The fashion blogosphere was aching for a sophisticated space devoted to beauty. Sure, there were sites dedicated to replicating celebrity red carpet looks, YouTube makeup tutorials and product review blogs. But there was nothing out there that combined the sleek sensibilities of a glossy fashion mag with beauty advice from folks you trust. That is, writes Leah Chernikoff, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBay's digital style magazine, until Emily Weiss launched Into the Gloss in September 2010.
Weiss is just 26, but she's a bit of a fashion phenom. She spent most of her college years interning at Teen Vogue and worked at W before leaving to assist renowned stylist Elissa Santisi. Her status as a true fashion insider gives her access to the best in the biz, who often make appearances on her blog -- she's backstage at Paris Fashion Week; making over top models in her kitchen with the newest beauty products from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Dior; and inside the bathroom cabinets and vanities of top editors, designers and industry pros. Socialite and Co-Founder of luxury fashion site Moda Operandi Lauren Santo Domingo; art director (and daughter of Carine Roitfeld) Julia Restoin Roitfeld; The Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine; Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue Amy Astley; and Editor in Chief of T, The New York Times magazine Sally Singer have all been featured on her site.
"The Top Shelf", which gives readers a peak inside the vanities and bathroom cabinets of designers, editors and key industry players, is, according to Weiss, "the most popular feature because it's that voyeuristic thing of going into these people's bathrooms." Among those featured: Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder, Moda Operandi...
... Julia Restoin Roitfeld
... and Leandra Medine, The Man Repeller
In the following interview, Leah Chernikoff, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBay's digital style magazine, catches up with Weiss on all things beauty -- from the best Chanel nail polish to the importance of moisturizing--and why beauty is more fun than fashion. To read the interview in it's original form, visit The Inside Source, and check us out on Twitter and Facebook.
The Inside Source: How did Into the Gloss come about?
Emily Weiss: I've always really loved beauty, but being a beauty editor was always a fantasy job for me -- like going to be a fire fighter. I always viewed beauty as an element of personal style. It's not just about the product or the new technology; it's part of your look. And I felt like no one was really talking about it in a very chic way.
Beauty was very celebrity-centered -- like how to get the perfect red carpet makeup -- and I don't care about that. That's not the kind of beauty that inspires me. So I was thinking how nothing existed that showcased beauty as an element of personal style -- and then I just kind of built it and launched it all at once.
The Inside Source: Why is Into the Gloss different from other beauty sites?
Emily Weiss: I thought about the different sections of the site like I was starting a magazine. I'm a total magazine girl, so my background is very much that kind of thinking. I knew I didn't want it to be about me either -- it's about my eye but I didn't want it to be 'I'm taking pictures of myself.' I was working with stylists and always around different photographers and hair and makeup people and models and all the players in the industry, and they were all really inspiring. So I thought about these different components like "The Top Shelf" [which gives readers a peak inside the vanities and bathroom cabinets of designers, editors and key industry players] and "The Makeup" which is like a hybrid casting snapshot meets editorial of top models--they come over and I do their makeup and I photograph them against my wall with my cats. The Top Shelf is the most popular feature because it's that voyeuristic thing of going into these people's bathrooms.
The Inside Source: How do you choose whom to feature?
Emily Weiss: That's the hardest thing to answer. I just like a cool girl. It's always different. I like a girl with pink hair or that whole messy sexy French thing. It's a gesture -- a lip or an eyeliner, but it's not the whole perfect beautiful package. It's the same reason a street style photographer stops a girl in cool, colorful layers.
The Inside Source: Who has stood out so far of the folks you've featured?
Emily Weiss: Sally Singer. She's got this super intellectual un-beauty that I think is so cool. She doesn't do any makeup or hair. She herself says she doesn't know how to put on makeup; that she can't be bothered. But she has this insane nail art that she gets so excited about. She works on the designs herself.
The Inside Source: What are the hair and makeup trends for fall?
Emily Weiss: What I noticed for fall is that the hair was really attainable. It wasn't loose and it was actually kind of severe, but cool. For instance, the really masculine hair that was parted and combed and pulled back that everyone did on the runways is something I would do. So some nights if my hair is a little greasy and has some texture, you can make it really smooth and it makes you look so chic. It's just something that's very decisive.
The Inside Source: After interviewing all these fashion people in the know, what are the best tips and products?
Emily Weiss: Moisturizing! I think you should be slathering it on. The thicker the cream, the better. Misting has been a thing that a lot of people have talked about. There are special waters like Avene -- which is this thermal spring water -- or Jurlique, which makes a mist in rose or lavender water. Keep one at your desk and it's a great pick-me-up if you're a zombie in front of the computer. It's also great for spraying right after you've done your makeup so you don't look like you just put on a bunch of makeup -- it doesn't make the makeup drip off your face; it just makes you look a little fresher.
The Inside Source: You said you didn't want to do a blog where you took photos of yourself, but your eye and your style do come into play. What are the clothes you choose to complement your personal beauty look?
Emily Weiss: For me beauty is so much more fun than shopping because you can be so obsessed with it without spending too much money, and there's less of a commitment. But I'm a shoe and blazer girl. In Paris I got these Celine heels and these red Chloe ballerina flats. And every year I splurge on one good blazer.
The Inside Source: So what would you look for on eBay to find that one good blazer?
Emily Weiss: eBay's great for finding something when it's sold out. For blazer's I look for Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester or Theyskens' new line for Theory is great.
The Inside Source: Anything else you go to eBay for?
Emily Weiss: Vintage dresses from the '30s and '40s. I collect them.
The Inside Source: And for beauty? And discontinued beauty products you search eBay for?
Emily Weiss: Chanel nail polishes! They sell out so quickly each season... They are like collectibles.
(images courtesy of Emily Weiss)