UPDATE 3/4/15 : It's been a couple months since I've purchased my Glossier Phase I set (4 months to be exact) and I figured it's time to give this post an update. The photo below is a picture I had taken recently and features "my problem areas" — that is, my chin and capillary showy nose area. I haven't edited the photo above, so you can see how Glossier is good at making the skin dewy but not perfect. The effect isn't obliterating your features, which is awesome and over time has become my favorite feature.
In my review below I was pretty adamant about the only two pieces of the Glossier Phase I set being the Skin Tint and the moisturizer, and months later, I'm still 100% behind this statement. The moisturizer is definitely not replaceable, despite by braggadocio attitude at the end of my review that I can just replace it willy nilly with something else. It turns out the moisturizer truly acts (as advertised) as a primer for the Skin Tint. Further research on the Glossier site to find a reason behind this claim's efficacy finds that the moisturizer has a sort of skin plumping action and some alleged "diamond powder" that helps your skin glow. Listen, this may just be marketing speak but I'm on board because it does follow through on the promise to prime, therefore helping your skin be a little smoother before even applying the Skin Tint.
The takeaway is that I will be repurchasing the Skin Tint and the Priming Moisturizer together because I like the simplicity of the two products and how well it works into my makeup routine. I do have to reiterate though that beyond the occasional pimple on my chin my skin is not much of a hassle (#blessed, #notahumblebrag, #factsonly, etc.) When I do get more than the occasional blemish (which I do thanks to my woman hormones) I do supplement the Skin Tint with some more heavy duty concealer that I simply dot on top of the entire process.
And finally, don't forget the SPF! Just because it's not in the product (because it would likely change the texture of the moisturizer or tint) doesn't mean you should shy away from slathering some on your face after you moisturize.
**This post has NOT been sponsored. These opinions are my own and unbiased. In other words, I'm just like you, tryin' to figure it all out.**
ORIGINAL REVIEW 11/1/14:
You're looking at the only two pieces worth having in the Glossier Phase I pack: The primer/moisturizer and the skin tint (mine is in Medium.)
The experience: I recently purchased the set in medium with zero expectations. I'm not expecting miracles, but I was excited by #skinisin approach and their impressive roster of bloggers and fashion people that seemed to speek wonders about Glossier. I researched the products for days after the initial launch trying find some concrete answers about what the skin tint was all about since it seemed to be the star of the lineup. The website is pretty vague, cute!, but vague. Admittedly, I was intrigued and ultimately compelled to purchase because of the promise that Glossier — how the hell do you even pronounce the name anyway? Glossy-eh? Glossy-ER?— will not cover up your skin. It doesn't hurt that Emily Weiss, the gorgeous founder with seemingly perfect "I'm not wearing makeup, this is just my face" skin, is a very pretty salesperson for her own brand. The free shipping on the entire pack was also a plus, and upon reading the fine print there was a return policy if you were unhappy. So there's that.
The packaging: The box the set comes in is pretty nice. I didn't care for the pink bubble zip baggies the products com in, or emojis all over the inside of the box for that matter. I chose not to use the stickers because I really just don't care to accessorize my makeup, and frankly they did not seem authentic to the brand Glossier is trying to be. I would have eaten it up if this was Tavi Gevinson venture, who made a name with the Rookie hand-drawn whimsical feel, but not for Glossier. A major downside right off the bat was for the moisturizer tube cap not being as secure as it should be. I traveled with the Phase 1 set recently and opened my make up bag after a flight to find moisturizer literally everywhere due to the cap buckling under the pressure of being in my carry on. Other than that, pretty nice.
Rosewater spray: it's nice, but it's essentially just plain ol' rosewater spray. There's nothing really new here. I will say that the spray itself is a little intense — big globlets of water all over your face in one giant generous burst — but otherwise the water itself is just...nice. I probably won't order this again since I prefer Aveda's toners and sprays over this.
Moisturizer Primer: This is a winner for me, but only because it seems to make the skin tint work better. The lotion absorbs quickly, which is a great relief since the consistency is so thin. It does seem buildable as advertised, but be warned that if you have dry skin in the winter skin like me, you'll need another moisturizer before you put this on your face to get through the day. Otherwise you'll be itchy and with each smile and wince you'll have that awful stretchy skin feeling. Also, WTF at the fact that there is NO SPF in this. Wrinkle prevention = SPF daily, even when it's cloudy, so it's kind of insane that it's not even mentioned where or when any SPF would be used with this system. I use Neutrogena's Dry Touch 100 SPF daily anyway, but it would have been nice for a moisturizer to have it built in so I don't have to layer so many things on.
Balm Dot Com: This is a tube of Vaseline. Real hard-to-get-out-of-the-tube Vaseline. Nothing to see here.
Skin Tint (medium): Let's start by saying that my face skin is pretty fair, so it was a huge surprise that my skin shade matched so well with the Medium tint. I'm usually on the fair spectrum in any brand of tinted moisturizer or foundation, so I'm really kind of shocked that this is called Medium. I'll be very curious to see what Glossier names their additional shades for people with actual dark or medium skin tones — More-Medium? Super-Medium? Initial shade shock aside, the skin tint is an anomaly: It's a liquid, so just know that. And the bottle is tiny. There aren't really directions for how to apply it, or even how much you have to use, so I just pretty much go for it each morning with about 8-10 drops (depending on my complexion that day) to get the full effect. What's the full effect? In a word it's kind of rad. I put drops directly on my face, kind of dotting out a grid pattern over my cheeks, chin, and forehead, then I gently pat and spread the tint around my face until it disappears. Be warned that it will look like it does absolutely nothing for about a minute, but then all of a sudden it just changes to make your skin look a little more even and dewy as advertised. The less you use, the less this effect is apparent. So I'd say you have to be generous with the skin tint to be able to achieve the illusive "I'm hardly wearing makeup" look. After waiting a bit my skin is noticeably smoother, but definitely not caked or even made up, which is what makes this worth posting about in the first place. Disclaimer: My skin is pretty nice to begin with and I'm not a huge fan of foundation or "covering up" my skin. This is not a humble brag, but rather just a fact that I don't have to do (or like doing, for that matter) much to my face other than cover up my crazy visible capillaries around my nose and cheeks and the occasional pimple and redness. The Glossier skin tint is pretty great at obscuring those little imperfections but not hiding my skin or caking on a new texture to get a more airbrushed look. My makeup routine in the morning is 5-10 minutes tops, including washing, moisturizing and makeup, so if you're used to spending more time on your face in the morning you may not be into this super light coverage.
Overall? I'd buy the skin tint again, but maybe not the moisturizer. I'm going to continue to experiment with the lotion and whether I even need the Glossier one. Honestly, right now some readily available drugstore Pond's night cream is the most comfortable thing for my face right now, so I've been using that more and more.