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Behind the brand: Beg for Mercier to get perfect primer

RAISED in Provence, Laura Mercier began her creative training aged 17 when she went to study painting in Paris.

But she soon moved to the Carita School, where she specialised in make-up application.

She was asked to represent the school as an instructor, and then, in 1985, Mercier headed to New York and was part of the team that launched American Elle magazine. She worked on advertising campaigns for the likes of Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales, as well as on a host of editorial shoots for magazines including Vanity Fair and Glamour.

Mercier went on to work with L'Oréal, Maybelline and Gap, and even worked with Madonna. This was followed by a four-year stint with Elizabeth Arden, and she also worked with Chanel.

In 1996, Mercier developed her eponymous make-up line.

Well-known for its great range of bases and concealers, the shades in the range are classic, rather than trend-based, and are very wearable.

The first products she created were Secret Camouflage (€38), a brilliant two-shade concealer, and the Foundation Primer. In recent years, the range has expanded to include bath products, candles, skin-care and fragrances.

If you buy just one product:

The FOUNDATION PRIMER (€41) is a regular award-winner. Used under make-up to create the perfect canvas, Mercier’s tip is to massage it into the skin until it’s no longer wet.

The fans:

Madonna, Susan Sarandon and Julia Ormond.