Speaker 1: I thought Tick Tock was for young, crazy, silly, you know, dancing people, you know, and young and like teenagers.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Hi, I’m Rachel Martin.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: And I’m Madison Malone Kirchherr. You’re listening to. I see. Why am I?
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: In case You Missed It.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Slate’s podcast about Internet culture.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: And despite our promises, Madison is not coming to us live from her shower. Even though at least two of y’all have told us that the wet jeans have worked. Madison, when can we expect you to do this?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I plead the fifth.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Wow. Whoa. There was a promise made. Promise made. Promise kept, baby.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Under the advice of counsel, I cannot answer.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Oh, my God. What is this? The Elizabeth Holmes trial. Under the advice.
Speaker 1: Of counsel, like get audience.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: No, we’re not talking about Elizabeth Holmes or what jeans today. Today we are talking about makeup. We’re becoming beauty influencers. I’m going to go to Coachella with James Charles Madison.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Don’t you?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Okay, fine. But we are talking about beauty influencers, because over the past few weeks, a foundation from Makeup Ogx Bobbi Brown’s new company, Jones Road, has blown up on TikTok. Like, I’m a woman who doesn’t really wear foundation, and suddenly my feed was full of this product. But what started out looking like a really effective influencer marketing campaign maybe organic, maybe not, has taken some very surprising turns. Big time beauty accounts got involved. The infamous YouTube peanut butter baby was invoked.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Oh, my God.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Right. Bobbi herself made a tik tok just absolutely dripping with shade. And, yes, Rachel, that is a makeup pun.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: You just couldn’t help yourself.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: There are allegations of undisclosed paid ads. The whole makeup mask needs some micellar water and a little cold cream.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: How many of these jokes are you going to make over the course of this episode? Oh.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: So, so many. And that’s exactly what we’ve got for you on the show today. You’re going to hear from influencers big and small and even Bobbi Brown herself. So we’re going to take a quick break to apply some toner, dab on some primer, and then we will be back to get into all of it.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: And we’re back. Bases are clean, primed and ready. For what? The foundation.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Yes, Rachel, the product that sparked all of this, in fact, does contain some wordplay. So the product is called what the Foundation. It’s from Bobbi Brown Bobbi with an I, of course, who has a new makeup company called Jones Road. And Bobbi Brown is, in case you’re not big into makeup or small into makeup, frankly, she’s a legacy name in the industry herself. Name, makeup line has had a decades long at this point impact in the way that makeup is both formulated and marketed.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: What is this new foundation like? I’ve never actually been big into Bobbi Brown products. I’m more of a Nyx girl. But you bought this?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I did. And I full disclosure, I purchased this with my hard earned personal dollars.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: This podcast is not sponsored by Jones Road or Bobbi Brown or Estee Lauder.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Honestly, what I think of it doesn’t matter, but my short not review review is that this thing is marketed as a tinted moisturizing balm like coverage, and it is exactly that. Next.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Okay. What is next?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Well, I feel like you probably saw what happens next, right? Because it was everywhere on Tik Tok. It begins with a makeup artist named Meredith Duxbury. Oh, yeah. Who posts a review of what the foundation in Duxbury is like. Big time makeup artist. 15 million TikTok followers, a million on Instagram. So we’re talking a major following, which is a lot of eyeballs.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Yeah, a lot of eyeballs who are very much used to her signature look, which involves what I describe as, again, a metric fuck ton of foundation just piled, slathered on her face. Her thing is like full coverage looks. But even if you’re into full coverage, look, she she goes fuller. I don’t even know the fullest coverage. It’s so much foundation.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: That is Meredith’s whole shtick. And it’s working for her, obviously. But Meredith Duxbury opened up her jar of what the foundation and chose chaos.
Speaker 4: I’m excited. I got two shades, light and porcelain. You know, me and my hand. So let’s just go right in. Expose it. Very strong. Let’s apply. I mean, I am the foundation queen, so. I’m not sure what to make of this consistency. My hands. Oh.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: The end result is less what Jones Road promises, which is like, you know, your classic no makeup make up look and more. Well, peanut butter, baby.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I love the peanut butter, baby. How do people react? I mean, Meredith gets a lot of flack for her application style, and I can only imagine that the exact same thing happened here.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Yeah. So a lot of people were like, hey, thanks for telling me. But also there were plenty of commenters from people saying, you intentionally use the product wrong, try it again. So Meredith professional that she is she does she slathers on significantly less you know gently applied light coat and she still doesn’t like it, which is fine. Who cares? I do not care. But this Pandora’s makeup kit, as it were, it had already been opened. And just a note, Meredith Duxbury did not respond to my desperate requests to speak to her.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: She’s too busy finding another foundation to just pour on her face like cake batter.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Meredith’s review was certainly not alone. I cannot count how many reviews I have watched for this foundation now. And we actually talked to a bunch of people who posted reviews.
