Glossier Sells Makeup by Telling Customers That They Don’t Need it

The no-makeup makeup look rocked the beauty industry a few years back. Makeup that makes it look like you’re pretty enough that you don’t need makeup. Kind of ironic, right? Spend money on makeup to look like you’re not wearing makeup.

But let’s face it, we’re all into it. Sure, there are still full-face loyalists who prefer the flawless look of full coverage makeup but no makeup makeup has picked up its own tribe. Minimalist makeup fans are usually millennial-aged women but range from middle-aged women to men. One of the most on-trend makeup brands is New York-based Glossier.

The Right Message.

Glossier has been so successful because it has gotten one thing incredibly right: messaging. Originally a makeup review blog, Glossier quickly evolved into the holy grail of minimalist makeup. Glossier sends a strong message to its customers: don’t let makeup hide your features, let it enhance them. Contrary to traditional makeup brands, Glossier’s purpose is to allow each consumer to decide for his/herself how and why he/she wears makeup.

 An Unexpected Method.

Glossier sells nearly all of its products online, a “rarity” in the industry. According to an article written by Business of Fashion, online beauty brands are “a growing retail segment that’s combining social interactions with e-commerce.” Only two brick and mortar showrooms sell the products and no other retailer carries the brand. Selling a product online, which is so dependent on testing in person, is a whole new concept. Even most of the brand’s perfume sales are made online. Glossier customers buy products without actually using them.

At first, I didn’t get it. I got all kind of ads on Instagram for this makeup that didn’t look like it did anything and I didn’t understand what the big deal was. The products came in small quantities and got mixed reviews. Yet, this brand only increased in popularity.

More than just Makeup.

Glossier isn’t just selling makeup. It’s selling confidence, self-acceptance and empowerment. The Glossier brand has positioned itself as morally superior to other makeup brands because Glossier cares about you. Glossier cares about what you think. Glossier cares about what you look like. Glossier cares about your skin. Glossier cares about your self-image.

The company’s homepage proudly displays a review from Vogue magazine. “(Glossier) allow(s) women to look like the best version of themselves, not an aspirational version of someone else.”

This description for Perfecting Skin Tint, one of the most popular products, proves that Glossier’s makeup isn’t trying to change what we look like. “What does it do? Evens out discoloration and leaves your face looking toned, smooth, and dewy… What won’t it do? Hide your freckles, cake your pores, or cover you up.”

Customer Conversion.

Glossier has captivated customers from all around the world with its message of natural beauty and effortless makeup routines. One review of Glossier’s perfume shows how ingrained this message actually is into consumers’ minds.

“Calling all (effortlessly) cool girls– Glossier You is for the girl who always smells good, but you can’t quite figure out what it is or why it just seems to draw everybody in. You is for that girl that is low key and minimal but gets ready with effortless style and purpose.”

Alyse Finlayson, a Glossier customer, said, “I love how Glossier promotes natural beauty. I think it’s refreshing in the world we live in where there are a lot of fake people trying to be someone they’re not. By encouraging natural beauty, they are encouraging people to be themselves. Everyone is beautiful with or without makeup. That’s not something you usually hear from makeup brands.”

Killer Social Media Presence.

Glossier’s active social media presence has only enhanced this personalized makeup concept. Most of the Instagram page’s posts are pictures sent in from customers. The page includes real-life selfies of girls with imperfect skin. Even some of the images of products look like they were shot on an iPhone in someone’s bathroom. The company is centered on its customers.

Glossier has gotten a lot of things right. And that’s why everyone is talking about it. Go look through the website, and if you don’t feel more empowered at the end, then look again.

Lindsay Steele is a public relations student at Brigham Young University. She currently works for the University’s College of Fine Arts and Communications External Relations office. She helps strategically plan college-wide campaigns, send email newsletters to students and prepare monthly reports for the college’s dean. She is graduating December 2019 and hopes to move on to a career in PR in Utah County. She enjoys cooking, reading, speaking Spanish and watching cat videos.

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