I was surprised and more than a little impressed that for her latest collection, foundation phenom Laura Mercier went WAY back — almost 3,000 years back — to the ancient Han Dynasty and the trade routes ancient merchants from China, India, Tibet, Persia and the Mediterranean used to sell their silk, satin, perfumes, spices, medicines and jewels.
Available now on Laura Mercier counters and online, the 13-piece Silk Road collection was inspired by the precious gemstones and raw silks that moved along those ancient routes, but when I stopped by the counter yesterday to take a look, I found myself asking something I imagine some of those ancient merchants must asked: “Haven’t we been this way before?”
Two of the items, Persian Rose Blush and Gold Thread Liquid Liner, look familiar to me. Luckily, I like them both. Persian Rose Blush reminds me of NARS Orgasm, and doesn’t Gold Thread Liquid Liner bear a striking resemblance to MAC Superslick Liquid Liner in Pure Show?
Renowned for their award-winning face makeup, the relatively small Laura Mercier line, named after the famous French makeup artist, is one of my favorites. Their foundations, tinted moisturizers, primers and concealers are fixtures atop Best of Beauty lists. I wear Laura’s Oil-Free Foundation in many of my pictures because I love the complete coverage it provides. I also really like some of the fun things the line does with their seasonal color collections, often accenting neutrals with dashes of brights (reminds me of Chanel).
Even though I feel like I’ve seen a couple of these colors before, I still think they’re great and fit nicely into Laura’s latest crop of gorgeously wearable makeup for spring.
Here, we see shimmery purple, taupe and pink eyeshadows ringed by gold, gray and indigo liners (for a nice contrast); and lips and cheeks sparkling in shimmery shades of warm pink, coral and gold.
Products in the Laura Mercier Silk Road Collection
Eye & Cheek Palette, $48 (new; limited edition) — It contains six shimmery powder products — two blushes and four eyeshadows. Persian Rose, the blush that I think looks a lot like NARS Orgasm, appears just as universally flattering as well (YES!). And the second blush, shimmery golden Palace Pink, should work well as a blush for lighter lashes, or as a highlighter for bronzy babes.
The eyeshadows, Golden Sands (a pinkish beige with silver and golden glitter) and Regal Violet (a blackend purple with pink glitter) apply sheer with lots of glitter; Rare Taupe (a shimmery purplish taupe) and Lavender Silk (a opalescent purple) increase the collection’s WOW factor with rich pigments and a high-shine finish.
Liquid Eyeliner in Gold Thread, $25 (new, limited edition) — Laura’s very first liquid eyeliner, according to the helpful artist working at the counter yesterday. It shimmers so brightly that it took my breath away, but I passed purely because of how much I think it looks like MAC Pure Show.
Kohl Eye Pencils in Purple Sapphire and Stormy Grey, $19 each (repromoted colors) — It was the dazzling Purple Sapphire that first drew me in with its indigo intensity, but Stormy Grey won my heart in the end. Green flecks flash when the light hits this shimmery gunmetal gray just right (I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this one before).
Lip Plumpers in Ruby Glaze, Golden Glaze and Rosy Glaze, $30 (new, limited editions) — All three of these shiny, lip enhancing glosses lean toward the warm end of the spectrum: Ruby Glaze applies as a pigmented reddish pink with golden pearl, Golden Glaze as a sheer golden pink with multi colored glitter and Rosy Glaze as a golden peachy coral. They contain peppermint extract to gently (read: not painfully) plump lips.
Stickgloss Lip Colour in Pink Jewel (new, limited edition), Fuchsia (new, limited edition) and Purple Haze (repromote), $20 each — Pink Jewel (a warm pink), Fuchsia (a shimmery magenta) and Purple Haze (a shiny plum) all kiss lips with a sheer wash of color and shine.
Eye Colour Brush, $27 (repromote) — A natural hair brush for applying powder products all over the eyelids. It didn’t really jump out at me for any particular reason, and it seems a little pricey at that.
Full Blown Volume Mascara in Black, $24 (repromote) — Designed primarily to thicken and lengthen, Full Blown is new to me, even though it’s also part of the permanent line (If you’ve tried it before, please let me know what you think about it in the comments).
Eye Basics, $24 each — This eye primer, used to extend the wear time of makeup applied on top of it, is available in six colors. I use and like the shade called Wheat.
Some Pictures from the Laura Mercier Silk Road Collection
Eye and Cheek Palette
The Gold Thread Liquid Liner applicator
Laura Mercier Silk Road Swatches on NC35 Skin
Eye and Cheek Palette from left: Blush in Palace Pink, Eyeshadow in Regal Violet, Eyeshaow in Golden Sands, Eyeshadow in Rare Taupe, Eyeshadow in Lavender Silk, Blush in Persian Rose with flash
Liners from left: Liquid Liner in Gold Thread, Kohl Eye Pencil in Purple Sapphire and Kohl Eye Pencil in Stormy Grey with flash
Stickglosses and Lip Plumpers from left: Stickgloss in Pink Jewel, Stickgloss in Fuchsia, Stickgloss in Purple Haze, Lip Plumper in Ruby Glaze, Lip Plumper in Golden Glaze and Lip Plumper in Rosy Glaze with flash
Full Blown Mascara in Black (left) and Eye Basics in Wheat (right) with flash
Swatches with flash
Swatches without flash
I couldn’t resist taking the Silk Road and ended up leaving with a few goodies from the counter, namely the Eye and Palette, Lip Plumper in Ruby Glaze, Stickgloss in Pink Jewel and the Kohl Eye Liner in Stormy Grey. I’ll let you know what I think about them after we’ve spent some time alone. For now, what do you think about the collection and the Laura Mercier line in general?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,