Speaker 1: I’ve never even seen this on YouTube in the ten years I’ve been creating content. I’ve never seen anything generate this much of a response, whether it’s loved or hated.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: That’s beauty influencer Daisy Cash, who you can find on TikTok at DC Cash. We also spoke with Veronica KPFK, who’s a beauty micro influencer who regularly posts Tiktoks to her audience of about 5000. And she specializes in reviews of products for mature skin. You can find her on TikTok at Veronica of five four one.
Speaker 1: Half of me wonders if this was all a PR stunt, getting some of the bigger creators to give these really crappy reviews and say it’s such a horrible product. And then it made people like me say, Well, you know, hold on now, it’s not that bad. Or maybe her PR team just picked the wrong people to send the product to. And, you know, either way, it’s, you know, it’s kicked up famous. Now.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Veronica told me she actually bought the product before the Tik Tok blowup and has been a long time fan of Jones Road. She didn’t receive any compensation, which is important to note for posting her review. But she did say that most of the time when she sees reviews posted for any product on TikTok, she is immediately wary of their origin.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: As she should be.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I also talked to Samantha Jane at Samantha Jane Whitney on TikTok, who’s a Canadian beauty influencer of nearly a decade. And, well, she felt similarly.
Speaker 1: A lot of the stuff that happens online when it comes to beauty can feel a little bit like it’s more for reviews and drama and entertainment over true helpfulness. So I’m not I’m not super shocked. And it’s also very common for people to say, get a product that’s marketed as a lightweight foundation and then put it all over their face and complain that it’s not full coverage.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: So needless to say, Samantha Jane was not surprised at how much Meredith Baxter is dramatic. Would you call it dramatic, Rachel?
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I mean, I would call her entire style of dramatic, which is why I keep watching, not going to lie and part of the problem.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: So Samantha, Jane was not surprised that the dramatic review blew up on TikTok. She also said she wasn’t surprised by some of the negative feedback that she wound up getting, even though she posted a positive review of the product.
Speaker 1: The sort of interesting thing happens on the Internet. I find when you like something that other people don’t like, people don’t like that.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: And still, the reviews. The reviews kept coming positive, negative. And it genuinely seemed just like this good old fashioned cosmetic case. Of all, press is good press.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: When it came to Jones Road, which I should note is a relatively newish company, they launched in 2020, which was when Bobbi Brown’s non-compete ended with Estee Lauder, which is the company that owns her self-named brand. So Bobbi Brown makeup is owned by Stillwater. You know who 100% does like this product, though, and wants you to know it.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I have a guess. Is that Bobbi Brown herself?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: It’s Bobbi Brown herself.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: This is my favorite part of this entire saga. I have a feeling I know what you’re about to bring up.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Bobbi Brown in a frankly, genuinely the rare, genuinely entertaining PR stunt post the video satirizing Duxbury TikTok. So Bobby Brown slathers her face in foundation, saying that she always likes to try out new techniques when she sees them online. And once again, please know that in this video she is just frosting her face like a cake with foundation like the stuff is forming stiff peaks away from her cheeks. That’s how much she’s using.
Speaker 1: So I always love learning new makeup techniques and I learned more. And today I’m not sure if it’s going to work, but I’m going to try. And it didn’t really work.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Like you said, this is one of the few genuinely delightful PR firms because it is so shady of this technique that when it first came on the scene, a lot of people were making fun of. But now everyone is just like, That’s Meredith’s stick. Guess we just got to deal with it when it’s like, Why do what? Why? Why is she peanut butter, baby? Why is this normal now?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Normal or not, we need to take a quick break to wipe off all of that foundation. And after the break, we will be back with Bobbi Brown herself. So don’t go anywhere and definitely don’t drown your pores in foundation in the meantime.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: But if you do, send us a picture.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Hi there. Hope you’re enjoying today’s show. If this is the first time you’ve listened to Ice, why am I? Welcome. We are really freakin glad you’re here. In case you missed it, our show comes out twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. So be sure to check us out. And if you want to listen back, our episode on Wednesday was a fun mailbag. Read receipts where we answered our listener questions.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: And we’re back with Bobby Brown, which is so wildly exciting. When Madison told me she had a phone call with her, I screamed a little bit and I go.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I did, too. This is the woman who makes my favorite lipstick.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: What? What’s the name of that? Lipstick. Oh.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Blondie. Pink.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Thank you. Thank you. That was I. It’s.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I am who I am. Here’s me and Bobby Brown.
