There are two skincare ingredients that I'm obsessed about - Green Tea and Rose. I guess Althea is also obsessed with this duo since they made two Real Fresh Skin Detoxers, one with green tea and one with rose. What's surprising about this duo - they are 2 in 1, they are not only a '10-seconds masks' but they also work as cleansers. How did this duo work and why do I recommend it?
The idea behind Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxers
Skincare routine can take ages but there are products that can save us lots of time, Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxers is a good example. The Real Fresh Skin Detoxers duo was made in collaboration with Get It Beauty - a South Korean TV program which I'm a big fan of - you can find some episodes of this show on youtube with subtitles but the newest series I feel like it's not subtitled still there are some things that you can figure out in this show even without subtitles. But go back to the idea behind this series of products - we all have no times sometimes, if you follow my Instagram then you could see lately how I went back during the long break from school just to wash my face (to make sure that I won't have a bad reaction to the chemical ingredients used on my face at school), sometimes we have no time or no strength for a long routine so 2 in 1 product is the best thing we can use. My only problem is how to treat it - as a mask or as a cleanser.
K-pop star Jeonghwa EXID loves Althea X Get It Beauty Real Fresh Skin Detoxers Set - YouTube
Green Tea or Rose? Similarities and differences
The Green Tea version of Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxer is the one I prefer because it's a purifying product which will be better for oily skin. The Rose one is refining formula better for dry skin. Rose product is told to be used in the morning and it's a good idea since rose it's a brightening ingredient and green tea is recommended for evening use to clean the skin from all the dirt. In this series, we have to focus on rich textures with small pieces of ingredients like rose and green tea but also on one small detail - Althea made a special place on the back of the product where you can write down when the product was open. I haven't checked the pH of the products on my own but if I remember well, Geekyposhe reviewed this series and the pH of both is 5,5 which is the best pH for the skin. Pro tip: if your cleanser causes pimples then it probably has pH over 6 or 7. The products are made with fresh ingredients so Althea stated that the product might change the colour a bit. But what's inside both of the products?
Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxer Green Tea
What would you expect from Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxer Green Tea? I guess Green Tea is the only ingredient that we totally need to find here.
What's amazing about this product? Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder (6000Ppm), the amount of camellia might not be high but it still is there although I'm surprised that there's no other green tea ingredient here instead you can find here Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, ingredient recommended for acne-prone skin since it can be really helpful and I would also recommend using it on chest or back if you have acne problem in these areas too. The ingredients are really interesting Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, for example is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help with acne scars or Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract which is a well-known ingredient used even in DIY acne mask formulas. There are some ingredients that you might not like just like Fragrance, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate or Phenoxyethanol, but personally, as for a product which I have on my skin for 10-seconds it's not that bad. The scent itself is really nice and delicate and the texture might feel heavy but it's easy to make foam out of it.
Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxer Rose
If it's a Real Fresh Skin Detoxer Rose then I suspect this product to have Rose and maybe some hibiscus, let's check it.
Rose version is also surprising, again we can see here Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract but there is also Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (1000Ppm) and Rosa Gallica Flower Powder (3400Ppm) that are brightening ingredients. Similar to green tea version you can find here Fragrance, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate or Phenoxyethanol. I'm sure that you might be scared of rose scent, don't worry the scent is not overwhelming. We have to focus on what's inside the products, do they share any ingredients? Oh, they do!
What does this duo have in common?
The majority of the ingredients is shared between this duo even if Green Tea one has 9 more ingredients than Rose one. There's a whole list of ingredients found only in Green Tea Detoxer like Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract and obviously Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder or even Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract. While for Rose ingredients it's all about Rose that's unique in this product. The most interesting ingredients which we are going to find in both of the formulas are Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract and Beta-Glucan, a good moisturizer.
How do the Skin Detoxers work?
The detoxers are very easy to do, you just use them after oil cleansing and put the detoxer for 10 seconds, then get some water on your hands and start to massage your face while making a foam. The mask quickly changed to cleanser so you don't have to use a cleanser after it.
