Some tips when asking for recommendations


Staff member
We want to help you in your makeup searches. We really do! But we need you to help us help you, first. So here are some tips to use when asking for recommendations -- either here in the general Recommendations section, or in the MAC Recommendations forum.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is this: Be clear and concise in what you're asking for. Let's break that down into different scenarios.

1: "I want to recreate a look from a photo!"
If you come with a photo of a look you want to recreate, and you don't know what brand of makeup was used, please don't assume that the original makeup artist used a particular brand. Instead, let us know you found a look online that you want to recreate, but you don't know what was used and are looking for similar shades. If you want to use a specific brand's products, that's totally fine! You can specify as much. If you're limited in budget, you can let us know how much you're willing to spend on products, or note that your preference is drugstore/high street/pharmacy items. Also note what your skintone is. If you're lighter, or darker, than the model in the photo that you're showing us, you have to remember that products are going to look differently on you than they will on the model.

2: "This foundation doesn't work for me!"
  • Tell us what foundation you're using, and for how long you've been using it.
  • Be specific as to why it isn't working for you. Does it oxidize after a certain period of time? Does it melt off your skin after a few hours? Does it emphasize dry patches? Does it cake up on you? Did it work for you for a while and then stop?
  • Do you use a primer under foundation?
  • Do you set your foundation after it's applied?
  • Tell us what your skintype is. (Dry, Combination, Oily, Normal, Sensitive)
  • List your skincare routine. Please remember to list specific products! (Many foundation problems have nothing to do with the foundation itself. It may be a skincare issue.)
  • Let us know if you have any other skin concerns (rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation, acne/blemishes, redness).

3: "I need/want a new foundation!"
  • Tell us about your current foundation, if you have one. (If you have multiple foundations, tell us about all of them.) Let us know what you like about it and what you don't.
  • What kind of coverage do you want? (Sheer, Medium, Full, something in between any of those)
  • What kind of finish do you want? (Matte, Satin/Demi-Matte, Velvet, Natural, Dewy)
  • What is your skintype?
  • If you have been matched to a MAC foundation, and you're looking for another foundation from another brand in a similar shade, don't just say you are an NC/NWxx; specify which foundation you were matched to. If you're looking for a different MAC formula, don't assume the shade you were matched to previously will match you in the formula you're investigating. Not all MAC foundations are created equal. Some run lighter; some run darker. Some NWs run really pink or orange; some NCs run really yellow.

4: "I need/want a new concealer!"
Most of the questions that pertain to foundation can be answered in this case as well. Also be sure to tell us if you're looking for an undereye concealer, or something for blemishes, or something that does everything.

5: "I'm looking for eyeshadow/eyeliner/blush/lipstick/lipgloss suggestions!"
For eyeshadows: Tell us what colours you gravitate toward the most and if you already own any colours in those families. We can suggest shades that will complement or go with those colours. Or, perhaps you're looking for colours to fill in gaps in your existing collection. Maybe you're into brights and need some neutrals to round things out, or you have a lot of neutrals and would like to branch out into colour. You can also share what your eyecolour is. Perhaps you're looking for colours that will complement your eyes and make them stand out more.

For eyeliner: Do you want a pencil, a liquid eyeliner, or a gel? Any particular colour?

For blush: Let us know if you're looking for something in a particular colour family. Letting us know what your skintone is will be extremely helpful as well.

For lipstick: As with blush, tell us if you're looking for something in a particular colour family.

For all: Let us know if you want to focus on a specific brand, or if you're focused on a specific price point, or if anything goes!

6: "I need/want some makeup brushes!"
Regardless of brush type (eye, face, or lip), we would like to know what your budget is, and what job you want it to perform.

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A couple of reminders...

1) This section is for makeup product recommendations only. We have a separate section for MAC Recommendations, if you're looking for MAC product recs. If you want recommendations from a specific line, please post in the appropriate section. (For example, if you want a recommendation for Tom Ford, you would make a thread in the Tom Ford section of Cosmetics Discussion.) If you want skincare recommendations, please post in the Skin and Bodycare forum.

2) Please use the Search function before you make a post, just to make sure that no one has posted about your particular issue.

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If you have your own tips to share, definitely share them! :)
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Well-known member
Thank you for making this - hopefully it'll be read and it'll help a lot of users making recommendations in the future!

Maybe we can get admin to sticky this thread, too.