Glossier: Worth the hype?

U.S. brand Glossier launched in the UK roughly a month ago on 9th October 2017.  I am embarrassed to tell you the date is now forever etched in my memory, such was my anticipation for the brand’s arrival on UK soil. Why? Because Glossier represents a major shift in the beauty world and having been aware of the brand for two years (two years!), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the stuff.

Some of my friends and clients have recently been asking what I think of Glossier and seeing as I have now been using some of their products for several weeks, I thought it time to write a review.

At the end I am also going to include the 20% discount code I somehow managed to stumble across when I was placing my order online, just in case you feel tempted to join the party!

And ‘party’ really is the right word here because, for many, Glossier is so much more than ‘just another makeup brand’. For me certainly, it feels like a movement.

Not sure what the hell I am talking about? Not to worry. Here is all you need to know…


Source: Noam Galai/Getty Images


Glossier launched in the U.S. in 2014 with just four products. The brainchild of the very likeable Emily Weiss (pictured above), Emily also just happens to be the creator of one of the world’s most successful beauty blogs, Into The Gloss, which she started in her bedroom back in 2010 (when you get a spare moment do check out the Top Shelf series. It is rather wonderful).

Glossier’s founding principle is ‘Skin first, makeup second’ which I think beautifully taps into a growing desire among many to eschew the excessive flamboyance of ‘Instaglamour’.  For me, certainly, Glossier represents a return to purity and simplicity by way of pared back, glowy skin. It is the ‘no makeup makeup’ lover’s dream, hence why I fell for it so hard.


Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam

The Business Makeup Artist edit

After some careful research (translation: several hours scouring the net and multiple cups of tea) I decided on the following:

  • Cloud Paint (Beam and Dusk)
  • Boy Brow (Blond)
  • Haloscope (Moonstone)
  • Priming Moisturiser
  • Stretch Concealer (Light)
  • Balm Dot Com (no scent)
  • Milk Jelly Cleanser
  • Generation G (Cake)

I am not usually in the habit of ordering so much from one brand but what makes this purchase of mine even more remarkable is that it was a blind order. By that, I mean I had not tested a single product (I know. Madness!!). What I had been doing, however, since as far back as 2015 when Glossier first fell onto my radar, was watch other bloggers and makeup artists incorporate Glossier products into their makeovers. This meant that by the time I actually placed my order I felt pretty confident in my anticipation of the colours and textures I was buying.

Having now tried the stuff – and to borrow from a more contemporary lexicon – I would say it is ‘pretty good $hit’…but I wouldn’t repurchase all of it.


Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam and Dusk

Glossier swatches (quite layered) of Beam and Dusk

Glossier Boy Brow Blond

Glossier Boy Brow in Blond

Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone

Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone swatch

The hits

Cloud Paint, Boy Brow and Haloscope have all made the cut, for sure. The textures are sublime.

I would say I am borderline addicted to Boy Brow. Probably the name (there is just something so modern about it). Or maybe it’s the brush? (not as microscopic as Charlotte Tilbury’s, which I adore, but still small enough)….hmmm. And the shade is the perfect shade of taupe for blondes (not too warm). Lastly and quite bizarrely, much as I have previously disliked glossy brow mascaras on me, I find the texture of this one just fab. All I can say is, WEIRD.

The packaging of the Cloud Paints make my heart sing every time I use them (just look at them! They so pretty). These little tubes of happiness take me back to my ‘painting with acrylics’ phase (lasted about a month). The textures aren’t as watery as Daniel Sandler’s cult Watercolour blush, but more plumping (that’ll be the soluble collagen). I read somewhere that founder and CEO Emily loves to pair Beam with Dusk so naturally that is what I have started doing (I know, shameless groupie).

I had high hopes for Haloscope having watched makeup artist extraordinaire and all round doll, @katiejanehuges, incorporate it into her makeovers for well over a year, but seeing as I am FAH (Fussy As Hell) with highlighting creams (they have to be the right consistency, not just in the ballpark) I was mentally preparing myself for it to be not quite so perfect. But guess what? It is perfect. The packaging makes me feel quite astronaughty too (I wonder if that is a deliberate thing?).