What do I think about Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxers
At first, I wasn't sure how am I going to react but I love both detoxers even if Green Tea is the mother's favourite child - you know this situation when a mother has two or more kids and one if the favourite one so in my case Green Tea is this baby that I like more but it's easy to understand since Green Tea is more suitable for acne-prone skin. I didn't get any allergic or comedogenic reaction I also put the detoxer for more than 10 seconds sometimes and it still works. The bonus points for Althea for opening date section on the back of the product and quite a cheap price since you can get this duo for $20 and right now if you use promo code PBSHIP you get a free shipping on Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxers. If you have a fresh wound of the skin then be careful since it might hurt a bit to use the product on a not fully recovered scar. You can also get -20% OFF with my Althea share link
If you follow me on Instagram then you might know that I wanted to publish some presets that I'm using. For this post I used two presets which you can download - they work only in Lightroom since that's the app I'm using. The full instruction how to add new presets to Lightroom you can find on youtube. Remember to change the exposure and temperature of the preset with every photo.
Presets are free but please do not sell them! If you publish photos edited with these presets just tag @betweendots - I'll try to check every photo and I can't wait to see what you did. I'll try to make more presets and posts/videos on how to edit photos in 2019 (I hope, since education + job are going to take me all my free time).
Eye area of your face shows the signs of ageing first, it's all because the skin in this area is thinner than the rest of the face. That's why good eye care is a must! A. by Bom Ultra Time Return series is made out of two products - A. by BOM Ultra Time Return Eye Serum which I also used to give my skin a honey look and A. by BOM Ultra Time Return Eye Cream rich in ingredients that should make the skin looks fresh and young. How did this duo work on my face?
Is eye cream really that important?
Yes, it is! The skin around the eye area is thinner and special formula is needed for such area. Normal cream which you use for face might not be lightweight enough and it can cause a milium cyst also known as milia - the tiny white dots around the eye area which are really annoying. Due to the thinner skin in the eye area, wrinkles can show up quicker if moisturizing this part of your skin is not in your routine - the skin gets dry quicker than a skin on your chin or cheek. Obviously, we have some genetical predispositions - it's all about eye shape and how our eyes are built, we can't really stop ageing but we can make skin ageing slower.
Eye cream vs eye serum?
As long as routine build out of couple products and using a moisturizer after serum on the face has lots of sense, in case of eye creams and eye serums, it might not be always a good choice - as I said before too heavy formula can cause milia and we want to avoid that so if you're young choose one formula - eye cream or eye serum, usually serums aren't as heavy as eye creams but they are better concentrated than creams, if you're a young person - choose one formula serum or cream to prevent wrinkles and dry skin, if you need stronger formula for mature skin - using eye serum and eye cream might be more effective.
The main reasons why I use eye cream and how did the testing process go?
I started to use eye cream when I was 18 or 19 I guess, that's something strange for my friends but for me, eye creams seem to be very natural. I spend whole days in front of the computer - editing photos, videos, writing posts, working or even studying since I took distance learning and I'm doing my best to get new skills in languages and programming. The moment when I tested this duo was the worst for my eyes - I worked for 8 hours daily and sometimes I had 1-2 hours of sleep per day, it's not a healthy lifestyle and to this day I have some health problems like having a back problem. I started to test serum during the summer and from October I started to test eye cream to give you the best results. Why I didn't start using them together? Because I wanted to see the effects.
