Tag:  laura mercier Archives - Beauty Banter

Fall 2012: Laura Mercier’s Cinema Noir Collection

By | makeup | 10 Comments

Collection: Cinema Noir

Products Submitted:
Eye Colour Duet in Suspense $22
Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Ground Espresso $22
Shimmer Lip Colour in Fresh Brown $24
Shimmer Lip Colour in Passion Fruit $24
Long Lash Mascara in Burgundy $24
Shimmer Bloc in Starlet Mosaic $38

Products Used:
Eye Colour Duet in Suspense $22
Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Ground Espresso $22
Shimmer Lip Colour in Fresh Brown $24
Long Lash Mascara in Burgundy $24
Shimmer Bloc in Starlet Mosaic $38

 How To: I started by applying the lightest color in the shadow duo from lid to brow bone. I used the deep maroon hue in my crease, smoking out and smudging under my lower lash line. I wet an eyeliner brush and dabbed into the cake liner then applied on my upper lash line with a slight wing at the end to create a “kitten eye”. The Shimmer Block acted as a multifunctional product: I used the lightest shade as a highlighter on brow bone and cheekbone (applied with my finger), and carefully mixed together all 4 shades with a blush brush to apply on my cheekbones for definition (great for shading too – just add the lightest shimmer under and over cheekbones and the darker colors on the apples). This seemed a bit dark at first, so I wiped off any additional color with a tissue and gently rubbed in the remainder with my fingers. The burgundy mascara was great fun – and eye popping! I focused on the tips of the upper lashes for a touch of color. Lastly, I applied the lipstick, a shimmery rosy-red to lips. This entire look screams “drama!”

Did You Know: Skip the shadow and just use the liner on top lashes for a less dramatic look. This cake liner makes it incredibly easy to do a cat eye, so have fun lining your lids!

*Unless otherwise noted, face makeup is: Make Up For Ever HD FoundationRMS Beauty “Un”Cover-Up in #22. Brows are Anastasia Brow Pencil in Brunette and Anastasia Clear Brow Gel. Mascara isLancome Definicils High Definition Mascara in Deep Black.

*Like the look? Leave a comment below and tweet @beautybanter with your favorite looks! We will be choosing one winner and gifting a massive fall 2012 beauty goodie bag after we have unveiled all 10 brands and their looks… more details to come, but start by leaving a comment and tweeting to us your favorite looks!

Weekly Must-Have: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick

By | weekly must-have | 2 Comments

I love a product that makes makeup a cinch – especially in summer when the no-makeup-makeup look is practically a prerequisite. I was introduced to Tarte’s limited edition QVC Eye Candy EmphasEyes Clay Shadow Sticks during the holidays when I did my “brand-a-day” makeover posts. Tarte sent the EmphasEyes Shadow Sticks 6-pack for me to use while creating my holiday face. It was instant beauty love (full recap here). But as is true with so many young loves, sadly, as soon as the holidays were over, so too were the Shadow Sticks.

(me in the Tarte holiday look with EmphasEyes Shadow Sticks in Bronze and Gold)

That’s when I stumbled upon Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick, similar Tarte’s Shadow Stick’s, the Caviar Sticks allow for easy, creaseless application, can be applied to the crease, lid, upper or lower lash line, and they come in a variety of wearable shades. As I mentioned, it really makes doing your eyes a breeze and the variation is endless. Use on the lids for a more dramatic look, then dab with fingers to smoke out. Take a cue from Refinery 29 Senior Beauty Editor Megan McIntyre and use a bold color (try Turquoise) on just the lower lash line. But my personal favorite way to wear the sticks is a very quick and easy trick I happened upon one day while getting ready in a hurry. Close your eyes and draw a line from the outer crease to midway in. Then take your finger and blend down toward the lash line. Within 1 minute you have a simple, light and carefree smoky eye. If I’m going out at night I’ll add a bit of the same color to my lower lash line and smudge out. Note: Have fun mixing colors too (the sticks come in 9 gorgeous shades).

Colors to try: Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Khaki, Sapphire or Cocoa (my personal favorite for an every day look)!

PRICE TAG: $24.00

Inspiration: The Sisters of Downton Abbey

By | inspiration | 3 Comments

If you’re like me (and just about everyone else in America and the better part of the U.K.), then you are probably having quite the love affair with the PBS period-piece soap opera, Downton Abbey. The story lines are ripe with family drama, betrayal, love affairs and – at one point – an unexplainable cured paraplegic (if you’re thinking this has all the makings of Dynasty or some other 80s television melodrama, you’d be correct).

