What research do you do before purchasing a product?

I’m going to generalize and just speak about products in general, since I don’t do much research before buying beauty products since I tend to buy newly released products for review! I like to look at reviews on retailer websites, often using places like Fakespot to try and see how reliable the reviews are. I like to look at longer, 1-2 star reviews and “most helpful” rated reviews. Sometimes, I’ll look for a YouTube or blog review/post, but I’m super picky with individual reviews that I don’t always find they’re that useful. I also make sure I’m aware of the company’s return/exchange policy (including any restocking or shipping charges).

— Christine
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First, I always check Temptalia. If I’m still on the fence (which often is the case with lipstick and blush, since Christine’s coloring is different than mine), I do a Google Image search to see the product on other people and/or look up YT videos to see the product in action. But always Temptalia first, because even if I’m unsure how the shade would look on my face, Christine’s information about longevity, texture, etc. is invaluable. Thanks for all your hard work!

When it comes to makeup, I usually check if you’ve reviewed it yet. XD Otherwise, I check the reviews of people who purchased it with their own money.

Because I’m a real dope for being a shopaholic/makeupaholic, I always have Trendmood’s posts showing me what’s up and coming and ready to launch. If I see something that truly speaks to either my taste or my base/skincare needs, then I follow up and try to find out as much info as I can. If it makeup, I will look for your “sneak peek” or review first. I will concurrently look for reviews by YT’ers I trust: Mel Thompson, Alicia aka Kinky Sweat, Kelsee Briana Jai, Michelle Wang, Jen Loves Reviews and MACah0lic.

Skincare, foundation and other base products are more difficult to determine whether one person’s experience will be mine. For that, if something piques my interest that I read about on Trendmood or that one of the above mentioned reviewers does a video review of, I will follow-up by looking at retailer’s reviews by customers. I try to find those with similar skin concerns, coloring and age. Although age is far more tricky, as I do not have the typical 60 y.o. complexion. I’m mistaken as someone in their early 40’s routinely. Sounds great, right? It’s NOT. Not fun having my serious anti-aging questions poo-pooed with “but you’re so young!” or “you’re just a kid, you don’t need something so strong/heavy/powerful!” Real fun when I pipe up and tell them my actual age! 🤦

I’m usually not purchasing most products Jen from Jen Loves Reviews has in-depth videos on, but I do watch them and I appreciate her due diligence into reviewing stuff. She started incorporating ingredient analysis and it’s great! Few people do this.
For eyeshadows she does the multiple types of swatches, the wipe taste, she really tries to be detailed. I just wished she reviewed older / classic eyeshadow formulas as well, not just new palettes.
And her latest video on sunscreens… amazing! Even if I already knew the information, it was a great reminder.

I’m a researcher at heart (and as a professional), so I do my own share of research when purchasing cosmetics / skincare.

1. The first thing I look into are ingredients. I won’t pick a product that has any irritant ingredients like fragrances, alcohols (the bad ones), sensitizing essential oils, etc. I have certain ingredients I avoid because previously my skin reacted bad to them (e.g. some silicones). Depending on the product (and especially skincare) I look into ingredients I know I like and worked for me, trying to figure out the concentration. At this point I kind of know to read and interpret an ingredient list, but I also rely on beautypedia and cosdna.

2. If the ingredients and the product description match what I want, I look into reviews. I look for detailed reviews, I’m usually not interested on knowing if someone liked or not to buy a product or a number of stars. I want to know how the product worked or reacted, so I can interpret based on the reviewers experience how it would work for me. Where do I look for reviews depends on the product. For skincare I mostly look on beautypedia or on videos like Gothamista; for foundations I look into YouTubers that usually do tons of detailed foundation reviews even if their preferences don’t match mine (saaamage, thatayalaa, etc.) and I double check my shade using the foundation matching on temptalia (although I’ll always need to go with a slightly lighter shade); for eyeshadow, face powders, lipsticks I check swatches on temptalia; etc. I usually just go through quickly Sephora reviews, or the ones on other retailers, and especially the ones on the brand page (which are always surprisingly positive and well curated), they are not detailed enough.

Research is it, esp in skincare. Paula’s ingredients dictionary, Cosdna, and EWG. Base products have to be seen, swatched, because of a 90% +/- reject rate on color matching, after most have been eliminated for chemical sunscreens, aloe, volatile oils, other fragrance, or alcohol. Color cosmetics are always checked here. Oddly enough, carmine, saccharine, and the non FDA approved pigments don’t bother me in the least. Research pays off; I might not love a product or praise its efficacy, but it won’t give me problems.

