As much as I love foundation, my relationship with powder bases are fleeting. It's not a dry skin problem per say but as a lover of glowy, luminous skin I cringe at the sight of my skin looking...well... powdery. Luckily I'm always curious about untraversed territory and recently picked up the Laura Mercier pressed foundation after hearing years of raves from Lisa who adores their loose version. Whenever a new product doesn't look right, she always tops it off with some LM and all is right again. How could I say no to that!
Brand: Laura Mercier
Product: Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation SPF15
Size: 8.10 grams
Price: $47 CAD
Would I repurchase: Yes!
Availability: Sephora, Laura Mercier counters world wide.
INGREDIENTS: Zinc Oxide, Silica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Lipids, Jojoba Esters, Pearl Powder, Lauroyl Lysine, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Lycium Chinenesis (Lycii) Berry Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract. (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Ultramarines (CI 77007).
Now the Laura Mercier loose mineral powder has been a hot seller for years and the brand has only recently put out the pressed version. It seems that the shades do correspond to the loose version which also has 8 colour options though there's some discrepancy as to whether or not the shades match exactly in use. Note that there is also an even newer Smooth Finish Foundation Powder that's been released (in a round compact) which has 20 shades.
This mineral compact however is house in a sturdy but travel friendly plastic case with a mirror under the flip lid and a dual textured sponge with a velvet side in addition to the regular sponge material. According to the instructions, this is meant to give varying degrees of coverage to your liking. Unfortunately the applicator sits right on top of the powder after discarding the thin plastic card that came with the packaging (because seriously, who has time to fiddle with that thing when you're trying to get your makeup on).
Shade | Real Sand
Smooth to the touch but not too soft (or wet), the pressed product is fragrance free and contains a very subtle hint of shimmer which is undetectable to my eyes once applied but does help soften the look of my skin for an overall pleasant yet natural glow.
Now I'm still on the fence about colour matching since among 8 choices there, there wasn't quite my perfect colour. The lightest of them, Soft Porcelain looks quite pale but Real Sand (which I have here) can look a little dull in certain lighting and just doesn't brighten my skin like some of my favourite base products. I think there's probably a little too much yellow in this shade for me and I'm likely somewhere in between the two shades.
Note: This does contain SPF15 in the form of titanium dioxide which I think causes a tiny bit of a light cast when used.
Since I've already declared the sponge inside a bit rubbish for practicality as I don't want a dirty sponge hanging out with my powder all day, I prefer to put this on in sweeping, swirling motions using the biggest baddest kabuki brush I own. This one is from Royal and Langnickle and it has make quick work of getting the powder on evenly and I can move on in under a minute.
Here (above) is the before and after with one full application all over my face. The little red mark above my lip still shows through but my skin tone looks a more even and my skin smoothed out in a subtle way. I'd say its about a medium coverage but you can certainly go heavier with a sponge if you please. The best part? It doesn't feel or look too powdery even for my fickle taste. It's very forgiving over dry patches and doesn't enhance any skin texture irregularities if you just use it as medium coverage.
On its own in the fall/winter weather I can get an easy 4 hour wear without even thinking about a check in the mirror. Give it a few more hours and it inevitably does a little separating near my smile lines (from moving my mouth...you know, talking) and thus I'd just smooth those areas with a puff but it's not necessary to reapply more product. For those long 10-12 hour days it does help to pair this with a primer and my winter favourite has been the Paul & Joe Moisturizing Primer which go fantastically together. It lets the powder apply smoother over pores and also enhances wear time though granted 10+ hours is a marathon test for any foundation. At the end of the day, this is easy to remove and my skin isn't troubled even with almost daily wear.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Laura Mercier's Pressed Mineral Foundation is a really forgiving and easy to use medium coverage base that's ideal for a quick and polished look that you can do with your eyes closed. It doesn't aggravate dehydrated skin (even in winter) and glides nicely over skin texture irregularities. Fragrance free and with minimal ingredients I also find it a good test product for sensitive skin but do note the Bismuth Oxychloride content if you are allergic. Its not the smooth as butter texture of some powders but it looks very natural on the skin and would also be great as a topper if you wear lighter liquid foundations. I would like to see an expanded colour selection in this formula but by the time you're reading this I've probably already gone and picked up the Soft Porcelain to add to my collection.