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Glossier Review - Understated Makeup For Zoom Calls?

Marne and Megan's Glossier Makeup Review

Is this makeup line worth the hype?

Glossier has been on my radar for quite some time. I have reviewed their skincare kit but never really tried the Glossier makeup line. Marne and I are both spending lots of time in Zoom meetings these days, but to be honest, putting on a full face of makeup just feels like A LOT right now. It got me to thinking about how the Glossier products are designed to be light and effortless, and easy to wear without a lot of work. Luckily, Glossier sells a kit that includes the Boy Brow, Cloud Paint, Balm Dotcom, and Haloscope stick. Each of these items is available in different shades, so you can make your set custom to exactly what fits your look and routine.

by Megan Kirkland, MSA Reviewer, Makeup Enthusiast, Versatile Product Lover
September 2, 2020| 35 comments

Since Glossier is all about “the new beauty essentials: easy-to-use skincare and makeup that form the backbone to your routine” Marne and I decided to put these products to the test! We both ordered a kit each with different shades of each product. I can confidently say we both felt more “put together” using these products. Instead of making us look like we were wearing loads of makeup, they simply made us look like softly enhanced versions of ourselves.

What Is Glossier?

The Brand: Glossier

The Cost: You can purchase any of the Glossier products a la carte but they also have many different customizable sets to choose from that generally save you a little bit of money. For this review, Marne and I both ordered the Makeup Set 2 which has 4 Glossier favorites and is $54.00. This is a savings of  20% ($14.00) versus purchasing them individually.

The Products: The Makeup Set 2 includes Glossier Boy Brow grooming pomade, Glossier Cloud Paint seamless cheek color, Glossier Balm Dotcom universal salve, and a Glossier Haloscope hydrating highlighter, each in the shade of your choice!

Ships to: The US for FREE on all orders over $30.00

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Why Try Glossier?

These are odd times, and as much as we both love makeup, it feels weird to put on a whole face and stay home. When you find yourself on loads of video calls though, the desire to be comfortable (aka makeup-free) is conflicted by our desire to also look totally radiant and thriving over the internet. There is also something to be said for makeup as self-care, and Glossier seemed to be a gentle way to enhance our features without putting too much work into the process. What we were hoping for was that automatically empowering feeling of your favorite red lipstick, but lighter, and while wearing our more comfortable loungewear.

Marne’s Kit

I’ll be honest, I’ve been stubbornly avoiding Glossier for a while now just because it’s so popular. That’s how I’ve always been: if everyone loves it, I will resist it. Megan asked me to get on board and give “The Makeup Set 2” a whirl. I do love minimal makeup, so I finally gave in since being at home right now is the perfect time to test this soft-hued beauty out.

I got to choose the color variants of four different products in my set. Boy Brow comes in four colors, Haloscope comes in three, and Cloud Paint and Balm Dotcom come in a wider six and eight colors, respectively.

 

Glossier The Makeup Set 2 – Retail Value $54.00

I couldn’t help but get excited about my fun new makeup products that every “cool girl” is raving about when they arrived in a cute pink reusable bubble pouch. It even came with a holographic sticker as well.

Let’s have a look at what I chose…

 

Glossier Balm Dotcom in ‘Berry’, 0.5 fl oz – Retail Value $12.00

The first choice I made was getting the pretty purple ‘Berry’ color in their cult-fave lip balm, Balm Dotcom. It comes in a tube that’s more generous than a travel toothpaste and is recognizable by a purple band around the top. I have to admit, the scent of this balm is really fruity and smells more natural than fake. It kind reminds me of my childhood as well since I loved flavored and scented balms, but in more grown-up packaging. I squeeze a bit of the purple balm onto my fingertip and proceed to glide it across my lips for a quote lovely layer of moisture. My lips feel hydrated without being sticky, and the tint is super subtle.

Balm Dotcom in ‘Berry’

 

 

Glossier Boy Brow in ‘Brown’, 0.11 oz – Retail Value $16.00

My brows have always been quite thick and can be a bit unruly. After years of waxing, I’m taking this time to grow my natural brows back as best I can which means I’ll need something to harness their growing power. Tints like this come with a wand similar to mascara, but a lot smaller. I think it’s a quick and easy way to define any fine brow hairs I have without going full powder to fill in. In addition, the Boy Brow gel will hold my wild eyebrow hairs in place, giving me a more effortless look. I think I hit the mark with the color brown since I do have darker brows but it isn’t overdone.

