“Glossier achieves in giving women of all ages a clean base and easy makeup to naturally highlight their best features.”
A standard Glossier review is not original content by any means but this is Glossier for grown ups…very different. Full disclosure, I’m a Glossier fan. I am not sponsored by Glossier, but I’ve been following their rise from the beginning and couldn’t speak more highly of the brand as a whole. Today I’ll focus on Glossier for those of us who’ve matured beyond the Glossier poster children, Gen Z and late Millennials, explaining why the brand works for women at any age — it’s about understanding the brand promise — and my top Glossier products to include in your grown up beauty routine.
A bit of history to the brand that skyrocketed to success nearly overnight.
Glossier was founded in 2014 by Emily Weiss of “The Hills” fame. After years of successful blogging on “Into The Gloss,” Weiss branched out with her own low-maintenance makeup and skincare company.
The Glossier brand platform is simple and approachable:
“Beauty inspired by real life.
Glossier is a new approach to beauty. It’s about fun and freedom and being OK with yourself today. We make intuitive, uncomplicated products designed to live with you.”
If Glossier is so simple, why all the fuss? What makes Glossier special? For starters, the branding and marketing is very well done and accurate.
– There’s fun millennial flair through their iconic pink baggies and stickers with every purchase.
– The product packaging is intentionally minimal, designed with an easy, paint-by-numbers application in mind.
– Streamlined skincare and makeup collections comprise the basics and THAT. IS. IT.
Glossier makes the entire user experience painless as you can get pretty much everything you *need* in a one-stop-shop.
Why you’ve probably heard some Glossier debate
In their simplicity Glossier has caused a lot of confusion and disruption in an already saturated beauty space. Since inception, Glossier has taken heat for being “kids makeup,” lacking in the coverage, quality, and range most of us have come to expect from mainstream skincare and makeup brands. But much of the criticism stems from not understanding the brand promise and managing expectation when it comes to cult beauty hype. Inherent in the Glossier DNA is that “skin is in” and “makeup is second,” it’s even printed on the boxes. Thus, you’re not going to find anything opaque or with potent skincare ingredients. No shiny objects here, not even glitter; it’s about letting the natural you sing, embracing the not-so-perfect bits. And when Glossier did try the glitter thing, attempting to branch out and add to their range, it failed, BIG TIME.
For a year, more or less, Glossier had a line of color-driven, party products in their “Glossier Play” franchise. “Play” totally bombed because it was antithetical to the Glossier brand platform. Some products stuck around like the eyeliner and highlighter (even the lip lacquer which is surprising as it’s pretty lackluster) but the rest were discontinued. For this reason, Glossier has stuck to their roots and made the low-key girl THE Glossier girl.
Making Glossier work for the Woman, not just the “Girl”
Glossier delivers EXACTLY what they’re marketing: a straightforward skincare and makeup brand with staple products designed for the on-the-go, simple beauty woman. Further, Glossier is best fit for those who already have good skin. Seems unfair, but this aligns with their simple beauty ethos. First, the skincare line isn’t going to be effective on treating major acne concerns, minimizing deep wrinkles, or correcting discoloration. And the beauty line isn’t full coverage or high-tech. When wearing Glossier you feel like you have nothing on and look like you have nothing on because that’s Glossier approach: youthful, fresh, and natural. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Too much skincare can cause irritation. Matte skin can look dated. Classic bullet lipsticks can be overkill.
Glossier achieves in giving women of all ages a clean base and easy makeup to naturally highlight their best features.
Also of note, the Glossier price point is totally reasonable. And THAT is refreshing. The beauty industry is filled with products where you just don’t know if you’re going to get the bang for your buck. The straightforward, uncomplicated Glossier collections are reliable and won’t break the bank.
With all that said, not all Glossier products are created equal. Some items are better suited for the prototype Glossier 20something, but there are certainly a number of options perfect for women from their 20s to even their 70s. Need more convincing? Check the reviews! There are “women of a certain age” raving about each of the products on my list.
Top 6 Glossier Standouts (Singles & Sets) To Complete Your Low-Maintenance Grown Up Beauty Routine
I’m going to knock out Glossier skincare first. Although Glossier’s collection boasts over a dozen products, there’s really only a few winners for the woman who needs more than chapstick and barsoap.
exfoliating skin perfector
Review: The ideal product for someone looking for a nice chemical exfoliant but isn’t necessarily in need of spa-quality efficacy.
