Try Out Glossier’s New Shade Finder

Have you ever found  yourself on the Glossier homepage wondering “What tint shade am I?!” Don’t despair—figuring it out is really quite easy. First of all, the Perfecting Skin Tint is very sheer, so if you have even an inkling about which shade you are, that inkling is probably right. Go with your gut, and know that this, honestly, is very hard to screw up.

But if you’re having doubts (as is common when purchasing any skin-colored product online), we’re here to help. As is our brand-spanking-new shade finder tool, debuting on Glossier.com this week. It’s simple: Upload a picture of yourself in direct light (don’t whitewash yourself, though), and through the wonders of technology, we’ll figure out what shade you are. In seconds! Never wonder where you fall on the color spectrum again. Also exciting to note: We’ve released two darker tint shades—Deep and Rich.

But this shade finder didn’t come out of thin air fully formed. In honor of the beautiful struggle that is building things that optimize customer experience on the internet, here are a few of the versions that didn’t see the light of day.

The Wheel of Shade Selection

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It’s nice to have another chance to look at all of our lovely shade finder models, but self-identifying is a slippery slope for some. In your mind, you might look like a Medium, when really, you’re closer to Light. Both beautiful, but definitely not the same skin tone. The user experience here was too difficult. Next!

Tinder Your Right Shade

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This one might be the office favorite. Just like online dating, here, the user would have to answer a bunch of questions (except these questions were about skin tone, not about what you like to do in your spare time). After a few rounds, It’s A Match! Again, a little difficult for the user—but made up for by the sheer fun of Tindering your way to ideal makeup.

Be Your Own Tint Cam Girl

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Similar to the final product, this tool asked the user to take a photo of him or herself, but with a white piece of paper in the frame to color-balance. Accurate, sure, but not convenient. What if you want to find your ideal shade while you’re on your phone, riding the subway? The receipt at the bottom of your purse probably won’t work in lieu of paper. On to something more convenient…

The Mask

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Back to the upload-a-photo-of-yourself drawing board, this iteration was meant to do exactly what the tint does in real life—provide a slight airbrushing effect on top of the skin. But when it comes down to it, a digital overlay of tint looks about as realistic as those Try On This Haircut apps. A full face of digital makeup looked awkward—so what about swatching?

Once the swatch idea took hold, things started to heat up. It’s how we arrived at the final form of the tool—upload a photo, focus in on a swatch of your skin, we’ll analyze it, and tell you your shade. It’s easy, it’s quick, and most importantly, it’s accurate. No more guesswork. It’s a beautiful thing.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

For more on Glossier, click here.

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Why Glossier Doesn’t Ship Internationally (Yet)

Month over month, there’s one question we hear more than anything else across all of our channels, from the ITG comment section to our Glossier g.TEAM email (even over on Instagram): “When will Glossier start shipping internationally?” We hear you loud and clear, so let’s get into it! The answer isn’t so much complicated as it is long. Shipping internationally requires a lot of moving parts, and we want to make sure we get all of those parts right before we jump in feet first. A brief look at what it takes:

Find Your Host Family
Also known as a “Responsible Party.” This is the company that makes sure whatever product we ship overseas meets all formulation and packaging regulations. The rules are different country by country, so brands looking to go abroad need extra assistance to make sure everything is done on the up and up. Think of the RP as a hybrid between a chemist and a lawyer—they’ll compile all of our information about our formula, ingredients, packaging material, and product claims (this takes about four to six weeks), after which they’ll review and approve (another three weeks); then, if they want to do their own round of product testing, they will (on top of our 12-week round of testing that checks the product in its final packaging to make sure everything’s safe). This is our due diligence to make sure everything we make meets all of the ingredient regulations and packaging requirements abroad—plus the RP serves as a foreign touchpoint should any issues come up. So it’s important that we took the time to find the right foreign allies—and we’re happy to note that we have done this.

Say It Again In French
If a brand starts shipping to new countries, they need to include each product’s statement of identity (the SOI for the Balm Dotcom is “universal skin salve”), instructions, and ingredients on the packaging in every. single. language. of the countries we’d like to ship to. To use the Balm Dotcom as an example again, that’s a pretty small tube. This is why many companies will print all the additional languages on a leaflet that comes inside the product box. That solves the problem of having all the languages represented (and legible), but it also means that new packaging must be created, which has its own set of implications—how can we create something low-waste? What projects do we put on hold so that the packaging team can create these new pieces? And who is our French/German/Russian/Italian/Korean copywriter?

The Customer Is Always Awake
We’re always working on creating the most seamless screen-to-door experience, which gets especially complicated when your door is in another country. No one wants to order something in mid-August and receive it in October. Plus, what happens when a customer who speaks another language has a question? Well, this actually has happened before, and our earth angel of a customer service representative, Emily Mullaney, found a way to translate our mask instructions in German—but this obviously is not scalable. In the interest of customers getting timely responses in their own language, we have to figure out an efficient way of addressing customer service on a global scale—and keep it all up to Glossier standards (which means responding to customers within 12 hours of their first email).

So where do we stand on the issue now? At this point, we’re still very much in the international shipping weeds. But as we continue to work on it, we’re happy to say that we have a very exciting collaboration coming up that should tide international fans over in the meantime.

