The Glossier Review You've All Been Waiting For

What happens when a beauty blog launches a beauty brand?
Publish date:
October 29, 2014
rosewater, skincare, Glossier, Into the Gloss, skin balm

Those familiar with Into the Gloss may have heard about its freshly debuted beauty line, Glossier. At first it was just a name with no purpose. An Instagram account followed with clues, photos of models in logo’d swag, and finally--the big reveal--a collection of four products they're calling Phase 1: Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint, and Balm Dotcom.

Emily Weiss, founder of Into the Gloss and Glossier, teamed up with MAC’s former director of product development and, as the story goes, consulted the "world’s top cosmetic chemists" who remain anonymous (Kevin, is it you?? It’s cool, you can tell me) to create the line. The idea behind it is to “to make you immediately look like the best version of yourself.” Who doesn’t want to optimize their appearance with as little as four products? The website features testimonials from friends of the brand with cheerful candids, promoting their “skin first, makeup second, smile always” mantra.

It’s one of those DIY strategies where you can’t tell if it’s actually that flippant and effortless, or is just planned and executed to appear that way. All I know is that Glossier spoke to me like a fun project a friend was doing, and made me interested to know how I could get involved. Touché, Glossier.

So, the big question: How does Glossier’s Phase 1 kit actually perform? It's not going to render you magically blemish-free; it’s more like a real-life Instagram filter for your complexion.

Step 1: Soothing Face Mist

This rose-scented mist is for after cleansing as a sort of re-dampener to prep your skin for absorbing serums, treatments, and creams. Key ingredients are rosewater (Danielle's a fan), aloe, and glycerin (good moisture-magnets). The smell of rosewater evokes very fancy-lady feelings to me. I’m not a face-mister in general, so this is all very new. I held it arms-length from my face, closed my eyes and spritzed full-pump.... Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but it always finds a way to burn my eyes. Refreshing indeed.

Step 2: Priming Moisturizer

This is my favorite of the bunch. I’m betting it’s the hyaluronic acid and “mushroom super hydrator” in it that really help you achieve a balance of dewy plumpness with a matte enough finish so you look runway-fresh, not greased-up. Other goodies are an anti-redness complex, oxygenating agent, and antioxidant blend. The white lotion has a light, gel-like consistency that blends nicely, plays well with whatever you layer on top of it, and DOESN’T leave any sort of white cast. Bravo, primo!

Step #3: Perfecting Skin Tint

"Tint" would be the correct term for this, since it occupies a space between not-quite-foundation and not-quite-BB-cream. With glycerin, diamond powder (for “brightening, blurring and pore refining”), and what is only described as “Polymer X,” this stuff is very liquid-y and blends to a sheer finish. It does indeed “filter” and soften your overall skin appearance but the effect is very minimal; redness and blemishes remain partially visible.

Its sheerness is the reason I’m guessing only three shades (Light, Medium, and Deep) are available. The Light is neutral toned; the Medium and Deep are are a bit on the warm side. I chose the Light since the Medium looked a bit like fake tanner on me, though I’m ideally someplace between the two.

I found it a bit odd that Glossier’s initial campaign featured plenty of models of color, but the darkest shade they offered is pretty light considering the spectrum of shades people come in. Yes, it’s very sheer, but judging by how the Light casts a “brightening” tone on my skin, the Deep would most likely make Alek Wek or even Naomi Campbell appear ghostly. Step 4: Balm Dotcom

Every girl loves a good balm, and this all-purpose one is the strong-arm of balms. I see it as a sort of Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour-Cream update for the 21 century gal--it’s great for chapped anything. Also, it is effectively scentless, unlike how “fragrance free” doesn’t always mean "free of fragrance." It’s so thick and dense that my initial attempt at applying it had me squeezing the tube with both hands. I mostly use it on my lips and it lasts, no joke, for hours.

You know what, well done, Glossier. You’ve created a small collection of useful products that are fun and simple to use. You gave me stickers. And a lighter! Makeup should be fun and ultimately showcase YOU, the wearer. It’s refreshing to see a new brand that recognizes that.

I hope whatever comes in Phase 2 (or possibly Phase 1 REDUX) will broaden to include SPF and MORE SHADES FOR THE PEOPLE. Because, just as Lauren said, nothing sucks the fun out of beauty faster than being excluded from it.

  • Have you guys tried Glossier? Thoughts?
  • And can anyone make a case for face mists that doesn't use the word "refreshing?" I DARE YE.
  • Related: Do any of you regularly use face mist?