BY CASSANDRA LITTLEWOOD
I owe Glossier a lot, not in money per say but in gratitude. For giving me a simple highlight that ups my dewy skin *lewk,* a gentle yet effective cleanser for happy skin and for a great mark on a project I recently did on their company.
While it’s easier to get a square peg in a round hole than for me to stop talking about Glossier, I’m not the only one. Millennials and Gen X’ers love Glossier for what they’re doing differently.
But, what exactly are they doing differently?
For one thing, you can’t pick up Glossier’s boy brow at a Sephora or Shopper’s Drug Mart, the beauty company is online-only (re: except for their gorgeous stores in NYC and LA). While Glossier the beauty company was founded in 2014, it grew from the beauty blog, Into the Gloss, found by Emily Weiss, CEO, in 2010. Into the Gloss was founded on the belief that creating a space for women to talk about beauty is important, a belief that continues into Glossier’s heyday.
Its origins in beauty blogging help fuel why Glossier is so popular and distinct from other brands: they adapt according to what customers want and need, instead of telling their customers what they should want. To prove this point, Glossier recently re-launched their Skin Tint product after receiving unsatisfactory customer feedback and making the necessary changes according to that feedback.
“…the best beauty tips and recommendations come from other women. They don’t come from experts; they don’t come from brands. They come from the women you admire, and that could be anyone. That really led me to think, well, there should be a beauty company that really celebrates that and facilitates these conversations.” Weiss told the Globe and Mail, back in September when she was in Toronto for Glossier’s pop up.
The relationship that exists between Glossier and its users is a part of what makes their brand so successful. The direct interaction and feedback between the customer and the company make customers feel not only heard but they can see that their words were acted on. Glossier even went as far as to send a balm dot com to someone who tweeted to Glossier how they lost theirs. They also recently released a TSA-friendly (aka travel-friendly) size in their popular Milk Jelly Cleanser after many people told them that theirs were getting confiscated while traveling.
A part of what makes this relationship function so well is that Glossier doesn’t feel like a competition to sell products. You can follow their employees on Instagram, talk to other people about beauty in the comments of their Instagram and on their blog, and get tips on how to apply their products on their Instagram.
This direct interaction was what made me stay on their Instagram rather than passing them off as just a glossy, pink beauty company. I saw that Glossier wasn’t just personalizing the beauty experience but was taking part in a movement.
Their vision of “skin first makeup second” speaks to a customer-base that is tired of being told to cover up their blemishes with heavy foundation. The mentality is more geared towards taking care of your skin, wearing sunscreen and having a happy base for having fun with makeup. In a world where we’re being more encouraged to love ourselves and for body inclusivity and positivity, Glossier’s vision follows suit.
It can be easy to write off Glossier’s pink products and skin first mentality as a gimmick or a new spin on makeup and skincare in a saturated market. However much you dwell on this there is a lot of good to be had in how Glossier operates and something that is refreshing (other than the fact that their products actually work). After having multiple experiences hating my skin because of acne and scars, the mentality of putting my skin first was one that everyone needs to hear. When you put your skin (aka your health, don’t forget your internal health is often linked to what shows up on your face) at the forefront it lets you take a healthier approach to beauty than trying to cover up the mountain of a pimple that just popped up on your chin.
What really drove this home for me was when Weiss posted a picture of her face during a breakout on her Instagram story. She didn’t bash on it or make a big deal about not LOVING her skin that day, she just came out to say, hey this happens to my skin too and its okay because having a red pimple or a breakout is so natural and (surprise not surprise) normal! Hearing this from the CEO of a beauty company just shows how much their skin first mentality is actually practiced.
So maybe you don’t love or particularly like the zit you have or the cystic acne that persists on your skin. What Glossier preaches, however, is that your skin aka YOU needs to be taken care of first. You don’t have to care about trends or societal standards (aka makeup) or what other people say about your face but you have to be okay with yourself first, in your own skin.