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IF THEY EXPECT IT TO GET ATTENTION, IT’S THE LEAST THEY COULD DO

When I heard an American brand was dedicated to beauty products that made skin look like skin, I thought it was a breath of fresh air since being overly contoured and powdered seems to be the trend now. When I found out that they make their makeup in a broad range that includes deeper tones, I was sold. There is such a vacuum in the American beauty world for women with deeper complexions so anytime a company caters to women of color, I appreciate it and don’t mind giving them my money. I heard about Glossier on Twitter which is a testament to their social marketing, which I believe is one of their strongest points, but what really drove me to purchase was the brand philosophy – fresh dewy skin.

I ordered the Phase 1 set, the Stretch Concealer and the Supers serum set. I really liked the simple but cute packaging it came in, it was very aesthetically pleasing to me.  Let’s start with the Balm Dotcom. It is glorified Vaseline in a small tube. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s more protective than it is hydrating, is very thick and smells neutral. Seriously just like Vaseline. I don’t see much of a use for this? I would maybe take it on a ski trip to put on my hands while on the slopes. The Priming Moisturizer was also a big meh. More of a greasy lotion than a hydrating moisturizer and did nothing for priming my skin for makeup. When I see “priming” I expect certain qualities like making my pores appear smaller or making my makeup last longer, this did neither. My best comparison of the Glossier Priming Moisturizer is to Oil of Olay face lotion without the SPF. I’ve since passed the moisturizer onto Hubbington, he gets all my skincare hand me downs. My most used item out of the Phase 1 set is the Milky Jelly Cleanser. The texture is pleasant and it smells faintly of roses. However, I would not recommend using this as a makeup remover, it’s more of a morning cleanser to be used on a bare face because it’s not gonna pick up makeup well. In both the consistency and effect, it reminds me of a more viscous version of Cetaphil.

Both Glossier’s Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer are the sheerest coverage products I’ve used. The Skin Tint is the texture of a runny liquid so it’s lightweight, and it dries down to a subtle sheen. The Stretch Concealer is the consistency of a jelly balm and dries down to a slightly sticky finish. My take on the Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer is, it’s best for women with already flawless complexions.  Everyone is looking for that Goldilocks amount of coverage, covering everything you want to cover without looking cakey or made up. Ideally, I want to look like I deleted my blemishes and hyper pigmentation as opposed to covering them up.  With Glossier, I was expecting sheer coverage, but damn. I almost felt like this was play makeup for women who don’t need to wear skin makeup but wanted to feel like they were putting something on.

I was most excited to try the Supers. I love the concept of tailored serums for skin’s fluctuating needs. The set comes with three serums – Super Glow, Super Pure and Super Bounce. Super Glow is a vitamin C and magnesium serum for radiance, Super Pure is a zinc and niacinamide serum for blemishes and Super Bounce is a hyaluronic acid serum for moisture. All of the serums are really lightweight so great for wearing under makeup. This would make a good set for someone starting out on serums. In the efficacy department, I would say these serums are average. The Super Pure cleared up some hormonal acne within 3 days of using it, not overnight but not totally useless. I sometimes use the Superbounce in place of moisturizer. I would in fact, skip Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer and buy the Super Bounce serum in place of it. The only serum whose efficacy I question is the Super Glow. I didn’t see much of a difference while using it and I’m paranoid that the vitamin C in it is not stabilized so it’s losing potency when exposed to light.

In conclusion, while Glossier as a marketing machine is very effective, I should point out that most of their products weren’t. I’m looking for high performance active ingredients in my beauty products and Glossier just does not deliver on that front. I think Glossier is perfect for teenagers, I could see myself gifting this to my niece when she reaches the age of being interested in beauty products. For those of you who want to try Glossier you can get 20% off with my referral link 💋

BEFORE I TURNT UP MY BEAUTY SNOBBERY A NOTCH TO STRICTLY IMPORTED SKINCARE MADE IN KOREA, I WAS A SEPHORA SNOB. DURING MY TRANSITION INTO K-BEAUTY I ADOPTED THE PRODUCTS I FOUND AT SEPHORA TO A TRADITIONAL MULTI-STEP KOREAN REGIMEN. HERE I’LL COVER THE AMERICAN PRODUCTS I USED FOR MY K BEAUTY ROUTINE. I THOUGHT THIS MIGHT BE HELPFUL FOR GIRLS WANTING TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO K BEAUTY BUT AREN’T READY TO SAY GOOD BYE TO ALL OF THEIR BRANDS FOUND AT SEPHORA.

