March 18, 2018

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review: Shades Fair Y130 + Light Y210

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation is one of the hottest new releases this season. With all of the buzz, it can be hard to decide whether or not to buy such a hyped-up product. Today I’m reviewing Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shades Fair Y130 and Light Y210 to help you decide if this product is something you should be adding to your makeup collection.

Disclosure: I purchased one bottle of this foundation myself, then Influenster sent me a bottle to test (I know, I’m crazy lucky. Thanks Influenster!). This post does not contain affiliate links.

Before we begin, here’s a bit about my skin. My skin type is normal to dry (dry at the moment thanks to a weird winter in Vegas). I do get slightly oily throughout the day on my forehead, chin, nose, and on my cheeks right beside my nose. It’s typically not enough to make a foundation break up, but enough that I could definitely use a blotting sheet after 5-6 hours. I’m acne prone and have a lot of texture on my cheeks from clogged pores. My skin tone is light with muted warm-to-neutral olive undertones.


Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation is packaged in a thin, clear, rubbery plastic squeeze tube with a hard plastic twist-off cap. It’s very slim and compact, which will help it to fit easily into a makeup bag or take up minimal space on a counter top or in a drawer. It’s travel-friendly and not something you’d have to worry about dropping. I really like this packaging because it ticks all the boxes in terms of functionality, yet still manages to look stylish sitting on my vanity.

One thing I want to quickly mention about the packaging before we move on is the amount of product. The slim, compact packaging may feel like you’re getting less product than you would with other foundations. However, this is just an illusion. There’s actually more product in the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation than the typical foundation. Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation comes with 32 mL/1.08 fl oz, compared to a standard foundation which typically contains 30 mL/1 fl. oz. So basically don’t do what I did and scream “I just paid $46 for this tiny thing?!” the first time you see the foundation irl.


Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Alcohol, Sorbitol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Glycerin, Nylon-12, Hexyl Laurate, Cellulose Acetate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylates/ Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, C10-18 Triglycerides, Xylitylglucoside, Silica, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Anhydroxylitol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyisoprene, PVP, Xylitol, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Xanthan Gum, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Globularia Alypum Leaf Extract, Disodium EDTA, Glucose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Ceramide NP, Phytosterols. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

This foundation claims to have an “invisibly SPF innovation.” I found this to be true, which is great news if you’re someone who frequently takes photos with the flash on or if you wanted to wear this foundation to a special event where you might be photographed with flash.

No flashback!

The Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation has a sun protection factor of 25. The three sun protection ingredients in this foundation are: Avobenzone 2.2%, Octisalate 1.7%, and Octocrylene 7.5%. Avobenzone protects against UVA rays, and pairing it with Octocrylene and Octisalate helps to make it more stable, meaning it doesn’t lose efficacy over time when exposed to sunlight. Octocrylene protects against both UVA and UVB rays, while Octisalate protects against UVB rays.

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Shades

Top: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shade Y130. Bottom: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shade Y210.

The Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation is available in a range of 29 shades that run the gamut from fair to deep. They’re separated into a “Y” category for warm, golden, yellow undertones, and an “R” category for cool, rosy, red undertones. I think they did a pretty good job with the colors, especially providing a full spectrum of shades. The shades are organized into fair, light, medium, tan, and deep, so it’s obvious they were trying to include everyone when they developed this shade range. Well, except olive undertones, but that’s pretty much par for the course considering that most beauty brands still think we’re a myth.


Other than that, the only critique I have about the shade range is that I would like to see a few more fair shades added, and 1-2 more deep shades. I know that people with very fair skin are going to struggle to find a shade match in this range since there are only three fair shades. Two of those are yellow undertones, so bad news for those of you with a pink undertone, but great news for those of us who are tired of makeup brands thinking that all pale people are pink. For the deep shades, there’s a big jump between Y500, Y570, and R530, and looking at these shades, I can tell there are going to be quite a number of people whose skin falls somewhere in between those shades. Expanding this range to about 35 shades would be excellent.

Top: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shade Y130. Bottom: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shade Y210.

The two shades I have are Y130, which is considered Fair, and Y210 which is Light. Fair Y130 is the shade I initially ordered, but soon discovered it was just a bit too light for me. It has a sort of muted tone to it, so other than the depth, I can definitely make it work. Y210 is the shade that Influenster sent me, though I was able to pick it myself. Y210 is next step up from Y130 in the yellow range, and as you can see there’s a pretty big difference between the two shades. However, when they’re blended there’s not such a stark (#triggered R.I.P. Ned + fam) difference. My best shade in this range is a mixture of Y130 (2 parts) and Y210 (1 part).

Top: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shade Y130. Bottom: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in shade Y210.

Formula & Finish

The Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation is a thick liquid. It feels creamy and buttery to the touch. There is no fragrance or scent. One of the key features of this foundation is the self-setting finish, meaning you don’t need to use powder on top of it, though you certainly could if you wanted to. Because this foundation sets itself, you need to work quickly and in small areas. Try to avoid going over areas that have already set because this can cause the foundation to look cakey. Once it’s set the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation has a slight sheen to it. It’s definitely not dewy or matte, I’d consider it a satin finish. Marc Jacobs Beauty describes the coverage as medium-buildable and I sort of agree, but not completely. Even when it’s built up, it has a tendency to still show skin. Some people will love this about it, others will find it annoying. I think people who usually gravitate toward light coverage foundations will like this more than people who typically prefer a medium coverage foundation.


