Can makeup ever ~really~ be one-size-fits-all? We wanted to find out.
Between the single-shade blushes that are marketed as built for everyone, and the lipsticks that have racked up a cult following across the board, the idea that some products are made to be universally flattering is just about everywhere.
So the four of us — resident BuzzFeeders with different skin tones, styles, and experiences with makeup in general — decided to see if that was true. We tested five different products that are often touted as "for everyone": From a brow pencil with "one color fits all" written right on the packaging, to a lipstick that scored the No. 1 spot on the list of best-selling red lipsticks in America.
Here's what we tried:
And here's us. (Hi!)
Above: Before and after — brow pencil & mascara.
Natalie: I don't fill in my brows (eyebrow anything just feels like a chore to me, and I have hangups over paying to get them done), but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice this looked. It did take several layers to get my brows dark enough, though. The pink highlighter was OK, but didn't seem to make much of a noticeable difference after I blended it in — and it did need blending. Grade: 😊
Melissa: My brows are jet black, and the pencil was more of a light brown, so it didn't really show up on me, despite my efforts to color like the best of ’em. The highlighter didn't show up, either. But admittedly, it could have been ~user error~. Before this shoot, I had no idea how to fill in my brows. And after this shoot, I still have no idea how to fill in my brows. (HALP?) Grade: 😭
Lauren: The first thing I noticed when I applied the defining side were these weird, shimmery sparkles that made my eyebrows look like they were going gray. More layers canceled this out, but made for an extremely bold brow — more bold than I'm used to. Meanwhile, the highlighter just sat on my skin and didn't blend at all, which was hardly flattering. Grade: 😭
Maitland: My biggest complaint is that this product should be called ~Push-Up Brow~. Always go for the pun, NYX. I fill in my eyebrows on the regs (so on the regs that I was somewhat reluctant to come to this shoot without my eyebrows on), AND I like a bold brow — but this color didn't work on me or click with my hair color. It was too dark and cool a brown, and the pink highlighter was too pink to look natural. Grade: 😞
To recap, here's the full (slidey) look minus the Benetint:
And here's how we thought the individual products stacked up:
So, what did we learn?
• Do your research. Read reviews, and look to real people over ad campaigns —especially when it comes to OSFA products or cult favorites. Places like MakeupAlley and r/MakeupAddiction are good places to start.
• Application and pigmentation are key. For certain products, our biggest gripe wasn't the color or shade, but the amount of time and layering that it took to achieve it. For us, ease was just as important as the end result.
• Wear what you love. Makeup can be a lot of fun, and it shouldn't be exclusive to a range of people that a brand decides is "universal." So experiment, and sample stuff that you might not otherwise. You might just walk away with a new favorite product. (We did!)