When it comes to achieving glassy, dewy skin that looks like the mystical work of Tinker Bell, Glossier's collection of minimalist skincare and makeup products monopolizes the industry. Products like Boy Brow ($16) (the brand's all-time best-selling product), Balm Dotcom ($12), Lash Slick ($16), and any of its multiple elixirs beginning with the word "milky" has become highly coveted by makeup artists, celebrities, editors, and beauty lovers everywhere. (Heck, even my 73-year-old mom loves its highlighting stick, Haloscope, $22.)
Photo:Courtesy of Glossier
However, the focus on dewy, glowing, and positively bouncy skin can be a tad polarizing for those of us who experience frequent bouts of acne (me) or have perpetually oily skin. As much as I would love to drench my skin in the majority of Glossier's skincare products, most of the formulas just haven't worked for my finicky complexion. In fantasy, I would love to have clear skin that looks like it's been hit by a sunbeam, but I also have to be careful with any products containing oils or other popular glow-enhancing ingredients. Because of this, I've almost exclusively gravitated toward Glossier's selection of makeup and bodycare over its skincare.
Photo:Courtesy of Glossier
Thanks to its brand-new launch, Priming Moisturizer Balance ($25), however, that's officially changed. The brand's OG Priming Moisturizer ($22) has accrued fever-pitch love over the years, but since it's better suited for those with dry to normal skin, the brand has responded by launching another iteration better suited for those who veer oily or are pimple-prone. Ultra-lightweight, noncomedogenic, and oil-free, it's what I've been craving from the brand. (The popularity of the original Priming Moisturizer has given me so much FOMO over the years.)
Priming Moisturizer Balance: The 411
Photo:Courtesy of Glossier
Although it may seem counterintuitive, oily skin craves and needs hydration just as much (or perhaps even more) than dry or normal skin. Moisture-starved skin will retaliate by creating even more oil, which can perpetuate a slick-skin situation.
Knowing this, the brand dreamed up the new Priming Moisturizer Balance ($25), which is specifically designed to drench the skin with necessary hydration while simultaneously refining the look of pores and keeping the skin matte with a subtle hint of glow. It's a featherlight gel-cream formula that spreads easily before absorbing conveniently fast. The brand's goal? To improve the look of grease-prone skin by reducing shine both short- and long-term.
The Key Ingredients
Photo:Courtesy of Glossier
All right, let's dive in, shall we? First things first, it's good to know that this product is not only oil-free and noncomedogenic (which makes it an amazing option for those suffering from skin sensitivities or acne), but it's also cruelty-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, vegan, and dermatologist-tested. To top it all off, the formula features other strategic additions designed to lock in moisture and tone-enhancing balance.
Apple fruit extract is added to seal in hydration, marine extract (which is sourced from the fermentation of Antarctic Ocean marine bacteria) instantly helps banish shine, niacinamide improves the look of pores for a flattering filter effect, willow bark extract makes way for a velvety-smooth finish, and last but not least, bamboo extract can aid in noticeably improving the texture of bumpy or glare-prone skin.
My Honest Review
I really struggle with moisturizers. It's as if my skin was ordained at birth to break out at the touch of any product designed to keep it hydrated. Despite plenty of big promises, plenty of formulas labeled as oil-free or safe for acne-prone skin have left my skin bumpy, greasy, or simply dehydrated. The line between hydrating enough and zit-inducing is extremely thin. In my time as a beauty editor, there have been only a handful of primers and moisturizers I can tolerate, and while I was hopeful after hearing the news and product perks of Glossier's new launch, I was understandably cautious. (What can I say? I have trust issues.)
However, I'm happy to report that this one really fits the bill. Rarely does a beauty product do everything it says it will, but this is quite amazing. It has a lovely, featherlight texture that's clear in color and easy to spread and work into the skin. It has a slight glimmer effect when you first apply it, but within seconds, it absorbs and dries down to a completely matte and invisible finish. My skin felt soft and smooth, and applying this product completely erased the need for my normal primer. I used it right after cleansing and patting on my favorite hyaluronic acid serum, and I found my foundation spread and blended into my skin really effortlessly. Even when I add powder, my skin gets really shiny as the day wears on (especially during L.A. summers), but it remained remarkably matte and glare-free. I usually feel compelled to Facetune away some shine or makeup creases, but after snapping a few selfies, I found my skin had an almost pore-less, filter-like effect to it. There's no smell which I appreciate, and a little goes a long way, which makes the affordable $25 price point all the more appealing.
My one and only qualm with this product is just how well it delivers. It almost left me too matte, and I actually found myself wishing my skin looked and felt a little dewier. (I definitely think things would get much too desert-like if I combined this with my favorite matte foundation.) That said, I have more combination skin versus strictly oily skin, so I think applying this as a primer on top of my normal moisturizer, or using this where I get greasy and another formula where I'm drier would completely solve that problem. All in all, I'm sold, and I would definitely recommend this formula for anyone who is oily and in need of summertime moisturizer to help curb shine and grease.
10 More Glossier Products I'd Add to Your Cart
For some base, I recommend hitting two birds with one stone and snapping up this handy set featuring Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer. I haven't actually tried the Skin Tint, but I've had multiple makeup artists apply the Stretch Concealer wherever I need coverage before shoots.
Boy Brow is one of those beauty products that I firmly believe every single person needs to try in their lifetime. Choose from clear (my go-to), blonde, brown, or black. The flexible wax is easy to brush and manipulate so you can groom, fluff, thicken, and shape your brows to your liking.
Brow Flick is such a great find for anyone who's looking to fill any sparse areas or create a natural shape to their brows. It works best on clean, product-free brows, so after you create your featherlike strokes, follow it up with Boy Brow to set and keep everything in place.
Cloud Paint is iconic. I own and regularly use every single color and have found the pillowy gel-cream formula to be the ultimate multitasker within my makeup routine. I apply it on the apples of my cheeks, lips, even on my eyes when I need a quickie shadow substitute. I recommend going with the duo option, which allows you to choose two different hues to experiment with.
I'm not actually a huge stick person when it comes to makeup and highlighters, but there is no other formula that gives you a glow quite as ethereal as Haloscope. I love rubbing my finger in it and tapping it along my Cupid's bow, on top of my cheekbones, and down the bridge of my nose. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll also apply it to my lids or the inner corners of my eyes.
I'm a sucker for any product that multitasks, which is one of the (many) reasons I love this cult-classic balm so much. Not only can you choose from countless flavors and tints (it's practically the modern-day Lip Smackers for adults), but it also relieves everything from chapped lips to sad and decrepit cuticles.
Last but not least, hand cream. I never thought a hand cream could be so dreamy until I tried this new one from Glossier. I'm addicted to how great it smells (it's a fresh take on the brand's signature fragrance You), and it leaves my skin so smooth and soft. Even after a full day of handwashes!