A BRIEF HISTORY OF GLOSSIER

If you’ve been bopping around the beauty community for a while you’ve probably heard of Glossier. Pronounced glossy-yay, Glossier is the brainchild of beauty novice, Emily Weiss, who has run the popular site Into The Gloss for the past few years (still one of my favorite beauty sites). 

Glossier’s start was certainly mysterious. The site’s readers were informed of a new unexplained launch only by an Instagram account of cryptic, incomplete photos, and the brand’s now-signature baby pink color.  Their initial focus was on skincare, launching their Phase I set in fall of 2014 after raising $2 million in capital from investors. The products were on everybody’s radar, including that of popular beauty site XOVain, which published it’s popular post The Glossier Review You’ve All Been Waiting For that fall.

Glossier’s mantra, “skin first, makeup second, smile always,” printed on the inside of each delivery box and promoted in their MTA ads and website design solidifies the Glossier mindset. It has always about embracing what you’ve got and enhancing what you love. Weiss turned a successful site into a cosmetics empire with the help of a few industry experts, and launched something simple, but smart.

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The Glossier mantra.

Their Phase I set included four products: The Soothing Face Mist (which has since been replaced by The Milky Jelly Cleanser), Priming Moisturizer, Balm Dotcom, and Perfecting Skin Tint. All designed to create a “you but better” look, the set rings in at a pricey $80.00. At the time, I wasn’t sold on the idea of paying $80 for something I couldn’t go test at Sephora, so I held off. Readers were initially disheartened by the limited shade selection of the skin tints (three whitish to beige shades), but the brand has since released two darker shades to complement deeper skin tones after receiving feedback from readers.

After the successful launch, Glossier secured $8 million in additional funding, and expanded its team to include more business & industry moguls. Since Phase I, Glossier has launched a winter 2014 set of glitter eyeliners, a spring 2015 set of two face masks (the Moisturizing Moon Mask and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack), a summer 2015 Coconut edition of their Balm Dotcom, and a spring 2016 Milky Jelly Cleanser (which replaced the Soothing Face Mist in the Phase I set). The Milky Jelly Cleanser actually was birthed from a slew of reader input that Into The Gloss asked readers to contribute. Crowdsourced beauty – I like it. I knew something new must have been coming for summer, as I’d been monitoring this pattern for a while, so I was getting a little antsy.

Their Phase II set launched this spring with a cryptic “leaked” email sent from the Glossier founder herself. MTA ads appeared all around NYC and I knew the brand was prepping for another takeover.

Weiss' cryptic "leaked" email.
Weiss’ cryptic “leaked” email.

The brand launched their Phase II set in March, which features Boy Brow (a tinted brow gel), Generation G (a sheer lip tint in four shades), and their Stretch Concealer, adding more of a makeup focus to the mix. The set rings in at $50.00, a significant decrease from the first set. After testing out Boy Brow at a friend’s house, I decided it was time to place my first order.

I ordered three products: the Coconut Balm Dotcom (the special, summer version of the Phase I staple), Boy Brow in the shade Brown, and one of their two face mask offerings – the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack.

I am so excited to try these products after being such a loyal reader of Into The Gloss, and watching the brand grow over the past few years. I can already say with confidence that the Coconut Balm Dotcom is an amazing salve (the consistency of Aquaphor) with a super yummy scent, and the Boy Brow (which has a similar brush to Benefit’s Gimme Brow) gives a super effortless, defined brow. I will report back on the mask but I am so excited to see what’s next for Glossier and enjoy these products after a long few years of window shopping.

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For me the joy of Glossier is in the details. The products are minimal and straightforward, but the brand story is strong. Since Glossier operates with a direct to consumer model, they do all of their own shipping and branding, and they take advantage of every touchpoint. My shipment came in a box with a glazed pink interior bearing the company’s mantra, a sheet of stickers to personalize the simplistic product packaging, and a poster. The products themselves come in a reusable pink Ziploc bubble mailer (which they’ve actually started selling on their own). They now sell their own sweatshirts, terrycloth headbands, and pins. For me, those details can make or break a brand. The thought, the energy, and the passion is clearly there. Let’s see if the formulas measure up.

Have you tried Glossier’s products? Which are your faves?

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PS: After ordering, I received this lil 20% off discount code that you can use on your first order! If you do, I’ll get a $10 credit so it’s like a win win BFF thing if you want it.

Published by

Miranda Feneberger

Miranda Feneberger

In the middle of an existential crisis. If you have one of those super long phone chargers can you send it to me?