Boy Brow in ‘Brown’

 

 

Glossier Cloud Paint in ‘Storm’, 0.33 fl oz – Retail Value $18.00

I am already a big fan of cream blush, but then we get into a pigment like this gel-cream and it’s a whole new world to explore. I ended up going choosing ‘Storm’ in my makeup kit because I loved the deep rose color and thought it’d be a great hue to wear year-round. The tube it comes in is a little smaller than the balm, but the “paint” is SO pigmented that I need the TINIEST bit to start getting a rosy glow to my cheeks. Less is more here, and it’s best to barely get any of the product out of the tube and onto my fingertip to start dabbing onto my skin and blending out. It’s buildable, so that I can start slow and graduate to a bolder look if desired. I love the way this color shows on my skin and think it gives me a great flushed look.

Cloud Paint in ‘Storm’

 

 

Glossier Haloscope in ‘Quartz’, 0.19 oz – Retail Value $22.00

The final product in my set is Glossier’s highlighter stick, Haloscope. I am always going back and forth on liking cream vs powder highlighters and it changes with my mood. I’ve personally found that a stick like this works better on a close-to-clean face rather than trying to put it over heavy foundation or especially powder. The stick has a clear balmy center with the delicate quartz color I chose surrounding it. I tend to swipe the stick directly onto my cheekbones and then use my ring finger to blend it upwards and outwards. For smaller places, I tend to rub the stick onto my finger, then dab it on the tip of my nose and onto my cupid’s bow. I do the same with my brow bones, only because the stick is quite chubby and is harder to get right. This highlighter leaves a dewy look to my face literally ALL DAY and although it doesn’t really dry down at all, I love it.

Haloscope in ‘Quartz’

 

Megan’s Kit

Luckily, the shades I wanted were different than Marne’s so we are both trying out different colors for this review.

 

Glossier The Makeup Set 2 – Retail Value $54.00

How cute is this set? Just like Marne’s, it arrived in the traditional pink bubble pouch (which is reusable for anything your heart desires!) and also included a sticker.

Let’s peek inside:

 

Glossier Balm Dotcom in ‘Cherry’, 0.5 fl oz – Retail Value $12.00

I selected the ‘Cherry’ flavor because I already knew I loved a sheer red balm look on my lips. This stuff does have a super strong cherry scent, but more in a sweet way than a medicinal one. Applying with fingertips is a little messy (and perhaps not the best idea right now anyway) and I found applying with a Q-tip is ideal for me personally. I also found that I could squeeze a little out and then pat it on my lips without either hands or Q-tip to use on the go. I can see why people buy multiples of this product to stash in their purse, desk, vanity, and everywhere. It is effortless and feels great on. This cherry shade gives my pout the most natural red flush and it is really moisturizing.

Balm Dotcom in ‘Cherry’

 

 

Glossier Boy Brow in ‘Blond’, 0.11 oz – Retail Value $16.00

My normal go-to for my brows is Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel which is also a spoolie + gel sort of combo. They actually work very similarly but the main difference is that this product is about the same size for $8 less and the Glossier formula stays much more natural feeling in terms of finish. Simply comb the spoolie upwards against your eyebrows and shape them. BAM! Perfectly natural brows that don’t look too groomed, but still look polished. I have to admit that this is the product I will buy next time (Sorry Benefit!). The blonde shade worked well for my brows but I also think I might invest in the ‘brown’ shade next time for a little more drama, especially for those days where I have a more dramatic lip.

Boy Brow in ‘Blond’

 

 

Glossier Cloud Paint in ‘Puff’, 0.33 fl oz – Retail Value $18.00

I used to be quite anti-cream blush. Happily, I have finally out how to apply it on top of my face makeup without smearing my foundation. Gently patting is the way to go with a formula like this! I put a little on my fingertips then tap it onto the apples of my cheeks. Voila! Instant natural flush. These days I find myself wearing even less makeup on my whole face but still wanting a cute flush of color. The texture of this product is very light and sheer, meaning you can build the pink up to be as natural or dramatic as you want. I love blush of all shades but since I am very fair, I thought the palest pink ‘Puff’ shade might be the best choice for me, and I am happy to report that I love this cool baby pink! This might be the most addictive of the products in my kit because now I want to try out all of the Cloud Paint shades.

