Laura Mercier Makeup Event With A Premier Artist

Published in: Product Reviews

What’s a Laura Mercier Makeup Event Like?
A few weeks ago I attended a free makeup event at the Laura Mercier counter at Nordstrom in Corte Madera. The event featured a makeover from a “specially trained premier artist” from Laura Mercier and products from their new spring line, Peaches and Crème. When I visited the counter a few weeks before to pick up some foundation, the makeup artist mentioned that they were having this event and then she uttered the magic words that monetarily-challenged makeup junkies always love to hear: “It’s free!”

Full face picture taken after the makeover
laura-mercier-makeover-face

“Free Makeover” Etiquette 101
Now most of you lovely readers probably know that “free event” at the makeup counter doesn’t really mean free. It’s code for “you better buy at least a lip liner, yo!” So if you sign up for one of these things be prepared to purchase at least one or two products, lest they think you were raised amongst wolves.

When the makeover was done I picked up several Laura Mercier goodies. For the reviews, check out the loot roundup and reviews at the end of this article.

What happened when I first got there
When I arrived, the first thing I saw were five chairs lined up in the middle of one of Nordstrom’s main hallways between the shoes and the makeup counters. We were right in the middle where everyone could see us make all of those funny faces that you KNOW you make when you’re putting on eye liner or bronzer, ha! Anyway each artist would work one a person until the “premier” artist jumped in at a certain time to do one feature like cheeks or eyes.

After I checked in at the main counter, they led me to my chair where they introduced me to both the makeup artist (MUA for short) and the premier artist (PA).

The MUA I was working with was nice and had really great skills – her own makeup was impeccable. She made me feel comfortable while she was working on me and wasn’t snotty at all. I asked a lot of questions about the products and even though she couldn’t answer all of them (like what was the active ingredient Illuminating Brightener) she tried her best. Although I have to say that she occasionally said crazy things like, “You totally remind me of the beach and coconuts and stuff,” which was distracting.

I immediately fell in love with the PA because he was gay, stylish and told me that he loved my tan! Sigh … what can I say? I’m easy that way! He was also nice and very knowledgeable – and not so subtle about checking out the hot gay men who were walking about. I can’t blame him though. I’m might be married straight girl, but I can appreciate the aesthetic of gay hotness.

What was the process like?
The first thing that the MUA did was cleanse my face with several Laura Mercier skin products. I’ve never used Laura Mercier facial skin products before, so this made me a little nervous. I’m so picky about what I put on my face and I’m pretty much guaranteed at least a hand full of small pimples when I use foreign face products.

After the skin stuff, the MUA asked me if there was anything I wanted to focus on during the makeover, which kind of surprised me because I thought they were going to use the event to push their Peaches and Cr̬me spring line. I told her that I was looking for the perfect concealer Рstory of my life, right? Рand that I wanted to try some new colors.

The MUA first primed my skin with the Oil-Free Foundation Primer. She ended up mixing my usual tinted moisturizer (Oil Free in the Almond shade) with Oil Free Foundation in Sunset Beige and it looked really great – several of the other MUA’s at the event even asked what she did to get the shade and complemented her on her work.

Sidenote: I’m in-between colors in the Laura Mercier foundation product line – none of their products fit my shade perfectly but they are pretty close. If you’re in-between shades like me and want to wear foundation every day, you may want to just throw down the money and purchase two colors to mix. It looks great if you do it right – the two colors the MUA used were probably the best color match I ever had in foundations. I currently don’t own Laura Mercier Oil-Free foundation right now (I’m putting myself on a strict makeup budget – so not fun) but I loved the combo so much that I’m putting that on my list makeup goodies to buy in next few months.

After the MUA finished with foundation on my skin, the PA stepped in. The first thing I told him was that I wanted a concealer to cover up my dark circles and then he said, “Are you kidding? You totally don’t need it. You can get away without having to use concealer.” LOVED. HIM. MORE.

I can totally appreciate somebody that doesn’t sell me shit that I probably don’t need. But because I asked, he tried to find something for me. He first used the Secret Brightener pen, which didn’t work because it made my skin look ashy. He then used Undercover Concealer in #5, which contains two crème concealers in a pan which you mix to get the right shade. He set the concealer with a light dusting of Secret Brightening powder applied with a brush.

The premier artist decided to do a glowy look on me, and used one of the new products from their spring line, a cream blush called Cheek Crème in Oleander (a cool, bright pink) on my cheeks. He then used a cream stick highlighter, Golden Honey Glow Illuminating Stick to highlight the upper cheekbones, the nose and the chin area. He applied both products with the Crème Blush Brush. Using a puff, he then applied translucent powder to the entire face to set the makeup.

