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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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Glossier’s rise to fame and fall from grace

Glossier, a brand founded in 2014 and mainstream in many women’s skincare and makeup collections, was one of the first brands of the 21st century to market skincare first and makeup second. But as we roll into 2024, will Glossier be able to stay afloat in the now-crowded industry of skincare? Or is the millennial beauty brand almost gone for good?

Glossier was founded in 2014 and actually started off as a blog called “Into the Gloss,” created by Emily Weiss. It was originally made to help women share beauty tips as well as give honest reviews on products. The blog blew up in popularity with over six million viewers a month. The popularity of the blog caused Weiss to launch the sister brand called Glossier only four years after the blog’s debut. Glossier, regardless of launching with only four products, grew fairly quickly. By 2016, the brand’s classic light pink packaging overtook the Instagram feed of every woman, man and teenager. The pink bubble wrap and minimalist design set it apart from most other skincare products on the market at the time.  Glossier is what many believe to be the turning point from the heavy full coverage makeup of 2016 to the minimalist makeup or “clean girl” makeup of today. 

In 2019 Glossier was the “it” brand. Celebrities such as Timothee Chalamet were caught wearing the brand’s merchandise and Gigi Hadid raved about her favorite products; however, in the summer of 2020 the brand sparked controversy as many former retail employees accused Glossier of racism and a toxic work culture. Many of these former employees asked buyers to boycott Glossier. This along with the pandemic caused major issues for Glossier and the company struggled to stay afloat. As more and more clean and aesthetically pleasing brands were released, Glossier with their slow to release dates and pink marketing campaigns were not enough to draw viewers in.

 To make matters worse, in July of 2022, Glossier, after raising $80 million in funding, announced they were going to lay off 80 of their corporate employees (approximately one third of the company). Many of the laid off staff took to social media to share their disdain with the brand as well as their personal negative experiences while working there. 

Glossier was also heavily scrutinized for their minimal shade range, leaving many women of color out of the Glossier equation. However, in February of 2023, Glossier announced a partnership with Sephora.  The formerly website exclusive brand would now be much more accessible for the average consumer,  many women were very excited by this news, things seemed to be looking up for Glossier. 

Nevertheless, soon after launching in Sephora, Glossier reformulated their most iconic and popular product “The Balm-dot com.” This caused outrage among fans of the company. Glossier, who had in the past rooted themselves in listening to their fans, was now going against exactly what they wanted. Glossier had seemed to have lost its way. The reformulation took place due to Glossier wanting a more sustainable label, along with sephora pushing for environmental sustainability in their brands.

 As we near the end of 2023 and enter 2024,Things aren’t looking good for Glossier. Despite the initial increase in sales when introduced in Sephora the brand has stayed stagnant. Though they have introduced new products, there seems to no longer be anything special about Glossier. Similar pretty pink and minimal packing could be found in 30 different brands in Sephora alone. With every celebrity, beauty influencer and rich kid having a skincare line, the market has become oversaturated.  There is no longer a place for Glossier in the beauty industry. In the coming years we will see if Glossier can stay alive in competitions with these brands, or if they will be just another drop in the bucket of companies that got too big too fast. 

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