Tuesday, March 14, 2017

REVIEW: Glossier Cloud Paint


I've snarked a lot about Glossier on this blog. I think their skincare is overpriced and overhyped with the obvious exception of the Milky Jelly Cleanser and, to some extent, their lip balm. I enjoy a lot of their makeup, but I also know the ingredients lists and sheer, fleeting formulas make them a hard pass for many. But somehow, I always get suckered in to their new product releases. Their marketing campaigns are clearly aimed at lazy, Instagram-obsessed mother fuckers like me, sure...but it's also the fact that I really like some of that makeup! I wear the Perfecting Skin Tint and Haloscope on the regular, and the Generation G lipsticks are my go-to lazy day lip colors. A tube of flavored Balm Dot Com lives in my work bag. Still, I apparently have unreasonably high expectations and a low tolerance for "all of our models are size 2 perfect skinned teenagers who never wear foundation because they use our amaaaaaaazing skincare!" marketing, so I crank and complain.

Then Glossier announced that they were releasing a liquid blush, and I was pretty excited. I tried to hide my glee beneath that veil of snark ("Are you fucking serious with boysturizer?!"), but I'm 99% sure I wasn't sneaky enough.

I'm not excited, I had a cramp.

Glossier's Cloud Paints cost $18 for each 0.33oz tube, though they're currently running a two-for-$30 promotion. The range includes 4 colors: Beam (peach), Puff (pink), Haze (raspberry), and Dusk (beige). Because I'm brown blush intolerant, I went with the first three shades.

The packaging is paint tube inspired, which is nothing new, as several others have pointed out. I'm not entirely sure I'd call it a blatant rip-off of K-beauty products, though; that packaging style has been around for a while. Remember MAC Paints in their heyday, when they came in a dozen different colors? (If you don't remember, I'm showing my age and you can ignore me.) It's cute, it's portable, and it works decently, although I will note that my tube of Beam blew up a bit when I first removed the safety seal:


I haven't had any more mishaps since, but this type of packaging is definitely prone to bubbling and bursting in my experience. Just a heads up!

Now, I figured I'd love these, because I'm a sucker for liquid blushes and they looked mad pretty on their models. But a few things made me go "eh?" before they even reached my doorstep. First, I have to do my usual thang and complain about the shade range: the only shade that really seems to show up well on their darker skinned model is Haze. The current color selection is geared toward light to medium skintones. A comment from the company on their own Instagram actually confirmed this: the only shade they suggest for those who wear the deepest Perfecting Skin Tint, Rich, is Haze.


Guys. If you're going to drop a new product, the least you could do is try to have more than one shade that works for your clientele with dark skin. You came out with a deeper highlighter shade and released darker Perfecting Skin Tint shades when people complained; clearly, you know this is A Thing.

Still, I did and do assume that they'll update the range. No problem, right? Except then they launched the Cloud Paints, and as per usual, the product page was a bit much:

The pillowy, gel-cream formula is designed to be the most user-friendly cheek color in existence...One-of-a-kind, lightweight gel-cream texture makes for silky, even application.


I said it when they launched the Generation G lipsticks and I'll say it again: these are not revolutionary, no matter what Glossier says. And I know I rag on them a lot for doing the "OMG SOOOOO NEEEEW!" squee game that most companies do, but I feel like they just go so hard with that line. Then again, I have to repeat that I'm weirdly snarky about this company for somebody who likes a good 50% of what they produce, so take my griping with a grain of salt.

I mean, really take it with a grain of salt, because I think these are pretty damn nice overall. The ingredients list is loaded with silicones, which explains why these have such a thin, soft texture and are so easy to blend. I was able to get a seamless, flushed look in less than a minute. And because they are so sheer, it's tough to overdo them or to get harsh lines. Granted, I'm used to applying cream and liquid blushes with my fingers, but I actually think even a liquid blush newb would have zero issues with these. Just dot the product where you want it, then tap it out gently with your finger--easy. (You can certainly apply this with something like a flat foundation brush, but really, it's easier just to use your fingers.) Cloud Paints certainly fit Glossier's "effortless, natural beauty" style. The formula is scentless, dries down completely, builds easily, and is just plain delightful for me.


