Mineral Powder SPF 15
Mineral Powder SPF 15 is the first loose-powder mineral makeup from a makeup artist–based line, and right out of the gate Mercier’s option trounces the competition. The drawbacks of mineral makeup (potential discoloring over oily areas, making dry skin or dry areas look and feel even drier, messy application—after all, it is loose powder) do apply here to some extent. However, this product’s overall excellent attributes balance those negatives and make this a mineral makeup worth exploring. The broad-spectrum sunscreen is provided by 20% zinc oxide, an amount that also lends this powder its opacity and ability to provide nearly full coverage and an absorbent finish. The zinc oxide is joined by pearl powder and lesser amounts of other ingredients common to mineral makeup, including mica and bismuth oxychloride. Together they create a silky, dry texture that blends better on skin than any other mineral makeup we’ve tested (and we’ve tested them all!).
Its finish is matte in feel, but the pearl powder lends an attractive, non-sparkling, dimensional glow to skin that keeps it from looking too dull or flat. All of the shades available (with no options for tan to dark skin tones) demand careful testing because they apply either lighter or darker than they appear in the container. Speaking of the container, the sifter has a clever closure that keeps the powder from spilling out during travel, a thoughtful touch. Applying this with a brush nets the most natural results; applying it with a sponge provides a noticeably opaque finish.
Note: This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.
Laura Mercier At-A-Glance
Strengths: Many fragrance-free products; top-notch water-soluble cleansers; some extraordinary foundation and powder products; great powder blush, cream blush, and powder eyeshadows; a couple impressive mascaras; mostly great shimmer products; praiseworthy makeup brushes.
Weaknesses: Expensive; some of the products with sunscreen lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas.
Mercier did a reasonably good job of crafting a skin-care line to complement her formidable collection of makeup (color is definitely Mercier's strong suit). From her above-average cleansers to some intriguing serums, it is clear that the skin care wasn't just an afterthought. Mercier is the only independent makeup artistry line we know of whose skin-care products actually have an impressive array of state-of-the-art ingredients. Of course, not everything is a slam-dunk, but following the reviews below will lead you to some wonderful products, assuming the higher-than-normal prices don't offset your decision to shop this line for your skin-care needs. And it's nice that the line has toned down its claims about emu oil, because it was never that miraculous to begin with - it's just one of many emollient oils that can help dry skin look and feel better.
For more information about Laura Mercier, call (888) 637-2437 or visit www.lauramercier.com.
Laura Mercier Makeup
What sets Mercier's well-organized makeup line apart from the rest is her trademark "flawless face." Mercier believes that perfecting the complexion is the most important step to makeup application, and her line presents some incredible options for doing just that. An added plus is that Mercier's counter staff really have their act together when it comes to makeup application know-how, while the sales pressure is low key. We wish the tester units were more spacious and efficiently labeled, but this isn't an overwhelming line to navigate.
Most of Mercier's foundations are in many ways a step above the rest. Although none of the main foundations offer sun protection, there are formidable options for all skin types, and the pigmentation in each is rich, so a little goes a long way. Other areas where Laura Mercier's makeup really excels are the loose powders, cream blush, mascara, brushes, and shimmer products. It is all too easy and very tempting to put together an entire makeup wardrobe from the Mercier selection, but keep in mind that there are a fair number of standard to lackluster products that simply aren't worth the expense, despite Mercier's considerable makeup artistry expertise.
Mercier's handiwork routinely graces the covers of major fashion magazines, and for the most part her work speaks for itself and epitomizes this line's Flawless Face philosophy. Mercier herself regularly makes special appearances at her counters, and my guess is that sitting in her chair would be an experience to remember!
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.