Speaker 1: Hi, Bobby. Yes. Hey, you got me. How you doing? Good. This is Madison from my. See? My, my. How you doing? I am doing excellent. All right, so let’s dive right in. When did you realize what the foundation was going to talk viral? What did that feel like? Well, I guess the first time is when my son, who’s our chief marketing officer, sent me a couple of the tiktoks. And they weren’t exactly the most positive reviews that you could imagine.
Speaker 1: My you know, my heart kind of jumped down into my stomach, like, oh, no. And then I kind of settled down and I was like, Let me go look at these again. And then I understood. I’m like, okay. They’re clearly not for people that would like this kind of a formula because not everyone likes, you know, the look I like, which is a no makeup makeup look, which is so much better. Not everyone wants to look like that. So I saw it. And then I realized I needed to make some tiktoks really just to educate people about how you users who should use it. And I started doing that. Was TikTok part of the original marketing plan? For what?
Speaker 1: The Foundation? Not really. I mean, it’s become now everything. But no, it wasn’t Tik Tok was not exactly on our radar as something that Jones Road, you know, would win in. And, you know, I thought TikTok was for young, crazy, silly, you know, dancing people. So it was a really big shock to me and everyone else around me that it became such an important part of, you know, blowing up the awareness of Jonesboro that it really please don’t take this unkindly. You have become inescapable on my for you page.
Speaker 1: No, I got to tell you, it’s so weird. I have been in, you know, doing what I’m doing for over 30 something years. I stopped counting. And now I go into the supermarket or I go to Restoration Hardware and one to 2 to 3 people stop me and say, I saw you on TikTok, I saw you on TikTok. And I just look, my husband, I’ve been in Vogue. I was a beauty editor that show for 14 years. I mean, I have like been on QVC. I’ve done everything. This has been a you know, it’s like a reality show and I’m not a reality show person. Tell me, please, about the decision to make the now infamous TikTok be the Meredith that’s restored.
Speaker 1: Right. Right. Well, the back story of that, you know, was very, very organic and harmless. So I’m someone that I’m not going to you know, I don’t kind of reach out to the haters. I’m like, I let everyone say what they want. And it’s like, if you don’t want to say something nice, that’s fine. And we were just shooting these educational foundation Tiktoks and I was tired. I was probably a little giddy. And I said, we said we were done. And I said to my daughter in law, who’s our head of social, I have one more term. She said, okay. So I pressed the button and I just, as a joke, said, You know, I’m as a makeup artist, I love to learn something new. It was 20 seconds, it was 20 seconds.
Speaker 1: I ended up going into New York for some event, and I was talking to my youngest son and I told him about it and he says, Oh, Mom, do not put that up. Why would you want to go head to head with someone with so many millions of followers? And I’m like, I’m not putting it up, don’t worry. And I called his brother, who’s our marketing guy, and I said, Don’t put it off. He said, Sorry, Mom, train left the station. And and it was much more positive than I was thinking it would be.
Speaker 1: How how do you balance the need to work with influencers to get a product out there, but also making sure your customers can trust and feel good about the reviews that they’re seeing? Right. Well, first of all, you know, I am we are not someone that that really has big, big discussions about, you know, needing an influencer to to make something successful. I mean, luckily, I have a big enough platform and I don’t even like the term influencers. You know, it’s people of influence, really. We work with content creators. So, you know, we call them content creators and it’s people that are able to talk about. And mostly it’s people that love, you know, and it’s genuine.
Speaker 1: So we have a lot of women with white and grey hair in their sixties that are like becoming, you know, like I call them friends with a brand. And that’s really the people. All that I get excited about making content and they’re they’re empowering other women and they’re just setting positive messages like those are the kind of people that I look for and you know, and the brand does.
