Victoria Beckham x Estée Lauder – Modern Mercury

Highlighter in 01 Modern Mercury (7.5g) – Made in Italy

Count me in as yet another one of those who succumbed to this beauty in the VB x EL collection. The highlighter is the only thing that really got my interest. I was around when EL first released Modern Mercury but dissed it cos it looked too shimmery/bright/OTT/ in the pan. I wasn’t into highlighters then, and knew it wasn’t going to be used. Well 5 years later I paid a premium for this re-release and its special luxe packaging:


It’s not leather but it sure looks like leather. Many have pointed out the similarities between the this and Tom Ford’s packaging. I don’t know who to credit for the design but he/she/they did  a great job because it’s sophisticated and is truly a timeless design. This compact is hefty, the whole thing weighs around 140g. I thought the Guerlain Terracotta compact (4 seasons) was heavy but that one’s only 100g. This compact definitely deserves to be shown off though. It’d be a shame to leave it in your makeup drawer, it practically begs to be taken out with you on that special dinner you’re going to.

I was surprised to see that the box that housed this has a polka dot interior:




top swatch done very lightly, the bottom regular

I didn’t do a heavy swatch (ie. rub with pressure back and forth and then swatch) to show off how pigmented this is. Most of the swatches I’ve seen show that, and you get an opaque almost foil like finish. Those two lines were done lightly, the top one (barely noticeable) is even more delicate than the bottom, to show that you can get a very subtle highlight. The bottom is a regular swatch. In general I tend to be light-handed compared to others when it comes to swatching it seems. I swatch the same way I would when using it (with a fan brush when highlighting) so nothing dramatic.

Anyway it’s a rose gold/champagne in its roots. It really is a multi-purpose product – the gelee formula allows you to use this wet or dry. So yes, you can use this as an eye shadow and in that case you can apply it much more heavily than you would when you use it as a highlighter. This will theoretically work as a blush as well for those with light/light-medium complexion and who like this kind of finish.

There is a lot of excitement over this collection with the highlighter being the star product everybody wants. None of this is cheap and you are paying a lot of extra for the packaging. If you go on Instagram and search for #modern mercury someone did one on dupes she found and IIRC the two closest ones were from MAC and Tom Ford. I don’t know if those are LE though. I guess what I’m trying to say is there are alternatives if it’s just this kind of rose gold shade and finish that you’re after.

Lastly to give you an idea in terms of the quantity you get, a MAC blush is 6g. This contains slightly more than theBalm’s Sexy Mama powder (7g), their Frat Boy blush is 8g.


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