It’s no secret that my fellow beauty editor
Erin Jahns and I are big time makeup lovers. I mean, yes—taking interest in the latest mascaras, highlighters, and foundations is actually part of our job descriptions. But honestly, you would probably laugh if you could pay witness to the major makeup geeking that goes down at our desks over the course of any given day.
That’s why we decided to deep dive into another iconic makeup brand, and give our thorough, honest reviews of the top products we see garnering the most buzz. We like to assess for ourselves whether certain famed products are
really worth the hype, and your money. This time around, we’re delving into celebrity makeup artist favorite, Marc Jacobs Beauty. From March 14-18, the company will be running its Friends and Family sale wherein you can enjoy 25% off sitewide, plus free shipping on $75 or more by using code GETMARC at checkout.
Ahead of the big sale, Erin and I got our hands on 22 of the most beloved products from the line, and below, you can get our honest reviews to help you decide which beauty buys to stock up on while they’re super cheap. Get our thoughts ahead, and don’t miss you chance to score major discounts on everything you see here and so much more.
Rating: 4/5. I’m not really into face primers. I can get into primers for my lips, eyelids, and eyelashes, but when it comes to ones meant for the face I typically skip them. I go pretty hard on my skincare, so I just never really saw the point in adding anything else. That said, I think this primer is lovely. It’s lightweight, yet hydrating and luxurious. If you don’t already have a great moisturizer that wears well under makeup, then this would be a great addition to your arsenal.
Rating: 5/5. I have always considered myself extremely loyal when it comes to foundation (I’ve used the same ones regularly for years), but this foundation is good enough to make me stray. It’s liquidy and lightweight, but offers nice coverage and blends really nicely without having to do too much work. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily buildable, though, so if you like being able to go in and layer to get from medium to full-coverage, this probably isn’t the right fit. But if you’re looking for a more natural, blurred and glowy skin effect, look no further.
Rating: 3.5/5. Since I really only use concealer to brighten up my under eye area, I tend to reach for soft cream formulas. I find them to be a lot better when concentrating on creasy areas like the delicate skin under the eyes, where I apply concealer the most. This stick isn’t my favorite for that. I was surprised at how well I was able to blend it out under my eyes without it looking too cakey, but I have to admit that I did notice it creasing up before I have even finished the rest of my face. Setting it with a little powder definitely helps on that front, but if you don’t want to have to do that, then you should definitely grab a different formula.
Rating: 5/5. Ok, I’m impressed with this powder. You’d be surprised how often so-called “translucent” powders still show up ashy on brown skin tones. That wasn’t an issue with this one, at all. I’m also really into the super smart package. It features a curved basin with a small circular opening that has a piece of thin mesh where the powder gets dispensed. All these little details make it so that when you go to shake some product out, you don’t end up with a powder avalanche. The shape of the basin is also perfect for swirling a powder brush. Since I like my face to look glowy and not matte, I only pat this product on top of concealer that needs setting and in areas, like my T-zone, that end up getting really shiny over the course of the day. From the packaging down to the product, this is an all-around win.
Rating: 5.5/5. This stick is meant to be used as a bronzer for your whole body, but I use it as a contour! I like that it’s shimmery (not glittery—big difference), so it kind of softens the contour and makes it more approachable for daytime wear. I have to give that extra half point here for the multi-use factor. Come summer, I will absolutely also use this on my arms, shoulders, legs, and collarbone to add some luminosity over my whole body.
Rating: 4/5. I’m endlessly intimidated by eyeshadow palettes, but still, I can’t stop myself from attempting to use them! Of all the gorgeous palettes available from the MJB range, I think this one is the most approachable. I love the array of neutral tones of varying finishes, and I love how soft the shadows are. They’re pretty easy to blend and layer, which isn’t always the case when it comes to powder eyeshadows.
Rating: 5/5. Liquid eyeshadow is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s so easy to use! I love this deep, sparkly brown, because it can be worn almost sheer for a little glitter topper, or layered for more coverage and pigment. You really can go full disco ball with this stuff. When layering, I like to make sure the product dries for a few seconds to a slightly tacky consistency between passes, so the liquid can easily adhere itself to any existing layers.
