The Glossier story is a fascinating one. A female-led beauty business with rapid growth, born in the digital age, and not looking for a big corporation take-over from say, Lauder or L’Oreal – or so it seems at this stage in the game. If you have five minutes spare and are interested in hearing more from the brand’s founder, Emily Weiss, I suggest you check out this interview from the Financial Times. With obvious soaring ambition, and the optimism that comes with such rapid success, Emily has big plans for the future of Glossier. Today, however, I want to go back to two of the company’s original hero products, the foundations of a makeup look: concealer and base.
Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint is a Vegemite/Martmite product: you love it or you hate it. This surprisingly small, squeezy bottle is a sheer, sheer, tinted fluid that just barely evens out the skin tone and adds a hint of colour. It is perfectly aligned with the brand’s vibe of a barely there, summery, non-conforming beauty look. I apply this light fluid with my fingers, for using a brush seems to absorb far too much of the product – a sponge even more so. The effect is minimal, but in response to this product’s most common criticisms, this product is exactly what it claims to be – a perfecting skin tint. Glossier have never suggested that they have produced a full coverage foundation, in fact, in calling this a foundation is where I feel that some people have gone wrong. It’s a skin tint – something to subtly colour the skin but by no means cover it. In adding this colour, you do get a little coverage in terms of redness being subdued, and the appearance of blemishes being toned-down just a touch. This isn’t a base product I’ve bought and put away, never to be used again – it does do something, but it’s very, very subtle and reserved for those good-skin days.
Since it’s release, we now have other tints to compare it to, for example the Chanel Water Fresh Tint, and are more accustomed to this bare-skinned formula. However, long before Glossier blew up on our Instagram feeds, there was MAC Face and Body foundation. Think same small, squeezy bottle, drop-dispensing lid and very similar skin vibes. Where the Perfecting Skin Tint’s coverage is the definition of minimal, MAC’s foundation offers just a touch more help in evening things out, and also layers perfectly for even further coverage. Naturally, it comes in an array of shade options – for the very pale, pink-based among us try N1, and those yellow based (or using a facial fake tan) try C1. I suggest dropping into a MAC counter to get quickly shade-matched before purchase. The consistency of Face and Body is just a little thicker, just a little more worthwhile and as one of my favourite and most-used foundations, an excellent alternative for those who live outside of Glossier’s restrictive shipping route.
If the Perfecting Skin Tint is your jam, but you still need a little more help perhaps covering dark circles or redness, Glossier’s Stretch Concealer perfectly rounds out their base products. A super emollient, moist cream, I find this best applied either with fingers or a small brush. Some people like feathering this on with a fluffy brush, while others like to stipple and press it into the skin with firmer bristles. This isn’t a waxy, full coverage concealer – no surprises there if you’re accustomed to the Glossier look – but a sheer, luminous and hydrating texture that does cover very well. The pots last a surprisingly long time, and the shades are just the right tone of ‘brightening’ to work especially well on dark under-eye circles. I like to spread this beneath my eyes, in the corners of the nose, over the (red) apples of the cheeks, and even dot a little on my chin to keep the areas I don’t need help free of makeup, and the areas I do need a little extra help looking perfected.
If you can’t get hold of Glossier where you live, an excellent alternative (and great option in it’s own right) is RMS Un Cover-up Concealer. A base of coconut oil, beeswax and jojoba oil make up an emollient, creamy concealer that is hydrating and lush on the skin – and a great handbag-friendly product that layers really well to top up your makeup at the end of the day.