What research do you do before purchasing a product?

These are a few things I personally do when buying something to review, which is about 99% of my beauty purchases, so I doubt they’ll apply to most, ha! First, I look at how much buzz/hype/interest there is in a certain brand and/or particular product; some brands generate interest in any new launches, while other brands are less general but have certain products that generate interest. I try to hit a lot of the products people are most interested in, but I like to have a variety of brands/products as well, I just prioritize the former. Then, I try to figure out if something is limited edition or permanent, as I tend to prioritize limited edition products first in my budget. I try to read reviews on a lot of products I purchase in general, but for beauty, I try not to read a lot of in-depth reviews until after I’ve tested it myself (plus, they often don’t exist since I buy a lot of just-released products).

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
Explore Temptalia

We're here to help you make better beauty purchases that you'll enjoy and love! We recommend signing up to take advantage of personalized features like tracking products you own, viewing dupes that you already have, and more!

Here are some useful resources for you:

Compare Any Two

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

47 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Temptalia’s my main source for reviews and swatches, but I usually try to find at least 3 other reviews before making a purchase, especially if it’s an expensive item. I also do a google search to look at multiple swatches, to confirm that color will work on me. If it’s skincare, I always check the ingredients list for no-nos (alcohol and fragrance), and check Paula’s beautypedia . Of course, this is much harder when a product is LE, selling fast, and there are either no reviews or very limited ones. In that case, I try to buy from a company that has good return policy.

During the past few years, I would definitely say right here! This is generally where I first find out about new releases in the first place. Also, this blog is the gold standard of beauty blogs out here, so I always look forward to your unbiased, honest takes of products. I also follow up sometimes with a few trustworthy vloggers and watch their videos to see live swatches and get their thoughts and usually first impressions, too.

I pretty much just see if you have reviews and swatches on the product, since all the information I need is there usually! Otherwise it’s inifinite googling for clear swatches on skintone similar to mine.

I look for in-depth reviews by bloggers I trust, like you Christine, and swatches from multiple sources – because the lighting makes a huge difference in how a color looks, so I feel like I get a better idea of a shade that way.

I read reviews. Swatch products. Check ingredient lists. Lastly I contemplate if I truly need it and if it will compliment my collection!

1. You. 2. Cosdna to rule out allergens. 3. Customer reviews on superstore sites, not always high credibility factor. 4. If AB or KB, Snow White and/or other snailcasters. High cred. 5. If color, check mental stash for dupes. Also occurs under ‘You.’ 6. Google swatches and/or YouTube reviews with applied product, not just swatches. This can take so long that HI/LE items (high interest/LE) are long gone, and certainly cannot apply to CP or Mac LE.

This is exactly the way I am as well. I will dig up every single piece of info I can find before I make a purchase. Also, if something is Limited Edition, I will usually pass on it.

First I look at the product itself, for the specs – is it something I want? How much does it cost, do I like the formula, will the color work for me? The I start looking for as many reviews and swatches as possible. The more skintones and lighting situations I can see, the better idea I can get of the color (if it’s not something I can swatch in-store). Then I look at where I can buy, as some retailers run sales while others don’t – if there is any way I can plot out a deal, I will!

Yes, I read lots of blogs and I specifically search things out. Most of the blogs I read get a lot of PR samples so I can see stuff weeks to months before it comes out. I only buy stuff I can return and from trusted brands unresearched. The last product this happened with was Sunday Riley Tidal. There was minimal information out before it was released and I bought it ASAP. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made skincare wise.

I always, always check Temptalia first. There’s not a lot of blogs out there that give in-depth reviews, but another fav of mine is A Model Recommends written by Ruth Krilly. She’s usually on point. Then I’ll look for color swatches. I almost never go by reviews on a vendor’s site unless they are critical. Sephora has taken down a few of my one star reviews, so I don’t trust them anymore.

I read reviews here and other places and swatch in person (unless it’s an indie brand). If it’s a brand I haven’t purchased before and I don’t know whether or not it’s cruelty free, I confirm that before purchasing. I also try to make sure I don’t already have dupes and watch YouTube videos to see how the product is being used.

But other than checking the cruelty free status of brands I’m not sure about, I don’t always research as diligently as I should. This is something I’ve been working on lately, because I’m at the point where I need to watch my money and also have enough eyeshadow to last until the day I die and enough of everything else to last a good while as well. I don’t need another 400 dupes either, so anything I purchase anytime soon will have to be pretty unique.

I have a system of – If I already own the brand and it’s just a new color or new item. most likely I will buy it cause I want it without doing any research on it.

For items I’ve never tried, I am the person who will stand in an isle or store and google reviews on the product. when viewing reviews I usually always look for the negative because the positives are most likely all the same which is good but the negatives tell me the issues like those with sensitive skin; if I see more than three saying they’ve broken out from the product – that’s it, I don’t get it.

