Say what you will about
Glossier, and its shiny, happy ad campaigns featuring smiley, fresh-faced young women who have never experienced the existential dread of finding your first grey hair or, presumably, any sort of social anxiety whatsoever. What makes the company truly compelling isn’t just the millennial-pink packaging (anyone can do that) or the celebrity fan base (significantly harder to land, but still manageable), or even the hordes of cool girls who espouse the virtues of the Solution at such length that you wonder if they’re getting a cut of the proceeds.
Glossier apart is the fact that it isn’t just a beauty brand — it’s a lifestyle. It’s a Petra Collins dreamscape, the promise of a more beautiful world, a world that’s wallpapered in Baker-Miller pink and where no matter which way you turn there’s a Byredo Burning Rose candle flickering out of the corner of your eye. It’s joining a cool, unconditionally supportive sisterhood every time you stock up on a £10 lip balm, getting one step closer to owning the purposely dishevelled air of an off-duty model with every spritz of your perfume.
And there’s also the fact that some of the products are really, really good — like, buy them because they
work good, not just “I saw five girls with curtain bangs post this on their feeds so it must be great” good. So we tried them all, in the name of nailing down the very best of Glossier, the just-okay, and what you’re better off skipping.
Refinery29’s selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions . please reach out to us
If you haven’t heard by now, Glossier’s Universal Retinol is being hailed as the ultimate formula for retinoid beginners. Combining 0.5% of pure retinol with sunflower seed fatty acids, the product is ideal for those searching for a creamy texture that won’t irritate the skin. If you’ve previously struggled with redness and dryness when using retinol, this gentle, nourishing formula is a great alternative.
Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol, $, available at Glossier
When news of the first Glossier eyeshadow palette dropped, the internet went wild. The hype, it turns, was well warranted, with the compact offering three monochromatic eyeshadows in matte, satin, and metallic finishes. Available in ten different colourways, the shade variety jumps from rich olives to delicate lilacs, with each palette featuring shimmering, sheer and flat formulas for an easy buildable eye look. Plus, best of all the eco-friendly compact is vegan and refillable, meaning you can swap around shades as much as you like.
Glossier Monochromes, $, available at Glossier
Who doesn’t want an endless summer glow? Getting rid of the need for a bulky bronzer brush, the creamy whip texture of Solar Paint is all about easy, blendable application. Described as creating a ‘kissed from the sun’ look, the tube of tint adds shimmering warmth to the face, without ever looking glittery. Available in four varying shades, Solar Paint is ideal for those wanting a buildable formula that still adds depth to the face.
Glossier Solar Paint, $, available at Glossier
For devotees of Balm Dotcom, the launch of Glossier’s Ultralip may have passed you by. But trust us when we say this small but mighty bullet sits in a league of its own. Combining lipgloss, lipstick and balm, the hybrid formula works to create a shiny look, without feeling sticky. Available in nine shades of plums, nudes and rosy pinks, the colour payoff is sheer, but buildable, making it the perfect lip product for hot summer nights.
Glossier Ultralip, $, available at Glossier
If you want a non-squeaky cleanser that includes top skincare ingredients, this clarifying face wash is the way to go. Forming a gentle lather on the skin, the oil-to-foam formula combines A+ exfoliators like Lactic Acid and Malic Acid to wake tired-looking skin, while also using Niacinamide to minimise the appearance of pores.
Glossier Cleanser Concentrate, $, available at Glossier
If you are looking for a powerful body scrub, Glossier’s exfoliating bar is the way to go. Sporting an ergonomic design, the bar is easy to use and quickly removes dead skin cells with the help of biodegradable Bamboo Powder. For those looking for something with a heavenly scent, the bar also comes complete with an Orange Blossom Neroli fragrance, creating a truly spa-like experience.
Glossier Body Hero Exfoliating Bar, $, available at Glossier
Bubblewrap is a no-frills eye cream that does exactly what it says on the tin. It cocoons skin around the eye area to protect it from the elements, smooths over dry patches and minimises fine lines and wrinkles instantly and over time. You can use it to moisturise and plump lips, too. A little really does go a long way.