1. MAKEUP WIPES

OLE HENRIKSEN – THE CLEAN TRUTH CLEANSING CLOTHS: BRIGHTENING

I REMEMBER THESE ACTUALLY LEAVING MY SKIN FEELING NICE AND REFRESHED AS OPPOSED TO FILMY, OILY OR STICKY LIKE SAY NEUTROGENA MAKEUP WIPES. THEY’RE LACED WITH VITAMIN C, COQ10 AND NATURAL OILS.

2.  CLEANSING OIL

JOSIE MARAN – ARGAN CLEANSING OIL

THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST AMERICAN COMPANIES I SAW THAT MADE A CLEANSING OIL AND OF COURSE I BOUGHT IT. I REALLY ENJOYED THE SMELL OF THIS, IT’S A FRUITY-FLORAL SCENT. IT’S MORE VISCOUS THAN A TYPICAL OIL AND HAS SUNFLOWER, SAFFLOWER, ARGAN, GRAPEFRUIT SEED, GRAPESEED AND OLIVE OILS IN IT.

3. CLEANSER

PHILOSOPHY – PURITY MADE SIMPLE

THIS WAS THE ONLY AMERICAN CLEANSER I CAME BACK TO TIME AND TIME AGAIN. SUPER GENTLE, BUT EFFECTIVE ENOUGH TO REMOVE BLACK EYE MAKEUP AND NEVER LEAVES ME FEELING STRIPPED OR DRY. IT HAS A SLIGHTLY HERBAL SMELL THAT MAY NOT APPEAL TO ALL. IN ADDITION TO VERY MILD SURFACTANTS IT CONTAINS A LOT OF NATURAL OILS AND EXTRACTS.

4. EXFOLIATOR

KATE SOMERVILLE – EXFOLIKATE INTENSIVE EXFOLIATING TREATMENT (ORIGINAL FORMULA)

DUBBED A 2 MINUTE FACICAL IN A BOTTLE, THIS IS MY FAVORITE AMERICAN EXFOLIANT. IT CONTAINS POWERFUL FRUIT ENZYMES AND LACTIC ACID TO EAT AWAY DEAD AND OLD SKIN AND CLEAR PORES. IT ALSO HAS A MILD SCRUB ELEMENT TO IT WHICH CAN FEEL INTENSE ONCE THOSE ENZYMES START WORKING. THIS STUFF IS NOT KIDDING WHEN IT SAYS INTENSIVE, YOU WILL FEEL ANYTHING FROM TINGLING TO STINGING AND IF YOU LEAVE IT ON TOO LONG IT WILL BURN OFF A LAYER OF SKIN AND LEAVE YOU RED FACED, I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE. IT COMES IN A SENSITIVE SKIN FORMULA TO ACCOMODATE THOSE WHO CAN’T HANDLE THE BURN OF THE ORIGINAL. THE PRICE POINT OF THIS IS PRETTY STEEP SO I USED TO HAVE A HABIT OF GOING TO SEPHORA AND JUST ASKING FOR SAMPLES OF IT SINCE ONE USE WILL SHOW YOU RESULTS.

5. TONER

DR. DENNIS GROSS SKINCARE – ALPHA BETA UNIVERSAL DAILY PEEL

THIS ISN’T A TONER BUT I USED THIS 2 STEP DAILY PEEL AS MY TONER. IT HAS ALL THE BENEFITS AND EFFECTS OF A TONER IN ADDITION TO HAVING A MILD PEELING EFFECT WHICH WILL LEAVE YOUR SKIN REALLY FRESHLY TURNED OVER AND BRIGHT. UNLIKE A TRADITIONAL CHEMICAL PEEL AT THE DERMATOLOIGIST WHICH ACTUALLY LEAVES YOUR SKIN PEELING AND FLAKING FOR A PERIOD BEFORE YOU SEE FRESH SKIN, THIS IS GENTLE ENOUGH FOR DAILY USE, WON’T MAKE YOUR SKIN FLAKE BUT WILL STILL DELIVER RESULTS. GLYCOLIC, SALICYLIC AND MALIC ACIDS ALL ENCOURAGE YOUR OLD SKIN TO SHED AND TURN OVER FASTER. IT ALSO COMES IN SENSITIVE AND EXTRA STRENGTH FORMULAS TO TAILOR TO YOUR SKIN’S TOLERANCE.

