Glossier: the Sequel | Dresser Diaries VII

Last year I wrote a review on all of the Glossier products I had tried at that point. In the post, I briefly talked about their marketing and demographics and rep program and all that jazz. Somehow since then, it seems like the brand has become even more polarizing.

On one side of the road, you have people who are a little over-enthusiastic about their glossier love. Everything they create is rainbows and unicorns and even their shit shines. On the other side of the road you have the people who scoff at the mere mention of the brand, roll their eyes, and banish anyone for liking the brand as a sell-out. It’s funny cause a lot of the criticism about the brand is that it’s off-putting in a “we’re not like other girls” sorta way. But sometimes the same people uttering such criticism do it in a “we’re not like other girls” sorta way. Such as “ugh, glossier, I’m not one of those basic bitches that likes their non-makeup makeup.” Non-makeup makeup is cool. Makeup makeup is cool. Do whatever the fuck you want. You can do you without putting down other people’s choices.

Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle, as I’m sure a lot of y’all are too. There are products of theirs that I think are garbage (more on that later in this post) and products of theirs that I don’t want to live without (boy brow!!!) I absolutely think we should be critical of Glossier (and really every brand out there) but it doesn’t have to turn into one big hate circlejerk.

Glossier Cotton Rounds 

$4.00 for 60 rounds
Ingredients: 100% cotton

When they released solution, they also released these adorable cotton pads. I bought them knowing I wouldn’t like them as much as my Muji or Shiseido cotton pads and I was right.

They’re soft enough, but the G sort of hampers their use as it’s weird and scratchy. If you soak the pad in the right amount of product, the G softens into normal cotton material but it’s sort of a pain if you don’t want to use a lot of product. The rounds are somewhat thicker and softer than your standard drugstore cotton rounds but not by much.

If you’re thinking about buying these to use, I say save your money and buy the Muji cotton pads instead. They’re cheaper and much better. Actually, even the Shiseido cotton pads are cheaper/ pad and they're also far superior. If you’re like me and want to buy them purely for aesthetic reasons, go for it. It’s a cheap thrill.

Generation G Lipstick in Jam

$18.00 for 0.07 oz / 2.0 g
Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Stearate, Polyethylene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, C10-18 Triglycerides, Isohexadecane Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG/PPG-20/23 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Punica Granatum Extract, Silica, Aluminum Dimyristate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Isoceteth-10, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Laureth-4, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT. MAY CONTAIN: Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090)

I’ve tried a lot of lipsticks… I think this is the most awful one I’ve ever tried. The packaging is horrible, the formula is horrible, there’s literally not one positive thing I can say about it besides that the color range is pretty.

I only tried one color from the line, but my experience was bad enough to shun me away from the entire range. It’s somehow balmy but waxy and drying at the same time? It clings to my dry patches and sucks out all the moisture from my lips, adding even more dry patches. It also applies incredibly patchily on me with some areas of my lips having a deep color, and others have little to no color pay-off. It quickly settles in and darkens the lines in my lips. It’s…a look. Here’s a photo of me wearing the lipstick with well-hydrated lips. This is probably the best this lipstick has ever looked on me… which is a testament to how awful it is.

To be fair, it might be a case of body chemistry cause I’ve seen other people looking stunning in the gen gs!

The formula simply did not work well with my lips. The lipstick itself also fell out of the tube after 2 uses. And it seems I’m not the only one with this issue cause when I shared the tale on my IG story, many people DM’d me saying they had the same issue.

I’ll give props to glossier’s CS. When I complained about it on my stories, they replied and offered me a refund right away. And before you say, “oh they only did that cause you’re a blogger” I’ve reached out to their CS via email other times and have received stellar service every time.

Solution- 10% Liquid Exfoliant

$24.00 for 4.4 fl oz / 130 ml
Ingredients: 0.5 % Salicylic Acid, Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Hydroxide, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Gluconolactone, Propanediol, Ethoxydigycol, Magnesium Chloride, Glycereth-7, Trimethyl Ether, Niacinamide, Betaine, Inositol, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Phytic Acid, Pentylene, Glycol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexlglycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, PEG-8, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acetic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide

As I’ve said earlier on, I have no bone to pick in this fight. I did receive the product as PR but hopefully by now it’s evident that I don’t let that sway my opinions of a product. I’m not a glossier rep nor am I a glossier hater. I’m just an everyday consumer. I shared my personal thoughts on solution over on my Instagram last month, and 2 and a half weeks later I can say my opinions haven't changed.

