Product Review: Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer

I am just LOVING this weather!  Spring has certainly sprung and as the temperature soars one often considers adapting their make-up routine.  Wearing a full face of foundation can become uncomfortable and you may want to opt for a lighter option such as a tinted moisturiser.

I tested the cult tinted moisteriser by Laura Merceir last week.

Laura Mercier - the creator of the 'flawless face'

The Laura Mercier brand has garnered a loyal and fervent following.  Mercier is a leading makeup artist and is famous for creating the ‘flawless’ face and counts Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts as faithful clients.  She created the brand in 1996 and the Tinted Moisturizer  (n.b. I will only spell moisturizer with a ‘z; when referring specifically to the product – sorry – being pedantic!!) soon became one of the best sellers and has won a plethora of industry awards.

To be honest, I have never worn a tinted moisturisers, as I crave coverage and believed that tinted moisturisers would not provide the level of coverage I desired, however there are those days when I do not want to or need to wear a full coverage foundation, thus I thought it was about time I gave one a try! A quality tinted moistiriser would be a great alternative.

I  have tried other products from the Laura Mercier range and I really rate the quality so, what did I think of the Tinted Moisturizer?

Colour Match

There are 4 shades in the range that would be suitable for darker skin tones; Caramel, Tan, Walnut and Mocha.  Walnut and Mocha are the latest shades to join the range.

The formulation has a yellow undertone – and not the usual oragny undertone that darker liquid foundations tend to have and as a result it was a PERFECT match for me!!

🙂

It blended in well and literally dissaperared into my skin.  As I have mentioned in my previous product review posts, I usually wear MAC’s Studio Fix compact in NW45, so if this is your shade, you should find that Mocha will work for you.

Now you see it...

...now you don't!

Colour Match :10/10

Coverage and Wear

The product is available in two versions, the original and an oil-free version – which is what I opted for and which comes in the brown tube (featured above).  As I reserched more about this product I came to understand that the formulation is buildable and could provide additional coverage, should that be the finish that you desired.  Though I was some what  skeptical of this claim,  I was blown away with the performance of this product!  It is quite thick in texture- which was unexpected – but this means that a little goes a long, long way – which is good news – because at £33, it is not the cheapest of  bases on the market, but I am sure that the 40 ml tube would last for AGES!!

I applied the moisturiser with my fingers and was able to build up the coverage as needed, without it looking cakey or uneven.  The coverage was excellent – akin to that of a foundation…it really would be a credible option for the summer months as it is lightweight and felt undetectable.

The moisturiser dries to give a dewy finish, so I did feel the need to dab on a little sheer powder, but once set, it did not budge!  The quality of this product is beyond marvelous and with a SPF of 20 it really is the all-in one, convenient product for a speedy, yet flawless finish!

Coverage and Wear: 9/10

Marketing Support

The campaign for the new darker shades that were to added to the Laura Mercier range actually caught my attention last year and I featured the ad in my blog post ‘Model Behaviour‘.  I love the strapline; ‘flawless has many faces’.

Niche brands such as Laura Mercier tend not to spend lavishly on advertising, but I have seen the ad in a recent issue of Marie Claire magazine.  There is a limited amount of visibility in store and online, but I feel the brand is still very much a beauty aficionado’s secret!

I hope that this post will encourage more women, especially women of colour, to try this brilliant brand!

Marketing 8/10

Where can you buy this wonderful product?

Space NK

John Lewis

House of Fraser

Advertisements

Top Black Beauty Bloggers courtesy of Coco & Creme

I came accross this fabulous post a few days ago, posted by Coco & Creme, a sister blog to the leading US online magazine for the ‘young, contemporary’ women of colour,  Clutch, and I thought I would share it!

Image

Featuring the heavyweight black female bloggers from accross the pond such as Afrobella, Curly Nikki and Scandalous Beauty – follow all of these ladies for the latest news and views on the best hair and beauty buys for the woman of colour.

It is always great to discover what is happening in the States, and I am becoming increasingly  impressed with the quality of the digital content that these entrepreneurial, innovative and enterprising women are creating – such powerful brands and successful businesses!!  Black women in the States have really utilised the web and social media to carve out incredible niches – allowing their voices and opinions to be heard…and shared!

They are a true inspiration and I hope that I will see many more Black British women take to the web and create an identity for themsleves and the women they represent.


Hair we go again…

Being the First Lady of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth cannot be easy, with the eyes of the world on your every move – but does being the first Black First Lady come with additional pressures?

Illustration by Nicole Fineman for Time (2009)

Like most females that hold positions in public office, Michelle Obama is scrutinised from head to toe on her choice of attire, whether she should bare her arms or not, which designer she was wearing etc etc – but where the similarity ends with her peers in the political class, is with the attention that her hair has garnered since her husband took office, and it shows no sign of abating if the reaction to the image below  is anything to go by.

I am not my hair... no really I am not !!

