May 202014
 

Laura Mercier Concealer1My finger has been hovering over the “order” button for Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye ($28) since the first introduction. Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face includes some excellent concealers. Who are we kidding, she really excels in that department. I have under eye circles, as well as other areas that I usually cover so that I can wear a lightweight foundation. I waited to buy until I could see the colors in person, and I’m still not entirely sure that I chose the right shade. This post is an overview of the formula, but the jury’s still out on the color shades. I ultimately bought shade 1.5 for my MAC NC15/ Chanel Cameo/Ivoire skin tone. My skin leans warm and fair, and I chose shade 1.5 as an excellent match to the rest of my face. I almost added shade 2.5, a medium warm shade, and will likely pick that one up on my next trip in.

Laura Mercier Concealer3

I did a few in-house tries with this. After I got used to the formula, I  worn this concealer for three days–once entirely alone, a second time over moisturizer (Shiseido) with Giorgio Armani Master Color Corrector in 02 Orange ($39), and a third time using the moisturizer, Armani Color Corrector combined with Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion ($24) using the method described here. I did not try using this with a powder over the top. Because of my travel schedule, these three days spanned dry, warm weather in Northern California, and slightly more humid, temperate temperatures on the East Coast.

Laura Mercier Concealer6

The concealer is described as follows by the line: “This formula features honey and vitamin E to protect against environmental stressors, and fruit acid to nourish and calm skin.” My thoughts are as follows–first, you need far, far less of this product that you would imagine. The tiniest tiniest bit is too much. It took me a few tries to get used to the high level of pigment in this formula, before I could wear it outside for the day. During my first try, I used the same amount as I would use for Lancome Effacernes, That was way, way too much–honestly, I could have covered my entire face with that small amount. To say “a little goes a long way” really understates the situation.

Laura Mercier Concealer5Straight from the tube, the texture feels a bit dry and thick especially if you are used to Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Straight out of the tube, using too much of the product looks like this:

Laura Mercier Concealer7b

So, don’t use this much!  After the product is warm and blended, it really does come to life. This product really did not fade at all on me throughout the day. In fact, I’ve never used a concealer that holds its coverage as long as this one does. Using an under eye primer for longevity did not deliver any advantages–I’m going to skip that step next time.

The product’s skin care ingredients–while not affirmatively moisturizing–did make my under eye area appear flattened (meaning non-puffy) and slightly more youthful throughout the day. Mind, this is not (and does not claim to be)  an anti-aging skincare serum. Still, the skin in my under eye area just looked better, and it kept that look throughout the entire day. Unlike the Nars concealer, however, the Laura Mercier does not feel as affirmatively moisturizing. I’d advise a good separate moisturizer when using this product.

The one curious and consistent problem I had was ever-so-slight creasing (whether using a moisturizer or not). Having said that, the overall coverage was still excellent even after sweeping away the creasing. This stuff just does not give up–it’s relentless. Here’s a picture with the product buffed and blended:

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer blended1Finally, although this covers beautifully, I think that my slightly blue under eye circles really do need a touch of color correction. The area looked much better on the days I wore the Armani Master Color Corrector underneath the product. I may be able to solve this another way–by trying a slightly deeper shade of the Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye. Speaking just for me, sometimes going a bit deeper  helps erase those blue tones as well as a corrector. That’s the reason that I’m going back and forth on the shades.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Laura Mercier Concealer2

Overall, I’m pleased with Laura Mercier’s latest offering. I’m going to keep playing with the product to see whether a powder may help the slight creasing issue that I have. The texture is a bit surprising, very pigmented and highly tenacious. Absolutely worth a look.

Available at Nordstrom, Sephora,  Neiman Marcus,  Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macys.

This post constinas affiliate links, For more information, see About Cafe Makeup

 

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Feb 142013
 

RadiantCreamyConcealer_lo

NARS is releasing its new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer line on February 20th on Narscosmetics.com and at NARS flagship boutiques (everywhere else on March 1).  We’ve seen this used in a few of Nars backstage work during New York Fashion Week for Fall 2013 over the past week, finally it is being released to all.

According to NARS:

Ideal for all skin types, new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer boasts a luxuriously smooth texture enriched with hydrating skincare benefits. When applied to camouflage darkness under the eyes and reduce the appearance of redness and skin imperfections, the multi-action formula provides medium to high buildable coverage in a natural, radiant finish with long-lasting results. A single stroke keeps complexion looking fresh and creaseless all day – going on smoothly and blending easily. Light diffusing technology blurs imperfections and fine lines, and evens skin tone without masking skin’s natural coloring. Skin glows with new radiance over or under foundation – and looks beautiful even when bare.

Perfect as a complement to Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30 or layered with Sheer Matte & Sheer Glow Foundation. Crease-proof. Long-wear. Non-comedogenic. Dermatologist tested. Paraben-free. Alcohol-free. Fragrance-free.

Nars Concealer

Color range:

CHANTILLY: True ivory shade for fairest complexions

VANILLA: Tiny cast of pink for the fair complexion

HONEY: Warm peach tone for light to medium complexion

CUSTARD: Yellow tone for light to medium complexion

GINGER: Golden undertone for medium complexion

BISCUIT: Medium dark natural balance of pink and yellow undertones

CARAMEL: Medium dark yellow and golden undertones

AMANDE: Medium dark with golden olive undertones

CAFÉ: Dark shade with warm red undertones

CACAO: Dark shade with deep gold-brown undertones

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Oct 132012
 

Together with the release of its innovative Maestro foundation (reviewed here), Giorgio Armani released Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer ($40). This is a softly tinted, lightweight concealer in a squeeze tube. The innovative part of this concealer is Armani’s promise to deliver not only temporary concealing but also long term results. That is, the product promises gradual fading of the blue tone under eyes.

