Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Laura Mercier and Me

I've been immersed in make up classes for weeks and finally got an opportunity to meet one of my well known beauty heroes, the legendary Laura Mercier. Knowing that nobody knows how to camouflage and conceal better than her masterful hand, I eagerly awaited her arrival at Neiman Marcus at Cherry Creek. Being familiar with the famous faces that she frequently works her magic on (Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker and more) I had prepared questions for her on advanced beauty techniques when mixing creams, liquids and powders, the real order of operations for sublime skin care in Colorado, proper anti-aging product line integration and the like.

The day of her personal appearance I made sure I took the day off of work. I got up early, washed my face over and over and made sure each step in my daily beauty routine was refined and perfected. I made sure I emerged with a flawless face as she describes in her book. My eyeliner was an unmistakable tight line. Thanks to my practiced technique, my face couldn't have looked better. Too bad it took me a long time and I started to run late.

I arrived at Neiman's 20 minutes late but was still early enough to see Laura enter the store. In a very anti-climactic way, she simply walked solo through the front entrance. There was no entourage heeding her every demand, no personal assistant taking orders, nada. Was it her down to earth, French woman mentality that provoked her to be so low key? Most any other woman who single handedly built a multi million dollar enterprise would seize an opportunity like this to exude fabulouslessness. But no, Laura walked in clad in a bulky winter coat, curly mane in full effect and almost went unnoticed. She had aged slightly more than all of her published photos (she never discloses her age) and seemed a little washed out with gray eyeshadow. No matter though, she went straight to work. She glad handed the General Manager of the store, the cosmetics manager, and me when wiggled to the front of the group and introduced myself. Without a moment to waste, she went straight to signing books. After that she began her scheduled workshops and then was gone.

She was too busy with large groups to field my individual questions. Instead I had the opportunity to meet and discuss my questions at length with her global makeup artist, Felix. Laura signed my book and a makeup bag which was extremely cool. I got to hear her take on everyday beauty issues (use SPF before you go outside, always moisturize, acknowledge that camouflage is different from concealer). Overall, I was just stoked to shake her hand. Madonna refers to her as the Rembrandt of makeup. It was an experience I won't soon forget. Though it was just for a moment, it was inspiring, enigmatic and beautiful.

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