Tried and True: Glossier Is the buzzy beauty brand worth the hype?

Model Clara Medina in “Boy Brow,” “Haloscope,” and “Generation G”

It’s not overdramatic to say that beauty brand Glossier has changed advertising. When the company debuted in 2014, it was a plucky, dewy David to the glam Goliaths of the cosmetics industry, marked by its fresh-faced models and simplistic, ‘Millennial pink’ packaging. Now, it’s a giant all its own–and its clean look and unretouched close-up advertising imagery is being duplicated by brands decades its senior.

It was the perfect storm for Emily Weiss, beauty blogger and founder of Into the Gloss. When it came to cosmetics, people wanted different. They wanted affordable. They wanted something to Instagram. Glossier had it all. It was an instant hit among it-girls, and now, just a few years later, is all but mainstream, despite–or perhaps because of–its online-only (and, okay, one store in New York) availability.

All this is to say that I was desperate to try it, as intoxicated by the advertising as everyone else. I got samples of three products–Haloscope, the brand’s famous highlighter; Boy Brow, their bestselling brow product; and Generation G, their newish lipstick/balm.

The packaging was just as pretty as I’d hoped, arriving in a luminous white-and-light-pink box with similarly-packaged products tucked inside like nesting dolls. And as much as I hated to ruin the pristine image, I could barely wait to get out of my cubicle and in front of my vanity.

Unfortunately, I’m not blessed with the clear, smooth skin of a Glossier girl, so I had to go through my usual primer-foundation-concealer routine before trying everything out. I used Haloscope in ‘Moonstone,’ swiping from temple to cheekbone as advised and blending with my fingertips. I was a little disappointed to find that the stick took a layer of my foundation with it, but the highlight undeniably pretty, more luminous and natural-looking than others I’d tried. I imagine it would work really well alone or over a sheer beauty balm for those more dermatologically fortunate than me.

The shade of Boy Brow I’d been sent wasn’t a good match for my brows (which look brown but respond better to blonde products), but I could immediately tell why it’s such a hit. With a few easy swipes, my brows were fashionably full, a look that usually took a few minutes and a fair amount of brow powder. The mascara-like applicator brush emphasized my natural hairs  while filling in sparse spots, and I must admit I was feeling the Brooke Shields vibes.

Generation G is advertised as “a new kind of lip color that gives the look and finish of just-blotted lipstick, without the blot,” which turned out to be pretty much the case. I don’t love myself in lipstick, but even I couldn’t deny the pull of pretty, subtle “Crush,” which looked like an enhanced version of my natural lip color. (I gave purplish “Jam” and reddish “Zip” to my mom and sister, respectively, and they looked stunning.)

Overall, I think Glossier is worth the hype, particularly if you’ve already got the goods. The products are perfect for enhancing natural beauty–so much so, in fact, that they’re a bit at odds with a full-face look. When they say “Skin first, makeup second,” they mean it…so take them at their word and embrace the dewiest you.




Image courtesy of the Glossier Instagram.

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