Glossier Bubblewrap Eye + Lip Plumping Cream, $, available at Glossier
Oil-based makeup removers have a reputation for being greasy, but Glossier’s milky iteration takes a different approach: The texture is definitely slick, but because it includes a micellar-water additive that draws dirt and makeup like a magnet, it takes it all off without leaving residue behind. The combination creates a soft and silky makeup remover, meant to be squeezed onto a cotton pad or swab and gently pressed over skin to remove away stuck-on makeup (even waterproof mascara) without any rubbing, tugging, or irritation.
Glossier Milky Oil, $, available at Glossier
This liquid eyeshadow piqued public interest after debuting on the Oscars red carpet last year, because if it’s good enough for Salma Hayek and Tiffany Haddish, it’s good enough for us, right? If you’re looking for serious pigment, you won’t find it here; rather, it’s an “enhancer” of sorts that makes eyes look subtly prettier and more alive. That said, all of the shades are soft, sheer, and flattering, and the silky formula really stays put, so it’s a nice way to add a little bit of something without it being too much of a look.
Glossier Play Lidstar, $, available at Glossier
Nobody solves a problem like the Solution — provided, of course, that problem involves dullness, clogged pores, dark spots, or any combination thereof. This gentle exfoliating liquid is the brand’s most ambitious skin-care formulation yet, a wonder product that promises brighter, smoother, more balanced skin with regular use. The combination of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs, totalling a 10% concentration, isn’t as potent as some other similar products on the market, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s perfect for sensitive skin, a pretty pink gateway drug into the world of acids.
Glossier Solution, $, available at Glossier
Some people swear that there’s nothing to You but soap and cucumber; for others, it’s a complex, woodsy fragrance that smells different on everyone and settles into a dreamy skin-like musk that’ll linger in your sweater for days. We’re in the latter camp — You is a hazy, sweet blanket of a scent that even a total perfume snob could love.
Glossier Glossier You, $, available at Glossier
The name almost makes it sound as if you won’t get much pigment out of this tiny tube, just a vague cloud of colour. That couldn’t be further from the truth: The tiniest dot of Cloud Paint goes a long way, so be careful when squeezing. We like to use our fingers to buff the liquid onto the apples of our cheeks — pre-powder, post-foundation — for a youthful flush (in an I’m 16 and ride horses on the snow-capped mountains surrounding my elite boarding school in Switzerland kind of way).
Glossier Cloud Paint, $, available at Glossier
This tinted powder delivers exactly what it says it will: a blurry, soft-focus finish that cuts down on shine and just makes skin look perfect, not chalky or visibly powdered. It’s worth springing for the brush, too — it’s soft and ideal for tossing in your bag for touch-ups. Its only real downfall is that the lineup could stand to grow a few more shades.
Glossier Play Wowder, $, available at Glossier
The launches that gave us the buzzy Body Hero campaign are divisive. On the one hand, the oil cleanser-and-lightweight lotion duo is basically the fastest route to sexy skin in a bottle; on the other, the strong powdery scent doesn’t do it for everyone. But it fades fast, so if you can bear to smell like a full-on bouquet from the shoulders down for a few minutes, the lotion is worth it for scoring soft, dewy limbs.
Glossier Body Hero Duo, $, available at Glossier
Boy Brow is consistently one of the brand’s top-selling products, and for good reason: It’s got the perfect waxy, matte consistency to bulk up brows and keep them in place all day long. It really makes brows look thicker, and the teeny-tiny brush makes easy work of taming errant hairs.
Glossier Boy Brow, $, available at Glossier
These (barely) grown-up lip balms are simple: a standard moisture-locking blend of petrolatum, castor-seed oil, beeswax, and lanolin. They’re thick, long-lasting, and work great on dry cuticles, flyaways, and anywhere else you could use a little hydrating boost, and off-label as an eye gloss. They are significantly more expensive than your average Vaseline, but they’re also way cuter (and come in different flavours!), so it is what it is.
