Makeup and skincare brand Glossier launched its first Washington, D.C. location in the Georgetown neighborhood.
The women-owned brand opened its two-story shop on M Street on July 29, and was greeted by a long line of customers. The Georgetown location is the company’s fifth storefront, following openings in Seattle, London, Los Angeles and Miami. The popular makeup brand, founded in 2014 by beauty blogger Emily Weiss, aims to create a beauty line that highlights an individual’s natural beauty. The company is now known for its minimalist products that help establish a dewy, glossy look, a beauty trend adored by beauty gurus and everyday shoppers alike.
At Glossier stores, customers can try out Glossier products while immersed in a theme related to the store’s location. From the tropical beach club theme in Miami to mushrooms and greenery in the Seattle store, customers can enjoy an exciting themed experience while they shop.
The D.C. store has a sleek aviation theme, highlighting aspects of the famous Jet Age of the mid-20th century. The theme is a nod to the District’s rich historical structures, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the world-renowned Union Station.
Olivia Velasquez, a District resident who recently visited the Georgetown store, said she enjoyed the minimalist aesthetic of the store.
“The store design was very unique and I am personally a fan of themed stores, so it was really fun to see all the themed decor,” Velasquez wrote to The Hoya. “I thought the theme was very clean and cool-looking.”
As customers walk into the Georgetown store, they are met with a staircase that mimics the structure of an airport runway, which then leads them up to the main showroom. The modern product showroom on the second floor is filled with airport-style lights, winged seating arrangements and recycled airplane windows used as mirrors to add to the theme of the store.
Unlike other makeup stores like Sephora and Ulta, where customers pick the products they want from the floor, Glossier stores are set up as showrooms with their products displayed for sampling. To purchase products, customers can approach sales associates carrying tablets to manage transactions. The order is then sent to the storeroom, from where the product is sent up to the customer via conveyor belt.
The tablet system allows employees to spend more time helping the customers choose products, offering suggestions and providing customers with the information they need. However, it does cause slightly longer wait times as customers wait for their purchased products to travel from the storeroom to the showroom, according to Manya Kodali (SFS ’25), who recently visited the store.
Velasquez said the allure of the store made her more likely to purchase makeup products in person.
“I was surprised at how the entrance was built and I liked that it allowed a nice reveal of the store design,” Velasquez said. “I don’t shop for big makeup brands a lot but it was fun to test every product they had available.”
Kodali said she enjoyed the attention to detail given to the customer shopping experience.
“The store had a very modern, positive atmosphere that made shopping fun,” Kodali wrote to The Hoya. “Compared to other beauty stores, it was much cleaner because we tested makeup without ever touching the communal products, which made the experience better.”
“The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. I liked being able to check out the moment I wanted to, but waiting in line for the conveyor belt to drop off my items was annoying,” Kodali said.
Nidalia Wolfe, another customer at the store, said the concept and layout of the store made it a pleasant experience to shop for makeup and a welcome addition to Georgetown’s set of shops.
“Over the past few years I’ve heard more about Glossier and have seen it become more popular in the media, and I am glad I got to try a few of their products,” Wolfe said. “It was evident that Glossier put a lot of thought into the design of their store.”