Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein of Fat Mascara. (Photo: Aaron Richter)
Instagram, YouTube, and now iTunes. Beauty addicts already have a few avenues through which they can get their daily fix, but two magazine editors have just added another one with the podcast Fat Mascara. Created and co-hosted by Marie Claire executive beauty and health editor Jennifer Goldstein and Cosmopolitan deputy beauty editor Jessica Matlin, Fat Mascara is the podcast beauty nerds will freak out over. Whether the twosome is waxing poetic on their love of glitter or getting the deets on the best kind of coconut oil to use, Fat Mascara is definitely more than just idle beauty talk. The podcast is only 2 ½ episodes deep (Jess and Jenn added a bonus “get to know us” episode to the roster), but we can already tell it’s going to be a permanent fixture on our lists of podcasts we listen to on our morning commutes.
We chatted with the Fat Mascara gals to get more info on the podcast, their thoughts on the beauty industry, and what we can expect from the weekly half-hour show.
Yahoo Style: So how did Fat Mascara come about?
Jessica Matlin: Basically, I’ve been listening to podcasts for the past few years, and I thought a beauty podcast would be a good idea. When I looked for some, I didn’t see that many, and certainly not ones that had the people I would want to be listening to. I got started thinking about what one would look like and … my perfect partner in mind immediately was Jen.
Jennifer Goldstein: No, not true!
JM: It’s true!
JG: No, it was completely her idea and then she came to me and she said, “I’m thinking about doing this, and I feel like I need a partner,” right?
JM: Jen’s calling me on my s*** right now! I definitely needed a partner, but you can even ask my boyfriend, I said the perfect person would be someone like Jen, and he was like, “She would be perfect.” So Jen and I went out for a drink, I talked to her, and I said, “I definitely don’t think you’d be able to do it,” but then she was able to do it!
JG: You need someone like me for balance. And Jess came through with the name too.
JM: We were coming up with all these names, and they were all really bad. They were like “Beauty Corner” and things like that. Then “Fat Mascara” just came into my head. I think I was thinking of different products, and this idea of big, gloopy, ridiculous mascaras is just so funny to me because they’re emblematic of how the beauty industry is always doing things bigger, better, more fun, but also more technical. They’re just insane, but that’s what I love about the beauty industry, and I guess Jen and I find it really fun and funny.
You’ve just started your podcast, but who would be your dream guest?
JM: I have some folks. Charlotte Tilbury would be the biggest blast. I feel like she’s so much fun, we’d love for her to be on the podcast.
JG: I’d like Jessica Alba on the podcast. Not only is she making beauty products, but I want to hear about her whole business side of it. I’ve interviewed her for Marie Claire, and she’s just so smart. She was on the other side of the industry as the face of beauty, and now she’s behind the scenes. That’s sort of what we’re trying to be too. We’re insiders and outsiders at the same time.
It’s interesting that you say you’re insiders and outsiders. Because coming from a magazine editorial background, the average person would see you firmly as insiders.
JG: That’s why we wanted to do the podcast. We don’t really think of ourselves as fully insiders because our job is to translate what’s going on in the beauty world for regular people. Just as Instagram and Twitter have changed the way you look at media, we feel like podcasts are changing the way you talk about beauty. We’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look. Just like Instagram, where a celebrity shows you the look and what went into going out that night and all the makeup and the things that she put on. A podcast is sort of like, here’s all the behind-the-scenes stuff you may not learn about in our print magazine. Not because we’re not allowed to write about it, but because there isn’t room for it. So this is sort of a behind-the-scenes way of sharing all that fun stuff that we wish everybody else knew too.
JM: These are real conversations that we’re having with each other, with the creatives, with the makeup artists. To me, that’s the most fun part of the industry, meeting these personalities and these talents, and to Jen’s point, all that can’t go on the page. We don’t have 600 words of a makeup artist’s interview and our conversation with them. We have to edit it down to the tips or the how-to’s, and that’s not really capturing what’s exciting about the beauty industry.
What’s inspiring you right now in beauty?
JG: I’m fascinated by the Instagram brands. These people wouldn’t have had a voice if they had to go through the big machine of the beauty industry to get products made, but because they found a following on social media, they’re able to do products themselves. Neither of us are snobs at all when it comes to the beauty industry. The more the merrier! The more voices we hear in the beauty industry, the better it is. All the YouTubers that probably five years ago wouldn’t have gotten a story in a print magazine, now they get to have their voice heard. And I feel like the more people we involve, the better it is for everyone. I love those little brands that came out of nowhere: Dose of Colors and Pop Beauty and Melt Cosmetics. It makes the industry bigger. I don’t think it’s taking away from the big beauty brands and what they’re doing.
JM: My team is laughing at me today because every other sentence, I keep on saying, "Well, yesterday at the International Beauty and Spa Show …” I was at the Javits center for the IBS show, unfortunate name, and I was like, “Oh, I’m going to pop in for a little bit.” I got sucked into a vortex. It was incredible. It’s not a show for editors, even though press was invited, it’s a show for people that work in the industry. The salon owners, the stylists — some people came in from Connecticut, some people came in from California, some people carpooled together. It was so many stylists and makeup artists. They don’t necessarily care about the press. I was outnumbered there by thousands. There were things that I’ve never even heard of. I felt like I had so much to learn about beauty from people who are working with the products in a different way than I am every day. It was awesome. These are people who live and die for beauty and aren’t trying to find out what’s the chicest eye shadow, they’re trying everything and they have a more exciting, experimental vision of beauty now.
Is there anything you’re just dying to cover on the podcast?
JG: I want to get into a conversation about cosmetic regulation. I don’t think people really understand what companies go through to put a product out and which companies do good testing. There’s a lot of lack of knowledge about what it means to be natural, what a natural product is, and what it isn’t. People are scared of synthetic ingredients when they really shouldn’t be. If people knew what we knew, it’s not a simple black-and-white argument about “natural’s good and synthetic’s bad,” and everything is tested and if it’s not tested it’s horrible. There’s a lot of nuance to that topic, and I think we can very gently get into it without scaring a consumer that doesn’t necessarily need to know all this stuff.
JM: I want to talk about fragrance, but also making beauty bigger than just putting a sheet mask on. We wouldn’t take this time out of our week to do this podcast if we thought it was silly. It does speak volumes that so many women are into it and that it made the majority of our careers. There’s something about it where you can be smart and into beauty. You can be super fun or super serious. It’s a big industry for a reason, and I think it deserves a half hour of conversation every week.
Is there anything in beauty that’s making you cringe?
JG: Not really. I have no problem with all the Instagram makeup. I know some of the editorial makeup artists we’ve interviewed, we actually did an interview that didn’t run yet, he was questioning the use of contouring and strobing and things like that. Part of me is like, you don’t always wear that out! There’s no problem with putting it on and taking a selfie. That’s kind of cool! If you put some beauty looks out in the real world, they might be a bit much, but I think when we start critiquing people’s beauty and their looks and the things they like to do, it’s just more closed-minded, it seems. There’s a place for everything!
So, what’s next for the podcast?
JG : I have a new quiz aspect I want to add. I want to expand out certain columns within the podcast that you might come back for again and again. One example is we always get our interviewee to spill their makeup bag or their man bag. We want to keep doing that every time, so when people come they’ll be like “Oh, I can’t wait for that part of the podcast.”