These might be the greatest thing since sliced bread – actually way better than sliced bread since they are perfect, shimmery molten eyeshadow sticks of exactly the colours that you want, and best of all, they’re gluten-free!
I’ve become obsessed with these of late. They are a lightweight cream eyeshadow that just has the most perfect texture. They’re in a thin stick form, so not only are they extremely lightweight (which you are SO GRATEFUL for when you have 40 kilograms of makeup to lug to work each day), but the shape of the tip is absolutely perfect for creating dreamy highlights around the eyes. There is a reason that all the top red carpet makeup artists are using them on their celeb clients you know! Mai Quynh used them on Chloe Moretz at Cannes, as well as Reese Witherspoon at the Golden Globes.
They also come in a great range of colours and are a lovely base for a smoky eye or perfect as a shimmering accent. You can use them as a shadow or as a liner as well, so they’re just right for everyday life as they do double-duty and are even small enough to fit in an evening bag, if you need a quick retouch.
There are now 23 shades available, and since Laura Mercier is, well Laura Mercier, they really are gorgeous, flattering colours for every skintone. These suckers are fast, also. For when you have literally two seconds to do your makeup (and a toddler may or may not be dragging themselves up your legs trying to get to your makeup because the best thing EVER is a toddlerin your makeup) they are literally just swipe, smoosh with brush or finger and go.
Because this is the site with no shame, and because I haven’t had any cheesily fabulous 80’s music on here for awhile, here’s some Spandau Ballet to ease you into this season’s hottest trend for holiday parties – Gold.
Now that I’ve blown your mind with some feathered hair and ostentatious guitar chord playing (check around the 1.23 mark if you’re into that sort of thing), it’s time to get down to business, how to shimmer like a star this Christmas.
The best way to wear golds is generally on the eyes – although this season there are some ace gold nailpolishes around too (but more on them later).
Gold suits every eye colour and in fact every skintone, and metallics in general are huge this season.
My fave way to wear gold on the eyes is to layer a cream with a powder, and for full-on Midas eyes you can’t really go past Illamasqua’s Solstice Liquid Metal with Pure Pigment in Marvel. This is what Alex Box used to create the Golden Goddess look for the Myer show in Sydney this year, and I can attest to its – well, golden-ness. I love these because the gold isn’t too yellow and fake looking, and they have a burnished quality when they catch the light (golds that are too fake and yellow looking make me feel, quite frankly, ill. So cheap and nasty!)
If you fancy something a little less full-on, Laura Mercier does a lovely gold metallic crème eyeshadow in, aptly enough, Gold, and Chanel do a beautiful gold powder eyeshadow. It’s also, funnily enough, called Gold.
There are a few tricks to making metallics work. Firstly you need to apply your shadow, then line your eyes right at the base of the top lashes with a black liquid liner or gel eyeliner. This defines the eye and makes it much more party-worthy. Black or brown pencil liner on the inner rims is optional, depending on whether you really want to get your sexy on. I like MAC’s Boot Black liquid and Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink gel liner for this purpose. You can either just do a wash of gold on the lids, or you can use a nice matte brown shadow to wash into the crease to give some good depth and definition (I’m currently loving NARS Bengali as a great all round chocolate brown eyeshadow). Two coats of your favourite mascara (my current fave mazzie is L’Oreal’s Volume Million Lashes mascara for a party lash), and false lashes are optional but always a winner for parties. MAC and Shu Uemura are great for expensive ones, Ardell if you’re saving your pennies.
You can keep the rest of the face simple by using the minimum of foundation and powder, some bronzer and keep the lip a delicious nude. I love YSL Rouge Pur in 132 a gorgeous golden pinky beige. Golden-beige gloss on top, something like Chanel’s Beige Guitare.
Nails are also a key place to go for gold. Myface L’il Bling is an amazing new range of metallic polish, and their gold polish is particularly lovely (it’s called Gilt-y). For the ultimate gold nail though you should check out Nail Rock. Nail Rock are individual nail wraps in different patterns, including metallics, that you heat up with a hair dryer onto the nail. They do take a bit of getting used to, but for a true Midas touch, you can’t go past these. They are the creation of London manicurist Zoe Pocock and they last up to 7 days on nails and 8 weeks on the toes, plus they are inexpensive (£6.50 per set), so there’s no excuse for not going for gold. (Feathered hair and ostentatious guitar playing are optional).
