Is Glossier’s Stretch Balm Concealer Worth The Hype?

Glossier was undoubtedly the OG it-girl beauty brand that took the Internet by storm back in 2014. You simply could not scroll past Tumblr (those were really the days), Pinterest or even Instagram without catching the millennial-pink packaging in a purchase-tempting flatlay or arranged in aesthetic #shelfie pictures of elite beauty influencers and gurus.

They clearly paved the way for the no-makeup-makeup trend with their mantra – “skin first, makeup second” – and regular beauty fans like me were excited to see how this brand would grow in the next decade to come. However, the cult beauty brand took an infamous fall from grace (a really hard one too) in 2020 with allegations of toxic work culture, unfair expectations, mistreatment towards POCs, and so forth. I mean you really had to be there for the public outrage.

Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation & Stretch Balm Concealer

Fast forward to 2023, Glossier made a surprise comeback (if we can call it that) by launching its first ever foundation – the new Stretch Fluid Foundation and the rebranded Stretch Balm Concealer.

A big step from the brand’s famous Perfecting Skin Tint, which was a thinner formulation with the intent of being skincare forward as opposed to makeup-centric. Perhaps this was Glossier’s way of keeping up with the times and catering to more skin and beauty needs.

Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation & Stretch Balm Concealer Shade Range

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer

Both products come in 32 flexible shades across 7 shade families and 5 undertone groups, boasting buildable light-to-medium coverage while claiming to “stretch” with any skin tone.

As all Glossier products do, both the Stretch Fluid Foundation and Stretch Balm Concealer are meant to leave the skin feeling nourished and hydrated with a natural finish, with the Concealer formulated to camouflage “skin realities” like dark circles, blemishes, and redness.

A few more claims from their website are that the concealer has adaptable mineral pigments to brighten the look of skin, blending seamlessly for undetectable medium coverage. It also has Elastic Micro Waxes that move with your expressions – never stiffening or caking – for flexible, long-wearing, dewy coverage for up to 12 hours.

As someone who loves a full beat and enjoys products with good coverage, I was tempted to make my second Glossier purchase a whole decade after my first (I too caved into the Glossier hype back then and purchased two tubes of Cloud Paint cheek blushes). Plus I really wanted to see how it compared to other existing foundations/ concealers in the market. So, I got myself the Stretch Balm Concealer, and here are my thoughts.

About My Skin: Combination-Oily Skin

Here’s how my bare skin looks without any makeup. You can see a couple small acne scarrings on the left side of my face that I would eventually try to cover up with the concealer.

I’m a combination-oily girl with enlarged pores but my skin has been improving a lot in the past year so it’s looking more balanced right now. My undereyes are fairly hydrated without looking oily, and I have just a few acne scars that are reducing as the days pass.

For this review, I will showcase how well it conceals acne scarring with a more natural, everyday look, focusing on how it applies and how it lasts through a 6-hour wear.

How To Use Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer

On the Glossier website, the instructions state that the best way to apply the concealer is to warm up the product by gently swirling fingertip over the surface layer of the opened pot, picking up a thin layer as you go and patting the product onto the skin. If you need more coverage, build with more layers.

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer 2

From left to right: Wet & Wild Photo Focus Concealer in Medium Tawny, Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer in Medium 1, Kosas Revealer Concealer in 03W.

Following Glossier’s suggested application, this is what a few fingertip strokes of the Stretch Balm Concealer looks like on the skin – I tapped into the product about 3 times to produce this swatch as one swatch alone was too thin. Wet & Wild’s and Kosas’ concealers were swatched with their respective wands from their tubes.

Applying Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer With Brush

While that is my usual way of applying the Stretch Balm Concealer, I’m going to show how it applies with a concealer brush instead and how it looks with a full face of foundation.

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer 3

Left is without foundation; right is after light foundation

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer: Natural Dewy Finish With Medium Coverage

I would say the concealer has much more coverage when applied with a brush (and this was only with one swirl into the jar), but not too full of a coverage like what a Kosas or NARS concealer would give you. You can also easily blend it out with your fingers after brush application to even out strokes, if any. It’s definitely as flexible as it claims.

I was also much tanner when I purchased the product in December last year – my skin has lightened up a lot from staying indoors lately so the shade inaccuracy in picture is not something to pick on.

The dry down isn’t matte or cakey either – I would say it’s more dewy, as claimed and expected, since it’s a balm consistency.

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer Results

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer 4

The coverage and wear is definitely natural; you can see how it has blended seamlessly into my overall foundation and full face of makeup after (I’ve layered on setting powder but no setting spray, just FYI). I also added just a touch of concealer under my eyes and in a few other areas with blemishes and redness (around my nose, lips, and chin).

I would say it does stay true to Glossier’s “skin-like” motto, even with its medium coverage.

Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer 5

After 6-7 hours of wear, the coverage was pretty much still there but my acne scars were peaking through just a little. Again, this was a more natural full-faced look with light foundation so it’s relatively expected. The under-eye coverage looked really nice and creaseless even after powdering – bearing in mind that it wasn’t a full swipe of product and moreso a few soft brush strokes.

In summary, I think it works really well as a light, under-eye concealer and more layers need to be added on when covering acne scars or blemishes. It’s not a bad product; in fact, I do find myself reaching for it on days where I want to go foundation-free and just want the slightest bit of coverage.

While it’s significantly cheaper than cult favourite concealers like NARS’ Soft Matte Concealer ($30) and Bobbi Brown’s Under Eye Corrector ($31), it isn’t exactly comparable to the likes of elite, household brands so I would park Glossier’s Stretch Balm Concealer within the more affordable, ‘natural-wear’ group of brands like Tower 28, Saie, and Rare Beauty.

Would I Buy Glossier’s Stretch Balm Concealer Again?

Unfortunately it’s a no for me since there are many other natural-wear concealers in the market for similar or even lower price points (i.e. Tower 28’s Hydrating Serum Concealer promises the same thing – medium coverage and natural finish for the same price and has received way more hype and positive reviews in comparison).

But if you want something that’s easy to apply or blend with your fingers, no harm giving it a go. I’ve used it occasionally for about 5 months and find that it hasn’t really depleted much so that’s value for your stretched buck right there.

What do you think?

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