Being very honest, I was expecting something of an awkward hour – an hour is a long time on a one to one. It’s often the case that you are just a listening vessel for a long and protracted brand immersion which you probably don’t really need or want in the first place. I was invited to spend an hour with Laura to ‘reminisce’. About WHAT?
As it turned out, EVERYTHING! I had the nicest hour I’ve had in a very long time and we did not stop talking – covering off ghosts, Edinburgh, Legoland, the differences in expectation at store between American woman and European women, cosmetic surgery, over-selling, marketing speak and beauty and the older woman. We barely touched on new product, other than my love of the Bonne Mine palette and our shared love of the ‘bonne mine’ look! It’s the last subject that I want to share more about because as it transpires we are on exactly the same page.
When it comes to older women and beauty, as we know, most brands are fixated on providing youth as the key to all happiness. The marketing, the upselling, the constant anti-ageing message, the focus on lines, wrinkles, sagging, crow’s feet, turkey necks and anything you care to mention that seeps away confidence to sell it back to us in a jar. Laura’s view is not to ignore your age, but to work with it, celebrate it and never believe the nonsense that you can’t be older AND beautiful. You can.
The Laura Mercier brand doesn’t have a youth focus – it’s truly for every woman. It follows and creates trends, of course, but if you really look at it, there is very little mention of age compared to other brands and no pressure, that I can see, to use products to send the passive-aggressive message of creating youth with makeup. For example, Laura talks a lot about creating skin with a ‘healthy’ glow rather than a ‘youthful’ glow. I have to admit, I hadn’t really drilled the brand down to how age friendly it is before now, but it does, overall, speak on a respectful level to all ages. The one criticism I would level is that the website illustrates using models who have clearly not seen the other side of 30.
Laura is fierce with her marketing department – personally pulling out all the ‘bullshit’ and being careful not to over-promise on products. She lets the products do the talking. Laura celebrates 20 years of her own line this year – she’s 58 now and in no mood to kowtow to stores with a heavy emphasis on upselling (in fact, she has pulled out of a couple of stores for this very reason) or to send a message that beauty and youth are inextricably linked.
The facts as she sees them are that glowy, radiant, healthy looking skin is beautiful at every age, that make-up is to celebrate the best of you no matter how old – or young – you are and that beauty products are there to be enjoyed at every age.
She did give me a very good concealer tip though (and if you liked her Candleglow foundation, you’ll be happy to know that there is a Candleglow concealer on its way and it’s feather light in a formula that doesn’t exacerbate creases or dry into lines). Only cover the very darkest point and leave the rest alone. So, that could be the arc from the inner eye corner down, just the inner eye corner or you may have no shadowing there and have some directly under the eye.. in which case, leave the corners alone! In the main picture is a sneaky peek of a forthcoming product in the Candleglow range – Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder, so new off the production line that it’s still in lab sample packaging.
Really, it was such a pleasure – we had the very best of the London weather with sunshine streaming through open French windows – and for the first time, I felt I really got to know her a little bit as a person, rather than a brand. She’s a says-it-as-it-is person, and we like that!
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