According to Glossier, “Skin first, makeup second.” But I have rosacea…
If you’ve purchased makeup or skin care from Glossier or IT Cosmetics, you’ve made a statement about the kind of beauty consumer you are. The beauty market is saturated with brands catering to all types of age groups, skincare needs, packaging preferences, budgets and personalities. So it makes sense the brands you choose above all others are bound to say something about you.
If you have even a passing interest in beauty, chances are you’ve heard of Glossier and its minimalist, natural approach to beauty. (Their motto is “Skin first, makeup second.”) Since its 2014 launch by IntoTheGloss.com founder Emily Weiss, the brand has taken the beauty world by storm with its relatively affordable beauty products donning light-hearted names like “Balm Dotcom” and “Boy Brow”—all of which promise to make you look like a subtly enhanced version of yourself.
But have you ever felt a bit left out scrolling through Glossier’s hip, cool-girl au natural Instagram?
The leg(IT) solution for rosacea, pimples and redness.
I (and I’m guessing a lot of other women with more serious skin issues than the occasional zit) feel excluded from their minimalist beauty narrative. Yes, I covet the ability to leave my skin bare, adding just a dewy touch with highlighter or blush, but I would never be able achieve the effect portrayed on Glossier models. I have rosacea. My skin is just too blotchy—and disguising the redness that splatters my face makes me feel more confident and beautiful.
So, despite my love of Glossier’s glittery millennial-pink packaging and adoration of basically everyone on their IG feed, I turn to IT Cosmetics to even out my skin tone, using their Bye Bye Redness Cream and Bye Bye Lines Foundation.
IT Cosmetics (the “IT” stands for Innovative Technology) was founded in 2008 by former news anchor Jamie Kern Lima when she struggled to find makeup that would stand up to the harsh lights and HD cameras. IT quickly shot in popularity on QVC. If Glossier is popular amongst dewy-faced 20-somethings and off-duty models (including celebrities such as Karlie Kloss and Lucy Hale), IT Cosmetics is beloved amongst makeup artists and women who are looking for a solution to highly visible skin issues such as acne. Their consumers aren’t looking for a mostly sheer foundation or a rosewater face mist, as nice as those options sound in theory. No, the women who buy IT Cosmetics want full-coverage foundation and concealer that will help them minimize dark under-eye circles or acne or tomato redness, plus a tinted powder to set it and then some heavy creams that promise to fight redness and lines after you take off all that makeup and go to sleep.
The two beauty camps and their social media divides.
In the same way that people make assumptions about you based on whether you’re a country music fan versus a classical music lover, I have a certain picture in my head of what a Glossier ultrafan is like as opposed to an IT Cosmetics loyalist.
To me, these two brands represent the two opposite sides of the spectrum that beauty lovers and consumers seem to be divided into now.
For example: if you’re a Glossier girl, I imagine you’re a little younger and into subtle, natural-looking, effortless (or at least seemingly effortless) beauty. I see freckles and pouty, super-shiny lips. You spend a lot of time researching and trying out the latest, trendiest skincare offerings while drinking La Croix. You prefer Instagram over Facebook, you’re comfortable going makeup-free, and you’re into brands like Reformation, RMS, Catbird and Diptyque.
If you’re a hardcore IT Cosmetics fan, I’d guess that you enjoy wearing a full face of makeup every day and you like experimenting with bold, colorful makeup looks (like vivid pink blush or siren-red lipstick). You spend a lot of time watching YouTube beauty vloggers demonstrate contouring, you like browsing Facebook and Pinterest with a glass of wine, and you probably love sampling beauty products at Sephora rather than online. You’re loyal to brands like Clinique, J. Crew, Proactiv and Lululemon.
Now, are these over-generalizations that aren’t even likely accurate because people can’t be divided into two distinct camps? Of course. Take me, for example. I’m 27 but occasionally use nourishing skincare products, I like browsing both Instagram and Pinterest with La Croix in the morning and wine in the evening, my closet is a mix of J. Crew and Everlane. I own Glossier skin care and IT Cosmetics makeup (I would love to swipe on Glossier’s Haloscope highlighter and run out the door like so many reviewers claim to do, but the fact remains that I have rosacea. I use their Milky Jelly Cleanser and might buy their Glossier You fragrance, but won’t buy their makeup because I need more coverage).
Where do I fit in?
I own and use more IT Cosmetics products than Glossier products, but if I had to choose one brand’s apparel to wear in front of the world I would want to wear the Glossier sweatshirt.
I’ll admit, I prefer to put myself into a clearly labeled box most of the time.
I like the cool girl, effortless vibe of Glossier products but I appreciate the promise of a total transformation offered by the hardworking products in IT Cosmetics’ lineup. It’s all about buying into the marketing promise that appeals to you and your idea of who you want to be. And apparently, deep down I want to be a poreless 22-year-old model (not a huge surprise).
Such is the power of Glossier: I may be resentful of not having the required perfect skin for most of their products, but I’ll wear their fragrance… while sporting a full face of IT Cosmetics. What does that say about me? No, seriously, I’m asking you. If anyone knows, ping me.