Do I dream in Glossier pink?
When Glossier first came on my radar, I was a bit unfair in my initial view of the brand. It rose up around the same time Milk Makeup was getting buzz, and with both giving off the "Cool Girl" vibe I initially conflated the two in my mind as being gimmicky and just hype. Admittedly, my day job in retail marketing has made me a bit jaded and cynical towards new launches and sometimes I forget the simple joy of being a consumer gently seduced by a new, promising brand.
As time passed, I began seeing more about Glossier as a brand and slowly my opinion changed from seeing them as just a gimmick to forming an appreciation towards their marketing approach which isn't about being "The Cool Girl" in a way that isn't relatable as I had first thought, it's more like "how to fake it 'til you make it because hey, even we're pretending at times."
Glossier is sort of like your beauty BFF that has a casual approach. I began to realize their skin first, minimal makeup approach wasn't trying to say "don't spend all your time doing your makeup" like Milk's unfortunate marketing tone did, Glossier was created to fill a whitespace in the industry of making skincare and makeup really easy and approachable for someone with little to no experience who wants to get their feet wet without a ton of products and wants some core staples. It's a capsule collection. It's also for beauty enthusiasts who might be looking to minimize and simplify or are just looking for a kickass brow product or cream blush.
So, I finally put my money where my misguided mouth was and made an order. Does Glossier live up to its hype?
I ordered Body Hero Shower Oil, Milky Jelly Face Wash, and the Phase 2 Set with Stretch Concealer in Light, Boy Brow in Brown and Generation G matte lip balm in Jam. The ordering experience was pretty easy and my order came within a week. Here are my thoughts on the products.
I knew when I bought this that it wasn't going to be amazing full coverage, but that's okay. Sometimes I just like slapping something on when I need to go to Safeway because my poorly adulting ass forgot to buy almond milk or ketchup when I did the actual grocery shopping for the week so here we are. Stretch Concealer doesn't sell itself on having super high-coverage anyway, what it does sell itself on is being lightweight, skin-like, and moves with your skin. It does exactly what it says on the tin; when I wear this I genuinely don't feel it on my skin and it does blend it to look skin-like. It is a bit emollient so I set it with powder, but basically if you don't need a lot of coverage or just feeling like slipping on something easy and lowkey because you can't be bothered to go full glam, it fits the bill.
The brow gel that broke the Internet, generated an infamous waitlist and made the beauty community collectively lose its shit. Okay, Glossier, you got me: it's a pretty damn great brow gel. Usually I have to fill in my brows with pencil and then I add a tinted gel, but given boy brow lends more to a pomade-type of formula and is quite decently pigmented, I can forgo pencil and just chuck some of this on, voila brows done. I wish it was in a bigger tube but alas. This product definitely lives up to its hype and I can see why people swooned over it. It keeps my brows groomed all day, doesn't feel crunchy and once it sets it's actually pretty light feeling.
Generation G Matte Lip Balm
It's a lightweight glossy balm that's somehow also matte and gives a blotted lip look. This was the product I was actually most skeptical about and I (being obnoxiously on a high horse) ordered the ColourPop Blotted Lip colors instead, assuming they would be a straight up dupe. Except they aren't. The ColourPop ones do give the blotted look, but the formula is a litter drier and more matte and not as balmy. Generation G is balmier and looks more like a matte gloss (if ever there was an oxymoron, and yet it works), and the finishes of it and the ColourPop ones are different. Jam is a pretty berry-plum color that with one swipe goes on sheer but can be built up. The beauty of these is that they're perfect for someone who wants to take baby steps in playing with colorful lips but doesn't want to go full on crazy pigmented or make too much a statement, or for looks where the lips are less the focus.
Here I've swatched the Stretch Concealer and Generation G in Jam so you can get an idea of the product and colors. The concealer looks more pigmented than it is in the swatch, it does sheer out when you blend. The Generation G swatch is pretty true to color, but of course how it shows up on the lips depends on your unique lip color.
Milky Jelly Cleanser
Oh damn, I absolutely see why people go nuts over this and consider it their Holy Grail cleanser. It's good, real good. It has that glycerin gel-like feel when you put it on the skin and once wet has a slip to it that doesn't feel greasy, just really clean. It smells lightly of rosewater and glycerin but in a way that isn't like rose-scented petroleum jelly. I personally wouldn't use it to remove makeup, preferring this more as a first cleanse in morning and second cleanse at night, but overall it ticks off all my boxes I want in a cleanser: non-foaming/non-stripping, doesn't sting my eyes, gentle and effective, and leaves my skin feeling good. I love it and absolutely will buy more.
Body Hero Shower Oil
After my trip to Germany last May, I constantly lament the fact that we do not have more shower oils in the US market like Europe does. It's similar to cleansing oil for the face, you use shower oil as a body wash instead of a foamy soap. I was delighted to see Glossier put one out, and when I first tried it out washing my hands I thought the scent was almost too strong, like fancy French-milled perfumed soap. Turns out that's what happens when you put too much in your hands though. Once in the shower and using a reasonable amount, the scent is actually not as in-your-face and quite nice. It's an orange blossom-neroli scent, which I actually love, and it definitely leaves my bathroom smelling heavenly. I suffer from keratosis pilaris on the back of my upper arms and my upper thighs, and my skin tends be super dry on my body since I don't treat it as well as my face (I know, I know!), so here's hoping switching to this shower oil will help since I'm sure foamy and stripping body wash isn't helping me.
I was definitely wrong in my initial estimate of this brand, and I'm glad they proved me wrong. I really have to learn to turn off my marketing cynicism sometimes and not judge a brand at first blush, but on the flip side it's also working in marketing that, when I paid more attention to their strategies and social media, I recognized at a deeper level what they're doing creatively and how bloody brilliant their approach is. I love how huge they are into social listening, community and crowd-sourcing feedback. I think their creative is dreamy and it's hugely to their credit that the #glossierpink movement has been such a thing on Instagram. They truly know their audience and now they've become a brand I continuously cite as doing it right when it comes to digital marketing towards millennials.
More importantly though, the products are good and straight-forward. Glossier isn't trying to sell you miracles, it's more about enhancing what you already have and letting you shine through. It's like makeup and skincare that's more your fave everyday sweater than that fancy dress you wear on special occasions and you know? I can dig that.
Have you tried Glossier? What did you like or not like? Comment below!