Conforming to societal constructs generated by a nasty and manipulative media is at the top of my personal “Flaws to Fix” list, but since I haven’t conquered procrastination yet… let’s talk about Glossier (pronounced as: glossy-ay).
The niche brand was just another sponsored page that appeared on my Instagram feed about a year ago totally randomly and ever so innocently from my tracked Google searches. Upon my intrigue brought on from the sleek, pale image of Glossier, my FIMS brain hissed. It shriveled in agony at the word “sponsored” underneath the beauty company’s username, and just like the red devil on my shoulder, it said: give in and you’ll only confirm the reality of algorithms.
Very ugly, but not ugly enough. Because Glossier’s very impressive marketing team told me that I am beautiful.
Glossier feeds on the “self-love” trend that many high-end brands have gobbled up and are commodifying by storm. Written loud and clear in their Twitter bio is, “Glossier—beauty products for real life.” Sounds like a load of B.S. to anyone that’s ever been bamboozled by a dominating fad that swear by their “authenticity.” So what’s next in Fad Land of 2018? Glorious self-care.
It’s genius because no one will ever argue against self-care, and major corporations have become aware of this as a tactic for generating money. They know that when finances, responsibilities, due dates, and grocery lists get heavy on the shoulders you can just smack on a face mask and you’re good as new. Except for the majority of the time, these corporations take it one step too far. They attempt to advertise slapping on a new car as part of your “self-care routine,” or a diamond ring to really emphasize how no one needs to buy it for you but yourself. Maybe it will satisfy your image of the easy-going life that you yearn for, but only for a moment because Toyota or Pandora don’t play with your biggest insecurity of all: your face.
It makes the most sense! What’s one of the first things you look at when you wake up in the morning, ladies? Glossier conveniently comes to the rescue when your bank account, new car and ring are exploding all at once. We are constantly searching for ways to take care of ourselves to survive and when meal prepping isn’t one of them we need a fast, cheap solution.
Perhaps you might watch a beauty guru’s skincare routine on YouTube, check the prices of the product, then try not to gag from all of the digits on your screen. You go to bed feeling less than spectacular, and the next morning Glossier makes its way as the new sponsored page on your Instagram feed. Of course, I ignorantly wanted to believe that Instagram plopped the brand in front of my eyes like a stork carrying a baby to positively change my life. And in all honesty, their marketing team did a great job with phrases such as: “our aim isn’t a new you, but a better you.” Classic.
I have always avoided the foolery of dubious fads, but I had received my first paycheck of the summer and I was feeling dangerous. I have significantly changed my life by becoming a vegetarian as an act to not live in this ignorance that mass media attempts to plant in us, so didn’t I deserve it just this once? Just a little bit of ignorance?
I clicked on it. I picked what I liked while holding my breath the entire time. My FIMS brain sobbed and the red devil on my shoulder cursed at my name. Then I ran into an issue when ordering (which I first took as a sign from the universe that I should close the tab and never turn back, but promptly changed my mind), so I emailed them for help.
Another thing that previously stuck out to me about Glossier was their presence. Their customer service team answers every single question asked by hundreds of users on their Instagram on the daily. After following their account for a while, I’ve noticed repetitions of the same questions answered multiple times, and with the same level of detail and compassion. So with their online amiability in mind, I sent them an email for help on the ordering process and they responded within a day with plenty of advice and even a video for reference. What could have been a quick “shoo of the hand” response to get me off their back, was instead a deliberate attempt to help a struggling customer. What shocked me was the employee that I spoke too’s willingness to keep interacting with a technologically challenged customer! When was the last time anyone asking a dumb question got that kind of service?
And there’s more! On top of their impeccable customer service and “Skin first. Makeup second” mantra, you can add to your makeup bag or skin care routine without ripping through your OSAP money. Of course, as with any company trying to make a profit, there are a select couple of products that cost a bit more than a reasonable budget. But after wafting through the skin care products already, I can now offer you the Phase One Set (at $55, but free shipping and a 10% reduction being my first purchase with Glossier) for all of your indulgent self-care needs.
Milky Jelly, Priming Moisturizer and Balm Dotcom are all a part of Glossier’s Phase One Set, “where dewy, hydrated skin begins.” As a non-makeup professional by any means, I had been searching for a place to start for my sensitive and often dry skin, and Glossier came in as my fairy godmother saying all of the right words. Right in front of me were “three not-so-basic basics that keep skin clean, moisturized, and happy each day.” Oh, and a 4.4 rating. Seemed legit.
Ten days later, the elegantly decorated package conveniently arrived on my birthday. The feeling Glossier successfully sold to me was my non-existent cool older sister saying, “Hey, I think you’ll like this. Enjoy all of the pink xoxo.” Simple and cute.
Inside Glossier’s notorious pink pouch was my Phase One Set. Here is how these products (that were strategically targeted towards me by surveillance media) worked.
