Before becoming a household name in the beauty industry, French makeup artist and businesswoman Laura Mercier was a painter.
She helped launch Elle magazine in the US in 1985, and would later work with celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna.
Mercier’s background in painting explains why her products are always spot-on when it comes to color and texture.
Laura Mercier’s global artist Michelle Draper was here recently to unveil the newest colors of their popular Lip Glace, and gave a sneak preview of the Smooth Flawless Finish Flawless Fluide foundation that will be released in the Fall.
(Laura Mercier always releases new foundation textures to coincide with her Fall collection.)
One of the brand’s bestsellers is its primer. “The primer is one of our core products; it is No. 1 in the world,” says Draper.
For anyone who still wonders about the purpose of primer, Draper explains: “The point of primer is… to keep makeup on all day. Think of it as your barrier that holds moisture in, and then your foundation will lay right on top.”
Fresh and healthy
She adds that primer will keep makeup fresh and healthy throughout the day.
“I know it’s hot here, so you really need your foundation to be true to color and make it stay all day,” Draper says.
A new kind of primer has been added to the brand’s roster—Radiance Bronze, in a warm bronze tint that goes on sheer for a healthy glow.
Draper says that apart from giving skin a youthful and beautiful glow, she likes to wear the bronze primer alone as her no-makeup “cheat” when going to the gym.
“You can also use it as a contour, it’s more user-friendly because not everyone is good at contour,” she adds.
To apply primer, Laura encourages the use of clean fingers to massage the product into the skin.
“With the foundation, again, you don’t want to use a brush because Laura says ‘We’re not painting a house,’” says Draper. She adds that a better alternative is a sponge which presses pigment into the skin.
Applying a full face of foundation from hairline to jawline is also passé.
“Just use it where you need it, really, what you’re doing is pressing it into the skin, you don’t want it to look like makeup,” says Draper.
Instead of hiding blemishes by putting on layer after layer of base, Draper advises one to “paint away the darkness” with a high-coverage concealer.
Also, when picking the right shade, Draper recommends taking into consideration the color of your neck and chest.
Most women religiously apply sunscreen to the face but neglect the neck and décolletage. This causes a noticeable shade discrepancy between the two areas.
“You don’t want a floating head syndrome,” she warns.
Laura is also not a fan of matte and prefers the skin to have a little sheen to it, which is more natural-looking.
Draper says women who live in humid countries tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when asked about their skin type.
“A lot of women think because they’re outside and they’re sweating, then they’re oily. That may not be the case,” she says.
True skin type
A good test to determine one’s true skin type is to check how skin feels after washing the face.
If it feels tight and dry in certain areas, you may have dry skin that seems like it’s oozing oil when you’re sweaty and out in the sun.
For times when you need to touch up your base, Draper recommends a translucent powder compact. “You can reset the makeup without adding more pigment on top.”
Recently, Angelina Jolie was caught walking down the red carpet with a ton of white powder on her face. She still looked gorgeous, though, but that’s because she’s Angelina Jolie. Avoid having a makeup mishap like that by following Draper’s advice when using translucent powder.
“With this powder, I wouldn’t use a brush because then you’ll have powder flying everywhere; that’s not really pressing it into the skin,” she explains.
A good gauge to see if you’ve over-powdered: “If you touch your powder puff and white comes off, you’ve got too much. You want to pat it out then press it on the face.”
For women who want to break out of their neutral eye habit, Draper shares a trick using color on the eyes without looking scary.
“The best advice I can share is to stay neutral and do little pops of concentrated color—intense colors like blue, burgundy, deep gray—and apply these close to the lash line.”
Draper adds, “I think it becomes too garish when you use too dark a color on the crease.”
To prove her point, she used a smudge brush dipped in a baby-blue eye shadow, which she applied to the model’s lash line for a pop of smoky color.
“Smoky means something different to every woman. Sometimes it’s just a little smudge along the lash line. It’s like the red lipstick—you have to be comfortable wearing it,” Draper says.
The smoky eye can be done in varying degrees of darkness, and she advises making sure that your smoky eye is appropriate for whatever event you’re attending.
For example, a full-on black-as-night smoky eye might not be the best option when coming in for a job interview.
For a better effect, Draper suggests adding the same color of eye shadow along the lower lash line. “When adding shadow to the bottom, you really want it to be a shadow and not a hard line.”
Laura Mercier is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source and Essenses Power Plant mall.