(Incidentally, after I swatched Boy Brow, above, I was rushing out somewhere and even though I had washed my hands before I left I must have missed the side of my hand because the swatch was still there several hours later?! A good sign).


Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light

Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light

Glossier Generation G lipstick in Cake

Glossier Cake swatch


The misses

Stretch Concealer, Milk Jelly Cleanser, Generation G, Balm Dot Com and the Priming Moisturiser are all nice…but nothing ‘wow’.

I have a mild aversion to the way the Milk Jelly Cleanser smells (it doesn’t really smell of anything but maybe that is why I am not mad keen on it?). The Priming Moisturiser is good. Again, no scent, but I couldn’t tell you if it does more for my skin than any other light hydrating lotion (god I do love the packaging though. Shame).

Balm Dot Com, Generation G and the Stretch Concealer have been growing on me as the weeks progress but the jury is still out. I love the fact the lip balm is semi matte (feels very grown up), as is the lipstick (the lipstick texture is unlike anything I have tried before). I think if I tried the lipstick in a brighter, more ‘me’ shade like ‘Zip’, I would be more of a fan, but ‘Cake’ is a bit too brown for my liking (on me anyway…would be great on someone with a warmer complexion).

I waiver in my enthusiasm for the Stretch Concealer. Some days I love the sheerness of it (if you have very dark circles and an oilier skin you will not see the point of it), but this is usually on days when my makeup can look a bit ‘undone’ (e.g. days off, the weekend etc). When I wear the Stretch Concealer to meetings or business events it is too low key and the movement (the ‘stretch’) of it, stresses me out.


Glossier packaging

Glossier packaging

Glossier packaging

The Packaging

Can we just pause for a minute to talk about the packaging? (sigh).

At 39 I couldn’t be less into stickers, but to my surprise I let out an audible ‘Squeee!’ when I first opened the box (I know, *shakes head in disappointment*) and despite the models in the imagery looking barely twenty years of age, I was still able to resonate with the ‘tribe’. I also loved the inclusivity of the hands postcard (very Benetton / Dove). Glossier wants to sell us makeup but SKIN is definitely the aesthetic and the use of colour is so sparing it feels instantly accessible (just a pop of colour here, a touch of this there).

My only gripe with the packaging was that my order was delivered in three separate cardboard boxes (presumably because I bought some of the items as part of a ‘set’…but still!). Come on Emily. You are my new entrepreneurial hero! Surely someone as clever and as business savvy as you can work out how to diminish the brand’s environmental impact when it comes to distribution?!

To anyone reading this, on the off chance I have whet your appetite with this post (and I do hope I have as the products aren’t hugely expensive and make a really fun and fresh addition to your makeup bag!), here is the link to the 20% discount code I mentioned earlier (the discount is applied once you check out).

Let me know if you get anything. Lord, I feel like a school girl again (ah ha, so that is the point) 😉


Try Glossier for yourself! In London

Glossier announced the other day they will be opening a pop up space from 15th to 22nd November 2017, at 32 Portland Place, Marylebone, W1 (opening times: weekdays from 11am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 8pm and Sunday 12 to 6pm). If you are curious about the brand and like ‘no fuss’ makeup, go have a play!


Further Background

For those who might be interested to know more about the history of this game-changing brand, here is a brief Glossier/Emily Weiss timeline:

  • In 2007 Glossier CEO and founder Emily Weiss graduates from New York University (she majored in Studio Art)
  • She works at Teen Vogue, appearing in 3 episodes of ‘The Hills’ (she was pitched as the scheming beauty intern trying to out-do everyone else. Oh, the irony!)
  • In 2010, during stints at Vogue and W, Emily starts a blog, calling it Into The Gloss. It has since become one of the most read beauty blogs on the planet.
  • In 2013, after numerous male venture capitalists say no to Emily Weiss and her consumer-led idea, Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures offers to lead the first round, investing $1m.
  • Glossier launches in the U.S. in 2014 with four skincare items (Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturiser, Skin Tint and Balm Dot Com)
  • In 2016, after two more rounds of funding from companies who had also invested in the likes of Instagram and Twitter, Glossier enters ‘Phase B’ and grows to a team of 55+ people.
  • 9 Oct 2017, Glossier starts shipping to the U.K. (it already ships throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada). Shipping to more countries has been promised!

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