And then there are those costumes. Amidst the backdrop of the English countryside the three affluent Crowley sisters have two jobs: to look good and marry well. Their clothing is indicative of the times (early 1900s) with ornate hats, intricate gowns in deep hues and fabulously textured fabrics, and those funny pointed booties. Jewelry is simple yet elegant – pearls and gold adorn neck lines and ears. As for beauty, hair is always pulled up and back (unless sleeping when it is, almost always, down and braided), skin is left pale as if has never seen the rays of the sun, and makeup is minimal: eyebrows groomed, eyes rather natural and lips have a slight hue.

In fact, here’s an interesting bit of television info: I’ve heard that the actresses that play the sisters – Lady Mary, Sybil and Edith – are made to stay out of the sunlight to keep their skin as naturally colorless as possible (as was the case in the 1900s – perhaps that’s why the women kept their young complexion?) and they are asked not to workout so to keep their bodies naturally curvy as would be the case for women living in the early part of the 20th Century (makes sense – Core Fusion had yet to be developed).

I asked celebrity makeup artist Desirae Cherman to explore the three looks and offer a few quick steps on achieving each. Whether you are more regal like Lady Mary, romantic like Sybil or unique like Edith, with a few simple steps you can have a piece of aristocratic beauty, the Downton way.

Lady Mary: Lady Mary’s makeup look is soft and serene yet powerful and strong much like her character. Her lips are kept soft and light with just a hint of a pink undertone. Cheeks look as if they have just barely been pinched by her fingers to let the blood flow to the surface and create a natural flush. Her brows are strong, large, and very well defined with a high arch. These brows give her eyes strength and intensity, commanding that you take notice when she walks in a room. Lady Mary’s look differs from her sisters with her strong brows  and soft pink lips. She always looks a little more polished and groomed. You can easily achieve this look with tinted moisturizer, a natural looking matte lip stain and a hint of a cream blush. Make sure to fill in brows and brush hairs up, seal brows with a little hair spray on a brow brush.
Desirae’s Picks: I love Tarte Smooth Operator. For lips, I recommend Tarte Lipsurgence in Hope  and Stila Convertible color in Lillium for a cream blush.

Sybil: Sybil’s look is very young, fresh, and romantic. She is unknowingly sexy and demure without screaming “look at me.” With big full lips that are accentuated with a just-bitten rosy stain, and big round eyes, she’s almost like a living doll. Her brows are full and more unkept, making her eyes look softer and more inviting. Her makeup is different from her sisters in that there is a more youthful rosy flush to her cheeks and lips. This look can be achieved with a little bit of concealer in the areas that are needed (under eyes, blemishes, etc), a curl to the lashes to give you that “doll-eyed” effect, then use a multi function cheek and lip stain in a rosy hue.
Desirae’s Picks: I like Stila Lip & Cheek Stain.

Edith: Edith’s look is very natural and minimal. She is a classic beauty without trying too hard or even realizing her own unique beauty. She has perfect porcelain skin that is clearly kept out of the sun. Brows are groomed but not filled in and very light. This look is about making her eyes really pop since they are a beautiful brown that contrast with the lightness in her skin, brows, and blond lashes. Her lips are where we see a bit of effort, almost like she threw on a little balm and kissed a terra cotta colored pot. The best way to achieve this look is to remember to keep it MINIMAL!  Spot coverage with concealer where needed, brush brows up, and use a tinted lip balm.
Desirae’s Picks: Try Laura Mercier Hydra Tint SPF 15 in Apricot.

Holiday Collection: Laura Mercier

By | makeup | 7 Comments

Collection: Laura Mercier Holiday 2011

Products Used:
Petite Eye Color Trio in Smoky Mauves $25.00
The Mini Lip Glace Set $38.00

How To: I used the lightest shade, a seriously pale ivory with pink undertones, and swept it from lash line to brow bone, adding more shadow to the brow bone to highlight the area. I applied the medium mauve (iridescent) shade on my entire lid. and used the darkest shade, a deep mauve, in the crease. I swept it out and continued under the lower lash line for a very sexy, smoky look. Yes, you can do a smoky eye with any color range (not just black or brown). On lips, I chose the lightest of the 5 shades – “sparkling,” a sheer, iridescent seashell – in order to stay true to the classic smoky eye/ pale  lip combo. The result: a fabulously festive plum eye and soft, glossy lip.

Did You Know: The lip glaze set comes with 5 super sexy glossy shades. Mix and match different lip hues with the same eye to create an entirely new you.

*Unless otherwise noted, face makeup is: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #6; RMS Beauty “Un”Cover-Up in #22. Brows are Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso. Mascara is Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara in Deep Black.

