It would be hard for me to overstate my love for Glossier. Some brands just sink their teeth into you and won't let go. To be honest, Emily Weiss could sell me toilet paper if it was millennial pink and decorated with her brand's logo. I listen to Death Cab For Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" and daydream about a row of pink bubblewrap pouches. Still, when Glossier announced its first powder, I was unenthused.
At last, a Glossier product I'm not excited about I thought as I watched the online beauty community explode into a fevered discussion following the release of YouTube celebrity Jackie Aina's video about something called "Wowder."
I've never subscribed to the "matte as a piece of construction paper" makeup ideology. My obsession with dewiness (and delightfully twee packaging) is what led me into the arms of Glossier, a brand with a commitment to glow so unwavering that it has been memed, in the first place.
But I'm also someone who is at any given moment, way in the back of my mind, considering dropping $14 on an enamel Glossier logo pin.
It was only a matter of time and teasers by the army of Glossier reps I follow on Instagram before the idea of trying powder for the first time started to seem appealing. Maybe I'd been kidding myself by chanting the mantra "it's not sweat, its glow!" into the mirror three times each morning and loading up on highlighter without a second thought. Life is about facing your fears, looking deep into the darkness and asking yourself "Do I have the courage to plunge face-first into the mattifying unknown?" I decided it was time to find out.
First, the facts. Wowder is a loose powder that comes in three shades (Light/Medium, Dark/Deep, and Rich) and costs $22 for a 0.25 ounce jar. There's also an accompanying brush that you can purchase alone for $20 or in a duo with the Wowder shade of your choice for $35.
If you are me, you will want the brush even though you already have about six untouched powder brushes (because, again, you don't use powder) since it is metallic pink and comes with a mesh bag that is Skipper to the original Glossier pouch's Barbie. But hey, maybe you aren't me, in which case you probably own something similar to this and don't need to buy it for the cute marketing.
According to the Glossier site, Wowder's hero ingredients are diamond powder, kaolin clay, and vitamin E. The powder is also hypoallergenic, cruelty free, talc free, and parabin free.
And now, for the main event.
Even I know that loose powder packaging is usually a pretty standard affair — jar with a screw-top lid and a sifter over the powder to help you control how much product actually gets on your brush. Check, please! But Glossier has really improved upon this concept with Wowder.
It doesn't look like anything special from the outside (adorable comic book-inspired font aside) but if, like me, you're deeply obsessed with The Details, your heart will pound once you lift the lid. Inside, there's a circle of what the brand calls "trampoline mesh," designed to prevent a cloud of dust from flying up and temporarily blinding you whenever you dip your brush into the jar.
My favorite part, though, is the stopper inside the lid that fits over the mesh to prevent it from spilling if you drop the jar or travel with it. It really works! I've been keeping Wowder in my purse whenever I go out since I received it and I haven't had any issues with spillage.
I still had my doubts by the time the sample Glossier sent me for this article arrived via UPS. Face powder seemed like so much — so much effort and so much makeup, despite Glossier's claim that Wowder is "the airiest formula possible."
A brief reminder before we get into it: I am a powder novice, so I will not be comparing this to similar products, but instead evaluating it against my typically powder-free routine. I have normal to slightly oily skin, with a forehead and nose that benefit from some light blotting circa-3 p.m. Check out my makeup-less face, internet!
The Wowder package arrived right before I applied my makeup on a day I knew I'd be out for about 12 hours — in other words, the perfect time to put powder to the test. I stuck to my typical everyday look in order to see how the powder would actually fit into my life were I to become a regular user.
After priming my face with NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer I skipped base makeup and went straight in with Glossier Stretch Concealer under my eyes, immediately setting it with Wowder using the brush accompanying brush. I dusted the excess on my forehead, nose, and chin, which tend to get shiny throughout the day.
I was cautiously optimistic. The powder appeared to lock my Glossier concealer into place without minimizing the dewy, "just like real skin" effect that makes me love it so much. Wowder was also completely undetectable on my skin, even in the areas were I hadn't applied a coverage product underneath it. I finished off rest of my makeup using Glossier Cloud Paints in "Dusk" and "Beam," Boy Brow in "Brown," Milk Makeup Highlighter in "Lit," ColourPop Blotted Lip in "Candyfloss," and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara.
Here's an unfiltered look at my makeup about five hours after I applied it. I especially loved what Wowder did for Stretch Concealer, which is my ride-or-die favorite beauty product but sometimes gets a little creasy after a few hours of wear, and causes non-waterproof mascara to transfer under my eyes. Wowder kept everything where it belonged from the time I applied it to when I washed my face at 11 p.m. that night, and pretty much eradicated the need for blotting.
All told, Wowder added a grand total of about 30 seconds to my makeup routine and felt like nothing on my face. I didn't need to touch it up, although I'm sure I could have added another layer without caking up my face because the product is so sheer. I'm Casper the Friendly Ghost pale and the Light/Medium shade was virtually undetectable on me, aside from the soft blurring effect it left.
But perhaps the biggest endorsement I can give this stuff is the fact that my notoriously cynical mom, who took the above photo, couldn't stop raving about how nice my makeup looked with Wowder dusted over it. If you already have a loose powder that you love, maybe there's no need throw $22 at a problem that doesn't exist, but if you're curious and want to try something foolproof, Wowder is a great option. I will definitely continue to use it to set my under-eye concealer and keep that mid-day forehead gleam in check.
Looks like Glossier will continue to do what they've always done best: convince me that my life will be just that much better with their adorable (and effective) products on my vanity.
And hey — maybe it will be.