How do I know if I’ll like a beauty product?

With so many product options and convincing opinions, deciding which beauty products to try out is no easy task. The reality is you won’t truly know if you like a beauty product until you try it. However, we’re proposing an approach to make buying cosmetics a more thoughtful task. Treat your beauty decisions like your food decisions: it’s all about personal preference.

1. Judge a brand by its beauty copywriting

Like food, it can sometimes be fair to judge a product by its words. If a restaurant describes its food as delicious, it’s a pointless claim – of course they think it’s delicious. If a brand describes its own beauty product as amazing without really showing you why, think twice.

If a restaurant seems appealing and its communication is enticing, you’ll feel confident about making a booking. Likewise, if you enjoy a beauty brand’s communication and overall purpose, you’ll have positive feelings about purchasing their products. But keep in mind that clever copywriting is just that. It makes you feel confident in your decision before you even have the experience.

2. Consider texture, purpose, and sensory details

If you enjoy fries but not foie gras, you can use that information to make future food choices – and not order something with the offending texture, taste, or production method. Apply this approach to beauty by thinking about what you like to use and why. When you come across a new beauty product, spend some time thinking about what features appeal to you. Are you feeling wooed by pretty packaging or fantastic claims, or is there something in the formula or format that’s genuinely beneficial to you?

Choose products to suit your personal taste, rather than forcing yourself to like something you wouldn’t normally gravitate towards. It’s not a loss if a ‘dream product’ doesn’t suit you. There’ll always be another ‘dream product’ you just haven’t found yet.

3. Pay attention to past wins and fails

Anyone with a food allergy knows to steer clear of ingredients that trigger a bad reaction. Similarly, it’s important to be mindful of past beauty experiences that didn’t work in your favour. Many people have allergies, intolerances, or general dislikes of some ingredients, textures, or product formats.

You don’t need to completely cut out certain foods based on fad diets or the opinions of generously-paid influencers. And you certainly don’t need to avoid beauty products because of speculative and unfounded health fears (read more about that here). However, if you find some products just don’t suit your needs, use that knowledge for future purchases. For example, if you find water-based foundations aren’t compatible with your skin, water-based primers mightn’t be either.

4. Weigh up effort versus reward

Think about how much effort is involved for you to try this new thing. Would you venture far to a specific restaurant or cook for hours to eat something new? In the case of beauty, would you need to change your daily routine to accommodate this new beauty product? Can you commit to using it enough to justify buying it?

With food and beauty, expectations management is closely aligned with effort versus reward. In many cases, particularly with maintenance-style beauty products such as skincare and haircare, if you can’t commit to using it you aren’t likely to see noticeable results.

Amy Hadley

Amy Hadley is a beauty copywriter with a background in print journalism, digital media, public relations, and eCommerce. As someone contributing to the beauty industry, she encourages her clients to use words creatively, sincerely, and responsibly. This is to promote more honest and thoughtful communication in the beauty industry, and better serve its consumers.

Continue Reading