There are a lot of things I like about this foundation. The application isn’t one of them. The brand suggests using a flat foundation brush to apply the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation, and I agree. This foundation becomes way too sheer when applied with a Beauty Blender or similar face sponge, and applying with fingers seems to make the product lift up rather than blend in. I tried applying this with fingers, sponge, blending brush, and flat foundation brush. I liked the look of it best when I used the Smashbox Buildable Foundation Brush. If you look at the swatches I posted, it looks like there are powdery bits in this foundation (look on the right side of the swatch). My theory is that this is why a flat brush works best for this foundation because it’s the best way of getting these pigments or whatever they are to lay flat. My best guess is that is has something to do with either the self-setting finish or the encapsulated sun protection ingredients.

Bare skin, only wearing eye makeup + brows

Wearing Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation, no setting powder

As I mentioned before, my skin is dry at the moment. I also have some acne spots and pigmentation that I’d like to cover. I’m pretty happy with the coverage of this overall, but I do still feel like my skin is peeking through the foundation in a weird way. MAC Face + Body is my favorite foundation of all time, so I have no problem with my skin showing through a foundation. However, looking at my skin up close, this foundation looks patchy on my skin. It also clings to every single dry patch on my skin, every bit of peach fuzz, and it sinks into tiny little lines and pores on my skin in the weirdest way. This isn’t something I typically experience with foundation. Building this up a little bit helps to fix the patchiness of it, but does nothing for the other problems I experienced. The Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation is transfer resistant, but not transfer proof.

This is such a strange foundation. You would think with the claims of a youthful finish that it would be good for dry skin, but you’d be wrong. You can even see the glow on my skin, I’m not wearing highlighter! And yet, it also highlights all of my dryness. I just don’t get it. If you have dry, dehydrated, or mature skin, I would highly advise skipping this foundation.

I feel like this foundation looks very obviously like makeup on my skin, which I don’t like. I also think that it takes way too much effort to make it look good on my dry skin. I tried several different primers, and continually adapted my skincare routine to give this foundation its best chance. Despite all this effort, I was never really satisfied with the appearance of this foundation. Multiple layers of hydrating products, exfoliating my skin, not exfoliating my skin. The more hydrated my skin was, the better, but still not enough to make me love the look of this foundation. The best solution that I found was to apply a thin layer of Josie Maran’s Argan Oil Light underneath this foundation (I love using this under foundation when my skin is dry!). Even then, it still didn’t look as good as most of  my other foundations.

As for wear time, I’m very satisfied. If anything, it seems to look better on my skin the longer I wear it, up to about the 10 hour mark when it no longer looks fresh. I think this has something to do with an ingredient in the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation called Snow Mushroom (aka Tremella Mushroom). It’s a hydrating and brightening ingredient that has been shown to be even more effective than hyaluronic acid for increasing skin hydration levels. (Yo, Marc, can we get a Snow Mushroom serum, because I’m feelin this ingredient.) As with most foundations, I would guess that oily skin will get a slightly shorter wear time out of this, but based on my testing of this foundation with an oil underneath, it seems to hold up pretty well to oil. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve heard from several other people who experienced a short wear time with this, and started to have problems with it looking poor after only a few hours. I experienced that the first time I tried this foundation, so I think it has a lot to do with how you prep your skin. Keep that in mind if you’re considering this foundation.

Application Tips:

  • Use a flat foundation brush to paint this on.
  • Work in small areas rather than dotting it all over your face to account for the self-setting finish.
  • If you have dry or dehydrated skin, make sure to use hydrating products before applying this foundation.
  • Consider using an oil underneath this foundation if you have dry skin. Use only 1-2 drops, rub it between your palms, and pat it onto your face. It should feel like the oil has been mostly absorbed by your skin, if you feel like you have a thick layer of oil sitting on top of your skin, you’ve used too much oil. Try to tap some of the excess oil off with a napkin or a damp beauty sponge if this happens. Using too much oil will cause the foundation to slide around and transfer easily, especially after you’ve worn it for a few hours.
  • Let this foundation sit for a minute or two before adding other face products such as blush and bronzer to give this a chance to set completely.

Final Thoughts:

This was almost a great foundation for me, but it missed the mark when it came to how it sat on my skin. I’m not sure if it has to do with the encapsulated SPF or the self-setting finish, but whatever it is, it’s just not right for my skin. I love the satin finish, the packaging, and the wear time, but I can’t get past the way it highlights my dryness.

You’ll probably like this if…

  • you have oily skin
  • you like applying foundation with a brush
  • wear time is important to you (though this seems to vary a lot from person to person, so don’t make this the deciding factor for your purchase)
  • you’re frequently photographed using flash, but still want SPF benefits
  • you like a satin finish

Skip this if…

  • dryness and dehydration are a problem for you
  • you have mature skin
  • you prefer medium to full coverage foundations/ you don’t like to have your skin peeking through
  • you prefer a dewy or completely matte finish
  • you hate applying foundation with a brush (ugh, same)
  • you don’t want to have to put much work or thought into your foundation

$46 for 1.08 oz/32 ml at Sephora | MarcJacobsBeauty.com | Neiman Marcus | Bergdorf Goodman | Net-A-Porter | Sephora Australia ($70 AUD)

Thanks for reading!



Don’t forget to like and share! It helps more beauty lovers find my content and it puts a big smile on my face 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like My Favorite Makeup of 2017

Want more? Come hang out with me on Instagram @hey_itscristine or on Facebook. You can also find me on Twitter and Pinterest (spoiler alert: it’s mostly food). Don’t forget to follow the blog so you can stay up to date with new posts! Check the sidebar for all of the ways you can stay in touch with me!

Previous Post Next Post

Leave a Reply

You may also like

%d bloggers like this: