If Queen B is going to give a nod to a beauty brand, she isn’t going to do in a way you would expect.
Ever since the unannounced, no-warnings-given release of her 2013 self-titled album, there’s been a saying – “doing a Beyoncé”. She dropped the album onto iTunes overnight without a shred of anticipation or advertisement, watched it climb the charts and garner critical acclaim, all without ever doing a press tour (or speaking to the media at all, really).
So it’s only fitting that when Beyoncé decides to showcase a new product from much-hyped brand Glossier, she would, well, do a Beyoncé. Her make-up artist, Sir John, and the brand themselves confirmed on Instagram that she was wearing a new eye product as part of her look, but both parties were initially tight-lipped about exactly what the product was, how much it will be and when it will launch.
Sir John said, “I did a natural feline-flick cat-eye. I lined under the eye using a brown kohl eyeliner and used a fierce black inky liquid eyeliner on the top. To the finish off the eye, I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to try a new and exciting product from Glossier.” He then confirmed to Allure that the new product was a rose gold shadow – but that’s all we know.
He also used Glossier’s Cloud Paint blush in Beam and Haze, as well as the Boy Brow in Brown and Perfecting Skin Tints. He impressively used three of the latter – Dark and Deep as her base, and Rich to contour. Oh, and a healthy slick of Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream all over her celestial limbs.
Beyoncé is one of a (glossy-skinned, fluffy-browed, pinched-cheeked) army of A-listers who love the cult brand. In fact, it was at last year’s Oscars that Glossier launched Cloud Paint, on the cheeks of Chrissy Teigen, Taraji P Henson and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few. Countless others, including SZA and Miranda Kerr and Karlie Kloss have sported temples adorned with the brand’s weightless Haloscope highlighter, or lips sheened with their Lip Gloss.
Glossier is something of an unlikely contender for the celebrity beauty spot. Without the backing of a major beauty house (it’s taken private equity to expand, but remains independently owned), the brand has never had famous faces in ad campaigns. Or ad campaigns in the traditional sense at all, eschewing glossy magazine pages in favour of guerrilla wallpapering of cities they plan to launch in, and a 500-strong legion of reps who encourage their Instagram followers to shop via their dedicated Glossier to profile and earn referral credit in turn.
Despite the brand eliciting eye-rolls from some due to the barely there nature of their products (Reductress, a satirical news site, has twice skewered them: ‘Glossier Announces New Line of Makeup For Women Not Already Beautiful’ and ‘New Glossier Product Just Ripe Peach That You Eat Sexily’). the range has proven it can hold up under the flashing bulbs of the red carpet. With a focus on enhancing, not concealing, the brand’s dual ethos is ‘Skin first, makeup second, smile always’ and ‘Skincare is essential, makeup is a choice’. The blurb for their bestselling Perfecting Skin Tint states that it won’t cover freckles, or ‘erase any other evidence that you are, in fact, a real human being’.
A disruptor in every sense of the word, the unstoppable ascent of Glossier signals a return to simplicity in beauty. The excess of the Eighties, the perma-tan and heavy liner of the Nineties and the omnipresent glitter of the Noughties are giving way to the neutral, you-but-better feel of today. Sure, more column inches may go to the hand-wringing over Instagram make-up mavens and their power to push sales of contour kits and liquid lipstick, but beauty too falls under Newton’s third law: for every action, there is equal and opposite reaction.