A Glossier Review: Wearing Glossier in Tropical Countries

A girl like me couldn’t leave New York without going to Glossier, one of the few brands as of late that I’ve been geeking over, listening to every podcast with Emily Weiss and reading every article I could find about the business. I mean, what’s there to not love about an affordable beauty brand that is super-inclusive and takes pride in an everyday, no-make-up make up look. The “no-make-up make-up look” is one of my favorite ironies in the world; thus, I entered their flagship store on 123 Lafayette Street and left with a modest bag of Glossier products.

I decided to write this mini-review because a lot of the people whom I’ve seen review Glossier are from the States (or a cold country), and I’m sure there are a lot who live in Asia (especially the tropical Southeast) that are wondering which products they should purchase given the difference in climate—a huge factor when it comes to how make-up and fragrance affect the skin.

So, I’d like to frame this article as a Glossier mini-review, from someone living in Southeast Asia, specifically in a tropical country: Singapore. Just a note that the photos were slightly enhanced to bring out more of the color, and the prices are rounded-up to the nearest dollar/peso. Products are arranged according to price.

Let’s get to it!

1. Balm Dotcom in Birthday

(US$12 | SGD$16 | PHP630 for 15ml)

According to Glossier: Our cult favorite do-everything salve. A hydrating, long-lasting, multipurpose lip balm and skin salve that’s packed with antioxidants and natural emollients to nourish and repair dry, chafed skin. The dense, waxy texture stays in place to seal in moisture wherever it goes.

What I Think: Whenever I put my Birthday Balm Dotcom on, I always feel as if I have cupcake frosting on my lips. It takes me quite a bit of willpower to not lick it off. I’m quite impressed and pleased with its formulation, especially because my lips dry out a lot. I don’t use this whenever I put lipstick on, however, because I love matte lipsticks, and the Balm Dotcom is really moisturizing to the point that it can glossify your matte slick. So whenever I swipe on some lipstick, I use the one from Klein’s instead. The Glossier Balm Dotcom is perfect for travel or if you have chapped lips because it really hydrates and stays on for a long time—it lasted during a 14-hour flight. I didn’t even have to reapply.

Will I Buy It Again? Yes, for sure. 70% because of the birthday cake flavor.

2. Boy Brow in Black

(US$16 | SGD$22 | PHP842 for 3.12g)

According to Glossier: The Boy Brow is our all-in-one brow fluffer, filler, and shaper. All brow needs have been considered to create THE brow product: one to thicken, fill in, and groom brows into place. The creamy wax formula is inspired by traditional hair pomade for soft, flexible hold that doesn’t stiffen or flake.

What I Think: To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a brow mascara/pomade person. I use it mostly to just cover up my missing strip of eyebrow, which I got from a cat scratch when I was a kid. Before this, I used 3CE’s Eyebrow Mascara, and while I enjoyed it, I found Glossier’s Boy Brow to be much better (yes, the hype is real, folks!).

However, don’t expect any glam, radical change with the Boy Brow, because it’s just meant to fill in your brows and make them appear fuller in the most natural way. I love how the tiny comb/spoolie brush it comes with is so precise, you feel like you have more eyebrow strands (almost like you had your brows micro-bladed). I have really thin, almost non-existent brows, and I love how the Boy Brow makes them look slightly bushier but not like a shrub, if that makes sense.

Will I Buy It Again? Yes, I would.

3. Lash Slick Mascara

(US$16 | SGD$22 | PHP842 for 8.5g)

According to Glossier: Extensions without the extensions. 248 formulations later: the perfect everyday mascara. Lash Slick curls and sculpts as it lengthens, enhancing the look of your natural lashes instead of clumping them together or spackling them in product. Teeny-tiny fibers coat lashes from root to tip to create a lengthened baby-extension, while flexible film-forming polymers lift and lock each fiber into place. And it’s water-resistant (not waterproof), so Lash Slick washes off easy with warm water at the end of your day.

What I Think: True to Glossier’s word, the Lash Slick’s fibers are some of the best I’ve seen—I love how they grab on to every strand. The formula also doesn’t flake, doesn’t smudge, and pretty much lasts throughout the day. Mascara is my least-used make-up product because it could be a bitch to remove (and I hate all that gritty, black by-product), but this is, by far, is the mascara I’ve had the least trouble removing.

Not much lift, looks too~ natural for my liking.

