Laura Mercier

Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 48.00
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Brand Overview

One of the hallmarks of Mercier's foundations is how well they mesh with skin, and the Silk Crème Oil-Free Photo Edition Foundation has a name that's 100% accurate in its description of texture, formula and performance. Her formulas, even one that provides significant coverage like this one, somehow manage to look very skin-like, primarily because they don't settle into lines, pores, and minor crevices regardless of the tool you use to apply. Forgive the expression, but with this picture-perfect foundation you will be ready for your close-up!

Housed in a squeeze tube, this foundation is essentially the same formula as the formerly known, "Silk Crème Foundation" and has been renamed/repackaged with "Oil-Free" added to the name. Laura Mercier has also launched a Moisturizing version of this product, aptly titled "Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation," and is reviewed elsewhere on Beautypedia. For the Oil-Free version, a few ingredient swaps were made, but nothing that makes this a radically different foundation compared to the original.

Silk Crème's fragrance-free silicone base blends expertly with a balance of slip (it's not too slick nor too drying) and sets to a silky, powder-like matte finish. It is one of the few almost-full-coverage foundations that doesn't look too thick and that doesn't dull down healthy skin's natural luminosity or feel like paste on the face.

Granted, as exceptional as these qualities are, this foundation still looks like makeup—no one will believe you're sporting a sheer look—but if that's the kind of coverage you're looking for, this deserves serious consideration by those with normal to combination or oily skin, including breakout-prone skin. Those with very oily skin will likely want a longer-lasting matte finish than this can provide.

This liquid foundation promises 12-hour wear, and it stays on well, but oily areas will definitely begin seeing shine in a couple hours or less, even if powder is applied afterward. That's not a deal-breaker; rather, just don't expect this to control oil for half the day.

Laura Mercier's Silk Crème Oil-Free Photo Edition Foundation earned its high rating for its beautiful finish and its ability to deliver full-coverage without leaving you looking as if you're wearing a full coverage foundation. Did we mention the shade range? Almost all of the shades are impeccable, and include options for fair (but not porcelain) to dark skin tones. Consider the slightly peachy-rose Ecru carefully and note that the Suntan shade has a golden orange cast that may not look all that natural on its intended skin tone.

One more comment: Although the Moisturizing version of this foundation ("Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation") has identical shade names, its formulary differences results in its shades looking a bit different on skin. For example, if you wear Cream Ivory in the Moisturizing formula and want to switch to the Oil-Free version, you may need the next shade lighter or darker instead. Be sure to test this in natural lighting.


  • Concentrated formula supplies impressive coverage.
  • Beautiful range of shades.
  • Blends impeccably and doesn't feel the least bit thick or heavy.
  • Perfects the complexion for "photo-ready" results.
  • Fragrance-free.


  • The 12-hour wear claim doesn't apply to shine control (though this otherwise holds up well).

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
Photo-ready foundation to create a flawless canvas with a natural matte finish. Long-wearing formula that contains colour-true pigments that smooth on skin seamlessly and hide even hard-to-cover imperfections.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, PEG-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica Dimethicone Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Trihydroxystearin, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Capryloylhydroxamic Acid, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Serica/Silk Powder, Saccharomyces/Xylinum Black Tea Ferment, Hydroxyethylcellulose. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

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.

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