The one exception to this is Haze. I found its formula a bit thinner and more watery than the other two shades, and I had to work a bit more to get a smooth application. I think you can actually see the texture difference between Haze and the other two shades in the above swatches. It wasn't terrible, and I think having to be very light-handed because the color was so bold factored in to it. Still, it's worth noting that you might get a slightly different experience depending on the colors you use.

From left to right: Puff, Beam, Haze.

Here they are on my actual face. Again, I think you can see that Puff and Beam applied a bit more smoothly for me, but the look of all three is generally consistent. It's natural, soft, and very pretty. Puff might be my favorite, which is sad, because I need another favorite powdery pink blush like I need a hole in the head.

Now, I don't usually talk about staying power when it comes to blushes, because that's not often a problem for me. As a dry-skinned person, color products tend to stick to my face like glue. But I want to note that I didn't have any problems with these fading throughout an 8 hour day. That's impressive, given how lightweight they are, and the fact that they're...well, Glossier. The company isn't exactly known for creating long-wearing makeup. It's not their gig. But these get a star from me for wear.

Overall, I think these are a solid addition to the Glossier lineup. Actually, they're more than solid: it's their best, most user-friendly makeup product yet. Update that shade range and be aware of formula inconsistencies, and you folks could easily have a five star product.

In the meantime, take my veil of snark, Glossier. I think it's time I said goodbye to it and embraced the rather good makeup you're producing...at least for now.

I've already included two gifs portraying Sassy Long-Dead White Guys in Wigs...might as well go for broke.

RATING: 4 out of 5.
These products were purchased from Glossier.com using store credit earned through referrals.

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! They all look lovely on you, very watercolor-like. As a fellow dry-skinned lizard person, I'm always happy to see a new cream blush release. Not gonna buy it right now, because I'm a grad student with a limited budget - but maybe in the future.

    Glossier's 'skin first, makeup second' motto has always vaguely annoyed me. As if their lackluster skincare line would help anyone with genuine skin issues... Though I may just be resentful because I have plain facial features and hormonal acne, so I'd never be an ~effortless Cool Girl~ even if I bought a wheelbarrow full of Glossier products.

    Also! Their release post on ITG! "Over the past couple of decades or so, blush has gotten a bad rap. People say it’s stodgy, unnatural, old-fashioned… And you know what? We agree! There hasn’t been any major blush innovation in a minute and we were craving some. So we made it ourselves!" Uhhh, the Bite Beauty Multisticks came out pretty recently, and draping is starting to become a thing again. Don't kid yourselves, guys. You are not the sole arbiter of cool.

    Sorry for the rant in your comments, but maybe someone else can relate :P I have a love/hate relationship with Glossier, too. Why must you make such great stuff and market it in such a smug way???

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    1. Yeah, it's that, "We know nothing new is happening, but WE'RE here to save you!" when you're actually producing solid-but-standard products that gets me. Every press release and ItG article is just coated in it. Take it down a notch and focus on the other positives of your products: they're easy to use, they're skin-line, they're fragrance-free, etc.

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    2. Blush has got a bad rap? Really? I have been reading fashion magazines and then beauty blogs for the "past couple of decades or so," and I can't recall much avoidance of blush as being "stodgy"? I guess I haven't been listening to the cool kids (except I totally was "a couple of decades or so" ago).

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    3. To be fair, I think they're talking more about the average consumer. I know a decent number of makeup wearing people, and almost none of them wear blush. They usually say it's because they "don't want to look like a clown." So I don't think that point is entirely invalid.

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    4. Oh interesting! Most of the people I know who wear makeup wear blush. I've never heard that. I guess my sister doesn't wear it, but she has very rosy cheeks naturally.

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    5. I actually thought of blush as a bit stodgy when I first started wearing makeup (5-6 years ago), but that was probably because I grew up with older women telling me I should wear it because I was so pale. Once I realized what blush could do for me, though, I never looked back!

