Glossier’s products have made a big splash in the mainstream beauty community lately. They’ve been seen on stars walking the red carpet and are promoted by countless influencers across social media and in print. Their selling point is slick minimalism and innovation.
If that sounds familiar it’s because Glossier, in my opinion, has borrowed heavily from Korean beauty. When people were raving about whatever Glossier’s product du jour was, I was sitting there like “OK, that’s really cool, but I told you about an identical product years ago!” It especially hit home when their much anticipated sunscreen debuted and everyone was hype as hell for the “never seen before” clear gel-like formula.
Only wait a minute — those of us in Korean beauty (and the all-encompassing Asian beauty realm) have been dutifully applying our Asian clear gel sunscreens for several years now.
Of course, that’s not to say Glossier’s products aren’t good; it’s just that there’s a well-established dupe (or should I say, OG) in Korean beauty for just about every one of their best sellers. And the Korean version is usually cheaper. Read on to find out which six Glossier products are K-beauty dupes .
A clear gel sunscreen that works well under makeup? No white cast? Awesome! But ummm, sis, what if I told you that you can have the same thing but in the much safer SPF 50 PA+++? Look no further than Make P:rem Capsule Sun Gel.
I certainly wasn’t the only one to make this connection when I heard about the launch of Glossier’s much-hyped sunscreen. Reddit’s Skincare Addiction was all over it. They also pointed out that the Make P:rem version is cheaper while giving you 250% more. The formulations are not an exact dupe, but for that precious added SPF and value for the price, I will gladly give Make P:rem my coins.
On their website, Glossier’s description for each of their serums list their star and ingredients and then let you know what they’re targeting. Dark spots, dehydration, and redness are the troublemakers on the chopping block and some of the star ingredients are niacinimide and hyaluronic acid. Each serum is $28 or you can get all three in a Super Pack for $65.
I’m very happy that Glossier is moving serums to the forefront of skincare, but you can get a much, much better formulated serum for much, much cheaper. Not to mention you don’t have to buy three separate products to get all the benefits of Glossier’s three serums. The cult fave Shark Sauce contains that precious niacinimide and hyaluronic acid, but it also has the added benefit of licorice root, sea kelp bio-ferment, and green tea extract. Holy calming hydrating redness fighter, Batman! All that for $29!
Out of all of Glossier’s products, this one is first choice of almost everyone I know as their favorite. It gives a gorgeous sheer wash of creamy color. What’s not to love? They also have four very pretty shade selections.
But my first thought when trying them was, “This reminds me of something.” Then it dawned on me. This was a lot like Peripera Ah! Much Real My Cushion Blusher! Both offer the exact same kind of beautiful flush that looks both fancy and natural at the same time; however I’m going to have to give Glossier the win for this product, as they offer four shades that work for a wider array of skin tones. Peripera only has three shades.
Sticks are my jam. I love a good stick. I could live on sticks and cushions alone. When we were writing our book, Korean Beauty Secrets, the Innisfree Mineral Fit Stick and Nature Republic Botanical Stick Highlighter became instant favorites on set. Many of the models were asking where they could get their hands on them.
So I was amused to see Glossier’s Haloscope on many influencers’ Instagram accounts. Haloscope comes in a pink, bronze, and iridescent white shade. Innisfree and Nature Republic both have the bronze and pink shades covered, but with more pigment and shine. They are lacking the white shade, but VDL makes a nice iridescent highlighter in that color if it’s an absolute must for you.
Glossier’s face mist is essentially just rosewater with aloe leaf extract. That’s not a bad thing; it’s a perfectly nice formula for a facial mist, if not a little bland. It does have the fancy sounding honeysuckle extract, but it’s way down at the end of the ingredient list. Also, $18 gets you 118 ml of product.
Meanwhile in Korean beauty, $16 will give you 80 ml of SanDaWha’s Camellia Flower Hydrating Mist, a 92.52% camellia flower-based spray that is also packed with licorice root extract, green tea extract, pea protein, pea extract, aloe vera leaf water, chamomile extract, hyaluronic acid, rosemary extract, and rose oil. Sign me up for that one, please.
Boy Brow was the product that really launched Glossier into prominence, which was puzzling to me since there are so many brow gels and mascaras out there. Anastasia Beverly Hills already had the popular Tinted Brow Gel, not to mention brow gels and browcaras being a mainstay of Korean cosmetics since forever.
Almost every K-beauty brand has a brow gel or browcara, and they usually come in more than three shades, which is what Glossier has to offer. I could throw a dart at a board full of Korean cosmetic brands and find you a dupe. So pretend I did, and pretend it landed on The Face Shop Designing Browcara, because it’s got a similar brush and it offers five shades instead of three. Also it’s like $5.
Look Glossier isn’t bad; I’m not trying to rain on their parade. They’re a fun, new brand, and I’ve bought their products. Hell, I’d gladly accept them if gifted to me. I’m just sayin’, Korean beauty is the OG.
What has your experience with Glossier been? How do they compare to Korean beauty dupes? Let us know in the comments below!