As the Internet democratizes everything from fashion (see: any of the hundreds of street style blogs) to high art (Exhibition A
makes Olaf Breuning pieces available to the masses), it was only a matter of time before the beauty world became equally accessible. Whether it’s using social networking to help users find a new face wash or facilitating connections with hair stylists, a handful of new digital platforms are, literally, sitting pretty.
For women who are turned off by pushy salespeople
who don’t know a blusher from a bronzer, Bloom.com
is their haven. The new website combines the best of online retail and social networking. After completing a survey to make a personal profile, shoppers are connected with relevant product reviews
from like-minded members. Also, they can search top products among friends and across Bloom.com users as a whole. Although the site is always adding new brands, the roster is already impressive: The 100-plus options
range from Neutrogena to Yves Saint Laurent. And if it turns out that one’s online friends aren’t all that helpful, there’s a 365-day return policy.
Book Ur Look:
Joining the ranks of Farmville and Words With Friends on Facebook is Book Ur Look
, a new, free application that helps New Yorkers find a salon, choose a stylist or colorist, and book an appointment with just the click of a mouse. One can search either by salon—there are currently nine in the database, including local favorites Ricardo Rojas Salon
and Red Market Salon
—or by date. From there, users can review each stylist’s profile, which lists their services, how long they take, and their rates. The app also lets users go through stylists’ portfolios, message them with questions, and then, for happy customers, upload post-visit photos.
It’s not the first blog
to peer inside the apartments—and bathroom counters—of fashion fixtures and creative types, but The Formula
has quickly established itself as a more inclusive alternative to the insider-heavy sites that have been dominating the web. That may have something to do with its founder, Aimee Blaut, a former gallerista
who started the site only after realizing that her true passion was beauty, not art. The Formula’s regular features fall under categories including Love Affairs
(first-person product breakdowns), The Expert
(q-and-a’s with makeup artists and magazine editors), and You Are A Babe
(profiles of a girl—or boy—about town and her makeup must-haves).