Speaker 1: Absolutely, Bobbie. I do have to tell you the unfortunate news. You are an influencer to a person of influence, Bobbi Brown. But but I mean, I honestly remember how this happened. I remember years ago when I was doing Fashion Weeks and behind the scenes, you know, my PR people would say, okay, you’ve got glamour, you’ve got Vogue, you’ve got CVS, you know, all coming in. And then all of a sudden there’s a girl from Wisconsin who is what do they call it, income influencers. They call them bloggers. And I’m like, What? You know, and all of a sudden, this normal woman comes in, you know, wearing normal people clothes at Fashion Week and asking me questions into her little microphone. And I was just like, and then next season, it was more and more. And all of a sudden that’s who was there, you know? And then the beauty editors were standing on the outside.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: That conversation gives us a little bit of a sense where Bobbi and Jones Road are coming from in this whole unpredictable ticktock situation. But what’s actually most interesting to me is what happened after the Meredith and Bobby tick tock showdown because a secondary drama starts brewing.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: We love is secondary drama.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Once there’s mess within the mess, that’s when you know, you’re like on good Internet.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: And or a Boris of mess and mess eating itself.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I remember how I said I bought the foundation. I do okay with my own money.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Mm hmm. And bought me with your own money. Not slaves. Money. Your money.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: When I did the screen with my order, confirmation popped up, and it also had a link that very much piqued my interest. It said Get paid when you post to tock starting at $1 per 100 views and more if we buy your content. Oh, and I’m not the only one who noticed this. Here’s a tick tock from makeup artist Delaney Collier.
Speaker 4: You all want to know why Jones Heart Foundation is going so viral? You’re on TikTok. This is why. And I kind of lied to you and said I loved it and talked about how awesome it was to get paid. But I didn’t. They’re even telling you what to say here. Simply perfect. I work every day. It gives me a healthy glow. Five stars.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: So you clicked, right?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Of course I frickin clicked and I screenshotted the whole way through a chef’s kiss. This brought me to a platform called Bounty, which is a company that pays creators for videos reviewing products they’ve purchased.
Speaker 1: It’s a website. Jones Beauty is certainly one of their biggest brands that they have, you know, 15 to 20 other brands that are a part of it where if you purchase a product with your own money, you essentially get paid at the starting rate of $1 per 100 views as the video gets bigger and, you know, the audience is just a little bit more diluted, let’s say it’s not quite as, you know, direct to maybe the customer that they’re trying to get the products sold to. That dollar decreases, you know, kind of over over time, starting at a dollar for the first 48 hours.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: That’s Addie. NEARY She’s a relatively new beauty influencer on Tik Tok, who used Bounty. I found out through the official Jones red TikTok account, where they had reposted one of her videos reviewing the product. And she said that Jones Road found her, though, through the bounty program, which is also how she got paid for her reviews.
Speaker 1: Say the one that went viral. First, I made a little over $500 off of.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I’ll also take 500 bucks.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: So that’s where the post that went particularly viral for Addy and that’s clearly on the high end. She’s actually posted a bunch of WTF if you will, reviews. But after Jones wrote Connected with her through Bounty, they also started running one of her WTF reviews from Tik Tok as a sponsored ad.
Speaker 1: So if they’re running like a I, it can depend. I’ve made between two and $300 per video that they’re going to run an ad on for 30 days.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: So you said you got $500 originally for the video that went viral and then she got an additional $200 for what exactly?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: That 200 to $300 figure is when Jones Road decided, hey, we like your video, we’re going to run it as an ad. And so that’s an additional sum of money. And those numbers, clearly, if you’re successful with your your bounty tiktoks, they start to add up.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Yeah. I have a question, though. Is there a little hashtag ad on any of these videos?
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: You knew we were going all along.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I did. Is it an undisclosed ad?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I will say, the thing that’s interesting about Bounty to me is that it’s a way for upstart influencers like Addy to connect with big brands. But it also makes it. Really easy for big brands to find people like ADI who are making positive, solid, easy to watch kind of content.
Speaker 1: But the ad.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Disclosure, the Merck we’re back in the Merck.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Back in the or a breath of meth.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Bounty doesn’t require you to make any kind of disclosure in the way that Tick Tock requires a sponsored poster to disclose that their post is sponsored or branded. I did dig through bounties fake U.S. with a fine tooth comb trying to find anything, and the best I could find was Don’t swear. Make sure you tag the brand.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: That seems important.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: And most notably, Bounty says that you should only make a Bounty review for a product you love. If you don’t like a product, don’t make a bounty tech talk.