This product is really a small green gem! The packaging is made out of glass and it has pipette which makes application easier. The texture reminds me of facial oil and it makes the skin looking like a glass that's why I use it also on my cheekbones when I need this 'natural' glow. I didn't mention the amazing fresh scent which is one of the reasons why it got my heart. I can share with you a small trick - when you're out of a highlighter, just scratch a bit of shiny eyeshadow - something with tiny dots of glitter and mix it with a one or two drops of this oil - that's how you make a highlighter when you're out of one. But let's look what's inside because the packaging might look awesome but the inside of the product and effects are the most important. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is first of the ingredient that catches the eye, an incredible moisturizer and calming ingredient, the next ingredient - Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, an antioxidant helpful in anti-ageing skincare, is also soothing so this mix is all you need after hours of working in front of the computer. Vitamin B3 also known as Niacinamide is a brightening and anti-ageing ingredient. Adenosine is one of my favourite ingredients because it makes the wound healing quicker and it improves the firmness of the skin. Another interesting ingredient on list - Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is also known as MAP, it's a stable form of Vitamin C used as a brightening ingredient. We have here peptides as well as Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, not everyone enjoys peptides but some of them can improve the collagen production or even fake the effects of botox. Besides that, you can see here Panthenol, Glycerin and many other good ingredients. Obviously, it would be too perfect, there are some ingredients that you might not like, for example - PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Peg-150 Distearate, Disodium EDTA but also Stearic Acid that is not the best choice for oily skin or Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil which can be sensitizing. Overall, I really enjoy this product. The scent of it is nice and it really does brighten my skin. It literally saves me when I have days in which I sleep 2-6 hours and I feel like I'm half-dead. It's very gentle oil good for eye area massages, after a long day of work it was all I needed. It's hard for me to talk about wrinkles since I'm still young but for 25 years old this serum should be all you need. The only thing I need to mention - the serum is bit sticky and it needs couple minutes to get absorbed so not everyone will like it.
The amount of ingredients in this cream is big but still, it didn't beat A.H.C. The Real Pure Eye Cream For Face - the review of it you can find on Kherblog. I didn't want to change my eye cream at first since after so many months with A.H.C. it feels like we're a duo that you cannot separate but sometimes it's good to give a chance to the new products. This cream has a beige colour and quite a neutral scent. The texture isn't heavy and a pea-size amount of this cream is enough. But what makes this cream interesting? We can see here some ingredients used also in eye serum like Niacinamide but this cream offers more than serum like moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants like Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Ceramide NP, Cholesterol, Centella Asiatica Extract and Vitamin E. There's also a Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 - another peptide which is really useful for fighting wrinkles. Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate surprises me here a lot, the fermentation process make the ingredient easier to get absorbed by the skin. This product is full of amazing ingredients but let's talk about ingredients that some of you prefer to avoid. I haven't seen fragrance in the previous product because it took the scent from oils but here we have Fragrance ingredient - even if the smell is not as heavy as the one that serum has. Phenoxyethanol is also not a favourite of many people but I prefer to focus on Stearic Acid - similar to serum situation, it's not an ingredient for oily skin but there are also silicones - personally, I have no problems with them in this product but it's your choice. If it comes to the effects it's a moisturizer for a everyday use - it works well with makeup, you don't need to wait additional time. Application process is easy and even if the formula is bit different than serum it's still soothing product. Personally, I would prefer to use eye serum since I see better effect when I use it but this cream is a product which I can consider buying - even if I got my favourite eye cream. Overall, it's a good product.
This duo is really an affordable one - small amounts are enough to cover the entire area and moisturize it. The price might seem high since A. by BOM Ultra Time Return Eye Serum costs $39 for 30ml and A. by BOM Ultra Time Return Eye Cream costs $49 for 30ml but the amount I use daily made me consider this product as affordable. As I said before - if you're younger person choose one of this products, mature skin might prefer combining them. Personally, I'm more likely to buy serum than cream because I feel like it's a product which I can use in many different ways but also the formula fits me better. You can get this duo onbemusedkorea and thanks to bemused korea team you can get 15% off on all A. By Bom products (except special mask set) with code BETWEENDOTS15, this code is valid until December 18th.
What do you think about this duo? Have you ever tried any A. By Bom products? What's your favourite eye cream?
Black Friday is almost there and some Asian Beauty shops started to already celebrate. A year ago I showed here my Black Friday recommendations from Wishtrend but this year I'm going to write a long post about my recommendations from different shops as well as share with you promo codes and special offers. This post will be updated every day so remember to check it but there's also a special place on this blog where you can find all promo codes and which I keep updating every day.
Is it worth to buy skincare during the Black Friday?
