Is the eye cream a scam? I think this to myself every time I gently dab on some during my nightly skincare routine. It feels a lot like regular moisturiser—and sometimes I skip the step entirely in favour of applying my favourite MALIN + GOETEZ Revitalising Eye Cream under my eyes instead. Things have always seemed to be fine. While there are definitely formulas out there targeting specific eye concerns like puffiness, bags, or dark circles, I’ve never had issues I felt warranted an entirely different product like Bubblewrap.
Eyes and lips? Yeah, I was confused too. I was also a little sceptical. While I’ve tried and enjoyed most of Glossier’s skincare launches, nothing’s earned a permanent spot in my routine and Bubblewrap was no different.
Glossier calls itself a “people-powered beauty ecosystem,” which is a really idyllic way of saying that they sell a variety of overpriced cosmetics that emphasise your ~natural~ beauty. Unfortunately, this means that all of their foundation is horribly under-pigmented and incredibly moisturising to the point of oily, greasy disaster. Their skincare line promises to annihilate your pores with excessive moisture to achieve a plump, juicy canvas on which you can then apply more moisture so that you can be the most moisturised version of yourself, which is obviously your best self.
But they really outdid themselves with their trademark fragrance: Glossier You *cough* bullshit *cough*. True to its stupid name, the perfume is designed to enhance your natural aroma—the product description literally claims that your skin is the primary ingredient and integral to You’s “familiar human-y” scent. Ignoring the fact that the phrase “human-y scent” is creepy and lowkey triggering, I simply don’t understand the appeal in paying £60 to smell more like myself. Not like I smell bad or anything, but if I truly wanted to smell more like myself, I would probably work out and save the £60.
It is true that some Glossier products have been celebrated for their utility and innovation: The Boy Brow brow gel and Cloud Paint cream blushes are cult classics that many wannabe Instagram influencers swear by. But it turns out that these Glossier classics are no more effective than their cheaper drugstore counterparts. Except those don’t come with cute stickers! Fuck! It’s almost like the primary motivating factor for choosing Glossier over drugstore options is opportunity to brand yourself as a Glossier gal.
Here we see the real reason why Glossier has taken over as the pastel pink dictator of the millennial beauty scene: ingenious branding. Glossier’s marketing is centered on the premise that you’re already beautiful and therefore don’t need makeup or skincare. So when you purchase Glossier, it’s almost like you’re purchasing newfound self-confidence, which sounds wholesome until you realise that you’re spending approximately £150 to look like you just woke up from a fever dream.
This empowering makeup minimalist mentality manifests in advertisements that depict models with already-flawless skin and impeccable bone structure demonstrating how Glossier concealer helps them hide their barely-there undereye circles. The underlying message of the company is that you’re already beautiful just way you are… you know, as long as you’re a model with an unlimited amount of disposable income.
Aside from the appeal of joining the circle-jerk of self-appreciation, I couldn’t help but wonder why someone would willingly spend £12 for a bottle of repackaged Vaseline (I’m not even kidding, look at the ingredients, sis!). The answer to this question is hiding in plain sight: the packaging itself.
Everyone knows that if you want to get your money’s worth from a Glossier product, you have to post a photo of it on your Instagram story, with a caption that asserts you “never leave the house without it!”
It’s almost like Glossier products are so ineffective that nobody can tell you’re even wearing them if you don’t consistently flaunt all of the obnoxiously recognisable staples of the brand: cute stickers on your water bottle, millennial pink bubble wrap Ziploc bags repurposed to carry your thicc Muji pen collection, and abstract posters of intertwined female body parts that are inexplicably splurged over Instagram ad’s.
This is a hypocrisy that continues to astound me: How does a company that purportedly aligns itself so rigidly with “wholesome” values and the defiance of beauty standards end up selling ultimately meaningless aesthetics and bottled petroleum that is overpriced.
Perhaps this hypocrisy is precisely what makes the Glossier persona so sought-after among the Instagrammers of today: sad, try hard privileged millennials with self-esteem issues and clearly access to too much disposable income, who value products based on their social media ‘likes’ clout and aesthetics rather than objective quality.
Rant over. oh and as for Bubblewrap, I wouldn’t bother.