Glowing with Glossier

A fashion assistant starts a blog…while that sounds pretty standard today, in 2010, Emily Weiss forged into a nascent beauty sphere with her site, Into the Gloss. A cult following would ensue, dependent on this vast library of recommendations. Not only were consumers educated on a vast array of products but they were provided a look into “bathroom shelfies” and best practices like double, make that triple cleansing your face. The coinciding social media prevalence of Instagram allowed followers to engage and form a trusting community of beauty fanatics, and four years after launching her blog, Weiss created her own beauty company, Glossier.

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The premise seemed simple, start with a few products, make them no fuss, and let your readers comment and engage. The intriguing initial success of Glossier relied on the existing loyal fan base of the blog itself. For years, readers were clued in on which serums would tame redness or fight dryness, and in Weiss, they trusted. By empowering Into the Gloss readers to take part in feedback loops and to become brand ambassadors themselves, Glossier was able to utilize trusted word of mouth to help grow their customer base. In 2018, Glossier reached $100 million in sales and shortly thereafter tripled their valuation to join the billion dollar Unicorn Club.

I’m admittedly a cosmetics novice. Up until I was 30 years old, I wasn’t using face moisturizer and had no idea how to do anything about my eyebrows (or lack thereof). For me, Glossier has been appealing because its initial branding touted a “makeup free look”.

Glossier serving 🥟🍜🥢

  • Quality 🥟 a repeat purchaser for both the boy brow (eyebrow highlighter) and bounce serum, I can vouch for staying power and a dewy glow. The easy application of the boy brow has seriously made me question how I went 30 years without this eyebrow gem.

  • Pricing 🍜 most items run between $12-$30, so it’s definitely more expensive than your drugstore brand. However, for the length of time the balm has lasted and as a repeat purchaser of boy brow, I find that there’s staying power in relation to the cost.

  • Customers 🥢 Glossier defines the cult following. Its community centric fan base readily awaits for new releases and regularly contributes to what Glossier does next.

minor meddling: what could be better

  • Transparency 🍚each product has a full ingredients list, but it’s unclear where and how the manufacturing is conducted and what standards are maintained.

  • Deliver 🥡shipping is free if you spend $30+ (which is typically at least two products);

  • Good Karma 🥠 not aware of any efforts here, but hey making you feel and look good is spreading ♥️ too?

  • Packaging: contrary to some Glossier gurus, we wish there was an option to opt-out from receiving the pink plastic bag and stickers with every order. While it’s cute, and you can arguably reuse it, I definitely don’t need a pink plastic bag every time I order a tiny tube of makeup. Additionally, the product containers themselves feel a bit flimsy/cheap. It would be more amenable if the plastic happened to be environmentally friendly, but it doesn’t look like there are any benefits to having a lightweight container to hold product other than their own margins.

Glossier recently announced a separate line dubbed Glossier Play, which will expand beyond the simple “makeup free” look. I am content to continue using the current line of products but am going to be keen on seeing what Emily Weiss & Glossier do next.

For 10% off your first order, please use this link.


More resources:

How I Built This - Live with Glossier’s Emily Weiss link

CNBC - Building a Unicorn link

Updated March 2019