An Introduction to Glossier
When Glossier first came onto the scene two years ago, it brought a fresh and unique concept to beauty in an already oversaturated market; the effortless, undone and natural French girl look all neatly contained in cutesy powder pink packaging. There was also something so quintessentially '90s about the brand too. The brainchild of Into the Gloss', Emily Weiss, it was exciting to see one of my favourite beauty reads (I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thought about the products they'd feature in their very own Top Shelf, right?) basically come to life in the form of four skincare products entitled Phase 1. Since then, Glossier have gone onto release a makeup line (Phase 2), have just launched three new serums, and the brand is only getting bigger and better by the minute. Glossier is indeed the exciting new kid on the block and I'm here today to share with you what I think about the products, shipping to Australia and my honest thoughts and opinions on the brand.
My first foray into Glossier with was their Balm Dotcom, which I purchased from Net-A-Porter back in February. It's a multi-purpose balm much like Lucas' Papaw Ointment or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, only it also comes in a variety of fun flavours such as rose, cherry, coconut and mint. I own the original as well as the Coconut Balm Dotcom and they really are incredible lip balms. I prefer using lip balm sticks when I'm out and about, but I love the Balm Dotcoms for when I'm pottering around the house or for smoothing out my lips before applying lipstick.
The first product to get me really excited about Glossier, however, was their Milky Jelly Cleanser. Although I've found my holy grail cleansers in the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, I couldn't help but feel intrigued by the premise of milky and jelly rolled into one as I love gel cleansers for my first cleanse and milky cleansers for my second. With key ingredients such as Poloxamer (a mild cleansing agent found in contact lens solution), rosewater (my favourite scent), Comfrey Root Extract (healing properties), Aquaxyl (prevents dehydration) and Pro-Vitamin B5 (a natural moisturiser), Milky Jelly Cleanser is gentle enough for most skin types and the subtle rose fragrance is simply beautiful.
I bought the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Moisturising Moon Mask to replace the two masks in my routine that I had used up - the REN Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask and the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask. I have to say, they're so much better than the former products I was using. I like the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack for practical reasons; as clarifying masks, the consistency of both REN Invisible Pores and Glossier Mega Greens is thick and clay-like, which often at times made the REN one difficult to pump out of its tube. The actual products themselves deliver similar results of purifying and detoxifying the skin, while leaving it feeling fresh and clean, but not at all tight. I love both, but for convenience, Mega Greens Galaxy Pack takes the cake for me. As much as I've adored the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask, I now find myself being less drawn to those overpoweringly fragranced products, especially when they're so artificial. Perhaps it's a sign my tastes are becoming more refined as I get older. The Glossier Moisturising Moon Mask feels cooling and refreshing upon application and when washed off, the skin is left hydrated, supple and soft. With such dreamy names and jam-packed full of awesome ingredients, the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Moisturising Moon Mask have become firm staples in my routine.
The Glossier Priming Moisturiser was bought to replace my Origins GinZing Moisturiser, which is currently on its last legs. As I'm still using it up, I've only tried out the Priming Moisturiser a couple of times, but so far, so good! It's similar to Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, only it feels a little more lightweight, though still moisturising enough for both day and night use. I'm not sure about its priming abilities just yet (I always use a separate foundation primer, anyway), but as far as moisturisers go, I'm digging this a lot.
The Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint and Generation G Lipsticks aren't mine, they belong to my sister, but when I told her I was writing a blog post on Glossier, she kindly let me try them out. Marketed as skincare rather than makeup, Perfecting Skin Tint evens out the complexion while providing a fresh and dewy finish with little-to-no coverage. For me, it's a little too sheer and I feel as though I may as well wear nothing; I'd much rather opt for a tinted moisturiser or BB cream that has a little more coverage. Plus, if I'm going makeup-free, I like to be completely bare-faced. If you have pretty amazing skin naturally or aren't a fan of foundation, this could be the product for you though.
To be honest, I haven't been completely taken by Glossier's makeup range (except for maybe their Haloscope in Quartz). I like the concept of the Generation G Lipsticks - "a soft, popsicle-stain flush" - but the colours they come in aren't really my thing and I think the packaging could be better. Also, Auxiliary Beauty broke down the cost per ounce, a whopping $450 USD, which equates to $50 if it were MAC lipstick-sized. The formula, however, is beautiful and balm-like; perfect to pair with any simple makeup look or for everyday wear. If they came in more shades, perhaps I'd be more inclined to purchase one for myself, but for now, I'm good going without.
Glossier unfortunately don't ship internationally (still!) and as I wasn't going to wait around until that happened, I used the US parcel forwarding service, HopShopGo. Basically, you're given a US address, which your parcels are sent to and once they arrive to that address, you then pay for postage to get them shipped to wherever you live in the world. It can get pretty pricey, depending on the weight and how many parcels you have, but I placed my Glossier order with my sister and my friend, Jennifer, to split the cost. Surprisingly, shipping from Glossier to my US address took longer to arrive than it did from the US to Australia; Glossier to my US address took 12 days, whereas the US to Australia via DHL took a mere three! I was certainly impressed. I've used HopShopGo a few times in the past and I don't remember it being this fast, but they're a great service and I highly recommend them if there are things you can't get a hold of in your country.
While the launch of Glossier was exciting and something I couldn't wait to get my hands on, I did, however, develop some scepticism towards Into the Gloss. What was once an online publication I deemed somewhat of a beauty bible, now reads like one giant Glossier ad. I mean, I get it - why wouldn't you promote your own brand on your own website - though I can't help but feel a disconnect between reader and consumer when everyone featured on The Top Shelf is raving on about the Glossier products stashed in their bathrooms so obviously gifted. If that weren't questionable enough, bloggers and YouTubers outside of the US - even in spite of no international shipping - have been sent PR samples and are promoting Glossier on their social media platforms. It's a bit shady to promote in a market where the products aren't even readily available, don't you think?
Perhaps I'm a little bitter that I don't have easy access to Glossier, but surely they'd make international shipping more of a priority if they're going to advertise online so blatantly. They say there are, but I'm not really sure what to think. In saying all this, my sentiments towards Glossier aren't entirely negative, in fact, I think they're great and it's been a long time since I've been so enamoured by one, singular beauty brand. As consumers and especially as bloggers, however, it's important to look at brands and companies critically. It doesn't mean they aren't good and that we shouldn't buy from them (depending on your ethics), it just means we should be aware. I also believe I owe it to you guys to look at things open-mindedly and honestly.
Despite my criticisms and the fact I no longer view Into the Gloss from a pedestal, Glossier have spoken to me in a way no other brand has. Minimal, baby pink, French girl, '90s - I mean, it's me! While the Instagram full-on glitz and glam makeup look has become a trend, I resonate with the more pared back, fresh-faced and minimalist approach to Glossier. Don't get me wrong, I love a full face of makeup, though I do tend to keep things more natural-looking as opposed to super drawn on and chiseled out. With their emoji-style stickers, posters and even reusable pink makeup pouch found in every package, Glossier have successfully captured the '90s-kid nostalgia and their branding has brought the decade back to life. The flavoured Balm Dotcoms have become the new Lip Smacker for the millennial, hell, even the Generation G Lipsticks make me think of the Spice Girls', Move Over. In a market where Urban Decay are still releasing Naked Palettes and nobody even pays attention to the endless MAC collections, Glossier prove there is still room for newcomers and I can't wait to see where they're headed in the future.
Have you tried anything from Glossier?