In 2010, Emily Weiss, a then fashion assistant to a Vogue magazine stylist, created her beauty website Into the Gloss. While admittedly not knowing much about HTML and not feeling confident in her ability to write and edit posts on her own, she still however knew that she wanted her passion project to be beyond another orthodox beauty blog. From the start, instead of just listing her favorite products and making recommendations, Weiss included her enviable members only access to the world of hair, makeup and skincare from the angle of fashion’s elite. Through Into the Gloss, the glamour practices, tools and routine of her esteemed work space was made reachable for the rest of us that are hopelessly cosmetics obsessed.
If you visit the site right now, it is a panorama view of beauty news and the site has even scored interviews for their “what’s in your makeup drawer” segment The Face with current pop culture fixtures like all three of the Kardashian sisters, as well as women filmmakers, entrepreneurs and musicians. It’s one of the site’s most popular offerings because it is common knowledge that the Kardashians love makeup and it is a part of their outward brand, businesswomen like Nicole Warne and athlete Quincy Davis for once get to excitedly dish on what makes them feel even more like a goddesses via cosmetics. ITG is interactive, thoughtful and impressively treats beauty as both a community and a business and neither approach feels like an ersatz attempt. It does tend to lean towards the more higher-end spectrum of lines such as Elizabeth Arden and Shu Uemura. But Weiss and her staff know their audience, and readers don’t mind paying $25 for an item. They just want to know its worth beyond a celebrity endorsement and if one should really break their devotion to Estee Lauder and give Marc Jacobs’ foundation a try.
In October 2014, Weiss expanded her ITG empire in commencing a beauty line called Glossier. Launched during a sneak peek event, the feedback, such as kudos from New York based shopping inquisitive Racked, was excellent to continue forward. Weiss also raised a grand $10 million in funding, which included the support of big deal investors Andy Dunn and Manzanita Capital of Bonobo.
Currently this summer every Friday and until September 11, ITG and Glossier are hosting at their Soho-Chinatown headquarters in New York, Summer Fridays where potential customers of Glossier can see and test the line for themselves and make a purchase if they choose.
I attended Glossier’s first Summer Fridays on July 17, and it was a beautiful day in New York. It was hot but not unbearable. I was in the familiar territory of Soho because I’d worked in the area twice before.
When I got to 123Layafette Street, I was directed to take the elevator straight to the penthouse and just like the lobby, the penthouse was a crisp white and shiny, but not too polished to feel uninviting. It just looked clean! It helped as well that they had large windows for the sun to come in and a balcony overlooking a side of Chinatown and the skyline that preceded Lower Manhattan.
I had been greeted in the elevator earlier by an employee of ITG and Glossier who has carrying a tray of treats by Biagi. She warmly told me to enjoy myself and remind her of what flavored I wanted when she returned. (I think I took strawberry).
All of Glossier’s products were displayed on a long, rectangular table as testers for their guests.
I wanted to test them all but first I gravitated to the one “makeup-like” item, the Skin Perfecting Tint ($26). But I only saw three shades: Light, Medium and Dark. I already knew where this was going. I would be “lucky” if Dark would work for me, for the cosmetics’ industry version of “Dark” often really means “tan.” I swatched Dark on my hand and I was proved correct. It appeared ashy and fade-like against my skin color.
I was disappointed but not surprised and didn’t take it personally. I will acknowledge however that it is kind of sad that I’ve accepted most makeup brands not even remembering that my tone exist. I already got my go-to’s for cover-up anyway (like L.A. Girl Pro Concealer, Kiss Aqua’s BB cream, Maybelline Dream Mousse in “Cocoa” and Kevyn Aucoin).
I went on to test the rest of the line and I will say that from the Priming Moisturizer ($25), Soothing Face Mist ($18) to the BalmDotCom ($12) that the textures of the products felt smooth, light and refreshing. I really liked the Mist, which I concurred to be a more expensive equivalent to Evian’s face mist you can get at most drugstores.
The prices were higher than I would’ve liked, but Glossier does offer a “Phase 1” set with the above three items and Tint of your choice for $80.
They also have two masks, the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Moisturizing Moon Mask. Both $22 and futuristically packaged with lightly whipped formulas, they reminded me of Japanese cosmetic brands like The Face Shop and Mizon. According to Glossier’s website, the Moon Mask has “Sweet almond oil, plant-based squalane, and hyaluronic acid help to smooth fine lines and restore elasticity” and the Galaxy Pack contains “paired fresh, nourishing leafy greens with antioxidant superfoods in a base of gentle, purifying white kaolin clay for the ultimate skin detox.” I did kind of want one of the masks.
I decided to purchase and leave with just the coconut version of the BalmDotCom tube ($12). As I approached the Glossier clerk who was ringing people up with credit cards through an iPad, another guest, who just happened to be a Black woman too, was testing out two shades of the Skin Perfecting Tint I didn’t see at the start of the table. I asked the clerk if they had other shades and the Caucasian girl smiled and said “Yes! They’re coming out in the fall.” She promptly asked if I would’ve liked to join the email list to be made aware of its availability. I signed up. The other guest and I agreed that both shades were needed as “Dark ” wouldn’t be enough for their customers of color that would be into Glossier. I felt relieved that “Deep” and “Rich” would be on the way. I also got a better idea of what the Tint was capable of. It’s a very sheer formula in the lane of a tinted moisturizer (even less coverage than a CC cream). I’m a full coverage kind of girl but for summer days like when it hits 90 degrees, the Tint could work really well.
I really enjoyed Glossier’s presentation and seeing that Deep and Rich were coming in the inventory definitely relaxed me. They should honestly promote it more, because other women of color stepped in the showroom after I was leaving and I know they would be just as elated was I was to be made aware of them.
If you’re in New York City by the weekend, be sure to stop by ITG and Glossier’s showroom if you are interested. It’s open from 12-7PM every Friday until September 11 (and bring a credit card. I don’t believe they accept cash for purchases). It’s a friendly space and the line impressively stands it own. It’s pretty standard for a skincare line, but you will find something to like a lot.