Rating: 4/5. I’m a liquid eyeliner gal, so I tend to judge them pretty harshly. This liner is lovely. I decided to try out the brown, instead of my usual black, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even though it’s not the darkest brown in the world, it still makes an impact. The formula glides so smoothly on the the eyelids, and the ultra-thin bush tip makes for super precise lines, which I love. My only critique is that it dries to a shiny finish, and I usually prefer a matte finish.
Rating: 3/5. This mascara is truly beloved by anyone I’ve ever talked to about it, so I was expecting to love it a lot, too. When I applied it, I love how it lengthens and defines my lashes. But at the end of the day I do notice some ink smudged under my eyes. This could be a result of my concealer and perhaps a mascara primer would help keep this product in place, but that’s not a precaution I’d want to have to take every single day.
Rating: 4/5. Ok, this stick is magical. I love the sheer, natural glow it imparts with the tiniest amount of product. My one complaint is that you can’t apply it straight from the stick to your face without smudging the rest of your makeup. It’s definitely better to swipe it onto our finger or a brush first.
Rating: 6/5. I have an important announcement: This is officially my favorite lipgloss! It’s the perfect nude gloss for brown girls. I wear it on lightly moisturized lips and don’t need to layer it on top of lipstick or use any lip liner to achieve a perfectly opaque, high sheen, nude lip. It’s thick but not overly sticky, and I can sip my morning tea without it coming off completely. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this enthusiastic about a lipgloss—I highly recommend that everyone buy multiples.
Rating: 4/5. This is a really lovely foundation, and I say that as someone who almost always prefers a really buildable, full coverage formula. The texture is so lightweight and silky, and it blended and spread completely effortlessly into my moisturized skin. I was also really taken aback by the fact that it literally DID NOT CREASE. So, the brand isn’t kidding on that front. The only reason I’m not giving this a full five stars is I would argue it’s more of a light than medium coverage (which the brand touts it to be), and it’s not super buildable. That first layer is about as much coverage as you’re going to get! As someone with a little bit of acne scarring and pigmentation, I really had to rely on concealer to trouble-shoot any areas where I wanted more camouflage. That said, this did provide a feather-light, even, and glow-y base. I started by applying with my fingers and then went in with my Beautyblender which worked perfectly.
Rating: 4/5. If you’re a fan of stick concealers you’re going to go bonkers for this. I used to be a diehard stick girl, but over the past couple of years, I’ve gravitated toward less creamy formulas and easy-to-apply doe-foot applicators. But, this one might convert me back! After a little trial and error (fingers, brushes, etc.) I found that the best way to apply this is definitely to streak it wherever you want coverage. (For me, that was under my eyes, around my chin, underneath my cheekbones where I have some pigmentation, and touch around my T-zone.) Then, I went in with a slightly damp Beautblender and smoothed and blended everything out. It’s a really creamy and malleable formula unlike so many stick concealers that can veer too sticky or too chalky—one extreme or the other. The coverage is also phenomenal, and I was able to use two different shades to help cover the areas where the foundation didn’t quite do the trick. I will say though…I think this concealer works much better for the face than under the eyes—it was just a wee bit too creamy and creasy for my taste!
Rating: 3/5. I’m so devoted to my normal powder routine (MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural where I get oily and want some highlight on my face and Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder for Under Eye), and I’m always resistant to try new formulas. Overall, I’m pretty meh about this. It definitely helped mute shine where I felt I might get greasy later on in the day, but I felt like it caused my foundation to start to crease (where it hadn’t before!) and took away from the foundation’s uncanny second-skin-like finish. Next time, I would honestly probably do without.
Rating: 5.5/5. Okay. I LOVE this bronzer. Which is exciting, because I haven’t been thrilled with the last few formulas I’ve experimented with. The color is super natural looking and flattering (despite how dark it looked in the pan!) and I couldn’t believe how well it blended. Seriously, it melts and buffs into your skin with the ease of the cream, and I couldn’t get over how easy it was to sculpt and warm up my face. I also appreciated the radiant matte finish which kept me from looking like a shimmery disco ball but not too flat or dusty. I’m over the moon about this one.
