My Experience at the Glossier Show Room

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.

 

 

 

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Cruelty Free Makeup in Every Category

I went Vegetarian almost two years ago and I decided to go cruelty free with my makeup purchases six months after that. Six months later in the summer of 2016 I decided to purchase non-cruelty free makeup again.  Why? A lot of cruelty free makeup companies aren’t available at the drugstore and many cruelty free makeup companies are owned by companies that test on animals. Additionally, many of the ingredients in cruelty free makeup have been tested on animals and therefore, consist of ingredients that have benefited from the ability to test on animals (a fact which many companies don’t advertise). Some of these ingredients are also  known to be harmful to both humans and animals. It seemed to me to be a on-win-situation. Still, most of the makeup I purchase is cruelty free because despite my cynicism and research, I do believe in an individual’s power to make informed purchasing power and I don’t agree with animal cruelty. However, I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong, even as I’m strongly considering making the decision to go cruelty free again. There are a lot of factors that go into that decision, including wealth, accessibility, safety, and personal beliefs, which mean that I am most definitely not going to sit here and say that cruelty free is the way to go for everyone without considering all factors involved. What I am going to do is offer some well researched options and allow you to make your own decisions based on what you are looking for in makeup. Each category includes affordable options.

SPF: One thing I will always say no matter what is don’t ignore sun protection. Don’t do it.

Elta MD makes great chemical and physical SPFs and is cruelty free

Glossier’s Invisible Shield is  a good chemical SPF that doesn’t break me out, is good for sensitive skin, and is colorless.

CeraVe has as SPF, cruelty free options in a variety of formulas.

Moisturizer:

I exclusively use CeraVe’s night time PM moisturizer or Moisturizing Lotion. They’re fantastic options that haven’t failed me yet.

Primer:

Elf has several good primers that are effective and cheap but my favorite is NYX’s Pore Filler. It’s identical to Benefit’s Porefessional and genuinely works.

Foundation/ Base:

Nar’s Radiant Tinted Moisturizer has SPF 30 and comes in a variety of colors with a beautiful finish.

Wet N Wild’s Photofocus line comes in 20 shades and looks beautiful and subtle on the skin. My favorite traditional foundation I’ve ever tried. Very affordable

Concealer/ Correctors:

Nar’s Radiant Creamy Concealer is quite beautiful for all over the skin and for highlighting

Glossier’s stretch concealer is great for undereyes and dry skin. Limited shade options.

Wet n Wild’s Photofocus Concealer is another great option for undereyes and spot concealing. Once again, very affordable. Only six shade options. For correctors, try Wet n Wild’s Cushion Correctors in yellow, green, peach, or lavender for your specific skin concerns.

Blush:

Wet n Wild makes great, pigmented (sometimes too pigmented in my opinion so be careful), and extremely affordable blushes.

Glossier’s Cloud Paints are seamless and undetectable on the skin. A liquid/ cream formula.

Nyx’s HD blushes are my favorite affordable blushes, my favorite being the shade Pink in Town.

Nar’s powder blushes are the best and most impactful blushes I have ever tried.

Also try Bite Beauty’s Multisticks for some highend, cream to powder, mutlitasking color.

Bronzer:

Any of Physician’s Formula’s bronzers, but especially the Butter Bronzer. It smells like coconut and is a creamy, powder formula. Unfortunately this line comes in extremely limited shade options (for the most part light and medium).

I also enjoy Wet n Wild’s Cafe au Slay cushion bronzer for a darker, more red tone. And their contour palettes which are a dupe for more Marc Jacob’s expensive contour palettes.

Highlight:

Nyx makes great highlights in cream, powder, and liquid formulas. Highly recommended, especially the Duo Chromatic line.

Elf’s baked highlighters are beautiful if you work with them a little. Scrape off the first layer of product and they work like a dream.

Glossier’s Haloscopes are beautiful and faultless when it comes to minimal makeup. They leave a wet/ glossy look on the face.

