12 posts tagged "Laura Mercier"
London-based Alexandra Soveral may be able to boast quite the career backslash—aromatherapist/cosmetic designer/facialist—but among those in-the-know, she could simply go by “the skin whisperer.” That’s because Soveral, who first launched her eponymous natural skincare and bespoke fragrance brand with Jorj Aleem in 1995 and watched it grow, primarily through word of mouth, is best known for her signature facial treatments. The aromatherapy-based facials, which rely heavily on pressure-point massage, are continually in demand, prized for their detoxing and seemingly skin-lifting effects; Soveral even hosted a weeklong pop-up in New York in January. And soon, Net-a-Porter (bless them) will be stocking her cult skincare product line so even those of us in a state of complexion disrepair across the pond can access its restorative effects without having to book a trip to London. Here, the beloved naturalist shares some of her local go-tos.
THE REGENERATIVE RETREAT: Yeotown
“To detox, regenerate, and feel nurtured, the best place on earth is this amazing country house in North Devon. There you will find yoga, country walks, and delicious nutritional meals. It’s a very special place where quality, good taste, and sustainability reign.”
THE SALON STOP: Daniel Hersheson at Harvey Nichols
“It’s easy to access, the service consistent and efficient, yet it’s a relaxed environment where you feel you are being taken good care of. Any of the Hersheson Salons or Blow Dry Bars have a lot to offer, but I personally go to Hersheson at Harvey Nichols. You can check in for a whole day and have everything done from head to toe whilst working on their customer iPads. They will even order you a champagne lunch if that’s what you fancy! Libby does my cut; she’s amazing in that she can do something you can easily maintain at home and looks super-stylish. Sibby does my color when I have time. She’s also amazing at making you look like you never had color done—just natural, shiny hair.”
THE WARDROBE ESSENTIALS
“I love the feel of silk on the skin, and I love color, especially during the dark winter months. My work wardrobe consists mainly of Tucker silk dresses for when I’m seeing clients and Tucker blouses that I wear with boyfriend jeans on laboratory days. When I want to sharpen things up for an important meeting, I go for Peridot London—their modern tailoring makes me feel powerful yet fashionable. To keep up with the trends and upcoming designers, the best places are Viola in the West End and Celestine Eleven in East London. Both shops are owned by top stylists who buy what they like most from the latest collections.”
THE BEAUTY ROUTINE
“I start the morning by dry brushing the skin on my face and neck, all in upwards and outwards movements. This wakes up the lymphatic system so that you can detoxify and reduce puffiness. Next, I cleanse with Soveral Awaken, followed by a face massage with oil to stimulate the muscles and activate the circulation, and then moisturize with Soveral Formula 1. In the evening I always do a deep pore cleanse with Soveral Angel Balm that I remove with a damp, hot, fluffy flannel—nothing makes you feel more clean. I finish with another oil massage, this time using Soveral Midnight Oil.”
THE MAKEUP MUSTS
“My favorite concealer is from Laura Mercier; it’s really efficient and blends perfectly into the skin. I love Tom Ford for color, and the textures of the Aerin range are just divine. The Aerin Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks is 100 percent spot-on in consistency—it has become my handbag essential. When not wearing makeup, you can use it to give yourself quick and subtle lift.”
THE SIGNATURE SCENT
“I design bespoke fragrance for my clients and also formulate for other brands, so I always wear whatever I’m working on…sometimes two at a time, one on each arm! However, I very much admire the work of Frédéric Malle—the Editions de Parfums collection is an amazing range of individual works of art. I would urge anyone who wants to explore perfume to spend some time finding out which one suits them. What may smell beautiful on one person may smell overpowering and even nauseating on another—that’s what true perfume is all about.”
THE EXERCISE PROGRAM
“I actually just started running for the first time a year ago…at the age of 42! It’s so liberating—all I need to do is get out the door and start [jogging]. Having a good playlist on my iPod is important because the music carries me. I’m also a member of the Harbour Club; there’s one in Notting Hill and another one in Chelsea Harbour. They have great classes, a gym, and swimming pools so you can keep things varied. I like old-fashioned Pilates without any machines to aid me, as I believe you are more in touch with your core muscles that way. I’ve also just discovered Pilates Barre, which is the same concept but standing up holding onto the barre. I feel like a ballerina, and it’s really efficient.”
London-born stylist Penny Lovell has been trolling the various facets of the fashion world since the tender age of fifteen, when she landed her first job outfitting the mannequins in a local boutique. Lovell also logged time as a publicist for Burberry and, in the editorial realm, assisted the fashion director at British Elle before setting her sights on New York and a styling career. Since crossing the pond in 1999, and then crossing the country for L.A. in 2004, she has built a steady editorial and celebrity clientele: Emma Watson, Rose Byrne, Taylor Schilling, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, among them. Lovell also lends her styling wisdom accrued from many years in the biz to Harper’s Bazaar’s website, for which she writes a bimonthly “Tricks of the Trade” column. Here, the woman behind some of the most well-heeled celebs on the red carpet shares her own beautifying favorites.
The Pout Outfitter: Bite Beauty
“I love this lipstick store on Prince Street in New York. You can customize your own lipstick—both the color and the scent—and everything in the formula is organic and edible. It’s so fun! I take a girlfriend every time I am in NYC for an after-lunch treat. I can easily spend an hour in there mixing up new colors, and I generally leave with at least three. For those not in New York, Bite’s standard lipsticks are also great and available online at Sephora.”
The Skin Expert: Kate Somerville
“My go-to facial place. I can’t wait for my next Ultimate Kate facial. In between visits I use the Dermaquench Liquid Lift and Cytocell Dermal Energizing Treatment at home to keep the benefits going. My husband always comments on my skin and how ‘young’ I look after this facial without knowing I had an appointment! He also steals the Derma quench lift….”
