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=== The brand ===
Laura Mercier is an American cosmetics company. The founder is not in fact called Laura Mercier but has the rather less glamourous name of Janet Gurwitch! It is named after a French makeup artist.
Laura Mercier is not as well known and widely available as some of the big brands, but you can buy it from Space NK and some branches of John Lewis.
=== Format and contents of the undercover pot ===
The undercover pot is a compact little pot which makes up a full concealing kit and it contains the following products:
Secret Camouflage (1.0g) in the left pan, to conceal redness and blemishes.
Secret Concealer (0.8g) in the right pan, to conceal undereye darkness.
Loose setting powder (4.09g) underneath.
There is also a mirror inside the lid.
The lid fastens very securely as you can hear and feel the click of it locking into place once closed. I have had the undercover pot for 6 or 7 months and have often carried it in my small makeup bag in my handbag, and never experienced any problems with this lid coming open.
The powder in the bottom compartment is also very secure. I am wary of carrying powder products around with me as they can make such a mess if any of the product manages to escape, but I have not had any leakage or mess out of this pot. To get the powder out, you need to unscrew the bottom half of the pot to detach it from the bit containing the concealer pans. You are then left with a small see through pot of powder with tiny holes in the top to shake the powder out of. I have found that in my pot there is now a very large amount of powder resting on the top of those holes, due to the pot being shaken and jostled around in my bag regularly so I have to be careful not to spill the powder once I have opened this section but that's not really a problem, as it is secure until I open it.
=== Secret Camouflage ===
Secret Camouflage is a concealer for redness and blemishes and it can be used under or over foundation. It has quite a solid texture so when I first got it I thought it might be quite difficult to work with, but in fact I haven't really found it a problem. It is easy to pick a bit up on a concealer brush. I definitely recommend using a brush for this, as the pan is quite small so it would be awkward to use a finger, it would be more difficult to work with the hard texture with fingers and it could also be a bit unhygenic to put this on spots with your fingers!
It has quite a strong yellowy base, which makes it cancel out and neutralise redness extremely well. It is highly pigmented and a small dot of this gives great coverage while still looking natural.
I find this has good staying power and doesn't start to wear off a few hours after application, like some concealers do. Once I have put it on I can just forget about it and carry on with my day!
=== Secret Concealer ===
In the last couple of years I have started to develop some dark circles under my eyes so undereye concealer is one of my most important makeup items.
I use the Secret Concealer on top of my foundation. I only need a little bit as it is very creamy making it easy to blend to achieve good coverage, and it is quite highly pigmented so it instantly brightens the area. I use shade 2 and it is a good colour match for my fairly pale skin. It has quite a strong pink coloured base to it, which helps to brighten under the eyes. I find that anything too yellow based under my eyes makes me look ill.
I apply it using the Laura Mercier Secret Camoflague brush which is thin and tapered so the small end of it enables accurate, precise application in small areas and does not waste product. It is really easy to apply the concealer as it's so creamy and simple to blend.
I have often had a problem with concealers creasing or settling into a fine line under my eye, but I have not experienced this with Laura Mercier. I think this is because such a small quantity is required, so it doesn't build up and start sliding around.
=== Loose setting powder ===
I don't always bother with this setting powder, as I find the secret camouflague under my eyes usually lasts pretty well without it, but the purpose of the powder is to set the concealer, keeping it in good condition and making it last longer.
It is very finely milled so it does not feel heavy. I hate heavy powders as I feel they always look so obvious, they settle in any fine lines you may have - and I am only 25 so I barely even have any lines, but I still notice this - and sometimes they make me feel itchy! That's why I am often reluctant to use powders, but with this Laura Mercier powder I can forget those concerns.
On the times when I do use it, I find it very easy to apply as I simply get some on the powder brush and gently roll the brush under my eyes over the top of the concealer, without pressing too hard. It is translucent and does look completely invisible, and therefore natural. I don't get that horrible powdery look. It does work well at making the concealer stay on longer and last all day.
One thing that can be a big problem with some undereye setting powders is "ghosting" and the "reverse panda" meaning that when you have a photo taken of you, the powder reflects the light and makes you look like you have white rings around your eyes. This was famously a problem with HD Powder and YSL Touche Eclat highlighter (which some people use as a concealer) under the eyes. I was a bit concerned about whether this might happen with this Laura Mercier powder as it is a very similar product to the HD Powder, but thankfully I haven't experienced this issue!
=== Overall ===
The Undercover Pot is really handy as it contains three good products in one compact unit. I would definitely recommend it if you want to try these products. However, I think if I want to reguarly use these products (which I do) it will be more economical and better value per gram to buy the products separately. The full concealers contain a much larger quantity than you get in the small pans of the undercover pot. The undercover pot costs £29 from Space NK and should be the same or very similar price elsewhere.
However, I won't take a star off for the price because at least this pot does let you try three products without having to pay for the full sized pots of each one, which is great if you don't know whether they will be right for you. The small size and 3 in 1 format also makes it ideal for travelling or for taking out with you in your makeup bag.