As much as I believe variety is the spice of the life–and one of the many reasons I’m obsessed with makeup and skincare products–it’s also the reason many of us throw away money on products that aren’t right for our skin type, skin tone or beauty needs. Reliable product reviews and solid information are the driving forces behind why we choose certain products and not others, which is why MakeupAlley isn’t just a blessing–it’s an essential resource for every beauty lover.
Never heard of MakeupAlley? Since it started back in 1999, it has expanded to include more than 2.5 million reviews of beauty and skincare products that are posted by everyday consumers and beauty aficionados. Becoming a member is dead simple. Just go to MakeupAlley and click on the word “join” at the top-right corner. Plug in your email address and wait a few seconds for an email to arrive in your inbox with a link and instructions on how to become a member (for free!). In addition to providing details about your age and location, you’ll answer questions about your hair color, eye color , skin type and skin tone–pertinent information that will help others should you decide to post reviews about specific skincare or makeup products. Lastly, you can opt to receive their weekly newsletters, which are chock-full of exciting updates about makeup launches and new product reviews.
Once you’re in, don’t be surprised if you find your obsessively logging on throughout the day. Here’s why:
1. The Reviews. Product reviews are a dime a dozen on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean all review sites are created equal. The sheer number of reviews on MakeupAlley is impressive–a search for Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation yields 1,122 reviews–and they are helpful to both consumers who have the time to read what others have to say and those who are in a rush and need quick facts. I personally love the way “package quality” receives its own review rating (because it’s an important factor that is often overlooked) and that MakeupAlley lets you know upfront what percentage of customers plan to re-purchase a product.
2. The Search Options. Not only can you search for products based on hyper specific categories like “eye primer” and “neck/decollete cream” (and, trust me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you can then narrow down your search even more by choosing only those products that a certain percentage of people would purchase again, that feature a specific number of reviews or ratings or by selecting “cruelty free.” Once you’ve decided on a product that you want to learn more about, you can then sort by most helpful reviews, ratings and dates. You can also filter reviews according to the skin type/hair color/eye color or the age of the reviewer to make sure the product is right for your needs. Just by doing this, I was able to discern that a certain bright aqua eyeshadow that looks stunning in the package would do nothing to enhance my hazel eyes. Thank you, MakeupAlley!
3. The Message Board. In addition to crazy thorough product reviews, the site also features an active message board chock full of more general beauty and makeup tips. The topics on the MakeupAlley message board range from how heavy eyeliner looks on hooded eyes to specific questions about Sephora.
4. The App. MakeupAlley’s app for iOS, Android and Windows devices boasts a barcode scanner so you can get instant reviews of a product while shopping at Ulta, Sephora or your local drugstore.
5. The Favorites. Because MakeupAlley is owned and operated by beauty experts, it’s also super easy to cut right to the chase and discover which products are overall “favorites” among consumers. This is great for staying ahead of trends and snatching up products that are on the verge of selling out.
For more beauty tips, check out the right way to shower and the 8 items every woman should have in her makeup bag.