Description: Transforms the look of skin in four weeks.
What it is: A gentle way to slough away dead skin to reveal a fresh, smooth complexion
Why it’s special:
- Unlike physical scrubs, Solution uses a 10% blend of skincare acids to “unglue” dead skin and sweep it away, so your complexion appears smoother, softer, and glowier
- Includes three acid groups: Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), and Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA)
- Daily use helps improve the appearance of blemishes, visible redness, and enlarged pores
In a Clinical Trial…
…3 out of 4 Solution daily users said their skin looked smoother, brighter and clearer after 1 week.
The Skincare Set
daily skin essentials
Review: Here’s your basic set. Are these guys going to remove every ounce of makeup and sunscreen off your face? Probably not, so you may want to have an additional oil or gel cleanser on-hand to ensure you’re getting a proper cleansing everyday. But this is a perfectly fine set if you don’t wear makeup and have normal skin. And it’s a GREAT set for post-workout, a quick clean after work, or holiday travel.
Description: Where dewy, hydrated skin begins.
What it is: Three essentials that keep skin clean, moisturized, and happy each day
Why it’s special:
- Milky Jelly Cleanser gently dissolves makeup and grime and won’t leave your skin irritated or feeling tight
- Priming Moisturizer hydrates while evening out the complexion and minimizing the appearance of pores and redness
- Balm Dotcom (in your choice of flavor) soothes dry, chafed lips
Cost: $40 for 3 items (savings of 23% when purchased together in the set)
The Super Duo
Review: Okay, these I can totally get behind. I have had both serums in my cabinet at all times for the past few years. When it comes to basic serum needs, Glossier’s serum duo meets the absolute minimum: Vitamin C (to brighten) and Hyaluronic acid (to hydrate). If you have no other ingredients in your serums, these two will suffice. In fact, in doing my research for The Cheeky Genova I’ve seen multiple facialists mention these serums as they are the bare necessities in a simple skincare routine. So when paired with your Glossier Solution exfoliant and The Skincare Set, you’ve rounded out a very manageable but effective regimen, again, with the caveat Glossier is best for people who already have good skin.
I can’t say this enough, if you are trying to banish crows feet or restore collagen, these products will not do the job. But Glossier never says they will; the serums, like everything else on this list, deliver on the product promise: uncomplicated, functional beauty approach. Also, the price point for these serums is stellar. I don’t have a ton of experience with the skincare company The Ordinary, but from what I’ve learned these serums are at least on par if not superior.
Genova Tip: I use these serums after I workout. I swipe my Klorane or Darphin micellar water, then follow with a couple drops of each serum. An awesome midday skin boost.
Description: Two action-packed serums to hydrate and brighten skin.
What it is: Two vitamin-infused serums that pair well together to hydrate and brighten the look of skin
Why it’s special:
- For soothing moisture, reach for Super Bounce to ease that tight, dehydrated feeling
- To visibly turn up your skin’s brightness levels, use Super Glow for an energized and even complexion
- Layer them for extra benefits—over time, they’ll keep skin looking smooth, hydrated, and glowy.
In a Clinical Trial…
…8 out of 10 subjects said Super Bounce improved the overall look and feel of skin immediately after use.
…9 out of 10 subjects said Super Glow gave them a healthy glow after 2 weeks.
Cost: $45 for two serums (savings of 19% when purchased together)
As someone who has drawers full of Chanel, Dior, Tom Ford, I still always find myself reaching for Glossier. It gives me that very light wash of color that’s just enough to get rid of redness and flatter my favorite features. Unlike Glossier skincare, almost all these products span skin texture needs, ages, complexion, etc., and for that reason have become regulars on every “best of” list in multiple categories. So let’s get on with it, shall we?
Review: So this set is going to have mixed reviews, primarily because of the skin tint. I’ve talked about the Glossier Skin Tint in my “For Dummies” post on skin tints, so obviously I am a fan. What I like about this skin tint is that it’s light, not greasy, and really does “blur” the complexion. Although it’s got the consistency of colored, watery milk, it does exactly what it promises: light wash of color. Nothing more, nothing less. If you have good skin or you aren’t a big fan of makeup, Glossier’s skin tint is for you. And yes, there are other skin tints out there that have more “skincare benefits” but I would say this: how are those skincare ingredients penetrating your moisturizer/primer, serums, lotions, etc.? My recommendation would be to find a skin tint you really like and if it happens to help your skin, great bonus. Otherwise, invest in quality skincare first, makeup second, ie the Glossier way.
