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Introducing Glossier

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This is a hard letter to write. How do you put into words something that you’ve been dreaming of and working on for so long? Surely I’ll forget something. Surely it won’t be as perfect of a letter as I’d like.

But that’s fine.

There’s so much pressure to edit oneself to a T, to flesh out who you are and then attempt to capture exactly who that is on an iPhone camera, in 140 characters, or in a series of emojis and clever hashtags. The problem with this depiction of your “real life' is, of course, that it’s not very real at all. It’s how you want to appear to the world. It’s nearly impossible to show what’s real because your actual identity is a moving target. Or, at least, I think it should be.

Over the past four years, I’m not sure how much I’ve learned about myself. I’ve been much more focused on learning about other people—namely, women. Women are truly, truly awesome. People often ask me, “how do you go about choosing who to feature on Into The Gloss?” And I’ve never had a great answer. Ultimately, I think the #1 thing that draws me to someone is their sense of freedom. Freedom and confidence are two different things, in my book. Confidence is overrated—it can be faked, whereas freedom is fearlessness. Freedom is being more or less okay with wherever you’re at, at any given point in your life or your day or your hour, be it really sucky or really great or somewhere in between (and there are a lot of in-betweens.) The single guiding principle that I try to follow, assuming blindly that the rest will fall into place, is to operate squarely in the present. I think it’s one of the most difficult things for anyone to do.

Glossier is a celebration of this freedom.

Glossier.com launches today—right now—and is the beginning, I hope, of a new way of looking at beauty, that of course began with ITG. Beauty and frivolity are not synonymous. In fact, just the opposite is true: Beauty, like fashion, touches everyone in different ways and offers you endless choices about how you’d like to feel and act and appear.

But you already know this, because you’re here, which means you most likely have a Top Shelf of your own that’s been informed by this website. Which is incredible. The sheer fact that there’s a place on the internet that celebrates women’s brains and beauty, fosters community, and brings to light the best products in the world, is enough to make me retire, take up golf, and sleep 8-10 hours a night.

What I realized a little while ago, though, is that while you’re busy getting closer and closer to the “truth'—be it who you are, or adjusting to the realties of adult life—it’s easy for fun to fall by the wayside. People say that the truth sets you free. I think that having fun sets you free. Laughing at your own jokes, getting nostalgic over something you liked in high school, and generally channeling your inner nerd is fun. Geeking out over a beauty product is fun. What I don’t think is fun, is editing yourself, aspiring to finally arrive at some idea or picture of perfect, untouchable “glamour?” “defining your style?” or racking your brain trying to decide the “right time' to do something. For the most part, there will never be a right time. Just go for it.

Glossier is about living in—and embracing—the now, not the past, and not the future. It’s about fun and freedom and being OK with yourself today. It’s about being nice to people and knowing that a smile begets a smile. Snobby isn’t cool, happy is cool.

To kick off the journey, Glossier takes you back to the beginning with a set of core essentials that I started conceptualizing last year, and building from scratch with what’s grown into an incredible team of passionate entrepreneurs. It’s pretty much all that I’ve been wearing, and doing. Our credo is to follow our gut and rethink products, creating exactly the items (and colors, soon!) that we want to see. Who are we? We are you, listening to everyone, absorbing all of this information over the years, and trying to get at the core of what beauty is—and needs—in 2014. Glossier begins with YOU, which is why our first products are all about letting your personality shine through…glowy, dewy skin.

Foundation is not necessarily a skin-colored fluid. It’s your skin, your expression—that you choose to build on (or not). We’re laying the foundation for a beauty movement: one that celebrates real girls, in real life.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Glossier as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together, and that it brings a smile to your face.

—Emily Weiss

Emily Weiss photographed by Tom Newton.