The MUA then stepped back in and used these products to create a purple eye:
Eye Basics in Caramel
Metallic Crème Eye Color in Mercury
Ele Color in Chambord
Eye Color in Mauve
Eye Liner in Black Ebony

Brows:
Brow Pencil in Brunette
Brow Powder Duo in Ash

Eyes!
laura-mercier-makeover-eyes

One more eye closeup – check the cute flick at the end!
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I liked the overall eye look – especially what she did with the eyeliner. She used a cake eyeliner to do a technique called “tightlighting,” where you line the inner part of the upper eyelid. She also did a cute little flip at the end of my eye, which I can never seem to get right.

The only thing I ended up hating was what she did to my brows. The MUA gave me these super-defined, scary brows that looked so thick and filled out. I looked like Faye Dunaway in Mommy Dearest.

The last part of the makeover was lips, and the MUA created a brown/pink lip with Stickgloss in Brown Sugar, Lip Liner in Chestnut and Lip Glace in Fairy Dust.

What happens at the end of the makeover
Did I feel a lot of pressure to buy more products?

It took about an hour from start to finish, and in the end the MUA wrote up all of the products on a blank face chart. She then read through the list and asked which ones I wanted to buy. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to purchase anything except for the Illuminating Brightener – I guess she really believed in the product.

What products did I end up purchasing?

I originally intended to buy the brown/pink lip look and the Eye Basics eye primer but I loved what the PA used to give me the glowy look so much … yup, I spent a little bit more than I budgeted for. Again, the story of my life. Anyway, here are the products I ended up buying!

From left to right: Golden Honey Glow Illuminating Stick, Cheek Creme in Oleander, Eye Basics in Caramel, Stickgloss in Brown Sugar, Lip Pencil in Chestnut
laura-mercier-makeover-open

For the cheeks, to get the glowy look:
Cheek Crème in Oleander
Golden Honey Glow Illuminating Stick
Crème Blush Brush

For the lips, to get the natural looking lip:
Lip Pencil in Chestnut
Stickgloss in Brown Sugar

For the eyes:
Eye Basics in Caramel

For the next few months I’m a strict makeup budget diet. Sucks for me, but good for my wallet. Sigh.

Another picture of all the loot from the Laura Mercier Makeover
laura-mercier-makeover-loot

The Final Word
I took away a few new methods and techniques from this session! I’m on a Laura Mercier kick, so I’ve been using both the glowy cheek look and the natural/ nude lip on a daily basis. Both are easy to use and the products are top notch. (See reviews below.) I also got a few extra goodies in the end – two large sized samples of Perfecting Water Light and Purifying Oil Light.

The worst part of the experience
The entire experience was positive except for three things.

One: The fact that I totally blew my makeup budget for the next few months, but that’s totally my own damn fault.

Two: The Crème Blush Brush. That stupid frickin’ brush! If you look at the look picture above you’ll notice that it’s all in one piece. Well, that’s just for show, because the minute I pulled the brush out of the package it fell apart on me. I stood there with the brush head in one hand and the handle in the other hand. You can read more ranting on this below.

Three: The handful of zits I got from the skin products.

Well should ya or shouldn’t ya?
I had a lot of fun at this event and I would like to do it again in the future. If you have a Laura Mercier counter nearby, I highly recommend asking the makeup artists what they have lined up for the next few months.

Laura Mercier Product Reviews
Last but not least, here are the reviews of the products that I got to try during the makeover.

I usually like to use products for minimum of two weeks before I can give it a Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating. However, because I only used some of these products once products once I’ll give them Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance review instead.

Laura Mercier Skincare Product Reviews

One-Step Cleanser
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Product: One-Step Cleanser
Use: A cleanser that combines a cleanser, toner and makeup remover all into one bottle.
Price: $35.00 for an 8 fl. oz. bottle with pump.

Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:
This product felt good when she applied it with a cotton square. However, I don’t think I was wowed enough by the product to justify the $35 price tag.

Illuminating Brightener
laura-mercier-illuminating-brightener
Product: Illuminating Brightener
Use: A skincare treatment that targets sunspots and “brightens the skin.”
Price: $68.00 for a 1.0 oz bottle with pump.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:

I asked the MUA what the active ingredient in the product and she didn’t know. I checked the website and although they provide a list of ingredients they don’t specifically say what the active ingredient is and what percentage of it is in the product. The MUA told me that this product changed her skin completely and tried to really sell me this at the end but I said no.

