A moment please, for the best beauty account on Instagram.
Amid the ashes of the world rises a glittering hero, crowned in flowers, lacquered in burgundy toenail polish. While we fervently bake sourdough and militantly posture online about the state of everything, a beacon of light shines from one Instagram account; Marc Jacobs, formerly a designer, now evolving before our eyes as a beauty guru, here to bring light, joy and The Rocky Horror Show inspired beauty looks to our languorous souls and social media feeds.
If you are about to make your first foray into the Instagram account of Marc Jacobs, I am truly jealous of the back catalogue of celebrity cameos and 90's fashion throwbacks in your future, not to mention the torrent of outfit inspiration from Marc Jacobs' signature style - a great print coat (usually the zebra print Celine), blue jeans, a bright sweater, a peeking polo collar, frequent hair clips, the odd scarf, always a string of pearls and always, always an excellent skyscraper platformed boot. But it is the quarantine induced beauty content we are here for, for its perfect imperfection.
A fan of an embellished nail (he has his nails done by Mei Kawajiri, aka @nailsbymei, the maximalist nail artist who creates nail looks for his shows, and many others), Marc Jacobs has dipped his toe into at-home pedicures, in his own Marc Jacobs beauty nail varnish shade, Jezebel and glitter topcoat, captioning #itried.
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He has shared how he tints the greys in his beard, and has started to create beauty tutorials, inspired by Diana Vreeland's famous Harper's Bazaar Why Don't You? column (sample: "why don't you put all your dogs in bright yellow collars and leads like all the dogs in Paris?"). Diana Vreeland was a woman with her own beautiful, very signature Kabuki beauty look, wearing blush that extended to her ears. “Why not paint your face?" says Marc Jacobs in his first beauty tutorial. "Why not get dressed? Why not parade around in your underwear, why not dance naked, why not enjoy this time that I have and why not be me and be unafraid to be me and be unashamed and excited about being me?”
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Playing with his own Marc Jacobs Beauty range, Pat McGrath beauty products and some Nars, with his phone balanced on a cereal box and dipping his fingers into eyeshadow palettes and fingerpainting dirty bronze gold onto his eyelids, it is all gloriously unfiltered. Here's hoping the man who loves fashion more than anyone else is on the yellow brick road to taking over the beauty industry.
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In his second 'Tootutorial', Marc gave us a homage to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, "one of the most freeing Saturday nights I used to have back when I was a teenager," he says. "It was just a great experience being yourself and expressing yourself... letting something come out of you that was perhaps suppressed. For me, it was a very freeing and liberating experience." Is that not what make-up is all about? Trialling some of his own products for the first time (No make-up brushes! No filters! No ring lights! Real skin texture!), the product recommendations and process are as enjoyable as the stories Marc tells while he applies - there are tales of his past, drag queen tips from Francois Nars, double entendres and feelgood wisdom.
The real triumph of Marc Jacob's beauty tutorials is the playfulness. It's a welcome departure from the intricate, skilful, rigorous step-by-step, paint-by-numbers monotony of the beauty tutorial of lore.
Marc Jacobs has even tested the (alkaline) waters of the world of wellness, uploading his morning green juices and supplements. Gwyneth Paltrow is shaking.
I hope when All This ends, the tutorials don't - I want a Ru Paul's Drag Race queen to give Marc a full drag make-over, I want him to direct a beauty shoot for a magazine, I want a MAC collaboration and I want more tutorials. Amid the Stanley Tucci making cocktails tutorial, the Global Citizen videos and the TikTok dances, this is the beauty quarantine content we all needed.
Like everything Marc Jacobs does, there is creativity at the heart of these videos. It's unconventional and about freedom, entirely true to himself, breaking all the rules, and that always makes for the best make-up. As Marc says, "I do believe in just doing it. Perfection is an ideal. Beauty comes from just doing it and expressing yourself and enjoying yourself."
Photography by @themarcjacobs.
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