      I've noticed that the big YouTube gurus either don't wear blush at all or use it as a kind of afterthought--it's all about the highlighter and contour these days. Maybe that's what Glossier was referring to?

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  2. I think they look great on you, I was worried they wouldn't dry down but now that I know they do it's really tempting!

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    1. They do dry down--not sticky or tacky at all!

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  3. It feels so weird to like a brand's products and hate (or at least feel deeply critical of) their marketing. I'm that way with Urban Decay. I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer that I'm not into their whole Sinead O'Rebellion schtick. Those blushes look lovely on you! Especially Puff.

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    1. I think it bothers me because there are much better avenues they could use. Again, none of these products are actually groundbreaking, so you're going to get snark for claiming they are. Why not focus on the other pros of your makeup? It's easy to apply, it's quick, it looks natural, so on and so forth. That should still appeal to people even when supposed novelty wears off.

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  4. There seem to be a lot of people out there who really dislike Glossier's marketing but have time for their products. These do look super nice. If I could get them I might pick one up for my mom, who loves cream and liquid blushes. All three look very pretty and natural on you.

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    1. They're apparently working on Canadian shipping this year. :)

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  5. I had a similar epiphany about Glossier the other day. Yes, I snark on their Cool Girl (TM) imagery and "we're your BFF!" ethos, but at the end of the day I like Glossier's aesthetic and several of their products, so...whatever. Maybe it's time I accepted that I'm not immune to their marketing after all, and that's okay. However, I do agree that they need to cool it with the MOST GROUNDBREAKING PRODUCT EVAR language. Especially because their skincare takes so much inspiration from French pharmacies and their makeup from k-beauty. I once came across a Generation G ad with the tagline "we just reinvented lipstick," which...no, you didn't.

    The blushes look great on you! And I had fun checking out those trademarks while writing my review. "Wowder," really? Jesus.

    That first gif is from 1776, right? My roommate and I were SO obsessed with that movie in college.

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    1. It is from 1776, you fantastic nerd, you! I'm actually not wildly in love with that musical, mostly because the songs are meh (and the decent ones are often ruined by singers who spend so much time caterwauling that they slur the whole damn thing, ex: "Molasses to Rum"). And I'm biased because I get frustrated that so many fictionalizations of this era do my man John Dickinson dirty. But there are a few musical gems ("Sit Down, John!"), I'm fascinated by the era, and I can't help but love Founding Father Feeny.

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    2. I don't love all the songs either (I'm not a huge fan of musicals in general), but damned if "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men" isn't a masterpiece. I also love the guy who plays Franklin. He reminds me of one of my favorite college professors.

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    3. Ooooh, "Cool, Conservative Men" does dear John Dickinson SUPER dirty, but it's such a delight. I love hurling it at people these days.

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  6. Glossier's marketing drives me crazy. I was writing a review of Milky Jelly (which I like!) and it took a bunch of paragraphs for me to write myself into understanding why. A big part of it is that they hype everything as innovative when it isn't, and a big part of it is that they push their particular aesthetic as (almost morally?) superior to other aesthetics. But I agree that their products are mostly solid. Maybe they'll be in Sephora soon, then I can buy without engaging with their website :/

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    1. Also, Emily Weiss was on the podcast Fat Mascara last week and I thought the interview was really interesting, worth a listen.

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    2. I loved your review! I don't use Milky Jelly because I have a slight preference for LRP Toleriane, but it really is a lovely product.

      Also, yes, that interview was great! She was genuinely enthusiastic. I have no qualms with the people behind the brand, I swear; I just sometimes get a little irked by their marketing and the weird cult-ish behavior they seem to encourage.

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  7. can I ask what lipstick you're wearing in the photo with haze?

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  8. I think on Glossier's insta post they were saying that Cloud Paint in general works with all skin tones (Cloud Paint. Blah blah blah. Works on all skin tones.) though people may feel that what Glossier said is a debatable assertion.

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    1. I don't see that, though...? The set up is "Shade: description. Who it works for." "Works for all skintones" is only listed for Haze. They specifically leave off the deepest skintones (Rich) for 3 of the 4 shades.

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