20 Questions: Laura Mercier

Gifts from Isabella Rossellini and making up Madonna: meet Laura Mercier...

Say the name Laura Mercier and what do you think of? Secret Camouflage? The iconic Tinted Moisturiser? Basically, the words Laura and Mercier mean make-up, mostly of the skin-perfecting variety, that is relied on by everyone from you and I to top make-up artists, right?
Indeed, but, as the beauty desk recently discovered, Laura Mercier of Laura Mercier is every bit as compelling as her eponymous brand’s wares…

MC: Welcome to our game of 20 questions, Laura. First things first: you’ve made up so many famous faces from Madonna to Julia Roberts and SJP. Who, if anyone, leaves you starstruck?

LM: I’m not the groupie type anyway but once I’d worked with Madonna I was cured of any sense of being star struck.

MC: We think that’d do it for us, too! What is the best advice you have ever been given?

LM: Whatever you do in life for work, try to be the best at it. I really think that if you try to excel, you’ll get more out of everything.

MC: Other than the Laura Mercier empire, what brings you joy?

LM: Seeing the people around me happy.

MC: If not you, who would you want to be?

LM: I’d never, ever want to be a celebrity. Perhaps I’d choose to be a painter from a great era who was respected.

MC: Onto extravagances: what did you most recently splash out on?

LM: Yesterday I bought two handbags – a gorgeous MCM handbag and a Mulberry one in a buttery yellow. I really like handbags so they often catch my eye.

MC: We understand. Who is your ultimate style icon?

LM: I absolutely adore Miuccia Prada’s look, but I’m generally not hung up on particular people – I like that unique mix of bohemian elegance and fantasy.

MC: So if you had to choose between Audrey or Marilyn, you’d pick…?

LM: Bridgette Bardot.

MC: Which item in your closet do you wear most?

LM: Anything black.

MC: Best gift you’ve ever been given?

LM: My Jack Russell Billy, who was a gift from Isabella Rossellini.

MC: Tell us what first made you want to work in beauty?

LM: I think my love of painting sent me in this direction as I found the artistry of make-up enjoyable. Once I’d decided on this path I went to cosmetic school and studied beauty.

MC: What’s your surefire ‘take your look up a notch’ trick?

LM: Add lipstick – I always go for a matte red.

MC: Tell us about your skincare routine…

LM: Cleansing is very important, so I do that every night properly. I then massage in a rose oil. In the morning I apply a serum, moisturiser and eye cream. Once a week I’ll scrub and skip moisturiser – I really believe in not overloading the skin.

MC: If you could only have one product on your shelf, it would be…

LM: Perfume. Smelling good lifts my mood.

MC: We imagine your bathroom is home to a lot of Laura Mercier products. Which other brands do you rate?

LM: I really like a product with a nice texture and for skincare like Decleor and Clarins.

MC: How would you define beauty?

LM: Beauty is about more than just looks. It is not purely visual; it’s a personality thing. Being healthy and having a good energy are beautiful to me.

MC: We’re curious – what’s on your beside table?

LM: A book, usually one on Buddhism, which I don’t actively practice but find interesting.

MC: How do you manage to switch off when running a business?

LM: I have a ritual where I pick up something for the bath everywhere I travel, so I really enjoy a nice bath. I also meditate, garden, like being around animals and making time to spend with a friend.

MC: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

LM: I’d make people love each other and accept one another more.

MC: What song makes you happy?

LM: Currently Happy by Pharrell Williams makes me happy! But I usually like to listen to jazz and blues.

MC: Final words of wisdom?

LM: Accept yourself, live in the moment and just try to enjoy your time on earth. 

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