Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.
Glossier is one of the most-hyped brands to enter the beauty sphere in recent times, and definitely the coolest by contemporary definition.
It was founded by a woman, Emily Weiss, who you may remember as Lauren and Whitney’s Teen Vogue intern nemesis from The Hills. They were all ‘California laid-back’ and she was all ‘New York know-it-all’. At least that was how the narrative of the show went.
Looking back, I reckon she was just an ulta-professional over-achiever. I mean she was right, peonies are great.
It makes sense, so, that an over-achiever would be the founder and CEO of an incredibly successful cosmetics company at the age of 32. Why is it successful? Possibly because it is the antithesis of the current trend for Instagram Makeup, which sees amateurs and makeup artists alike applying large amounts of makeup to virtually cancel out existing features so that they can create new ones via product.
Glossier is about enhancing your natural beauty, with an emphasis on dewy, glowing skin and makeup which creates a your-face-but-slightly-better look, rather than a dramatic transformation.
The packaging is simple and stylish, with an emphasis on Millennium Pink. The products are exactly the type of thing you’d like to accidentally tumble out of your bag when you’re trying to impress the coolest girl in school. Glossier has managed to convince lots of us that we can achieve the glossy, beautiful look of an off-duty model, just as long as we buy the product.
In Ireland, the brand has recently had the added cool factor of being unavailable here.
Only those who’d been on a recent trip to New York could bag the stuff, which always makes something more desirable (hello Abercrombie & Fitch in the early ’00s). Now, though, Glossier delivers to the UK, and with the advent of services like Parcel Motel and An Post’s Addresspal (which delivers directly to your door), we can get it too.
Last month I ordered a mix of skincare and makeup from the website, using Addresspal which gives you a UK delivery address to post your order to, whereupon An Post collect it and deliver it to your door. It cost me an extra €5.99. I ordered on a Monday, and it arrived the following Saturday morning, which was a thrilling surprise. Post on a Saturday? Well I never!
The skincare products I ordered were Solution and Priming Moisturiser. Solution is the brand’s newest skincare product and is essentially an acidic exfoliating liquid along the lines of Pixi Glow Tonic.
It promises to slough off dead skin, clearing acne and blackheads, reducing redness and the size of your pores. The bottle is great, a lovely pearly pink with a curved pump at the top of the bottom which is the perfect size for a round cotton pad. There is no product wastage, which unfortunately can’t be said for other liquid cosmetics which come in open-topped bottles (I’m looking at you Glow Tonic and most micellar waters).
The product itself is grand. I didn’t notice any dramatic difference to my usual routine, which already including exfoliating acids a few times a week. My skin didn’t react badly, but it wasn’t transformed either. I don’t think there’s anything extra special about Solution when compared to liquid exfoliating acids already on the market.
Priming Moisturiser is also fine. It’s light (you can also get it in a Rich formula which is heavier), and functions well on its own or under makeup. It’s unremarkable.
So far, so so-so. Here’s where it gets exciting though – the makeup. I bought Cloud Paints in Haze and Puff, Haloscope in Quartz, Boy Brow in Brown, Stretch Concealer in Light and Balm Dot Com in Coconut. I love them all. I LOVE THEM ALL.
Cloud Paints are essentially liquid blushes which come in delicate little tubes in four colour options. The tubes are slightly annoying in that unless you’re very careful you get more product than you really need each time, but the product itself is gorgeous. It gives you a beautiful, natural looking glow, and I have used mine every single day since I got them (Haze in particular, which is what I’m wearing in this article’s image).
Boy Brow is arguably the brand’s most famous product, with it quickly developing a cult following upon launch. I can see why.
It’s essentially a small tube of brow mascara, with a teeny tiny brush, exactly right for running through your brows. I’ve never been happy enough with brow mascara on its own before, always needing to apply a gel or pomade first, but Boy Brow gives me enough colour and definition to leave out the initial step. My brows look full and groomed in thirty seconds.
Haloscope is a highlighter which leaves a dewy, natural finish due to combination of an outer ring of colour and a centre of vitamin-rich moisturiser. I run the pads of my fingers over the stick and then dab them on my cheekbones to apply the product. Again, the look is healthy and glowy rather than overly shiny or metallic. It looks like skin, but the kind of perfect teenage model skin you’ve always dreamed of having.
Stretch Concealer comes in a little pot, and I apply it with my finger by dabbing it onto patches of my face which tend to be a little red. It melts beautifully into my skin, which is normal to dry, but might be too oily for some people due to the presence of avocado and jojoba oil.
Finally, Balm Dot Com is literally just a tube of balm which comes in a range of flavours (but not colours). I squeeze out a tiny bit and rub it all over my lips which it moisturises perfectly and then lash the leftover on my cuticles.
It’s multi-purpose, so can be used on any area of skin which needs a little moisture. I can’t explain why I love it so much, given the fact that it’s just a balm, but I do. Is it just the tube? Is it because I chose coconut which is my favourite scent in the world? Who’s to know. What I do know is that I’ll be buying it again.
The truth is, I can’t really explain why I’m enjoying the makeup selection so much.
None of it is transformative, but all of it makes me feel like I’m elevating my natural state of being. I guess it makes me feel one step closer to that ‘rich person’ sheen I’ve always craved. You know the thing I mean. Super healthy, pretty, clean and, well, glossy. I find myself using the makeup every single day, and can’t imagine stopping any time soon. The skincare I’ll leave, but the makeup may well be forever.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter seems to have set beauty experts far and wide aflutter, despite no one being clear on what it is exactly. It comes in seven shades, in a bottle which looks like foundation. But it’s not foundation. But you can wear it like foundation.
Lads, I don’t know, I didn’t get a sample. What I do know is that everyone who’s tried it is raving about it and the finish it gives their skin, from Sali Hughes to Wayne Goss to the Pixiwoo gals. It’ll be available on March 1st.
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