I am a big, big fan of Laura Mercier products as you might know from reading of my almost creepy love of her Translucent Powder and Secret Camouflage concealer. The Secret Brightener? Not so much.
The idea is that you use this under the eye before concealer in order to “brighten dark circles, reduce shadow and minimize discolorations”, according to the website. Which sounds great in theory except that this product is pearly pink. And I mean REALLY pearly pink. Even on my Mattel-doll complexion it shows up pink under the concealer. I believe it now comes in two shades, and to be fair I haven’t tried the second shade, so I can only comment on how Number 1 looks. Also I wouldn’t know how it reads on anyone else’s skin as it never made it near my kit.
However it could be used as a pretty highlighter on the cheekbones, just please, for the love of Mary, not under the eyes. It will give you that awful deer caught in the headlights look which you see when sometimes a celebrity is caught by flash photography with the paprazzi, and their makeup artist has been slightly too generous with the under eye highlighter. As a sweet highlighter pen it’s great as it can be tossed in your bag, and it’s easy for doing delicate spots like the tip of the Cupid’s bow.
For undereye highlighting I can safely recommend YSL Touche Eclat, Clinique Airbrush and Estee Lauder Ideal Light, but not this dude.
This one, I’m sorry to say, is going in the bin.
* Does not affect my love for the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, nor her genius concealer and powder, which I’m still evangelical about.
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for well over a year now, and I haven’t mentioned this trusty little helper that comes on literally every job. It’s almost as if because it’s there, just when I need it for dark circles and nasty red spots, I don’t even think about it. All these other concealers step in and steal its limelight, when really, it’s the star of the show.
It’s super thick and dense (so great for spots and blemishes), and each colour has two pans of product, one more yellow-y skin coloured one and a peach, so it can be mixed up to just the right shade. The peachier tone is perfect for concealing under-eye darkness – let’s be honest, the scourge of women everywhere.
But the trick is, you need to know how to use it. You need a brush – the Laura Mercier concealer one is pretty good, and then use the brush to mix the colours up the right way on the back of your hand. Then apply with feathering motions (or dabbing motions if it’s a spot) onto the offending area. It can be sheered out or coverage built up until all imperfections just melt away under its tender ministrations.
For under eye circles it really is usually too thick, so I generally put a bit of basic moisturiser on the back of my hand (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser is a favourite for this task), and dip a tiny bit on the brush, then onto the product. The moisturiser breaks it up slightly so you get sheerer coverage. Laura Mercier also makes a Secret Concealer which is more peach-y, and more emollient which I sometimes mix in too. And LM Secret Camo (for it is Secret Camo, and I am Australian, and I will abbreviate things even when it’s not appropriate) can be layered under other products too, for even more superior eyebag coverage.
It comes in 6 shades from really quite pale to reasonably deep tones, although if you are extremely pale or very dark I would stick with Becca as they have a wider selection of colours to choose from.
All in all it is my go-to concealer guy, and I owe it a major apology for not covering it sooner. I may even buy it a drink.
I’ve had this post kicking around in my head for a long time, and in the meantime I’ve tried at least four other tinted moisturizers, and not one of them has come close to beating the original and the best – Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser.
Calling a product The Best Ever is a big statement, but when I do it’s because I feel pretty confident that I’ve tried a lot in that category, and this is the best on the market. There is a reason why this turns up every single year in the Allure and Instyle Best of Beauty Awards!
Tinted Moisturiser was one of Laura Mercier’s first products in her eponymous line, and it’s wonderful for just giving a light touch of something for those who don’t really need full-on foundation. In Foundation Land, a very confusing place most women are obligated to visit at least a few times in their lifetime, a place filled with unhelpful sales assistants trying to take your money – it’s the lightest coverage, the first step on the foundation ladder. It’s for those with good skin naturally, and it’s particularly awesome when it’s hot (as it’s a lighter product and won’t slide off your face so much), and on holidays as you can just whack it on with your fingers and be out the door and off to the beach. Because it is such a light coverage, I like to go a shade darker in Tinted Moisturiser – it gives your skin a sun-kissed glow without being too much.