The Getaway: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
“I just returned from another spa weekend here and can’t recommend this resort enough. The spa is lovely and the staff lovelier; the resort itself is so lush, gorgeous, and peaceful. It has its own microclimate so the weather here is good pretty much all year round. Bike rides, hiking, delicious organic food, gorgeous little town down the road—there are way too many options to cover in one weekend, but next time I am determined to take the Apothecary Aroma Custom Blending class to make some bath oil. Most of all, it’s perfect for my three-year-old daughter, with a large children’s pool and multiple activities—all far, far away from the adults.”
The Signature Scent Purveyor: CB I Hate Perfume
“Until I discovered CB I Hate Perfume I, well, hated perfume. Then, my client Bella Heathcote bought me Mr. Hulot’s Holiday for my birthday and it smells just like the beach—a fresh, evocative, not-cloying, scent that improves my mood immediately and is perfect in the summer or year round to remind me of the season. Now, I’m obsessed. Recently I added Burning Leaves, Winter 1972, and Fire From Heaven to my collection, and I not only use them as perfume, but also in the office as a room scent before fittings, selecting one depending on my mood. Bella tells me his shop in Brooklyn is amazing and I can’t wait to visit next time I am in the city.”
The Skincare Brand, Par Excellence: The Organic Pharmacy
“There is not much I don’t love about this U.K. brand, but I am never without their Carrot Butter Cleanser, which takes off my makeup (including waterproof mascara) in a second and never feels dry or stings. I am also a huge fan of their supplements and buy all my vitamins and homeopathic remedies there—the one for stress is particularly effective, as I discovered during award season one year!”
The Daily Regimen
“Elemental Herbs All Good Lips lip balm is the best ever; I cannot live without it. And I wear Arbonne Water Resistant Sunscreen—which is all natural—all year round, no matter wherever I am, whatever the weather.”
The Makeup Musts
“I love the Chanel Perfect Brows all-in-one compact. There are three colors to mix together to match your eyebrows, and mini tweezers and brushes. A magnifying mirror seals the deal. Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Color in Sugar Frost is my go-to for everyday; it’s a sheer subtle gold-beige sparkle and looks great with just mascara or over another eye color as an added highlight. I use it all the time. And for nails, Marc Jacobs Beauty polish in Gatsby—it’s a rose gold, the perfect new neutral, and it’s long lasting.”
The Multipurpose Miracle: Body Bliss Mood Melt
“The essential oil has multiple uses for me; this blend is balancing, and I put a drop on my pillow at night and a few drops in my bath. It really chills me out and smells divine.”
Last September marked the launch of the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund (LMOCF), started by the French face painter and Claudia Poccia, president and CEO of Gurwitch Products (the parent company to Mercier’s eponymous line of makeup). This fall, the duo’s mission to raise awareness of the disease and funds for research continues, with 100 percent of the profits from three products—including a new lip gloss and baked powder, along with an existing palette for cheeks and face—going to the Fund. I know I’ll be using the Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Crème Colour Palette (shown above) to keep my summer sun-kissed skin—and hope for a cure—alive.
Beauty Nostalgia is a new, weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Laura Mercier, makeup artist and founder of Laura Mercier makeup and skincare.
The Product: “The beauty product that brings back special memories for me is quite simply eyeliner. I remember as a little girl being fascinated by my mother putting on her winged eyeliner in a beautiful shade of green. I no longer remember the exact brand she used, but I loved watching her apply it ritualistically every day. It was such a part of her look and identity. It’s also what I view as glamorous and iconic about actresses from the forties, fifties, and sixties, such as Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot, who I grew up watching in classic cinema noir movies. Eyeliner was such a strong part of their persona and what made them Hollywood starlets. As a makeup artist, aside from perfecting the skin, I am obsessive about the perfect eyeliner application. How I apply it really depends on my mood—if I am going to be bold in my application or subtle with a precise thin line. I’ll usually use my liquid Laura Mercier Graphic Eye Liner in Black or a cake liner such as Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony. Apart from perhaps my signature red lip color, you will almost always see me with my classic black eyeliner. I believe makeup is intrinsically linked to your personality. It belongs to you; it is a part of your signature style. I wear it because it makes me feel good and because it is a reflection of me.”
Mornings just may be my favorite part of the day—which may come as a surprise to those who know me well as I find getting out of bed…challenging, and I’ve never been able to muster the energy to workout before 6 a.m.—let alone 6 p.m. But those hours between rising and feverishly trying to board the F train to midtown are when my skin looks its best. That’s in large part thanks to my biggest beauty essential: tinted moisturizer. I’ve never been much of a foundation fan (except for on special occasions, like weddings and such), but I do find that a little added complexion perfecting can go a long way when it comes to making my skin look healthy and hydrated. So I slather it on with regularity after cleansing and toning, and for one to two glorious hours before my workload kicks into high gear, it provides instant dewy freshness—which ultimately fades, unfortunately. I could, of course, re-up again around 3 p.m., but that would take a lot of effort on my part to a) carry a bottle of the transparent, pigment-tinged lotion around with me; b) find time to steal away to a well-lit mirror; and c) apply it with care. It’s one less beauty dilemma I’ll have to worry about, though, thanks to Laura Mercier. Mercier—who is known the world over for the simple tools she conceives of to help women amplify their natural beauty—has revolutionized my regimen by taking the easily totable cream foundation compact concept and applying it to her fan-favorite tinted moisturizer instead. The resulting long-wearing, non-greasy formula boasts an SPF of 20 and imparts a sheer, buildable finish in 12 different shades, each of which provides an immediate pick-me-up. Best of all, it travels well; back-of-the-cab makeup artists, eat your heart out.