My Experience at the Glossier Toronto Pop-up Shop

I lined up on the day it opened to have a peek inside and finally try some Glossier products. The buzz around this brand has been unreal so I had to check it out, and I wasn’t disappointed. Keep reading if you want to hear my thoughts, what I bought, and why I didn’t end up buying any of their super serums.

At 1056 Queen St W, near Liberty Village by Ossington and Queen, I found myself lining up by the pale pink walls of the new Glossier Pop-up Shop. It opened on September 8th and will be there until September 14th. Impatient, I looked through the huge windows which shed light into the beautifully decorated interior. Tables full of their flagship skincare and makeup products were surrounded by more pink walls, pink veils, captioned mirrors and bright flowers. A well-dressed security guy/doorman told us when we were allowed inside.

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When you finally make it inside, you’re greeted by these huge Glossier murals printed on the walls.

The set up was interesting, since it’s a temporary pop-up shop. There were many identical tables in the store, two types: one for skincare, one for makeup. Testers were available at these tables with any applicators removed (i.e. brow spoolies, doe-foot applicators, etc.) from the product itself so you can use their disposable ones instead. This made things very hygienic, which I was all about!

Employees were dressed in the cutest pale pink jumpsuits, and you can approach the iPad-wielding ones to make your purchase. They only take card, using Square, and you collect your purchase at a table in the back of the store when your name is called. Click on the photos above to read more about what I saw.

What I Bought

Wowder – Light/Medium. $27.

This powder sounds great – it blots shine, blurs pores and apparently looks like skin. There’s a “trampoline mesh” which the powder goes through, so when you press down on the mesh, it stretches down to get to the powder. You then swirl your brush around the plastic. I’m kind of worried actually about how I’m going to apply this after I use it quite a bit because I can’t pour the powder out into the lid like I do normally. I guess I just press down harder to reach down further? I’ve used this only a couple of times now but I love it! Considering how my other powders cost more than this, it does a pretty good job. I agree it does blur my pores a bit (not completely because my pores are huge) and mattifies the skin but the coverage is quite minimal so this is definitely a finishing powder and not a powder foundation.

Balm Dotcom – Mint. $15.

This is a multi-purpose universal skin salve. There are many formulas for this balm, some which are tinted. I almost got the birthday cake one because well… it smells like cake and the package was sparkly. But Jen from clothesencounters says the mint one is her favourite so I had to get this one! There’s a 3-pack which will save you $5, but this is my first time trying it so I just stuck with one. I’ve only used it on my lips and I really like it because it feels cooling and therapeutic. I also plan to use this for any dry patches on my face, and probably on my cuticles, too. The product comes out very thick like Vaseline but spreads well and doesn’t feel sticky.

Soothing Face Mist – Rosewater Spray. $22.

This is the last item I bought, and tbh I only picked it up because I didn’t want any of their other skincare items and I had to get something. This rosewater spray is very hydrating but the sprayer nozzle is pretty aggressive, so definitely keep it at a further distance when using it (you can see in the second photo that the nozzle makes large droplets). The ingredients list sounds good and even though $22 seems like a lot, other hydrating mists at Sephora cost a lot more (for less product) so it’s still a good price to me. When dried on the face, it doesn’t feel sticky at all (like some hydrating sprays) and takes away some cakiness/dryness.

Why I Didn’t Buy Any Super Serums

Before actually browsing the store, I really wanted to buy at least one serum. Glossier has 3 serums all formulated to do different things (super pure, bounce, and glow) but I didn’t end up buying any because I realized I had dupes at home. The formula of the serums (I tried all three) were very watery which I liked, and absorb well into the skin without feeling sticky. They’re all transparent and colourless as well. However after looking at the main ingredients, this is why I didn’t buy any of them at $35 each:

  • Super Pure: Niacinamide + Zinc. I have a serum by The Ordinary which is literally also niacinamide + 10% zinc, but it was only $7 (lol). The consistency of the Glossier serum is definitely more watery and dries down less tacky, but I didn’t want to waste my money.
  • Super Glow: Vitamin C + Magnesium. I’m currently using the Ole Henriksen truth serum, which is a Vitamin C serum. It’s orange, whereas the Super Glow is clear, so maybe the Glossier one is better but again, I didn’t want to waste money.
  • Super Bounce: Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin B5. I have oily skin so if I’m going to buy a serum, it won’t be for hydration. If I do want a hydrating serum, I can use my Innisfree Green Tea Seed serum (from my Asia haul).
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It reads: “Hi, we’re Glossier. We test every beauty product under the sun, interview our icons, and are in constant conversation with our customers, our community and Into The Gloss readers. Everything we’ve learned through years of recommendations from the most inspiring girls on the planet is distilled into Glossier products.”

Conclusion

Glossier is probably one of the fastest-growing beauty brands ever, with millenial culture attributable to much of its success. Minimalism is part of the brand’s identity, visible in its packaging and product selection. If I had more money to spare, I would have probably bought the Milky Jelly Cleanser and one of their masks. Hopefully the items I bought work super well and entice me to try more from the brand. I definitely recommend visiting the pop-up shop before it closes to try their products before you buy them. Come with a friend if you can, because there’s a super cute pink living room setup perfect for Instagram photoshoots. Please let me know in the comments what you bought from Glossier, and if there any awesome products I missed out on!

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