The internet is where beauty fans go to tap into their best selves. It’s where news of the latest hair trends live, the home to product launches galore, and the source of inspiration for some of your best, most inventive looks. It’s a safe space for people to stan over the color payoff of eyeshadow swatches or the expertly applied flick of someone’s cat eye. It’s an arena that’s evolved, shape-shifted, and grown more than we ever imagined possible.
While, sure, you could default to the usual suspects: Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, or Vogue (no shade) for your cosmetic content, but there is a world beyond. For those looking to add some new, niche bookmarks to have on standby, click on through. The world could always use a little bit more beauty.
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It’s a pretty hidden corner of the internet—Reddit isn’t the easiest website to navigate, after all—but amongst the many AMA threads and posts on their way to becoming viral, there’s a very devoted beauty community. A couple of subreddits are dedicated to topics like makeup, skin care, and curly hair, but the one we keep bookmarked is /r/AsianBeauty. The forum is a consistent open dialogue about products users love or just picked up (you’ve never seen hauls like these before), new brands they’ve discovered, or the problems with sheet mask sanitation. For Asian beauty beginners, they even provide you with a very in-depth breakdown of what you should know, but it’s also a place seasoned beauty lovers should keep on the back burner.
Racked’s core content is mostly fashion and e-commerce, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you overlooked their beauty coverage. The site’s investigative pieces—like “Faked (Nars) Orgasms And The Rise Of Makeup Dupes” and “How Plastic Surgeons Are Grappling With Snapchat”—are criminally underrated, while their market content is some of the best out there. The writers manage to cover the industry in a way that’s refreshing, but most importantly, exciting and unique. You’ll very rarely see a Kardashian story on their lineup, but, if you do, it’s usually to question their validity (or the family’s fascination with that photobooth... you know the one).
YouTube is a trove of not-so-secret makeup tutorials. The platform has given rise to hundreds of aspiring vloggers hoping to spread their beauty wings, and has become a source of inspiration, information, and entertainment for pretty much anybody enthusiastic about cosmetics. British beauty buff Zoella is just one of hundreds, but she has one of the biggest followings of them all—11 million and counting.
Makeup videos are what people automatically go to YouTube for, but you can learn a thing or two about hair and DIY beauty things, too.
New York Magazine’s The Cut is our favorite place to escape when we need a reminder to stop taking ourselves too seriously. Their beauty coverage is witty, yet intelligent, their product reviews are some of our favorites, and their roster of interviews is second to none. Sometimes, we find ourselves on their site for the brilliant headlines alone.
You might be more familiar with Glossier than the brand’s counterpart Into The Gloss, but real beauty buffs will know that this website is where it all started. On top of giving birth to what we now know as the #ITGTopShelfie, Into The Gloss produces gorgeous photo shoots and features some of the most interesting (and beautiful) women in the fashion, media, and beauty industries. Their reach is far, too. Grace Coddington, Rachel Roy, and Fern Mallis are just some insiders who have listed out their favorite products and routines for readers to gawk over.
Dupe That exists because everybody’s wondered at one point or another whether that $30 lipstick is worth the money and, um, can’t you get the same color for a lot cheaper? The answer is usually yes and Instagram handle @dupethat is proof. The account matches up popular pricey products (typically lipsticks and eyeshadows) with near identical cheaper options (showing the similarities with swatches). Who says you can’t have your lipstick and wear it, too?
This account has gotten some flack for being, according to Refinery29, the TMZ of Beauty (aka usually the first ones on the news, but with questionable methods on how they got there). The site has it has its perks, though, most of which include finding out about launches, upcoming beauty collabs, and when that sold-out collection is going to be restocked. It’s run by L.A.-based makeup artist Sophie Shab who scours the internet for Snapchats Instagram posts, and basically whatever else she can find that reveals embargoed and/or confidential information. Is it ethical? Not really, but for beauty devotees, it’s hard to not be intrigued.
Though not visual by any means (and beauty is typically very visual), podcasts are proving to be a special source to get information you might not get out of a 1,500 word article. Beauty editors Jennifer Goldstein of Marie Claire and Jessica Matlin of Teen Vogue do just that with their podcast Fat Mascara. The two candidly talk freaky facials, rainbow hair, and hair down there. Some of their guests include hairstylist Orlando Pita, makeup artist Troy Surratt, and the one and only Christian Louboutin.
The natural hair movement has blossomed like crazy over the past couple of years, giving birth to what seems like hundreds of blogs, YouTube channels, Pinterest pages, and more. The one we continuously go back to, though, is Naturally Curly. It includes a vault of information for those looking to start embracing their curls, testimonials from women who are already natural, and product recommendations galore for everyone on the spectrum between.
Here to answer all your chemistry questions you’ve ever had about beauty are the cosmetic scientists behind The Beauty Brains. Started by Perry Romanowski and Randy Schueller, the two are here to debunk myths about those so-called color-changing products, but also get really scientific about what the heck is in those micellar wipes (and what the hype’s about). The duo will help you become smarter about beauty products by providing their unbiased and useful expert advice and knowledge.
After becoming curious about her family’s history of cancer, Lily Tse decided to look into the “toxic” ingredients that were in her beauty products. “Although many products are labeled 'all-natural' or 'organic,' there is little transparency in labeling cosmetics,” she writes, also noting, “There was also no real tool out there for consumers to find information easily.” So, she took it upon herself to create one. Introducing Think Dirty—an app that allows users to easily vet how dangerous products are... or aren’t. It also keeps track of when you bought a bottle of shampoo or jar of night cream and when you should replace it.
Speaking of what’s in your beauty products, e-tailer Shen Beauty (they also have a brick-and-mortar store in Brooklyn) is a natural beauty advocate’s best friend. The site is curated to include organic, eco-friendly brands, most of which you’ve probably never heard of but should definitely know about. They also have a blog component that includes interviews with the founders behind some of the products they stock, like fragrance company Lurk, UMA oils, and more.