Spotlight on Laura Mercier : A Royal Beauty Bag Special Look into a Kate Favorite

When I found out that one of Kate’s favorite brands was Laura Mercier, I was not surprised. I discovered Laura Mercier products about 6 years ago and haven’t looked back since. Seeing as Kate uses the brand on a regular basis (along with her other favorites, which we are bravely testing out in the Royal Beauty Bag series) and I do as well I figured I could really give a great review of the overall Laura Mercier line, as well as my particular favorites (and a couple of duds!) which should help out anyone interested in getting the Kate make up look narrow down their selections.

So how did I get introduced to Laura Mercier? About 6 years ago, I had just gotten what I considered to be my first “grown-up” job- the job where you’re no longer in University and the one you have set out to be your first foray into the Corporate world. I decided that with this new job needed to come something else: a sophisticated new look (In my industry, Finance,  when you’re really young, you need to look older, put together and somewhat cocky or no one will trust you with investing their money), so I took myself to the counter of Holt Renfrew (Canada’s equivalent to Neiman Marcus) and sat down with the only make up artist willing to talk to me for more than a few minutes rather than focusing on the older clientele with the likeliest bigger wallets, who just so happened to work at Laura Mercier.


While initially planning on spending maybe a couple of hundred bucks on a new blush and some eyeshadows, I walked away from the Laura Mercier counter that day with a $1500 haul of everything you could ever need to start your very own grown-up make up kit. Everything you needed and then a couple more things. To say that I had been sold won over that day is a tragic understatement, but my love of the brand has continued over the last few years with really no interest in looking at other brands all that much (except for my blush and mascara, which I am extremely particular about, and more recently my new obsession of BB Cream).

Without further ado, here are some of the many Laura Mercier products I’ve tried and my reviews on them for you.

Laura Mercier – Skin (Foundation, Primer, etc.)

The basic principle of Laura Mercier’s makeup line is the flawless finish. The line is all about your skin being not just the canvas you put makeup onto, but truly as a feature in and of itself. I began using the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer,  Laura Mercier Tinted Oil-Free Moisturizer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage CoverUp and the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. Now before you start hyperventilating at the thought of having this as just your skin routine, I only wore all four of these products at once one time- when I was at that makeup counter. I found that just the Tinted Moisturizer and Secret Camouflage was enough for everyday.

My recommendations:

  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer : Makeup artists always seem to herald this as the key to looking fantastic, and it probably is… If you’re going to be part of a photoshoot. I found that my skin broke out when I tried to wear this as it more or less creates a smooth barrier on top of your skin so makeup can sit smoothly on top. I’d skip this.
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Oil-Free Moisturizer : Up until about a year ago, this product was almost my entire my morning routine. It had the perfect amount of color and coverage while making my skin feel soft and not cake-y like most foundations tend to. Have to tell you though, that this is now no longer my jam as I am now obsessed with my BB cream, the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35. Essentially, this amazing product is like skin heaven in a tube- it does everything that the Laura Mercier product does but also ties in the primer, oil control, anti-aging and repair features that were otherwise another few bottles. I’d love to see Laura Mercier come out with a BB cream, would definitely try that and I think Kate would be trying these as well as many of the lists detailing her make up came out around the time of the wedding, which was before all of the BB cream hype.
  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage : Amazing. If you buy one Laura Mercier product, make it this one. It’s got two colors which you can easily blend together to create essentially a customized coverup which can go from undereye skin to a pimple- which otherwise would be two different bottles.
  • Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder : Think I used this once. I never wore enough makeup to have to “set it”, although if you’re doing a photoshoot or a Royal Wedding in front of billions of people… Might be a good reason.

New to the brand? I’d highly recommend testing out the Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit (small trial sizes of most of the products mentioned above) which also comes with the brushes and sponges to perfect the look.

Laura Mercier – Eyes (Eyeshadow, Liner, etc.)

