Glossier and the Rise of "Cool Girl" Makeup

Article and Photos by Alex Kaneshiro

As of late, it seems as though the beauty world has split into two mutually exclusive groups: maximalists and minimalists. While some are on the cutting edge of contouring and Kylie Jenner Lip Kits, others feel that a bit BB cream and a dab of mascara will do the trick. Beauty has long favored those who fall into the former category. But for brands like Glossier, skin is in and less is more.

Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint in Dark ($26)

Staring in 2015 and continuing to present day Fashion Week, brands like Chloé and Michael Kors began sending models out onto the catwalk practically bare faced, their makeup’s only job to conceal and define. Shortly after began the rise of “effortless coolness,” a trend that is present in both fashion and beauty. The fresh-faced, French-girl look trickled down to the average girl, and eventually, into many a makeup bag. Skincare became imperative; individual product’s subtleties became discerning factors between ones that added a small touch to a natural look, from those that simply did nothing but sit on the face. The trend left a gap in a previously crowded market, a hole in an industry where facially transformative products were king. Enter Glossier, whose motto is "Skin first. Makeup second. Smile always." While there are now thousands of products out there that can feed the no-makeup makeup trend, the natural beauty ideal is the very genesis of Glossier’s brand,

Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser ($18)

In 2010, while working as a fashion assistant at Vogue Magazine, Emily Weiss felt there was something missing when it came to conversations around beauty. Wanting to facilitate deeper dialogues that discussed beauty in an honest way and in a meaningful context, she started Into the Gloss, a beauty blog that did just that. After gaining popularity across the world, Weiss decided to turn ITG’s words into wallet-friendly products inspired by real girls, for real girls. In 2014, Glossier began launching skin-care products such as facemasks and mists. By 2016, Glossier was making some of the most coveted makeup products on the beauty market. In August 2016, Glossier had a 10,000-person waitlist for a single lipstick, fan-devotion that brands like Nars and MAC could only dream of having. While the majority of Glossier shopping is done on their Pantone pink website, the brand just opened the doors of their SoHo showroom for Glossier Girls to try and buy products.  

Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer ($25)

On the skin front, Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint has been a fan-favorite, available in five shades ranging from light to rich. Invented for those who dislike the heavy, cake-y feeling of traditional foundation, the tint's lightweight formula creates a dewy, blurring effect. One of Glossier’s biggest hits, the Milky Jelly Cleanser, can be used in the morning to prep your face, and at night to remove your makeup (even the most stubborn mascaras). Glossier also recently launched Priming Moisturizer Rich: a thicker, creamer spin-off of the Priming Moisturizer. For nighttime, wintertime, or anytime, PMR's dense formula locks in moisture and leaves your face with a pillow-y bounce.

Glossier’s Generation G Matte Lipstick in Cake ($18)

After achieving your best skin, move on to the G-Team's cleverest and most innovative makeup products. Start with Generation G, the matte lipstick that feels like a tinted balm but still packs a punch (when it needs to). Glossier currently has six shades, whether you’re in the market for a natural nude or a popsicle-stained lip color. Glossier's Haloscope and Boy Brow just about broke the Internet, proving themselves beauty forces to be reckoned with. Haloscope, the dew effect highlighter, comes in two shades: Quartz, a silvery pink, and Topaz, a bronzed golden. This highlighter is glitter-free and looks most dewy and fresh when it catches the sunlight. There's no doubt that there has been a shift towards the full, natural brow look, and Glossier’s Boy Brow knows it. The creamy eyebrow mascara thickens, fills in, and grooms the hairs in place for natural, yet defined brows. In addition to all the products mentioned, there are many more purposeful products waiting for you on Glossier’s website or in their NYC showroom.

Glossier’s Haloscope in Quartz and Topaz ($22)

At the end of the day, it’s clear that everything that Glossier does is purposeful. It is a brand that listens to its customers, in order to drive the creation of products; so that they have a platform to take ownership over their beauty routines. Like all things in fashion and beauty, the no-makeup makeup look is likely fleeting. The industry is constantly in beauty-trend purgatory as it awaits the next big thing. But true minimalists will always be around, and can expect to remain backed by the raw beauty philosophy of Glossier—one that is chic, nuanced and real.

Glossier’s Boy Brow in Black ($16)