Sunday, 19 February 2017

DISCUSSION | THE LEGITIMACY OF FINGER SWATCHING


It's Sunday and I wanted to have a little discussion with you all because I am actually dying to know what you think of this. Not too long ago Kevin James, a well-known celebrity makeup artist, posted on Instagram (see above) discussing the legitimacy of finger swatching. I know, as of late, many big name influencers and even bloggers have come under fire for "selling out". In other words, promoting products that don't live up to the claims because they are paid to or affiliated with them. I don't know if this is true but the constant speculation is getting tiresome. There's just no trust anymore. I would say if you harbour any doubt unsubscribe, but at the same time we are not mindless consumers. We are all capable of making our own decision to buy or pass on a product based on the information available, I don't think anyone should hold up one source as their sole guide. I posted his caption below so you can see his valid argument. He does call out "influencers" in particular, which makes me think he is specifically directing this comment at the YouTube community. I do understand what Kevin is saying. I have seen countless videos where the YouTuber literally swirls their finger in a product for a minute straight and then waxes poetic on how creamy and pigmented it is. Bullshit. We all know because for that one YouTuber there are a thousand, that will tell you the truth, albeit with a smaller following.


I have to say I did have an initial defensive reaction to this because I always take finger swatches of eyeshadow palettes and other powder products, even foundations actually and I categorically do not feel like I am lying to my readers at all. I admit it is not the same as a brush swatch, but you can definitely tell the difference between a good and bad shadow from a finger swatch as long as they are all produced in the same way. To explain, the reason I do finger swatches is because they are easier for me. Truly, I think my finger swatches are honest and sufficient. I don't use primer, I touch the product once with my fingertip and swipe it once on the inside of my arm or the back of my hand. I do know there are bloggers out there that build up swatches because they just look better in photos and good images draw more traffic to your site. Fact. But let's be honest my photos aren't winning any prizes so the very least I can do is be honest with you. Many, if not all, will still share their opinion in their post and say that they had to build up the product and they wouldn't buy it again etc. 

Honestly, all I want is for everyone to be honest. The power imbalance is what gets to me the most, it is skewed towards the influencer and brand. It makes me weary because although we all make our own minds up in the end, a lot of them have a young, impressionable following. It's not fair that their money gets caught in the crossfire (or mine for that matter) to line the pockets of people that don't give a damn and by that I mean both the brands and influencers. Makeup and new products used to be so much fun and now every release is received with righteous skepticism. Collaborations make me sick to my stomach and every time a cosmetics company takes a plane full of YouTubers to Bora Bora I feel like I have been robbed. We're customers, we're not paying for your holidays or your shipping fees when you send every available product to big names and then post half-ass apologies when your paying customers don't receive theirs or you sell out in "three minutes". 

Wow, sorry, no idea where that came from. So what do you think about this finger swatching malarkey as both a reader and a blogger as long as I trust the content creator I couldn't care less. I appreciate channels like Stephanie Nicole because I think she understands the level of distrust because she feels it herself and that's why she takes her channel so seriously and I love it. She has earned my respect and admiration and I think she is a cut above the rest. Please let me know what you think in the comments, apologies for my mini rant. I love you all, thank you so much for putting up with my shit. I have been ill for the past four days and feel awful, sorry for being so absent. I hope you all had a great weekend. Thank you for reading, it means so much to me. Take care. 

How do you feel about the legitimacy of finger swatching?

Love 
Kiran

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78 comments

  1. I was about to say that I love Stephanie Nicole for her honest reviews, but you beat me to it, heh! I love her channel because she shows both finger and brush swatches, so you get a better idea of how the product actually performs.

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  2. I know that finger swatches are not "the real thing", but, I mean, sometimes I apply my eyeshadow with my fingers too - if I want a super intense effect, especially if it's in the middle part of the eyelid or even the inner corner - so it's totally reliable. I think everybody knows that with the brush they're gonna be more faded, but you can build them, and I also think that your fingertip is sensible enough to understand the quality of a product. And I'm a newbie in this world, but I can totally tell the difference in quality between 2 different shades in a Too Faced palette ;) PS : last thing, I also think that the quality of the brush influences the brush swatch...

    http://thebluebride.com

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  3. I did talk about a bit of the influencers in my latest post, lol. I always finger swatch and then swipe it on my forearm. I will be honest and let my readers know whether there is a lot of pigmentation or not, which was hardly any with the Maybelline Smokes Palette. I hope you are recovering from being sick and get better!