Cloud Paint in ‘Puff’

 

 

Glossier Haloscope in ‘Moonstone’, 0.19 oz – Retail Value $22.00

I selected the cooler ice shade of the Haloscope because I often gravitate towards cooler highlighters since I have a cooler skin tone. This is a very subtle highlighter stick that also works better when you dab it on rather than stroke it across your face. The effect is quite lovely and very natural. You don’t really see it until your face catches the light and it glows softly. It is also an ideal product if you love a dewy or glassy finish. As Marne mentioned, it does stay balmy on the skin, which is actually what I would prefer because it stays dewy and feels moisturizing.

Haloscope in ‘Moonstone’

 

Before and After Photos

My before and after photos are SO subtle that it’s almost a “spot the difference” game. Strangely enough, I think I look definitively more polished in the second photo. It’s almost hard for me to understand how a simple change in cheek color, lip color, fuller brows, and some highlighter makes such a difference. I am kind of in awe. I find that it’s always hard to capture highlighter in photos, but you can really see it on my cupid’s bow here. The lip tint gives my pout a little push in pigment, my cheeks look healthy and flushed, and my brows are just a hint more defined. This look took me under 5 minutes to do and although it’s not dramatic, I think my face has an undeniable “healthier” look to it. Welp, I’m climbing aboard the bandwagon.

Also, not a huge difference here, but I certainly look much more awake and peppy after a little help from Glossier. My skin just looks a lot more radiant and healthy with some strategically placed blush and highlighter. My wild brows are always a little out of control (and totally uneven in terms of thickness) but Boy Brow helps define them in a perfectly tousled sort of way. I still could use a little mascara here, but hey, sometimes we always want a little more!

So, what’s the verdict?

It is easy to say that we both really loved how these Glossier products helped us look more put together and polished with very little time or effort. This feels especially important in a time when our faces are traveling over the internet via Zoom calls with everyone from friends, to family, and coworkers. Add to that everything together still felt “makeup-free”? That is winning in my book! These products are totally worth your time and money if you want a routine that is easy, natural, and very light. If you are into heavier makeup and full coverage? You might be disappointed with Glossier’s makeup. Marne and I both like to keep a more natural fresh-faced look so I see Glossier living on in our makeup bags for a long time, even beyond work video calls and digital happy hours.


What do you think of Glossier? What is your makeup routine like these days?

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Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Comments (35)

  1. Great review. Very helpful

  2. I still haven’t tried them yet but dying to try the cloud paints and brow gel!

  3. Thank you for this honest review! I found the paint cloud on another “must haves” list & since I’ve been trying to find a cream blush that works for me, I checked out glossier’s website & of course saw other things to try. I’m in the same boat in terms of working at home now & usually don’t take the time put on makeup, although I’m about to start a new job so I was thinking I should start making the effort again. I’ve always been a minimum make up person & am a fan of BB cream, which I still find too much of an effort for reasons I don’t need to explain here. After reading your reviews I think I will give this set a review & I’m more confident about selecting shads after reading. The only product in the set I’m not sure about would be the haloscope but I’ll give it a go! Thanks again!

  4. I recently purged a bunch of products that I never used and switched to all Glossier products. I like the more natural look and they are cruelty free which is important to me. Now the only makeup I own and use is their brow gel, mascara, blush, and lip tint. Since I stopped using foundation by skin has been pretty clear with just some minor redness so this simple routine works well for me. I don’t really get all the negativity towards this brand. They make it pretty clear they offer a more subtle look and the prices aren’t that much above some drug store brands.

  5. I really appreciate the review! I’ve definitely written off Glossier in the past because I don’t believe their ads with folks that are surely photoshopped and/or had amazing skin and brows beforehand. My eyebrows are similar to Megan’s in that they have a good shape and color on their own, but I don’t mind a little filler to enhance and even them them out in a couple spots. My employer’s culture somewhat discourages turning the video function on during calls, so I’m thankful for that. I feel like this would be a good compliment to my BB cream and a little mascara. However, I do agree with others that there are less expensive companies that offer products that get the job done too. I do however really appreciate the review from a source I trust for honest results and feedback. Thanks!

