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.
The Laura Mercier counter at my most favourite place to shop beauty, London’s one and only Selfridges. I once spent so long in here when I went in it was light, when I came out it was dark. No shame!
And in Singapore’s Tangs Orchard Mall. So sleek and contemporary, I adore this design.
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 international brand.
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.
A rare photo of Laura Mercier working her magic.
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.
“Cinema Noir” campaign image for the Autumn 2012 collection. Inspired by the Hollywood stars of the late 1940’s, the era when black & white film transitioned into colour.
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.
“Lingerie” campaign image for the Spring 2012 collection.
And this had everyone inspired to get their red on!
“Art Deco Muse” campaign image for the Winter 2012 collection.
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:
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturisers – low-medium coverage, velvet finish, great range of shades, come in an oil free and original formula
Laura Mercier Primer (Lt) and Secret Finish (Rt) – this primer is one of my all time favourites, not too much silicone, lightweight feel and can be used with most foundations. The secret finish Mattifying product is great for those with oil skin and I use it a lot in my male grooming kit.
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage – one of THE best concealers ever made. There are 6 different compacts, each containing two different shades so you can custom make your own colour. Great for the face and can be used under the eye if mixed with an eye-cream. A little goes a long way and I never go on any job without them!
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer & Secret Brightening Powder (Rt)- Great concealers for the eye area. Six shades. Very hydrating non-drying formula with excellent coverage. The Secret Brightening Powder is great for setting the concealer and is also light reflective.
Laura Mercier Eyeshadows – come in an assortment of shades and finishes (matte, semi-matte, shimmer etc.). They also make customisable palettes so you can choose which shades you like. My ultimate favourite Laura Mercier eyeshadow shade: African Violet (pictured front right). A beautiful purple with accents of gold and silver throughout.
Laura Mercier Blush – also come in an assortment of shades and finishes and pictured here is the 3-well palette. I love the matte finish of these particular shades.
Laura Mercier Brushes – I love the innovative shapes and designs of the Laura Mercier brush range. They last the test of time provided you care for them correctly. My top 4: fan brush, pony tail brush, double ended eyebrow brush, smoky eye liner brush
Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks – cream eyeshadow bases in a great range of shades. So easy to blend and layer. I always set with powder shadow for longevity but love the fact that you can go back in and re-apply them to the powder without lifting. Love LOVE LOVE these babies!
Laura Mercier Lipsticks / Lip Stains / Lip Gloss – great shades, great textures!
Laura Mercier Brow Definer – these little pots of goodness never seem to run out and they do a wonderful job on brows too. From ultra natural to a power brow, the texture of these definers offer maximum flexibility.
Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder and Universal Setting Powder – applied with the fan brush and you get precise control of product distribution and application.
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.
© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.