I rarely watch youtube reviews mainly because I dislike the long time it takes for them to begin talking about the product. I prefer reviews that start with the product within the first minute and a half otherwise I FF to the swatches and I usually never have the volume up. I am super picky with video reviews, I’d rather just read – it’s faster. so once I do that and see the swatches on diff skin tones I decide if it may work for me, especially stuff that I can’t return.

Otherwise I come here and see what you got listed and check a few other blogs I like but 7 out of 10 times, I buy first and decide later. The ingredients is never really a factor to be because I usually by the same brands or brands that i know have great ingredients. What I will do though is look up certain businesses customer service experience and if I see negative reviews of their customer service (not the product) I will never buy from them. There are three very popular brands from now “IG famous” women whose products I will never buy because their business practices are crappy. You gotta have a good product AND good customer service for my money.

I come to Temptalia first for the review and swatches. If it’s favorable then I go to youtube and see if Pixiwoo, Karimma McKimmie or Wayne Goss has anything to say about it, and then I will search for more images/swatches online. If it’s LE from Guerlain Holiday or Tom Ford, the FOMO is usually too strong and I go ahead and buy and cross my fingers.

If I get a notification of something coming out or available for pre-buy, I check here first to see if you’ve reviewed. If it isn’t here I do a general search to get an idea of what it looks like on people with my skintone and see if they have any positive or negative input. Sometimes it’s an impulse buy that works out. A lot of stuff I get interested in has been out a while so I get your (Temptalia) review and the review of the other peeps in the comment section.

Mostly you for really new products to even get a sense of shade and texture. Partly because I was getting tired of throwing money at all this LE nonsense. If i really like product that last thing i need is not being able to repurchase it. lol

Online swatches, I need to get a sense of that the shades look like on different skin tones. For me I need to find out if that have a suitable undertone in face products…. I’ve bought way too much skin products that just do not work for me with olive skin tone….. even with lightening the shade with white most turn pink or peachy….

For skin products, I look out if they have SPF…. I don’t care how much hype there is, if it has a chemical sunblock in it, I’m not subjecting my skin to that stuff ever again…. hives are brutal when they take over 2 weeks to clear up. >_<

Ha! For me I love the look see of it. I usually go by product name brands and then look at all that’s offered. Some brands I go directly to because of their greatness on me. Tried and true makes me a believer in you!

I never order a new Mac lipstick shade online without checking your lipstick swatches first, the ones on the MAC website are way off.

I visit Temptalia first and put in a search for the product I am interested in. If it is there, I base a lot on the information provided. If not, I read reviews on the different sites that sell the particular item. Sometimes I buy because it’s shiny and pretty! I saw a shiny product in a seashell – shaped package and just loved it from the packaging alone. I haven’t purchased it yet but I’m thinking about it.

I Look if there is a Review from TEMPTALIA First !!!!
If not I Look for other reviews.
In General I mainly Look for pictures.
Sometimes you Tube Videos When I want to know how others apply a product (mostly Foundation Videos, I apply my Foundation with my Fingers but this does not work for every Foundation then I Look which brush is mostly used or if a sponge is better), and there Are a lot of very very pale youtubers and it is helpful When they try out the lightest shade of a new Foundation (by the way I bought a clinique Foundation in the shade 0,5 !!! And it is too Dark and too Yellow????? Really dissapointed because the Foundation is really good)
Also like youtube Videos with lip products, When they apply maybe 20 shades of one product in Front of the Camera

I rely on Temptalia and a couple of beauty gurus. Especially if there are conflicting reviews. I love pretty packaging and colors so it saves me a lot of money and time when I get accurate reviews.

Usually, I look first on Makeup Alley then I look up the item on the Brand website then I will watch a YouTube video or two and if all arrows point to the same conclusion I will buy. I use this website as a swatch encyclopedia.

I like to read reviews as much as possible the more the better. I like to see swatches and see it on someone to see what it will look like. That is why I really love your reviews you give in depth reviews which helps everyone find out if they really want to invest before making that purchase. I also like to see limited edition reviews as soon as possible so I may make the purchase before it sells out. I love to see reviews on limited editions sometimes before the items are released to the public.

I generally know if I will buy something or not, regardless of the reviews, unless reviews are universally garbage. I always read Temptalia and watch Tarababyz (YouTube). I read the Beautipedia reviews if there is one available, however, I trust thier info on ingredients but not really on performance. I have nothing but respect for Paula and her team but too many times I disagree with the reviews on performance. I pretty much trust reviews by Christine and Tara and that’s it!

It depends on what beauty product I am buying.
If it is eye shadow palettes, which I tend to buy online, sight unseen, then I really rely on your review Christine and the ratings. Positive ratings and review suggest the product is worth buying if I love it.
For foundations, lipsticks and mascaras – I check out the general reviews online, but then try for myself.
All I can say is that the internet is a fantastic thing….