However, when it comes to mascaras, I always look for a drastic lift (my lashes are super duper tiny), and so far, I’ve found Japanese brands (Heroine Make, Majolica Majorca), Benefit’s BADgal Bang, and Maybelline mascaras to give me what I’m looking for. I guess, the Glossier Lash Slick is for you if you already have a good amount of lashes to work with (or if you have lash extensions). For me, because I need a really powerful mascara that will give me something beyond a natural look, I would rather get a brand that meets those needs.

Will I Buy It Again? No, but yes if I had longer lashes.

4. Cloud Paint in Storm, Beam, and Dusk

(US$18 | SGD$24 | PHP945 for a 10ml tube)

According to Glossier: With Cloud Paint, we set out to make blush the high point of your routine. The pillowy, gel-cream formula is designed to be the most user-friendly cheek color in existence. If you can finger paint, you can Cloud Paint—simply dab it onto cheeks wherever you please. It’s seamless, sheer, and buildable (i.e. it’s hard to accidentally apply too much). Inspired by gradient pink NYC sunsets, the shades are optimized to work across a wide range of skin tones for a healthy, flushed-from-within glow.

What I Think: I actually gave up on cream blushes a while back when I noticed my cheeks were drying up. However, let’s just say I’m back to using cream blushes, but only if they’re Glossier Cloud Paints. I know it’s a bold statement, but it’s the truth. I have three shades, Storm (a warm rose), Beam (a soft peach), and my favorite, Dusk (a brownish nude).

Storm, Beam, Dusk
Storm, Beam, Dusk

Apart from the packaging, which resembles acrylic paints, I am obsessed with the formulation. It leaves off such a natural, sun-kissed, slightly-flushed look that lasts the whole day. This is my new favorite blush, for sure. Here are the swatches!

Storm in a warm rose.
Beam is a soft peach.
Dusk is a brownish nude (my fave!)

Will I Buy it Again? Yes, without a doubt!

5. Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick in Cake

(US$18 | SGD$24 | PHP945 for 3g)

According to Glossier: Generation G is a new kind of lip color that gives the look and finish of just-blotted lipstick, without the blot. We’ve created a short list of the six most important shades, with dialed-down pigment loads for a casual look. They’re lipsticks that adapt to you, not the other way around, so they’ll appear a bit different on everyone as your natural lip color shows through. The effect? Diffused, matte goodness—just swipe it on.

Generation G (new formula in Cake)

What I Think: Freshly-blotted look is definitely an on-point description. Again, with Glossier, they really aim for that no-make-up make-up look, so if you’re looking for something light and everyday, then the Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick is a good choice. It has that “just bitten” look, which I find to be sexy yet casual at the same time.

The first time I tried the new formulation was at the Glossier showroom—my friend Abbey and I tried it in the shade Zip (a poppy red), which didn’t look too flattering. Maybe we just tried the wrong shade as the formulation adapts to your skin tone, so expect it to look different on everyone.

Generation G (old formula in Leo)
Generation G (old formula in Leo) and Generation G (new formula in Cake)

Something to note, though. This is the second version of the Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick line. My favorite shade of this range of lipsticks is still the old formulation of Leo, which is a cross between burnt sienna and cocoa. In this new formulation, though, the Leo is more of a cocoa brown, so I got the new formula in Cake (subtle peach) instead, which is a lighter version of the former Leo. Another thing to note is the scent—the old formulation had a bit of an off-putting smell (but it’s really that way according to all the reviews I’ve read), and the new formulation has a more pleasant lychee-rose scent, which is great.

Hard to tell if I’m wearing Cake or Leo, but this is Leo! The difference is incredibly subtle.

I find that the best lipstick shade for me lies a long the lines of terra cotta, peach, and burnt sienna. Sometimes, pink, too. My favorites as of late are Fenty Beauty’s Freckle Fiesta and Sunnies Face Fluffmatte in Baked and Vacay; however I’ll use those if I’m looking for a bolder lip look. Glossier’s is great for everyday use, and you don’t look too overdone with them. They’re pretty moisturizing, too, which is always a plus. My lips don’t crack or chap or flake the Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick.