6. SERUMS

SUNDAY RILEY – GOOD GENES TREATMENT

BY FAR THE MOST TRANSFORMATIVE PRODUCT I CAME ACROSS AT SEPHORA. THE PRICE TAG HURTS BUT THIS SERUM IS AMAZING AND WILL CHANGE YOUR SKIN. IT’S ACTUALLY THE ONLY THING IN MY AMERICAN ARSENAL THAT SURVIVED MY KOREAN BEAUTY SWEEP, I KEEP HALF EMPTY BOTTLES IN EVERY TRAVEL BAG AND ONE ON MY BATHROOM COUNTER. IT LEAVES MY SKIN LOOKING BRIGHT, MOIST AND GLOWING. IT VISIBLY FADES HYPER PIGMENTATION AND LEAVES YOUR SKIN LOOKING VERY EVEN. IT SMELLS STRONGLY OF LEMONGRASS WHICH I REALLY ENJOY. THE LACTIC ACID AND LICORICE EXTRACT IN THIS COMBINE TO MAKE A REALLY POWERFUL SKIN BRIGHTENER. THE HYDRATING PROPERTIES OF THIS ARE SO GOOD THAT IN THE WARM WEATHER I CAN USE THIS AND SKIP MOISTURIZER.

7. MOISTURIZER

FIRST AID BEAUTY – ULTRA REPAIR CREAM INTENSE HYDRATION

I BOUGHT THIS TWO WINTERS IN A ROW WHICH SAYS A LOT. WHEN I THINK FACE CREAM I THINK HEAVY THICK GREASY LAYERS BUT THIS CHANGED ALL THAT. IT’S A CREAM YET IT’S LIGHTWEIGHT AND SINKS IN LEAVING A SATINY FINISH. IT’S REALLY MOISTURIZING, SAFE FOR SENSITIVE SKIN AND HAS NEUTRAL TO NO SMELL. THE PRICE POINT OF THIS IS ALSO DECENT.

8. MASK

OLE HENRIKSEN – BLUE/BLACK BERRY ENZYME MASK

HYDRATING, EXFOLIATING AND CALMING. THIS MASK HITS ALL THE POINTS FOR ME. IT LEAVES MY SKIN MOIST, POLISHED, AND SOFT. I LIKE KEEPING IT IN THE FRIDGE BECAUSE IT TIGHTENS YOUR PORES WHEN IT’S APPLIED COLD. IT SMELLS STRONGLY OF LAVENDER WHICH I LOVE AND A BONUS IS IT’S CLEAR SO YOU CAN WEAR IT IN PUBLIC OR IN FRONT OF YOUR GUY WITHOUT FEELING LIKE SWAMP THING. THIS IS MY GO TO MASK FOR LONG FLIGHTS.

*MISSING FROM THIS ROUTINE IS ESSENCE, EYE CREAM AND SUNSCREEN. AMERICAN BRANDS DON’T MAKE ESSENCE, I HAVEN’T BEEN AN AVID USER OF EYE CREAM UNTIL I STARTED A FULLY KOREAN SKINCARE REGIMEN AND AMERICAN SUNSCREENS ARE HEAVY, SMELLY AND PORE CLOGGING. I HAVEN’T ENCOUNTERED A TOLERABLE AMERICAN SUNSCREEN.

SO RN I’M TESTING A BUNCH OF SHEET MASK BRANDS BY USING THEM CONTINUOUSLY. I’LL HAVE AN UPDATE ON THIS WHEN I’M DONE BUT SO FAR I REALLY LIKE THE BENTON SNAIL BEE MASKS AND DO NOT LIKE ANY OF THE INNISFREE SHEET MASKS. I’M TESTING MY BEAUTY DIARY, SKINFOOD, TONY MOLY, MOTHERMADE AND MEDIHEAL MASKS SO WILL UPDATE ON THIS LATER