Open Thread: What’s Your (Beauty) Problem?

No, really. I want to know.
Publish date:
July 3, 2014
open thread, beauty problems, questions

At my previous job, I once worked on a story about a new formulation of lipgloss. The question I was tasked with was, “Why the heck is this lipgloss, compared with all the other lipglosses on the market, so much glossier?”

I emailed a cosmetic chemist to find out. She told me, along with a lot of other details, something to the effect of, “It was made using millions of shimmery microparticles suspended in oil, which are then itself suspended in the lipgloss formula.” In short, this particular gloss was glossier because it included a shit-ton of shimmery particles. I included that info in the story.

When the first draft came back, a note from my editor read, “Millions? Are we sure? Check number.” She wasn’t kidding. I don’t think she meant for me to have the shimmery particles counted (I suspect she wanted to avoid hyperbole), but the request wouldn’t have surprised me.

Once, she asked me and three other editors to verify whether an eyeshadow we had deemed “celadon” was “truly celadon,” or more like jade. Getting to a solution in that case involved a FULL DAY of swatching, poring over Pantone chips, and hand-wringing around whether my computer monitor’s resolution should be recalibrated. (And people wonder why print magazines are on the ropes.)

Moments like that--and there were many--made me go a little insane over time. With every subsequent note, my brain screamed out, "WHO CARES?" even as I scrambled to track down the answers. Eventually, I realized those were not the beauty questions I wanted to answer. And it was time for me to move on.

This is the stuff I want to know: Does it look/smell good? Does it fill a need in my life? Does it solve a problem? Will it at least make me temporarily happy in the way beauty stuff can make one temporarily happy? When it comes to products, or any beauty-related issue, that’s what I want to know. I want to solve beauty problems all day long.

So take advantage of this long weekend and this early Open Thread (woo hoo!) to let us know about any beauty question, issue, technique, or problem you have, big or small, and we’ll write a story about it--provided, of course, we haven’t recently covered it. Then keep an eye out for your story.

Highly upvoted problems will probably get priority, but we’ll try to tackle each and every one in the coming weeks/months. Let’s see how it goes.

PS: We are publishing on a slightly abbreviated schedule due to the 4th of July holiday. ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND. And see you next week.