Thank god, because I didn’t realize the price was so steep until I looked it up on the web. Plus, she said that this treatment was something that you couldn’t be sporadic about, and that once you stopped “all of your spots will come back again.” Hmmm. I didn’t completely buy the logic, but was a little intrigued at the thought of banishing my freckles. I ended up getting a chintzy sample.

Oil-Free Moisturizer
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Product: Oil-Free Moisturizer
Use: A face moisturizer with light-reflecting ingredients.
Price: $42.00 for a 4 oz. bottle with pump.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:

The website says this product controls oil and has a matte finish, and contains something called an “Exclusive Health Complex” that is supposed to neautralize free radicals, accelerate cell turnover and “improve the skin’s defense mechanism.” Eh. I felt just so-so about this. I didn’t buy it.

Eyedration
laura-mercier-eyedration

Product: Eyedration
Use: Eye cream that contains Vitamins C & E. The website claims it decreases puffiness and dark circles, and softens fine lines and wrinkles.
Price: $38.00 for a 0.5 oz jar.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:

The MUA and the Premier Artist gave me a lot of crap for not being consistent about using an eye cream, and have the dry under-eyes to show for it. I used the same bottle of SkinCeuticals Eye Gel for the past year, but I just ran out and I currently can’t justify the $60.00 price tag. So, I’ve been going sans eye cream lately (I know, I know …) and I guess it shows. The MUA also tried to hard sell me this one at the end but I had to pass it up as well. I’m hoping to find a good enough drug store eye cream that’s cheaper. Side note: since writing this entry, I’ve purchased a bottle of H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment, which I use on my face and eyes for moisturizing.

Laura Mercier Eye Makeup Reviews

Undercover Concealer #5
laura-mercier-undercover-concealer
Product: Undercover Concealer in #5
Use: To cover dark circles, pimples and other skin imperfections.
Price: $22.00 for a 0.07 compact with two shades of crème concealer.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:

Undercover comes with two shades of concealer, and the website it says the products contain “unique light-reflecting ingredients that create a soft focus appearance.” I wasn’t wowed by Undercover because of the texture. Although the premier artist did a great job of applying it I’m not a fan of thick, cream concealers in my under eye area – I prefer liquid. If you like crème concealers and don’t mind mixing colors then you might like this.

Secret Brightener #2
laura-mercier-secret-brightener
Product: Secret Brighter #2
Use: A highlighting pen that reduces dark circles and discolorations.
Price: $30.00 for 0.05 oz.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:

I also passed on this product, even though it won an Allure magazine Best of Beauty Award. While the pen delivery method is kind of neat, I think this product is over priced. The #2 pen is supposed to be for medium to dark skin tones, but it didn’t work for me because the color looked ashy on my skin.

Secret Brightening Powder #2
laura-mercier-secret-brightening-powder

Product: Secret Brightening Powder #2
Use: To set concealer.
Price: $22.00 for a 0.14 oz jar.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:

The website makes it sound like the second coming: “Formuated for all skin types, the powder contains micronized pigments that will not settle in fine lines or accentuate shadows and instantly delivers a soft touch and weightless feel on the skin while diminishing fine lines.” Wow! With all of that hype I’d expect it also teach me to read!

I liked this loose setting powder. The premier artist lightly dusted my inner eye area with this and I noticed a brightening effect. You don’t have to use a lot, either, so you’ll get a lot of use out of the product for the price. I didn’t buy this but it’s on my list of upcoming beauty purchases.

Basic Color in Caramel
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Product: Basics Color in Caramel
Use: A cream eye shadow and eye shadow base.
Price: $22.00 for 0.25 oz.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Yet another one of my obsessions are eyeshadow bases and primers. In my makeup stash right now I have Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, several different shades of MAC Paint and Benefit’s F.Y.Eye. While each one has its pros and cons, and I still have yet to find a primer that rocks my world.

Laura Mercier Eye Basics is a liquid-to-powder primer that comes in a tube with a wand. It comes in several colors: Chocolate (sheer dark brown), Peach (sheer orange peach), Pink (sheer yellow pink) and Pale Pink (neautral pink beige.)

The Caramel shade, a sheer-medium-tan. It looks very natural on me because of the pink tones, but if you have a lot of yellow undertones it may be too pink for you. I’ve been using this a base for my MAC brown eye shadows (Soba, Mulch and Club), and it works great. If I’m in a hurry I’ll use the wand to dot the products directly on to my lid and then blend with my fingers. If I have some time I’ll put some on the back of my hand and then apply a thin layer onto my lids with a MAC 217 Blending Brush.