Will I Buy It Again? Yes. But most probably not because I like trying new lipstick brands and Pat McGrath is next on the list. :p

6. Milky Jelly Cleanser

(US$18 | SGD$24 | PHP945 for 177ml)

According to Glossier: This is a conditioning facial cleanser. Hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested, and safe on the eye area, this is the ultimate daily face wash: use on dry skin to dissolve away makeup and grime, or on wet skin as you start your day. The pH-balanced, creamy gel formula is made with a blend of five skin conditioners so your face is left feeling healthy and soft, never tight. Its cleansing power comes from the same gentle cleaning agents found in contact lens solution, so it’s tough on impurities and still safe to use on your eyes. You’ll see.

What I Think: I have always used Japanese brands (Keana, Hatomugi, Shiseido) or Korean brands (Banila Co) for my facial wash because they leave my face squeaky clean—my personal definition of a clean face. The Milky Jelly Cleanser, on the other hand, leaves my face super-moisturized and soft. No squeaky-clean effect, but supple instead. I don’t think it dissolves away make-up as easily, but I find it works great as a morning facial wash to remove my evening creams. The rosewater scent was a bit off-putting for me when I started, but I eased into this facial wash real quick.

Will I Buy It Again? Maybe not. Just because the scent isn’t my favorite, and I still prefer the squeaky-clean effect Japanese and Korean facial wash brands.

7. Super Bounce Hyaluronic Acid Serum

(US$28 | SGD$38 | PHP1,473 for 15ml)

According to Glossier: Hyaluronic Acid visibly plumps skin up with moisture and Vitamin B5 brings back elasticity for supple softness—the “bounce” you want. Good for skin depleted from hangovers, long layovers, blasting A/C, or high high heat. The smooth, silky texture soaks in without any stickiness or residue, for instantly softer skin. Bounce is your BFF for a blissfully even makeup application.

What I Think: First off, I find this to be quite pricey for a tiny bottle of serum, although, it has promising results. I only use serums at night because of personal preference. I have moody skin—it can be oily or dry during the day, and I like how the Super Bounce Serum adds that much-needed moisture to my face, especially when the weather is harsh. I used this also during New York at 3 degrees, and I didn’t get any windburns or dry patches of skin at all. Here in Singapore, I use it along with the Dear, Klairs Vitamin C Serum, and I find both acids to complement each other. Prior to this, I used the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Serum, which I’ve had two bottles of.

Will I Buy This Again? Although I would recommend it and say it’s good, I won’t go out of my way and purchase another one, just because I am in love with Dear, Klairs at the moment. However, it seems to be the most popular of all three Glossier serums (I went to the site just now, and it’s sold out!).

8. You Eau de Parfum

(US$60 | SGD$81 | PHP3,156 for 50ml)

According to Glossier: You is ultimate personal fragrance. You’ll find that You makes a good first impression, and lives up to it as time goes on. Each note was chosen and balanced to allow the juice to be both long-lasting and true to how it smells at the beginning, without changing as it dries down. In other words, it’s heavy on the base notes. Mostly it smells like you: that familiar human-y note that makes up the body of what you’re smelling. Creamy, sparkling, clean, warm. That’s You.

*please be advised that the formula comes incomplete; You are the first ingredient* (LOVE THIS MARKETING)

What I Think: I’m really into powdery, fresh-from-the-shower fragrances—my staples being Clean, V&M Naturals Iris & Incense, and Le Labo’s Ambrette 9. However, Glossier’s You changed the game for me. I love it so much. It’s my typical scent, but with something different to it. It’s gender-neutral, and while perfumes react differently to different skin types and climates, I find this quite long lasting even in a tropical climate such as Singapore or the Philippines.

Let me rave about this a little bit more because I love it so much. Its base notes are comfy and warm Ambrette (no wonder!), Ambrox (smooth, salty, and animalistic), and Musk (long-lasting and addictive), which I love. The Body Shop’s White Musk is a fragrance my Mum and I both enjoy together as an everyday spritz, so You does bring a fair amount of comfort and nostalgia. With top notes of Iris (again, no wonder!) and Pepper (which I feel cuts through all the notes and adds a playful tingle), this is my new favorite fragrance.

Will I Buy it again? YES, YES, YES. A hundred million times yes. Eau du Parfum is super-concentrated (around 40% concentration), but I still find it a bit pricey for the amount, but fine, because it smells fantastic. Also, the packaging is a beaut.

Is there any Glossier product I am missing out on? I feel like there are many like the Priming Moisturizer Rich and the Masks. Let me know if you’ve been using any Glossier items in Southeast Asia and if you like them! Hear from you in the comments section.

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