TURN OFF THE TAP: Waterless Facial Cleansers

By | skin | 4 Comments

Cold is a relative term. Here in Los Angeles what we consider winter weather would make my friends in Aspen laugh. Yet no matter where you live, when the weather changes so does your skin. And while we change the way we dress throughout the year, sometimes we forget that our skin might need a wardrobe change, too. In the new issue of Allure I read that in winter “skin loses about 25% of its ability to hold moisture.” So when it comes to cleansing, the less you strip your skin, the better. Ideally that means cleansers that require little to no water. It may sound crazy but it works. I love Care by Stella McCartney Gentle Cleansing Milk (which is no longer easy to find). You apply it like a face wash and simply remove with a cotton ball.

As the temps drop, put away anything that foams (foam=dry, dry, dry) and turn to cream and oil-based options. For every skin type there is something that works (trust me, oil and oily/combo/sensitive skin make very good friends) and here are some great choices at every price.


Baby Face Cleanser by LUSH ($9.35) looks like a bar of soap carved to resemble the man in the moon. But the solid bar is actually made with shea, cocoa and avocado butters. It removes makeup, cleanses and softens skin and can be removed with a toner on a cotton pad or damp washcloth. Also great for dry skin, too.

La Roche Posay has created a line specifically for very sensitive skin, including those with eczema and rosacea as part of their skincare collection. Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser Gentle Wipe-Off Formula ($19.95) is designed to cleanse the most allergy-prone skin types gently and safely. The lotion is non-comedogenic, fragrance and preservative free.

L’Occitane’s Shea and Organic Cotton line is formulated for sensitive skin, using minimal ingredients and zero fragrance, dyes, preservatives or alcohol. The Ultra Comfort Cleansing Milk ($22) cleanses and tones without parabens, synthetics or water. Made with cotton, rosemary and shea butter simply massage into skin and wipe away dirt and makeup.


Naked Bee Tissue-Off Facial Cleanser ($8.95) does exactly what the name says. This paraben and sulfate-free cleanser is 70% organic and includes SPF. Infused with antioxidant Vitamin C because it helps build skin elasticity. Perfect for daily use on all skin types.

sukiface® created their moisture-rich cleansing lotion ($26.95) with organic lemon, sage and lavender to cleanse and hydrate while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture. Great for normal, combination, dry and mature skin, apply and massage into skin and gently remove using toner soaked cotton pads. Also available at Whole Foods.

Laura Mercier Purifying Oil ($40) comes in two formulas, Light for normal to oily skin and Rich for dry and dehydrated skin. The cleanser and makeup removers are formulated with deep sea water and a formula that “gently removes impurities and provide a truly deep clean without stripping the skin.” Non-comedogenic, you massage the oil into skin and remove with a warm washcloth.

The shu uemera cleansing oils are truly iconic. Using botanical oils to gently cleanse, shu umera offers six formulas to fit every skin type (and season). Using avocado and jojoba oil the cleansing oils are beloved by makeup artists as much as consumers. The High Performance Balanced Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula is the most popular for all skin types but there are formulas for combo/oily, dry, dull/uneven, mature and sensitive skins. Ranging from $32-$72, check out the combo kit for $35 at Barneys.


Since 1963, the British brand Beauty Without Cruelty has been making skincare products with eco-consciousness. The ($11) is a cleanser and makeup remover, made with organic, aroma-therapeutic oils and herbal extracts including lavender, chamomile, calendula and Vitamin E. Can be rinsed off or removed with a cotton pad.

What’s your secret for battling winter dry skin? Feel free to share in comments. A little beauty banter can teach us all a thing or two. xo alex.


By | Uncategorized | One Comment

I think face primers are absolutely genius. Most days I wear little more than a tinted moisturizer with SPF but adding a primer means the color goes on smoothly, reduces appearance of pores and lasts all day. I’ve found several brands that make a great product but most contained less than eco-friendly ingredients. So, when KORRES created a face primer, I was intrigued. I love, love, love the KORRES brand but could a silicone-free primer still do the job?

Absolutely. It was lighter than anything I’d ever used, closer to the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer than Smashbox Photo Finish. With a light, citrusy scent (probably the grapefruit peel oil), I applied the same amount I would with a heavier primer. I added Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, some mascara and check tint and faced the heat of LA summer. My skin looked great all day. I am hooked.

What amazes me is how much it does while leaving out so much. No parabens, silicone, synthetic fragrance, sulfates, phalates, GMOs, mineral oils, synthetic dyes or phalates. All things our bodies and the environment do not need. While it isn’t oil free, my combination skin has had no problems. Personally, I’ve often found that what causes skin breakouts and irritations are the synthetics and petrolatum based ingredients in products.

