Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sheer Berry: Black Orchid by Laura Mercier

Hi all!

I have yet another sheer berry color for you in our lineup of sheer berry lip products. This one is by Laura Mercier, and it is her Stick Gloss lip product in Black Orchid.  This one retails for $20, according to the Sephora website, and is a cross between a sheer lipstick and balm. It really is very sheer and not particularly buildable, but this makes it an ideal shade for applying without a mirror, since it's not dark enough to be noticeable if its not applied perfectly. The formula is mildly moisturizing and not sticky or tacky at all, with a bit of shine to it without actually being as reflective as a gloss. Because this is my one and only Laura Mercier lip product, I can't speak to these in general, so bear in mind that anything I say about the formula is only based on this individual shade.

The color itself is a pinky-mauve shade, when compared to some of these berries that lean to dark purple; this one is much warmer, and a little brighter, while not so bright as a fuchsia color. Because it is so sheer, it takes on a lot of my natural lip color, making this a great choice for day since it's not a drastic difference from my natural lip. This also seems to lean warmer than many traditional purple-y berry shades.

Here is the product in the tube; it's very simple but sturdy feeling dark almost-black plastic with silver-tone accents. Not overly cute, but not distracting, it looks very classic and feels a bit heavy for its size. The screw up function feels nice and smooth and stable, too, if you understand what I mean.

Laura Mercier's Gloss Stick in Black Orchid
 Here is a photograph of the product in the tube, taken with flash; you can see this is a deep mauve tone in the tube, even though it goes on much sheerer.
Black Orchid, with flash

And here's the tube in my hand

The next photograph is of the product swatched on white paper and on the skin. You can begin to get a sense of the finish in this shot.
Swatch of Black Orchid, no flash
 On my lips:
Black Orchid, flash
 And again with no flash. You can see how the product looks very much like a tinted balm; it doesn't really settle into lip lines,there's not a sharp line on the edge of the lip, and it doesn't drastically change my natural lip color.
Black Orchid, no flash
 Here's a full face shot with no flash:
Full face, no flash; Black Orchid on the lips

Black Orchid on my lips, with flash
Rating: 7 out of 10

Overall, I would give this product a 7/10 rating. It is easy to apply and wear, there are no problems with the packaging, and the color is lovely, but I don't find it to be a really spectacular knock-out color, and I don't think it's particularly versatile since it's difficult to layer or blot this color. And while I don't have a lot of experience with Laura Mercier's line in general, so I can't speak to overall quality, this feels to be a very good quality product; it applies like a dream, provides some moisturizing benefits (though not extensive ones), and the case feels sturdy and looks classy. If you'd like something with the packaging of a lipstick but the formula of a tinted balm, this is a great option, though I do feel like you can find comparable products at a lower price point. The color would really have to be what sells you on this product, but if it catches your eye, I urge you to check it out in person!

If you have questions about the rating system, you can find an explanation of the scale at the bottom of this post: Night Out

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