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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Jun 292013
 

Laura Mercier highlighter1

A few weeks ago, I found that this Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Powder Highlighter ($36/ 7.5 gm/ 0.26 oz.) was introduced, along with several matte bronzer shades in the same format.  Although the bronzer shades look lovely, I was more drawn to the highlighter for the finely-milled, natural qualities and the look that give it gives to the skin.

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I think baked highlighters are beautiful, and I love their luminzing effect. There have been a few problems with baked powders that have been released in the beauty world–some are not finely milled, some have large glitter bits that don’t work for everyone, or only available as a limited edition. With some variegated formulas, there is a color variation which makes purchasing unpredictable (Will you get a “good” one? Sounds like makeup roulette?). I appreciate that Laura Mercier created stability through a well-designed, beautiful, consistent baked highlighter. Although I love the thrill of the chase, there’s a definite niche for a steady source of products that make us look like glowing gods and goddesses. Every time.

Laura Mercier highlighter3

Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Highlight gives a natural sheen to the skin. It kicks up a little dust upon application, but less than others I’ve seen, and it doesn’t translate to the face.  It gives a pretty glow that doesn’t look chalky. In the pan, it’s a soft peachy color that seems transparent when applied on my warm, light skin tone.

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On Liz, you can see how the flash hits the highlight on her cheek.  She is wearing the highlighter in a “C” shape around her outer eye area, but that is hard to detect unless the light is hitting there more directly. It showed up beautifully as she wore it throughout dinner afterwards. The way that the light plays with this highlighter is gorgeous. Here, she is wearing Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Gabrielle and Chanel Moon River eyeshadow (which is now reaching its “sold out” stage, sadly).

Laura Mercier Highlighter liz 1

As with many baked powders, fan brushes and duo-fiber brushes work well (avoid dense kabukis unless you are going for a “superstar” glow). Here are comparisons with the finely milled, more subtle Poudre Signee de Chanel, MAC Lightscapade (limited edition, not currently available), and Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmerbrick (not currently available) (click to enlarge to see texture):

LM Highlighter `1

Overall, Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance line is a welcome addition to the beauty world, especially the new baked Highlighter.

The Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Powder Highlighter is available at Nordstrom and other Laura Mercier sources.

 This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Dec 202009
 

This is the last of a series of posts about holiday options. December can be one of the most demanding months, and I usually have less time to get ready than I’d like.  One quick way to add some shine is to use a creme eyeshadow, such as Laura Mercier’s Metallic Creme Eye Colors ($22).   I’ve been using this product for years, and it never fails to deliver.  Dab a little on your finger, then apply on your lid.  Touch up your liner and you’re done.  If you wear these sheerly, using a “dab” motion and less product, they work well for daytime.  They last for hours and hours, and don’t overwhelm.  Their range includes neutrals and understated colors such as Mercury and Gold, below.

If you don’t want to invest in shimmery looks, mineral makeup companies are a great option.  Bare Escentuals is the most accessible, available at Sephora, QVC, department stores and through its own boutiques.

For even less, you can buy from online retailers.  Typically, they  sell small sample-sized products for less than $5. These “samples” last for 15 through 30 uses–I’ve never used one up entirely.  One outstanding choice is Fyrinnae, which delivers an incredible range of high-quality products for about $3-4 per sample.  Thankfully, their website categorizes selection by finish and by color.

Here are a few mineral eyeshadow options, including three from Bare Escentuals (Queen Tiffany, True Gold and Queen Linda) and one from another good etailer, Aromaleigh (Aurelie):

P.S.:  I’m going to pick up some of Chanel Spring 2010 today (my local counter will get everything this week, I’m told).  Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures up here later today or tomorrow of the products that are already in!

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Dec 082009
 

Here is a close up of Chanel’s La Ligne de Chanel Professional Eyeliner Duo in Celadon-Lame, out for the holidays 2009.  It’s a deep, dark, wonderful green. You can see how yummy it looks in the pan if you click on the picture, below. Go on, click it — it’s so pretty!

Celadon-Lame

Celadon-Lame

Swatches are available at Karlasugar’s blog.

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Dec 082009
 

Eyeliner is one of the trickiest makeup products to apply. One mis-step, and it can change the look of the most important area of your face. I find gel eyeliners extremely easy to use, and very long-lasting. However, one of the most classic eyeliners is a cake liner. Typically, one uses a cake liner wet. This is most easily accomplished if you wet the brush, not the liner cake.

I find cake eyeliners tremendously versatile. I use two brushes–the first to actually line the eye. A good flat-topped brush (here, Laura Mercier’s, but there are lot of companies that make them) is best for making a sharp, defined line around the lash lines.

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Second, I use a smudge brush (again, this is Laura Mercier’s but several companies make them) to smudge the liner, and to add a bit of powder over the sharp line to add a bit of smoke.  Alternatively, you could add a lighter color to soften and lighten the liner color.
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I find that it’s best to use these brushes wet. First, most cake eyeliners are hard and give off very little pigment unless you fight them for it. A wet brush is a great weapon to beat some pigment out of the cake. I find that a spritz of water isn’t enough. Also, using my tongue usually leaves a color mark so I avoid that too. It’s best to run the brushes under water, then “squeegee” the excess water out by using two fingers, or dab the brush on a towel. Here, I’m using Chanel’s black cake eyeliner duo.  I’m starting with the flat-topped brush in the matte side of the duo, to make a sharp line within the lash line.

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This next picture shows how versatile a cake eyeliner can be, and why I love them.  You can use them to make the thinnest possible line, or really layer it on for a thick, dark look.  The reality is, that a cake eyeliner can give me the kind of control that I cannot get from other eyeliners. This is why I don’t mind the complication of using them.  I cannot get a line of the same thinness and pigmentation with a gel, or a pencil–the thin, flat, wet brush and the highly pigmented, light powder makes using a cake eyeliner unique.

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Next, I take a wet, squeegee’d smudge brush and put it into the shimmer side of the eyeliner duo.  You can use a black eyeshadow (like MAC Carbon) for this part if you aren’t working with a duo.

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I applied the smudge brush to the same three tester lines from the previous picture, so that it shows how you can “soften” the edges of the cake liner to the look that you are trying to achieve.

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You can see around the edges of the largest and narrowest lines that you can sweep the smudge brush to a very soft edge if you like.  I’m constantly amazed how easy cake eyeliner is to use, even on some busy mornings.  And the layering helps the eyeliner last all day and into the evening–I had a very hard time washing this off with a tough cleanser!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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