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xoVain: Confessions of the Beauty Editors

There are no beauty secrets on xoVain, the new beauty site from Jane Pratt and the latest offshoot of xoJane (one of the fastest growing women's lifestyle brand on the Web). In fact, the editors of xoVain make a point of sharing everything – and we mean everything. As Racked put it when xoVain launched: "Oh, the irresistible allure of the overshare!"

And that, of course, is how all the best beauty tips are born.

xoVain launched in March and since then has built a loyal community of beauty lovers. We checked in with two of the site's talented editors, Marci and Annie and asked them to share some of their favorite posts, their must-have beauty products, and what they've learned about what xoVain readers really want.

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h1 Our stories are based on what's going on in our respective lives, so we get inspiration from everything.

Marci, xoVain

xoVain is now a few months old – any surprises about what readers really want (or don't)? I think the biggest surprise is that everyone wants something different. Some readers immediately adapted to how different xoVain is from other beauty sites - how much more personal and reality-based it is, and those readers love commiserating and celebrating with the writers. Others just want straight-forward tutorials, and they can take or leave the backstory.

Fess up: What are your current 5 must-have beauty items? Right now, I'm trying to avoid wearing foundation because I inevitably sweat it off five minutes into my commute, so my must-haves are all products that can improve the look of my bare skin without makeup: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads, pur~lisse put~bright ultra skin brightening serum, Obagi Nu-Derm Blender, 3LAB Hydra Day SPF 20, and Perricone MD Advanced Eye Area Therapy.

What are your 5 personal all-time favorite xoVain posts? Annie's Lindsay Lohan mugshot makeup recreations were unbelievable, and they went up the same day as my response to the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign, which was accompanied by a video that has garnered almost 50,000 views at this point.

I also loved Alle's very first post, "Turn A Regrettable Lip Colour Purchase Into Your Own Custom Shade." She really raised the bar for other contributors with her imagery.

Glennis does an amazing job of both informing and entertaining with her posts; "You Will Get Healthier Nails If It's The Last Video I Ever Do! (It's Not)" is a perfect example.

And I'm a little biased, but I'm a pretty big fan of my own Amy Fisher beauty tutorial from early on, as well.

How do you guys come up with story ideas – what's the filter? What's a filter? Just kidding. Our stories are based on what's going on in our respective lives, so we get inspiration from everything, from something we heard someone say on the subway to an old movie we caught on TCM over the weekend. If we were to put stringent limits on where we get our inspiration, we'd probably end up looking a lot like other beauty sites. (Was that a diss? It wasn't meant to be.)

What's a story you'd love to do but haven't yet? I have SO many ideas swimming around in my mind. Personally, I'd like to do a tutorial on how to make it look like you still have the cleavage you had in your 20s. I'm also planning to do a Pee-Wee Herman makeup tutorial.

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h2 I think it's silly to take this stuff too seriously, but I do value looking hot.

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Annie, xoVain

What would you say is your beat on xoVain? I've been called the "stoner beauty editor," because I think it's silly to take this stuff too seriously, but I do value looking hot. So my tips kind of revolve around that.

What are your current 5 must-have beauty items?

Esteé Lauder's Double Wear Stay-In-Place Gel Eyeliner

Mario Badescu's Rose Hips Mask to be used after...

Kate Somerville's Exfolikate mask

YSL's Touche Éclat Radiant Touch

Mr. Pumice pumi block

How about your 5 all-time favorite xoVain posts?

Finally Got Some Pics Of My Hair, Yay! - The photos are really pretty in this, and now the dude that took them is my boyfriend - ha!

The Most Terrifying Beauty Sample I've Ever Received - My boyfriend was really cute in this, too.

Trendy Teeth: A DIY Gap Tooth Tutorial - I've always wanted to do this, even before I knew I'd ever be writing about beauty.

Sponge Curlers: If They're Big In Japan, They're Good Enough For Me - it was a simple post that did surprisingly well.

How To Tell If You're Actually In A High-End Salon - Because it made people so angry.

Yes, I chose all posts by me, because I am, in fact, extremely vain.

What's the backstory behind the Lindsay Lohan mugshot brilliance? Has Lindsay seen it? We were sitting in Jane's office brainstorming future posts, and since we already had "inappropriate beauty muses" I suggested that I recreate the Lohan mugshots. Jane liked it, so I had to do it. I kept putting it off and putting it off because I knew it would be a huge task, so at the last minute before we left for Miami, I bribed my boyfriend to sit with me as I recreated each look and he snapped the photos. I don't know if Lindsay has seen it, but somebody named Michael Lohan liked it on Instagram. I think it maybe was her brother?

Are there any other beauty sites you follow? I'll sometimes read Into The Gloss ... and I like Jane's hair styles on Sea of Shoes.

Follow xoVain on Twitter @xoVain.

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