Skincare Review: Glossier / by Didier Young

We now live in a world where we value a lot of things based on its instagrammable value. It is started off with gorgeous locations covered in wisteria or pretty lavender fields in Provence but it eventually made it to the food realm with its rainbow bagels and unicorn cakes. As such it should come to no surprise that other brands took notice of the instagrammable trend and started creating brands that have strong aesthetical identities for millennials to relate to. In the recent years we’ve seen our fair share of sparkles, unicorn drops and mermaids but one brand that truly managed to create a cult following based around its aesthetic is undeniably Glossier.

The brand was started by Emily Weiss, creator of Into the Gloss. The blog was first launched almost a decade ago with a special segment called The Top Shelf. Emily believed that women were not being served well by modern beauty brands and that they weren’t creating products that people were asking for and from that idea, Glossier was born. As such, Glossier is a contemporary brand that wasn’t lead by a cult product but rather a value and point of view. The brand itself launched in 2014 via the blog and with the help of Instagram, the word spread and it quickly built a following. The success of the billion dollar brand never truly lied behind the products that formed its line but rather the experience the Glossier idea provided and its incredible shareability on social media with its simple yet effective packaging, cute stickers and iconic pink ziploc bag. Over the years, the brand created hype with its ultra- instagrammable pop-ups and physical stores and they still have people lining up outside of their stores to this date. On my recent trip to New York, I decided to pop by the store and to grab a couple of their products to give them a try.

First, let’s talk about one of their cult products: the Boy Brow. Available in four different shades, Boy Brow claims to thicken, shape and groom brows into place. The packaging is minimalistic and very on brand with Glossier’s aesthetic. The product is alcohol, fragrance, paragon and cruelty free and it has been ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested which would make it adequate for all skin types. At $20 for a 0.11 oz, it is fairly on par with the prices of most brands available at Sephora. I grabbed Boy Brow in the darkest shade available (Black) and I will be honest with you, I didn’t love it at first. I do have fairly full eyebrows to begin with so I didn’t feel like it did much at first other than holding the hair in place. However, someone mentioned to me that I had to brush back the brow before shaping it into place and it made a whole world of difference. It has now become my go-to brow gel and I use anytime I want to look a bit more polished and put together.

The second product that I purchased was their balm dotcom. The cult favourite skin salve is mostly used as a lip balm but you can actually use it anywhere that might need any extra moisture on your skin. Packed with anti-oxidants and natural emollients, the balm is meant to nourish dry skin while sealing in the moisture. Glossier now has eight different flavours to choose from and I opted on the Mango for myself and a Coconut for Andrew. This one was love at first application. I absolutely LOVE the way that the Mango balm smells and it has proven fairly effective at keeping my lips moisturized. That being said, I’ve been using it in the summer and I’ll have to see if it can pass the Canadian winter test. I wasn’t that big of a fan of the Coconut version but I am biased as I do not like coconut flavoured things to begin with. It should be noted that the texture of both balms were somewhat different with the coconut being a tad thicker than the mango but overall they were both effective. I would most likely repurchase this one.

The last product that I purchased was one of their newest re-launches: the Super Glow serum. The review for this one will be short: I hated it. The good thing is that it is dermatologist- tested and paraben and fragrance free but believe me, sometimes you need a bit of fragrance in skincare products because this one just smelled like crayons. I could not get past the smell and to be honest, I didn’t try it out for a whole month because of that. My skincare time is a self care moment for me and I find that the scents that are added to skincare often help to truly elevate the experience. I also find it a bit drying when it comes down to serums which isn’t really something that I look for in my serums. That one was a pass for me.

Much like most skincare brands, Glossier has its highs and lows but as I mentioned before, the brand mostly sells an idea and a lifestyle rather than being a product forward company. The products do their job without pushing the boundaries but they sure do look good on your vanity.