Is everyone freaking out over this collection already or WHAT? I think we can safely say that the Marc Jacobs makeup line is the most hotly anticipated launch of the year—and the big day is just around the corner. (August 9th at Sephora and select Marc Jacobs stores in the U.S. and online.) Get ready for long lines, or if you're buying online, set your alarm clock. Sephora.com quietly released five items last week as a pre-launch, and everything sold out within hours. People are so desperate for this shiz, they're even thieving it! A fellow beauty-writing friend just wrote up the collection for Canada.com and right after, "some asshole swiped them from my desk." Nice.
So I feel quite fortunate indeed that I got my hot little hands on samples of (nearly) every item in the collection to test. Is it total amazingness? Let's see...
Marc Jacobs Perfection Powder Featherweight Foundation in Ivory Bisque
First up is this powder foundation, pressed into a cute stripe pattern, which sits inside the collection's signature black compact. (The packaging alone is swoon-worthy: all of the compacts are shiny black plastic with silver embossed lettering and buttons, and they come in chic little black cloth pouches, too.) But back to this powder foundation. It's described as ultra-lightweight and ideal for diffusing flaws, instantly brightening and removing shine—either for all-day wear or midday touch-ups.
There are 10 shades in total and I was sent two; the one above, Ivory Bisque, is the second lightest.
Marc Jacobs Perfection Powder Featherweight Foundation in Beige
This one, Beige, is two shades darker than Ivory Bisque. (Bisque, which I didn't get a sample of, is in between them.)
Here's what the two shades look like on skin:
I think Ivory Bisque is a pretty good match to my skin tone. It's just ever-so-slightly yellowish, but nothing I can't live with. (And mind you, I had to apply a lot to get these to show up in photos.)
As for the product itself, I like the idea of it being dual-purpose, so that you could use it as both a regular foundation and a touch-up powder. The problem is, it doesn't hold up that well as a foundation. It does make your skin look a bit better, but it's VERY light coverage. (Is it even accurate to call it a foundation?) It's certainly not one of those foundations that minimizes your need for concealer. I needed quite a bit of concealer to deal with redness that usually gets covered up by my tinted moisturizer. Unless your skin is supermodel-perfect, be prepared for the same.
The good news is that while it's lightweight in coverage, it's also lightweight in texture. As you know, I'm not so much a fan of powder foundations in general since I find them quite dry-looking on skin. But this one was so light that I didn't notice that effect, although it is summer so my skin is more hydrated than it will be six months from now. I still don't think it would make you look cakey, so I may be using this as my new touch-up powder. (It's a little more elegant to pull out of my bag than my current Hard Candy compact!)
Speaking of Hard Candy though, their translucent powder costs $8.00 at Walmart, whereas this... costs $58.00. It's lovely, but I don't think I would personally purchase it for that price. It does do what it says it's going to do, but I'd rather use a true translucent powder for mattifying and spend my money on a higher-coverage liquid foundation.
Marc Jacobs Perfect Powder Featherweight Foundation, $58.00 each
Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen
This is an all-in-one concealer pen with anti-aging and brightening properties. ("The perfect fix for flaws or the aftermath of last night.") What makes it super-cool—literally—is that instead of a brush on the tip, which I've always found a bit gross and unhygienic, it has a metal dispenser that cools down your skin on contact.
There are seven "skin" shades and then two universal shades, which are what I was sent. Stand Corrected is called a universal corrector and Bright Idea is a universal brightener.
Here they are on skin, unblended:
I didn't read the press release first, so my initial thought was WTF—why is one so yellow and one so pink? But then I found out about the correcting/brightening thing, and it made a bit more sense.
Sort of. Here's how they are blended:
The yellow one is meant to neutralize redness and the purple tones around the eye area, and the pink one can brighten up sallowness. Obviously, I'm more a candidate for the yellow than the pink since I already have way too much pink going on in my skin already. Around my purplish dark circles, Stand Corrected worked fine and was nicely brightening and natural-looking.
On other areas of redness, like around my nose? I needed way more coverage than it could give. Don't get me wrong; the formula is beautiful. It's just quite liquidy and sheer for a concealer anywhere except the eye area. (Maybe in Marc's world, because he's around so many 15-year-old models, there is no need for higher-coverage concealer and foundation. Sigh.)
The other thing that bothered me was how much product gets dispensed from the tip. You end up wasting a lot, and it's really tricky to cover a blemish or dark spot properly. You could, if you layered it and used a little brush instead of trying to apply directly from the tube... but I have other concealers that do the job faster and better.
It would have been nice to compare it with Rendezvous or Wake Up Call (the skin shades that I think would be my match) but oh well. For me, this is a nice alternative to a Touche Éclat... and at $47.00, a little cheaper.
Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen, $47.00 each
Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Eyeliner in Blacquer
I die over the extreme cleverness of this product name. (Marc'er? Blacquer?) The pen itself is also very, very chic and the way all liquid liners should be, don't you think? So much easier to draw holding a pen than a tiny brush. This one features a calligraphy-shaped pointed tip that dispenses an intensely black shade of liquid liner that is also waterproof. (Note: It only comes in the one shade.)