Rating: 5/5. This gel-cream highlighter gets a lot of love from makeup artists and celebrities, and as a huge highlighter enthusiast, it’s been on my list of things to try for a while now and I’m SO thrilled it lived up to my super high expectations. Some creamy highlighters look far too opaque and doughnut-glaze-y for my taste, but Dew You (which is a light golden peach shade) was the perfect way to accentuate my cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, and other areas I like to brighten up like my shin and the bridge of my nose. It’s infused with great ingredients like coconut water and Provitamin B5 and my skin had the perfect level of dewy glow. (Which never verged too disco ball by the way!) A little bit goes a LONG way, and I found the easiest way to apply was by pumping a tiny bit onto the back of my hand, dipping my Beautyblender in, and then dabbing it around my face where I wanted a spotlight. So diffused and pretty.
Rating: 4/5. Anyone who knows me can tell you I pretty much always stick to liquid or cream eyeshadows. In my opinion, they’re so much faster and less-fussy to apply. Plus, I’m not one to use dark or dramatic shades and much prefer a warm, semi-sparkly vibe on my eyes. This formula does the trick! The liquid formula glides on so, SO well and and honestly, you don’t even really have to diffuse or blend. (But you totally can with zero issues.) I started with Gleam Girl which is a light rose gold color and then used Shimmy Dip, a light gold, on the inner corners. I was little bummed that they didn’t seem to layer all that well on top of one another, and the main reason I’m giving this four instead of five stars is that if you start to layer too much, you begin to take off product. Overall though, I love how shimmery and natural this formula is. It’s pretty fool-proof to use and catches the light in the most beautiful way.
Rating: 4/5. I pretty much use black liquid eyeliner exclusively, so I was SO dang thrilled when Marc Jacobs launched a shiny, liquid-gel liner iteration of their cult-loved Highlighter Gel Eye Crayons. The colors are great (Blacquer is perfection), and the formula doesn’t budge. I will say I wish this was a pen in terms of packaging—true story I dropped it on my parents white carpeting while I was home over the holidays, and it’s still a sore subject—but it does the job and it’s definitely a favorite of mine within the realm of liquid eyeliners. Not to mention, there are SO many shades and some even have stunning metallic finishes. I love to switch it up, but for day I always go with Blacquer (which I’m wearing here) or Mo’Cha which is a dark brown.
Rating: 3/5. So, I used the Velvet Primer and the Velvet Noir Mascara, and I’ll say straight away, I prefer this mascara on its own better than with the primer. If you like mascara primers, you probably WILL like this one—it adds decent length, separation, and strong-hold curl, but I just prefer the more natural, long and feathered look of the mascara on its own! If you like really black, really plumped-up lashes with a decent amount of curl, this is a great option.
Rating: 6/5. Well, I officially have a new favorite lip liner. I’m all about a plump, pouty lip, and honestly, defining my lips with this pen made it look like I had just gotten a touch of filler. (Feel free to hate on me, but that’s the look I like!) It stayed put all day long (no touch-ups necessary even after a couple cups of coffee, lots of water, and a messy Sweetgreen salad), and it glides and applies like liquid velvet. I also was pleased that this shade was almost the exact shade of my natural lip color, which is what I’m always after—a trick from makeup artis icon, Kevyn Aucoin!
Rating: 5/5. Almost every celebrity I’ve interviewed has named Marc Jacob’s lipsticks as a must-have within their bag, and I have to agree, the formula and shades are bar none. I chose to match my lipstick with my liner (and as I said, basically the natural color of my lips since I was heading into the office for the day.
Rating: 5/5. I REALLY like highlighting the center of my lips with a color that’s slightly lighter and bit pinker. (It creates the illusion of fuller and poutier lip!) Up next, We Tried and Rated 24 Iconic Charlotte Tilbury Products—Here’s the Honest Tea.