Real Girl Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘Laura Mercier

Consider me a vanillaphile. Sheer vanilla love. And it’s easy to see why – over and over, fragrance studies mention vanilla as one of the most universally appealing scents. Depending on ancillary notes, vanilla-based perfumes can skew sweet or musky, innocent or sexy, sugary or floral. That little vanilla bean is just versatilely delicious.

Like any aficionado – or junkie, take your pick – I have brand-hopped far and wide to find my fixes. Laura Mercier’s Vanile Gourmande, Kiehl’s Vanilla Essence Oil, and the siren call of the Lavanila line  have all captured my attention and my wallet. But the creativity and modernity of Jo Malone’s Vanilla & Anise Cologne  might just blow them all out of the fragrance-infused water.

Should you see a woman walking down the streets of New York City smelling her wrists, go ahead and assume it’s me. I just can’t stop. The musky vanilla sweetness is still there, but tempered by the anise it becomes cleaner, fresher, and more complicated. Far from smelling like licorice, Jo Malone’s anise notes cut some of the sweetness and bring vanilla into the 21st Century. If Shalimar was the vanilla of the 1980s, then Jo Malone’s Vanilla & Anise has updated it for today’s woman – at once fresh and young but with the maturity of complex complimentary notes.

A scrolling gaze down the list of Jo Malone’s colognes piques my interest even further. Lime Basil & Mandarin, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, White Jasmine & Mint, Blue Agava & Cacao, Nutmeg & Ginger, to name a few, sound like they may reinvent the very notion of perfumery. If nothing else, they give a fragrance hound entirely new pairings to consider – and nothing is more modern than innovation.

For when part of you needs to go into hiding.

Every girl has her beauty “thing”–perhaps the perfect lip, the smokey eye, the gelled or shadowed brow–that she concentrates on most in her daily routine. For Real Girl, it’s concealer. “I get it,” said the lady at the Laura Mercier counter. “Concealer’s your thing.” She guided me away from the Secret Camouflage I’d been eying and toward the genius little Undercover Pot, an amalgam of two concealers and a powder that combined allow my deep under-eye circles to nearly melt away.

The two secrets to the perfect concealer are color and texture, and at least in texture, the Undercover Pot knocks all other concealers out of the ballpark. Because it’s adjustable. Like an artist with a palette, the Undercover Pot’s two concealers allow you to mix their textures until you find the exact right one. On the left, you find Laura Mercier’s award winning Secret Camouflage, and on the right is the creamier Secret Concealer, created just for the under-eye. Mixed together on a good concealer brush, the resulting combination provides impressive coverage that’s just emollient enough to melt into skin without the pasty effect of a more matte concealer. I prep my under-eye area with light moisturizer before application, which allows the brush to more easily glide the product on and blend it in.

The final step in the concealing process is to unscrew your delightful little Undercover Pot and find a hidden stash of loose setting powder. A dusting over your careful work with a small powder brush (I use a large eyeshadow one) keeps the product firmly in place, smooth and flawless. If you have dry skin, you might want to skip the powder — concealer never looks quite right on dry skin — or use it only in summer.

The Laura Mercier counter girl guided me toward color #3, a slightly darker one than I’d been using, insisting that the lighter the color the more puffy the under-eye will appear. “It’s like when you wear white,” she said. “Darker colors are more slimming.” I’m not sure if my puffy eyes have been slenderized by this closer match to my overall skin tone, but the choice was the right one, and day after day people still look at me like I’m crazy when I complain how bad my under-eye circles are. “Your nonexistant ones?” one friend asks.

Shhhh. We don’t have to tell her I’ve been living Undercover.


Two concealers combine for the perfect texture

Setting powder is included (a step to skip if you have dry skin)

Make sure to use a good concealer brush.

August 2020


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