Glossier Not-So-Basic or Pretty Basic?
Glossier is not only a company and a product, but a movement. It is a movement that seems to embrace being fun, and happy, and overall - yourself, to "encourage girls to feel free and happy and OK with themselves, wherever they're at in life."
That is a movement (and product) I feel I could get behind.
It's for this reason that I decided to review their only vegan products: the Soothing Face Mist, Perfecting Skin Tint, and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack.
With a progressive, positive mantra like theirs, I was excited to see what their product line has to offer.
Soothing Face Mist $18
"Ever thought you’d spray water onto your face right after you washed it? No? Well, this isn’t just water, per se. It’s made with roses and aloe to hydrate, soothe, and leave you feeling fresh and awake, prepping your skin for the Priming Moisturizer. Also excellent as a makeup refresher and midday pick-me-up."
Water (Aqua), Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract
This product is marketed as a hydrating mist. However, other than some aloe and glycerin, it doesn't have much else in it other than a bunch of different scents plus the often-sought-after rose water. Spraying a cool mist like this onto your face is likely to "perk" you up and make you feel refreshed and more alert, but so will a good splash of water. But being practical, splashing your face with water with a full face of makeup isn't the best idea. So for a mid-day pick-me-up, this might be a good option. As for "prepping your skin" for a priming moisturizer, this may also help your skin stay hydrated throughout the day.
This product is rose-scented, clearly, and sometimes rose scents can throw people off. I've read a lot of reviews of rose-scented products that completely turned people off. I personally love the calming, soothing scent of rose, but not everyone does. And if you're one of those people, this probably isn't the product for you.
However, with that being said, I have a perfectly good rosewater + water spray at home that does everything for me that this product claims to do. And I get twice the product for half the price. Sounds like a better deal for me.
Would I use it?: Yes.
Would I buy it?: No. I am all about bang for my buck and functionality. This product can be wonderful and people may truly love it - heck I would probably love it - but if another similar product can do the same thing for me for cheaper, I'm going to opt for the cheaper item.
Bottom line: Will the product do everything it claims to do? Yes, probably, based on the ingredients. But will another cheaper product do the very same things? Also yes. Just because this product contains more ingredients that may be beneficial to our skin (aloe + glycerin) doesn't necessarily mean it works better, especially when we are likely already getting these two very common ingredients from our moisturizer.
Perfecting Skin Tint $26
"In the land between bare skin and makeup makeup exists the imperceptible wash of color that is our Perfecting Skin Tint. What does it do? Evens out discoloration and leaves your face looking toned, smooth, and dewy. The breathable, ultra thin formula auto-fits to skin, making application as simple as throwing on moisturizer. 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."
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)
The appeal of this product is that it provides a blur that softens signs of fatigue, makes dehydrated skin look plumper, evens out skin tone, and gives a glow void of iridescence. People don't reach for a skin tint when they want full coverage - they would reach for foundation + concealer if that's what they wanted. No, they want a skin tint for that natural beauty look we all strive to acheive.
It won't cover problem areas, and it won't give you any amount of coverage like a foundation will, so adjust your expectations right now.
The formula contains ingredients that appear to be flexible which allows one to mix or layer with other products to acheive their desired look.
However, it's hard to say how this skin tint would sit on acneic skin and although I speculate based on the ingredients that it doesn't latch onto dry skin, it may not be as consistent on acneic skin.
I would also like to see more antioxidants in this product, as it is something that sits on our face all day long - there might as well be something like a green tea extract in there to make it a little bit more skin and acne-friendly, right?
Would I use it?: Yes.
Would I buy it?: Yes. I have yet to find a vegan skin tint that suits my skin colour, and this product seems to be suited for all skin types and colours, even those that are often hard to match.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a foundation with good coverage this probably isn't the product for you. If you're looking to add a little healthy glow to your natural skin, this is probably the product for you. I would encourage everyone to have a good skin tint in their beauty bag, as it can help us to feel gorgeous and confident in our skin with just a little itty bitty bit of help.
Mega Greens Galaxy Pack $22
"Think of this as a juice cleanse for your face. Made with simple, natural ingredients, the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack balances and conditions pores while helping to calm inflammation. Using the gentlest, most nourishing creamy white kaolin clay, this cleansing mask detoxifies skin by drawing out excess oil and impurities—leaving your face with a velvety-matte, clean finish. Beauty foods like vitamin-rich leafy greens and superfruit antioxidants deliver a potent dose of nutrients for when you need to press the reset button on your complexion. Basically, it does a lot of work, so you don’t have to."
Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Powder, Citric Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lecithin, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Aronia Arbutifolia/Aronia Melancarpa Fruit Extract, Aristotelia Chilensis Fruit Extract, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract, Propanediol, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Petroselinum Crispum (Parsley) Leaf Extract
This mask contains kaolin which is also known as white clay. It is a very mineral-rich clay that has both mild drying and disinfectant qualities. It is considered a very mild clay (it's used in deodorants, soaps and scrubs) and is not usually included in face masks as a primary or "active" ingredient. If it is a primary ingredient it is usually coupled with another primary, more powerful clay like bentonite (like in this mask, or this mask). This is because, alone, kaolin does very little. However, for those with uber sensitive skin, this may be a selling point. But if you have very sensitive skin, you may want to avoid this mask for another reason.
This product also contains phenoxyethanol, which is classified as a moderate-level irritant which could cause this mask to burn, sting or irritate healthy skin. No sense in buying a product for its soothing and gentle kaolin if it also has a common irritant in it.
It also has a ton of fruit and vegetable oils and extracts, which I suppose is why its called Mega Greens. These fruit and vegetable extracts certainly have the potential to deliver antioxidants to the skin which may help fight inflammation and calm the skin.
However, I feel like this product has a lot of unnecessary filler ingredients. The antioxidant properties of this mask could have easily been acheived with a few star ingredients. More =/= better all the time. Sometimes we need to focus on a few ingredients that really take it home, and that's that. When I see this ingredients list I can understand why the product is so expensive, because there are a ton of ingredients in it. I'm willing to wager that I could take out at least 10 of those fruit/vegetable extract ingredients and the product would do the exact same thing (which, I'm willing to bet, isn't much - kaolin clay isn't that spectacular). And if I can take out a double digit amount of ingredients from a product and still get a similar end result, that means you're paying a lot of money for a bunch of fillers. There are better things to spend your money on, in my opinion.
Maybe they should consider taking a few of these extracts out of this product and putting them into the Skin Tint.
However, if you have very sensitive skin that doesn't respond well to clay masks (you may just be doing them wrong - stay tuned for a blog post on this!) and you're looking for a "meh" face mask, then by all means give this a go. You may love it.
Would I use it?: No. I need my face masks to pack a punch and leave my skin looking spectacularly better after than it did before. Based on the ingredients I don't feel like this face mask will do that for me.
Would I buy it?: No. Based on the ingredients there are masks that do a whole heck of a lot more than this product, for a lot less, and with a ton less ingredients.
Bottom line: This mask may be soothing, but so is a cold foot cream mask - that doesn't mean it does anything for your face. In terms of cleansing the skin, other clays offer more muscle; in terms of antioxidant quantity this mask certainly takes the cake, but can we guage quality off of quantity?
Overall my impression of these products is that there is nothing truly exceptional about them, but at the end of the day is there ever anything truly exceptional about any product line? Aren't they all just variations on the same design? Not to mention they claim to be fairly with the times, and progressive and yet they still use animal-derived ingredients in their products. Come on, Glossier - only 3 vegan products? Let's see more vegan products in the future, please.
Keep in mind that I have not tried these products (but as I always say, anecdotes only hold so much value). But I feel like I can learn a lot about a product, and a company, based on their ingredients, which is why it's so important to first evaluate a product based on the ingredients to determine if its even a good fit for your skin. You can save yourself a lot of time and money this way.
Based on the ingredients, I think the only product I may ever consider purchasing is their Skin Tint, and even still I would probably look for an alternative. Looking at the ingredients, at the claims, these products do not stand out to me in any exceptional way. They seem like your average, decent products that may or may not work. They contain some ingredients with a good amount of evidence behind them, and they include ingredients for the right reasons and with the right intent - but they fall short on using unnecessary fillers in a product, and miss opportunities to add ingredients in where they are lacking.
The question you then have to ask is, am I looking for a new product? Do these things appear to do what I am looking for? Does the odds of their benefit to me justify their cost? Or are there lower-cost products that can do exactly the same thing - or better?
You be the judge.