There are very few foundations available that are emollient enough for those with dry skin. That’s because the ingredients necessary to create a rich, moisturizing texture tend to have an oxidizing effect on the pigments in the formula. That in turn means that the shade you applied in the morning may begin looking more orange or peach as the day goes on, especially if you have oily areas (such as on or near the nose).
The other reasons are that the formulas tend to separate in the package and it’s tricky to blend powder-based products over a foundation with a notably moist finish. Creme Smooth Foundation appears to have avoided these pitfalls, but given that this is a new foundation, it takes time to see if the product will separate.
This thick foundation is packaged in a large, heavy jar. Although Mercier added some antioxidants to the formula, the fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
Texture-wise, Smooth Creme Foundation leans toward the greasy side of creamy, and it has moderate slip during blending. You’ll find this sets to a satin matte finish that doesn’t mesh with skin as well as some of Mercier’s other foundations, at least not without diligent blending.
Coverage goes from medium to full; in fact, even if you try to apply this makeup sheer, it’s difficult to get less than medium coverage. Not surprisingly, the formula is best for dry skin not prone to breakouts. The shade range is mostly excellent there are good options for light to dark (but not very dark) skin tones. Consider the slightly peach Tawny Beige carefully and avoid the orange-toned Honey Beige.
Water, Hydrogenated Didecene, Polydecene, Glycerin, Hexyl Laurate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Boron Nitride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Methicone, Argania Spinosa Oil (Argan) Kernel Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Trihydroxystearin, Tropolone, Tribehenin, Cetyl Dimethicone/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium PCA, Linoleic Acid, Ceramide 2, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Polyquaternium-51, Linolenic Acid, Trehalose, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide
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!
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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