    Hannah
    Floraful

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  4. I actually haven't thought much about finger swatching but I whole heartedly agree that everyone should be honest in their reviews! I love hearing about new beauty products from bloggers and instagrammers so I really appreciate when they go out of their way to be honest about the product!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

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  5. I never paied much attention to finger vs brush swatching, like you said either I trust someone or I don't. And as far as holidays etc. go, I am not as wary as you are. The people I trust will stay honest. The ones I don't trust, well, I don't care if they go on holiday or not.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. That's not my issue, I don't care whether they go on holiday or not either. My issue is with the BRAND. I think it's a liberty to use their profits to take influencers on a holiday so they'll talk about a product. I'm not a hypocrite, I would definitely go haha so I have no issue with any influencer (whether I like/trust them or not) who would take them up on that. I just feel like the brands that do this are shady. But tbh I don't know much about whether that money comes from they might have a different fund for it, just seems like a waste to me.

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  6. I hadnt even thought about this before! I do finger swatches for my blog too but it's mainly to show the colours, when I'm talking about how they perform its with a brush on my eyes but this makes sense!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I get what you mean! I always use products before reviewing them so I know how they perform on the eyes xxx

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  7. I use finger swatches on my blog, because I feel they look 10x better than brush swatches, but I understand they can apply differently, its a tough one!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  8. I haven't even hear about this before so thanks for the blog post about it, it was a really interesting read and made me think!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

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  9. Hmm interesting. I never even though about this before so it was definitely interesting!

    Enclothed Cognition

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  10. This post was so interesting to read, I've never thought about it like that! I use finger swatching all the time and I'll rarely use a brush to swatch! I don't think the way something is swatched and posted online is the issue, if anything the 'lying' would be the over edited pictures of swatching which I think is a massive problem especially with celebrity endorsements! x

    |Georgia Megan|

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  11. I think finger swatch is just to see the color or pigmentation, but it's true that it's not always real cuz they can grab LOT of makeup ♥

    www.heresometimes.com

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    Replies
    1. That is true, thank you for commenting x

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  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I had no idea that finger switching was a thing. I'm a fashion blogger so makeup isn't my forte. I just look for honesty and can feel it when I learning about a new product. I couldn't agree more that for every fake review there are over a 100 real ones!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  13. A very interesting but true blog post. I defo think there are bloggers that do bullshit just because they got something for free/get paid for it. and swatching isn't a good enough representation of the product.
    I guess you just gotta hope people do tell the truth and listen to more than one online influencer.

    LAURA ­| Laura Thinks About

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    1. Yeah, I think that is really important x

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  14. Interesting read! It's so important to build trust with your readers which is why I would never share a product I don't genuinely like.

    Jamie
    Treats and Trends

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    1. Absolutely, thank you for reading Jamie x

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  15. To be honest, I've never really thought about how products were swatched for videos or photos. Though I do see the point being made about finger swatching because it will skew the way the product is actually applied. I think by providing both you would be safe... personally I don't have enough makeup brushes to swatch every shade in an eye shadow palette without worrying that I was going to skew the colours by mixing them. Therefore I either use my fingers or a q-tip. A q-tip manages to pick up much more pigment though.

    I guess in the end we just have to hope that influencers are being honest with their reviews and opinions - not because of a paycheque or receiving something for free. Making a note in a review of how it was swatched would be good too!

    Great post, Kiran!

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

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  16. I am a fashion blogger that recently got into beauty so I am highly interested in this topic. I agree that finger watching is less time consuming for bloggers who want to show a visual representation but nor constantly rip off the eye makeup from the face. BUT if a product isn't great and you are advertising it as awesome, that is very problematic. Thank you for your insight, great post<3

    xo,
    I AM YASMIN

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  17. I think you can definitely tell which bloggers are being honest or not. When all or most of their posts are sponsored by a brand and they only have good things to say about it, you can kind of tell that you can't trust their reviews. The best bloggers/influencers have both positive and negative things to say!

    Camilla (Gracefulface.com)

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  18. This is an interesting post as I never really thought much about this!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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  19. I love how makeup is becoming more advanced with fun new ways to be creative :)http://www.bauchlefashion.com/2017/02/london-fashion-weeks-unique-shopping.html
    http://brandobeauty.uk/new-york-fashion-week-style-steal/

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  20. Finger swatches can tell if a shadow is bad or good and it really helps to see the color and feel the formula. Brush swatches depends on the type of the brush and many other factors. it is nice to see the difference between the two but finger swatch is a must for me.

    clairetalksbeauty.com

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same, also the type/quality of brush really does make a difference x

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  21. That is so true! I think it's ok if it's an eyeshadow that you can pack on the lids with the fingers (which is what I normally do, instead of using a brush). Although, it's very obvious when someone is trying to make a brand look good. They way they press their fingers against the pan and then the skin is pretty harsh sometimes haha.

    | www.noirettediary.com |

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  22. Interesting, I'd never thought about this before!

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour

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  23. I'm not really keen on the whole finger swatching idea because it doesn't really give an accurate representation of the product. I want to see how it looks on the eyelids, how it would work with makeup, and would much prefer a review that shows that.