From my middle of the road perspective, there seems to be a lot of fear-mongering around this product. There have been instances of people reacting negatively to the product which is totally legitimate! Not everyone’s skin is going to love every product.

But the fear-mongering seems to be stemming from some slightly misguided science, in my plebian opinion. Total disclosure: I’m not a dermatologist, or a cosmetic scientist, or any sort of skincare professional. My knowledge of basic chemistry comes from torturing myself by being pre-med in college.

The chemical reactions we see in textbooks can’t always be simply extrapolated into real life. For instance, the dissociation of a strong base in water we see in our textbook is not the same as a solution of a strong base + a dozen other aqueous solutes in water.

@chemist.confessions (they’re actual skincare chemists unlike plebeian me) over on Instagram did an ingredient breakdown of the formula. They pointed out some things that I think are worth mentioning! They addressed the surprisingly high amount of sodium hydroxide found in the formula. It was definitely a weird choice as NaOH is an irritant at high concentrations, but they also didn’t think it was something to be too alarmed by. As they pointed out, most brands try to cap their usage at 1% that way they can throw it all the way at the end of the list to keep the illusion that it’s negligent (since ingredients found in less than 1% don’t need to be listed from highest percentage to lowest percentage.) So, while we think many products don’t have much sodium hydroxide in them, it might be higher than we expected. The FDA also limits the maximum amount of sodium hydroxide present in skincare.

That’s not to say some people can’t and haven’t poorly reacted to the sodium hydroxide in solution. Everyone’s skin is different. It just isn’t as scary as I initially thought it to be.

@chemist.confessions also talked about the SA content. While 0.5% salicylic acid isn’t the strongest formula out there, the FDA allows for formulations with as little as 0.2% SA to be used as an acne treatment.

Unfortunately, I can’t extend that defense to the PHA and AHA in the formula because Glossier didn’t bother to list those out. (All they say is there’s 10% acid total.) I do find their lack of transparency annoying, especially since they promote a “skin first” policy and have a large customer base of skincare enthusiasts. The following quote from a recent profile on the founder on the the Cut was perplexing at best "[Emily Weiss] just doesn’t think her customers care about ingredients if they’re happy with the results." While results do matter, I also like to know exactly what I’m putting on my skin. Their lack of transparency is one of the reasons I haven’t tried any of their super serums since Idk wtf is in them.

Another potential irritant found in solution is synthetic fragrance. And unfortunately, it doesn’t include all that many soothing ingredients; the ones that are present are mostly all the way at the end of the ingredients.

Because we can't talk chemical exfoliants without discussing pH, my bottle of solution tested to a pH of 3, and Glossier officially reports it as between 3.5-3.9.

My personal experience with solution was okay. For the first week or so it did sting my skin. But with continuous use that waned off. I had the same experience when I started using pixi’s glow tonic and the ordinary’s glycolic acid toner and Sunday Riley's good genes and pretty much every chemical exfoliant I’ve ever tried. I tried to build up my use to 2x a day but that was way too drying for me. After a month of near daily use, I can say my skin was smoother and I was breaking out less when Aunt Flo visited. I would say the effects were only marginally better than those I got from using the ordinary’s glycolic acid toner and pixi glow tonic. I did find solution to be less drying than the other two, especially when compared to the ordinary’s toner. Overall, I much prefer stronger exfoliating serums over exfoliating toners. Sunday riley good genes >>>>> solution/ any exfoliating toner.

My tl;dr thoughts on this exfoliant are that it’s not the best thing ever nor is it the worst thing ever. It’s just okay.

While I’m rambling, let’s take a second to talk about their marketing of this product. An acid that you apply on a cotton pad and apply after cleansing… but it’s not a toner? Let’s call a spade a spade.

