Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20 in Sand - review and swatches


This is one of those products that I was always going to buy, since it's a cult tinted moisturiser and lighter bases are my Achilles heel.

Indeed, it was one of the first products I bought once my spending ban lifted last year, and although I've had it for a while now, it's taken me some time to review it because I wasn't sure how I felt about it - it's one of those products I kept changing my mind about (which, let's face it, is rarely a good sign).

Last month I used this a lot and compared it to other bases I have on hand, and I've finally come to a decision on how I feel about the product. In short, it's ok but it's not my favourite for a few reasons, which I'll go into below.

Laura Mercier claims/product details:
  • Perfect for all skin types
  • Provides ideal protection from both UVA & UVB rays with an SPF 20
  • Sheer, lightweight moisturiser that adds a hint of colour 
  • Can be used in place of foundation for a natural appearance 
  • Adds a healthy glow to your complexion
  • Enhances without hiding the skin
  • An award-winning product
  • 'Sand' is described as 'medium with warm to golden undertones'
  • RRP $59 AUD for 50ml, but do shop around (from memory I got mine for $49)

There's a swatch in direct sunlight, unblended on the left and blended on the right:

 Blended out, direct sunlight (you can see it's very sheer):

 My bare face for reference:

Wearing one layer of product, natural light (bit dark for me!):

Wearing one layer, direct sunlight (I've included this shot so you can see that it doesn't sit in pores - that's one good thing about it):

Wearing two layers of product (I wouldn't normally wear two, but have for review purposes):


This is one of those products that unfortunately disappointed me a bit. It's not terrible but it's also not that great and I've used much better tinted moisturisers that cost a fraction of the price.

Probably my biggest issue with the product is that it's too sheer. Now I do like a light base, but this one is too light - to the point that it's almost not worth wearing.

If the formula were buildable to a light coverage (instead of a sheer one), it would be a better product - but I honestly can't tell a difference in coverage between one thin layer or two thick ones, other than that it looks like a worse colour match if I apply too much.

On that, the colour 'Sand' is a little deeper than I was expecting. It's summer now so I'm definitely in the 'medium' range, but this is still a shade or two too dark for me. This doesn't matter so much because the coverage is sheer, but it's noticeable if I try and build it. 

And even though the colour is more intense when I do build it, somehow this doesn't translate to the product covering imperfections better and making my skin look a little more even. It's almost as though this product 'dyes' the skin, as opposed to making things like age spots less noticeable, which is why the coverage isn't good enough for me.

It smells a little like sunscreen but not noticeably so, and although it has a dewy finish it's not too greasy and it does dry down. Note, however, that I do have dry skin and I think this impacts the finish because I've seen some other reviewers say that it looks too oily/greasy on them.

I've discovered that the best way to use this is to apply a layer of my Stila HD Illuminating Beauty Balm first (mental note to review that one soon!), which is an odd product that somehow evens out the skin but doesn't add much colour. This makes it the perfect base for the Laura Mercier product, because the Laura Mercier moisturiser doesn't do the coverage thing well but it does add a slight tint.

So if you have a primer that does something towards evening out imperfections, I suggest using it with this tinted moisturiser because they may work well together. The other bonus of pairing the two is that I'm getting the base I want without using too much of either product, in an attempt to make my skin look its best.

All in all, this isn't a bad product but it's one that I feel is way over-hyped. For this reason I've given it a 'disappointing' products tag and it may well make it into my 2016 product regrets post.

Save your money and buy something from the chemist that performs better.

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