This week a spotlight fell on fake beauty reviews following popular skincare brand Sunday Riley's admittance to encouraging employees to post positive reviews on shopping sites.
The revelations came following Instagram account @EsteeLaundry – which claims to "air out the beauty industry's dirty laundry" – releasing an email from Sunday Riley to employees requesting they post fake reviews for its Saturn and Space Race products.
Following the drama, there's been lots of talk about hot to spot a fake beauty review. An extensive Reddit thread has listed some of the ways you may be able to tell:
Does the review use familiar, conversational language?
If it sounds like something you would say to a friend, chances are it's the real deal. If it's full of beauty buzzwords and jargon like "yellow undertones" or "eye look", chances are it could be a fake review.
Does it repeat words?
If you read a review that uses 'lipstick' and 'lips' more than necessary, one Reddit user highlights that this could be due to SEO:
"If you see reviews with a bunch of SEO terms, it’s a good tell. Often reviewers will be forced to use somewhat weird grammar and repeat phrases or words to help SEO. So if you see a review that says ‘pigment’ AND ‘pigmented’, as well as say, ‘moisturising’ AND ‘hydrating’ I’d be suspicious."
Is it at least 100-150 words long?
This is noted as another SEO-boosting trick.
Does it specifically reference something that has been negatively mentioned in other reviews?
If a review is purposely refuting the claims of other reviewers, i.e. "I don't know what patchiness everyone's referring to", that could be a telltale sign.
How many other reviews has the reviewer left?
If you can, check if the reviewer is only reviewing one brand, or has only reviewed one product. That's a red flag.