For my part, I immediately noticed that the texture of this concealer imparts a very natural look. There is far less of a “concealer texture” effect. Even very finely made concealers can, if one looks closely, provide a slight creamy look under the eyes. As we know, sometimes another does get very close to your face (or at least I would hope so!).  Like the foundation, the Maestro Eraser adheres to the skin.

I also noticed the brightening effect. There is an illuminating quality. Because the texture is so fine, I can see some considering Armani’s Maestro Eraser this the next time one’s Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat runs out. I have not been using the product long enough to notice the “blue-tone erasing” effect. Also, I found the Armani Maestro Eraser too sheer to cover my undereye circles without wearing a corrector underneath. Will the Armani still work with a corrector underneath–even an Armani Master Corrector? Only time will tell.

Here are swatches of two of the shades, Number 2 and Number 4:

I purchased a full size of Number 2, and a little packet of Number 4 came as a free sample with my foundation purchase. By my estimate, the Amani has about 1/4 of the coverage power of Lancome Effacernes, Edward Bess Platinum Concealer, Cle de Peau concealer, or Burberry Concealer (all of which gives me full coverage).

Because of its light coverage, I’ve used this primarily to layer over any imperfections on my face while layering the Armani Maestro Fusion foundation over the top. Because of its texture, the Maestro Corrector also works well layered over the foundation if I find that I missed something after applying foundation. It works well for that purpose–the effect lasts all day.

Bottom line, the Armani Maestro Eraser concealer will work beautifully if you need a light-coverage concealer. The effect is very natural –remarkably so. Those who have blue tones or need significantly more coverage will require a corrector. Perhaps the fading effect will take care of this over time, as the literature suggests. According to the website, this requires roughly two months of use.

This is available online with free ship at Nordstrom.com.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

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Jul 112012
 

Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer ($40) is a creamy, opaque concealer that comes in a brush-pen format.  I think we are all familiar with other brush-pen concealers–Yves Saint Laurent (or should I say “Saint Laurent Paris”) has the most famous version–the three shades that promise to impart subtle luminosity just under the eye. I must confess that I never appreciated the Yves Saint Laurent version. It’s too sheer and subtle for my taste. After using two or three, I stopped repurchasing because it seemed to add an unnecessary extra step.

Burberry’s is decidedly not like the Yves Saint Laurent. Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer, despite the word “sheer” in the name, is a true concealer that has a pigmented opacity. It truly does conceal. It is more similar to Lancome Effacernes in that it takes very little to cover dark under eye circles, but the Burberry is not nearly as dry-looking. I get lasting coverage that doesn’t seem to migrate into creasy areas.

When Burberry first launched, I was gutted that there was no concealer in the line. Now I see the wisdom of the plan–they wanted to get it right. And they did. Bullet-proof. By the way, it takes a good 20 clicks or more to get this started.  But once it’s primed, it’s only one or two clicks per use. This NC15 (leaning NC20 right now) chose No. 1, the lightest of the eight available shades.

It’s quite a light shade–bordering on a just maybe a touch too light, but I’ll keep it. Here’s the swatch panel from Burberry’s website so you can get a sense of the range of colors:

Right now, Burberry’s and Edward Bess’ Platinum concealers are my favorites. Which are yours?

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Apr 042011
 

 

In my search to find concealers that act like a “friend with benefits,” I picked up By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer, a lid primer and concealer that promises lightening, brightening and moisturizing effects.  Although there is a By Terry boutique in Paris stocked with the entire line, I picked this up at a Parisian Sephora which also carries quite a few By Terry products.

Unlike the more expensive Le Metier de Beaute’s Peau Vierge Concealer ($95), which also promises skin care benefits, By Terry’s sells for around 35 euros.  By Terry’s is more of an eye-area treatment that includes coloration to correct darkness on the lid and under eye area.  Peau Vierge is a true concealer, which is more opaque and can be used anywhere on the face.

By Terry’s product comes in a large silver tube with a doe-foot applicator.  It smooths on quite easily by using the doe foot to dab product on, which can be then gently smoothed out with a finger tip.  The effect was very natural, there was no hint of funny little cakey bits, pooling into crevices that you didn’t realize that you even had, or visible pigmentation spottiness.  It melts in the skin and looks quite natural once smoothed out.

I’ve been hearing really good things about By Terry’s skincare range.  By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer fits within that perception–that is, the skin care benefits of the product are quite nice.  I did notice a softening effect, and my eye area did look brighter and more moisturized.  Unlike Peau Vierge, By Terry does not promise full long-term or “cosmedicine-like” effects.

I found that I did prefer By Terry’s product to other brightening products such as Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat.  There is a visible effect on the quality of the skin that I don’t get with Touche Eclat–my eye area does look improved with By Terry’s.  As you would expect with a product called a “primer,” the coverage of By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer was good, but not as bullet-proof as Le Metier’s Peau Vierge, a Bobbi Brown Corrector or Cle de Peau’s stick concealer. To maximize the skincare benefits, I applied By Terry’s Eye Primer on first (because that is the layer closest to the skin), then dabbed a bit of another concealer on top to really cover the last bit of undereye color.  Used this way, the staying power was excellent.  Unlike Le Metier’s Peau Vierge and Cle de Peau’s stick concealer, By Terry’s is an eye-only product.  It is likely too emollient to use elsewhere on the face.

If you find yourself shaking your head over spending upwards of $60 for a good concealer with skincare benefits, you should definitely look at By Terry’s.  Other ones in this price category with skincare benefits (for comparison purposes) include Dior’s Diorskin Sculpt and Guerlain’s Precious Light.

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