After four years in business, the beauty website Into the Gloss is branching out in a big way. And by big, we mean four fluid ounces. Yes -- it's now selling its own products.
Well, not Into the Gloss, per se. The line is called Glossier. While it's informed by the former's content, it operates independently as a direct-to-consumer sister brand to Into the Gloss, founder and CEO Emily Weiss says. Glossier will be rolling out its products in batches of "curated collections," starting with a four-piece range of skincare-focused lotions and balms that goes for $80. Individually, the products range from $12 to $26.
It's not terribly surprising that Into the Gloss would start making its own products. The site is in essence a growing archive of personal narratives, where women detail every last product in their beauty arsenals — how they apply them, how often and to what effect. The site didn't start as the basis for a focus group comprising supermodels, Chanel ambassadors and influential creatives, but it is that. When read collectively, the stories start to paint a picture of What Women Want when it comes to beauty.
It's also about what Weiss wants. She started Into the Gloss four years ago out of a desire for well-designed editorial that tackled beauty in a smart, interesting way. Glossier is the product of a similar itch, Weiss says, this time for a beauty brand that she would want to "be friends with."
"I don't think Glossier should be one of these brands that's untouchable and about glamour and aspiration, but you can't get there," Weiss says. "Everyone can be a Glossier girl. It's about a certain spirit and independence and freedom and being a little silly."
The products arrive with cute, bubble letter stickers for personalizing the unfussy pink and white bottles. To create Glossier's clean but cheeky branding, Weiss recruited two Paris-based designers with experience at Surface to Air and Self Service, in addition to an in-house senior graphic designer.
Products and all that they entail — production, packaging, shipping, e-commerce — meant making some big hires. Weiss brought COO Henry Davis on board earlier this summer to run business development. Umaimah Sharwani, formerly a fulfillment manager at Google Shopping Express, joined as operations manager. And Alexis Page, who spent nearly a decade at MAC Cosmetics as the director of product development, is now filling the same role at Glossier.
Page sidelined her experience with color cosmetics for the first collection, which centers on priming the face and includes a buildable moisturizer, a rosewater face mist, a "Perfecting Skin Tint" and a salve called "Balm Dot Com." (Snaps.) Together the moisturizer and skin tint are meant to fill in fine lines and pores to create a smooth surface. The pigment load in the tint is so light that Glossier only produced three shades, which Weiss says cover the entire spectrum of skin hues.
"I wanted skincare as makeup," Weiss explains. "I think what’s really important about your skin and getting your makeup right is having this moisturized, glowy, fresh, even complexion. And then you take it or leave it with color products and treat them as decoration, not as a mask."
The timing couldn't be more perfect. The collection launches on the heels of New York Fashion Week, during which one makeup artist after another opted for "natural" and "real" looks for the runway. On the final day of shows, Marc Jacobs took that trend next-level and sent his models down the runway with nothing on their faces but lotion.
Lest anyone panic, the next collection, out for holiday, will include some fun color products. But the skincare range on its own is solid — the skin tint is good, and the moisturizer is great for its plumping and anti-redness properties. We'd say this is one beauty line to watch.