I almost never buy a beauty product impulsively. I am obsessed with finding a million different opinions, ingredient lists, etc.etc. especially when it comes to skincare. Ingredients like mineral oil and shea butter can affect my acne, and parabens and alcohol really aren’t good for you or your skin. Plus, the main thing that every one wants to know before they drop some cash is if it actually works.

So, here is my methodology when deciding if a product is worth my money.

Check Caroline Hirons’s site
She is a go-to resource for everything skincare related. She has worked in the beauty industry for many years, and is not afraid to be totally honest about whether or not a product works and has good value. You might have to dig around a bit on her site to find her opinion, but a general search on Google of her name + the name of the product can usually turn something up. Also, be sure to sift through the comments.

General Blogger Reviews
After hitting up CH’s blog, I do a general Google search for other bloggers’ reviews. Try and be critical of the blog’s reviews–be critical of what they say and read the comments and any disclaimers in case they are influenced by free PR samples.

Blogs I trust: A Model Recommends, Liana Beauty, Gh0stparties, Nouvelle Daily, Vivianna Does Makeup

Sephora, Beauty Bag, Look Fantastic, Cult Beauty Reviews
Reading the comments on these retail sites are actually a wealth of information. Since they are not the official beauty brands’ website, people are pretty candid about their opinions on products.

Paula’s Choice
Paula is great, but sometimes you really need to take her opinions with a grain of salt. She has a wonderful searchable database of tons of products, but I find (in my opinion) that she can sound a bit dramatic and overeactive in terms of ingredients. Now–she is totally right about some things, but I find that when it comes to essential oils or fragrances she is quite against them, proclaiming that they will severely irritate the skin,when in fact, they might not. So yes, use her as a resource, but also check around for a few other opinions.

Read through the ingredients before buying–sometimes you need to do a bit of digging before they will turn up, but for the most part, you can always find them. Educate yourself! If there is something listed and you don’t know what it is, look it up! You can also find lists of products to avoid all over the internet.

Avoid products with:

  • Mineral Oil
  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Shea butter if you have acne-prone skin
  • Essential oils if you have very sensitive skin

Try it out
Beauty retailers make it quite easy to try out products nowadays. If there is something you want to try, but are afraid it won’t look good on you, might react with your skin, whatever, hit up a drugstore, Sephora or department store, and try it out, and even ask for a sample! Sephora almost never denies me when I ask for a sample. Many brand’s websites will even offer a selection of samples when purchasing other products–Kiehl’s especially is very generous, both online and very much so in-store.

Gift with purchases are also a great way to try out something new, check around–you might have one already, or someone you know might! Or–if you know of a friend who owns the product you are hemming and hawwing about, ask if you can try it! You never know.

Are there any blogs that you read regularly for trusted reviews? Where do you check for opinions before buying a product?

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