Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Laura Mercier "Smoky Effects Smudge, Blend & Gloss" Eye & Lip Set

I picked up this exclusive Laura Mercier set during Nordstrom's triple points event. I could not resist the Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Golden. I've collected a number of these Caviar Sticks (see that post here) and this shade is the exact color I've been waiting for.

I don't want to make this a long and laborious post so I'll try to let the pictures tell the story. In the box you'll find the Caviar Stick in Golden, the Lip Glace in Bare Pink and a mini Creme Eye Detail Brush. Everything is wrapped in the brown paper you see in the background in the picture above.

This is pegged as a $65 value and is being sold at $39.50. While the Caviar Stick is full size, the Lip Glace is not. The brush is a travel size version, and is smaller in overall size (handle is shorter and brush head is smaller) compared to the regular Creme Eye Detail Brush. It's hard to approximate values if not all products are sold individually but I think that $65 is a little off the mark and you really are getting more around $40 worth, which is exactly what you're paying for.

Having said that, I had to have this set because it's the only way I can get my hands on Golden. I suspected that the color would be similar to the Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Gold, which I swatched for you yesterday. I wanted a Caviar Stick version which is easier to travel with. If you want to read more about the Caviar Sticks, I suggest you read my initial post on the product here. If you would like to see the Metallic Creme Eye Colour swatches, see my previous post or click here.

Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Gold on left, Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Golden on right

Same swatches in sunlight, Gold on left, Golden on right

Golden is exactly that in color. It's gold. I think it has less of the duo-chrome taupiness of the Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Gold but those nuances are usually lost on an area as small as the eye and from the distance that most people would actually be looking at you. In essence, they are the same. I would swipe a layer or two on the lid, directly with the stick, and then use the accompanying brush to even out the distribution or smoke it out. The Caviar Stick lends itself well to smudging and smoking for a few seconds before it sets. Once set, it does not budge. You can choose to add powder shadow on top or leave it as it is. With my coloring, I find this shade utterly flattering.

The beauty of using the Creme Eye Detail Brush with the Caviar Sticks is that the shape of the brush head lets you use the Caviar Stick as a fine liner, if you don't want it covering a large area of your lid. The shape allows for more manipulation than the regular Creme Eye Colour Brush. With it, you can pinpoint tiny spots for color, something which you can't do with just your fingers. You can also use it with any cream product, not just eye shadow.

L-R: Mini Creme Eye Detail Brush from set, Full size Creme Eye Detail Brush, Creme Eye Colour Brush

The lip gloss in the set is a very pale, sheer, milky pink. I have to admit that it is not one of my favorite shades of Lip Glace as it tends to make my natural lip color seem paler and overall does little for me. I'm trying to avoid using the word "dead" but that is in fact how this makes me look. You can also see it settling into the fine lines of my lips in the close up picture. I may have put on a bit extra because I wanted to see more color and you could certainly get away with a quick coat just to moisten lips. I think the idea is to keep the look bare. I simply prefer other sheer pinks. The lip gloss is highly scented (a super sweet vanilla) but feels nice on the lips. Wear time is average.

As an overall value, I think the set is not as spectacular a deal as the manufacturer would have one believe. As I said, I bought it for the Caviar Stick, which at the moment is not available as an individual shade. The gloss is mostly useless to me and the brush is nice but I don't need it either. If you don't have a cream shadow brush and the Caviar Stick in Golden appeals to you, this will seem like a better value, with a mini lip gloss thrown in.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge)

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