My Reviews

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.

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My Hits & Misses

Tools of the Trade: Best Face & Eye Brushes

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Tools of the trade can often make or break a project, and makeup is no different. You don’t need to splash a lot of cash to get the good stuff, but a few key investments can really help you level up your skillset. If I tried to go through all of the 50+ brushes I own, we’d be here for the next week, so instead I thought I’d just share the key members of my brush family – the workhorses, the luxury buys that were totally worth it, and the guys I reach for just about every day.

As a side note, I have listed (to the best of my ability) whether the brushes are vegan, cruelty-free, natural hair, etc. If you prefer to only shop vegan/cruelty-free, this list from Logical Harmony is a great resource for cruelty-free brands.

Face Brushes

RealTechniques Duo-Fiber Face Brush (Amazon) – I had no idea how to use this when I first picked up the RT Duo-Fiber Collection (the colors were recently changed to align with the rest of the brand’s products), but it has become my absolute favorite brush for working with super pigmented blushes like NARS and Tarte. It’s so soft and pleasant on the skin, and picks up just the right amount of product for the easiest blending. I had such a hard time working with blush before and now it’s quickly become one of my favorite products. RealTechniques brushes are always cruelty-free.

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RealTechniques Setting Brush (Amazon) – The multi-tasker! This brush gets used so often that I actually have two of them; setting powder, highlight, contour, all over lid shade, you name it – this brush can do it. Right now its top two uses for me are picking up just the tiniest amount of HD powder to set my under eye concealer and giving me a perfectly blended out natural-looking contour. RealTechniques brushes are always cruelty-free.

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IT Cosmetics #103 Airbrush Blurring Concealer Brush (Ulta, $16.00) – For anyone that just cannot get the hang of the micro.mini beautyblender, this is hands down the best concealer brush I’ve tried. Specifically, under-eye concealer. It helps blend out product beautifully without disturbing the rest of my makeup or sheering out my foundation too much. With my current foundation, I’ve actually had better luck applying my concealer first and this brush really does give me an airbrush finish that is undetectable under or over my foundation. This brush is made with synthetic fibers.

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My Hits & Misses

Trending Products Worth the Hype

With the semi-annual Sephora sale coming up later this week (details below), I thought now might be a good time to share some of the super-hyped products on the market that I think are absolutely worth the attention they’ve garnered.


Historically, the semi-annual Sephora sales have taken place in April and November. So far, that seems to be true of this year too as the spring Love Note sale starts tomorrow! The following sale information is copied from Temptalia:

VIB Rouge: 7-13 April — 15% off with code ROUGENOTE
VIB: 8-13 April — 15% off with code VIBNOTE
BI: 9-12 April — 10% off with code BINOTE

If you’re shopping online, don’t forget to use Ebates for even more cash back.


Now on to the good stuff! Trending products worth the hype.

CaptureSunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105.00/1oz) – My current skincare obsession, this stuff is absolutely everywhere on YouTube lately (especially if you watch any gorgeous ladies in the UK). A retinol compound suspended in oil, Luna is a nighttime facial treatment designed to exfoliate, repair damage and redness, and leaves my skin feeling soft and full. Since I already have dry skin and retinol can be a bit drying if you’re new to the product, I like to mix the Luna oil with a few drops of my regular facial oil before applying. Using once/week, I expect the full size bottle will last me about a year.

I just want to note that it doesn’t have the highest rating on Paula’s Choice, from a scientific standpoint, primarily due to added fragrance. I’m generally not a fan of this, but in the case of Sunday Riley’s Luna it doesn’t seem to irritate my skin at all (which has become increasingly rare as I get older). Still, please patch test before applying to your face.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer ($37/1.0oz) – I’ll be honest, I’ve only tried one of these so far, but when the Step 1 line of primers first launched, it was all anyone could talk about for what seemed like months. I’ve got the hydrating version, but there are nine others, and they are still flying off the shelves. Before trying this, I wasn’t sure anything could beat the Too Faced Hangover Rx primer, but MUFE is miles ahead. The texture of the formula is somewhere between a serum and a lotion which my dehydrated skin loves, plus it sets quickly and leaves a solid base to help prolong the wear of my makeup. With some added silicones, my skin feels perfectly smooth for makeup application, and there’s definitely a bit of pore-blurring as well.

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My Hits & Misses

Summer Shitlist

So I went into this expecting to come up with my top 10, or rather bottom 10 beauty products of the summer, but rather than fueling the drama and sensationalism of being angry about stuff, I decided to just stick with eight. These are the products that really stood out in my mind as not good or not enjoyable and I didn’t want to start throwing in random products that are “just okay” for the sake of having 10. Sorry to anyone that has a thing for multiples of five like I do, that itch will not be scratched here. Top 15 Summer Hitlist to follow!

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