Beauty bloggers are a dime a dozen — just type “smoky-eye tutorial” into YouTube and see what comes up. (Approximately 583,000 results, at last count.) But, despite the many thousands of makeup enthusiasts armed with cameras and Internet connections, it isn’t always simple to find an expert whose advice is actually relevant to your individual facial features. Ask anyone with monolids or hooded eyes to try out one of those aforementioned smoky-eye tutorials, and they’ll tell you: Beauty advice, no matter how much of it there is, is not one-size-fits-all.
That’s exactly the challenge Frances Yun — a Harvard grad, entrepreneur, and makeup aficionado — set out to solve when she teamed up with a fellow beauty buff to create the Your Beauty Guru Match. The online tool, which launched last month, allows users to find beauty bloggers who share similar features by selecting their skin tone, eye shape, hair color, and more. With over 200 bloggers in the database (and counting), it’s a way for makeup lovers of all skill levels — especially those who have features not typically covered in mainstream media — to find practical, relatable, real-life beauty inspiration and advice.
Yun, who first created swatch-sharing site Savvyist to help makeup enthusiasts figure out which colors and products will work for them, filled us in on her inspiration behind the tool.
What’s Guru Match all about? "The overall premise is about finding someone who’s into beauty, can give recommendations, and looks a little bit like you."
What inspired you to create the tool? "It was a stroke of luck. [After founding Savvyist,] I met a girl on Reddit named Layla, who had made this big Excel spreadsheet of a bunch of beauty bloggers with their eye colors, hair colors, [and the like]. So, I messaged her and asked her if she wanted to join the company. She said yes, and so we [kept] working on that spreadsheet, which she had compiled just for fun."
Who did you have in mind when you created it — total makeup newbies? More advanced beauty lovers looking to up their game? Somewhere in-between? "Even for people who know more about makeup, I think it’s helpful to find someone who has similar features. There are a lot of people who already follow beauty bloggers, but there wasn’t really a way to find one who specifically shared your features. A lot of the bloggers aren’t just doing tutorials — they're doing product swatches, showing how things look on their skin tone, and also branching out into fashion and lifestyle."
Can people use it to find info that's not available in mainstream beauty media? "Definitely. There isn’t really a good way to search for [bloggers], so we think it definitely helps to find one who shares your look. I think certain eye types, especially, are not very common [in the media], but the people who do have those features want to find someone who can help them. The majority of beauty bloggers have [Western] 'double eyelids,' and even just applying eyeshadow works differently for them."
There are lots of self-proclaimed “gurus” on YouTube and Tumblr. Do you vet the ones featured in Guru Match? "We don’t have set criteria, but we’ve definitely rejected some people because we felt they hadn’t been around for long enough. We want it to be a steady and helpful resource. We don’t have rules — we just do quality control ourselves. And, we want it to have a good enough range of different skin-tone and hair-color combinations."
What’s next for the service? "We’re taking a lot of feedback from people who want additional filters: For example, international people want to find people from their own countries so they can find certain products. We’ll also be adding some filters like hair type, YouTubers versus bloggers, more eye types, and age range."
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