Pros:

This product has a silky, soft consistency that dries nicely to a semi-matte powder. It’s not as dry as Urban Decay Potion Primer but not as wet as MAC Paint. It doesn’t crease while on the lid, and gives a good base for shadows to grip onto.

Cons:
While the product grabs the eyeshadow color well, blending them can take some work. It’s not as bad as Urban Decay Primer Potion though, which makes shadows nearly impossible to blend.

Laura Mercier Cheek Makeup Reviews

Three words about Laura Mercier crème cheek products I purchased: LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. If you are on the hunt for the glowly J.Lo look then get yourself these products ASAP. I can’t rave enough about this combo. Both products are so easy to apply and gives a tasteful, non-disco glow.

Creme Cheek in Oleander
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Product: Cheek Crème in Oleander
Use: As a cheek blush.
Price: $22.00 for a 0.02 oz pan that comes in a compact with a small mirror
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

Oleander is one of the products from the Peaches and Crème Collection.

Pros:
I would’ve never thought that I’d be able to wear Oleander, a cool-toned pink, but it gives me a nice, healthy flush. I can see this color working well for a range of skin colors, but try not to be alarmed when you first see it. It’s REALLY BRIGHT PINK. However, it applies sheer and is the color is easy to build up. The texture is creamy enough to give you time to blend; it doesn’t feel oily like some crème blushes and drives to a velvety finish. I’ve tried using my MAC 180 foundation brush to apply the product but it seems to work better (and faster) if I use my fingers.

Cons:
There’s a limited selection of colors. In addition to Oleander, there’s Blaze (soft warm rose), Canyon (peachy brown) and Praline (neautral brown). The pan in small, but truthfully, you don’t need a lot of product to make it go far. The mirror is useless because it’s so small, but that’s just me being nit picky.

Illuminating Stick in Golden Honey Glow
laura-mercier-illuminating-stick

Use: As a highlighter for eyes and cheeks.
Price: $25.00 for a 0.30 oz stick
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally buy a crème stick highlighter – although I’ve been tempted by Nars The Multiple many times at Sephora.I’ve been using this every day for the last two weeks in conjunction with Oleander Crème Blush. I first layer Oleander onto my cheeks, and then either use a brush or my fingers to dab the Golden Honey Glow onto the tops of my cheeks and up and into the hairline, down my nose, my chin, and a little on the temples of my forehead. I blend the edges with a makeup sponge.

Pros:
Like Oleander Crème Blush, both the color and texture of the Illuminating Stick are what give this product high marks. The shimmer is concentrated but not obvious, and the texture is velvety, buildable and doesn’t feel oily. Staying power is excellent – some crème products just slide of my skin after a few hours and this doesn’t budge. And it’s oil-free, to boot!

Cons:
The love this product, but the biggest issue I had with it happened when I first opened the stick and swiveled it upward. The highlighting stick actually it fell out! I’m so not kidding – in one hand was the highlighting stick, and in the other was the metal casing. I figured what the hell, I loved the product so much at the store, I’ll just pop the stick back in and give it some pressure so it’ll stay. (And if it fell out again I’d just return it!) It’s remained in it’s casing so far. If you do end up purchasing this product just double check to make sure this doesn’t happen to you!

Creme Blush Brush
laura-mercier-creme-blush-brush
Product: Crème Blush Brush
Use: To apply crème products to the cheeks
Price: $36.00 for a long-handled, synthetic brush.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: F! BOO!

Ugh. How I wanted to love this brush. This brush sucked.

I originally wasn’t going to purchase the crème blush brush because I have already have the MAC 180 foundation brush. Laura Mercier’s brush looked exactly like my MAC one but bigger so I figured I’d save some cash, right?

When the premier artist asked me if I was going to get the brush I originally said no. He asked if I was planning on using a foundation brush. When I said yes he replied, “Um, they are completely different brushes. If you’re going to get these items you absolutely need this brush.”

Being the brush whore that I am, I caved.

After the PA left and the MUA started doing my eye makeup, we got into an extensive discussion about brushes. When I told her that I used MAC brushes she said, “Ohhhh… those aren’t known for their quality. Ours are reeeeeeeeally great. You’ll love them.”

