Skin Is In: Glossier Review & First Impressions

glossier generation g lipstick zip - styleapotheca

"Skin First. Make-up Second. Smile Always." is something you may see when you open your first box of Glossier products in the mail. Glossier is a minimal "no make-up make-up" skincare and beauty brand, originating in New York City by the creators and editors of the ever-addictive "Into The Gloss" blog (if you haven't checked them out, you should). They take a no fuss, no muss, minimalistic approach to beauty and skincare, putting skin first and having the real You show through any tints, shadows or glosses. 

After testing out the brand for a couple of weeks, I find Glossier products to be true to this "skin first" motto. They are definitely a minimal make-up brand, where the aim is to enhance what you already have going for you. That goes for imperfections too -- so don't expect any significant coverage or camouflaging of any flaws or blemishes from their make-up products. I, myself, kind of like this approach. It seems like Glossier's aim is for you to "do you" and shake what your mama gave ya, zits, pores, pigmentation and all. 

Glossier does not test on animals and is 100% cruelty free. When shipped, everything comes in a minimalistic white box including campy stickers like hearts and rainbows to jazz up and personalize your items. Items also include a pink bubble wrap style make-up bag, which is wonderfully convenient for travel and just cute AF. The packaging of each item is almost medicinal in style, with a theme of dusty pink and white overarching in Glossier's aesthetic. Very girly, but very minimal and chic. 

Glossier recently expanded their reach and are now shipping to Canada and the United Kingdom (yay!), so I'm going into depth on the products I purchased and have tested out myself.   

Disclaimer: This review is not comprehensive, and is in no way sponsored. Everything stated is my own experience and opinion of the products discussed below. What worked (and did not work) for me may not necessarily work for you and vice versa. 

Bonus: If referred by a friend, Glossier includes a 10% discount off your first order

if you are the one referring, Glossier will give you 5$ off your future orders for each referral

you can use my referral link here (if you want):

discounts are applied at checkout  

glossier cloud paint haloscope balm dot com priming moistuirizer stretch concealer skin perfecting tint generation g zip - styleapotheca
glossier cloud paint haloscope balm dot com - styleapotheca

What I got:

Glossier Phase 1 Set

(includes Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer and your choice of Balm Dot Com Universal Skin Salve flavour)   

Glossier Phase 2 Set 

(includes Boy Brow, Stretch Concealer and Generation G sheer matte lipstick - all your choice of shade) 

Perfecting Skin Tint, Light 

Cloud Paint: Puff, Dusk 

Haloscope Highlighter in Quartz 

Glossier Skincare: Review of Phase 1 Set 

What you get: 

Milky Jelly Cleanser 

Priming Moisturizer 

Balm DotCom Universal Skin Salve - your choice of flavour 

I purchased this set because I'm a skincare junkie, however I was neither disappointed nor blown away by the items in this set. I will use up the items, but likely will not be re-purchasing some key bits. Here's why: 

The Milky Jelly Cleanser 

What it is: an everyday facial cleanser (6 fl oz, 177 ml) 

I've heard mixed reviews going into this cleanser, and can say I am one of the undecided of the bunch. This cleanser is exactly what it sounds like. It's both milky and jelly-like in consistency. I'm currently applying it to a dry face in the morning and evening as part of my cleansing routine, then rinsing with warm water. It has absolutely no lather to it, and remains a jelly-like consistency throughout use. It does not foam with use, nor does it get milkier as you apply it. It does not strip the skin and really does leave your skin feeling moisturized and soothed. It doesn't leave your face feeling tight or dry afterwards and is definitely gentle on the skin. 

The bottle comes in a convenient pump with a twist-lock so it doesn't spill on you for travel. It's nothing revolutionary in terms of packaging, but it really does look great on the vanity or in the bathroom. Of note, this does have a light rosy and floral scent to it, as many of Glossier's skincare items do. I preferred my items unscented, but this is not overpowering so know that this is a matter of personal preference.

I'm mixed on this item because 1) the consistency reminds me of Cetaphil or SpectroGel and leaves my skin feeling similar to these cleansers, 2) it absolutely did NOT remove my eye make-up (the raccoon eye territory was real - note I do not wear waterproof mascara), and 3) it irritates my eyes despite its claim to be eye safe (disclaimer: a lot of things irritate my eyes). 

Bottom Line: I will use this cleanser up and will probably keep the bottle for aesthetic, but I feel like you can get a similar result and probably a better cleanse make-up-wise using drugstore soapless cleansers like Cetaphil, CeraVe or SpectroGel. It really does feel nice on the skin, but also disappoints if you're looking to remove your make-up at the day's end, especially your eye make-up. It may better lend itself to your AM cleansing routine if you plan on incorporating it into your regimen. 