Here it is on my skin:
You can angle the tip to get different thicknesses. The tiny pointy end comes in handy when you've made a mistake and need to correct certain points in your line, or for super-subtle flicks at your outer edges.
I wore this all day on Saturday and it is indeed very black and very waterproof. It's not totally matte though; it almost has a slight shine to it. I found it easy (and fun) to work with... but again, it kinda comes down to price ($36.00). I've seen tons of very similar liquid liner pens recently (Joe Fresh, Revlon, Maybelline New York) and I'm sure there are dozens more. I know they are in all likelihood not nearly as great—but they are also, like, $30.00 cheaper. Your call.
Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Eyeliner, $36.00
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Jazz(berry), Th(ink) and Intro(vert)
But wait, there's more eyeliner! These ones are pencils—gel pencils. What does that mean? Apparently, that you get smoother application with richer pigments and more intense colour. They are also waterproof.
They come in Blacquer as well as five colours. This is what the three I was sent look like on skin:
Let's talk about that sparkly green! It's one of my favourite things in this whole collection. The shimmer isn't over-the-top but it's just fun and girly enough to put a smile on your face. (It looks especially great when you use it to line just the lower waterlines.) The purple doesn't pick up anywhere near as much light but I also liked it as a stand-in for basic black. Still very dark and intense, but not quite as harsh. I'm going to pass on the berry shade as an eyeliner. It's more of a runway colour and in real life isn't very flattering around the eye area.
As far as performance, these were a dream to use. They glide on very easily and are the perfect soft texture for doing the delicate waterlines. Happily, they seem to stay put really well—maybe even better than my Urban Decay faves, which I believe are tad greasier. A good waterproof liner is hard to find, so I'd say $30.00 is pretty reasonable for one of these.
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon, $30.00 each
Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in Heart Shaped
Adorbs. I'll bet these sell out first... because who wouldn't want Marc Jacobs lip gloss? We can always use a new lip gloss. These ones deliver shine as well as plumping and come in two types of pigments: full and sheer colour.
There are 12 in total and I was sent Heart Shaped, which (I think) is one of the sheers:
It's a peachy coral that I fell in love with on my skin... but on my lips? Not quite as much. I don't know if it's because my lip colour is naturally pretty red, but this just didn't show up on me. It looked like I was wearing a pale, almost clear gloss with a lot of shine. (There are teeny tiny shimmer particles, but in a good way.) This doesn't mean that I won't of course wear it. I'd probably just like the full-colour red (No Regrets) or hot pink (Boom Boom) better.
The texture of these is that nicely hydrating, balmy feel that we've all come to know and love ever since companies stopped making sticky lip glosses in the last couple of years. (Thank GOD.) They smell amaze, thanks to a champagne-grape infusion, and there's a slight tingling for the plumping action, but it's not over-the-top minty and irritating like plumpers of the past.
Gotta warn you about the packaging, though. I was accidentally sent two of these in the same shade, and thank the PR gods for that because the wand of the first one broke when I pulled it out of the tube. The applicator tip got stuck inside, so all I was left with was the stick, rendering the whole thing completely useless. (You can't squeeze the tube.) So if you do buy this, be extra-cautious with how you handle it. Frankly, I expect much more durable packaging from a $34.00 lip gloss.
Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl, $34.00 each
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Role Play
Another sure-to-be-popular item in this range is the lipstick... er, lip gel. A "gellified" lipstick is how they describe it, which means we get high shine plus intense pigment. Like the gloss, it is also plumping.
There are 16 shades and I was sent two. Role Play, above, is a brownish pink.
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Seduce Me
This one, Seduce Me, is a bold berry that looks brighter on the lips than in the tube.
Here's a closer look:
Seduce Me is super-duper intense on my skin and this translates to my lips as well. It's one of those universally flattering colours that I think any skin tone could pull off... but like I said, it's intense. I think this will be a great colour for fall—I don't feel so much like wearing it now. Role Play, on the other hand, works as a beautiful nude. It's one of those "your lips, only better" type shades that you want when you're playing up your eyes and want your lips low-key (but not corpse-like). Initially, I thought it had maybe a touch too much brown for my liking, but actually on the lips, your real colour comes through, so it looks really pretty and natural.
You will like the texture of these as well. They remind me of the Smashbox lippie I rave about a lot—somehow intense yet sheer and buildable, and light as a feather on the lips. They are moisturizing so they don't emphasize dry or flaky bits either. The price could be better (they're $36.00), but I can definitely make a case for splurging here. Now excuse me while I go lust after the fuchsia (Happy Ending)...
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel, $36.00 each
Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush in Irresistible
The blush is another item I'm partial to in this collection. Partly because I have a problem with blush (MOAR blush! MOAR!) and partly because it is actually quite a nice one. It's a powder that, like the foundation, is etched in that cute stripe pattern and comes in the adorbs little compact.
There are nine shades and I was sent Irresistible:
Although I could get away with it in bad lighting, this isn't really the ideal shade for me—it's a dark-ish coral and I'm probably better suited to the lighter version, called Provocative. (Actually, I'd probably choose the pinkier shade, Obsessed, if left to my own devices.) But even still... I think this looks SO good on, even though my skin isn't quite dark enough for it.
