Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Several readers asked me how this compares to Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, in terms of the overall grade/rating. This product is available, but you won’t find it online; you’ll have to track it down in stores. Saks seems to be the only distributor (at least in the U.S.) that has some stock left. If you click the link above, it’ll take you to the defunct product page on Saks, but it will allow you to “find in store.”

Generally, if a product is hard to find or sold out, I don’t review it (my order for this arrived only two days before it sold out everywhere). There are always exceptions, but it’s definitely something I try to avoid doing–same with discontinued or really old limited shades. This is an exception and not a change in the rule! :)

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator ($42.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a gilded bronze with a champagne-bronze shimmer. MAC Rose Ole is a bit more peach but looks similar when applied. It’s also a bit like MAC Crystal Pink, depending on how you combine the two shades.

The texture is soft but firm, and the frosted metallic sheen goes all the way through. It’s not as frosted on as it appears in the pan or in a heavier swatch. It’s more than just a subtle glow, but it’s less than a full-on frost. I call it a shimmer-sheen, because there is noticeable shimmer within the overall glowy sheen. It doesn’t emphasize pores, though.

For me, the major difference between the two formulas is in the wear–with Rose Rendezvous, it wears great for around six hours, but it’s faded by eight.  When I bought the product, I was initially really hopeful about it, because it seemed to be getting great reviews, but the way it looked at the end of the day wasn’t ideal.  Guerlain Cruel Gardenia wore for a shocking ten hours without fading, which was far more than I expected and longer than average. I wore them both over the same foundation (Guerlain Lingerie de Peau). On a very minute scale, Guerlain’s is a little more refined–a smidgen more finely milled, softer, finer shimmer–but it’s such a close call.

They are really different shades (Cruel Garenia is pink, this shade is warmer, more champagne-bronze), even though the products are similar in formula, so it’s more about the kind of shade you prefer and would find more flattering against your skin tone. The price for Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is $67, but you’ll get 0.31 oz. worth of product (50% more than Laura Mercier’s), so on an ounce-by-ounce comparison, Guerlain’s costs $216/oz. and Laura Mercier’s is $210/oz. I would expect this shade to flatter warmer skin tones more, while Cruel Gardenia will work well on both skin tones (as it is more neutral in undertone).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If this wore longer and better on me (say eight hours), this would be more of an A- product, but unfortunately, the mere six hours of wear impacts the product's overall rating quite a bit. I do think the two products are comparable in texture and composition, but the shades and wear are significantly different.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Totally Holiday, Totally Gift-Worthy and Under $50

This part of the holiday gift guide shares my favorite just-for-the-holidays palettes and kits over $30 but $50 or less–not over-the-top indulgent gifts but we’re getting there. If you missed it, I already posted the under $30 guide! :)

Eyes: Long-time readers know I’m a huge fan of Aqua Eyes, and the Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Eyes Collection ($36.00) contains five travel-sized (I’m guessing 0.02 to 0.03 oz.) and one full-size (0.04 oz.) eyeliner; for the price of two full-sized eyeliners, you’re getting six shades to try of a fantastic formula. Urban Decay also has two Eyeliner Sets ($32.00 each) that contain five travel-sized 24/7 Eyeliners; there is also a Shadow Pencil Stash ($34.00). At this price point, you can find some excellent palettes that came out just in time for the holidays, like Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00) and Bare Escentuals Ready 8.0 Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00).

Cheeks/Face: Too Faced In Your Dreams Makeup Collection ($39.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette that’s great for someone new to makeup; I like it because everything is presented in an easy-to-digest manner, and the colors coordinate with each other, so there is no guessing. Benefit Project Flawless ($32.00) is a cutely packaged set that contains a highlighter (Girl Meets Pearl), mascara, lipgloss (Foxy Lady), and blush (Bella Bamba). If that’s not quite to your taste, you could check out Romancing the Mirror ($39.00), which contains That Gal, Sugarbomb, and BADgal Lash.

Lips: I’ve been really digging Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lip Gloss Trio ($38.00); they’re fairly sheer, but they had so much dazzle and shine without feeling gritty–I’ve been reaching for these (because I need to do lip swatches for them!) to layer on top of other lipsticks. Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gloss to Go Set ($32.50) comes in a cute red faux leather zipper cylinder case with six holiday-appropriate glosses, and I like that it’s ready to give (there’s also a lipstick version).

Skin/Body: I love the way Estee Lauder set-up their skincare gift sets this year; they categorize them based on theme, like even skin tone or anti-wrinkle. Clinique has an excellent set for dry skin (Moisture Surge has saved my skin before!) called Total Moisture ($44.00). Consider giving a decadent, luxurious body cream in the form of this Laura Mercier Souffle Body Creme Sampler Set ($50.00 for 4×3 oz.).

Fragrance: Elegantly packaged, convenient to use, and full-sized, Tocca Beauty Rollerball Trio ($48.00 for 3×0.33 oz.) contains three different scents (Florence, Cleopatra, and Colette), which can be gifted as a set or easily broken up. Juicy Couture ($35.00 for 3×0.33 oz.) also has a trio of fragrance sprays of their signature scents. Fresh Sugar Obsessions Rollerball Trio ($35.00 for 3×0.34 oz.) contains popular Fresh scents, and if you have a foodie friend, this might be a good one for them. What’s really great about rollerballs is they’re easy to give, and they can be re-gifted, too–if you give your friend a kit, and they dislike one scent, it’s so easy for them to pass along to a friend/family member.