The Priming Moisturizer 

What it is: a face moisturizer and a make-up primer (1.7 fl oz, 50 ml)

Glossier is a brand that has multi-tasking items for the everyday, multi-tasking man or woman. This is why I am enjoying the Priming Moisturizer. It's light and nourishing enough to be used as your sole daytime moisturizer as part of your skincare routine, and it packs the bonus punch of smoothing out and plumping your skin in preparation for make-up. It doesn't feel suffocating or silicone-y upon application (a feeling I really can't stand in my make-up). I find it soaks into the skin quickly and leaves a dewy finish. Glossier is ALL ABOUT the dewy finish, so this is a natural first step (be advised, my fellow oily birds!). In all, really do find my makeup goes on better if I apply this first, but I can't quite tell a difference if I compare it to other primers I've tried, and I don't know if it extends the shelf-life of my make-up. 

Note the Priming Moisturizer has that signature rosy, floral scent to it as well, but much less profound compared to the Milky Jelly Cleanser. Glossier also carries this moisturizer's sister, the Priming Moisturizer Rich. I've actually heard a lot more positive reviews about the Rich version compared to the original with respect to texture, finish and hydration, so this may be something to keep in mind if your skin is particularly parched. 

Bottom Line: I am liking this so far, however I think I still need more time to get to know her and I am wondering if I will like her Rich sister even better.  

The Balm DotCom

What it is: a universal skin salve - can be used on lips, cuticles, elbows, as a highlighter or face gloss (0.5 fl oz, 15 ml)

This stuff lives up to its name. It's for sure the I chose the flavour "Birthday Cake" which is formulated after the cake from Momofuku's famous Milk Bar. It's Vaseline-y in texture, but doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy or oily and it doesn't stain your stuff. The Birthday Cake formulation contains glitter, but it is extremely fine and barely shows up on the lips or skin so doesn't look over the top or chunky. Mine smells like a vanilla cupcake, however they come in several different flavours (original, cherry, coconut, mint, rose). Note that some Balm Dotcom's are tinted, while others are not. 

I use this stuff everywhere, as it says you should. I love using it as a lip balm, and as a cheek highlighter (bonus: doesn't break me out). It now travels with my everywhere, and lives in my purse. If an item relocates from my vanity to the purse, it's really passed the "true love" test. 

Bottom line: may really be a more expensive Vaseline, but I really dig it. 

glossier flatlay priming moisturizer milky jelly cleanser balm dot com cake  - styleapotheca
glossier skincare flatlay priming moisturizer - styleapotheca


WHAT YOU GET (your choice of shade in all items):

Boy Brow 

Stretch Concealer 

Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick 

Pretty sure almost everything in this set is now Holy Grail status. Here's why:

Boy Brow 

What it is: THE tinted brow gel (0.11 oz, 3.12 g)

Boy, O Boy Brow. I'm obsessed. For a girl who has Nike symbol, pencil thin, borderline no-eyebrow status eyebrows, this stuff is the shizzz. It really is THE brow product, and for those of you who feel me on the Barely There Brow-Life, Boy Brow will give you the most natural fake brow out there.

I use this as a topper to set my brows in place after filling them in with my favourite brow pencil (Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer). It feathers them out beautifully to the point where it actually looks like I have brow hairs, and provides a little extra tint to further define them. The formula is fairly wet, so be sure to wipe off any excess before applying. Boy Brow coats every brow hair, but separates them perfectly for that feathery, undone brow look without being crunchy or clumpy. And the best part: my brows stayed in place ALL DAY. This withstood my natural oils, blotting and even post-workout sweat. Boy Brow comes in four shades: Blonde, Brown, Black and Clear. I purchased Brown and I'm pretty sure I'm in a long-term relationship with this Boy. 

Bottom Line: it's THE tinted brow gel. A definite must have for anyone after that bushy, Cindy Crawford brow or who is in need of a quick, easy product that provides tint, definition and thickness in seconds. 

Stretch Concealer 

What it is: a sheer but buildable moisturizing concealer (0.17 oz, 5 ml)

Concealer is a tough one for me. Despite being oily, I have very dry under eyes and have acne-prone skin so am usually having to cover up some sort dry, scabby zit monster on my face. The Stretch Concealer is awesome and I think exactly what I've been looking for. It's a pot concealer, but is not thick or dry like you would expect. The formula is very creamy, almost like a balm, yet is thin in consistency while still providing great coverage. You can use it on your acne and discolouration, as well as your under eyes. It's unexpectedly and pleasingly hydrating. But be warned: if you don't set your under eyes, this stuff WILL crease on you. 

Bottom Line: For the girl with pancakey, dry AF under eyes, this is it. Be sure to set with powder, or it's Welcome to Crease-Ville, Population: You. 

Generation G Lipstick 

What it is: a sheer lipstick with a matte finish (0.07 oz, 2 g) 

I actually quite like the formula and finish of the Generation G lipsticks. They truly do leave a sheer yet matte look to the lips without being drying. I chose the colour Zip, which is a classic red shade. It translates a bit more orange-toned red on my lips, and Glossier does note every colour will look different on every person because your lip pigmentation peeks through. Though sheer, these lippies are smooth and buildable so you can really make your natural look pop.

