Not too long ago it was impossible to scroll through Instagram without coming across an aesthetically-pleasing post by beauty startup Glossier. The millennial-pink packaging, which housed beloved buys like Balm Dot Com and Solution took pride of place in #shelfies belonging to both viral influencers and well-respected skin experts. Endearing product names like Cloud Paint and Skywash earned the brand a cult following and Glossier’s catchy mantra — “skin first, makeup second” — was refreshing. Sticking a middle finger up to the outdated, unattainable glamour that the beauty industry seemed to push on us as consumers, it was makeup minimalism‘s time to shine and beauty lovers welcomed Glossier with open arms.
But after raising $80 million in funding last July, it was announced on 26th January 2022 that the brand had laid off 80 corporate staff members (a third of the company), with the technology team most affected. In an email to employees, CEO Emily Weiss wrote that Glossier had “made some mistakes.”
As of July 2021, the company was valued at $1.8 billion. Shiny product launches like Generation G lipstick, the longed-for Solar Paint bronzer, and even pretty-pink merchandise appeared on every beauty blogger’s IG feed — but there’s no denying the excitement was somewhat marred. In spite of the brand’s seemingly-bulletproof popularity, an anti-Glossier movement has been bubbling away on social media. If you’re a beauty lover with a TikTok account, you might have come across a handful of Glossier takedown videos recently. “Let’s talk about Glossier’s fall from grace,” said TikToker @skylar.alyshia in a post. “At one point, they were everything. They were the start of the minimalist look.” Skylar continues: “Then they really started slipping off of everyone’s radar and they quickly became so [irrelevant]. They weren’t really releasing any new products and their shade range was honestly ridiculous.”