I look for reviews here, on Temptalia, first. Sometimes I have to look elsewhere if a particular product hasn’t been reviewed here. In that case, I try to find reviews from several other sources. I also watch reviews by Tara (tarababyz) on YouTube to see swatches and performance on someone who also has drier skin with pink undertones.

If I want to purchase products just because they look appealing and not because I need them, I watch Kimberly Clark. That helps me focus on dupes I already have in my collection. =)

I buy mostly online, so research is important. I read/watch lots of reviews online and look at swatches from bloggers/vloggers that I trust. Like many others here, Temptalia is #1 on my list. I try to find swatches on someone with a skin tone similar to mine. I also look for reviews from people with oily skin, for both skincare and makeup. I research who will carry the item and when, and who will have the best deal/incentive/coupons/ebates return. I try to find out if the product has a fragrance, how strong it is, and what scent it is.

If an item is LE and looks like it’ll be hot, I try to get as much info as I can ahead of time. Sometimes I just have to take a leap of faith.

Of course since I’m a devoted Temptalian I check here first! lol .Then I check other reviews. If possible I’ll check out in store or magazines .

When I started to get real interest in makeup, I used to spend a lot of time watching youtuber’s reviews but as long as my stash and my experience had grown, I developed a kind of uncomfortable feeling that a lot of this beauty gurus (not ALL of them, but a lot!) are selling more than reviewing products, sometimes even if they specifically say the video is not sponsored. So I no longer trust much in them. Lately I just check your reviews because I know you are always sincere and fair with your opinions. Oh and sometimes I check makeup alley, because you can read a lot of average people impressions there.

i always read lots of reviews. they have helped me tremendously in the past. i also try to muse samples if they are available.

Well, Temptalia is one of my main research tools! I trust your judgement Christine. ?

However, if something has really caught my eye then, even if it’s had a mediocre review, I’ll go check it out in person. I’m a big believer in try before you buy! I’m not averse to asking to try anything on, especially base products such as foundation, powder etc. as my oily skin isn’t compatible with the majority of them. I need to see how they look on my skin and how they wear.

Another tip – don’t always believe what the MUA says. If it doesn’t look or feel right to you then don’t feel pressured into buying anything. That sounds obvious but I know that when I first got into makeup I put way too much trust in the person serving me and didn’t go with my gut instinct. I suppose this has nothing to do with research but if you go to a counter armed with some research then you’ll be more confident and less likely to purchase a product that won’t work for you, I think.

If a product has had a really bad review then I may just skip it altogether, but that’s usually only if I wasn’t that interested anyway.

So yeah, in conclusion, there’s nothing to beat trying the product yourself before buying anything. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for samples before purchasing! I’m the sample queen – if you don’t ask you don’t get. ?

I check here. I might look at swatches on other sites, but I think Christine’s reviews are the best and most honest.

I am a research fanatic when it comes to the new and latest in makeup. I like to read magazines as well as read reviews and see previews online for the products I like to try. Also, when a particular product I’m interested in comes out in stores, I always do a pre-shop and test it to see if I like. If I like the product, it’s an automatic “go” or an seal of approval it’ll work for me. If it doesn’t, then it fails the test in my eyes.

I come HERE first! This site is both a blessing and a curse!!! A blessing because it is the BEST source of objective information anywhere. True story – I was in the Sephora store at Columbus Circle looking to see if they had the new Buxom shadows yet (they didn’t) and the sales assistant approached me to help. She said they heard there were new shades coming but hadn’t seen them yet. I told her I’d seen them at a beauty blog and she was interested to know which one as she wants to see them too. She’d never heard of this site (honestly, this surprised me since makeup is her “business”), so I gave her the name of the site, talked it up a LOT for how great and objective it is, etc. and she wrote the name down on her note pad (at my urging!).

The “curse” side of Temptalia: I’d never have even known about half the stuff I’ve purchased over the last 6 or 8 years had it not been for coming here. I’d be thousands of dollars richer!

I literally only check that its cruelty free… I normally only buy makeup that I really want and have for a while, and that normally is things that ive seen reveiws of or people hype over online.

I research the reviews on various websites. I read all the reviews, the good and the bad. I separate the reviews by the same age as I am. Reading the reviews you can see sometimes what the other person might be doing differently than you would do. I then go to the actual makeup website and read all of the boasting claims. I weight my decisions that way.

None. I see. I want. I buy. If I see it in a magazine or online, then: I see. I want. I hunt. I buy. I’m willing to take a risk (there’s always another paycheck coming in 13 days or less), and I have a pretty good idea what colors are going to work for me.

I always check Temptalia before buying high end products because I know if it has an A grade, it’s bound to be amazing! For drugstore I mostly just Google reviews 🙂

I check Temptalia and Beautezine. Jessica is also usually spot on like Christine.
Difficult for me as I am from a Portugal and we don’t get a lot of products that you on the U.S. do.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!