Benefit Cosmetics (UK)

Scottish Beauty Blog the home of Scottish Beauty

Flawless makeup with Laura Mercier's national makeup artist

Flawless makeup with Laura Mercier's national makeup artist

Flawless makeup is like baking a soufflé: it's easier than it looks. But like all good cooking skills, it's something you can learn and tasked with teaching me is Laura Mercier's national makeup artist, Chris Howells. That's because the flawless face is a staple for Laura Mercier, and was created back when supermodels were indeed super, in 1996. It's polished, it's chic and it never goes out of style. While colour changes on the lips and eyes, having flawless makeup is timeless and according to Chris, easy to replicate. Chris says,
"Once you've mastered it, getting the flawless finish will take only ten minutes. It's a four-step look which includes, primer, foundation, concealer, then finish and powder. And it's about knowing which products to use and how much. Often people use too much product. I think it's because they think makeup hides and covers up blemishes for instance. But in fact, it ends up overloading the skin, making it look cakey and sometimes drawing attention to what you're trying to hide. And application is key so getting the right tools for the job will help you no end, making your makeup easier to apply and looking better. 
Welsh-born Chris is just back from working with Laura Mercier herself in California where he tells me next year will see an exciting reunion between Laura and one of the biggest names in the beauty industry. It's an exciting time for the brand but Laura Mercier doesn't forget about the key flawless look, after all, it's one she's built her empire on and won her fans over the years from the nineties though to 2012. Chris says,

"The flawless look is timeless so it doesn't date. And it can do you from day to night, all it takes is building it up to make it more of an evening look with perhaps a bolder eye look or stronger lips shade. It's really easy to replicate and you mix it up depending on how you're feeling. For instance, by swapping your foundation for a tinted moisturiser for summer, or by using just a few of the products. But cleansing is as important as the makeup so it's important to get your routine right. This will make getting flawless skin easier."
Kicking off with the Laura Mercier Purifying Cleansing oil, Chris removes my existing makeup then spritzes my face with the Perfecting Water Moisture Mist to help combat dryness. Around the eyes, he dabs Tone Perfecting Eye Gel to help brighten and smooth the area. Then he primes the skin using the Laura Mercier Mineral Primer which is good for sensitive skin. The brand actually does five different primer products including an oil-free for those with oily or sensitive skin to a hydrating one for dry skin. Now you may say primer schemer but that's a mistake because a primer is key to making makeup last. Here's Chris' flawless toolkit for me:
Flawless makeup with Laura Mercier's national makeup artist
Next it's foundation and Chris opts for Creme Smooth foundation. Dabbing a small amount onto the back of his hand, Chrisn dabs and blends on my face from the outside towards the centre section. And when it comes to foundation, Chris' advice is not to use to hide skin, because that's when it can look cakey. Use a little and only where you need it and don't take foundation under the eyes. That's because the skin around here moves and when it does the foundation will settle into any lines and wrinkles, creating an aging look rather than fresh and dewy.
Got a spot to cover? Use Secret Camouflage which Chris tells me is one of his, and Laura's favourite products. The two-tone compact, which comes in eight shades, means rather than having one uniform concealer shade, you can mix together your own shade, getting it closer to the natural skin shade. Use a brush to apply - there is a designated one by Laura Mercier - but a little goes a long way so not a lot is needed. And under the eyes Chris uses the Secret Concealer which is creamy so it's easy to move and blend on face, particularly when your skin it heats up. Don't forget to set this. It's an important stage in flawless makeup as, instead of sliding off your face at the slightest rise in temperature, you want to preserve and prolong concealer. For this, Chris uses the Laura Mercier Secret brightening Powder under the eye. Don't forget to set your flawless finish with powder, in this instance Chris uses Invisible Loose Setting Powder, using a fan brush. Et voila, flawless makeup complete. Here's mine:
Flawless makeup with Laura Mercier's national makeup artist
To build on the look try using an eye basic on the lids, to even out skintone before applying any eyeshadow. Chris also showed me brilliant technique called Tight Line to really make eyes pop. This involves taking Black Ebony Cake Liner and a Flat Line Brush, adding a touch of water to the liner,and mixing until it's boot polish like in consistency. Dab it on the back of the hand but don't be scared, it will look quite thick. Then, lying the mirror flat on a table, so your hands are free, pull the eye lid up and away from your eyes and, taking your brush, colour in between the top line of your lashes, not on the waterline but between. It's creates a definition instance. Quick lick of long lash mascara, a dab of cheek colour, lip stain to finish and you're good to go. Ten minutes you say Chris? I'm up for a challenge, and it is the year of the Olympics so why not. Let the Games begin. Want to compete? Here's a video with Laura Mercier's Trevor O'Keefe on how to do this look.

Beauty Brands: 
Sarah Tolan's picture

Sarah Tolan is the founder and editor of Scottish Beauty Blog, Miss Nifty and Kate's Wardrobe. Learn more about her here and connect with her on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.