It depends, some shops have amazing sales and some - not really. Personally, I made a great deal in 2016 buying the whole series of Klairs products back then for -50 to -70% off so it was worth it but back then I used to buy skincare only at local websites and I knew maybe 3 local stores with K-beauty, now I keep checking websites every day to see if there's any change in the price of the product I wanted to try or I needed to repurchase and the thing is that if you order from some websites you should remember about currency and how it can change couple times in a day - it might look like there's a $0.01 change but if you plan to buy the whole skincare routine it might be a huge difference. Also, remember that if you pay with PayPal or credit card - there might be an additional cost that's why I encourage you to check prices regularly especially that not many but some stores are doing this funny thing with making the price higher before sale just to make it lower later and it looks like it's a great deal but in real life - you pay a regular price.
I won't say too much about my wishlist this time - maybe next time I'll share more but I'll focus on some great deals and what brands are worth a check on each website.
- Free shipping on Althea Exclusives with code PBSHIP
- 10% off on Milk Peel Cream Mask
- 10% off on new products
- 15% off with code NEW15
- 20% off on first order with refer link*
Althea is one of the shops which has a great line of their own products and they promote Althea series a lot. Real Fresh Skin detoxers - especially the Green Tea and Althea Petal Velvet Sun Away are products which I use a lot and which I think are really worth a try especially that you can get a free shipping when you buy any product from Althea Exclusive series. The choice of products on Althea is selected so sometimes it might be problematic to find every product you like to try there.
- Free random sheet mask with orders above $50 (US) or $60 (Non-US) - shipping not counted
- 11.11 singles day - up to 90% off on Korean and Taiwanese skincare
- Spend $175 and receive 10 free sheet masks
- but 2 and get 1 free accessories
- special sale
I don't know many websites that carry Taiwanese and Japanese skincare but this one does! You can find here brands like 23.5N, My Beauty Diary, Cremorlab, Shangpree, Kanebo, SKII and more. I would recommend checking My Beauty Diary and LuLuLun sheet masks on Amabie.
- Unfortunately, there's no promo code today :( Check tomorrow - maybe I'll be able to find a code for you the next day
This is a Polish store but they have English version, I personally like to use it especially that they have really good offers on Blithe and Neogen. I would recommend checking Swisspure and Maycoop on this website.
- Free gift with Yadah purchase + 20% off on Yadah products
- Free trial Troiareuke set with Troiareuke limited edition set
- Purchase over $100 to get 10 free Lioele Lip and Eye Remover Tissues
My problem with this shop is that they are very selective but selective doesn't always mean anything bad. Brands that are really worth a try there are 9 Wishes, Papa Recipe and Vprove. I feel like this is the only store in which I saw Vprove which is sad because I had one cream from this brand and it was really nice. Oh just to mention they have VT X BTS line but I wouldn't expect it to be on sale/promo.
- Unfortunately, there's no promo code today :( Check tomorrow - maybe I'll be able to find a code for you the next day
This shop is good if you search for products from Japan, Taiwan or Korea. The brands I personally look for on this website are Creer Beaute, Dr. Morita, Hada Labo, Kao, Kose, L'Herboflore, Lovemore, Naruko, Saborino, and Sulwhasoo. Also, Biore sunscreen in a limited edition (Peony one) is worth a check while shopping there.
- daily hot deals on brands such as Pony Effect, Missha, etc
This shop is the one where you can find all the new series that got released, it's one of the quickest sources but personally, the shipping kills me. I would recommend checking here some Holidays sets/limited series like Missha X Line Friends or Peripera ASMR Collection.
- Black friday: Nov 05 - Nov 26 on brands such as A'Pieu, COSRX, CP-1, Dr Jart+, Elizavecca, Etude House, Eyenlip, Holika Holika, Innisfree, It's skin, Missha, Mizon, The Face Shop, Tonymoly and more up to 91% off.
- 20% off on A'pieu and 20% off
- 30% off on COSRX
- up to 30% off on EyeNLip.
- 33% off on Etude House Moistfull Collagen line
- 38% off on The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing line
- 40% off on Missha and Dr. G
- 41% off on CLIO
- 44% off on Peripera and Holika Holika Pop line
- 56%- 90% off on Mizon
- up to 68% off on Petitfee Patches
- 69% off on EyeNLip Calamansi Brightening series.
