At 2,250.00 Php, the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide is one of the pricier foundations that I own — it comes second only to my beloved Koh Gen Doh Aqua Foundation (2,750.00 Php). The bar was set high for this product not just because of the hefty price but also because Laura Mercier is one of my favourite makeup brands ever. Like, ever. Here’s what the Flawless Fluide claims to do:
The description is short, but LM has packed many a promise into that little space on the back of the box. Most of it is what any good foundation should do, but the part that says “perfect for all ages, all skin-tones, all skin-types” kind of makes me pull back and say: Reaaaally, now? Unfortunately I am of one age, one skin-type, and one skin-tone, so you’ll have to look to other reviews to confirm if the foundation works for all kinds of women. For now you’ll have to settle for this 24-year-old, combination-skin-typed, and medium-olive-skin-toned girl’s opinion.Now I haven’t had this for long enough to give it a full review, but sometimes it’s nice to note first impressions and the little discoveries one makes while getting to know a product. That’s pretty much what I’ll be doing here.
Right off the bat, I liked that it (1) has no SPF, (2) is oil-free, and (3) comes in very simple packaging. It is, however, the first bi-phase formula I’ve ever worked with and I knew that having to shake it up really well before every use would be a bit of a hassle. Saying it’s a bi-phase formulas essentially means that the pigment and light-reflective liquid that make up the foundation settle and separate inside the bottle when left alone for a while. That’s a natural occurrence but to get the perfect mix of both elements, you do have to shake the bottle quite vigorously. Is it worth all that effort?
I guess it takes some getting used to, because I made a mess the first few times I used this foundation. It’s a squirter, guys. I try my best to hold it with the tip facing up or directly onto the back of my hand already after shaking, but it’s difficult to control the flow no matter what I do. That might just be because my bottle is new and full right now, though.
When the foundation is finally out and ready to use, I have to admit that its texture is very nice. It’s not quite as watery as MUFE’s HD Foundation but it doesn’t have the gel-like element to it that Koh Gen Doh Aqua has. The Flawless Fuide has little bits of fine grain in it, but it doesn’t feel rough when smoothed onto the skin. That bit of graininess seems to be what makes it settle into a powdery finish soon after contact with the skin.
Messily applied to the back of my hand.
It took three separate visits to three different counters to find the perfect shade because the line offers a whopping 24-shade selection. It was easy to narrow the choice down to Honey (light-medium with neutral/slightly warm undertones), Dusk (light-medium with warm undertones), and Golden (also a light-medium with warm undertones), but that’s still three very similar shades to choose from. In the end I went Dusk because Honey was too pink and Golden was too yellow. Dusk has that slightly green undertone that I look for in foundations and which many brands just don’t have. I may have been overwhelmed by the number of shades to choose from in the beginning, but having all three undertones represented in the “medium” range is rare and impressive. This photo is from the first time I tested out the foundation. I wore it over my usual sunblock (VMV’s Armada Face Cover 45) and I set it with a translucent powder because I was going to be out all day. When I bought the foundation I knew I wanted to use it for evening parties because of the lack of SPF in the product, but testing it this way was helpful as well because now I know that it doesn’t look great in daylight. It also doesn’t provide very much coverage. Notice the redness on my right cheek from a pimple and the pigmentation on my forehead from previous blemishes are not fully concealed. When I wore the foundation on other occasions, I tried to build it up in areas that needed more coverage and ended up using so much product for hardly-satisfatory results.
So, I’m on the fence about this foundation. It feels lightweight, sets without need of powder, and Dusk matches my skin tone perfectly, but it does not build as well as expected, doesn’t look good in natural light, is a hassle to use, and does not last as long as I thought it would. Still, there’s hope that this will be the perfect evening foundation (for special occasions and such) precisely because of the slightly powdery finish that doesn’t look good in daylight. I can also already tell you that it works better without a sunblock underneath it. I haven’t been able to test it in the evening enough to say anything for sure, but we’ll return to this for sure. The ingredients, if anyone out there is curious.
Have any of you guys worked with bi-phase formulas before? Are they all this much of a mess to work with?