Ninety-nine percent natural with 11.19 % organically farmed ingredients, and dermatologically tested, KORRES Face Primer carries the coveted seal of ECOCERT. While it prides itself on “skin soothing botanicals and Vitamin E that refine skin texture, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce pore size,” you can be assured it also passed the highest international standards for ecology around. That’s beauty inside and out.

The Very BEST Blushes

By | favorites | 4 Comments

Once again, Guest Editor Di Gaeta is sharing her beauty expertise with you!

Hello, Darlings.

So, Sarah has asked me to share with you my favorite blushies and why, because I seem to have a knack for choosing them. As I’ve had every hair color in the book and am sometimes tan and sometimes not, I am offering up my various picks.

When I’m a pale blondie, like now, I LOVVVE the Apricot Face Tint by Laura Mercier. This blush looks scarily bright in its little jar but one dip, blow, and puff right on the apples of the cheeks and you look healthy and adorable. This is also a really great universal “I’m just in from the cold” color.

When I’m a tan brunette, I’m all about Nars Outlaw. The color is a deep sexy rose, and while too strong on fair skin, is STUNNING on darker tones. This color gives you that “own personal lighting team” effect for it has tiny flecks of gold in it.

Lastly, my two constants that fit everyone no matter what time of year are, Nars Lovejoy and Becca Beach Tint in Watermelon. The Lovejoy is a blend of the best-selling Orgasm blush (a golden peach) and their medium bronzer. This is a perfect pick for when you are ill, sallow, or need a general pick me up. The Beach tint comes in a cute, tiny, little, tube and it is the loveliest shade of, well, watermelon. This is my absolute fave because not only is it a beautiful “on the apples” blush but it is also the most fabulous “Angelina Jolie” lip color because it is both matte and just bitten looking.


Xxx Di

What’s your must-have blush???

The Make-Up Break Down…

By | makeup | 12 Comments

…How to achieve the look in 5 simple steps, that should take NO LONGER then 10 minutes… MAX!

Hair-crazed Jenny was in town this weekend and I decided to do a quick and easy make-over on her! She liked – LOVED – it so much that she immediately went out to buy the products!

Keep it simple. Combine a bronzer, moisturizer AND coverage.
My Picks: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with a dab of Clinique True Bronze Bronzing Gel in Sunlit Bronze. If you need more moisture, add a dollop of your favorite moisturizer – more coverage, add a bit of your favorite foundation. Then mix all of the products in your hand and apply to face like you would a face moisturizer!
The Look: Flawless complexion with a hint of hue!

It’s all about adding just the right amount of color AND highlight.
My Picks: A dab of MAC Ablaze and a dab of MAC Northern Exposure. I dab each together (even amounts) on the brush and then apply. Obviously, work with the product to see what looks best on your skin-tone.
The Look: These colors work great with just about any skin tone – some people may need more of the highlighter (Northern Exposure) and less of the bold color (Ablaze). The look is natural and healthy!

Too much eye make-up tends to leave a person looking like the victim of a fist fight. My eye make-up routine is quick in that you use a base color and play with a couple of other colors as “crease colors” just on the outer corners of your eyes! I highly suggest buying some sort of eye shadow trio or quad. It makes the guessing work virtually nonexistant. All of the colors WILL work together!
My Pick: MAC’s Smoking Eyes Eye Shadow 4. Work the lightest shade over the entire eye lid. Then combine a dab of the two darker shades on the brush and apply to the crease and/ or outer corner. You never really need to use the darkest color unless you want to line your eyes or you are going to a black tie affair and feel the need for some drama(tic) eyes!
The Look: A more natural take on the smokey eye.

**4** And for mascara, CLICK HERE
to read my extensive mascara coverage. Just choose a brand that works for you. You don’t wanna have to spend hours in front of the mirror seperating your lashes or creating volume and length. The right mascara will do this with one stroke of it’s wand! As for color, I say always choose BLACK! Black makes everyone’s eyes pop!

There are so many colors and products to choose from, most promising the same exact thing: BIGGER LIPS! Here’s my take – pick a hue that works for YOU, not one that is “of the now.” Don’t go too dark or too light. Something in the middle, without too much frost, usually does the trick. And if you want bigger lips, line the middle of the top and bottom lip with a NUDE pencil, blend it, then apply your favorite lippy.
My Picks: MAC Lustre Barely Lit with Stila Lip Glaze in Grapefruit. Finding YOUR color is all about layering!
The Look – Natural mauve with a hint of shine!

What’s YOUR look? Tell us in the comment box!