This simple cleanser aims to remove makeup thoroughly, yet leave you with soft, dewy skin. Its claims are soap free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty-free, non-comedogenic, and vegan amongst other things that I skipped over because there wasn’t much else that it could be free of. All you have to do is apply it on dry skin and rub it with water.
With key ingredients such as soothing rosewater and healing comfrey root extract, I was really hopeful with Milky Jelly.
The first week was rough. I have been lucky enough to never have had the skin to curse me with more than a couple of pimples at once, but unfortunately, this cleanser brought back those pesky suckers. It was nothing too bothersome, but I noticed the extra bit of concealer I applied each morning of that week. I did feel some disappointment that I spent money on something that created a problem that never really existed. However, even with those initial results, I didn’t jump to conclusions. After one week the pimples were gone without a trace, and my skin definitely felt smoother and more hydrated. I can’t explain that initial pimply blip, but once it passed over I haven’t found anything worth complaining about.
The cleanser is meant to dig into muck-filled pores from a full day with makeup, so I recommend being careful about how many acidic products you apply to your skin each night. If you are exfoliating with something that is higher up on the acidity scale, then maybe lay off of Milky Jelly for that day. Refresh with it the next morning instead.
My rating: 4/5 stars
This self-describing cream can be used after cleansing with Milky Jelly. In contrast to the cleanser, I didn’t experience a single day of issues with this moisturizer. At first, I thought the consistency was a bit too light for my liking, but it’s easily buildable which plumps and primes the skin to your desired amount. What I also really appreciate about it is the anti-redness complex that genuinely calmed my skin and evened out the tones! This was a relief due to a couple of unsuccessful trials with other anti-redness products. Priming Moisturizer was tested the most on my internal B.S. scale for this reason, but it passed with flying colours. This cream is also quite versatile, so you can use it as your nighttime moisturizer and/or your pre-makeup primer. I don’t know about you, but I personally love when I spend money on one thing and then it unexpectedly performs as other blessings in my life too.
I don’t have much else to say in regards to Priming Moisturizer, which is admittedly a good thing when it comes to beauty products.
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Glossier allows customers to choose from six balm flavours, so I picked cherry that has a sheer red tint. My lips have luckily never had any hydration issues, but I do like it when they don’t dreadfully blend into the rest of my face. My lips do not share the characteristics of pillowy plumpness sported by celebrities, nor do they radiate a youthful saturation of a living being, so too much colour is obviously unnatural.
Since Glossier’s entire philosophy is enhancing your features and not recreating them, the cherry stain did add just the right amount of hue to my lips without looking unnatural — much to my satisfaction. However, I was greatly surprised when the colour wasn’t even the most astonishing feature of the balm. Simply said, I have never experienced anything melt onto my lips as Balm Dotcom did. I never knew I needed such exquisite moisture until the first holy application, and if you think I am being dramatic then please purchase this balm. The moisture also lasts a significant amount of time, that if I apply it one dry winter night (it’s coming, people), the next morning my lips are still amply moisturized.
In terms of smell, the cherry scent is also not too overwhelming and headache inducing if you are sensitive to fragrance.
My rating: 100/5 stars
The Phase One Set is a perfect way to try out Glossier. The price ($55) may seem daunting at first, but it is reasonable for three products that I still have plenty of nearly four months after purchasing them. On top of that, shipping is free when you spend $40 and new customers receive a 10% discount. I personally believe that it is most important to spend money on products that are worthwhile, even if it is a bit more than you were budgeting for.
My biggest fear was, and still is, throwing money at companies that target me just because I Google searched something related to what they sell. Of course, I have no way of knowing that Glossier—this new rapidly growing fad young women are raging about—isn’t laughing right now as they’ve successfully hoaxed me. However, I do know that a real human being helped me when I had issues ordering from their website, and I have the reassurance that I could call them up as though they were my friendly next door neighbour if I had any other issues.
As the media becomes more manipulative and conniving, I think it’s becoming increasingly rare to run into a company that genuinely cares about your self-care—that doesn’t just think of you as a consumer who spends money sometimes to feel better about themselves.
You can buy a new car, you can try on every ring at Tiffany, but that darn bill never seems to pay itself off so… I welcome you to Glossier! If you’re going to slap a face mask on as a temporary solution to life’s most vicious problems (just like I do too, don’t worry), I recommend taking a risk with Glossier. Your cool older sister always knew best, right?
I petition a new mantra: Skin first. Financial responsibilities second.
Side note: I do understand that nobody’s skin type is the same and my experiences with these products could be completely different than others. The Phase One Set includes only three out of the growing selection of products that customers can choose from Glossier’s website that may better suit their skin’s needs.
Additional tip: A discount on Glossier products are a simple Google search away. The company releases new codes pretty regularly on their website or Instagram that offer either a cost reduction on your order or an additional free product. It’s like an extra little gift from you to you. Just keep yourself in-the-know!
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