  6. Guess I’m late to the Glossier bandwagon. This is my first hearing (ok reading) about it, so thank you Marne and Megan sensei. I love the before/after pics. There’s not a massive difference, but the After looks like a very natural, glowing you. Is Glossier kind of like the Perricone MD no makeup line? Super natural looking, designed to look like you’re not really wearing makeup?

    • Aw shucks! Our pleasure, Liz!
      I’m not familiar with the Perricone MD no makeup line but Glossier quickly became a cult fave among the millennial crowd and keeps expanding their line with new makeup and skincare. It sprouted from the beauty website Into The Gloss, if you’re at all familiar. Their whole thing is definitely “look like yourself” natural vibe.

  7. Glossier left a bad impression when they came at an Instagram beauty account for buying their products for a giveaway. They did finally say they over enforced their policy but it made me never want to order from them again.

    I should add the disclaimer made it obvious they weren’t hosting it or providing the products. So the whole interaction was unnecessary especially considering this person purchased the products themselves.

  8. Nice review, thanks for the swatches! I’ve always been curious about them and think I will purchase the cheek cloud paint first. I feel with how little you need, it will last forever and I have dry skin. Thanks guys!

  9. Thanks for the great review on these products! I have definitely been interested in seeing & hearing about them!

  10. Love that you’re reviewing glossier. I love my various cloud blushes, boy brow, and lip balms. I haven’t tried their other products, but I will give their highlighter a try, despite having 50 already. However, I’m not buying it until donating all of the unopened ones.

    • Glad you are excited too! I think the next thing from the line I really want would be the Skywash. It looks so pretty! Have you tried any of those yet?

      • No, I haven’t. I jumped on the bandwagon early, when cloud paint and boy brow was just beginning to be a “pair”. Lip balm is the only other product. I returned to the more standard, old line stuff and items in subscription boxes like Margot Elena. Tried a new Dior Backstage eye palette from the Sephora Rouge sale this morning for a couple zoom meetings (which is probably why I missed the lunch gathering here today), and it was like buttah, I tell ya’! I’m really curious to hear about what you find out about more of the glossier products. I like what I’m seeing. I am definitely liking the more natural look and more natural time restraint. Keep going with this, Megan (and Marne)! I’m truly like a Sephora stockist in my home, so hit me up if you need ideas for story ideas of looks at different price points. I’ve tried probably every line.

  11. After being curious for a long time, I recently treated myself to a bunch of Glossier products and I’m really glad I did. Yes, it’s somewhat pricey (not outrageously so) and yes, I have comparable products in other brands, but these do deliver. My absolute favorite is the Haloscope highlighter. It’s beautiful. BEAUTIFUL! I’ve tried both the moonstone and the quartz and like them equally. The balm.com is great balm; thick and emollient and lasts a long time on your lips without needing to reapply. I also LOVE the Future Dew (not reviewed here), which they describe as an oil/serum hybrid. Upon initial application, it looks like a shiny nightmare, but after a few minutes of settling in, it looks and feels fantastic. By the way, I’m way outside the Glossier target demographic. I’m 52 with nice, but not perfect skin.

    • I still have yet to master the Future Dew, but I really want to make it a part of my routine because it is just a cool product! I also want to dip into the eye makeup but haven’t bought any yet. Any experience there?

      • I have two of the Lid Star liquid shadows on the way. Can’t wait to try them!

      • I have four Lidstar’s in the way. I love the look. If you can tell me your take on them. Megan, I also bought the serum. I’m no sure either. I have dry, combination skin and it just makes my face an oily slick even when mixing with my regular light coverage foundation.

  12. I think based on my firm-wide Microsoft Teams meeting today that the women in my workplace (at least the ones who had their cameras on) are not wearing makeup (or doing their hair, or getting out of sweats). Me included. That being said, this is something to consider whenever I get back to the office.

  13. Nice review thank you. I don’t have glossier and find this helpful.

  14. I would like the results just as well with just the lip product. You both look great and really don’t need anything!

    • You are too kind, Jacki! 😭

  15. You both look great but I just can’t seem to rock the no makeup look. I have tried a sample of the lip balm and really liked it.

