Glam Glow is one of those product lines that is getting mad hype all around the web and in magazines. Celebs love it (supposedly), magazines talk about it, bloggers and vloggers love it. It’s a huge seller for Sephora, and I’ve been curious what the hell the big deal was. Until now, not curious enough to act on that curiosity, of course. Well, February/March, when I started testing these products.
I don’t often do much in the masking department, beyond the very occasional Mario Badescu Flower & Tonic on my T-Zone. I just don’t see a lot of difference when I use one and focus on other types of treatments, lately serums, since with age, my face has gotten less bitchy when met with them.
Curiosity got the better of me, though, and to find out what the hype was all about, I ordered a bunch of samples from the Glam Glow website (which prior to this post going live consisted of a two of each packet), and picked up a little jar of the YouthMud from Sephora, just so I’d have extra of that one for testing, because I’m not gettin’ any younger.
I spread out my testing of each of these products over several weekends so that I wouldn’t interfere with results. I needed to see what, if any, results each individual product gave. Since I had spares of the samples, I also shared those and any jars that were not samples with my sister since she was also interested in the line, so anywhere I had her opinion in the hit/miss category, I’ll share hers.
For reference, she also has pretty great skin and does not have the undereye situation I have–hers are not dark and sunken at all, in fact, she says she gets puffy undereyes. Also to note: she’s not on retinoids and is allergic to far less stuff than I am. She is a busy mom of an adorable and brilliant 2-and-a-half year old.
YOUTHMUD™ TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT ::: The most hyped product is the YouthMud, so that’s where I started.
When you open the jar, it’s a dark gray, gritty mask with weird…chunks of…something in it. The best explanation I can give for those chunks are like weird black leafy bits. Supposedly pieces of green tea leaves. I don’t know what the point of those pieces are, except maybe to take up space in the jar so they don’t have to give you as much product, because there’s plenty of grit for exfoliant in this product on its own, I see no beneficial need for them. The product could do without those leaves.
After taking photos of the product itself, I smeared it over my face, and took a photo of it on my face.
Then, I went into the kitchen to refill my water cup, and my husband came through just as I closed the fridge door. He was visibly terrified. I think he even peed a little, and might have actually shrieked. Then he started to laugh out loud and said “well, if it doesn’t give you the results you desire, you now have a Halloween costume as a ghoul or cave troll ready to go.”
I tried to laugh, but it was starting to dry out to the point where I couldn’t move my face. That actually excited me, because I had grandiose visions that I would look trim and taut like a supermodel. I took a few photos as it dried down, for posterity, and, obviously, for this review. After it fully dried, I got some good macro shots. Just as other reviews indicated, it was dried around the pores, darker in the pores, as if to indicate dirt was being forced out of my pores.
After I rinsed it off of my face and got out of the shower, I inspected my face at close range. It looked absolutely no different than normal, save for some added redness. I went about my routine. The following morning I expected miracles, per other reviews. Again, no difference, save for the beginnings of a nice new zit on my chin starting to brew. I gave it a few more days, and repeated, just to be sure. Again, after the rinse, no change, and again the following morning, no miraculously glowing skin. I consider that a huge fail and call it a Miss.
My Sister, however, loved it, and calls it a Hit.
“The GlamGlow TingleFoliate was awesome! I enjoyed the way the tingles felt. It made my skin so soft, and it still feels smoother almost a week later.”
This is where you can definitely see the difference in our skin and how it reacts to various products.
THIRSTYMUD™ HYDRATING TREATMENT ::: The next product in the line getting some hype is the ThirstyMud, often touted to plump the skin, and plump wrinkles. “Sleep in it,” all the reviews say. As soon as I squeezed the sample packet contents into my hand I knew there was no way I was sleeping in this product. It felt like mayonnaise, which obviously makes sense that it would be moisturizing.
I slathered it on per instructions. I waited 20 minutes. I couldn’t handle it on my face any longer so I wiped it off. You can probably see just how gross that stuff felt on in this photo. I didn’t want to move, it was so not pleasant. The things I do for vanity.
I felt slimy, like I had a shellacking of something disgusting on. I tried to let it soak into my skin, and ignore that feeling. But after 20 more minutes, it had yet to soak in, and I could not stand it anymore. I felt gross and dirty! You can even see in this photo the beginnings of a reaction on my cheeks and around my brows.
So I washed my face. About an hour later, when I was in the bathroom trying to figure out what I felt on my face, I saw that I had a ton of superficial whiteheads all over the place that I cleaned up with an extraction tool and then washed my face and put some benzoyl peroxide all over, and despite those efforts, in the morning I had a face full of zit. Didn’t bother retrying this one because I refused to clean up that mess on my face again. The superficial whiteheads and zits it caused alone makes it an immediate fail and a MISS.
My sister agreed with that assessment, and also calls it a MISS. “Sad to say I think it’s my first GlamGlow fail. It smells like I should be laying on the beach somewhere tropical, but that’s where my love affair ends. I had to wash it off my face because just wiping wasn’t doing the job. My forehead feels super soft, but I can tell I missed some on my cheeks and nose, because my skin is feeling slightly burned there and is slightly red. I’ve also noticed that I am starting to have breakouts on the sides of my face.”
BRIGHTMUD™ EYE TREATMENT ::: Complete with goofy video ads about this being poached from safes, the BrightMud was the next product sample I tried.
