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Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Thoughts on Beauty Product Reviews

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a good start. I apologize for the lack of posts. I blame my job for that, hehe. Whenever I disappear for a few days, it's because I've been working hard and late, which causes tiredness and lack of motivation to blog. I have a huge collective haul coming up so stay tuned. I'll probably post it either tonight or tomorrow. Anyways, I've been wanting to do this post for a while and it's really about time I get to it. This is just an informative post so if you are not interested, feel free to skip this post because it's a long one.

Many of us rely on reviews before purchasing certain products, especially if the product cannot be tested before the purchase, such as products not available in stores, sealed drugstore products, and expensive products. But how many of you have been disappointed at a product you purchased because it had a high rating? I know it has happened to me a few times.

Things to keep in mind
  1. First and foremost, a review is very subjective. A person generally writes a review based on their experience and expectation. Individuals will often have different opinions because their experience and expectation are not always going to be the same. In that sense, what works for them may not work for you. I find that reviewers who had a greater exposure to a broader variety of products, both high-end and drugstores, give a more valid review because they know what to expect.
  2. When reading reviews, look out for "relevant" pros and cons. The reason why I say "relevant" is because I've seen reviews with pros and cons (but mostly cons) that are irrelevant to what the product was intended for. If you are a beauty blogger, irrelevant opinions about a product can hurt your credibility. Credibility is important if you want to keep your reader's attention. For instance, if you are reviewing an eyeliner, mainly test it on your eyes and not just your hand. If your eyeliner doesn't claim to be waterproof, don't expect it to stay put after you have gone swimming.
  3. Beware of paid or sponsored reviews because they will most likely only outline the pros and leave you to find out the cons. Even though a product may sound great, you just never know until you try.
  4. We all want to see pictures, preferably quality pictures that is true to color. Every camera is different and every computer monitor is different. Capturing a great photo is not easy to do and is a science in itself. Often times, the true color and texture of a product is not reflected in pictures. If you are passionate about blogging, investing on a good camera and learning how to use it effectively can make a huge difference in how other sees your blog.
My Pet Peeves
  1. One thing that annoys me about reviews is when the reviewer hasn't allowed herself enough time to use the product before doing an "official" review. I consider an official review when everything is laid out...description of product, pricing, pros and cons, and especially rating and recommendation. Allowing yourself enough time to use a product before doing an official review will make the review more accurate and valid. It takes some time to notice and see how a product reacts to the elements. If you don't give yourself enough time, you run the chance of giving a poor review to your followers and readers. For instance, I believe that if you are going to review skincare, give yourself at least 3 weeks. For face makeup (foundation, powder, primer, blush, bronzer), allow yourself at least a week. For hair products, 1 week to a few months, depending on what it is intended for. For makeup like eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeliners, give yourself at least 3 days of consecutive use. For tools, like brushes, allow yourself at least a month.
  2. As much as I like to have the specification about a product, sometimes I come across reviews that are extremely and unnecessarily long. This isn't really a pet peeve but something I wanted to put in perspective. When a review becomes extremely long, I skim through most of it and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is guilty of it. Because of that, I try to keep my reviews concise and to the point. Keep in mind that as a blogger, writing a review in itself is already time consuming. I don't like to waste time typing stuff that people can't be bothered to read...but maybe that's just me that feels this way. I'm not saying that writing a long review is bad but can be distracting in terms of making your point across. It may not bother you as the blogger but also try to see it from your reader's stand point.
  3. Raving or bashing a product that doesn't deserve it. It goes back to what I said earlier about "relevant" content. I think the most annoying of all is hyped up and overrated products. I agree that some are great but not unique and overpriced. Some of these reviews make it sound like it's indispensable, thus making the rest of the world want it because it's claimed to be "amazing". As a consumer, I hate to spend more than I have to on a product that can be easily duped for a fraction of the cost.
  4. Speaking of cost, I often find a discrepancy between the value and the cost of a product and some people don't put that in consideration. Before I make a recommendation, I weight out the value and the cost of the product. You either didn't get your money's worth, got what you pay for, or got more than what you expected. I try to aim for the latter two. For example, if a product has a couple cons but the pros out weight the cons, and the price is reasonable, I would recommended it. I have higher expectation when it comes to more expensive products. Heck, if I'm going to shed extra bucks for it, it better work for me and not having me work for it. With that said, I think that on the other hand, it is also not reasonable to expect a lot from a product that didn't cost you much, unless it's completely useless that I can understand. But if it is workable and not expensive, I consider you got what you paid for and it deserves a reasonable rating.
  5. In some cases, you will find mixed reviews about a product and that can be because it reacts differently on different skin type. One thing that I find annoying is when it's consumer error. Certain products are meant to be used in specific ways and if you are not following the instructions and how it is supposed to be used, you may run into the chance of having a bad reaction or result. Thus leading you to write a bad review. Before you bash a product, make sure you have used it properly.
I can't think of anything else to say but if you disagree with what I wrote or have anything to add, please feel free to voice your thoughts as well. The purpose to this post is to help others.


  1. I'm so glad to see you back posting again, Pang :) That said, this was a really great post with which I whole-heartedly agree. I share some of the pet peeves you have. I think a lot of people who read reviews tend to jump too quickly to the conclusion that just because this product receives such a high rating from the user doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work for them personally. People forget that we're all different, and when one product genuinely works for someone, it may not be the case for someone else. I've stated that so many times in my blogs, and I feel like that should obviously go without saying now. With that being said, I try to include as much information about myself such as my skin type, etc. to let people know, and I try to think outside the box a little bit by touching on different concerns different readers may have on the product. I'm the type of person who relies fairly heavily on reviews before I finally decide to buy something, but I read several different ones by different people, and also do my own research, in order to make sure that I'm really getting a good, unbiased sense of the product and its qualities.

  2. Girl, you TOTALLY hit point on many of the pet peeves that I have. I hate it when some people do a review on products they just received! And they call it a review! As for sponsored stuff, I'm seeing that a lot with Sigma. I bought into the Sigma hype and purchased a few brushes. They're okay, but when I go professional, I won't be using the majority, if any, of their brushes because they shed like crazy and don't keep their shape.

  3. Huda, yes definitely agree that it's necessary to do your own research and read a few reviews before you can decide for yourself if it's worth a try. We are so different in terms of personal preference and expectation but still nice to know what other people think before buying., I totally fell for the Sigma brushes gimmicks too. So many people raved about them making it sound like I must be insane not to get any. I find a lot of hits and misses with Sigma brushes. They are not ALL that, just some.

  4. Hear, hear! I agree with all your pet peeves, plus I also hate when people haul a product, hype it up to the extreme before even using it on their faces, and then you never hear about the said product again. Ugh! x

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