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  • Writer's pictureKaren Lee

Glossier's Reformulation: How to break trust and lose your customers

A Glossier product among a display of other makeup products on a pink Goodyear tire.

The magic of McDonald's isn't a great meal. It's that I will get the SAME meal at every single McDonald's. I will get the SAME mediocre stringy, sad fries no matter where I am in the world.

My expectations will be met every single time.

If you fail to meet expectations, you break your customer's trust.

Glossier has been slowly reformulating their older products ahead of their launch in Sephora since the end of 2022. At first it was the Priming Moisturizer Rich (a frequent repurchase for me, and a great dupe for Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream). Then it was Balm Dot Com and now the Milky Jelly Cleanser. These weren't the best skincare items I've ever had, but they were items that I liked enough to repurchase. They were pretty good for the price. They were also the products that made Glossier. Products that kept millennials coming back even as Glossier started attracting hoards of teeny boppers to their IRL pop-ups. (Glossier was semi-cool until I went to their store and found myself surrounded in what was akin to a Dance Moms casting call).

They have changed up the formulations on so many hit products that it'd be easier to make a list of products they haven't changed (*cough* ruined *cough*).

I can almost forgive the reformulation of Balm Dot Com because they brought back the beloved wild fig flavour, that was released as a limited edition in 2020.

What makes me mad is that Glossier was the brand that got its start by listening to their customers. It's like they've taken their brand fans for granted and started seeing customers as mindless money printing monkeys. It's hard not to read their reasons for reformulations as excuses for cost cutting or trying to please Corporate Sephora.

Was it worth eschewing your loyal customers in favour of getting new customers via Sephora?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


And for anyone with the old formulation of Glossier products, please list it on Glou Beauty Marketplace. There are lots of us who want to have one last dance with our old faves.

Favorite products to be notified when there is a new listing!


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