concealed weapon

My husband and I have an expression called, Ice in the Door. It refers to the concept of spending more on something truly useful, rather than penny pinching and regretting a cheap purchase that doesn’t live up to your expectations.

Here’s the genesis: Our first house came with no refrigerator. So we found ourselves in the appliance department of Sears, debating whether we should buy the model with the built-in icemaker, or go for the no-frills version that…you know, just chilled the food. If memory serves, the price differential was about $300; hardly chump change in our newlywed budget.  We concluded that $300 was a lot of money to spend on frozen water, so we bought the cheapie fridge and loaded up on plastic ice-cube trays.

Or, to be more specific, ice cube trays that require diagonal twisting and cracking to remove the contents; and occasional banging on the kitchen counter when the twisting and cracking method doesn’t work. And to be even more specific, ice cube trays that also require occasional replacement when the banging breaks them.

For the five years we lived in that house, we regretted not springing for a fridge with ice-in-the-door.

I tell you this story to explain why I finally—after years of bad purchases and wasted dollars—just invoked Ice-in-the-Door to justify buying Laura Mercier’s $34 concealer. Any woman can tell you–especially, Eva Longoria–that finding the right concealer is critical.

I’ve test-driven way too many of them over the past couple of years. They were not Ice in the Door, but rather, Money Down the Drain….

Recommended by a makeup artist for its illuminating benefits. It just ended up illuminating my dark shadows and wrinkles because the thin formula disappeared into my skin. $8

A sponge tip is the perfect vehicle for precise application…but what this one delivered was too translucent to cover my tracks. $11

Love the concept of light-as-air makeup…but not the oddly smudgy way this one landed on my face. $6

The comfy applicator is a little too comfy—I couldn't get this sponge tip into the crevice at the corner of my eye. The crevice where the dark shadows lurk. $8

Available in light, medium, and dark…none of which, it turns out, describes me. $5

The cash cow of concealers—this pricey publicity hound is a makeup-artist favorite. But I can’t for the life of me figure out why. It delivers the wrong kind of gleam in my eye. $40

Total money spent wasted: $78.

For years, though, every time I interviewed an editorial makeup artist, they would rave to me about Laura Mercier’s unparalleled products. And rightly so. Mercier, a French makeup artist herself, developed a reputation for creating flawless, picture-perfect skin on her clients by wielding a special brush and a compact that contained two or more shades of concealer. I always acknowledged the excellence of the products; but, quite frankly, didn’t want to be bothered with all that mixing, dotting, and blending each morning.

As I say, Ice in the Door. I finally relented a couple of weeks ago and am in full-blown love with Mercier’s Under Cover Pot–a unique travel combo of two different concealers, plus a loose setting powder; all of which sounds like a covert operation and actually accomplishes its mission. Namely, to hide any evidence of fatigue.

Laura Mercier Under Cover Pot; $34, www.lauramercier.com

The cream on the right side is opaque and almost sticky (as in, it sticks to your skin and covers your circles rather than blending into oblivion); the left side is so dense that you must apply it with a concealer brush because a finger just won’t pick up the product. It’s designed to be laid onto a spot or blotch, which instantly disappears under the cloak of coverage. Twist off the cap  and you delve into loose powder, which gets fluffed over your face and effectively keeps both concealers in place forever. (Or at least until you wash your face before bed.)

Ice in the DoorConcealer Under the Eye.  I should have known better.

But now I do, and so do YOU! Have you played hide-and-seek with Mercier’s products? Do you adore them as much as I do?

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8 comments to concealed weapon

  • NicoleB

    Buying it, based on this blog. As always. And you have NEVER steered me wrong.

  • Casey

    Bobbi Brown has a creme concealer – powder duo too. Very effective!!! But while I am a loyal Bobbi Brown consumer, I’m not so loyal that I won’t try the Laura Mercier!!!

  • kim hall

    Can you only get this online?

  • Kimmy–It’s all over the place. Including Nordstrom and Sephora. You’ll love it!

  • And I’ll be expecting your editorial review, Nicole! I think you’ll be oh-so-happy with the product. (They sell the trio, by the way, in larger, individual containers. But as they used to say with hair gel, I think a little dab’ll do ya.

  • Casey–Let me know how it compares to Bobbi’s. (I’ve tried her stick concealer, but it doesn’t have the “tack” of Mercier’s product.)

  • Lisa

    I use the Bobbi Brown concealer too. Just went to replace it yesterday and was convinced to buy a second concealer (can’t think of the name of it) and a powder–looks just like the Laura Mercier products above. Haven’t opened them yet and am wondering if I should exchange them for the LM ones…BB works better than anything else I’ve tried (many shown above) but I’ve not tried LM. Maybe a trip back to Nordstom is in order…

  • Lisa–I’ve only tried the BB stick concealer, which was fine…but didn’t compare to the LM I just bought. It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m still loving the stuff. Away to Nordstrom you go…!

about this blog


Okay, so here’s my motto:

Anything worth buying...is worth buying cheaper.

And that’s where this blog comes into the picture. I’ve been a national magazine writer and editor for more years than I care to admit. During that time, I’ve researched, written about, and played with the hottest, newest, trendiest things under the sun - from lipsticks to lampshades, denim to doorknobs (I'm not kidding... I actually had to write a story about vintage doorknobs). And while I know plenty of people who pay big bucks for the latest designer handbag, I actually get a bigger thrill out of finding really cool, obscure items for a song: a brilliant leather coat at Target, say, or a drugstore lipgloss straight from London.

So hang out with me here and we’ll go shopping together for the best beauty bargains, fashion finds, brilliant home décor and more.