The image hit my Twitter timeline mid -week and since then the gained momentum and has gone viral – I have seen the image featured on the Twitter and Facebook timelines of friends and followers from America to Africa, Europe to East Asia!!

The image is courtesy of the powers of Photoshop, and it seems that the originator has yet to be identified….

Before and After (well sort of...)

…and the plot thickened when the photo in question came to the attention of blogger Maeling Tapp, author of Natural ChicaEssence.com reported that Tapp’s Twitter followers began sending her messages saying that Obama’s hair looked a lot like her own…and upon further inspection it does seem to be the case.

Tapp states in the Essence piece:

“A lot of people who follow my blog said, ‘I had a feeling that was your hair,… It’s kind of surprising that other people recognize my hair so well.” 

Hair today, gone tomorrow! Mrs O wears the blogger, Maeling Tapp's hair well.

Like Mrs Obama, I can relate to my hair being of extreme interest, especially in the professional and corporate environment.   This Time.com photo essay is a case in point – an international current affairs magazine painstakingly documenting the evolution of a First Lady’s hairstyle??!!  This is crazy!

My issue is not whether Mrs. Obama wears her hair curly or straight,  but that, in my opinion, her hair garners so much attention due to the fact that Black women in a prominent position is still a novelty.

In one sense, you can understand the fascination that people of other ethnicities have with our hair – I am currently working on a project that is addressing this particular issue, and  it has become apparent that our hair is a complete enigma – and  most questions and queries, to which one could take offense, are really asked out of sheer curiosity.

I have worked in the fashion and beauty industry for some of the world’s leading brands, and even here in London, one of  the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, I was often the only Black person, and almost certainly was the only Black woman working in the head offices of these brands.  Even within the beauty industry – which I expected be more enlightened – I was always being asked about my ‘ever-changing’ hairstyles, if my hair could be touched and how is it  that my hair grew so long over night!  

The long and short of it is (no pun intended)  that I and women like myself are still all too absent in many sections and areas of society.

We have no presence in countless offices  across the city, thus when we do make an appearance it can take our colleagues and peers a while to adjust to our normal hair and beauty routines…but in most parts adjust they do, and they come to the realisation that we have much more in common than that which makes us different.

Judge, Baroness, Entrepreneur...will you be next?

As more and more Black women secure positions of leadership, face the media and take their place in mainstream society, I am looking forward to the  focus being on what is in our heads as well as what in on it.


It’s Me! Black beauty & hair magazine’s Blogger of the Month!

The latest issue of the UK’s ‘best selling Black magazine’ , Black beauty & hair, hit the shelves today…..

….. and yours truly is the blogger of the month!

How cool is that??!!

🙂

Thanks to all of my followers, both of my blog and on Twitter!  I love writing my blog and I love interacting with you all!

Do grab a copy of the magazine and let me know what you think….

…and if you are thinking of starting a blog, but are stuck as how to begin, my advice to you  is to JUST DO IT (you know – like  the Nike ads)!

You do have something to say, a unique point of view,  a valued opinion – so share it with the world!


Boutique Chic

I love the beauty halls in the major London department stores such as Selfridges, John Lewis Oxford Street, Liberty and Harvey Nicks…the convenience of  being able to purchase all of my favourite brands all under one roof is a boon and the in store theatre, promotions, window displays and the opportunity to discover new, exclusive brands all add to the joy of beauty shopping….

I'm a beauty shopper, looking for some peace...GET ME OUT OF HERE!!

…sometimes, however it is nice to leave the hustle and bustle behind and visit the stand alone boutique of individual brands.

That is exactly what I did over the last weekend – and how lovely it was indeed.

I visited:

Diptyque –  Brook Street, W1

Miller Harris – Bruton Street W1

Although department stores are convenient, they can often feel impersonal, but this was not the case at all with the stores that I visited – I was not just another faceless customer, the staff went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and valued.  Also, I very much prefer niche fragrances that are unusual and eclectic, so thought it would be a nice change to  take the time to rediscover the beautiful stores that house these creations.

Diptyque

I was actually on my way to Space NK on Brook Street, when I happened upon the Diptyque store.  I had had no idea that this store was located here (which is very unusual for me!!), and was shocked to learn that it had been open for 3 years!  The store is quaint and petite, but is perfectly formed.  I adore the Diptyque range!

Diptyque, Brook Street

The candles are divine and extremely long lasting (my favorite scent is Tubéreuse) and the although the cult fragrance that has amassed a dedicated following  is the fig based Philosykos,  I prefer the  fruity scent of Oyedo.

Sweet and sensual...just like me 😉 !!

The Diptyque consultant was extremely knowledgeable and took her time to introduce us to the latest fragrance, Eau Rose (£60.00) and also demonstrated how could be combined with Philosykos to create a whole new fragrance….which I actually found to be quite appealing .  This was a surprise – as not only am I not Philosylos’  biggest fan, neither do I take to well to rose scented fragrances!  So it goes to show that the staff can play a critical role in assisting you to discover a new experience that you  might have otherwise discounted.