- up to 70% off on G9Skin and EyeNLip Calamansi Vita 3-step cleansing series
- up to 77% on Purederm
- Tonymoly BC Dation Moisture Cover Cushion for $3.65
- buy Village 11 Factory products and get free Village 11 Factory sample set
This shop has a huge choice but I would recommend you sticking to Eyenlip since it's a brand related to Beautynetkorea - you can read my first impressions of this brand here. Sheet masks and eye patches are totally worth a try!
- Daily Deal: seaNTree Donkey Milk Water Drop Cream 200g for $17.40 instead of $29
Beautytap is a shop which I always think of when I want to check brands like Sulwhasoo, but they have some exclusive brands like Romand - especially if you like marble items then Romand marble palettes or blushes are products you need.
- 15% off on all A. By Bom products (except special mask set) with code BETWEENDOTS15 - valid until December 18th.
- Black Friday 16th November to 26th November - 50% off
- free samples + sheet mask to every order
- free worldwide shipping over $40
Bemused is a shop with selected products and you won't find here random products. I encourage you to use my promo code for A. By Bom - I tried masks and eye product from this brand and I can recommend them as well as Atoclassic series - especially the essence.
Kirei is focused on Japanese brands so the brands that I go for there are Saborino and Canmake, but now I would recommend you to check some limited editions of products like Etude House Japan x Disney.
- 50% off on roadshop beauty (Missha, Innisfree, Nature Republic, etc)
Kmall has quite an interesting offer since they mix beauty with Kpop and Lifestyle. If you shop there for beauty don't forget to check JM Solutions, Nature Republic and The History Of Whoo (also known there as Whoo).
A year ago I tried peptide serum for the first time of my life. I can admit - it changed my skin completely but there's something in a blue colour that made me wanna try another product from the Midnight Blue series - Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop - a serum for delaying ageing and improving wrinkles. Sounds like a miracle? I also added Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner and Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad to my routine to get better effects and today I'm going to share with you my results.
Klairs - couple words about the brand
Klairs is a Korean skincare brand with a motto "simple, but enough". The brand focuses on skin-friendly and animal-friendly products so most of the products are Vegan, cruelty-free and free from artificial fragrances or colourants. Klairs was one of the first brands I've tried and since then I have some products which I use or buy regularly. The Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop is not a new product since it was released over a year ago I guess it has already lots of fans all around the world.
Packaging, texture and scent
There's something in this small bottle that makes me totally love it - the design is very simple, I would even say minimalistic. I don't know how about you but for me products with pipette are even better - especially if we talk about this one, do you believe that drops are blue? How is that possible? It's all because of Guaiazulene - a natural pigment derived from Azulene which by the way is distilled from Chamomile. The colour is really pretty and it's a pigment used in the whole Midnight Blue line but the scent of this product is not that obvious. I don't know if it's me or the product but it smells to me like... plastic. It smells bit burned, it smells like nothing else and describing the scent is really hard. If you mix a drop with a cream or just apply it on your face - you can't smell it anymore. The packaging is made out of glass so yes - you can recycle it, I'm not sure about pipette.
Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop Ingredients
The ingredient's list is very short and it starts with peptides. sh-Oligopeptide-1 is also known as EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor). EGF is a guy that stimulates the cell growth and helps with wound healing so it can change your skin a bit like help with post-acne inflammation, wounds, fine lines, etc. I have to mention that EGF is a bit controversial since it's still a young ingredient and there are some talks that it might have some side effects but I guess we will need ages to find anything about it. sh-Polypeptide-1 is also known as Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor, similar to EGF it stimulates the cell growth. Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract - an antioxidant and source of anthocyanins. Adenosine is an ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties, it speeds up the healing process, promotes the collagen production and helps with skin barrier. The only ingredient that you might not like is PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil.
