Marc Jacobs Beauty

Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation

for $ 48.00
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Marc Jacobs would like you to believe this is a "breakthrough" anti-aging foundation, but a glance at the ingredient list reveals that it's a pretty standard formula. What small concentration of skin-beneficial ingredients it does contain aren't likely to have much impact, and for what this costs, they should be there in abundance.

Besides, even if this was a state-of-the-art formula, the clear bottle packaging wouldn't be able to keep the light-sensitive ingredients, such as antioxidants, stable unless you always kept this stored in a dark place (exposure to daylight would cause the light-sensitive ingredients to break down).

The most significant issue is that the formula is strongly fragranced, which is never good for skin (see More Info) and certainly not if you want to make the most of anti-aging ingredients.

That aside, in terms of performance, the foundation offers medium coverage and sets to a natural finish that works for any skin type. The fluid, gel texture is dispensed via the pump style applicator and blends on evenly for a seamless look and wear.

The shade range is made up of mostly neutral colors for fair to deep skin tones, although there are a few unflattering shades to avoid (the pinkish Fawn Light and Fawn Medium shades, as well as the orangey Golden Medium).

All in all, Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation isn't the best in class product it's made out to be, and at this price, it should be!

  • Natural finish, ideal for all skin types.
  • Fluid liquid texture blends on evenly for seamless wear.
  • Offers medium coverage to hide imperfections.
  • Highly fragranced formula poses a risk of irritating skin.
  • Some unflattering shades to watch out for.
  • Not a revolutionary formula as claimed.
More Info:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
Water, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Neopentyl Glycol, Diethylhexanoate, Sorbeth-30, Nylon-12, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Mica, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Silica, Aluminum Hydroxide, PEG/PPG- 18/18 Dimethicone, Candelilla Cera/Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/ Cire De Candelilla, Magnesium Sulfate, Methylpropanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Magnesium Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexyglycerin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Paraffin, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitan Laurate, Tocopherol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acetyl Dipeptide- Icetyl Ester, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides

Strengths:Silky-smooth Perfection Powder Featherweight Foundation; exceptional bronzer; Brow Tamer Grooming Gel.

Weaknesses: An abundance of mediocre to poor products; issues with faulty packaging; some irritating formulas; several unflattering color choices; terrible eyeliner (Magic Marcer Precision Pen Waterproof Eyeliner).

Marc Jacobs first made his mark (pun intended) as a fashion designer and has now expanded his namesake brand to include fragrance and beauty products. Marc Jacobs Beauty is no doubt instigated by his fashions straight from the runway, but just as couture clothing doesn't always transition well into the real world, nor does Marc Jacobs' attempt at makeup. This color line may be pretty to look at, but the performance tends to be less appealing!

One of the problems facing the line is faulty packaging. Although it looks beautiful, multiple products have issues with leaking or just outright breaking. For a line that is supposed to deliver the utmost quality, you should expect more, especially given the high price point (other designed lines do this kind of thing much better from Givenchy to Giorgio Armani).

The line also has far more unconventional colors that pay homage to Jacobs' philosophy that "there are no rules when it comes to beauty." That may work in the fashion world, but when it comes to what you put on your face on a daily basis, you at least want colors that complement your skin tone. You can still find attractive shades in this line, but you have to do some serious weeding to get there.

The biggest drawback is the potentially irritating ingredients that are found in many of the products. We also feel obligated to mention that the anti-aging claims are significantly overhyped, and that's a major disappointment considering consumers are being asked to pay more for something that doesn't deliver.

On the bright side, it's not all doom and gloom. There are a few good products, and hey, at least their clever names might keep you entertained. We also have to applaud MarcJacobsBeauty.com for disclosing their ingredient lists online (many cosmetics companies still don't do this, despite consumer demand and FDA regulation that makes ingredient disclosure mandatory, at least on the packaging so why not on their website!).

We had high hopes for Marc Jacobs Beauty, especially given the designer's success in the fashion and fragrance worlds, but as is, color us unimpressed. And judging by customer reviews we perused on sites like Sephora.com, many of you feel the same!

For more information about Coty-owned Marc Jacobs Beauty, call 1-888-215-8636 or visit marcjacobsbeauty.com.

Marc Jacobs Beauty is sold at Sephora, Marc Jacobs stores nationwide, and online at marcjacobsbeauty.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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