Score Card

When I made the decision to start a beauty blog a couple months ago, I knew I wanted to review products. I’m all about balance so I needed a review system that worked for all my makeup products. I built a 25-point system in Excel (I really am a corporate desk jockey – spreadsheets are life) that allows me to catalog each product.

Each product has their page. The header of each product page has room for the product name, the regular retail price, the size, a bit of match wizardry that tells me how much it costs per ounce, the particular shade I trialed, where I bought it, the SPF rating, the shade range, and a product description with a citation from wherever I got the description. These things are nice to catalog as I get new product so that when I get to the scoring and review stages a few weeks later, I don’t have to struggle to remember where I got it and whatnot. I try to notate if the product is limited edition or discontinued in the description box too.

Below that is the meat and potatoes of the product. It is broken down into 6 categories.

  • Cost Factors is all about getting more bang for my buck. There are 2 parts to Cost Factors. This section is worth up to 3 points.
    1. If the product was on sale (or I got it for free for some reason) when I bought it, it gets 1 point. If it wasn’t on sale, it gets 0 points.
    2. If the product got me some kind of club points (at Ulta.com, Sephora.com, and on a few specific retailer websites) that I can use for free/discounted products at a later date, it gets 2 points. If it could have earned points at a retailer, even if I didn’t buy it there to get the points, it still gets 1 point. If there are no points associated with the product that I know of, it gets 0 points.
  • Application is a haphazard section of 4 parts. It is worth up to 5 points.
    1. If the product has little or no smell, it gets 2 points. If it has a smell but goes away shortly after application, it gets 1 point. If it has a smell that just doesn’t go away, it gets 0 points.
    2. If the texture feels smooth and/or easy to use, it gets 1 point. If it is chalky, flakes when not intended, or feels difficult to work with, it gets 0 points.
    3. If the product’s applicator is usable, it gets 1 point. If it is not usable, the applicator gets thrown away and the product gets 0 points.
      1. I’m iffy on this part. A lot of products don’t come with applicators. For now, if there is no applicator, the product gets a gimmy point.
    4. If the product applies well with basic effort, it gets 1 point. If it takes a lot of work to make it show up or work, it gets 0 points.
  • Wear is the most important factor for my makeup. This section is split up into 3 parts and is worth up to 6 points.
    1. If the makeup lasts at least 8 hours, it gets 1 point. If it lasts at least 10 hours, it gets 2 points. If it lasts 12 or more hours, it gets 3 points. If it doesn’t last at least 8 hours, it gets 0 points.
      • I make an exception for products that give a specific time length for wear that is not “long lasting wear” promises. Some lipsticks say “4-hour wear” or similar. I adjust the scale to fit the promised wear time of the brand.
      • I work long days and need makeup with staying powder. This is the most important thing I factor into makeup.
    2. If the product has transfer, fallout, color fade, etc., I give it 0 points. If it didn’t have these things, I give it 2 points.
      • I make allowances for powder products for fallout to be fair.
    3. If the product lived up to its advertised description, excluding wear time, I give it 1 point. If it does not live up to the description, it gets 0 points.
      • So if something says it is matte but it never dries down to a matte finish, it doesn’t get a point here.
  • Color is a one-off section worth up to 3 points.
    1. If I can find the right shade for me, the product gets 2 points. If I can mix 2 of that product’s shades together to get the right shade for me, it gets 1 point. If I still can’t get a color match, the product gets 0 points. While I go out of my way to find my color in a product, a brand that makes effort to reach out to more than 3 shades of basic white girl is always favorable in my book. So if the product can match to more than a few skin tones, I give it 3 points, even if I couldn’t find my own color match.
      • Simply because diversity is cool and I respect it.
  • I kind of struggled in the look section. The wording isn’t quite right yet. I want a section that talks about how the product looks in photos. Of course, that has as much to do with application and product combinations as the product itself. When I go to Version 2, this section will be the first I rework. This section is worth a max of 3 points.
    1. If the product looks good in flash photography, I give it 1 point. If it doesn’t look good in flash photography, it gets 0 points.
    2. If the product looks good in photos without flash, I give it 1 point. If it doesn’t look good without flash, I give it 0 points.
    3. If the product looks good in natural light photography, I give it 1 point. If it doesn’t look good in natural light photos, I give it 0 points.
  • The last section is the “bonus” section only because I don’t have a real name for it yet. It is in 3 parts and worth a maximum of 5 points so it is fairly important. I need to get this part hammered down. For Version 1, it is bonus.
    1. If someone complements me on my makeup while wearing the product, I give the product 1 point. If someone complements the product specifically, I give it 2 points. If no one says anything about my makeup while wearing the product, I give it 0 points.
      • I am a compliment hound. I want people to notice my bold lip or my eyeshadow blend dangit.
    2. If the product is made without harmful chemicals, strong fragrances, sketchy color additives, parabends, phthalates, etc., I give it 1 point. If it is made with that crappy stuff, it gets 0 points and I watch my skin much more closely for skin irritations.
      • If it claims it doesn’t have those things then I read on the ingredients list that it does have those things, I tend to view it much more harshly and will very likely point out the false advertising.
    3. If the product is cruelty-free, it gets 2 points. If it isn’t cruelty-free, it gets 0 points.
      • I don’t require my makeup to be vegan but I don’t want it to be tested on animals. I’m even leery of real animal hair makeup brushes and stuff. That is sketchy as hell. :/
      • I have makeup that isn’t cruelty-free but once I know the brand isn’t cruelty-free, I am much less likely to buy further product from them. I absolutely love L’Oreal and Maybelline eye products. But now that I know they aren’t cruelty-free, I don’t know if I can buy from them again. It is a moral dilemma that I never though a simple score card could bring about.
      • I make a distinction between brands and their parent companies. Too Faced is committed to being cruelty-free but they were recently bought by Estee Lauder or some other megabrand that is not cruelty-free. I don’t really remember which one. So long as the products I’m using isn’t being rubbed in some bunny’s eyeballs, I am going to remain loyal to the brand despite another company getting some of my coins.

All of these sections total to 25 points. I keep a filterable main sheet at the beginning of the Score Card so that I can put things in order by score, or just look at mascaras, or compare the price per ounce for all the foundations, and so on. It makes for a very handy chart.

I have scored 90 products to date. My highest score is 23. My lowest is a 6 and that product is very snugly in my box of shame now.

Does this come across clearly? Do you have suggestions that I could use when I go to Version 2? Hit me in the comments!

Now that the Score Card has been explained, I can finally get to some reviews. I will have a few up near the end of the week and a few more scheduled for next week. See ya Puffins!

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One thought on “Score Card

  1. Pingback: Score Card Part 2 | Stuff in a Powder Puff

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