This is one area that I’m terrible at doing on a daily basis. I usually just curl my eyelashes and throw on a coat of mascara before leaving in the morning, which is tragic because just throwing on a quick line of eyeliner and a neutral shadow really do make all the difference. While visiting the makeup counter initially, I was fascinated by the application of the liquid liner which the artist effortless applied to my eyes. It was much easier than I thought it was, so I bought the Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Brown and Navy blue. I also bought the Laura Mercier Eye Basics, Laura Mercier Tightline Activator, Laura Mercier Baked Eye Color – Wet/Dry and Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Color.

My recommendations:

  • Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner : I’ve had five different people try to teach me how to do this properly. I thought it would be easy, but I’ve yet to perfect it even with the right brush and the Laura Mercier Tightline Activator. Unless you are a really amazing makeup application wizard, there are loads of easier options out there.
  • Laura Mercier Eye Basics : Kind of like a base color for your eyelids to prevent creasing in eyeshadow as the day goes on. I actually use this on a regular basis going to work as it is a great base color which for me was just the neutral look I needed for the office. I’d take a peek at this product.
  • Laura Mercier Baked Eye Color – Wet/Dry : Am in love with this product, specifically in the Ballet Pink color combination. You can brush it on dry to eyelids for a slight shimmer of color (and I mean very slight, I hate glitter makeup) or if you’re going for a night out, you can wet a brush and get a much deeper and saturated color. Definitely check it out.
  • Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Color : Again, love this one. It’s very similar to the Baked Eye Color – Wet/Dry but in a liquid form. It’s downfall is that it tends to gather in creases in your eyes but it is easier to apply and doesn’t require a brush (although there is one for more precise application)

New to the brand? Check out the Laura Mercier Free Spirit Baked Eye Color Palette, which is a great sample of many of their most popular colors (including mine, Ballet Pink!) 

Laura Mercier – Other Make Up

This is a weird category I’m using to collectively refer to lip color and blush. Lip color is definitely not my strong suit. I never wear lipstick and even seldom only wear lip gloss with color. I tried the Laura Mercier Lip Glace and actually use it regularly. As for the face products, I tried the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color and the Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in both Golden Mosaic and Pink Mosaic.

My recommendations:

  • Laura Mercier Lip Glace : It’s a great lip color for those who, like me, are not fond of the dark look or the overly matted look of lipstick. It’s not too sticky which is a problem with many lip gloss colors and yet still distinctive enough to leave color behind. I went with the very light colors, and carry them in my purse for meetings or coffee dates when I’m on the run.
  • Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color : I’m super biased in this category as I have been a loyal devotee of Nars Orgasm blush for years. The Laura Mercier blush was good, but didn’t have enough dimension for me. I am sticking to my tried and true Nars, which is #1 selling blush and on every single magazine’s “best of” lists year after year for a reason.
  • Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc : Gold Mosaic – Perfect for summer when you are emphasizing summer tan colors. It looked like I was kind of trying too hard to have a tan unless I had some color (which for me being as pale as I am means freckles becoming more prominent). Pink Mosaic – Amazing. I used this as a blush for awhile and it was almost as spectacular as my beloved Nars blus. Almost. I’d recommend this though as it’s great for travelling since the colors can be isolated and worn as eyeshadows, blended into clear lip balm for a splash of color easy lip gloss and then also used all over for blush and contouring.

New to the brand? Try the Laura Mercier Flawless Best Sellers Kit which will feature most of the face products we mentioned above plus a Shimmer Bloc!

Laura Mercier – Tools

One of the most expensive parts of creating a makeup collection are the tools. The brushes I bought cost a small fortune, but they will last forever. Actually, correction, if you don’t blindly trust Pinterest they will last forever. I used a vinegar mixture as I saw on there and the finish wore off all my brushes. They work fine, but no longer look nearly as pretty. In any case, my favorites from the Laura Mercier line are the Laura Mercier Sponge 4 Pack, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush, Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush and the Laura Mercier Ponytail Brush.