At no time,  did she try to ‘sell’ me any thing (unlike many department store ‘spritzers’ ), but was happy to answer all of my my questions and allow me to peruse the beautiful surroundings at my leisure…pure heaven! I left with a cute sample of the fragrance Do Son, which contains – you guessed it – tuberose! The other ingredients of berries and flowers create a concoction that is sweet, but not saccharine and is perfect for every day wear.

Miller Harris

Ever since I was given a bottle of L’air De Rien over 5 years ago, I have been besotted with the fragrance and the brand behind its creation. I will have to do a separate post on this fragrance because it is SO gorgeous…

The brand’s creator and the nose behind the fragrant offering is Lyn Harris.

Lyn Harris has been working in the fragrance industry for more than twenty years and founded Miller Harris in 2000. She spent five years training in France at one of the highly prestigious schools of the perfume elite in Paris and then Robertet in Grasse.

Lyn in her fragrance laboratory (looks like fun)!

The Mayfair flagship store offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of Bond street with a Fragrant Tea Room at the rear of the store.   I arrived at the store at about 6.15pm…not realising that the store closed at 6pm!  The door was locked but the lights were still on.

Miller Harris - Bruton Street

As I was peering through the window a member of staff appeared and came to the door.  I expected her to say we are closed and advise me of the opening times for future visits….but no, she opened the door and invited me in!  ‘You have made your way here to see us’ she said and welcomed me as if it was 12 o’clock midday!

NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

We chatted about the fragrances and candles and as you can see I didn’t leave empty handed!

It was just so refreshing to receive genuine customer focused  service – to see someone go above and beyond the what was reasonable to expect.

In the word’s of the Mastercard adverts – this is priceless.


Rock of Ages

I was flicking through the latest issue of Grazia magazine yesterday and was thrilled to see that yet again Grazia has used a beautiful black model for the main beauty feature!

Image: Grazia - March 2012

The feature is not colour specific, but focuses on the latest hi-tech, anti-aging products that are on the market – the no-surgery approach to holding back the years.

Image: Grazia - March 2012

I had to smile to myself though, because the choice of model and the content of the feature was somewhat ironic ….has the beauty team at Grazia not heard that ‘Black Don’t Crack’ ???

This widely used term refers to the fact that black skin tends to age very well and the ‘signs of aging’ that the beauty (and cosmetic surgery) industry target with a plethora of products, devices and procedures – crows feet, fine lines and wrinkles, dark under-eye circles and puffiness, loss of elasticity – are not a major concern for the average woman of colour.

I am sure that you have all heard about, commented on and have formulated an opinion regarding  the recent survey of 1,936 American adults conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that while black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they have higher self-esteem and a better body image.  I believe that this higher self-esteem can be also be partly attributed to the fact that the majority of black women do not abhor the aging process.

Now don’t get me wrong, aging is very much a reality for black women and eventually all of the ‘signs’ I mentioned above will begin to surface – however, in my experience, the onset of these changes in the beautiful, strong black women that have been a part of my life were never viewed in a negative light – in fact they was celebrated!

The leading ladies below typify the adage, ‘Black Don’t Crack’ , they are the essence of fabulosity!

Stacey Dash, 46 (45 in this image!)

Denise Lewis MBE, 39

Oprah Winfrey, 58

Iman,56

Diana Ross, 67

Now you may be thinking that if you were a celebrity -with stylists, facialists and personal trainers at your disposal, you would look fabulous too, right??

Well all I can say is that for me, the most stunning, resplendent black women that I was surrounded by as I grew up, were those with whom I attended church.

I grew in the Pentecostal church, and it was here in particular that I saw Black women of all ages – young women who were just blossoming and the matriarchs who had held the fort for decades – dressed to the nines and looking spectacular week after week after week.

An essential item of attire that conferred a regal finish was the indispensible church hat.

Oh happy day!

When these women were dressed in their matching hat, suit, bag and shoes –   you saw a confident, beautiful, representation of the black woman, one who celebrated her external appearance as she tended to her internal, spiritual being.

These women are our mothers and grandmothers, our aunts, our sisters and our friends.  As a young girl, and now as a young women,  women such as these continue to inspire me.

In 2009, just after the historical election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America, Essence magazine ran this cover of First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson.

I still have a copy of the magazine on my coffee table, it is such a beautiful depiction of black womanhood and I love it so much!  Mrs Robinson was 72 at the time that this image was taken… she looks amazing!

Age ain’t nothing but a number – embrace your outer beauty – which can only be a reflection of your inner confidence and the love that you have for yourself.


Afro’s & headline fashion shows AW12

Afro’s & headline fashion shows AW12.

 

A great follow up to my post Afro-tising! If you are not following Afroblush, you should be!

 

Enjoy!