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I tested some of Boots' lowest rated makeup to see if it was actually any use

So, just how accurate are user reviews?

DailyEdge.ie paid for all products mentioned in the below post.

HOW MUCH ATTENTION do you pay to reviews?

For me, it can make or break a purchase. I hang on the words of most of the influencers I follow. If I’ve heard a movie or TV show hasn’t gone down well among the majority, I probably won’t end up watching it.

Despite this, low rated products are having their own moment. YouTubers are mad to test out products that are seemingly absolutely shite for reviews, everything from makeup to clothes to hair products to electronics.

It’s the makeup ones that really tickle me though because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love watching someone massacre their face with sup-bar eyeshadow? And thus, this series was born.

This week, I tested out some of boots.ie’s lowest rated makeup products, including foundation, eyeshadow and mascara. 

Here’s a quick overview of what’s low-rated on the website.

Surprisingly, a lot of Boots’ more high-end offerings do not fare well. Lancome’s Teint Miracle Bare foundation has six 1 star reviews after the formula was seemingly changed.

Elsewhere, Dior’s DiorShow single eyeshadows have several 2 star reviews, while BareMineral’s BarePRO Longwear lipstick doesn’t seem to be as long-wearing as it claims.

“Lovely colour and texture but it doesn’t stay on. I think it lasts an hour at most,” one reviewer wrote. 

With that, I scoured the store for some of the ill-fated products so I could give them a whirl for myself.

First up – foundation. I went with the Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush foundation (€18.99).


Out of 33 reviews, this has an average score of just under two stars. Here’s a sample of what people had to say on it:

Biggest waste of money, genuinely could have saved myself some money buy throwing a bag of glitter in my face if that was the look I wanted (it wasn’t).”
Such an awful foundation. The coverage is minimal, it doesn’t blend well and it’s not buildable at all. After an hour or so of wear my skin is so oily and most of the foundation has broken up. Not to mention the awful glittery sheen it leaves. Waste of money.”

Hmmm. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to seemingly looking like Edward Cullen by the end of the day.

I decided to test this out by wearing it to the gym, to see if it broke up under extreme stress, as noted by some reviewers. Initially, I was skeptical about the colour (I have a neutral skintone and even the lightest shade had an extremely yellow undertone), but it actually matched reasonably well on the skin. 

Image from iOS (4) Here's what I looked like before putting any makeup on.

They weren’t messing about the glitter factor, I could see it pretty much any time my face caught the light. However, I actually found it quite subtle and pretty? 

Image from iOS (7)

Image from iOS (3) Up close shot of the foundation texture and appearance.

In terms of coverage, it’s not as full coverage as I usually like, though I did find it buildable to a point. The finish of it was nice on my skin – natural and fresh, but obvious enough that I was still wearing makeup. I actually got complimented on it in the gym too!

After an hour in the gym, I actually found that the foundation hadn’t broken apart much at all, despite having done a decent amount of sweating (sorry, I know.)

Next up, mascara. I went for the CYO All Cried Out All-In-One mascara (€8).


This got one 1 star review, which reads:

I only use waterproof mascara on my poker straight lashes. This claims to curl, volumise etc. It does for about 20 mins, but at least its not that gummy formula that is difficult to remove.”

When I posted this, I had a couple of messages in from people who are big fans of this brand’s mascaras, with Jen Morris of TooDollyMakeup rating this one in particular. 

First things first – I wasn’t crazy about the brush design. The wand itself is very stiff meaning there isn’t a lot of give or movement with it. There’s a definite knack to the half comb/brush spoolie. I mastered it on one eye and it looked really nice. However, the other left a lot to be desired. Maybe practice makes perfect?

Here's "the good eye".

Here's "the bad eye".

As for the product itself, I found my lashes were well separated and lengthy-looking with minimal clumping. I’d debate the ‘all-in-one’ claim simply because I didn’t find it particularly volumising. However, I was, once again, complimented on it via my Insta story (thanks hun!).

After my sweaty sesh, there was minimal marking from the mascara. Despite it supposedly being waterproof though, it did not survive a shower. R.I.P.

Image from iOS Under no circumstances do I recommend wearing your mascara into the shower, unless it is for the purpose of fact-checking its waterproof-ness.

Next up, it’s eyeshadow time – here’s the Bourjois Le Smoky Eyeshadow palette (€15.99).


Out of four reviews, this got two 2 star recommendations and two 1 star recommendations. So yeah, not great.

“I thought I was going to love this,” one review reads. “The colours looked so interesting… However when applied they just look black and the coloured sparkle disappears. The palette’s mirror is probably its best feature.”

I saw other reviews but still was keen to get a good smokey palette. But have found exactly the same thing, most of colours are very black shadow. I tried a number of ways to apply the gold and it’s incredibly weird how it just goes on black. Really disappointed as I may as well have bought one black eye shadow! Shame, as this looked beautiful.”

Reader, I’m going to level with you – I did not go into this with an open mind. I didn’t like the colour story, I didn’t enjoy the lack of mattes and the tacky packaging sent me into a tailspin. Nonetheless, I tried my best with it and subsequently ended up looking like a low-budget Rocky Horror Tim Curry.

The colour don’t blend or apply well, even with primer. They swatch beautifully and appear pigmented, but with the lightest brush stroke, disappear into nothingness. Someone who counts themselves a fan of this palette told me it’s great for a quick smoky eye, but I find that hard to believe. 

Finally, for lipstick, I went with a low rated liquid iteration – the L’Oreal Paris Rouge Signature Matte liquid lipstick (€13.99)


After swatching several shades in store, I went with ‘I Rule’, a nude/pink/mauve hybrid.

This only receieved two reviews – a 5 star one and a 2 star one – but the other low ratedt lip products were hard to track down. The 2 star review of the product reads:

I bought this lipstick today in a brown colour. Colour not nice and it only lasted about half an hour and left my lips really dry.”

I was skeptical about the claims against its staying power, as the swatch on my hand stayed put throughout the day after copious hand washing.

When I applied it, I wasn’t crazy about the colour. On the lips, it looked way more purple-hued than it did in the tube. It’s a thinner formula than I’m used to when it comes to liquid lipsticks. I didn’t consider this to be a negative thing though. It’s also not as opaque as what I’ve come to expect from these kinds of products.

Colour-aside, this feels nice on the lips. I didn’t find it heavy or drying. Once it dried down fully, I found there was very little transfer. 

Image from iOS (9)

Are they any use?

  • The foundation is definitely something I can and would use on an every day basis. However, I probably wouldn’t repurchase because of the price point. I have better foundations in my collection that cost significantly less.
  • For €8, the pretty good mascara is pretty good- it just takes a little bit of getting used to. If you’re after something more volumising though, this probably won’t blow your mind.
  • That eyeshadow palette is fit for nowhere other than the bin.
  • The liquid lipstick is definitely not as bad as was made out to be, and is a great alternative if you’re not a fan of conventional liquid lipsticks. The colour I picked just happened to be rotten on me.

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