The Laura Mercier Colour Essentials Face Palette is a boxed set that includes not just the palette but a full-size lip pencil in Natural and a mini eye basics in Wheat. The entire kit is encased in a lovely brown drawstring velvet pouch and everything is in one box.
The palette includes four eyeshadows in the following shades: Stellar, Honey, Sundown and Coffee Ground. It also has a cheek highlighter and 3 lip shades: Brick, Dolce and Crystal.
|Swatches from left: Coffee Ground, Sundown, Honey, Stellar|
|Swatches from left: Nectarine|
Lip Glazes on right, from top: Brick, Dolce, Crystal
The palette is a brown rectangular-shaped case with a small clasp that snaps shut magnetically. You need to undo the clasp and then you can open the palette. The clasp broke off the first palette I had, the day I opened it. It just separated from the entire palette. Granted the palette stays closed even without the clasp, it was rather annoying. I also don't like the extra step of having to undo the clasp. Then because I've had it break off once before, I feel the need to be extra careful with it. Nordstrom has a great return policy though. Thankfully, exchanging it for an undamaged product was a breeze.
The colors are good for everyday looks. Neutral, office-appropriate and can be reasonably darkened for evening affairs. I thought that it being a fall release was a bit strange though. The colors do not feel like fall to me at all. I think they might have done better releasing this for the summer. They coordinate well and work on a variety of skintones although I would say the entire set leans warm.
As a warm-toned, fair-skinned gal, it all works rather well for me. But these are not really my everyday colors. I would have liked it better if the shimmery brown (Sundown) was more taupey and if the golden copper (Honey) was less shimmery and more peachy.
The cheek color is pretty. It's a cream-based formula and rather sheer but that works to its advantage. You don't exactly want to apply this heavily unless you're going for the disco-ball look. It's easily applied and spread with the fingers. You can also use a cream cheek color brush if you have one. I think they would have done better putting a powder cheek color in this palette instead of this cream highlighter. With the look they seem to be going for, I would recommend Benefit Sugarbomb as a substitute if you don't want to use Nectarine.
The lip shades are glazes, not lipsticks. They are sheer and blend well with other colors. I used it with the lip pencil in the kit and it worked out very well to create a nice neutral lip. I've also tried mixing Dolce and Brick for a brighter, more pink gloss look. Crystal adds shine, not color. You can use it to top off any combination, for a little extra shine. Here I just used the lip pencil and Dolce, with a touch of Crystal in the center of both upper and lower lip.
The other thing this kit comes with is the Eye Basics in Wheat. This is one of the eye primers that I use regularly. It's a very good match to my skin tone. But I find it more of a skin-evening base than one that actually makes powder shadows pop or last longer. I think it does those things but as a primer, there are others that do it better. What this is good for, is perfecting the look of the natural eye. You could wear it on its own, add liner and mascara and it creates a polished appearance. It's mini-sized so good for travel or popping in your purse. See my full review for this product here.
Overall, for the price, this is not a bad purchase. But I think that it's more appropriate for sunnier (and warmer) days. It's not cheap but it's a decent value for all the products you are getting. If you're not a fan of full face palettes, you may not want this. If it's just the cream shades that you don't like, the lip glazes and the cheek color are actually really tiny so when they run out, you could replace them with lipstick colors that you love and maybe your favorite cream blush.
I wish they had a cover or a separate lid for the powder and the cream products. But here's a tip. If you keep the plastic sheet, you could use it to cover the creams while you work with the shadows and they won't get mixed. The eyeshadows are not powdery so even if they are uncovered while you use the lip and cheek products, you probably won't get any pigment in the creams.
I will say though, that I'm not certain that the quality of these is exactly the same as the full-sized product. It could just be me, or the palette I have, but I think that while they are not of bad quality, the full-sized shadows last longer and do not crease on me. After 6 hours of wear, with the eye basics on, this had already faded somewhat and started to crease on my lids. It's not even hot these days so that puzzled me. But as I said, for the price, it's a good value. Pick it up on a day when they have a gift with purchase and you'll get an even more excellent value.