Speaker 1: Hmm.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I assume the workaround here is that because consumers like me, as we’ve now noted thrice, are buying these products with their own money and electing to review them. The videos aren’t true ads on a really big technicality like throw big scare quotes around electing, because obviously they’re electing to do so with the promise of financial compensation, even if it’s just a dollar.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Yeah. This reminds me of the kind of like paid review business where you’ll get sent something and then paid to review it on the website. Obviously, with the kind of undertone that the review will be positive.
Speaker 1: That type of program to me feels more like somebody who is less in the space would use it and then in my opinion, would probably be less inclined to disclose it. This is more like, you know, there’s other websites perhaps are like leave a review and get 10% off your next order. This is maybe like the future of that.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: That was Samantha Jane again, talking about the bounty program. And just to note, Addie is the only influencer we talked to on the show today who used Bounty after she bought the foundation. Everybody else purchased it and posted a positive review just because they wanted to.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I have yet another question.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I love it. I love it. Keep them coming.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Well, this is all a big conspiracy. Well, if you follow scheme to make it go viral and make me want to see if this foundation is actually as silly as the people on Tik Tok made it seem. Because it almost works. It almost works.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Almost. But the answer is no. And also a little bit yes. But it only has a hair to do with Jones Road specifically and everything to do with the influencer marketing industry at large.
Speaker 1: I wanted to ask, I know John Torode is working on a program called Bounty, which encourages people to post TikTok reviews in exchange for payment. I really like it. What is it called? I don’t even know about this. It’s called accurate. Yes. Yes. So when I bought the product, I got a little pop up that was like, hey, if you post a tik tok, if you like this and you post it tik tok like this program will pay you up to $10 at least. Mm hmm. I really had never seen anything like that, and I was made. Yeah, well, it clearly, you know, the decision was not me sitting at home saying, great.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: I, of course, followed up with Jones right after this conversation with Bobby to ask for more information about the bounty program.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: And what did Jones Road have to say?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: A couple of things. They said, quote, As a beauty startup, we’re always looking to try out new avenues for discovery. Tik Tok has been huge for us and Bounty offers a way to receive user generated content from customers who actually bought the product. And a rep for Jones wrote noted that they are currently testing bounty and they’re going to see what the results are. I did ask how many what the foundation videos were posted to Tik Tok via Bounty.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: And how many?
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: A Jones Road spokesperson told me that Bounty had, quote, procured a few hundred videos for us. But it’s unclear how big the pool those videos were procured from actually is. Hmm.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: A few hundred is definitely enough to make an impact on TikTok and make you feel like everyone’s talking about this.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Maybe yes, maybe no. But that’s all I’ve got. Ultimately, this really isn’t just a story about Jones Road, though. There are a little part of it. Sure. And they happen to be the part that is mega viral right now. But this is a story about the state of a Jillian that is a scientific term, a good trillion dollar industry, influencer marketing and the way the mechanics work behind the scenes, you know, the ways in which products are marketed and sold to us without us ever realizing we’ve been sold.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I see that we’ve once again landed on a classic. I see why my conclusion.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Taylor should go to.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Your local school board election to.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Assume everything is an ad or trying to be.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: One. Oh, yeah, that one too.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Except for this episode, I paid for the foundation myself. But special thanks to Bobby Brown, Veronica Cape, the act DC Cash Addy, Mary and Samantha Jane for all of their help with this episode. All right. That’s the show. We will be back in your feed on Wednesday, so please subscribe. It is the best way to make sure you never miss an episode and you just never know what Beauty Guru will be on next. We don’t know either, to be totally honest. Leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter. We’re at ICYMI Underscore Pod or you can always shoot us an email. I see. Why am I at Slate.com?
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: I see why I’m asking this by Daniel Schrader. Medicinal and Kircher in me Rachel Hampton. Alisha Montgomery as Slate VP of Audio see online.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Or at the makeup counter. A foundation out.
Rachel Martin, Rachel Hampton: Oh, no. Really? Mailed my elbow. Oh. When I’m back.
Madison Malone, Maddison Malone: Right back at the specimen bar.