On the concealer I don’t have much to add because there’s no debate, it’s a hit. Glossier’s stretch concealer is on every “best of” list for its light and comfortable texture. The concealer melts perfectly into the skin without seeping into fine lines. And just like the skin tint, the concealer is now available in a variety of colors and tones so you can find a shade that suits your unique, beautiful complexion.
Description: Makeup that lets your skin show through.
What it is: Buildable, super sheer skin tint and blendable concealer work in harmony for a seamless finish
Why it’s special:
- Perfecting Skin Tint goes on easily, evening out your complexion and leaving skin looking smooth and dewy
- Stretch Concealer’s buildable, brightening formula hides dark circles, blemishes, redness, and more, with a dewy, undetectable finish
- Choose from one of 12 shades optimized to fit a wide range of skin tones
Cost: $36 (savings of 18% when purchased together)
Review: Two products I use daily, Glossier Boy Brow and Glossier Generation G lipstick. I actually used both of these products on my wedding day, they’re THAT good.
Boy Brow is a standard, good brow wax and comes in four shades. Why I like it? Because it holds my brows in place and is much cheaper than many of its brow competitors including Anastasia and Benefit. If you already have great brows, Boy Brow in clear is perfect to just groom and go. Say you are going for a no-makeup day, Boy Brow will help clean up the brows and pull your look together with minimal effort.
And Generation G! So underrated. A lot of people don’t like generation G for two reasons: it’s not really hydrating and the packaging is rather cheap. But like, do I care? No. I love the color range and own every shade. While it’s sheer, it actually still delivers nice color payoff. On my wedding day I wore the light pink shade “Like,” and for our welcome cocktail reception I wore the hot pink shade “Crush.” My daytime low-key red? Zip.
I mean with Generation G you just can’t go wrong. Again, not a ton of hydration but that’s why Glossier makes great balms. You can use your balm from The Skincare Set I mentioned above, and then layer your favorite shade of Generation G. So back to no makeup? You’ve got your brows, maybe you’re skipping skin today, just add a touch of Generation G and out the door you go. Need some coverage, you’ve got your stretch concealer to touch up the sneaky spots.
Description: Full, groomed brows + sheer matte lips.
What it is: Boy Brow thickens and grooms brows into place, while Generation G gives the look and finish of just-blotted lipstick, without the blot.
Why it’s special:
- Two of our best-selling products create a put-together look in an instant
- Boy Brow’s creamy wax formula thickens, shapes, and grooms brows into place. Choose from Blond, Brown, Black, or Clear
- Generation G sheer matte lipstick swipes on for a diffused wash of color, or build it up for a more opaque look. Choose from six shades
Cost: $30 (savings of 11% when purchased together)
seamless cheek color
Review: If I could only pick one Glossier product, it would be Cloud Paint. This is Glossier’s rockstar. Another product I’ve talked about before, Cloud Paint is fool-proof makeup.
Dab on finger.
Dab finger on face.
Blend face, and voila, perfect blush (or eyeshadow or even bronzer if you’re going for something sunkissed using the muted tones).
And Cloud Paint knows no age. This product glides over texture, dries down completely, and has staying power. Where powder blush can sometimes magnify pimples or sink into lines, Cloud Paint floats right over. Even my friends and family with the toughest complexions love Cloud Paint because of its versatility and universality. I’ve used Cloud Paint on brides, for my own wedding, for work, even just to lie around the house. Cloud Paint is the cream blush without any real competition. Yes, there are other cream blushes, but for this price and quality, why would you go with anything other than Cloud Paint? Even better, all the shades can be mixed to create your own custom color. Glossier put cream blush on the map with Cloud Paint and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Description: Gel-cream blush you can’t mess up.
What it is: A seamless, buildable gel-cream blush that’s fun and easy to wear
Why it’s special:
- Lightweight, pillowy formula that instantly blends into a natural, flushed-from-within glow
- If you can fingerpaint, you can Cloud Paint—simply dab it onto cheeks wherever you like, and tap into skin
- Comes in six shades inspired by NYC sunsets, optimized to work across a wide range of skin tones