Adding serum to my routine
I had quite a lot of problems with this product - how to add it to my routine? Where should I put it? This serum is liquid - just like a watery toner. It's a bit hard to apply that's why I mix it with Healing Serum twice a day. It's hard for me to say about wrinkles because it's not really my problem and I feel like wrinkles need more time to see the results but I totally see the difference with pores and my skin in general - it seems to be more healthy, glowy and pores seems to be cleaner. We all have pores but some of us have them more visible or less visible and if your pores are more visible keeping them clean can make them being less visible but also peptides can help them a lot. Similar to my previous experience with peptides, I see less acne on my skin, and during the time I used it I had no cysts. Acne scars and fresh wounds are getting healed quicker, that's why I like peptides a lot - since they seem to be better than lycopene. Product works perfectly with other skincare steps and I didn't get any comedogenic reactions or allergic reactions to the product. I only removed Vitamin C serum from my routine because I heard that Vitamin C and peptides don't really go well together - is it true? I didn't have time to read about it so just in case I removed it.
Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
In the package with serum, I got 2 other products Klairs Supple Preparation Toner and Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad - I tried the toner before, even the unscented version and the comparison between Scented and Unscented one. The travel size toner I got was really nice and it lasts longer than normal toners I used before. The scent doesn't really bother me, the toner is hydrating and my face like it a lot but if you have sensitive skin the unscented version might be better for you. The full review of the Toner in unscented version you can find here.
Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad
The toner pads I got are a bit different than European pads and they might be a huge surprise for people in Europe since rayon pads are not a thing. Rayon is a fiber made out of the regenerated cellulose fiber. It can fake the different textures. These pads are made with pulp and rayon blend. We've got 2 different types of pads here - compressed cotton ones which are very thing and bit harder than European ones but somehow I prefer them more because they don't feel bad in touch - you know this thing like people hate noises like scratching on the chalkboard with the nails? I have a similar thing with styrofoam and cotton wool. When I was a kid, cotton pads weren't popular - we used cotton wool to remove makeup and I still remember how horrible in touch it was. Some cotton pads still have this feeling (usually the poorly done, cheap ones) so the compressed cotton is like a dream of mine. The sponge ones work great for 5-minute DIY toner mask, they are way different than normal pads and they might feel even weirder to use but they do really work as a DIY mask.
Klairs - how much it costs?
Overall, the whole set itself really fits my skin needs. I was happy to try the peptide serum and for sure it's not the last time I've tried it. Toner is one of the best toners I've tried and cotton pads surprised me with 2 different types of pads in one package. Do I recommend this set yes? What about prices? Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop costs $30 for 20 ml, the price is not low but peptides, in general, are more expensive but it's totally worth to spend more to see the results. Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner costs $22 for 180 ml, it's quite a lot for a toner but it lasts longer than average toner. Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad costs $7 for 120 pcs (2x60pcs) it's hard to tell me if it's a lot or not. All of these products you can find on Althea.
Do you use peptides in your routine? Have you ever tried any Klairs products? Let me know.
I had a small chat with Sharmili - the author of sharmtoaster about fake reviews online - something I have to deal every day at my work. Recently, someone leaked on Reddit an e-mail from one beauty brand to their staff about fake reviews. I'm not here to judge and tell you to buy or not the products from this brand since I believe you can make decisions on your own but I want to focus on the problem which I deal at work daily and which usually people that started working with me had at first - figuring out the line between fake and real content.
What I'm doing in my life?
I work as a community manager, I do that for almost 5 years and I started as a volunteer. Even if I hate this job because daily you deal with small things like bugs or DDos attacks which I personally love and treat like a personalized gift because when DDos is happening all I do is refresh the page and if you don't know what does that mean I recommend you read an article on Mashable. But sometimes you have to deal with serious shit like breaking the law - people selling substances bad for your health like drugs, suicide attempts, domestic violence or human trafficking. The challenge is that you have to figure out which information is fake and which is real and if it's real information you have - you then spend overtime at the police station reporting everything, losing your time and health because it's not like your emotions are not involved, they are even if you don't know. Not to mention that you spend a couple hours on your butt in one place. Online spam is somewhere between bugs and law problems. Obviously, it's not all I do since I do reports, SEO and other stuff including sharing my knowledge with others. Why we try to catch every spam and by spam we do not only talk about penis enlargement pills but about a short review of a product - with a link to a website or not. You have to remember that the product might be not related to our business, for example, the brand I work for has its own online platform but they bought a skincare store and some brand hire an agency to make some noise about their new product - a lawnmower. Is lawnmower related to a skincare or similar platform to ours? Nope, but you try to promote your product without our permission and the one keyword - MONEY.