It has an SPF of 20, comes in 2 formulas (normal and oil-free), plus an Illuminating one for dull, dry skin (great in winter, although not for those with oily skin), and comes in 10 shades, from very pale to pretty dark. I’ve used it myself and I’ve used it at work for upwards of ten years, and no other brand comes close to getting the right creaminess, range of shades and lovely texture that evens your skintone and gives your face a much-needed lift in the morning.
Laura Mercier’s range specializes in products that make your skin look perfect, and of her foundations, this is my favourite. That’s why Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser is the best one ever.
As the weather starts warming up, it’s time to re-think your makeup bag – here’s a few of my new favourite things:
1 – Paul & Joe blotting papers
How cute are these? Sweet little oil-blotting sheets when the heat just gets too much. The package is so cute, you won’t want to hide them away.
2 – Benefit Creaseless Cream eyeshadows
I love these shimmery, elegant eyeshadows that are gorgeous as a base for serious eye makeup, or as a wash on their own. Currently in constant rotation are Busy Signal, a rich copper which is amazing on darker skin tones, Stiletto in aubergine, for blue eyes, and Skinny Jeans, a rich pewter, for green eyes. And it’s true, they are the most creaseless of all the cream eyeshadows.
3 – Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair
I’m going to preface this by saying I’m not a big eye cream girl. My eyes are quite sensitive, so a lot of eye creams make them even puffier than normal in the morning (NOT the effect I was going for) and itchy and red. This is not the best way to start your morning beauty routine! So generally I avoid them, but this one I love. It has echinacea, Vitamin E and Vitamin B5, and it’s keeping my incipient eye wrinkles at bay.
4 – Tom Ford Lipstick
Um, Tom Ford? Anything Tom Ford? The man could be designing plumbing equipment and I’d be there with bells on at his counter in Selfridges, signing up for some plungers. Happily it’s not plumbing equipment but gorgeous lipsticks he’s turned his clever hands to (designing clothes and the grooviest sunglasses AND incredible movies is not enough apparently), and the twelve shades hand picked by the master are lovely enough to turn anyone’s head.
5 – Laura Mercier Brow pencils
Let’s just say my eyebrows now (in their infinite wisdom), need a little work, so I’m always on the lookout for brow products that define naturally without heaviness or giving nasty 1990’s brow, which for me is super drawn on, unnatural and overly sculpted. Yeuch. Sooo nasty and dated. Laura Mercier has four brow pencils in her range which are not too soft, not too hard and the right colour for brow hair – not orange, not tan, not too grey, but just right on all counts. So my brows can get the help they now definitely need, every day.
This is an amazing luminous powder that gives a subtle light to the skin, without making it glittery or too shiny. I do love it so – I’ve had this in my kit for quite a few years.
Why is it a secret weapon, I hear you ask? Because I don’t use it all over the face (although you could, if you wanted a luminous powder to finish your makeup), I just use it with a tiny, fluffy brush, like a MAC 224 – everyone should have one of these bad boys in their makeup bag – on the undereye area. It sets your concealer imperceptibly and prevents creasing, whilst subtly brightening the under eye. And it’s super sheer. Did I mention it was genius?
Chanel also have a cracking luminising translucent face powder, called Chanel Crystalline Poudre. It leaves a beautiful finish on the skin, very similar to the Laura Mercier – in fact, I swap and change them in my kit all the time. However like a lot of the Parisian luxury brands it’s definitely for the fairer complected amongst us. Darker skintones could get a similar effect with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish which comes in lovely tones for darker skinned ladies.
And really, who couldn’t do with a bit of radiant light on their under eye area?
There’s a new starlet in town and her name is Alexa Davalos. She is Andromeda in the new film Clash of the Titans, and this week in London she’s been lighting up the red carpet in a dress by Ralph Lauren and diamonds by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Makeup artist Kay Montano was inspired by the makeup at the recent YSL show, which was very matte skin with a bright, glossy lip, and a hint of shine on the eyes and the cheeks. Juxtaposing textures creates a look that’s beautiful, polished and fresh – perfect for the red carpet.