Review: Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Foundation

I’ve been testing out the Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel foundation for a little over a week now and I’m ready to discuss! Spoiler alert: I really really like it.

The Genius Gel foundation is a silicone-based oil-free gel foundation with a natural, satin finish and medium coverage. It runs $48 for one ounce (30ml) of product in a glass bottle with a pump top. While Sephora carries 12 shades, it looks like the full range on the Marc Jacobs Beauty website features 16, ranging from Ivory Light (10) to Cocoa Deep (86). I wear shade no. 10 – Ivory Light, described as “very fair with pink undertones” which is a pretty accurate description for my face.

A note about the company: Marc Jacobs Beauty is a cruelty-free brand owned by Kendo, Sephora’s cruelty-free branch (they also own Kat Von D Beauty and Bite Beauty). Please note, while Marc Jacobs Beauty is cruelty-free, their fragrance line is not and Marc Jacobs perfumes are sold in China (where they are required by law to test on animals). Cruelty Free Kitty has a great breakdown about licensing and both Marc Jacobs brands, which you can read here.

This foundation was recommended to me by a Sephora employee after doing a Color IQ and hydration reading in the store, I actually had never heard of this product before and he kindly gave me a massive sample to take home.

I applied the foundation with a brush and then smoothed it out with my Beauty Blender – this is my preferred method for most foundations and it worked great on this one too. You probably could do without the damp sponge, it did not apply streaky or uneven (except for around the scar on my nose), but I enjoy using a Beauty Blender so I did. The first thing I immediately noticed was how good of a shade match it was. You couldn’t even see where I had blended the product into my neck, even The Boyfriend noticed. I usually wear MAC Studio Waterweight foundation in NW13 which I thought was a great shade match for me, but there’s practically a solid line of foundation around my neck when compared to the Genius Gel.

Perfect shade match! (This photo has not been edited or altered)

The second thing I noticed was that even though the Genius Gel is a medium coverage foundation, it looks incredibly natural on the skin and feels like nothing is there when you touch it. I didn’t feel that it emphasized any of my natural skin texture or dry areas at all, and it really wasn’t even half bad on my scar. This was particularly perplexing to me (in a good way) as I really did not expect it to look more natural than a sheer coverage serum style product.

The third “win” I noticed was that this foundation really does not need powder. The one time I did try to powder my face is when dry patches became much more noticeable. I have had the most impressive wear when only setting my undereye concealer and around my nose, but otherwise not pondering my face.

No powder necessary! (This photo has not been edited or altered)

Earlier this week, I wore the foundation for ~12 hours, all other things remaining the same: Too Faced Hangover RX primer, Lunatick Cosmetics HD powder to set my undereye concealer, and Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix setting spray. I noticed minimal fading throughout the course of the day and just a tiny bit of creasing around the folds of my nose and where my glasses sit, though I don’t thick any foundation can withstand the latter.

Close-up after 12 hours of wear (this photo has not been edited or altered)

As a disclaimer, I have read there is some added fragrance, but I am generally quite sensitive to fragrant foundations* and I haven’t noticed the smell at all – even after realizing there is supposed to be one. Perhaps I lucked out, but the scent here is – thankfully – wholly unre(Marc)able. Did you see what I did there?
*The Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua makes me feel like I am sitting in my grandmother’s handbag.

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with this foundation. The finish is natural and smooth, it feels dry to the touch and does not need to be set with powder, and the longevity* was outstanding. I was previously under the impression that I did not like silicone-based foundations and that they were not a good choice for dehydrated skin, but the smooth texture sits beautifully on the skin and the added glycerin is greatly appreciated. Marc Jacobs, you get a big win for this one.
*Again for clarity, I did use a hydrating primer and a setting spray, both of which I use regularly when wearing liquid or powder foundations. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was not asked to write this, nor were any items provided to me free of charge or in exchange for a review. I receive a one-time referral  bonus when you sign up to earn cash back through Ebates using my link. Both Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty are available for cash-back purchases through Ebates.

This post was edited to reflect the shade discrepancy between Sephora and the Marc Jacobs Beauty website.

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