When I walked to work last week and saw a giant, mysterious billboard on Broadway advertising the words “Glossier Play,” I immediately started speculating about what the cult-favorite beauty brand was cooking up next. Was it a social network for beauty obsessives? An alternative to YouTube? An adult playground with lipstick stations instead of swings? I never would have guessed the truth: That Glossier, a beauty company famous for its barely-there, “I woke up like this” makeup aesthetic, was launching a new brand with the exact opposite look in mind.
Glossier Play, which officially launched today (and has its own Instagram), is a line of uniquely textured, brightly pigmented products designed specifically for creating bold makeup looks. The first drop includes a high-shine lip lacquer in various poppy shades of pink and red, a highly-pigmented eye pencil that comes in 14 different colors, a one-step metallic glitter gel intended to make your eyelids look like jewels and a highlighter concentrate for the ultimate “going out” illuminating sheen. In other words, it’s makeup for people who love makeup — and want the world to know.
I’ve never loved makeup. Liked? Sure. But I’ve never been one of those people who clamored to buy the new Naked eyeshadow palette, or who spent hours in Sephora trying on different shades of lipstick. My personal beauty brand is about as low-key as you can get, and these days hardly consists of any makeup at all, which is why Glossier’s core arsenal no-makeup makeup products have always appealed to me. All I need is a swipe of Boy Brow and maybe a dab of Generation G, and I’m ready to start the day.
Given this perspective, I wondered what it would be like for people like myself who rarely wear makeup to “play” with Glossier Play. I conscripted two Man Repeller editors and fellow fans of the bare-faced aesthetic, Haley Nahman and Emma Bracy, to try out the new products with me. Scroll down to see how we looked, and what we thought.
Harling (Me), Fashion Editor
Review: I didn’t really give much thought to which products I was choosing to apply, relying more on instinct and what appealed to me from a joy-based gut instinct (the whole purpose of “play,” right?). I ended up gravitating toward the lip lacquer in a bright shade of siren red because it seemed like the most classic option, a teal version of the eyeliner because I thought it would bring out the blue in my eyes and a coppery iteration of the glitter gel because my reaction upon seeing it was something along the lines of, “Why the hell not?”
One of the things I love most about Glossier’s core no-makeup makeup products is how you really can’t mess them up — they’re so subtle it’s virtually impossible. I quickly learned that isn’t exactly the case with Glossier Play, and I had to have a wipe handy in order to correct the oscillations of my unpracticed swipes, lines and jabs. Despite my amateur approach, the products themselves were clearly best-in-class. The lip lacquer was super creamy and satisfyingly pigmented, the eyeliner went on smoothly and smudged easily with the tip of my finger for a cool smoky effect, and the glitter gel was way less messy than I expected. I could totally see how they were designed to be the building blocks of a makeup-lover’s paradise, even if I felt a bit like I was a little kid clumsily experimenting with the contents of my mom’s bathroom cabinet.
The final result wasn’t something I would wear on a normal work day, but I could absolutely see myself dabbling in one product at a time to complement my “going out” aesthetic on a Friday or Saturday night. Just for fun.
Emma, Associate Editor
Review: When it comes to making up my face, I am about as indifferent as your pet cat is when you get home from work. Enter Glossier Play. Thanks in part to the name, I didn’t take the application too seriously — and letting loose truly allowed me to have a bit of fun.
I started slow, with a swipe of lip color that needed neither a lot of know-how or dedication to pop (I chose a more natural-looking coral shade). Then I stepped out of my comfort zone (which is lined with all-black eyeliner, if at all) and lined my eyes in navy. Because I love the idea of highlighter, I dotted some on my cheekbones per Haley’s suggestion, et voila! Did I do it “right”? Probably not. Did I care about that? Not at all! I used the glitter not as shadow, but as general adornment, creating an aesthetic pillow for my eyes and top layer for my orange-tinted lips. All in all, this really was a playful experience that, sure, I would engage in again — the forever-teen in me LOVES glitter.
Haley, Deputy Editor
Review: When I first started playing around with the products, I used them in super traditional ways — a red lip, a rosy highlighter, a thin line of eyeliner — but when I looked in the mirror, I felt a little clownish. Then I realized I wanted to interact with this makeup in a way that was a little more playful (name check!), i.e. in ways I wouldn’t typically wear it. So I nixed the lip and added a thick line of sparkly green eyeliner to my top lid, glitter on top of the highlighter (“glitter freckles”), and a dot of blue eyeliner under each of my eyes. Everything went on easily and smoothly, making it fun to apply.
What do you think about this left turn for Glossier? Are you interested in trying it?