Rant: I'm not the makeup-optional girl that Glossier wants to sell to
I always come with a positive mindset whenever I try new products. In the decade that I've tested hundreds of products for Project Vanity, I've come to understand that each has its pros and cons and that what works for some may not work for me (that rolls the other way round too). Beauty, I love to say, is so personal. We buy things for different reasons and not all of them is based purely on how effective the product is.
That said, I didn't initially intend to write this review of some Glossier products I picked up online. There are other things for me to write about but Den our Managing Editor convinced me it should be out there. So why not?
Glossier is famous for having a makeup line for people who don't need makeup. For years, I've read and watched so many things about it that I felt I understood what it is. I had some minimum expectations; it can't be as underwhelming as some people say it is, right? Why else would it be so popular? I've also tried their Cloud Paint previously and thought it was good.
Then I got a hundred dollars worth of other stuff from the online store. That's when I got annoyed. Let me do a quick run down of each item I have so you can see what I mean.
Glossier Haloscope in Quartz | USD 22 or PHP 1,152
When I googled "what to buy from Glossier" this is one of the most recommended products along with Boy Brow. I thought I couldn't go wrong with it but...it's much sheerer than I thought it would be. It takes me about two swipes to get a good sheen going. It's also balmy, and it never quite seems to dry on my cheekbones, plus the waxy base emphasizes skin texture. Pray you don't have any bumps on there! It can't go on the bridge of my nose that's for sure! It has a bit of a drag when applied on skin so it will pull out foundation I'd applied previously; many other highlighter sticks I've tried will have a lighter texture with a dry finish. So that was a surprise.
I have combination skin so I can get away with most shiny things, but not this one. This is definitely for dry to normal skin that does not require foundation; otherwise it will just mess up whatever base you have on.
Glossier Wowder in Medium | USD 22 or PHP 1,152
For something called Medium, this appears quite light and chalky on me. I was expecting a nice translucent finish, but I found it looks powdery and has this appearance of just sitting on top of my skin even with buffing. Oil control is normal. I will oil up the way I usually do with any average powder.
Plus point for the net-in-jar packaging. I do prefer that as it's easier to get product out.
Glossier Stretch Concealer in Medium | USD 18 or PHP 942
This has "elastic micro waxes that move with your face instead of caking on top of it, and nourishing oils that give a dewy, glowing finish". It is indeed moisturizing and has a skin-like finish, but you will like it only if you have dry to normal skin. This has a tacky, thick texture that sits heavily on my skin. It has a shiny finish - so that contributes to how natural it looks - but the shine never quite dries down or disappears unless you powder it heavily. That just defeats the point.
It also has light coverage only, and is not quite buildable. This is great on dry under eyes but can not be used to cover blemishes. Medium is also too light for me. I should've gone with Dark but I do not look anywhere like the model they have on the site. She's black.
Glossier Boy Brow in Brown | USD 16 or PHP 838
This is the one product that I thought I'd love. My expectations were simple: either it has enough coverage to be used on its own, or it has low coverage enough to set my brows in place with a nice tint. It can't do either one. It offers coverage by itself, sure, but it looks patchy and you have to go over several times which then makes it just a sticky mess. It never quite dries completely. I can't use it as a finishing brow mascara because Brown is a bit too dark for me already, especially if I have brow product already underneath. And it remains a bit tacky even after hours of wear. It also has a shiny finish.
I think you'll like it if you have full brows that just need a bit of polishing. If you have sparse brows like me, it's just meh.
Glossier Lid Star | USD 30 or PHP 1,570 for two tubes
I was pretty excited about this one because I love cream shadow! It simplifies my routine and a single color can look good fast. I got Cub, which is a pretty rose gold, and Herb, a golden green. These are...sheer. I need two or three layers to get a shade that looks like the color it's supposed to look like. These are great as eyeshadow primer though since they stick on the lids pretty well during the day, but alone, they take a bit of work. It has this wet texture that takes a while to dry so you have to wait a bit before the next layer. In terms of blending, the color "breaks" easily so if you apply too much pressure in one area your finger tip will leave a mark.
I don't like to hate on products, y'all know that. I want to love Glossier. I want to be the kind of carefree, makeup-optional kind of girl that Glossier seem to want to exclusively sell to. But I'm not. I have combination oily skin prone to blemishing and I live in a tropical country. I also have expectations when products reach a certain price point. Glossier may fail at packaging - they use the cheapest non-customized components - but I at least expected good, intuitive formulation. I didn't get that. Instead I got sheer products that aren't even good at being sheer. I mean, I get sheer products and I do love to use them for specific purposes, but the products here have the wrong texture for it; it's too waxy. Everything is formulated for dry to normal faces with little imperfection.
Cloud Paint is on the right track. Everything else here is just disappointing.
What do you think of Glossier? Love it or hate it?