On that note—tell us where you are that you can’t get Glossier. Better yet, share a photo! We’d love to see where you live and hopefully get some Glossier to live with you there soon.

—Us

Photographed by Tom Newton.

For more Glossier behind the scenes, see Tom’s take on shooting the #nofilterjustglossier mini campaign.

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What’s Your Take On The Makeup Tax?

By all accounts, my morning routine takes very little time. A coat of mascara, a layer of La Roche-Posay tinted sunscreen, and a swipe of Josie Maran’s Argan Color Stick on my cheeks and I’m out the door. It’s so simple—the bare minimum, really—that it absolutely baffles me that it still takes me three times as long to get ready in the morning as my boyfriend (who, I might add, also spends a lot less time staring into the closet to choose an outfit, since he wears a suit every day).

It turns out, there’s a name for this: the “makeup tax.” It’s the idea that women, in order to look “presentable” before walking out into the world, have to spend extra time, money, and effort. In a recent piece on the “makeup tax” in The Atlantic, Olga Khazan cites some startling statistics: The average woman will spend $15,000 on cosmetics in her lifetime and two weeks per year putting on makeup.

Now, that’s not necessarily a problem. If you love beauty, you love it—and you’re willing to spend endless time and money on it. Sometimes a Tom Ford lipstick is just the thing. (This is to say nothing of how it’s marketed towards women almost exclusively and therefore an assumed part of a female routine.) However, it does become a problem if you’re punished for not wanting to take the time. One study showed that women who wore makeup appeared more competent and likable (women who wore too much makeup, on the other hand, seemed less trustworthy). Another study suggested that women who wore makeup got more prestigious jobs than those who didn’t. Khazan likens going barefaced to someone who shows up to a work meeting with a stained shirt—it’s perceived as sloppy.

The solution here is obviously not for all women to stop wearing makeup. Nor do I think we should all work from home so that we can hide our bare faces in shame. Going without makeup, for anyone who’s acquainted with a serious skincare routine, is certainly not sloppy. Regardless, it seems this is just another tightrope women have had to walk and continue to navigate in order to find certain kinds of professional success (speak loud, but not in a whiny tone of voice; spread out, but don’t take up too much space; tap into your masculinity, but don’t give up your femininity; and so on).

I don’t want to add specific rules about makeup to that ever-growing list of ingredients women need to succeed. So here’s another idea: Maybe the reason women get ahead when they’re more made-up has more to do with confidence. I’m not sure that my tinted sunscreen, blush, and mascara make a huge difference in what I look like—but it feels huge. Not wearing makeup, for me, is sort of like forgetting to brush my teeth: it’s just weird. But if I carried myself with the same confidence barefaced as I did with makeup on, would anyone even notice the difference? I’m not sure. What I do know is that if I had an extra $15,000 and two weeks each year, I’d take a vacation somewhere tropical and warm. No makeup allowed.

But that’s just me. And the great thing about my feelings is that they only apply to my life—so what about yours? Does your makeup tax you at all? Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, I’m curious to know.

—Arielle Pardes

Photos via ITG.

Tax or no tax, how long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

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Le Labo’s City Exclusives Are Available Everywhere

I’d like to preface this story with a simple sentence–I live in New York, but I daydream of Tokyo. I’ve never been, but it’s a new favorite. I’ll tell you why.

You might be familiar with the fact that Le Labo has nine City Exclusives available only in their namesake cities. They are as follows:

Tokyo’s Gaiac 10
Paris’ Vanille 44
New York’s Tubereuse 40
London’s Poivre 23
Los Angeles’ Musc 25
San Francisco’s Limette 37
Chicago’s Baie Rose 26
Dubai’s Cuir 28
Moscow’s Benjoin 19

The romantic in me is led to believe the only opportunity I’ll ever have to breathe in the beauty of Gaiac 10 is if I travel to Tokyo. But no. In the spirit of sharing, for the month of September, Le Labo is offering the entire City Exclusives collection to everyone everywhere, in stores and online. You could be in Chicago and decide to you’d like to smell like Moscow or, like me, treasuring your own little bit of Tokyo in New York. If you’d like to prepare for September’s free-for-all, Le Labo is currently offering all of the scents in tiny tester vials right now for your sampling pleasure. Might not make the decision any easier, but here’s hoping.

—Jen Steele

Photographed by Tom Newton.

The difference between a middle and top note (plus everything else you wondered about perfume terminology) is explained here.

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Alaïa & Miu Miu Announce Their First Scents

Alaïa and Miu Miu have more in common than you think. This month, each house announced their first fragrances, both named after their respective brands—Alaïa by Alaïa and Miu Miu by Miu Miu. Alaïa’s fragrance mirrors the bottle. Inside the oriental-inspired black glass is a heavy, musky scent lightened with hints of peony. Miu Miu’s bottle is a nod to the past opulence of perfumery and also to the brand’s iconic aesthetic. The scent is what you’d expect a Miu Miu girl to wear—it’s clean, complicated, and feminine, while also managing to be a bit showy. The two offer a lot of variety—musky and mysterious, or fresh and fun. Pick one, pick both—they’re both truly a triumph in firsts.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Fragrance top notes, explained.

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