Laura Geller's Dream Creams Concealer and Highlighter Palette is an oddly packaged combination of concealer and highlighters that's well-intentioned, but ultimately just doesn't work.
Housed in a single compact are four creamy stripes of color. Three of the stripes, which are more flesh-toned, are supposed to be able to be mixed together to create a custom color of cream-to-powder concealer. The fourth shade is a shimmery "highlighter." Unfortunately, none of the concealer colors are well-suited to natural skin tones (they include a pink and orangey-brown shade), and the quality of the concealer is only average at best. It fades halfway through the day, tends to crease, and provides only minimal coverage of dark circles. On the plus side, the texture makes it easy to apply.
As far as the highlighter goes, it's so sheer as to hardly make any impact in emphasizing cheeks. Because the colors are not separated in the compact by dividers, they will, over time, begin to bleed and seep into each other, creating a muddy mess. For the price, it's just not worth it – especially considering that there are several other companies that offer similar products with better performance, and better packaging!
Note: This product is called "Dream Creams Concealer and Highlighter Palette" on all its packaging, but is also called "Mix-n-Match Concealer & Highlighter" on Laura Geller's website.
- Concealer shades in palette aren't suited to natural skin tones.
- Concealer fades and creases throughout the day.
- Highlighter shade is so sheer that it's barely noticeable.
- Packaging allows colors to bleed into each other over time.
Laura Geller is the namesake line of a New York City makeup artist who appears regularly on QVC, where her line stirs intense curiosity—at least based on the number of requests we routinely receive to review it. Geller's line also has rolled out to several Sephora stores, a business development that has brought in droves of questions from women who don't watch QVC or shop its Web site. No matter: They all want to know if Geller's products deliver the goods and are a cut above the rest.
As we approached the attractively laid out displays at Sephora we were hoping to find exciting products that were indeed a notch above the rest. Regrettably, it took me only a few minutes to realize that, like so many other cosmetic lines, glitz and enthusiasm can go a long way toward making much ado about mostly average and overpriced products. (By the way, Geller sells most of the same products on QVC, though they're often in pre-selected "value" kits.)
We have no doubt that some of the curiosity about these products has to do with Geller's own enthusiasm for them. Watching her on QVC, you get the feeling she's the friendly next door neighbor who, upon trying your spaghetti sauce for the first time, comments, in her own inimitable but non-offensive way, that "it needs more oregano," and then proceeds to add it. Her goal is to make the process of becoming your own makeup artist seem easy and nearly effortless, and her products are designed to support this objective. "Be your own artist" and "make life simple" are catchphrases she uses throughout her product demonstrations, much to the delight of her models and the customers who call in to profess their love and adoration for Geller's products. There isn't a mascara or blush anywhere in the world that deserves this kind of praise, but we guess it helps sell lots of product.
Inspiration is great, especially if it empowers women to develop skills that lead to self-confidence and improves self-esteem. The downside is that Geller's products aren't "the best" way to become your own makeup artist—at least not if you're in the market for remarkable products—because there is nothing here that is not easily replaced by products from countless other brands.
Whether or not you'll like Geller's products over a competing brand's often comes down to personal preference and performance expectations. For example, if you want a water-based primer that differs from the many silicone-based formulas available, Geller's Spackle product is something to check out.
Most of what Geller showcases on QVC she refers to as "hero products," in the sense that they're time-saving, multi-tasking options for women on the go who want it all. The trouble is that the products she positions as "heroic" aren't nearly as multipurpose as she describes. She speaks of her Brighten powders (of which there are several) as being foundation, concealer, powder, highlighter, and insert-your-own-makeup-category-here all-in-one products, but they're absolutely not unless you want to walk out of the house looking unfinished, chalky, and shiny. There are makeup products available from other lines that can pull double- or even triple-duty, but we couldn't find one that does it all in Geller's assortment.
There are some worthwhile products in Geller's line, but even most of those suffer from being overpriced considering what you get. If there weren't similar products available elsewhere for less money, the splurge might be worth it, but in total, that's not the case.
We found it contradictory and downright ludicrous that Geller eschews parabens preservatives and has jumped on the "mineral oil is a no-no" bandwagon, even though dozens of her products contain parabens, and a few also contain mineral oil. If you're going to denigrate ingredients on television, the least you can do is make sure you're not using them in your own products!
For more information about Laura Geller, call (800) 625-3874 or visit www.laurageller.com.
Note: The Laura Geller products I reviewed are primarily the ones you will find at Sephora stores. These and other Laura Geller products are also sold on QVC, and several of the products have limited runs on the network. Most of the Geller products sold at Sephora are the mainstays of this line.