My recommendations:

  • Laura Mercier Sponge 4 Pack : You may think I’m a crazy person for suggesting this, but these sponges are worth every dollar. I’ve tried to buy cheaper ones, tried other ones… And keep coming back. They blend any cream into your face magically. I use these daily with my BB cream
  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush : Who knew using a brush was the best way to apply concealer? Ok, maybe everyone but me. This brush is great because it’s small enough to cover the smallest imperfection, but also big enough to handle larger areas like the undereye area. Not going to lie, this is something that I say I use more than I do – sometimes a quick swipe of my finger when I’m on the go is how I do it – but the brush definitely makes the application more precise
  • Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush : It’s big, it’s got soft bristles and it allows you to contour like a pro. Buy it.
  • Laura Mercier Ponytail Brush : Hands down the best eyeshadow brush ever. It gets into the crease and covers the entire eyelid area like no one’s business. Another go buy it.

New to the brand? There is a small Laura Mercier Travel Brush set which covers all the basics and can let you get accustomed to her brushes before making a bigger investment.

Laura Mercier – Skin/Body Care

My skin as a teenager was lucky to have come out like it did- I took zero care of it. What I learned at the Laura Mercier counter was that there was an easier way to take care of my skin and didn’t even need to be that hard. Oh, and I found the most divine smelling stuff of all time. I tried the Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Hand Cream, Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Mega Moisturizer, Laura Mercier Perfecting Eye Gel Creme, Laura Mercier Flawless Finish Face Polish, Laura Mercier Flawless Finish Purifying Oil Light, and Laura Mercier Flawless Finish Perfecting Water

My recommendations:

  •  Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Hand Cream : Run, don’t walk, to buy this stuff. It not only smells delicious, but absorbs quickly into your skin but also leaves the smell behind for several hours. You might be caught smelling your hands. You’ve been warned
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Mega Moisturizer and Laura Mercier Perfecting Eye Gel Creme: Bundling these two together because I had the same experience with both. Compared to other brands who have the same price point, these creams just didn’t cut it for me. They were very, very rich. I suppose I do live in a very humid climate and if you were to live in a dry, arid one you might have had a different experience, but I really didn’t like their quality for the price. I normally use Kiehl’s products to give you an idea of what I’m comparing it to.
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Finish Face Polish : Amazing stuff. Smells great and the little scrubber beads (it’s an exfoliator) aren’t too rough to make your skin red afterwards. You’ll just leave the shower feeling refreshed and clean. Extra bonus points is that I use this with my Clarisonic brush to really get a deep clean. Not sure that’s a recommendation, but I do it and love it. Great stuff.
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Finish Purifying Oil Light and Laura Mercier Flawless Finish Perfecting Water: I put these two together because they’re also a tandem pair. While it sounded counterintuitive, the oil is what you put on first to dirty skin and it then is supposed to by chemistry laws (Oh, I wish I had paid more attention in chemistry) somehow compel the dirt and oil in your skin to bond to it. Then the perfecting water washes it all away. As you can probably tell by my somewhat compulsive love of scrubbing above, I like my skin to feel clean after I wash it, so this just didn’t make the cut for me for that reason alone. I was pleased with my skin after and didn’t break out which is rare with a new product, but it just left my skin feeling dewy.

New to the brand? Try the Laura Mercier Soufflé Body Cream Sampler. It has the Creme Brûlée I mention above, plus three of their other heavenly scents. 

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Amanda is the Media & Operations Director for Effervescence Media Group (otherwise known as behind-the-scenes editor of What Would Kate Do? and The Refined Side). When she isn’t blogging, she can be found with a nice glass of red wine or browsing a vintage shop. Her interests are varied and include vintage couture, etiquette, and the financial markets. She resides in Vancouver, British Columbia
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5 Comments on Spotlight on Laura Mercier : A Royal Beauty Bag Special Look into a Kate Favorite

  1. Ashley
    February 15, 2013 at 12:19 am (3 years ago)

    I have been wanting to try Laura Mercier! The post was brilliant! I need a makeup organizer like yours!

    • The Duchess
      February 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Ashley! I actually picked it up at the Canadian equivalent to TJ Maxx, Homesense. I think it’s technically for jewellery, but makeup seemed like the right use for me.