The reason I like this blush is because it doesn't give you a ton of pigment on first swipe. Don't you hate that, when you dip your blush brush into a new powder blush and sweep it across your cheek—only to realize it's way too pigmented and now you look like a clown? Not the case here. You have to repeat a few times to get your desired level of colour... even on super-pale me. At $36.00 though, it's a bigger investment than most prestige brands so you'd really need to test this out in good lighting and compare it with what you have to decide if it's worth it.
Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush, $36.00
Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 3 Plush Eyeshadow in The Mod
So this is how Marc is selling his shadows—in palettes instead of individual monos. There are two types of palette. No. 3, above, features three shadows per palette and comes in six colour harmonies. No. 7, which I didn't receive, has seven shadows per palette and comes in four colour harmonies. The textures of the shadows range from metallics to mattes to "sheens."
Here's what No. 3—a.k.a. "The Mod"—looks like on my skin:
I'm kinda into the graphic-ness of these shades, which are definitely true to the Mod spirit. The first is a white with a bit of subtle sheen that picks up in the light. It's not as scary as a flat, matte white and looks pretty good as highlight for the inner corners or even all over the lid as a base. The black has metallic in it, which I don't think you can see too well in the photo. Again, it gives it more interest than a plain black and you could use this as a liner or smoke it out. The third shade is a dove grey that is quite similar to the white.
It's not my favourite harmony of the bunch—I'd probably choose one with more browns, like The Shoe Gazer or The Glam. I also think this is a bit expensive at $51.00 for three shadows.
Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 3 Plush Eyeshadow, $51.00 per palette
Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm in Makeout
Oh HAI $29.00 lip balm. You are lovely, with your subtle mintiness, non-goopy texture and "nourishing precious oils." You even contain SPF 18.
I just can't spend $29.00 on you, even if Marc Jacobs' name is on the package. Come, now.
Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm, $29.00
Marc Jacobs Brow Tamer Eyebrow Grooming Gel in Invisible
The last item I have to show you is this brow gel, which has a special tack-free, soft-hold formula (so that your brows don't look literally gelled into place). I think the coolest thing about it is the brush. It's furry. It reminds me of a paint roller, actually. I think the reason they chose that is because it doesn't pick up a lot of product, so it's quite subtle compared to the mascara-style ones out there that often dispense too much.
It comes in just one shade, Invisible (which—duh—is clear). Again, at $29.00 it's not cheap, but it depends on how much you're annoyed by the other wands out there.
Marc Jacobs Brow Tamer Eyebrow Grooming Gel, $29.00
And that concludes my test! What I didn't get to try yet:
- Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation, $58.00 each. Apparently this is in a first-to-market gel technology (lots of gel here) featuring coconut water extracts (!!). Supposed to be buildable from natural to full coverage and has anti-aging and hydrating properties. There are 16 shades.
- Marc Jacobs Lash Lifter Gel Volume Mascara, $32.00. This has some fancy technology called E-Lash-Tic that works like Spandex to lift, volumize and curl (no lash curler required). Also smudge-proof and flake-proof, but you can wash it off with warm water. Comes in just one intense black shade, Blacquer.
- Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plus Eyeshadow, $71.00 each. This is the seven-shade version of the eyeshadow palette and comes in four versions. The Lolita is along the same lines as Urban Decay's Naked palettes, and looks awesome.
- Marc Jacobs O!mega Bronze Perfect Tan, $59.00. The finish of this bronzer is described as "radiant-matte," which has me intrigued. It's available in just one universal shade, Tantric.
- Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer, $22.00 each. These are his nail polishes, all of which have a plasticized, wet-look finish that apparently mirrors 30 coats. Whoa. There are 24 shades including Shiny, the one that started the buzz on the fall 2013 runway.
- Marc Jacobs The Face I Liquid Foundation Brush, $58.00; Marc Jacobs The Face II Sculpting Foundation Brush, $58.00; Marc Jacobs The Blush Angled Blush Brush, $58.00; and Marc Jacobs The Bronze Bronzer Brush, $94.00. (Jaw just dropped at the price of that last one.)
The bottom line
It's obviously a beautiful range... but I guess because it was hyped so much, I had HUGE and probably unrealistic expectations. (Considering I already have a ridiculous makeup collection, there's not much here that I don't already have in some shape or form.) I think the products are all great quality—well, aside from the fragile lip gloss wand—but they are definitely on the more pricey side. It really depends on how much you're swayed by the cachet of the name and what you don't already have at home. Personally, I was disappointed with the light coverage of the skin makeup, but I still need to try the foundation and bronzer before I weigh in with a final verdict. I think the eyeliners, blushes and lipsticks are where this collection really excels.
Again, the big day is August 9th, where you'll be able to find this at Sephora stores, select Marc Jacobs stores, by calling 1-877-SEPHORA or visiting Sephora.ca, MarcJacobsBeauty.com or MarcJacobs.com.
Are you counting down the days 'til August 9th?
What would you buy from this collection?
Do you think these prices are fair or too much?