Glossier uses aes­thetics for mar­keting pur­poses. Isabella Redjai | Col­legian

A package delivered to me, from me. What better pick-me-up throughout the week than that? I held the brown card­board box awaiting my arrival at my Hillsdale Street address after a day of classes and home­sickness. After a day of wishing I could maybe just go shopping with my mother, or could feel good about my skin (an uncommon occur­rence in the life of a young person), or even get some artistic inspi­ration.

I brought the brown box up to Room 304, rested my remaining belongings on the floor, and could not help but rip it open. Although deceiving to the eye, I opened the box sur­prised to find a blissful and cheery mil­lennial pink greet me.

From the moment I opened my box, I felt tele­ported to the ‘scapes of modern Man­hattan, feeling as if, though I am far from met­ro­politan bliss, the store had come to me. To my doorstep. 

Within my pink box, I found a little note, also con­tained within a powder pink envelope, wel­coming me to the Glossier expe­rience, reading, “Hi, Finally we meet! It’s really nice here. – Us”

I had just made a new friend.

The remainder of my package included com­pli­mentary Glossier stickers chan­neling images of “Glossier” written in every typog­raphy rem­i­niscent of the 1970s, cartoon stars, and even little smiley faces. 

Even then, I had not yet reached my final des­ti­nation on this product journey. 

I opened a little, bubble-wrap pouch. No, it was not actual bubble-wrap, it was a product, even Ziploc-like with hot pink bubble wrap within, holding my pur­chased cos­metics. Inside this modern invention of airmail pack­aging, I found a “Zit Stick” and “Stretch Con­cealer.”

Now, you may think I digress and am prone to get cap­tured in the pack­aging of the product alone, and in some ways, you may be right. Still, I was taken by the power of modern mar­keting and its effect on me.

The detail in pack­aging, per­son­al­izing the expe­rience for every online order, and seeing mundane aspects of a shipped product become an exciting aes­thetic makeover in and of itself, was impressive to me as a cus­tomer. I felt as if I had received incredible cus­tomer service, without even meeting a rep­re­sen­tative.

First impres­sions must really matter, because how I felt about my product before I had even opened the pack­aging itself was one of intrigue, and inspiring in terms of cre­ativity. 

Pre­sen­tation and uni­formity matter in a gen­er­ation of sight-seekers and where external aes­thetic remains a strong moti­vator to not only try a product but remain a loyal cus­tomer. Young people seek to feel special and unique in their pur­chases. Funnily enough, these trends and products appear to be con­sumed by many other users just the same, and these cus­tomers believe  they too  are special.

This appears to be the common theme among Instagram feeds. But now, I digress.

This gen­er­ation appears to double as a gen­er­ation of quality, par­tic­u­larly in the com­po­sition of products.

Okay, perhaps it’s too pre­sump­tuous to say mil­len­nials seek after only the “image” of products. But in actu­ality, mil­len­nials pursue both external and internal fea­tures of a product.

Where “vegan,” “gluten-free,” “all-natural,” “animal-cruelty free,” and “no GMOs” appear to be new “Sale” sign of 2018, mil­len­nials cannot help but pur­chase items that not only appear pleasing, but feel and are made in a sat­is­factory manner.

A common struggle among young people is, and has been for gen­er­a­tions, acne. Nearly everyone desires clear and happy skin, and that’s why Glossier’s “Zit Stick,” not only in its pack­aging of a bright pink and red, plastic, rip-right-open, min­i­malist design, but in its ingre­dients and purpose, created an uproar when it arrived on the company’s website Sept. 6.

Not only were social media feeds flowing with images, and the website itself pro­vided a special feature where cus­tomers when viewing the product could erase a red shade on the screen to see the clear image of the “Zit Stick” behind, but it con­tains clin­i­cally approved ingre­dients. These ingre­dients include Benzoyl Per­oxide and Capryloyl Sal­i­cylic Acid, and the site sets out to show how each ingre­dient con­tributes to solve the issue of acne; but most notably, these med­ica­tions are mixed with that of all-natural tea tree oil, putting all-natural-gurus on the edge of their seat.

The site included images of indi­viduals who tested the Zit Stick, proving its legit­imacy, and most impor­tantly, for all mil­len­nials, sharing its freedoms: “hypoal­ler­genic, der­ma­tol­ogist tested, vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, cruelty free.”

As for the Glossier “Stretch Con­cealer,” mil­len­nials are ooh-ing and ah-ing from across the nation, as this makeup essential not only pro­vides quality assurance to cover dark circles and blend nat­u­rally into one’s skin tone, but con­tains the ingre­dients of beeswax and micro­crys­talline wax, avocado and jojoba oil, and cocoa butter.

User Goldilocks from Los Angeles rated the con­cealer five stars, and titled “The hype is reeeeal!”, saying “It feels super light­weight and my favorite thing by far from this product is how natural it looks and feels…Great product! Def­i­nitely worth your penny!”

Glossier Incor­po­ration started in 2014 by CEO Emily Weiss. With her focus on making women feel con­fident about their skin and dis­pelling beauty myths, success was inevitable for Glossier, with Weiss making Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in 2015 and Glossier being rec­og­nized as “one of Fast Com­pany’s ‘Most Inno­v­ative Com­panies’ of 2017,” according to Weiss’s LinkedIn page. 

Perhaps a decade or so ago, it would have con­cerned modern cus­tomers to cover their skin in food ingre­dients and oils, but today, the rave of natural ingre­dients, elite del­i­cacies like the avocado or cocoa butter, and the uni­versal term “healthy” have cap­tured the eyes of mil­len­nials but most impor­tantly cap­tured the attention of the masters of mar­keting. 

Glossier suc­ceeds at the three com­po­nents that make any mil­lennial-geared business suc­cessful: detail, aes­theticism, and natural solu­tions. 

By focusing on the most obvious ele­ments of any existing product, Glossier stands above that of other modern cor­po­ra­tions, evident in the track record of Weiss and her business. 

The first impression of the cus­tomer is met the moment she opens her package and sees the bright color and unique designs. As she digs through her package, she dis­covers little trinkets, never promised only gifted, that make her feel as though she has received more than she bar­gained for. She then opens the product she actually pur­chased, and finds it to not only soothes her exterior and gives her the feeling that she knows the product, its ingre­dients and each of its pur­poses per­sonally, but that she actually feels good about herself.

From its start and small selection on its website promising to give quality and shine, to its glossy finish on the cus­tomer herself, Glossier knows the method of the market. Glossier knows how to find the simple things, the neces­sities, and transform it into an expe­rience. An expe­rience that takes Lower East Side Man­hattan, where the Glossier Incor­po­ration HQ lies, to the corners of college dorms and small towns.