Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

Despite already having put an order in to SpaceNK in the week, I couldn't resist popping along to my local shop on Saturday. I'd particularly wanted to look at NARS Amour and Dolce Vita in the flesh. On seeing them in person, I decided to give them both a miss and moved on to the Laura Mercier. Just as I spotted the Colour Wardrobe a Sales Assistant came to see if I needed any help. Cut forward to me leaving the shop without a blusher as I'd intended but Secret Camouflage concealer in SC-3...
Now this is where my problem lies. I am rubbish at matching myself, I go for the second shade in pretty much everything and try to avoid anything too pink toned. I would have picked SC-2 for myself but the SA, who initially thought SC-2 as well, said that the SC-3 was a better match. Struck mute by THE FEAR, I went ahead and purchased it despite my fairly great reservations. I even stood outside afterwards pondering if I should go back in and swap it whilst it was still untouched.

I waited till the next day and good daylight to see how it looked. It looks dark in the pan and I was sure it would be wrong. However, on my face it seems ok. So, I've decided to let you, my lovely readers, see what you think. Is it a match or a miss? I warn you, these are not pretty pictures!

As ever, the colour is bleached out as the images are small. You can click on them if you dare wish to see the true colour. The comparison is still accurate though.

Cheek swatch (unblended)

These are unblended swatches of both colours on my cheek and hands. I forgot to add a swatch of the mixed colour which I think would have been useful. A touch of the darker colour with the lighter does provide a slightly better undertone match.

No Concealer
With Concealer

In the bottom picture I have concealer covering the blemish and redness on my chin, on the blemish on my jaw and also around the nose area to cover redness.

What do you think? Do you think it is an ok match? Also out of interest do you often struggle with matching yourself and if so are you happy to be advised? How would you go about buying a different shade to the one you were matched with? I'd be very interested to hear your stories.

Don't worry, I'll be posting a FOTD shortly. I promise not to leave you staring at my bare face for long!


  1. I think it looks ok actually.. I have the 02 shade, so would have thought you'd need that too..
    But if it matches it matches :)
    That's good at least..

    Sometimes this particular concealer dries on the skin in a darker way though, i.e. a few hours later I have often spotted a dried darker patch where I've applied it.

    I find it too drying now, so don't use it.

    I must admit, I will listen to what the MUA says, but if she suggests a colour that I KNOW is wrong, I will tell her, that I want the other one.

    I am almost always shade 02 or 03, and in foundations I am always 03. (except for a freak Clinique foundation where I am 01, the palest they do??)

    I've had MUA suggest an 04 shade to me before, and I've refused, knowing it'd be orange on me!

    On the weekend a Dior lady wanted me to take the 01 in their Nude concealer, but I said I'd rather have the 02.

    The 01 was chalky white!

    I just can't be parting with my money if I know myself it's wrong.. (I've learned the hard way though, it's gotta be said!)

  2. It looks like an okay match, but perhaps a little yellow - it is hard to tell on the computer. I never got on with Secret Camouflage, too much faff for me to mix the two shades.

  3. I agree with Cheeky Beauty and Grace. I think it looks ok...it does not form a patch of discolouration and perhaps some more practice with the mixing might give you more confidence.
    I use the Secret Undercover (or whatever it's called -the one that has both blemish and undereye concealers, as well as the setting powder) in no3 and it is absolutely spot-on. Additionally, I never experienced the darkening or drying problems that Cheeky Beauty mentioned, but then again my cheeks tend to get rather oily.
    As for matching, I usually stand my ground and can get rather fussy...I always borrow a mirror and go outside to check the colour in natural daylight before I commit to forking out. So far, I have only been really happy with Shu Uemura and Suqqu matchings...
    I'm really sorry about your experience Jane, it's so frustrating and it can really make you angry at yourself!

  4. Great timing, I actually just bought the Secret Camouflage in SC-2 last week and honestly, I don't think it's such a huge difference between the 2 and 3. I think that the colour is perfectly ok. It is quite a dry concealer, so I guess more suitable for spots/blemishes than undereye are (unless you mix it with an eye cream).
    Regarding being color matched to a foundation or concealer I always have problems with it - SAs usually want to darken me up a bit.
    But I had a very good experience last week with a Laura Mercier SA who matched me perfectly to their foundation (yes, I am the lightest warm shade that they make) and concealer.

    I hope the Camouflage works well for you.