There was also that whole Instagram story drama where they went and compared their formulas to other popular acid toners on the market such as Pixi’s glow tonic, Biologique Recherche’s P50, and some Paula’s Choice’s BHA. I do think it was a bit in poor taste to share the story—if you make a good product, you don’t have to waste time trash talking other brands.

And it’s not only annoying when Glossier does it, but when any brand does it. I remember when Paula’s Choice was first starting off every dang Beautypedia article was along the lines of “this is a good product… BUT THIS PRODUCT BY PAULA’S CHOICE IS BETTER.” Thankfully things have changed since then.

Invisible Shield- Daily Sunscreen SPF 35

$25.00 for 1 fl oz / 30 ml
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 6%, Octisalate 5%
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Dipropylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Caprylyl Methicone, Propanediol, Bis-EthylhexylHydroxydimethoxy Benzylmalonate, Betaine, Acrylates Copolymer,Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Hydroxyacetophenone, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, DibutylLauroyl Glutamide, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl Glutamide, Citrus AurantiumDulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Butylene Glycol, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Pentylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis LeafExtract, Silica, Bioflavonoids, Potassium Sorbate, HydroxyphenylPropamidobenzoic Acid, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate.

I also received this in the PR package with Solution. It seems the more I use this sunscreen, the less I like it.

When it first released some of the marketing around it annoyed me (notice a trend?) I didn’t get why they were branding it as a “new” type of sunscreen cause there are plenty of invisible sunscreens out there. Around that time the founder of glossier and ITG, Emily Weiss was talking about how she never wore sunscreen until invisible shield. As the head of two massive beauty companies, it was a bit baffling as to why she would admit to not wearing sunscreen aka the most basic of anti-aging skincare products. Not to mention the best defense against skin cancer. It seemed to be another case of glossier taking their marketing one step too far.

I don’t think it’s the most horrible sunscreen on the planet… but it’s definitely NOT something I plan on repurchasing.

First off, it pills. Every time I wear it, I always have pilling around my temples and jawline. The amount of pilling varies depending on what oil I’m wearing that day. With squalane oil it isn’t too bad, but I wore it over the ordinary’s rosehip oil a few days and it was horrible.

The price/ oz is also unnecessarily high, although they have since decreased the price from $34 to $25. But $25 is still more than I want to pay for 1 oz of meh sunscreen. The Missha sunscreen is available on amazon prime for around $10 or $14 from Target. It has a much more pleasant formula and comes with 1.7 fl oz of product. There are a few sunscreens that I think are worth the high $/oz because they offer unique and elegant formulations (both the Tatcha and Kypris (PR gift) sunscreens are worth the $$ from my experience.) This sunscreen is not nearly as pleasant to use as those two IMO.

A somewhat petty complaint is how much comes out in one pump. It’s so freakin’ little. I have to pump it around 10 times to get a sufficient amount of sunscreen to cover my face, neck, and ears. If someone isn’t aware of how much sunscreen should be used, it can be really easy to under-apply this sunscreen because of the pump. And in a lot of glossier’s social media content featuring the sunscreen, they under apply it. I remember they shared a GRWM on their stories over the summer and the girl used a mere 2 pumps all over her face and neck. I was clutching my non-existent pearls.

There have also been some concerns over the presence of citrus essential oils (which can be potentially phototoxic) in a sunscreen. I personally don’t know enough about the topic to have any helpful commentary. I find it really hard to find dependable information on essential oils in general. There are some sites that are dangerously peddling essential oils as legitimate alternatives to things like chemotherapy, but there are also the equally fanatical green-washing sources that misinterpret data to fit their POV.

Wowder in Light/ Medium

$22.00 for 0.25 oz / 7.2 g
Ingredients: Mica, Silica, Boron Nitride, Kaolin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Diamond Powder, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone. May Contain: CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)

How do I describe wowder? There’s nothing about it that really wows me.

It’s an okay powder. It does a nice job of blurring the pores and making my skin look smooth and finished! I don’t even mind the little bit of shimmer found in it. But unfortunately, I find it can make me look cakey as the day goes on. I’ve tried it with a whole host of foundations and tinted moisturizers and have the same issue almost every time. It starts settling into my skin after 6 or 7 hours and makes me look greasy and emphasizes all the texture issues on my skin. That’s why I say it’s okay—cause for the first few hours it holds up beautifully! It’s towards the end that things go awry.

