Beauty brands come and go, but one maven that has stood the test of time is French make-up artist, Laura Mercier. As each generation is defined by the geniuses that lived, Mercier remains a visionary who redirected the present day beauty industry. You may already be familiar with her iconic namesake beauty brand, Laura Mercier. But how much do we really know about the woman behind the label? Vogue Singapore catches up with Mercier to get a glimpse into the path she carved on her climb to success.
Laura Mercier’s 25th anniversary
As the brand celebrates its 25th anniversary with a slew of great hits, Mercier touched on their humble beginnings. Having started from the ground up with their first few formulas developed from her bathroom, the celebrity make-up artist was fuelled by a desire to create unique products. “Through extensive research and experimentation, I have created a make-up and skincare regimen to enhance every client’s natural beauty, and achieve what I call the ‘Flawless Face’,” she remarked. In a pursuit to continue her legacy, Mercier is partnering with young artists through the Laura Mercier Education seminars, a collaboration that hones the next generation of artists to understand and develop their own take on beauty.
The beginning of Laura Mercier
Raised in Provence, Mercier grew up as an art-obsessed teenager who enrolled in L’Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués Duperré, to pursue the fine arts. After which, she decided to swap her paint brushes for face blushes at Carita Beauty Institute instead. There, her paths crossed with Thibault Vabre. Not just a teacher at the school, Vabre was a world-renowned make-up artist whose clientele include royals and icons including Catherine Deneuve and Yasmin Le Bon. He took her under his wing as his assistant, where she humbly learned the ropes of beauty industry—the rest is history.
When Mercier moved to the US in the mid-80s, she rose to become the choice make-up artist for Vogue covers and editorials, story-telling through her creative looks. The ‘no make-up‘, radiant face or bonne mine, has always been Laura Mercier’s modus operandi. A mission that solidified its purpose when Mercier noticed that women were hiding their real skin under heavy make-up. Her quest for pro-quality products led her to create her own line and in 1996, her vision for beauty was unleashed through Laura Mercier Cosmetics. A journey that bears witness to the invention of timeless beauty essentials: the lightweight staple Tinted Moisturizer, cult-favourite Translucent Loose Setting Powder, the versatile Secret Camouflage, the ethereal Nourishing Rose Oil and more.
To celebrate Laura Mercier’s 25th anniversary, we browsed through fashion and pop culture ‘s archives and found 25 defining moments in the beauty mogul’s portfolio.
1 / 25
Christy Turlington, make-up by Laura Mercier
“When I was seventeen, I enrolled in an art school in Paris; that was where it all started. But I quickly switched the oil paints and easel for my new canvas—the face,” explains Mercier.
2 / 25
Angelina Jolie, make-up by Laura Mercier
“My career with make-up began at the prestigious Carita Beauty Institute,” says Mercier.
3 / 25
Amber Valletta, make-up by Laura Mercier
“I had an opportunity to work closely with renowned makeup artist Thibault Vabre,” gushes Mercier.
4 / 25
Linda Evangelista, make-up by Laura Mercier
“It took me a while to understand that being unique and having different features was truly what was beautiful about me. And until I understood that, I didn’t feel confident,” explains Mercier.
5 / 25
Kate Moss, make-up by Laura Mercier
“I first started creating formulas in my bathroom, before partnering with the world’s best chemists,” Mercier reveals.
6 / 25
Gisele Bündchen, make-up by Laura Mercier
“I absolutely loved the early stages of creating my brand—the rush of finding new formulas, running from counter to counter, and meeting everyday women,” explains Mercier.
7 / 25
Madonna, make-up by Laura Mercier
“The first product I’ve ever created was the Secret Camouflage. To this day, it’s the staple in the flawless face technique and it is beloved by artists alike, influencers and editors. It is in everyone’s make-up bag! It’s pure magic—with the right application it can do anything,” expresses Mercier.
8 / 25
Shalom Harlow, make-up by Laura Mercier
“I moved to the United States and began a wonderful journey as a make-up artist with the magazine industry, working on the launch of American Elle,” shares Mercier.
9 / 25
Cindy Crawford, make-up by Laura Mercier
“One of my most beloved products is our Tinted Moisturizer—it has been a staple since day one,” says Mercier.
10 / 25
Catherine Zeta-Jones, make-up by Laura Mercier
“When I first moved to the US, I noticed that women were hiding their skin under heavy make-up—that inspired me to create our lightweight Tinted Moisturiser,” explains Mercier.
11 / 25
Susan Sarandon, make-up by Laura Mercier
“The Translucent Loose Setting Powder is fantastic for dry skin as it is lightweight and doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry. The trick is to only use a small amount of product in the areas where the makeup needs to last longer,” explains Mercier.
12 / 25
Another look for supermodel Gisele Bündchen created by Laura Mercier
“There’s more than 25 ways of using the TLSP,” shares Mercier.
13 / 25
Lisa Marie Presley, make-up by Laura Mercier
“Our Nourishing Rose Oil is another product I can’t live without—I’m crazy about it. The delicate rose scent transfers me immediately to the South of France. It’s divine and never overpowering,” enthuses Mercier.
14 / 25
Laura Mercier with Linda Evangelista
“As a young girl, I wasn’t interested in make-up, I was quite shy and more of a tomboy,” shares Laura Mercier.
15 / 25
Kim Basinger, make-up by Laura Mercier
“One of the closest projects to my heart is partnering with young artists through the Laura Mercier Education seminars. Collaborating with and teaching young artists the techniques I developed over the years and experiencing their take on beauty is truly inspiring,” shares Mercier.
16 / 25
Michelle Pfeiffer, make-up by Laura Mercier
“While my brand is known for beautiful complexion, I struggled with acne and felt extremely anxious about it as a teenager. This inspired me to create products that are good for the skin and for make-up,” says Mercier.
17 / 25
Laura Mercier working on Julia Roberts
“My first beauty memory is of my mum, who is a very beautiful woman. I loved watching her getting ready and applying her makeup as she was going out very often with my dad,” recalls Laura Mercier.
18 / 25
Linda Evangelista with Laura Mercier
“I love a bold, red lip. It’s an instant confidence booster,” shares Mercier.
19 / 25
Claudia Schiffer, make-up by Laura Mercier
“I start every morning with a meditation session, before jumping into testing new formulas,” explains Mercier.
20 / 25
Another look for Shalom Harlow by Laura Mercier
“My hair has been one of my signature features and I truly cherish it,” gushes Mercier.
21 / 25
Madonna's beauty look created by Laura Mercier
“Chocolate is my guilty pleasure—I can’t live without it,” shares Mercier.
22 / 25
Sharon Stone, make-up by Laura Mercier
“I’m a true believer in less is more… most of the time,” admits Mercier.
23 / 25
Céline Dion, make-up by Laura Mercier
“Morning is my favourite time of day, hearing the birds sing makes me feel alive,” shares Mercier.
24 / 25
Calista Flockhart, make-up by Laura Mercier
“While I love spending time in Paris and New York, countryside, Provence is my true happy place,” admits Mercier.
25 / 25
Laura Mercier's book signing
“After more than 25 years since the launch of the brand, I’m still in shock and disbelief when I see my brand in store windows and when people recognise my name,” gushes Mercier.