Laura Mercier: My personal beauty routine, make-up must-haves and how to do a flawless foundation

Laura Mercier, 52, is a renowned make-up artist and her brand has become the go-to for a flawless, natural look. She shares her top tips, favourite fragrance and skincare secrets

Cleansing is my favourite part of my regime

Top Manhattan facialist Simone France gave me one of the best tips for achieving baby-soft skin: after cleansing, apply a moisturiser with a melt-in, butter-like consistency over your face before you step into the shower, then massage in a gentle exfoliating scrub and rinse. This polishes away dead cells without irritation, because of the barrier the moisturiser creates.

I’ve been doing this for years using Decleor Aromessence Iris Night Balm (£36) together with my Face Polish (£26). To finish, I spritz my face with my Perfecting Water Moisture Mist (£31), which contains mineral-rich deep sea water from Japan, and moisturise with Infusion de Rose Nourishing Creme (£55).

Great make-up in your 50s

Since the late 80s the ‘flawless face’ has been my signature style. What this translates to is perfect skin using almost no products except those that create a natural-looking complexion. It’s also one of the most anti-ageing looks as you’re not caking your skin with too much product.

Start with my Foundation Primer (£29). I’ve always been fascinated with how light bounces off the face so this was one of the very first cosmetics I created and remains brilliant at ensuring skin of all ages glows and holds on to the make-up you put on top of it. Then pare back your foundation and rely only on concealer to camouflage dark circles and minor imperfections. I couldn’t be without my Secret Camouflage concealer (£27.50).

My make-up bag must-haves

I wouldn’t feel like ‘me’ without my signature make-up look of black kohl eyeliner and red lipstick. So I always carry my Long Wear Crème Eye Pencil in Slate (£19) and Rouge Nouveau Lipstick in Mod (£20) in my make-up bag. Incidentally, if you don’t have time to put any other make-up on in the morning, just use a bit of eyeliner inside the lid of your top lash line to create enough contrast to wake up your eye. That’s especially important as you get older and the skin here starts to sag.

My bathtime ritual

I’m originally from Provence so I like to use Marseille Soap to cleanse my body instead of shower gel. It’s a traditional soap made with olive oil in France. I also love to unwind in the bath with my Crème Brulee Honey Bath (£33). The milky texture is amazing for softening the skin and the fragrance, which was inspired by childhood memories of patisseries, is just delicious.

My favourite fragrances

I love so many different scents. For essential oils, I prefer calming herbs such as lavender and rosemary. For perfume, I’m drawn to fresh scents such as rose but also the warmth of amber in my Ambre Vanille Eau Gourmande (£42.50). Amber has been my favourite aroma since I was in my teens when I would rub a stone from Morocco, infused with its scent, on to my skin.

My definition of beauty

I love slightly imperfect faces, which is why I’ve always been so enamoured by Sophia Loren. She is just stunning despite having a nose that is slightly too long and a mouth that’s a bit too wide. I think that’s what makes her face so memorable. So try to learn to accept your flaws then embrace and enhance your individual natural beauty, whatever your age!

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