Promising to brighten and moisturize the eye area, plumping up wrinkles and making you look more awake, I popped open each pod and started slathering it on.
The texture was similar to the ThirstyMud, except that it had the same crazy chunks as the YouthMud. Don’t these product developers know this is going around the eyes, and that foreign objects around the eyes are just asking for trouble?
I wanted to see if this would, in fact, plump my eye wrinkles and brighten the eye area, so I proceeded anyway… After the 3 minutes, I wiped the area clean, before washing my face. My eyes did not appear brighter, unless you allow for brighter red, perhaps. My wrinkles did not appear to have been plumped away. This will not be kept locked in my safe. MISS for me.
My sister, however, liked it. “I loved the cooling/tingly feeling, but disliked the chunks. It did shrink the bags under my eyes, too, after a night of little sleep, which was impressive.” She considers it a HIT.
SUPERMUD™ CLEARING TREATMENT ::: Next, I tried the SuperMud. This was less chunky (I found no leaves, thankfully), was still gritty, but was also thinner and more easily spread on my face. It also dried the fastest of the two “regular mud” options.
I had to snap my pics quickly, because it really did dry very quickly. I could barely crack that smile for the photo when it did dry. You can see a similar “pore clearing” effect in the last image, similar to the YouthMud.
When I rinsed my face, I had a slight “rash” thing going on with my cheeks, but I wasn’t particularly concerned. I waited til morning to really judge it. When it was still rashy looking in the morning, I considered that an issue. I put a little cortisone on my face and went about my routine. Despite the rash, I did inspect my nose and chin, and both looked exponentially better. While I might put this in the HIT category, I would NOT rank this over the Mario Badescu Flower and Tonic mask that I mentioned above, as I think that’s vastly more effective at clearing out pores and significantly less expensive, and doesn’t give me a rash.
My sister doesn’t actually prefer that Mario Badescu mask at all, but she considers the SuperMud a HIT, also, though at first, she wasn’t quite convinced. “Right after I used it, I was less than impressed, and actually kind of disappointed. I expected a lot after reading the reviews online. But I have to say, as weird as it sounds, as the day went on I felt like my skin looked better! I didn’t wear any makeup to work that day and not one person said “are you tired?” or “are you sick?” It also made the pores on my nose look smaller which is what I was really hoping for.”
POWERMUD™ DUALCLEANSE TREATMENT ::: The newest product in the line, though, is pretty interesting and at the risk of a huge spoiler: is the best in the line. A mud-to-oil product called PowerMud. Samples are not yet available for this one, so I just went for it and used a gift card to pick up the full size jar of this one at Sephora, because after checking it out in the store, the texture was totally different from any of the others and it had a lot going for it.
The mud-to-oil process is fascinating. When water hits the dried mask on your skin and your hands begin to emulsify the product, it begins to break down into a cleansing oil, making for super-easy rinsing. The appeal of that for me, beyond obviously the easy rinse, is that I can use a cleansing wipe to get my makeup off pre-mask, and then use this before jumping into the shower, getting all the benefits of a little pore cleansing while having the built-in cleansing oil get the remaining eye makeup off while go about my shower. The ease-of-use is infinitely appealing to my tremendously lazy ass.
I first tried this after I went for a walk the morning after I bought it, and my first big piece of “duh” advice would be don’t be hot and sweaty. I blotted well before applying, but I was still so warm that I was a little too damp and that made a few spots transform before they were ready. When I applied the mask to my face, I noticed it was thinner than the other formulas and had NONE of those annoying leaves the others have. Major pro. Instant win. It spreads very well on the skin and doesn’t take much. I let it dry as best it could on my sweaty face for about 10 minutes. It is a little harder to see, unlike the previously mentioned formulas. No passing for a cave troll with this one. But it does dry down nicely, less hard, versus the others. No passing for a trim and taut supermodel, either.
As you initially apply it, it has a bit of a self-warming feel to it, much like those Biore self warming masks. Not uncomfortable at all, but a nice warm feeling that makes to feel like it’s sucking something out. I liked it. It tingled only slightly, less so than other formulas.
When I got into the shower, I added a bit of water, and it started to immediately break down into a nice creamy feel, and any grit helped it exfoliate gently. As you add the water (back in and out of the shower stream so you can really work it on your skin), and exfoliate, you can get a really nice feel to your skin and it breaks down beautifully. Once I got it into the creamy oil stage I started to work it around my eyes to get any remaining mascara off my lashes. Then I rinsed thoroughly and went about my shower. My skin felt very nice, clean and exfoliated, noticeably so.
At the end of my shower, I used my La Mer cleansing gel as usual to get any leftovers off and rinsed. I patted dry with a paper towel and inspected quickly before applying my One Love Organics Vitamin C serum. This is the Glam Glow to buy, if you’re going to buy any. Total HIT.
LINE OVERALL ::: Some were hits, some misses, but I feel for this price point there should be a lot more HITS. The packaging is beautiful on each and every product in the line, and the website and social media budget is obviously huge and very well spent. But again, not a significant enough amount of product or results from each product to justify these price points to myself, and as you well know, I will pay when the product delivers.
Have you tried any of the products in the Glam Glow line? Which were your favorites? Tell me about your skin as well, so I can see how we compare and contrast in that department.