"I don't love Photoshop; I like imperfection," says designer Marc Jacobs, whose everybody-wants-it makeup line officially debuts at Sephora today. "It doesn't mean ugly. I love a girl with a gap between her teeth, versus perfect white veneers. Perfection is just…boring. Perfect is what's natural or real; that is beauty."
Imperfection might be the word for Marc Jacobs Beauty, the makeup line that had editors and devotees all a-tingle at first mention. (The hype is so big that press samples were stolen right off a friend's desk at work.) Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 Plush Shadow ($70, sephora.ca).
Reviews are mixed, starting with the packaging. With its rounded corners and graphic black and white, the line has that Marc Jacobs signature re-imagined-retro air. But it seems so... plastic. A bit too lightweight for the price tag. Well, okay -- the Genius Gel frosted-glass foundation bottle has heft. Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation ($58, sephora.ca).
Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Eyeliner ($36, sephora.ca) in Blacquer. Nice shape (see below), but again -- a bit lightweight for the price. A felt tip makes for easy application, though, especially for liquid-liner novices.
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon ($30, sephora.ca). A waterproof formula with good staying power, it comes with a sharpener as the end-cap.
Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush ($36, sephora.ca) in Irresistable. The little pouch is so Marc Jacobs -- that's a plus. But the brush is... no. And the compact... so. plastic. The powder, though, has a nice subtle gleam without shimmer or sparkle.
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel ($36, sephora.ca) in Role Play. Nice, smooth, comfortable texture and a magnetic-rim tube. But the lid is still... plastic. Neutrals are necessary, but so underwhelming in this packaging at that price.
Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl ($34, sephora.ca) in Heart Shaped. Minty-tingly, silky, glossy, sheer and shimmery -- with a strong vanilla-sugar scent that cheapens it. However, the Marc Jacobs Beauty glosses come in a full-coverage version that includes a power-fuchsia shade called Boom-Boom. If it's glitter/shimmer-free, I need an introduction.
Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm ($28, sephora.ca) in Makeout. Satisfyingly emollient, pumped full of oils such as safflower, sunflower, meadowfoam, avocado, spearmint and peppermint, and housed in a twist-top tube. Nice. Tried it before photographing; couldn't help it.
This was a challenging post. I want to love everything about the Marc Jacobs makeup line -- I expected to. It's Marc Jacobs! But now I'm conflicted -- I expected something more for these prices. Yet that Boom Boom gloss still calls to me, as do the vibrant berry, maroon and raspberry Lip Gel shades. Geez. I feel like some young thing wondering whether she should break up with her cute boyfriend, dreading it because she's not quite ready. I need more time.
While I waffle about the Marc Jacobs Beauty lineup, here's another mixed review to consider on Canada.com.
Opening quote via Celia Ellenberg's interview with Marc Jacobs on Style.com. Product photos via Fujifilm Finepix F770 EXR.