A new major makeup line is always cause for excitement. Welcome to the beauty world, Marc Jacobs! He is an extraordinarily creative fashion designer (he has several of his own lines, and he is the lead designer for Louis Vuitton’s ready to wear line). I’ve registered for the website (you should too). I’ve been counting the days to see how the line stacks up.
I took advantage of the Sephora pre-sale a few days ago, and ordered some items. To be honest, it’s usually difficult for me to judge a line without getting a sense of their foundations (no foundations were sold at the pre-release). At present, this line will be sold exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com. This is sort of interesting if you’re a beauty business watcher–this keeps all the players under the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey umbrella (LVMH owns Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora).
My impression is that Marc Jacobs Beauty was unique in its design and formulation. It’s not trying to be a “me too” brand. Moreover, unlike the introduction of Burberry beauty some years ago now, which had a sort of “top shelf,” and “best in class” messaging, my sense is that the customer for Marc Jacobs Beauty will be a bit more niche. Perhaps s/he’ll be a bit more of a minimalist, or drawn to the brand as a loyalist from the fashion side of things (pretty smart). Having said that, I think that everyone will find something to love within this line although one might have to do a bit of sorting to get there.
One was the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 / The Starlet Eyeshadow Palette ($59). The packaging of everything so far has been amazing. I love the slimness of this palette–it can slide easily in an out of almost any bag (even a clutch).
It’s tiny but mighty mighty. Holding seven eyeshadows, this has a nice balanced weight, an excellent mechanism, and a minimalist beauty that makes it a pleasure to use. This particular palette comes in a fabric outer sleeve.
The format reminds me of an ultra-sophisticated child’s watercolor palette. It’s sort of fun to dip a brush into the different colors. The material feels a bit like metal, although it could be a composite.
The catch uses a smooth push in button. Inside, a Marc Jacobs slip cover in black gives a sort of infinity pool effect. Nice touch.
Okay, so down to business–let’s look at these pressed powder colors. As the name implies, this Marc Jacobs The Starlet palette is made for glamour. These seven shades have high reflectivity, and if applied heavily can go to a foil-metallic finish. I’m assuming that the line will introduce a range of textures and finishes for the full release.
Consistent with a fashion design aesthetic, Marc Jacobs The Starlet feels like a palette that’s going to be bought, used over the course of evenings and weekends for a few months, and then cycled through just as fashion lines do with clothing. There’s enough of the classic shimmer neutrals to keep everyone happy, and a few accent shades to add the “fashion” factor. Below, I numbered the wells so we can talk about them separately.
Shade 1 is easy–a shimmery brown-taupe with a bit of a pink tone. Who doesn’t love one?
Shade 2 is a medium shimmery cool silver-brown. This is a great lid wash color, although there’s some fall out from the pan.
Shade 3 is a well-pigmented shimmery crease color, a warm brown.
Shade 4 is a highly metallic copper. It’s very smooth and pigmented.
Shade 5 is a highly metallic warm green gold. This one has to be used with care, I think. It kicks up a blizzard of fall-out in the pan (but went on smoothly on me using a MAC 217 brush). That’s that kind of detail that surprised me–the kicked-up glitter dust doesn’t belong in this elegant packaging. As for the color, it could be a genius eyeliner accent, I actually tried it this way near my upper lashline using the Shade 1 as a lid wash. It was unusual and striking, and brought out the green/blue color of my eyes. This one is tricky though–be careful not to over-do unless that’s your intent. It’s edgy.
Shade 6 is a metallic blue-silver. If you are looking for a silver that doesn’t go blue, keep looking–this leans blue in the pan. It becomes a metallic foil applied dry with a dense brush. It’s quite intense that way. As an alternative, we used shade 6 as a center-of-the-lid highlight on Liz’s neutral eye (see pictures below) and got glowy gorgeousness with just a very light touch with Edward Bess’ Luxury Eye Brush. I happen to love this shade.
Shade 7 is a cool dark shimmery mauve taupe brown. This is a good all-purpose color to use in the crease, outer corner, or near the lashes. Used all over the eye, it could be an nice dark wash that emphasizes the eye’s natural color. I love this color.
First, Shade 2 as an all-over lid wash.
Second, Shade 3 in the crease.
Third, Shade 6 on the center of the lid very sheerly as a highlighter. Putting this silver-blue shade over the browns eliminated much of the blue.
As you can see, this gave a beautiful shimmery fresh effect that can be used for daytime.
Here, she is using The Starlet with:
- Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer
- Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation
- Nars Illuminator in Copacabana
- Nars blush in Realm of Senses (review to come)
- Nars Brow Gel in Pireas (review to come)
- In her hair, Alterna Caviar CC Cream as a leave-in styling and conditioning product (review to come)
- Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in Kissability (review to come)
- Prestige Total Intensity liner in black (lower lash line only)
- L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara
Close up of this very easy, glowy eye look:
Swatches of the Marc Jacobs Starlet palette which shows some of the complexity of these colors:
Overall, I’m finding the new Marc Jacobs The Starlet palette an interesting entre into the new Marc Jacobs line. The packaging in beautifully designed–it’s chic, highly pack-able, compact, and beautifully balanced. The layout includes a mix of neutrals and edgy fashion-forward colors. This is a versatile choice that, because of the unique mix, is not duplicative of existing lines. Some are unique, statement-making shades. The question will be whether these colors are a statement that you wish to make.
I’ve been using the palette for the past few days. I like the format very much–the paintbox layout is fun, convenient, and intuitive. The shadows apply easily for me, so long as I use a soft brush (usually, the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush) so that it doesn’t become too metallic-foiled looking for everyday wear. It gets pretty intense with a dense brush. I get very minimal creasing after about 8-10 hours with no base in very warm 80-100 degree weather. That’s quite good, given that those conditions aren’t ideal. The fallout is puzzling.
The issue will be whether The Starlet fits within your personal aesthetic. As I said earlier, if you’d like to try the new Marc Jacobs line there will be something. I’m personally falling head over heels for the liquid liner and glosses (reviews to follow). I actually like The Starlet, but am looking forward to other choices. Also, I’m glad to see a true designer line coming to the beauty world, and I’m encouraged by what I see so far. Not completely won over yet, but very encouraged.
This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). Nars Brow Gel and Nars Realm of the Senses blush were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.