You always remember three key things when you start any new job. The sick feeling you have the week before; the first person to show you around and extend some “professional” form of friendship and finally, the item/object/tool you discover that makes your life easier on the job. This is how I felt about the Laura Mercier brand when I first forayed into make-up artist life all those years ago in London.
With all the brands and products that are available to consumers in this day and age, it takes a lot for one brand to stand out. What I appreciated most about Laura Mercier when fist starting out (and still to this day) was the simplicity of the range. Effective products designed for the modern day woman. While her range is indeed extensive, there are key products that work for everyone and the rest can be customised depending on how you want to wear your make-up. There are no outrageous claims, just well designed products that always deliver.
Her textures are modern, her packaging sleek, her concealers unbeatable, her tinted moisturiser legendary and her brushes divine.
So who is Laura Mercier?
The woman behind the brand was a painter before she was a make-up artist, which explains why she has designed such a beautiful array of brushes. In her own words:
“It’s crucial to me to know how colours complete each other or cancel each other, and if you don’t have these basics, it’s lacking. I didn’t know what I wanted to do though, besides being a starving artist.”
“From Carita [now defunct Carita School where she trained] the door opened to becoming a make-up artist. I became friends with Vabre [Thibault Vabre, famous artist] and he took me on as an assistant. That’s how everything began.”
Mercier then became an artist in her own right, working for magazines as a freelancer for six years, as well as teaching make-up artistry. She moved to New York and shook things up as part of the team who launched American Elle.
“America had been stuck in the same type of make-up, that heavy make-up, skin in particular. Elle brought a fresh approach because of the cosmopolitan aspect of mixing models – before you had dark skin magazines or Caucasian magazines, so that was very new.”
She built a reputation as a champion of the natural look, the “flawless face” which has since become her signature.
“I gave everything to my career, I was really settled and felt very safe but at one point I was tired of it. I thought I wasn’t passionate any more. I wanted to do something else and I was passionate about product and textures, and the making of it, putting my fingers in the pots and making colours. I remember saying to myself, ‘one day, if I do my own line, the first product I will ever do is camouflage [a heavy concealer that is used to hide all flaws], because I do not understand why it doesn’t exist.”
And so Secret Camouflage was borne. The rest as they say, is history.
I have always loved the campaign images released with each new collection launch. These were my standouts from my early days of working with the brand.
This one is my all time favourite.
I loved this one too. I remember it came out just before I got married and so naturally, I bought the limited edition palette to use on honeymoon.
And this had everyone inspired to get their red on!
As a professional make-up artist I constantly chop and change what I carry in my kit to reflect advancements in technology and trends and the nature of the job. However, there are staples that much like a well-worn pair of jeans, will always remain.
These are my Laura Mercier kit staples:
What Laura Mercier products have you tried and swear by? What is your all-time favourite Laura Mercier make-up? Tell me below in the comment section. If you want any more information about any of the products/shades mentioned in this post, please leave your questions below and I’ll get back to you.