Before you judge
Before I tell you how to spot fake reviews I want to mention one thing - lots of companies - not ever company but some of them are trying to fuck a lot with your brain. I had a situation that my boss told me that I'm with a company or I have my own view on the situation and I'm not with them so I'll lose my job. Before you judge people doing stuff like writing fake reviews remember that sometimes they have no choice, the brands - especially the small new ones don't have a lot of choices too since even if we have Instagram now and good design + product can make lots of success just look at the current situation of Skinfood - getting to the larger audience or staying at one position for a long time and trying to gain more is not an easy thing but it doesn't mean that posting fake reviews is totally okay - it's not.
Is finding a fake review easy or had?
I read once on The Verge about research on Google Ads - do you believe that younger generations have problems with figuring out what's an ad and what's not an ad? Yes, it's really a thing. If you follow German influencers on Instagram you can see that almost every photo has a hashtag #werbung to the photo. Werbung means nothing else than an ad and according to what I heard from conversations with German bloggers and influencers they have to add this hashtag to every post with a visible brand name - I totally agree at one point with the reason. Think about an average mother, let's call her Anna. Anna doesn't want to make a career as an influencer but she uploads photos on Instagram because she wants to keep in contact with her family and friends, show them her life, etc. One day Anna decides to share a photo of her family breakfast with visible cottage cheese from a brand - let's call it a C-cheese - her intention is not to promote C-cheese but her friends get the signal, they see Anna's photo and next time when they are shopping and they want to buy a cottage cheese it might happen that Anna with her photo influenced a choice of her friends. I got myself with that later because while checking conditioners and hair mask from the brands I got a brand that all my friends and many bloggers rave about and I literally took my phone out and checked one blog I trust to see which conditioner the author of the blog recommend. For a brand - a post made by your non-influencer friend is also an 'ad' in some way. There's a thing as buzz marketing/word of mouth when it works like old tales when one person shares their tale with others and then it goes to next people and next people and we prefer to believe our friends or people on the Internet while making a choice than buy something recommended by the seller because we usually think that seller needs to sell us a product while people on the Internet or our friends have no intentions, maybe they don't have any intentions but it's still a good recommendation for a brand. The difference between the paid ad and just a friendly recommendation is very thin these days but still, fake reviews are quite easy to figure out in most of the ways.
How do I spot the fake reviews/ads?
There are some things we all can do while checking reviews but some are only for web owners. By the way - sometimes you can see some fake reviews/ads in blog comments as well. Remember that the tips I got are mostly from the perspective on working for portals still, I hope that this post will help you verify what you find online since not everything online is true.
Something that makes me laugh is a wrongly planned brand promotion made in collaboration with influencers. You can easily spot when the brand has a campaign because you're gonna be spammed with posts about this one brand or product in almost the same time. It's not bad as long as the people that work for you on a campaign mention that it's an ad/promoted material.
Maybe not the whole text but when I see a large number of copy-pasted reviews on one platform or even 30% of a review is copy-pasted to another review I already know what's going on. By the way usually, the reviews will show up in related topics like if you promote a product for acne - you'll see that old acne posts on a forum are somehow at the beginning of the page even if for 2 years no one used them. Sometimes brands make fake posts on a thread to make it alive again and then spam the thread with their commercial.
Do you know that lots of short reviews/ads online are made by people from other countries. Let's make an example - you speak English and you live in the US and the agency has to cut the cost of every post, they think - okay let's hire someone from a poorer country because they won't ask us to pay as much as people in our country. They hire a person from a poor country and give them short guidelines what to write in a post like 'paste the link, write how amazing the product is' or 'write shit about our competitors' - yep that happens as well. The problem is that people from poorer countries don't always have a bad level of language but it happens that you can simply see a mistake that should happen like "your" and "you're" - I really recommend you 'Your grammar sucks' on Youtube. I'm not going to mention that sometimes style of every post is the same and that's how you can figure out a fake post.
Yeah because no one suspects your post is paid if you post a link... Totally legit.