    Lizzie Bee // hello lizzie bee

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    Replies
    1. Like a demo or even a tutorial? That's a really interesting point, I might try to incorporate this in future reviews, thank you for sharing your thoughts x

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  24. Interesting post, honestly, I never thought about this. It's all about trust and what content someone produces and whether they are reliable or not. I love when I see a post or a video that includes finger swatches since it helps me to see the quality of the product and if it is pigmented or not. And I always provide my swatches on my blog.

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

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  25. Interesting topic! I think it's difficult for people to be honest, especially those who have this as their full time job because at the end of the day, the only way they make money is by promoting things!! But it's good to talk about the fact that people should just be honest and work that way!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

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    1. I still think you can be honest without being negative, it is all about wording. You could just say this product doesn't work for my skin/look good on me but it would look so good on . . . you know? At the end of the day if you promote bad products you damage your brand and most revenue for YTers comes from advertising so the less people that watch their videos the less money they make. Thank you for commenting xxx

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  26. Really nice dear that will be a great fun :)
    Also check top rated coupons by Fivestarcoupon.com

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  27. Really interesting post, I never even really thought about this before. Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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  28. I definitely agree people should be honest! but unfortunately not everyone is x
    I think finger swatches are fine, a bad shadow won't swatch nicely regardless in my opinion xx

    Liz | LotsofLoveLiz

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  29. Thanks for highlighting this, such an interesting read!xx

    Lucy x | lucy-cole.co.uk

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    1. A pleasure, Lucy, thank you for reading x

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  30. Such an interesting topic. It was so nice going through the post. I feel finger swatches are needed..not everything in the market has incredible pigmentation to show up on skin just by using a brush, especially eye shadows. So to let readers know the exact color, finger swatches are necessary. I am absolutely fine with it.

    www.deckanddine.com

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    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion xxx

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  31. I definitely try to give accurate swatches by not building up and not swirling too long in the pan! If the swatches are on the arm or the hand, I think you can see how pigmented/blendable it is but I hate when influencers just show their fingertips covered in product. Very interesting post!

    Beauty From Katie

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  32. I've actually never heard of finger swatching before until your post. But this is very interesting. Do you ever go on GOMI blog? They have forums discussing about all kinds of bloggers. I could spend hours on there but they always call out bloggers selling out!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    1. No I haven't but thank you for sharing, I am all over it now haha xxx

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  33. I'm always slightly surprised/bemused that people look at swatches for the performance of a product - for me, it's just to see how the colours look and translate and I read the words/listen to the commentary for performance! I personally just swatch each shade on my arm in the same way then comment 'this shade was less opaque than the others', 'that colour seemed less smooth than the rest of the palette' or whatever! And if I think the colour or pigment doesn't translate then I say so in my review

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. I agree, I use swatches just to show the colour and then talk about the performance after, but I do think you can see the difference between a good and bad eyeshadow from a finger swatch. That's just my personal opinion though based on my own experience.

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  34. Great post, I really don't think swatching with your finger is a bad thing, it's just easier to do! Plus, you can see the pigmentation if just give it a quick swipe with your fingers.

    Cyber Mermaids | Alternative beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog

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  35. This was such an interesting read. That is a very good point finger swatches don't show you the true nature of the eye shadows. At best we apply maybe the lid shades with our things but you can't apply a transition shade or crease shade with your finger and it definitely works in a different manner with a brush. I especially find this with the color pop cream shadows - some of them swatch magnificently but what the swatch doesn't take into account once you use your finger to apply it most of it remains on your finger and doesn't go onto the eye lid as easy as the swatch did. That being said I am just so terrible at taking swatch photos. I never post them up because I'm not happy with how they turn out.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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  36. Such an interesting post, thanks for sharing babe!
    xo.
    Taylor
    www.itswhatsin.com

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  37. As long as a blogger/influenser is honest in her review, I don't care I will see finger swatches in her post or brush swatches. xx
    Nina
    Nina's Style Blog

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I do think most people feel this way, myself included. It is nice they went to the extra effort but trust really is what remains the deciding factor x

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  38. Great post.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_zn7IqrAY1I44bRuN6dH-Q

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  39. I think all swatches are important and comparing brush vs finger swatches is the best :)

    http://claresloves.blogspot.com/

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  40. Totally agree, when you swatch with your fingers it will always look pigmented . Irecently I recently saw several videos about the palette that nikki tutorials made in collaboration with another brand and there was this yotuber that actually swatched the palette with the fingers and brushes and then she compared both of her swatched with the pictures nikki posted on her social media. Totally different things!


    x,abril
    The Color Palette

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  41. I agree. I think finger swatching is just easier. I do finger swatches on my blog to show my readers the shades but I test out each shade on my eyes with a brush and sometimes even my fingers to get the full effect of how a whole palette works before I post an review on a palette :)


    Kayla
    Sheer Beauty Blog

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