Let me save you some suspense and come right out and say it: I HATED IT.
Now that that is out of the way, let me explain to you what I thought the experience would be like and how excited I was to get my ass to NYC to go to this store. From everything I read in magazines and on Intothegloss and from my own experience as a long time customer, I expected something popular but chill. I thought it would be a place where one could go after a long day, get great customer service, and just generally feel better after they left. I expected the Glossier Showroom to be like my afternoon espresso pick me up. I thought this would be a place to hang out, to experiment with makeup, and be relaxed. You know somewhere I’d look forward to going to. Somewhere I’d want to go back to. I knew that it would be small and there would be a lot of people, but I thought it would be a special place. I guess I expected too much because it was none of these things.
First, there was a line out the door, which I was fine with. I expected it. It was NYC after all! What I liked less was that there was a person in a light pink prisonesque jumpsuit (I’m not kidding, the get-up/ uniform was weird and part of what made me so uncomfortable) managing the crowd fairly poorly and cramming us into a tiny elevator. Now I’m sure twenty people stuffed like sardines in a can into a very small elevator was against fire code regulations, but you know, who gives a shit, right? It’s ok to almost die to get your hands on some makeup.
Yah, it was at that point that I realized this was a “hell no” experience for someone like me. To be fair I’m extremely anxious, so I won’t hold how crowded the store was against them, but I will say the elevator was stuffed past maximum capacity and so was the store itself, once we got up. That’s not cool, no matter who you are. If there was an emergency, there would have been an all out stampede and people would’ve died. I’m not joking or saying this to be cruel. I’m saying that they needed to do a better job of crowd regulation. It was impossible to move around the store and try the makeup samples. It was not at all the relaxed place I’d read about online or in numerous articles. It was a shit show.
The people dressed in the pink jumpsuits weren’t terribly helpful or friendly. That’s fine. I worked in retail. I know how it is. But it was strange that they looked eerily similar, despite being of different races and ethnicities. You could tell they were all wearing Glossier products, which I suppose is the point. It was just so obviously a display of the stores merchandise on near perfect looking people in such a Stepfordish fashion, that it made me uncomfortable. Now I’m all here for the fresh faced beauty, minimal look. That’s why I like Glossier and their products. But I didn’t see any creativity. I saw forced smiles and platitudes all throughout the store. There wasn’t really room to try any of the products on and it was incredibly difficult to see where everything was because there were so many bodies blocking everything. At first I genuinely thought that the store didn’t carry the entire line of Glossier products. It took a lot of searching through an incredibly small store to find what I wanted. Then I was handed a piece of paper and told to wait in a long line (again, long lines weren’t the problem) and fill out my order like it was some sort of fast food joint. Actually, that’s sort of what it felt like–a makeup fast food joint during rush hour where everyone was tired and hungry, and just wanted their shit and to go home.
So I waited there with my friend and that list, by the two chairs where people could “hang out”, which I assume was the space that all the magazines and blog posts talked about, and wondered why I had traveled for this. Yes, I was frustrated at this point, but I still wanted the products because they were to be my birthday present. I was willing to deal with the strange atmosphere, unpleasantly crowded store breaking all sort of fire regulations, and not really being able to comfortably test the products because I was already there and knew what I wanted. When my friend asked me what was the point of going to the store instead of ordering online before I could even answer,the person in front of us turned around and point blank said “there is none”. Yep. There was none. This wasn’t a special place with amazing customer service and a cool vibe. Ordering online had always been a pleasant experience with free returns and beyond excellent service. This was pink pastel hell.
While in line I sent my boyfriend this string of texts:
Me: I just got to the place I went to NYC for and I’m extremely underwhelmed.
Him: What was it?
Me: A makeup store. It’s just so crowded. I want to explode. And I had a fucking turmeric latte. It was coconut milk and turmeric. I am so done with myself. I am clearly not an NYC person.
Him: I don’t know what turmeric is.
Me: It looks like gold dust. It’s a spice. I paid for damn coconut milk with gold dust.
Him: It doesn’t sound like you’re enjoying yourself.
Me: I want to kill me.
When I got to the register, I was relieved. I asked the cashier if I was able to use my store credit in the store (it was store credit I got because I made a return) and she said no. I’m not going to lie. By then I was pissed. Not at her and not visibly so, but I just didn’t get it so I asked her why I couldn’t use my store credit in the store. She said it was something about wanting the showroom to be special and separate from the online store. I internally screamed as she continued to explain how the store was really for New Yorkers and the whole point was that you could test the product and blah-blah-blah it was unfortunate, but no, I could not use my store credit in the store. I still got my birthday present and my friend cracked a joke about how awful the uniforms were to the staff and the cashier laughed because honestly, the uniforms were really fucking weird and the woman wearing it seemed to agree.
Now I was still hopeful and happy because I knew I was going to get a Glossier perfume sample. That made it all worth it to me. But as soon as I got on the subway and sprayed it on my wrists, I felt all the wasted hours hit me all at once. I gave my best friend my wrist to smell and she said “this is straight up Juicy fucking Couture”. And it was. By then, I was truly done.
I didn’t write this to shit on Glossier. I love their makeup. I’m going to continue to purchase it. Just online, never in person. Never ever again. I no longer think of Glossier as the “brand that cares”. They’re just like every other makeup company out there, trying hardcore to sell their products. And no, I would never wear their sweatshirt. Just their makeup.