New product with 1000+ reviews? Seems impossible?
Yes it is, I know that some brands share products with brand fans and influencers to share the reviews before the product is released and make you wanna buy it but if the number of reviews is very high then something is not okay
The reviews seem to be too good? That might be a sign too!
Just click the account that made a review on such platform and you'll see when it was active, if it's a single post with a review or if this person has never posted any other post than reviews/ads. Some agencies try to make accounts with longer history so it'll be harder to spot but other agencies try to make accounts with longer history but the history is in 100% based on ads and links.
Yeah because we all trust new accounts with 1-20 posts wrote in 5 minutes of the activity on a website.
Yes, if e-mail addresses are visible because you're an administrator or because the website allows that you might be surprised how people are unaware of what do they do.
Even if there are VPN's and other things to hide your IP - just google it and see how many results you will see - we still have some ways to track your doings as you can see here but lots of agencies hire people that know nothing about the Internet and IP and then I see how many accounts they made, how they are linked, etc.
See where the reviews come from
If you're a website owner you usually have tools to see where the users came from and which part of your website was the most interesting for them.
That's all I can remind myself of but believe me spotting a fake review is possible - not always.
How to use the internet to make a choice? What bloggers and influencers can do?
Nothing is black and white and online reviews aren't different. I didn't make this post to scare you but to make you aware that the decision is yours. In current days you have to be a specialist. I'm not gonna tell you that this or that blogger is the only one to trust or you shouldn't trust that blogger. If you're a blogger - try to think what you can do to make a difference and make content for people. It's nothing bad in sponsored posts or collaborating with brands but you have to show that there's a line which you as a person with following and trust of many people cannot cross. Try to show your followers when the post is paid or if the product you post a review of was bought by yourself.
Is it okay to write a review for a brand I work for?
I don't see anything bad about it as long as your review is true - for example look at Cult Beauty and how they share the reviews of their staff. Same for beauty editors at newspapers - do you know that sometimes products recommended by beauty editors are not because brand paid for use or sent PR package but because beauty editors took their own products and shared them? I also love how Klairs and Neogen show their staff sharing their favourite products and I don't see anything bad in it since you can clearly see these people work for a brand and they don't hide it! At my old job we used to test the new options first and honestly, at my old office when a brand made a stupid choice I wasn't scared to share my review on Google about our new app update and share the review with the team since we didn't make apps only for users but also for ourselves and we used the website we worked for on a daily basis.
Final question - would I buy a product for a brand that used fake reviews?
Yes and no - it depends. There are some brand that for a while was banned for me like Deciem and I guess I don't have to mention why - even this Elle article on Deciem Drama can tell you everything about my reasons not to go for Deciem for a while hopefully because the situation has changed I'm regaining my trust to this brand again. But there are some brands and agencies that offered offensive propositions to me or my friends that are into blogging and usually, when I see their products I'm out - obviously because of the problems I can get I'm not gonna mention which brands are they but I can only tell you that when I see brands and agencies give people shitty deals asking them to hide information that the content is sponsored and then write only positive reviews all I can say is "okay bye, I have a day job so it's not like I need money or in 99,9% cases - your product, I wouldn't buy it anyway lol". Small tips for bloggers - don't always agree with every proposition that brands give you, select the offers and don't feel scared of asking the brand to pay you for your work since what you do - photos, editing, writing a post, testing product on YOUR OWN SKIN, it all takes your time which you could spend at work or with family and friends. Plus the equipment you use has it's own price too. So to sum up - it depends if I know the brand or not, I might not gonna try this brand for a while but it doesn't mean that I won't give it a second chance - but remember the choice is yours and if you follow the brand or not - you have to decide how much do you trust the brand.
Let's end this post, I hope that in some way this post will help you find the difference between what's true and not on the internet. Let me know what do you think of fake reviews and if you would buy products from a brand after hearing that this brand asked people to write fake reviews on a new product or not?
*** this post is not sponsored but at least I can show you what bloggers do to let you know if the post was sponsored or not. The photos are used by choice, it doesn't show any brand I'm against - I totally love all the brands and products you can see on photos***