Tanning 2007

By | makeup | 4 Comments

Here it is! The big, fun filled tanning 2007 guide to beautiful, sun-kissed skin sans UVA and UVB rays (basically, tanned skin without the sun!)

I have tried a plethora of products in my quest for the best! Here, in no particular order, are a couple of tanning products that I just can’t live without…

GlowFusion Micro-Nutrient Face & Body Natural Protein Tan: The absolute best spray tan that you can do yourself! Like a mystic tan, just at home. It applies evenly and leaves skin bronzed within seconds. I have very sensitive skin and I use this product on my face without fear of break-outs!!! It rocks!!! PRICE: $58.00 (and well worth every last cent!)

It also comes in light, but I use medium because I want a quick, rich tan asap. This is a lotion that you use EVERY day after the shower… it works by gradually enhancing your NATURAL skin color, thus the more you use it, the darker you become. It smells fresh, not like a self-tanner, it doesn’t stain clothes AND it actually moisturizes. I tried many tanning moisturizers and what I found is that most don’t actually moisturize. This one does it all! PRICE: $7.99

NARS Blush & Bronzer Duo – Orgasm & Laguna: The perfect Summer compact: Two of my favorite colors side by side. Laguna is a rich, golden bronzer, while Orgasm is a subtle pinky-peach shimmer blush. Used together, it makes you look like you just left the beach! All sun-kissed and fresh-faced! PRICE: $36.00

Like the Dove moisturizing lotion, this too enhances your natural skin tone, but it also adds a hint of sparkle every time you use it! I like to wear this lotion when I’m going out at night because the shimmer accentuates the tan and also makes my skin look dewy. Available in medium too! PRICE: ON SALE for $8.99

This oil-free, non-comedogenic face lotion with SPF 20 is ideal for sensitive, acne prone skin types. Not only does it enhance your skin’s natural color (building a “tan” the more times you use it), but it is perfect for evening out blothcy, or scarred skin. I love this product and have actually started using it as my primary facial moisturizer! PRICE: ON SALE for $5.78

Tarte Celebutante Dry Oil Shimmer Spray: Most people love the Nars body shimmer but I’ve gotta say, it’s so greasy and always gets all over my clothes. That’s when I found this dry oil product. Essentially, it does the same thing: spray on your body and you have a dewy, bronzed glow. But this one is not greasy AND it dries much faster then Nars (it also smells like coconut… yummy!). It’s not as deep of a tan as Nars, more of a champagne color, but I’ll sacrifice so long as my clothes stay fake-tan free! PRICE: $28.00

Physicians Formula Summer Eclipse Bronzing & Shimmery Face Powder: This bi-colored bronzer provides both a light tan and a golden shimmer! Physicians Formula rules the market in bronzing products – they sent me 23 different bronzers to test! Although I haven’t had a chance to use all of them, this specific bronzer worked really well for my skin because it gave a natural glow and provided that dewy look that I love. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, oil free, non-comedogenic AND dermatologist approved! WOW! PRICE: $11.95

I just can’t write this post without once again discussing my all-time favorite face product, Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Sand with SPF 20: I use this product EVER day and it completely evens out my blothcy skin-tone PLUS it adds color to my face! The sun is so bad for your skin, not to mention what it does to scars and brown spots, so by using this product, I look tan, I’m saving my face AND I producing a “perfect palette;” even skin tone! I kid you not, when I wear this product, people tell me that I have fabulous skin! Can oyu imagine?! PRICE: $40.00

Have a favorite faux-tan product?! Let us know by emailing the beauty whore at beautybanter@gmail.com!!!

Tan away, fellow beauty whores!!!


By | skin | 4 Comments

Are you in constant search of that one perfect face product that guarantees a flawless complexion?
If you’re not, then you’re weird.
If you are (like moi) then this is the most important post that you will EVER read.
My friend Kourt Kardashian has been raving about this tinited moisturizer for ages. Being that I have sensitive/ oily skin, I was always skeptical to try it. I mean, let’s be honest, an oily complexion doesn’t need any additional moisture.
But I finally gave in and the results are fabulous.
Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF is the end-all to a dull, blotchy complexion. It goes on smooth and actually offers optimal coverage without feeling “weighty.” AND it’s oil free thus, my face never looked shiny. To top it off, it’s already infused with SPF so I don’t have to worry about sun damage.
This product has CHANGED MY FACE. I apply every morning after my other new fave, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. It actually makes my skin appear even-toned and a shade tanner then usual!
But don’t just listen to me… try it for yourself. I guarantee that it will be love at first touch!
(Kourt and Sarah in Mexico…. awwww, how I miss the sun!)

About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.