I have to admit that I don’t do much research besides checking Temptalia and the ingredients list so that I don’t purchase something that is chock full of bad ingredients. I have found over time that my monitor on all 3 of my devices is not colour accurate so that does make trying to match via colour a bit problematic. Also, since I live so far away from any place that I can do swatches, I have to go with a gut instinct sometimes. Luckily, I haven’t picked up anything that is way off in a long time. In fact, the most recent colour matching issue was with a drugstore foundation that I actually looked at in person and thought I had picked up the correct shade and then when I got home it was way too dark and the undertone was wrong. The lighting in most drug stores does not support colour matching and in future I am planning on asking a representative if I can step out into natural light to check. I can always leave them my driver’s license as security. When you live 3 hours away from anything, you have to either be willing to eat the cost of the mistake or drive back those three hours to return. In my case, since it was a DS foundation I just ate the cost.

Temptalia first but I also google and just spot check the blurbs in the search results. I consider the source/sites of the reviews also – seems prudent to do so, especially now. For YouTube, right now I like Jackie Aina and Mel Thompson.

I only typically buy from a few brands though, so anymore I feel like I already have an idea of what kind of quality I’m getting and if I really want it, I won’t wait for reviews.

I check to see if you have reviewed. For some reason, despite my melanin level, I check to see if it is shown on a variety of complexions. If they only show how it would look on fair skin, light medium skin and light medium skin on summer, I am not I’m

If it is a brand I am not familiar with, I first check if it is tested on animals. Then it has to rate B+ or above from Christine and if it is an older product, I look to see whether anyone here has experience with the product. I will also check Makeup Alley, the makeup circlejerk subReddit, and Sephora reviews but there, I only read the one and two star ones. I also follow some older (40+) YouTubers who have skin types similar to mine, especially when it’s a foundation or primer. For skin care, I rely on Gothamista, Lab Muffin, and Dr. Dray, although she slams anything with fragrance and I can tolerate some of that. In the end, I rely heavily on samples and often order online from Sephora to get them, even though I am always passing a store somehow.

If it’s makeup, I check Temptalia for your swatches and reviews. If it’s skincare, I look at the ingredients. Sometimes I will check Beautypedia if the product has been out for awhile, but they are generally slow to review new products.

Generally every time I have to purchase something I check Internet for an advice from bloggers or from website reviews.
About make up I really trust Temptalia and at the moment I only buy make up Christine gives high marks.
As I’m Italian and I live in Italy, I follow some Italian YouTubers about brands that are not reviewed by Christine. Thank you so much for your helpful work!

Ingredients list. I try to make sure it’s not a dupe of my collection BC I’m often drawn to the same things. I also check to see if there are reliable reviews.

I look here for make up reviews first. Then I will go to the Sephora site and read the negative reviews. Then I might google the product to see if there are any other issues that pop up.

I usually just go by impulse, but when I’m in a researching mood, my research consists of YouTube videos and peeping here and/or at Musings of a Muse.

I don’t do much research at all. I check here, if it’s not reviewed here I might google to find reviews. If it’s not an expensive product I probably just order it

I am allergic to some things, so ingredients are the number 1. If it is ok, then I chose a color/shade (or colors/hades). After that, I read/see reviews, reviews, reviews and even more reviews.

For makeup products:

-For color products, I check Temptalia to get an idea of the color via swatch – because the swatches here are so consistent wrt lighting, I can easily compare the color of something new to the color of something I’m familiar with or own. This also helps me check for dupes 🙂
-I do a Google image search of the product name + dark skin to see if I can find anyone with darker skin who’s swatched it (or better, worn it). I’m a Fenty 410 so most swatches are on people with skin much lighter than me, and I have to specifically go looking for darker-skinned folks. (Cocoa Swatches helps, but she’s *darker* than me, so while that’s helpful sometimes it’s not.) This is especially important with lipstick because my lips are pigmented and lip colors always look way different.
-There are a few beauty bloggers who have similar taste and/or complexions as me, and I often check their blogs to see if they’ve reviewed the product.
-And I read reviews…lots of reviews. I usually check out the reviews on the retailers’ site, reviews on MakeupAlley or Influenster, and then also look for any bloggers who have written reviews as well.

For skincare, very similar process, except without the swatches of course. But with skincare I pay much more attention to fragrance/scent and texture because those are really important to me – I have been known to return or stop using skincare because I don’t like the way it smells or feels on my skin, and I’m super picky.

I read the ingredients lists for skin care and then head back to the organic brands. For makeup, since I am on a low-buy, I will check swatches against different skin tones on-line, and if possible, will go to the counter and try on the products, and then walk around wearing them, and check them in different lighting. I also check the dupe lists and check my own stash for dupes. Doing that recently for Flesh 3, I found quite a few items I own in that ball park, including a much older discontinued Chanel, which based on the amount left must be my favorite lipstick of all time. And I like it better than Flesh 3. If it’s a liner which I want to be smudge proof and it’s available to try, I will try it and leave the store and see how long it lasts. My goal is to find a reason to eliminate it. I am usually quite successful. And then it happens that I go to the Chanel counter to try one of the new liners and mascaras– and try one of the Blurry quads. As someone who never wears neutrals because nearly all are too warm, I wore it home, and even asked my husband because I am so unaccustomed to wearing neutrals. So it was thumbs up. Will order.

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