Wet n Wild’s cushion highlight is a light pinky shade that is a dupe for Benefit’s High Beam.

Try Essence’s Pure Nude Highlight for an affordable, glow-from-within powder highlight.

Powders:

Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powders in any shade are a great setting/ finishing powder for all skin types and won’t emphasize dry patches.

Physician Formula’s  SPF powders are another great setting and refreshing/ oil-soaking option.

Lipsticks:

Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Line is highly pigmented, great smelling, and my favorite line of lipsticks ever.

All of NYX’s lipsticks which come in a variety of colors and finishes. My favorite lines are their soft-matte lip creams, matte lipsticks, butter cream lipsticks, and round lipsticks.

Wet n Wild’s Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks are some of my favorite Liquid Lipsticks of all time, especially the shades Missy and Fierce and Berry Recognize.

All of Colourpop’s lipstick formulas. Highly affordable with limitless options. Seriously, try these out.

Lipgloss:

Glossier’s clear lipgloss is fu**ing beautiful and isn’t  goopy. I love it and it lasts as long as a lipgloss can last.

Nyx’s butter and intense butter lipgloss. The original butter lipglosses are very juicy and come in a variety of colors. Great for nude glosses The butter lipgloss formula is thicker and more intense. My favorite shades are Oatmeal Raisin and Toasted Marshmallow.

Lipliner:

I lover both Colourpop’s and  Wet n Wild’s lipliners for less drying finished that stay forever. Nyx’s Slide on Lip Pencils are also a beautiful option (especially the shade Nude Suede Shoes).

Eyeshadows

Nyx and Colourpop make my favorite singles in many different shades and finishes. I also love Urban Decay’s singles for a more expensive option.

Too Faced Eyeshadow palettes (particularly their Natural Eye Palette and Sweet Peach Palette) are my favorites all around. The Natural Eye palette is more cool-toned while the Sweet Peach Palette is warm toned.

Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Modern Renaissance Palette was well worth the money and has incredibly pigmented shadows. The red shades are my favorites.

Wet n Wild’s Color Icon Palettes are a highly pigmented, affordable option. Try Walking on Eggshells for a more natural, but lovely option, to see what I mean.

Eyeliner:

For liquid I love Physician Formula’s 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum for a more shiny finish and Nyx’s Epic Ink Liner for a more matte finish. Both are perfect for a cat eye.

Urban Decay makes my favorite pencil eyeliners for definition. My favorite shade is a brown called Whiskey.

Eyebrow Pencils and Gel:

Glossier’s Boy Brow in Brown is my all time favorite brow product. It plumps the brows, tints them, sets them, and applies in seconds. I wear this along all the time.

For eyebrow pencils, try Nyx’s Micro Brow Pencil (truly a quality, though not always a color dupe, for Anastasia Beverley Hill’s brow pencils). However, my favorite cruelty- free brow pencil for my brows is Elf’s two dollar brow pencil in Neutral Brown. Their eye brow powder/ gel duos are also fantastic and easy to use.

Mascara: 

This is the area in which I have the least experience. All my favorite mascaras aren’t cruelty free. However, I’ve read and heard amazing things about Wet n Wild’s Lash Renegade and Essence’s Princess Lash Mascara. Both are incredibly affordable and I will be purchasing them after my current mascara’s run out.

Setting Spray: Elf’s Makeup Mist and Set and Wet n Wild’s Photofocus setting Spray are great options to refresh and take away the powdery look of makeup. Also NYX’s Dewy Setting Spray to enhance the longevity of makeup.

Brushes/ Sponges: I exclusively use Wet n Wild, Elf, Real Techniques, and EcoTools brushes. All are affordable, as are the Real Techniques Sponges and the EcoTools sponges (my current favorites).

Thank you for reading! What are your favorite cruelty free products? My next step is trying some of Etsy’s affordable, indie, cruelty free makeup brands.