Do you have any suggestions for readers on the prowl for holiday gifts this year that came out just in time for holiday gift-giving?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011


Laura Mercier Holiday 2011 Collection

Baked Eye Color Palette ($48.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Sienna Rich, chocolate brown
  • Terracotta Warm bronze, copper
  • Ballet Pink Soft peachy pink
  • Pink Petal Pale baby pink
  • Lilac Smoky lavender violet

Eye Portfolio ($98.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes 12 eye colors (0.05 oz. each): Rich Sienna, Morning Dew, Black Coffee, Pink Crystal, Sable, Royal Gold, African Violet, Mica, Golden Cream, Fig, and Sparkling Night. Three travel brushes: Ponytail, Crease, and Smudge.

Color Portfolio ($98.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes six eye colors (0.05 oz. each): Primrose, African Violet, Merlot, Truffle, Topaz, Stellar. Three Tightline Cake Eye Liners (0.04 oz. each): Ground Espresso, Black Ebony, and Burgundy Wine. Two Second Skin Cheek Colors (0.12 oz. each): Rose Petal and City Pink. Three travel brushes: Ponytail, Crease, and Flat Eyeliner.

Travel Brush Set ($85.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes: Double-Ended Secret Camouflage Powder Brush, Double-Ended Allover Eye Color Ponytail Brush, Double-Ended Flat Eyeliner/Smudge Brush, Double-Ended Brow Definer/Brow Grooming Brush, Finishing Brush.

Mini Kohl Eye Pencil Set ($32.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

5 x 0.04 oz mini Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper (coppery brown), Antique Jade (metallic deep green), Black Turquoise (black with turquoise pearl), Black Violet (black purple charcoal), Purple Sapphire (bright eggplant)

The Nudes Mini Lip Glace Set ($38.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

4 x 0.1 oz Lip Glacé in Bare Blush (deep champagne taupe), Bare Naked (beige champagne), Bare Pink (light pink), Bare Beige (light neutral brown)

availability: Now @ Nordstrom; Sephora exclusives at Sephora

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Laura Mercier Canyon Sunset Cheek Melange

Laura Mercier Canyon Sunset Cheek Melange

Laura Mercier Canyon Sunset Cheek Melange ($40.00 for 0.22 oz.) is supposed to add a warm glow to the face “with sunset-inspired hues.” It’s a new product for fall, and it is limited edition.

There are three shades (a peony pink, ruddy brown, and peach) that come together to create a muted, browned pink with a satin sheen. In the photos, you’ll notice gold shimmer, but it’s an overspray, and much of the shimmer disappears after the first use. The product is not nearly as shimmery as it looks initially.

The texture is soft to the touch, and the powders smooths out evenly across the skin, which makes application easier. It has good color payoff from the get-go, but it can be layered for a slightly more intense look. While the silky texture is soft, the product sits on the skin well, so it doesn’t blend away too easily, and it wore for eight hours on me before beginning to fade.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Canyon Sunset Cheek Melange Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It's a more neutral pink, which makes it easy to wear with many different looks. I liked how it was a neutral pink but not too brown or pale--it has enough color to work on deeper skin tones but can still be used with a lighter hand for everyday color on paler skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “warm brown with shimmer.” The Sateen formula is designed to be a “lightweight eyeshadow with a creamy powder texture” with “intense, luminous color” that has “superior blending” and “long-wearing, crease-resistant application.”

First things first: yes, the eyeshadow is broken; it slipped out of the bubble wrap it was shipped in, and this was the result, but the damage was contained, so I could still give you some idea of the color and quality of the product, even if it might be hard to look at.

Cedar is a warm, medium-dark brown with subtle gold shimmer and satin sheen. It has excellent color payoff, and it applies smoothly and evenly. The wear is great over a primer with no fading or creasing, but the formula is described as long-wearing and crease-resistant without mention of a primer, so I did try it that way as well. I get about seven hours or so without a primer, which isn’t bad, but it’s not a full day of wear. The creasing is very subtle, but the fading is more noticeable. I would still recommend wearing it over an eyeshadow base to get solid wear throughout the day.

It’s a lot like MAC Swiss Chocolate, except Cedar has a little shimmer. NARS Galapagos is a bit darker, while Inglot #327 is a matte version. Milani Rich Java is a bit more red-based.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I would still recommend this--overall--as long as you wear an eyeshadow primer underneath, which I imagine most of us do already! This product lost the majority of points from failing to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own as claimed.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, July 10th, 2011


Laura Mercier Fall 2011 Canyon Collection

This season, Laura’s inspiration comes from the beauty of the earth, with its burning sunsets of ambered gold, lush green foliage and rustic copper canyons. The overall look is balanced between eyes, lips and cheeks. Cheeks are dusted in sunset inspired hues. Eye Colours in canyon clay, pine bronze and cedar are paired with soft golden highlights. The look is finished with lush lips in shades of russet, rose and sienna.

Cheek Melange ($40.00)

  • Canyon Sunset Sunset inspired hues for adding a warm glow (Limited Edition)

Eye Colour ($22.00)

  • Canyon Clay Sateen finish (Limited Edition)
  • Chocolate Luster finish (Limited Edition)
  • Pine Bronze Sateen finish (Limited Edition)
  • Cedar Sateen finish (Limited Edition)

Lip Glace ($22.00)

  • Quartz (New, Permanent)
  • Mauve Plum (New, Permanent)
  • Desert Rose (New, Permanent)
  • Brick (Limited Edition)

Creme Lip Colour ($22.00)

  • Bing Cherry (New, Permanent)
  • Espresso (New, Permanent)

availability: vailable on counters in July 2011 at www.lauramercier.com, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and select Belk, Blue Mercury, Lord & Taylor, and Macys.

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