xoVain Open Thread: Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Which will probably lead to more questions, but that’s what the comments section is for.
Publish date:
April 4, 2014
open thread, pitching, writing, careers, FAQ, internships

You know what I love? Insidery information. Anything that gives me a behind-the-scenes look at something, I am sure to enjoy--even if it’s about a subject that doesn’t typically interest me.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions, both directly and indirectly, about the whys and wherefores of xoVain. It’s tough to answer every one individually, so I’m going to do my best to tackle the frequently asked questions here.

My point: I have a sense that a lot of you are just as curious as I am to know the inner workings of a place like this, so I wanted to give you a closer look at how your xoVain sausage gets made.

And now, on to the Qs!

Q: Where did [insert name of former xoVain contributor/staffer] go? A: Honestly, this is probably a better question for Google. This place has had quite a few contributors in its brief history!

Q: Do you need interns? A: Yes, but not for summer. Hopefully for fall? We will keep you posted as soon as we can reboot our xoVain internship program.

Q: Are you hiring? A: Not at this time, but we are ALWAYS on the lookout for people who can become regular contributors and eventually, contributing editors: pitches@xovain.com

Q: If I send in a pitch and you accept it, what happens next? A: We will work with you on tightening the idea. Once we’re all on the same page, you’ll get the go-ahead to write it. We’ll also send you the photo specs and a writer agreement. You’ll then file your story, the photos, and a brief bio for your author page along with a headshot. Next, we will edit it and publish it. And after that, Internet fame and glory for you!

Q: When you reject a pitch, what are some of the reasons? A: If it’s something we have already covered or are planning to cover. If it’s filled with typos. If the tone is mean or insulting. If it's about salt spray, because Lord have mercy, we are good on that forever and ever, amen. If we can't get to the right place with photos. If you didn’t follow these steps.

Q: Why did you guys choose Kevin as your cosmetic chemist contributor when there are so many capable women out there who could just as easily do the same thing? A: Kevin is a scientist; that he’s also a man didn’t cross my mind. He reached out, gave us some interesting ideas, and we said we wanted to work together. And I really appreciated his willingness to jump into the mix.

But that doesn’t mean Kevin is the sole scientific voice on the site (also, he has a day job so he can only write so much). I am open to hearing from any and all scientists out there.

So: If you are a scientist and your work concerns beauty in any way, and you want to write for us, please be in touch: pitches@xovain.com

Q: Why do you write about expensive stuff when most of your readers can’t afford to spend $XYZ on a beauty product? A: When it comes to product recommendations, my feeling is this: I want xoVain to cover what works, full-stop. What I never want to do: Make readers feel sad or stressed out or ashamed that they can’t afford a certain product, and I hope that comes across in our voice.

That said, I think part of being a smart consumer is understanding when something is actually worth it. Yes, $100 (just using that number as an example) is a LOT of money for a beauty product. But I would ask you to allow the idea that sometimes it’s worth spending $100 on something truly efficacious, rather than $100 on 10 less-effective products that you’ll toss in your drawer later and never use again.

Also, until you’ve tried a large sample size of similar products, you can’t truly know whether the less-expensive one is better. Sometimes, it is; sometimes it’s just cheaper. The same goes for pricey things.

THAT said, I do love that you all are always so quick to recommend less-expensive options in the comments. Because hey, who doesn't love a bargain? And in the end, all we can do is give you the information. The rest is between you and your wallet.

I hope this was helpful? If you have any follow-up questions, the floor is yours.

And if you’d rather just talk about your current beauty obsessions/problems, you can do that, too. The thread is open, you know?