The Supers Are Here!

It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of famed beauty blog Into The Gloss.  I’ve been reading and commenting since its early days, and it still is probably one of the first four websites I hit up each day when I want to do a little leisurely browsing just to get the creative juices flowing.  It’s also no secret that out of Into The Gloss has come Glossier, a skincare and makeup brand inspired by what real girls (and guys, quite frankly) need in real life.  Glossier’s marketing is genius, their branding is fresh, and their products are BOMB.  You may have read my review for their brow product, Boy Brow, that I posted some time last year.  I’ll be going on my third tube of that stuff in maybe a month or so.

So when I was contacted by an editor at Into The Gloss asking if I would be interested in receiving Glossier’s newest product a week before it launches to try it out and spread the word, I very, very, very quickly said “GIMME”.

Just kidding. I said a very professional why-thank-you-I’d-be-glad-to-help kind of thing.  With probably too many exclamation points.

But it was in the response I received after that, that I knew I’d hit truly the jackpot- the new launch consisted of not one, not two, but three new serums.  And as a tribute to the original supermodels from the 1990’s days of yore, these new serums have been dubbed The Supers.  Because let’s face it- Kendall, Gigi, and Bella would be nowhere without the original Cindy, Naomi, and Linda.

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If you’ve never used a serum before, you may find that they’re a great way to level up your skincare routine as they can deliver very concentrated ingredients to target specific concerns.  Prior to receiving the Supers, I’d been using a vitamin C serum to treat dark spots and improve my skin’s texture.  However, it leaves sort of a film on my face that doesn’t make applying sunscreen or makeup very easy.  I can always tell when I’m not a huge fan of a product when I forget to use it everyday, or even every week.  I’ve had this serum for a while and I’m only halfway through- I can’t blend makeup very evenly on top of it and I can’t put moisturizer on top of it without it rubbing off.  Absorbency is key.

Now on to the Supers.  My first observation was one of relief- trying to meet the needs of every skin type in one kind of serum is incredibly hard, and I am so glad that Glossier really went for it and created three serums and not just one.  I mean, does everyone use the same kind of moisturizer?  Do even you use the same exact moisturizer every single day of the year, day and night?  Of course not.  So why would creating one type of serum make sense?  Everyone’s skin is different, and even our own skin’s needs change from season to season.  In the winter out here my skin becomes extremely dry and dull, whereas in the summer I’m exposed to the sun much more and my eating habits aren’t as great thanks to nights out and restaurant food, which typically means greater acne risk.  So, a combination of three different serums to meet a variety of needs is a dream to me.

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Here’s what each serum is meant for, according to the press release I received from Glossier and from left to right as pictured above:

Super Glow – Vitamin C brightens and Magnesium energizes for days when you didn’t get enough sleep or your skin looks sallow.  It evens skin tone and creates a light-reflective complexion.  The water-like texture immediately absorbs into skin without a trace.

Super Pure – Niacinamide soothes redness and Zinc helps calm blemishes.  Junk food and stress are other skin-disrupting triggers that Super Pure helps counteract.  The light, water-gel formula quickly absorbs into skin.  It helps let go of irritation and flushes out impurities, including excess sebum that builds up inside pores.

Super Bounce – Hyaluronic Acid plumps skin up with moisture and Vitamin B5 brings elasticity back to tight skin for supple softness- the “bounce” you want.  Good for skin that’s depleted from blasting A/C or high high heat.  The smooth, milky texture soaks into skin without any stickiness or residue for instantly softer skin.

Here’s my very, very, very shorthand interpretation of each of these: Super Glow is for anti-aging and dullness, Super Pure is for acne and skin congestions, and Super Bounce is for dryness and roughness.  All three can be used to both prevent and tackle a variety of issues, or perhaps just one can be used daily to treat something specific.  It’s really up to you and what your skin needs.  Here’s what I did …

I chose to use Super Glow each night after removing my makeup, washing my face, and before applying my night cream.  Its consistency is just like water so I admit it’s not very “fun” to apply- no yummy texture.  Also, I’d place the dropper right on my skin and apply the serum directly, quickly patting it in.  Otherwise, if I placed it on my fingers first, it would absorb right into them and would never reach my face.  In the morning, my skin looked refreshed with a light glow.  A notable dark spot on my right cheek seemed to improve along its edges throughout the week, too (and I hadn’t used my previous Vitamin C serum consistently enough to track such changes).  Out of the past six nights, I’ve used Super Glow four nights.

In the morning, I chose to cleanse my face and then apply Super Pure right after applying toner.  Super Pure has that nice whoosh texture- it absorbs very fast and leaves skin ever so slightly mattified, from my perspective.  I liked using this in the mornings because I am always guilty of eating a bit of salty food late at night, and this week was no exception.  I’d hoped to counteract the havoc my popcorn consumption my wreak on my skin by using this, and it did seem to work.  I had no major blemishes throughout the week to track for effectiveness, but my pores were less visible after application and the little bumps I get on my cheeks (the telltale sign of my salty snacks) settled down after about two applications.    Out of the past six mornings, I used Super Pure on three of them.

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I chose to save Super Bounce for the weekend because I had a feeling it would be my very favorite of the Supers, and boy am I glad I did.  It’s definitely my favorite with the quickest payoff in terms of making your skin feel “yummy”, as I so love to say.  This is the most viscous of the three serums, and “bounce” is a completely appropriate term for describing its texture and affects on your skin.  I love using my favorite skincare products right before applying makeup, so I cleansed and then prepped my skin on Saturday and Sunday with Super Bounce.  Whew- my skin looked faboosh!  Glossier definitely delivered on the promise of improved elasticity with this one.  And in the winter out here, I know this stuff will not leave my side- soooo hydrating.  I’ll probably go through a whole bottle just getting through December and January alone.

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I’m going to continue to use all three of the Supers in tandem to see their long-term affects, but I’ll keep saving Super Bounce for weekend makeup prep because I know it’ll really be a lifesaver once the air gets drier.  My main focus will be on dark spots and anti-aging with Super Glow, and fighting little breakouts and pore clogging with Super Pure.  For long term results, I’m most excited to see what Super Glow will do with my dark spots.  For immediate results, I’m loving Super Bounce for its instant softness.

So there you go!  And if you’ve often thought about trying a serum but have been scared away by the expensive price tags, here’s some encouragement- each of the Supers only costs $28, and all three as a set costs just $65.  To put that into perspective, Caudalie’s least expensive serum costs $50.  Ole Henriksen’s least expensive serum costs $50.  The price tag for the Supers, I’ll admit, had me pleasantly surprised.

Let me know if you decide to pick one up, or perhaps try the whole set!  And I want to hear what they do for your skin over time.  The Supers go up for grabs on glossier.com Monday morning, probably at 6AM Eastern time.  So like, in four hours or so.  You’d better get some sleep.  xo, MR

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Boy Brow? Oh Boy!

It’s no mystery that I love famed beauty blog Into The Gloss.

I was lead to discover it one day as I read an interview with Derek Lam in Allure magazine; he suggested it as a beautifully curated beauty blog from an insider perspective (that of beauty editor Emily Weiss).  I was in a classroom when I first searched the blog; I remember exactly what computer I was on.  At the time I’d been reading junky, more celebrity focused blogs here and there, but that deep craving for real product knowledge and in-depth discussion over the nitty gritty stuff in beauty wasn’t really satisfied by such content.  I also loved seeing what other people used in makeup and hair, but I didn’t have much of a broad platform for these discussions other than my friends and magazines.  I loved going through other people’s makeup bags and medicine cabinets (still do!) to see what they used; finding a fancy bottle of shampoo behind someone’s shower curtain is like finding hidden treasure!  And yes, that’s me sneaking behind your shower curtain like Norman Bates’ mom so leave out all your good stuff for me to see and play with.

Anyhow, Into The Gloss, and particularly their interview features, successfully scratched this itch that I’d apparently been dealing with and it had me addicted around February of 2011.  The site seemed to clarify my perspective and ideas about beauty and the specific things I love about it.  For instance, not liking makeup for the sake of makeup, but enjoying it (and shampoos and perfumes and facewash) for the environment it creates and the ability you have to curate your own special little collection.  It’s like an expression of your identity- the eyeliner you like to wear, the way you like to wear it, when you choose to wear it.  ITG felt like it had more philosophy and nuance behind it than blind allegiance to a certain look or brand; more discussion and just plain sharing than crazy video tutorials.  ITG also played a large part in building my confidence in going makeup-free.  I came to see that your bare, well-treated skin could be just as great a luxury as a rich, smoked-out eye.

So when Emily announced the birth and creation of a beauty line in late 2014 based on ITG philosophies and the desires of their readers, I admit that I reacted in a somewhat possessive manner.  No!  No no no.  The blog had gotten too big and too well-known already since I’d begun reading; it was no longer my special little secret and now there’s a product line coming out?  Too much!  Can’t handle it.  I basically hipstered out on the whole thing for a while.

But the line- named Glossier (say glossy-YAY)- is just so beautiful and is marketed just so well.  You cannot help but be impressed by the entire experience that Glossier gives its customer.  The packaging and social media interactions are unique and adorable, down to the very cardboard box your shipment arrives in and the emojis they use that come as stickers with your order.  Their “skin is in” philosophy comes through loud and clear with products like the Skin-Perfecting Tint that seeks to just keep your complexion even and glowing in a way that doesn’t cover up or even “make up” your face.