Bottom line: a nice-to-have item in your collection - a similar look and finish can be achieved by blotting on any of your favourite lipsticks for that sheered out, natural look. 

glossier flatlay boy brow brown stretch concealer light skin perfecting tint light - styleapotheca

Glossier BEAUTY: The Singles  

Cloud Paint 

What it is: a buildable cream blush with an airy, whipped texture (0.33 fl oz, 10 ml)

If I had to choose a favourite, the Cloud Paints would be it after the Boy Brow. I used to be intimidated by cream blushes, since I'd often be left looking blotchy and sick instead of flushed and effortless, so I would just avoid them in my make-up routine. I heard so many rave reviews about these Cloud Paints that I just had to try them. They come in four shades inspired by the pinkish tones of a New York City sunset: Dusk, Puff, Beam and Haze. Dusk is a  beautiful warm-toned, bronzy shade that can double as a blush or bron-tour (bronzer + contour). Puff is an innocent and girly light pink. Haze is a rich yet sheer berry tone, and Beam is a playful peachy-coral. These shades would do well no matter your skin tone. They go on sheer, but are very buildable and become surprisingly pigmented without ever looking too much.

The formula is creamy and almost bouncy in texture, and it's beyond easy to blend. It dries down to a matte finish without looking patchy or powdery on the face. The Cloud Paints come in cute, unassuming tubes that reminds me of toothpaste, yet the smallest amount of product goes a long way. This is a cream blush that is just so friendly anyone can use it, and I think you'll be happy with the result. 

Bottom Line: if you want to look naturally sun-kissed, contoured or have that "just woke up from a nap" flush, the Cloud Paints will deliver. These are pigmented, light, fluffy and oh-so versatile. An absolute must-try. 

Perfecting Skin Tint 

What it is: exactly what it says - it's not a tinted moisturizer, it's not a foundation - it's a skin tint (1 fl oz, 30 ml) 

This is one of my favourite items, however I can see this being a disappointment to those expecting a fair amount of coverage from their foundations, tinted moisturizers or BB creams. I can't figure out what this stuff does for me, but it definitely does something. It provides absolutely no coverage to blemishes or pigmentation, but after rubbed into the skin it visibly evens out the skin tone and just makes things look "nicer" in a way I can't quite put my finger on. I find this also tends to look better throughout the day with wear (I still don't really know why - this is Glossier VooDoo). 

It's an extremely sheer, fluid-like consistency and comes in a dropper-style package. You are meant to shake the product before use. I've been applying 9-10 drops into my hand and then working it into my skin. The finish is extremely dewy so blotting and powder is necessary for us Oily's. Concealing is a must if you have less-than-flawless skin and want to cover up imperfections. It is weightless in texture and so far has not broken me out. I am really enjoying this product. If you are looking for a natural finish but still need or want a "little something", I would give this a try. 

Bottom line: this is a your-skin-but-better product for the girl who is looking for that All Natural skin look without being all natural. This will likely miss the mark for you if you prefer some coverage in your foundation products. 

Haloscope Highlighter

What it is: glossy highlighter stick (0.19 oz, 5.5 g)

Glossier is all about that natural glow. That's exactly what you'll get with the Haloscope Highlighters. It comes in 3 shades: Topaz, a bronzy highlighting gloss for deeper skin tones or a sun-kissed glow. Quartz, a champagne colour that seems universal for most skin tones. Moonstone, described as an opalescent glaze, great for ultra-pale skin tones but would look lovely on any skin tone as a highlight or an eyelid gloss. I purchased Quartz, and am absolutely in love. I always prefer a dewy, natural highlight and Haloscope delivers. It makes the skin look hydrated, healthy and glossy without looking oily or sweaty. The formula is not sticky, where my hair doesn't get stuck on my cheeks despite the stick being infused with a hydrating, oily centre. The finish is not glittery or chunky and you get a lovely sheen that looks "lit from within". To me, this is just glowy perfection. 

Bottom line: a must-have if you want a dewy, natural glow that melts seamlessly into the skin. Is it you or is it the stick? Keep them guessing. 

glossier cloud paint haloscope balm dot com  stretch concealer skin perfecting tint generation g zip- styleapotheca
glossier cloud paint haloscope balm dot com - styleapotheca

Glossier: MUST HAVES

The balm Dotcom

cloud paint 

boy brow 

haloscope highlighter

skin perfecting tint

stretch concealer 



priming moisturizer

generation g sheer matte lipsticks 

GLOSSIER:Need to Try's  

priming moisturizer rich 


clear lip gloss

super glow vitamin c brightening serum

super pure clarifying face serum 

super bounce smoothing serum 

soothing face mist 

mega greens galaxy detoxifying face mask 

moisturizing moon mask soothing face treatment

invisible shield spf 35 sunscreen (this Product is not yet available in Canada)   


All photography and editing by me unless otherwise stated. Photos in linked carousel slideshow above are by and links provided and referenced.