The line includes 3 shades but if I’m being honest I wish they included a fourth. They said to buy the shade that corresponds to your skin tint color. So I bought the dark shade. It is most definitely darker than the dark skin tint. In fact, on my skin it ends up looking like a bronzer more than a setting powder. I wish I knew where it was so I could share a swatch of what it looks like, alas, it is currently MIA. Thankfully Glossier has A+ customer service. When I emailed them saying I was unhappy with my color match, they immediately sent out a new wowder in light/ medium free of charge! Thankfully this works much better with my skin tone. If I cake it on, it does make me look like a ghost but I don’t wear that much powder anyways. The only reason I found out about the ghost face effect is because I kept caking it on my face in the name of *science* to see at what point it would make me ashy.

And yet again, the marketing of this also annoyed me. It’s not a powder, it’s wowder. No, it’s a powder called wowder.

Perfecting Skin Tint in Dark 

$26.00 for 1 fl oz / 30 ml
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Diamond Powder, Stearyl Triethoxysilane, Boron Nitride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica (CI 77019)

Saving the best for last. Although it did take some time for me to get around to liking this.

Glossier is not joking around when they say it’s a sheer wash of color. In fact, they’re pretty upfront about how sheer it is. As it says on the website: “What won’t it do? Hide your freckles, spackle your pores, or erase any other evidence that you are, in fact, a real human being.”

This, of course, has met some criticism. All of their models have near perfect skin and it’s easy to say “oh hey, I don’t need to cover anything up!” when you have perfect skin. Personally, as someone who has far from perfect skin, I don’t care. Models with perfect skin? Color me shocked.

Even with my imperfect skin, I enjoy wearing skin tint. It doesn’t hide my scars or acne, but it does help even out my skin tone and give a sort of luminosity and dewiness to my skin. It’s not something I wear all the time and it’s definitely not something I would wear to an event, but it has its place in my stash. I like it on days where I really don’t want to look made up. Some days I enjoy wearing just a flush of blush or a pop of color on the lips or hint of glitter on the eyes and skin tint perfectly matches that low key look. If I want a little more coverage, I'll spot conceal with a fuller coverage concealer.

The shade range isn't perfect, but I think they cover a nice spectrum of skin colors from pale to deep. Because it is a sheer formula, it's not necessary to have an exact shade match. I will say the names confuse me a little bit. The shade I use is called "dark" yet it isn't very dark at all. It's not even as dark as my skin tone which is medium/ medium-tan! Basically, I wouldn't recommend picking your shade based on the names but rather based on the swatches of the skin tint on real people.

I do really like the squeeze tube packaging! It's probably the cleanest form of packaging out there for foundations. It's easy to control the amount of product that comes out and it does it not form a crust of product around the opening/ cap.

Unfortunately, I did not have good lighting when I went to take swatches, so excuse the poor quality photos. The first photo has 4 swatches: one swipe of the gen g, 5 swipes of the gen g, skin tint in dark partly blended out, and skin tint in dark straight out of the bottle. The second photo is my arm after all the makeup has been wiped off-- you can see my veins and the leftover stain from the gen g. And the third photo is of the skin tint in dark applied over the same area once again-- in this shot hopefully you can see how the redness from the stain and the blue from my veins isn't as visible. There's also that *glow* that I mentioned.


That post was longer and more rambly than I planned it to be. But I had things I wanted to say, and hopefully I got my point across. While most of these products weren't a hit with me, it hasn't discouraged me from trying future Glossier products. I guess I've accepted that not every product from every brand is going to be to my liking. Even brands like Drunk Elephant and Sunday Riley and Farmacy have products that don't work out for me.

And the surprise is.... I have an extra bottle of solution to giveaway! To enter all you have to do is follow me on bloglovin' and leave a comment down below. You can also gain an additional entry on Instagram, check out my story later to see how ๐Ÿ˜‰

The giveaway will close on Friday 2/9 at 11:59 PM EST. And I will announce the winner by Monday! Must be 18+ to enter and have a mailing address in the US or Canada!

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