Glossier Balm Dotcom, $, available at Glossier
This soft, creamy concealer is medium coverage at best, but even so, something about the wax in its formula makes it highly adept at enhancing and brightening skin without looking caked-on or emphasising pores. It leaves skin feeling hydrated and looking a hell of a lot fresher, and though the shade range leaves something to be desired, we’ve seen the five choices work for a surprisingly wide variety of complexions. Unless you’re down with some shine, you’ll want to set this one with powder — it has a dewy finish, which isn’t for everyone.
Glossier Stretch Concealer, $, available at Glossier
If your skin is less than perfect as it is, you’ll most likely want to eschew the Skin Perfecting Tint in favour of something that, you know, actually covers up whatever it is you’re trying to hide. But if you already have genetically lovely skin that you’re just looking to enhance, this sheer, satiny tint seems like just the thing to smooth and even out an already borderline-flawless complexion.
Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, $, available at Glossier
Haters will say that Generation G is just a glorified tinted lip balm — but have you ever found another tinted lip balm that imparts just the right amount of soft matte colour, that looks deliberately layered and blotted to just-bitten perfection with a single swipe? We certainly haven’t.
Glossier Generation G, $, available at Glossier
The highlighter that made us believe in highlighter again is a unique specimen, an easy, user-friendly twist-up stick of dewy, non-sparkly skin. You can thank the hydrating oils in the core for that — unlike other cream highlighters, this one incorporates vitamin-rich moisturisers that only add to the supernatural sheen.
Glossier Haloscope, $, available at Glossier
With a clear, water-gel hybrid formula that absorbs into skin without greasiness or any chalky white cast, this inoffensive sunscreen might just be a game-changer for anyone who usually avoids sunscreen for whatever reason. It’s serviceable in that sense, but because of the significant amount of sweet orange-peel oil, sensitive skin types might want to stick with something more gentle. It does, however, smell very good.
Glossier Invisible Shield, $, available at Glossier
For any one cleanser to be fundamentally perfect, it must be three things: gentle, effective, and versatile. Milky Jelly is all of those things, a skin-coddling wash that can be used on wet or dry skin to remove even waterproof makeup without ever feeling harsh or irritating. Skin is left feeling healthy, soft, and cared for — and the subtle rose scent is downright dreamy.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, $, available at Glossier
This traditional kaolin-clay face mask is boosted with nourishing ingredients like rosemary, pomegranate, spinach, and parsley — kind of like brunch at Urth Caffé, only for your face. It leaves our skin feeling soft and clear, but still well-hydrated, which is more than can be said for most pore-purifying clay masks.
Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, $, available at Glossier
Like your thickest, most hydrating moisturiser on steroids, this creamy mask does what it says, soothing and quenching dry, dull skin. We suggest stashing it in the fridge once the weather warms up — its cooling, tall-drink-of-water effect is perfect for rehabbing skin post-sun exposure.
Glossier Moisturising Moon Mask, $, available at Glossier
One of the very first Glossier launches, the Priming Moisturiser is essentially foolproof, a silky, lightweight moisturiser that absorbs instantly into skin to create a solid canvas for makeup. It’s not too hydrating, so you’ll want to layer it over a serum if you’re on the dry side, but its plumping, brightening claims are not exaggerated: This stuff works.
Glossier Priming Moisturizer, $, available at Glossier
A richer, more nourishing take on the original Priming Moisturiser, this one’s a proper night treatment, and feels super luxe going on. Packed with ceramides and fatty acids, it’s excellent for hydrating oily and combination skin types while balancing, too — though if you’re sensitive to essential oils, you’ll want to give this lavender-laced formula a hard pass.
Glossier Priming Moisturiser Rich, $, available at Glossier
Well, it’s a face mist — and a very nice one, at that, comprised mostly of rosewater, glycerin, and honeysuckle extract.
Glossier Soothing Face Mist, $, available at Glossier
A perfectly nice clear, non-sticky gloss that leaves lips hydrated and adds just the right amount of sexy sheen. It’s not the most innovative, or the most affordable — but it does look good, so if you’re committed to that aesthetically-pleasing Glossier lifestyle, this is one tube you’ll probably want to keep at your desk for any Instagram opportunities.
Glossier Play Lip Gloss, $, available at Glossier
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