By Sarah Mann
Elm Staff Writer
Back in middle school, when I first got my own laptop, I remember stalking the websites of Sephora and Covergirl, enthralled by the world of beauty even before I actually wore makeup. If I wanted any guidance in how to put on eyeliner or which products to buy, I found my options pretty limited. I would try reading the beauty sections of magazines’ websites and was disappointed that I saw the same articles on how to get Victoria’s Secret model hair posted week after week. The online world of beauty writing can be overwhelming, but I’m so glad I know better now. Here are some of my favorites:
This is probably my most visited website aside from Google or Facebook. Their articles cover makeup, hair care, skin care, fragrance, and more recently, Halloween costume looks. I think what makes this website stand out is although it is written by a large pool of contributors from all over the country (and some outside of the United States), each post has the feel of a blog post. It’s sort of the anti-thesis of women’s magazine beauty writing, which feels impersonal and often assumes that every reader will want to create the same conventionally attractive look when it comes to hair and makeup. The writers at XOVain feel like they can be your friends. The site generally takes a feminist and ethically conscious approach to beauty, discussing issues like animal testing and the lack of shades for darker skin tones among many cosmetics brands. Finally, the comments sections are always alive and well. Check out the LOTW (Look of the Week) articles and comments for some inspiration and to see an online community who interacts positively, offering support, and answering each other’s questions.
Into the Gloss (intothegloss.com)
Into the Gloss has received a lot of attention in the past year or so for launching its own beauty brand, Glossier. Of course, Glossier is featured on the site, but it’s so much more than that. One of ITG’s signatures is its Top Shelf series which feature in-depth interviews with people (sometimes celebrities) wherein they explain their entire getting-ready routines complete with product names. ITG often delves into topics concerning beauty that aren’t strictly makeup or skin care like food, exercise, and style, for a more holistic approach. My main complaint with this site is that its product and service recommendations are often really expensive, but that’s not always the case. Either way, it’s worth checking out for its minimalistic aesthetic and gorgeous photography. ITG doesn’t shy away from an editorial look either, so if you’re feeling tired of the Kardashian makeup trend (all contouring and neutrals), this is the place for you.
Powder Doom (powderdoom.tumblr.com)
If you prefer a Tumblr-style blog with articles from various contributors, give this website a look. Run by all-around cool girl Arabelle Sicardi, this one has a colorful pastel aesthetic and includes makeup tutorials meant to be as easy for beginners as they are for pros. If you like pink and glitter and/or you find a lot of beauty sites intimidating, this is a great introduction over a form of social media you’re likely already using.
This is only a small sampling of the beauty sites and blogs that are out there, and these don’t even touch on all the inspiration and guidance you can get from platforms like Instagram or sites like YouTube. If you’re looking for help in figuring out hair or makeup or you just want to change up your look, these are great places to start.