Retail Experience


Trends In Retail

01 Jun 2023

The Rise, Fall, and Revival of Glossier: A Beauty Brand's Journey

Image of Isabel Carter

Isabel Carter

In the vast world of beauty and cosmetics, few brands have captured the attention and devotion of millennial consumers quite like Glossier. Launched in 2014 by Emily Weiss, Glossier quickly gained a cult following with its minimalist aesthetic, inclusive marketing, and emphasis on skincare as self-care. However, like any company, Glossier faced its fair share of challenges and setbacks along the way. The rise, fall, and eventual revival of Glossier are explored, uncovering the factors that contributed to its initial success and the strategies that enabled it to reclaim its place in the beauty industry.

The Rise of Glossier:

Glossier burst onto the scene at a time when the beauty industry was undergoing a significant transformation. Traditional beauty standards were being challenged, and consumers were seeking products that celebrated individuality and natural beauty. Glossier quickly gained a reputation as a "cool girl" brand, capturing the attention and admiration of young consumers. With its minimalist aesthetic and effortless approach to beauty, Glossier embodied the essence of modern, laid-back femininity. The brand's emphasis on enhancing natural beauty rather than masking flaws resonated with those seeking a more relaxed and authentic approach to their beauty routines. Glossier tapped into this cultural shift by positioning itself as a brand that prioritized skincare and embraced a "less is more" philosophy. Its minimalist packaging, no-makeup makeup approach, and emphasis on enhancing one's natural features struck a chord with the target audience.

The brand's success can also be attributed to its savvy use of social media. Glossier leveraged platforms like Instagram to foster a sense of community and engage directly with its customers. User-generated content played a crucial role in promoting the brand, with Glossier's signature pink packaging becoming instantly recognizable and highly shareable. By embracing the power of social media influencers and encouraging customer feedback, Glossier built a loyal customer base that felt personally invested in the brand's success.

Glossier 1

The Challenges and Fall:

While Glossier experienced remarkable success during its initial years, it faced challenges as it sought to expand and diversify its product offerings. The brand encountered criticism for its lack of inclusivity, particularly in terms of shade ranges for its complexion products. Many consumers felt left out, and competitors emerged with more inclusive options, leading to a decline in Glossier's popularity. Moreover, as the beauty industry evolved, consumers began gravitating towards ingredient-driven and sustainable beauty brands, which posed new challenges for Glossier to stay relevant.


Glossier faced significant changes as its CEO, Emily Weiss, announced her departure from the company. Weiss, who founded Glossier and played a pivotal role in its rise to prominence, decided to pursue new ventures and explore different opportunities. This transition marked a significant shift for Glossier, as Weiss had been the face of the brand and instrumental in shaping its vision. Alongside this development, Glossier also had to grapple with the challenging decision of implementing layoffs within the organization. The layoffs were part of a broader restructuring effort aimed at streamlining operations and optimizing resources. 

Emily Weiss

Reviving Glossier:

To address the criticisms and challenges, Glossier underwent a period of introspection and strategic changes. One of the key moves was expanding its product range to offer more inclusive shade options, catering to a broader range of skin tones. The brand also focused on transparency, highlighting the ingredients used in its products and emphasizing its commitment to sustainability. Glossier collaborated with influencers and beauty experts to refine its formulas and develop new products that aligned with the changing preferences of consumers.

A significant milestone in Glossier's retail strategy was its partnership with Sephora, a leading beauty retailer. In 2020, Glossier products became available for purchase both online and in select Sephora stores. This move allowed Glossier to tap into Sephora's extensive customer base, exposing the brand to a broader audience and expanding its reach. The collaboration also provided Glossier with an opportunity to further establish its presence in the beauty retail landscape and solidify its position as a sought-after brand.

The expansion into Sephora stores marked a significant step for Glossier, offering customers more convenience and accessibility in acquiring their favorite products. It also highlighted the brand's willingness to adapt and explore new distribution channels while maintaining its unique identity and aesthetic.

Glossier Sephora

The journey of Glossier reflects the ebb and flow of the beauty industry itself. As a brand that found success through embracing change and fostering community, Glossier faced its share of obstacles along the way. However, through introspection, adaptability, and a renewed commitment to inclusivity and sustainability, Glossier managed to revive its standing in the beauty world. Its story serves as a testament to the importance of listening to consumers, staying agile in a rapidly evolving industry, and continuously striving to meet the changing needs and expectations of a diverse customer base. Glossier's fall and subsequent revival illustrate that even the most beloved brands can find new life by staying true to their core values while embracing innovation.