very sensitive and when irritated it feels like a bad sunburn so I have a lot of motivation to keep it happy.

Definitely lipstick, because I find that for me, lipstick is the product that I am most likely to have a bad experience with if it’s not a good formula for me — I had one matte liquid lipstick, for instance, that was SO DRYING that it left my lips painfully cracked for a couple days after I wore it. I’ve never had any other products cause me pain due to their failure, since I thankfully don’t have any allergies or specific sensitivities, and I’ve managed to not have any, like, glitter-related injuries.

I suppose that would be foundation–I’m actually quite critical of most anything that goes on my face but foundation is definitely one area that I haven’t found products I’m fond of. Foundation covers a lot of facial skin surface area and I have sensitive combination acne-prone and eczema-prone skin. I have to watch for flakiness, oily areas, acne-prone areas, eczema-prone areas–and then I have to hope that it doesn’t change color and that it wears/fades nicely. I make do with what is available on the market by mixing formulas. I can’t use volatile silicones so that eliminates a lot of the foundation selection.

As a particular type of product, like quite a few others, for me it’s foundation which probably explains why I so rarely wear it. I want a product that won’t rub off (on my husband, now on my face mask!), that sets, that wears long, that isn’t either too shiny or too matte, that doesn’t highlight every flake of dry skin…probably what everyone else here wants. Oh, yeah, and a good colour match…probably a few other things too that I can’t think of right now because my oven is dinging to tell me to put the 3-cheese twist bread in to bake!

I don’t know why I was so surprised that so many answers were foundation! But mind is definitely foundation. I guess it’s hard for me to find a good color, mainly because I have diffused redness that cover a larger area of my face and a lot of makeup artists will match me with a darker or peachier color, but my neck is a bit on the pale side. So color matching is difficult as it is. But foundation also needs to sit nicely on my skin as well and not accentuate dry areas as I’m prone to getting those as well.

Mascara is another one for me I’m really picky about. Having sparse straight lashes means without a doubt it needs to be waterproof. After many years of trying diff types of mascaras I find for myself the bristles apply best on me when they’re natural bristles and more densely packed. I still jump around and try different brands but I’ve found a few good standbys that I’ll always go back to now.

Face primers or pore covering products because with age these have to be done very well to work. Same with powders. When you’re younger you may be able to get away with wearing just about everything, but after some wrinkles and larger pores, nope.

Makeup products – foundation and mascara are on my list of being highly critiqued items
Makeup brands – anything pricey better be stellar in performance, selection, finish, formula, basically everything if it’s costing me a pretty penny!
Skincare – any product with overpowering fragrance is a no, and I look for a short and simple ingredient list

I have de-cluttered my collection over the last 2 years and it is much more manageable now, as well as 99% cruelty-free. There are only a scarce few products I’m finishing up before that percentage moves to 100.

I am probably most critical over eyeshadows – the shade selection, the finish, the price and of course, the rating from here.
Next comes lipsticks – again, colour, finish, price and accessibility is most important to me.

*In general, more expensive one. If I pay more, I want a better product.

*Mascaras and liquid eyeliners. I have sensitive eyes. I have to be wary about fragrances, colorants (especially black — often minute trace of nickel in the oxides is to blame there), and acrylates (especially in waterproof formulas). I can only wear a handful of brands.

*Eyeshadows and eyeliners. I want pigmented colors that will work with my oily, somewhat hooded lids. I don’t want anything too stiff, too chalky, or too powdery. I can’t wear most cream eyeshadows.

*Foundations. I’m hard to shade match. My body chemistry and face oils like to oxidize and discolor things. I have sensitive skin. I’m picky about fragrance, coverage, finish, weight, etc. due aesthetics and sensory issues.

I’d say foundations, eyeshadows and liquid lips. I have a pretty big (and expensive) foundation reject pile. I used to tolerate crappy eyeshadow, but since I’ve taken the time to learn how to do more complex designs I’ve come to appreciate good pigmentation and blendability. As for liquid lips, if they fail the ‘butthole lips’ test they don’t deserve a place in my vanity. The ‘goldilocks’ formula is a balance between comfort, hydration and long wear. Not many companies have succeeded unfortunately.

Foundation! I hate the way it can feel heavy and thick and sticky on my skin. It has to feel like it’s not there, as well as look good. Highlighter is second. I don’t like it with glitter or to emphasize texture.

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