Emily Weiss’ Glossier is one of the most divisive makeup brands of recent years: there is a loyal cult of people who love it and a lot of people who hate it. I love Glossier; I can’t deny that I was drawn in by the millennial pink packaging and their well-polished Instagram account, but now I would swear by a number of their products. That said, not everything I’ve tried has been my favourite, but on the whole I struggle to see why people have a problem with this brand.

The author modelling her Glossier makeup. Photo courtesy of Abbie Haunch

The biggest criticism of Glossier is that some of the products are too sheer or too opaque, but my response to these criticisms is ‘do you understand what these products are trying to be?’ Glossier isn’t trying to be a traditional makeup brand, it’s trying to focus on ‘no makeup makeup,’ and if that’s what you’re looking for, the brand really hits the nail on the head. I’m way too lazy to do a full face of makeup every day, so I love the more laid back approach of ‘no makeup makeup.’  A great example of their minimal makeup appeal is their failed attempt to launch a more conventional makeup brand in 2019, Glossier Play, which along with a scandal about non-biodegradable glitter and excess packaging, really struggled to appeal to their loyal cult of fans. 

I have mainly tried their makeup products, but also a couple of their skincare ones. Everything from the skincare section that I have tried I have liked, particularly the Balm Dotcom lip balm, comes in an ever-expanding range of flavours, most recently wild fig. I’ve also tried the Priming Moisturiser, which definitely comes in at the higher end of my price point. The price in general is something that I don’t love about Glossier, but I would recommend buying the products as a set because it lowers the price a little. However, customers in the UK only get free shipping on orders over £30, so it’s easy to spend more than you intended to. I also think that several of their skincare products are more aimed at the 30-something market, so maybe wouldn’t be worth the money for younger buyers.

It’s undeniable that their best product is their brow pomade, Boy Brow. Available in five shades (previously three), Boy Brow has solidified itself as Glossier’s most highly reviewed product and is honestly a necessity in anyone’s makeup bag. I’ve tried similar products, including a similar one from Benefit, and Boy Brow is certainly the superior pomade on the market. To go with Boy Brow you can now also get Brow Flick, which is like an eyeliner pen for brows. This was game changing for me, adding more definition than just Boy Brow alone. The other standout product is Cloud Paint, which is a liquid blush. Again, it’s expensive, but you don’t need a lot so it’s worth the money and is multipurpose; I wear it as a blush, lip tint and eyeshadow.

Their other makeup products are hit and miss. I don’t rate their lipstick, Generation G, or, controversially, their eyeshadow Lidstar; many do like it, I just find that it’s not long-wearing and Skywash is better.

Glossier might not be for everyone, but if you like no makeup-makeup, it’s the brand for you.


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