  5. It is tricky to tell on screen, but it looks pretty good to me. I do like reading your blog yu know...I used to think I was really into make-up before I stumbled upon the beauty community...now I realise I'm a complete novice! Hats off to you for taking it to a whole other level ;)

  6. @Cheeky Beauty: Thank you for your great comment. It is quite a dry consistency, I don’t think I was expecting that for some reason. I don’t suppose it will move around so much as a consequence. I will be interested to see if it oxidises. I can’t believe that someone wanted to match you with the lightest shade! That’s just madness as you’re obviously not really pale. I struggled to argue in this case as the SA was very nice, she’s dealt with me before and she obviously spent some time trying to work it out. I suspect that maybe I am somewhere in between the two.

    @Grace: You’re right, it is always tricky to be able via the computer. That’s certainly the problem I had with Amour and Dolce Vita blushers. It’s not really obvious on my skin, I think the dry formula possibly makes it look more obvious than the colour. The faff of mixing is obviously a consideration too. So far I’ve been lazy and used my fingers to layer and blend directly on the skin.

    @Nina: I’ve never come across the Secret Undercover before, that’s a shame as that would probably have been most useful for me. I’ll keep an eye out for that next time I visit a Laura Mercier stand. I don’t think it looks really obvious, I even asked the Biochemist's opinion and he thought it looked ok. I am very surprised though as I consider myself to be quite pale.

    The SA was really nice so it was hard to disagree. I could have done with going out in daylight for a look. In future, I need to learn to speak up. I had baby on my back on this particular trip and it was a little distracting!

    @Klara: Ah, that’s really interesting that you found the 2 and 3 quite similar. I wonder if it’s mostly difference in the undertones? I definitely don’t find this looks obvious but I was very worried it would be too dark. It is dry and I will only use it on discolouration and blemishes. I couldn’t use it to cover dark circles as it would sit in my lines I think.

    It sounds like you had a good counter experience. Did you get the new cream foundation? I saw someone else mention it and it looks very interesting. I’d love to know how you find it.

    Thanks for you reassurances and comments. I really appreciate it, especially after posting pictures of my bare mug!
    Jane x

  7. I think it looks fine, perhaps not spot on but, guess its a case of using more of the lighter shade to balance it. I don't have to worry about colour matching instore as I pretty much know it will all be too dark!
    There is nothing wrong with your before naked face pictures, you have a very fresh face complexion x

  8. @MissisG: Sorry, I crossed comments with you as I was writing an epic. Thank you so much for your nice comment ;). I’m glad you enjoy reading. I admit, I am rather obsessed! We’ll have to meet up in that SpaceNK some time. We can lead each other both astray.

    @Replica: I think you’re right. With mixing it is absolutely workable. It must be very frustrating when most lines don’t have a large enough range or don’t go light enough. I certainly don’t think you’re alone in having pale skin. I know I shouldn’t complain about my skin. It’s having a real off moment for me and it’s making me a little self-conscious. I had a cystic spot on my chin and the discoloration and scarring isn’t easy to cover. I know overall though I am very lucky.

    I got a 20% code for Illamasqua last night and spent ages pouring over your posts. I can’t make my mind up between getting a foundation or the blusher brush1. Do you fancy swaying me one way or the other? Totally new suggestions are fine too ;)

    Jane x

  9. Hi Jane,
    I know what you mean about being self-conscious, cystic's are the hardest thing to cover, when I had my severe acne it was a battle every morning leaving the house, sometimes I would be in tears over it.
    They have changed the formula of the foundation so I don't know if it would be as good as the old one, they also have added in a load of spot causing ingredients in it.
    I do use the blusher brush 1 a lot, its really good if you had colours which have poor pigmentation, I also like the powder one as well and I use Vow pencil a lot as an eye brightener.
    I say go with the blusher brush#1 and if you get it and don't like it you have permission to come round and stomp on me! x

  10. I think that perhaps the smaller pan in the SC-2 is a bit peachier but I might be wrong.
    I just found these swatches on karlasugar, I think they might help: http://karlasugar.net/2009/05/laura-mercier-secret-camouflage/
    The SC-3 seems to be more neutral.

    I bought the Laura Mercier products at the Liberty counter: I got this concealer, the Oil-free foundation and the Eye Colour Sampler. I didn't check the new cream foundation as my skin is far too oily. The SA also did a mini eye look on me with the sparklier colours so I'll definitelly try and recreate it.

    x Klara

  11. I don't think this is a bad match at all...when I seen you mention it on twitter, I thought it would maybe be noticeably too dark/yellow but I really don't think it's bad at all.
    There are definitely more yellow undertones in SC-3 - I remember SC-2 being very peachy. I too stopped using as it felt very drying, even on my oily skin.

