Let’s Play a Beauty Game: The Google Makeup Challenge

I came across a fun beauty game recently and thought I would share it with you. Whether you’re bored, are looking for new makeup to try, or just feel like playing along with me, I hope you have fun.

Now I am not taking credit for this idea in any way, shape, or form. I saw Manny MUA’s recent video about letting Google choose your makeup, and found it so interesting. We all know that Google and the internet is stalking us. I mean, how many times have you just thought about something and, all of a sudden, it is being advertised to you on Facebook? Probably too many times to feel comfortable. But this takes that idea, and flips it on its head to benefit you.

You can watch Manny’s video for a further explanation, but pretty much what you do for this game is type a makeup product into Google and the first or second item that it suggests, you use. If you already have that item maybe this will inspire you to start using it again, and if not, you can add it to your makeup shopping list. Either way, this is a great idea if you are in a makeup rut, or just want to see how much the internet knows about you and your beauty preferences.

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Now as a disclaimer, I do feel the need to advise you to look at the ingredients and reviews before purchasing something, especially if you have sensitive skin. But this can be a fun way to try some new products that something as smart as Google recommends. Sometimes the recommendations flooding in from bloggers, YouTubers, friends and family can be overwhelming. So this is an unique way to try something new and rediscover something old.

Although Google suggests full face makeup, you can of course try this just for the products you are looking for. I’m not promising to purchase and try all of the products I find during this game, but I’m sure no matter what, I’ll find it interesting to see what comes up. So play along and let’s see what happens.

I personally do not use a primer, so I’m going to skip that and begin with typing the word foundation into Google. Also I am using the “shopping” tab on Google, FYI. And our first recommendation is…

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I am surprised. I am a lover of the Maybelline Matte + Poreless, but have never used the Dewy + Smooth version. Estée Lauder I already know offers a lot more coverage than I like to wear, but this recommendation did make me take a second to think about trying the Maybelline Fit Me, a good one for dry skin. And I don’t often hear anyone talking about it, so Google pulled one out of left field here. My skin has become a lot more dry than oily over the years, so perhaps this would be a great affordable foundation to try. Thanks Google.

Don’t forget to leave a comment letting us know what surprised you most if you are playing along.

Now onto concealer…

Okay,  this I am not so shocked by. Tarte Shape Tape is a must-have and holy grail for almost everyone in the beauty community. I have not tried it, as I prefer a lighter coverage, but the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye I am pleased with. This was my holy grail at one point, before I moved into a more natural makeup phase. But to conceal dark circles without overdrying, this stuff is killer. Well done, Google.

For brows, you can look up what you prefer like a brow powder or pencil or pomade. I just typed in brows and my favorite product came up!

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Glossier Boy Brow is something I have in my brows everyday, even when I’m wearing no other makeup. So I’m not too surprised about this. Plus, I order from Glossier at least once a month, so Google knows me well. As for Benefit Gimme Brow, I have yet to try it, but was recently researching Benefit for an article, so I wonder if this is because it is a best seller or because I recently was on their site. How interesting.

Many people skip eyeshadow primer, but I have the most oily and creasy eyelids on the planet, so this a necessary, yet sort of useless step for me because none of them ever work. Nevertheless Google recommended it…

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Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay Primer Potion. I have tried both of these and they are just fine, but don’t help my difficult lids. They are both incredibly popular, so Google isn’t surprising me much in this case.

Eye shadow is next and there are so many to choose from here. I have my favorites, but let’s see what Google comes up with.

I am unbelievably blown away. Not impressed as much as confused though. I know a lot about BH Cosmetics, but they certainly are not even close to the best shadows on the market. This palette is not something I would purchase or reach for, ever. I play it super safe with color. Then we have Profusion, which I have only heard of a hand full of times. But what I’ve heard have all been positive things. And to be honest, this palette is stunning. The shades are common and neutral and right up my boring eyeshadow alley. But for $10 I am a little skeptical of the quality. I mean affordable and amazing shadows do exist, but if these were so good wouldn’t there be more of a fuss over them? So far this one has made me consider a purchase the most though.

Mascara time. I am the pickiest with mascara. I think most people are. It is such an individual thing. But I have a feeling of at least one that will come up.

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And I was right. Too Faced Better Than Sex is probably the most loved and raved about mascara on the market. Although it isn’t my favorite, L’Oreal Lash Paradise is a dupe that I think is better, plus a fraction of the price. And as for Essence I’m a bit confused. There are a few mascaras from this incredibly affordable brand that are wonderful, but Lash Princess is not one of those. As of right now, I am thinking Google is a bit hit or miss.

Let's bunch bronzer, blush, and highlight together for the sake of time.

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WOW! Google is killing it. First off, Milani has some of the best blushes around. Their baked blushes are bestsellers. Although I avoid shimmer in my blush, their regular powder blush is perfection and has a permanent seat in my makeup collection. Then Hoola Bronzer is something I just purchased about a week ago, so okay Google I see you peeking through my window. And Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer maybe be one of the most quickly loved bronzers ever. I have yet to pick it up, but everyone I watch on Youtube loves it. The only one I’m feeling mediocre about is the ELF Baked Highlighter. I think they are chalky and not pigmented, so that is a complete pass. But although Lancome is out of my price range, their Highlight Drops do look gorgeous.

Rather than a setting powder, I am going to search for setting sprays because as I noted earlier I have drier skin.

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No surprise here, Urban Decay All Nighter is amazing. It really keeps your makeup looking fresh longer. But YSL Top Secrets Glow Perfecting Makeup Setting Spray is something I have never even heard of. This sort of makes me wonder if brands are paying Google, if there is some algorithm to get higher on this list, or if it really is curated based on my search history.

Even though we only need one lip product, I am going to search for a lip liner, a lipstick, and a gloss because, why not?

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For the finishing touch of lips, I sure did have my guesses. I was sure Mac lipsticks would come up, maybe the Urban Decay lip pencils, and I was sort of hoping for Buxom glosses as they are my personal favorite, but I am pretty darn shocked. With lip liner I adore Rimmel so good on Google there, but I didn’t even know BH Cosmetics had a lip liner. Is Google trying to get me interested in BH Cosmetics or what?

As for lipsticks, I was anticipating a traditional one. Instead, I got the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Vault. I love NYX, but their lip creams are not my favorite. I find them comfortable, but they wear off super quickly and not in an attractive way. But Fenty Beauty Lip Paint I was happy to see. This is relatively new and definitely intriguing. As for glosses, the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb is a gift to the lipgloss world and truly is universal so wahoo there, but personally I’m allergic to ELF lip products, so that is a no go for me.

What did I take away from this experience? Google is weird. For some categories I was pleasantly surprised, others a bit let down, and some totally creeped out. I do have or have tried a lot of these products. Some I won’t have a second thought about, but the ones I’m going to take some time to look into more are:

- Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth

- Profusion Eyeshadow Palette

- Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer (which I’ve thought about buying a lot recently)

- Fenty Beauty Lip Paint

So did this shake me to my core? No. Was it fun and thought-provoking? Most definitely. It made me think not just about new and old beauty products, but also about how we decide what to buy, how we are exposed to brands and products, and what I might have been missing out on without even knowing it.

How did it the Google Makeup Game/Challenge go for you? Did you discover anything new? I’m thinking I may try this again in a few months and see if I get different recommendations based on my online habits or whatever else influences Google. And what if you used a different search engine other than Google? Maybe Yahoo, or is Bing still a thing?


Cover photo via Southern Living