Let’s map out a timeline. On September 4th, conveniently right before fashion week, my face lovingly produces three, very visible, stress-induced pimples. On September 6th, Glossier releases their brand new zit stick. On September 6th, I also do some email magic. A package is sent in the mail. It has a pink label. September 11th: So far, I’ve tried popping, I’ve tried my usual go-to, Azulen cream, I’ve tried Amazonian clay and silk pillowcases and cleanser twice a day and concealer and everything short of sawing my face in half but the zits are still there. These spots are gloating. Unpoppable. Sorta bitchy even. The frustration is reaching a high until I get a text from my roommate: the miracle package has arrived.
Time goes by. It’s afternoon. Zit number two is almost a whitehead. I lean towards my office bathroom mirror to pop… and a coworker enters, disrupting my shameful routine and unintentionally sending me scurrying back to my desk. For Glossier, I will be strong. I will not pop in the name of beauty. Instead, I will try the new Zit Stick waiting for me back at home. Like a soldier looking at his Betty Grable poster, I pine, and I daydream, and I stare at pictures of the sleek packaging, and I imagine my future. Two shows and an afterparty later and I’m finally able to go (run) home and test it out- free at last!
I have a strong, loving relationship with Glossier. Both of us worked with Ju Xiao Wen early in our careers. Both of us are known as generation game changers (Teen Eye and G-beauty: watch out baby boomers!). Both of us love dewey skin. I spend most of my free time on Into The Gloss, and I’ve tried almost every product Glossier has released. Out of the thirteen I’ve owned or borrowed, twelve were smashing hits, and the thirteenth wasn’t compatible simply because I don’t think I really mastered the distance to spray a face mist. You get it. I love them, I trust them, I’m ready to zap my zits away in time for my three filming projects this week.
Some absolutely horrible selfies to document the moment I opened the package. I don’t have any excuses except that it was after four hours of fashion shows, I had cried quite a bit for unrelated reasons, and I was too exhausted to remove my wig cap much less the concealer on the three heinous spots (they look pretty minor here but they’re on my cheek and I guarantee I’m not just making a mountain out of a molehill.)
So yeah, I arrive at home and collapse on my silk sheets, wig cap on and ready to explore product number fourteen in my repertoire. It had been a stressful and confusing night, so I really wasn’t here for any bullshit. I gripped the millennial pink Tide Pen and got right to work.
The directions for the product are simple: twist the pen to get the formula flowing (it pops up on the sides of the little metal rollerball), and apply over clean and dry skin up to three times a day. I cleanse lightly, towel off, and get to work. Two of my zits had been lightly picked, so for the first five or six minutes after application, there was a slight stinging. But then, the magic happened.
The brand promises fast results on their website: “In a clinical trial of Zit Stick users... Evaluators found a reduction in pimple size for 83% of subjects after three hours; 4 out of 5 subjects said redness and swelling were reduced, and that their pimples were less noticeable and less painful after 6 hours; 4 out of 5 subjects said swelling was eliminated and pimples healed faster than normal; subjects reported that more than half of pimples were erased after 24 hours.” I’m a little bit of a pessimist. It seems like if zit erasure was that simple… well, I don’t know, shouldn’t we have known it by now?
But pessimism be dammed, because I instantly saw a reduction in swelling and redness. The next morning, the zits were barely there: just three small bumps, rather than the angry bullseyes before. The second application didn’t sting at all (I suspect the first round did because the pen has an ingredient called benzoyl peroxide, which acts as a deep cleaning anti-bacterial) and when I looked in the mirror an hour later, they were well on their way to fading simply into a bad memory.
Glossier’s zit stick is another massive success, at least in my eyes. It fits in my smallest purses, it has no weird odors or side effects, and it’s effective. From their Instagram videos and comment section, it seems like people with all types of skin are having the same experience. For $14, I’d give this revamped Tide Pen a shot. Your skin will thank you.
This article was not sponsored and all views expressed are genuinely the author’s own. Learn more about the Zit Stick at Glossier.com
Banner image by Ajunie Virk.