  12. HI Jane,
    I think it does look an OK match but I know it can be a bit scary if you worry concealer is wrong shade! Makeup by Katy has a great post about whether you have pink or yellow undertones and she uses the Secret Camoflage to demonstrate this so is well worth a look (she actually matched me to foundation a couple of years ago and was excellent). It explains what the difference is between the shades. Here is the link: http://makeupbykaty.blogspot.com/2010/07/skin-tone-just-quick-lecture.html

    I'd be interested to see how you get on with it as I have the palest shade but do tend to find it a bit too dry. The LM one for eyes I find too creamy, there's no pleasing me! The best way I use SC is to mix it on the back of my hand with a bit of YSL Touche Eclat or any other light reflecting concealer, then you get the best of both worlds.

    I now tend to ignore any colour matching and just go straight for the palest shade or their lightest shade with pink undertones, the one helpful thing about being so fair! If I'm ordering online, I check out blog swatches and KarlaSugar in particular. I like to be well prepared before I venture into the dragon's den that is the beauty hall.

    Just out of interest, what did you order from Space NK? I'd been thinking about the Nars Dolce Vita blush for a while as it is one of my favourite shades in lipstick. How did it appear in person? Am afraid it might be a bit too brown.

    Jennifer X

  13. @Replica: The cystic spots are awful. It always happens in the same spot too and I really am a terrible picker despite knowing it’ll do no good. Thanks for the thoughts about the Illamasqua items. I think the brush is the one for me. I have happened across something saying Selfridges will have 20% online this weekend so I think I’m going to be dropping some heavy hints about a few things (Tom Ford especially) to the other half. I can’t remember, do Selfridges have Illamasqua online? I must check now! And don’t worry, there’ll be no stomping ;)

    @Klara: Thank you for the Karlasugar swatches. I normally check these things but as it was an off the cuff purchase I hadn’t done my usual research. It really does sound like you had a good experience at the LM counter. I like the beauty hall in Liberty, as lovely as Selfridges is, it can be a little hectic!

    @WelshBeautyBlog: I know that I probably didn’t explain on twitter that it didn’t look bad it was more that I was rather shocked that I would be SC-3. I think more playing round is in order. I’m interested by all the comments about it being dry. I hadn’t realised it would be like that. It’s tricky finding something that is creamy enough to be comfortable without sliding off.

    @Jennifer: I read Katy’s post a while ago (it’s why I have the lovely picture of the SC against my chest). In my case I can understand the theory but in practice I never can see whether the undertones are right for me.

    I know what you mean about the concealers and being fussy. I’m the Golidlocks of foundations so I know what you mean ;). I think it would benefit from being mixed on my hand first but as Grace says it is a bit of a faff. I will give it a try though to see how I get on. I’m totally with you on the research before hand. I had spent ages looking at Karla’s swatches of the blushers. It will remind me never to go off piste again with purchases!!

    I ordered the Emma Hardie cleansing set, two Kjaer Weis eyeshadow refills and NARS Rajasthan eyeshadow duo. I also got two REN sets as gifts. I really thought I would love both Amour and Dolce Vita but both were much more Terracotta/Brown toned than I was expecting. They’re not what I was expecting from swatches that’s for sure. I do wish that I had picked up both LQ Saint Pink and two Shu eyeshadows. They’re niggling at me now!!

    Jane x

  14. Looks good to me, I've heard good things about this concealer might go hunt one down :D

  15. Hi Jadegrrrl! How is Laura Mercier priced in Australia? I know some brands are cheaper to buy in the States and pay delivery. I did spot quite a few on MUA for swaps.
    Jane x

  16. From the photos, it looks like a pretty good match, but that's from the photos. I would recommend taking a compact out to the garden and have a gander there.

    I try to trust SAs but at the end of the day, I still go with my own judgement. If it takes me several trips back and forth in the shop or outside to make up my mind, then so be it. My first time buying a concealer (No 7, Concealer stick, £7 I think - a fortune to me at the time) I asked the SA and she matched me to Dark. Like a trusting little lamb I went for that, only to realise it's way too dark at home.

    I would definitely recommend going to counters with all your blemishes showing, ask for the MUA to use your product of choice and do a cover up. Then leave it on for the day to see how the formula suits your skin type, colour and product-wise. Hope that helps!

  17. Thanks for your tips and advice Cassie, it's much appreciated. I think she probably chose the right one but if I was unsure I shouldn't have felt pressured to go ahead with it.

    Jane x

  18. first blog i've come across that shows before and after photos of the LM camouflage application. THANK YOUUU!!

  19. Hi!! I really need you help! I am deciding between SC1 and SC2 - overall I have yellow based fair skin tone (Mac nc15). There is no Laura Mercier shop in (or near) my country, so my decision is only based on pictures. Can you help? :)


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