Glossier has a vision that feels clean, fresh, and also very French (which you know I love).  The focus is on items like masks, face mists, and balms, like a no-nonsense-but-somehow-still-indulgent spa day for your face.  You can tell how much careful thought and editing went into this line, with my favorite example being the trademark shade of “Glossier pink” on all their packaging which reminds me of that pink door in Palm Springs.  In fact, that’s what all of Glossier reminds me of- Palm Springs.  Modern, luxurious, and yet still a little raw thanks to it’s natural environment.

I just can’t help but applaud the whole innovation of Glossier, even if I am feeling a bit jealous of how popular and awesome they’ve become and how everyone now knows it and wants to have them in their medicine cabinet.

Today, however, I am celebrating Glossier’s newest addition to its line, and it’s their very first color product.  This is Boy Brow!

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I knew a color product was on its way from the line, but when I discovered that it was a brow product, I might have done a mid-air heel click.  Brows are having their moment, and I feel like we’re all looking for that one product (ideally not two or three or four) that takes care of the whole picture.  As shown in my post from just a few weeks ago, I sometimes use up to four products at once on my brows (dry brush, two pencils, and gel), and that’s not counting tweezers and any browbone highlighting I choose to do.  Even my CK One product that I love so much still has two steps to it.

So when Glossier announced Boy Brow as “brows goals achieved” in one step, I was skeptical.  If it was to be an all-in-one, this meant the following needed to be true: the brush would need to be strong enough to brush brows into your desired shape without leaving too much product behind, the formula pigmentation would need to be concentrated enough to not need more filling in with some other product, the formula would need to leave a nice finish with some shine, and the formula would need to last without being stiff.

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I purchased Boy Brow in black because I perceived the brown to possibly be too auburn/red for my brows.  I received it yesterday, and …

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BOY BROW!

To have my brows look the way I want with just a couple literal strokes of a wand is pretty dreamy.  The wax formula is inspired by traditional hair pomade with beeswax and canauba wax, which makes sense since guys typically use a creamy but tough pomade when they want their hair to stay in place; why not the same for brows?  The formula also lasts all day, as in I’m looking at myself hours later as I write this and my brows haven’t moved.  However, Boy Brow doesn’t stiffen in the way that one other product I use does.  I enjoy this other formula-that-shall-remain-nameless for its shine qualities, but it can leave my brows very stiff and you can feel the gel stretching when you make expressions with your face.  Not so with Boy Brow.

Application was a cinch.  A couple tiny, gentle strokes with the tiny, gentle brush delivered enough pigment to my brows without leaving clumps of goop behind, and my brows were given a thicker, more full appearance which meant no need for extra filling in with a pencil.  The finish has a slight shine to it without looking wet, and the small, tapered brush separates every hair.

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After using Boy Brow with completely successful results for the past two days, I’ve placed this puppy on my bathroom counter, where I try to leave the products I don’t want to leave home without applying first.  If it’s going to be that simple, why not keep this out where it’s always handy?

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Boy Brow comes in three shades, and I’ve left no filter on the first selfie above so you can see how the black shade matches my brows spot-on.  I’m sure there’s a Boy Brow match for you, too.  To shop Boy Brow or to browse more of their awesome products, go to Glossier here.  Thanks for the fun, Glossier!  xo, MR

What I’m Obsessing Over: This French woman telling you how to wash your face

So, this kind of post is basically just me drooling over someone else’s post.  Namely, Into The Gloss’s post.  This website, as I may have mentioned before, literally changed my approach to beauty over two years ago.  It carries an extreme insider perspective (with founder Emily Weiss being either a current or former Vogue fashion assistant, I’m not sure … Into The Gloss may be her full-time gig now), and it provides a thorough and luxurious look into beauty complete with inspiration boards, product reviews (both drugstore and high-end), interviews of fashion and beauty insiders peeking into their routines, and so much more.

I think ITG was the first source responsible for getting me to both calm down and obsess even more over beauty.  I’ve realized that wearing absolutely nothing but some NARS Dragon Girl on my lips is perfectly okay, and yet I am more particular now over what I use on my skin than ever before.  I’ve never felt more affirmed in my love for a throw-it-up-and-go topknot than I have since becoming a regular ITG reader, and yet I now use Rahua shampoo (but only once a week, since I wash twice a week and I switch off between two shampoos, with the other typically being Aveda’s Color Conserve).  My hair doesn’t always look great, but it’s undeniably healthy.  I credit the fact that I’m satisfied with healthy-but-not-always-pretty hair to ITG, along with my beauty philosophy in general over the past couple years.

Anyhow, ITG also manages to produce some amazeballs how-to videos, including Emily’s smokey eye makeup, a lovely tutorial on contouring and brightening, and this little number on how to wash your face.  And you thought you knew how to wash your face!  Nope, not until a super-chic skin care expert with a glorious French accent tells you how!  Now, behold and be amazed.  You’ll want to listen to her say “thermal water” over and over and over.  xo, MR