  16. This was cool, a brand review. However, this review does not impact my disinterest in glossier. If i am paying 50 bucks and up for products, i had better see a difference. the products that make a huge difference for me are concealer, mascara, blush, and brows, also very slight contour w/ whatever brown hued powder i feel like using– i am a member of the tired working class. People ask me if i am sick when i have no makeup on. So when i wear it, it better deliver. Was kinda curious about the brand. Love the before and after photos, but it seems like a good brand for those who are already good looking and want to pay extra.

    • Just want to say I love your comment! The Glossier models look great of course but you’re right, most of us are indeed members of the tired working class. I’ve tried some Glossier products and didn’t hate them but you’re paying a lot for marketing. As a fan of a low makeup look I have better luck just editing myself. Instead of foundation and concealer I’ll do tinted moisturizer and concealer or just tinted moisturizer. Instead of full eye makeup I’ll do brows and mascara. There are plenty of affordable tinted lip balms out there. The same look can be accomplished using any brand. Also, on an unrelated note is this a subscription? Kind of weird to see a brand review here.

    • Ami- I totally understand! Glossier is definitely not a brand for those who want a big change or full coverage. Part of my hesitation with Glossier is exactly what you and Steph brought up. Using young people with perfect skin in their ads doesn’t exactly show the “power” of their product. It is absolutely for those who want a subtle glow- what those before + afters show.
      Thanks for weighing in! Glad we could give you an honest look at some products, even if it’s not what you’re looking for. 🙂
      As for Steph’s question- we’ve been reviewing a few brands that aren’t subscriptions lately to see what you all think. Megan previously wrote a review about Glossier skincare, and I’ve reviewed some kits from Milk Makeup and Youth To The People. Is the weirdness too much?

      • “Is the weirdness too much?”

        Not at all! I love seeing brands that are splashed all over the internet reviewed. It helps to see what you think of the products and what they look like on a real person. Those close up of the swatches are also great. I’m sure those images of pretty 20-something models are also photoshopped, filtered and touched up as well.

      • Thanks for the feedback, Flora! I personally see so much on Instagram alone that makes me wonder “what’s that like?” – so at MSA we are thinking “let’s find out!”, especially with beauty.

      • Exactly! I wouldn’t mind seeing a review of Honest Beauty or maybe open up to requests on what people would like to see reviewed.

  17. This brand is awesome and the products are great! when i had clear skin with just minor hyperpigmentation boyyy my skin looked perfect! i had healthy glowy skin wearing glossier, the perfect blush perfect lip, eyelashes, and brows but right know because of my damnn hormones i had to resort to accutane it works Okay, its not the same, doesn’t look as pretty and perfect . So i recommend this if you have somewhat clear skin and are not in to putting layers and layers of makeup on but wanna look boooomb!!! i raved about glossier when i had “clear skin” i think its totally worth it. i think i have every single basic glossier makeup item loveee them!!

  18. You’re still applying products, the type of which you already own in multiple brands. Admit it. Who here doesn’t have 10 highlighters, six blushes, and at least one brow product? Too much money for more of the same. Seriously, $54 for four items when you/I/we already have a full drawer (or dresser) of makeup? Sounds like Glossier is jumping on the COVID-merchandising bandwagon.

    I find that for me, being on camera requires MORE makeup to look good than face-to-face-in-the-same-room, not less.

    • I do agree with this.

    • I agree. I loved reading the review as always; but as I was doing so, I was mentally checking off all the products I own that deliver the same results.

    • Hey Dea! Totally get where you are coming from. But I think most beauty product addicts are always looking for their next favorite product. Glossier def. checks a few more boxes for me than some of my other products at a price point that is actually better than some!

      The Covid/Zoom theme of this review was totally my take on it. Glossier has been offering these bundles for a really long time and I don’t want to give the impression this was a new launch related to current events, just something I am using in my new “normal” routine 🙂

  19. Nice review, and I think the products look good but that the brand is way overhyped for what you get at that price. One can get the same look by using a light hand with other, less expensive but just as good drugstore makeup IMO.

  20. Really helpful review. just wish there were swatches of more of the colors. i’m interested in seeing them all!

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