At this point I could’ve pointed out I’ve had all of my MAC brushes five years and traveled all over the world with them and they’ve barely shed let alone fallen apart – but I decided against it because I was still at her mercy. She was about to put on my eye makeup I didn’t want to be walking around the rest of the day looking like a clown.

So of course, as you can see in the loot picture above, I ended up buying the brush. This picture is only for show, because the brush fell apart the minute I pulled it out of it’s plastic casing – the brush head came apart from the handle and I could see right into the area where the glue was supposed to keep the two together. Heh! Thirty-six dollars spent on a brush that falls apart once you take it out of it’s casing! I was really pissed off. So much for quality!

I ended up returning the brush the next day.

I can’t say that I’ll totally write off Laura Mercier brushes forever. I fell in love with two brushes the MUA used when applying eye makeup the Smudge brush and the Eye Crease brush. She used the smudge brush to apply color to the outer V and to blend throughout the process. It looked like a great workhorse brush. I still want this brush but probably won’t buy it unless I can’t find a MAC equivalent.

Laura Mercier Lip Makeup Reviews

I’ve been using this pink-brown natural lip look in conjunction with the cheek products above. I’m sorry that the picture I took of the completed look doesn’t include the finished lip combo. I was hungry when I got home and ate some cold pizza and forgot to reapply before I sat in front of the computer. You know it is.

Anyway, if you’re looking for something natural yet with a kick, try this look when you head to the Laura Mercier counter. It’s great for the office, or even perhaps a casual first date. It’s easy, fresh and oh-so-spring!

Lip Pencil in Chestnut
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Product: Lip Pencil in Chestnut
Use: To line lips or to fill in lips to give a base for lipstick or gloss
Price: $18.00 for a 0.038 oz pencil
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A
Chestnut is a neutral brown mauve pencil. I usually get my lip pencils from the drugstore, but I liked the final look of this lip combo so I caved.

Pros:
This is probably one of the least drying lip pencils available. It doesn’t dry my lips out as much as MAC lip pencils, that’s for sure. The texture is soft and easy to blend. I like to line my lips first and then use my finger to distribute the color over my lips. The color is beautiful –it’s natural but still looks like you are wearing something.

Cons:

As a person who usually only spends two or three bucks in drugstore lip pencils, the price made this hard to take. But, a little of this product goes a long way, so you can make this pencil last for a long time.

Stickgloss in Brown Sugar

laura-mercier-stickgloss
Product: Stickgloss in Brown Sugar
Use: As a gloss or as a color base for layering
Price: $20.00 for 0.12 oz tube
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

Brown Sugar Stickgloss, oh how I love thee. I could write odes to you, and perhaps even a sonnet or two.

As you can tell, I love me some Stickgloss. This was one of the items I was most excited about trying during the makeover. I immediately fell in love with the texture. It isn’t heavy like a traditional lipstick. It’s not as thick or goopy like a lipgloss. The website describes it as a “lip balm, lip color and lip glase in one sheer and sophisticated formula to add dimension and fullness while hydrating your lips.” Ohhh! There are 11 colors in addition to Brown Sugar, and I can’t wait to try more.

I layer this on top of Chestnut Lip Pencil, or I use it alone if I’m lazy.

Pros:
Hydrating formula that has staying power. In addition to the fab texture is fab color. Brown Sugar is a “wearable pink brown,” a color that looks natural but still “there.” I’m guessing this can be one of those universal colors that could look good on any skin tone. Another huge plus – there is no obvious taste or smell when you apply it.

Cons:
The price. And I wish the tube was cuter.

Product: Lip Glace in Fairy Dust
Use: As a gloss or as a top layer for lipstick and Stickglosses
Price: $20.00 for 0.13 oz
Makeup and Beauty Blog Quick Glance:
I didn’t buy Fairy Dust because I have a similar glittery lip gloss by Smashbox that I’m trying to use up. However, I’m a huge fan of Laura Mercier Lip Glace and I can’t wait to buy this color. I liked that the glitter wasn’t gritty or too big and obnoxious.

After applying Chestnut Lip Pencil and Brown Sugar Stickgloss, apply this glittery clear pink lip gloss on top to make your lips look extra yummy.

3 Comments

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So far, 3 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Thanks for the extensive review. I am having a makeover tomorrow morning with Laura Mercier. I’m getting married next weekend and want to have a beautiful face!

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Closet Therapist! I hope they wedding was wonderful. =) Congratulations!

  3. Amanda says:

    Karen, the MAC foundation brush you’re talking about is the 190, right? The 180 is the short buffer brush with the white bristles. ;)

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