This post is HIGHLY RATED. * 4.9 out of 5 STARS!!!*

This post is HIGHLY RATED. * 4.9 out of 5 STARS!!!*

I noticed a new trend yesterday.

Well, maybe it's not a *new* trend, but it's new to me. Maybe it's an old trend and I've been falling for it for years now.

It all started with this: I decided I needed a new makeup brush.

I bought a new thing of foundation at Ulta and looked at the brushes that are "supposed" to go with my makeup. The brushes are all in the $25-$30 range; and, after hemming and hawing for a few minutes, I decided it was more important for me to buy the "Bitch Fit" nail polish instead. I do not regret this decision. This is the pink I've been looking for.

I figured I'm not great about taking care of my makeup brushes anyway. Maybe I could find a cheaper one. So what if I have to replace it in a few months?

I went on Amazon, as one does, to begin my search.

I typed in "kabuki brush" and then filtered the results by average customer review.

The first one that popped up had 250+ reviews, FIVE STARS, and was only $13. I started feeling pretty proud of myself. "See," I thought, "half the price of the one I saw in the store. I can afford another Bitch Fit."

Then I started reading the reviews. Most of them, I noticed, read like shills, over-using the name of the company and the phrase "kabuki brush." They read like someone paid a bunch of people (or a PR company) to flood the page with positive reviews (thus sending this brush the top of the "highly rated" list. Very smart, Dr. Jones.)

The next thing that struck me was that most of the reviews were written in the past several months, going back to October 2014, but no further. That adds up to a lot of people feeling passionate enough about a KABUKI BRUSH, mind you, to go on Amazon and write a review. Shenanigans.

Some of the reviews do mention that they received the brush in exchange for a positive review, but don't worry -- all of their thoughts and opinions are their own. More shenanigans.

I see this a lot on Goodreads, obviously. Book bloggers get an advanced copy of a novel, and they feel compelled to give a good review. That's why, when I'm on Goodreads, the five-star reviews are, to me, as meaningless as the one-star reviews. Five stars = I know the author/I got this for free. (Sometimes five stars = amazing, but true five-star books are few and FAR between. I'm pretty sure I gave five stars to exactly one book last year.) One star = I took issue with something in this book and I cannot objectively review it. I once gave a one-star review because I was so upset about how wrong the book got baseball that I couldn't see anything else.

The two, three, and four-star reviews are where you really get to the heart of the matter. I wouldn't read a book that got only five-star reviews, and I won't buy a product for the same reason.

Besides, I found a perfectly fine brush at Target for $7.

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