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Behind the Scenes

We’re not all born with a sixth sense for shadows, creams and application methods, and even the best at-home wand-wielders find themselves at a cosmetics impasse every now and again. And sometimes, well, sometimes we just want a second opinion or a fresh set of eyes. Enter our Beauty Stylists. These skincare and makeup professionals are well-versed and experienced with all the lines we carry, and they have a client-focused, nuanced approach to helping you look and feel your best.

Case in point: Patricia Wolfkill, a 55-year-old former model and longtime fashion industry multitalent. Wolfkill visited Beauty Stylist Kristen Lawson at Nordstrom Bellevue Square and we were there to document what went down.

The goal: “I think as women age, the days of no makeup and/or too much makeup end,” Wolfkill told us. “I think the biggest concern for women of a certain age is to use a light hand, but in such a way as to create some of the facial contours that diminish with age. In addition to the issue of sagging or drooping skin, the texture of the skin changes. It’s key to use makeup products that help restore—or appear to restore—that healthy, hydrated, smooth skin of our youth. That’s the goal. At least that’s my goal.”

The stylist: Kristen Lawson, whose gorgeous bottle-blond locks and of-the-moment, partially shaved ‘do are a sort of calling card for her modern, fashion-forward approach to beauty and makeup.

The strategy: Lawson wanted to give Wolfkill a sophisticated, dewy look for evening. By creating this special-occasion glow Lawson could introduce our consultant and fashion-marketing instructor to a suite of products, and Wolfkill could edit or dial back the options and ideas for regular, everyday wear from there.

First steps: Lawson says she often asks her clients to bring in their personal makeup bag; this allows her to take a look at the customer’s existing collection and suggest not only updates and additions, but new ways of utilizing those current products as well. The focus here was on introducing Wolfkill to some new tricks and tools, however, so after Lawson and Wolfkill spent a little time gabbing about moisturizing, cleansing and general beauty routines, our pro went off in search of a few of her favorite things.

The essential prep: Clarisonic’s Opal just couldn’t come with a bigger and heartier endorsement. Lawson likes to see it used with Osmotics Eye Surgery. She gave Wolfkill a good workup with the tool, pointing out that this time of year—cold season, that is—the eye massager also works as a lymphatic drainage booster. “Oh yeah, this feels good,” said Wolfkill as the Opal hummed along.

The essential moisturizer: Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer

The essential primer: Laura Mercier Radiance; “Glow without the sparkle, which just isn’t right for a woman like Patricia.”

The essential tool: A mirror. “I always give my clients a hand mirror so they can follow along,” Lawson said. “It’s pointless if they can’t go home and replicate the process.”



Creating the look: Again, it was all about the glow—and to this end Lawson had a great point: The dewy, glowing look always trends in summer because it’s relatively easy to achieve. An afternoon of gardening or farmers’ market shopping in the sunshine and you’ve got it. But in the cold months, we really want and need to mentally and physically combat the doldrums. It just takes a little more effort.

Foundational: YSL’s Youth Liberator and Touche Éclat with a NARS eyeshadow base—”The best in the world.”   

Pivotal: Chanel Soleil Tan. “Just a little,” Lawson warned. “You can’t be doing Kim K. everyday.” But for just-right contour, both Lawson and Wolkfill—already a card-carrying fan of the product—agree. This is it.

Colorful: From there Lawson’s routine included 12 more products and applications, including La Prairie Cream Blush, NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner in a nude shade—get this, pro tip!—on the inner rim of the lower lid, Dolce & Gabbana Passioneyes Mascara and Estée Lauder’s Nude Lip Pencill—”The very best nude.” There were lots of pencils, pots and sticks on the desk when she was finished, but it’s all about exposure. Lawson wants her clients to see the wide and colorful range. And a price range, too. There’s certainly no expectation that all of the appointment’s elements will go home with each client, and she says she actually loves the process of talking them all through and deciding what’s right for now and what can be revisited later. What does always go home with the client is a face chart—a handmade map of what was used and where, annotated and fully cross-referenced.

The result? That, friends, you can see for yourselves.


To make a free, no-pressure appointment with a Beauty Stylist near you, or to consult with one by phone or Live Chat, visit our Beauty Stylist page.

Images by Brooklyn Benjestorf


Circus performers, psychics, pop darling Lily Allen, So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley and Kim Kardashian looking positively radiant in the ‘Golden Goddess’ palette? Yes, it’s true: the Charlotte Tilbury VIP Launch Party on October 9 was a decadently gorgeous affair.

Held outside our store at The Grove in LA, Charlotte Tilbury’s Makeup Your Destiny Launch Party and two-day Beauty Festival was a carnival-themed extravaganza, including a Mesmerizing Eye Bar, a K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lip Bar and one-on-one ‘Tilbury Transformations’ with members of the British beauty maven’s varsity squad. 

The powerhouse turnout was no surprise, of course. You might recall that Tilbury crafted Amal Alamuddin’s makeup look—using the ‘Sophisticate’ eye palette and Chic to Cheek Blush in ‘Love Glow’—when Alamuddin married George Clooney. Her client list is star-studded. But devotees of the renowned expert’s holistic approach also appreciated the presence of notable naturopath Dr. Nigma, who demonstrated the incredible age-erasing capabilities of Charlotte Tilbury’s cult-status skincare line.

Our photo album is like a retroactive full-access pass. Enjoy!

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M·A·C shares the trade secrets and products behind the looks they designed for the runways at Fashion Week.


At Rolando Santana, Director of Makeup Artistry Romero Jennings was inspired by the idea of a glowing, daytime smoky eye. Using eyeshadow creams, he created a satiny lavender shade that swept over the upper eyelid and wrapped around the outside corner of the eye to the lower eyelid. Vanilla Pigment was the star product for the skin. He accented cheekbones by buffing the product to reveal its pearl finish.

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Art, nature and the human body were inspirations at Osklen today, where hairstyles took central focus backstage.

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We can’t think of any designer who is more known for sheer romanticism than Vera Wang. Her spring/summer ’15 collection was the exact representation of that—from fashion to makeup and nails.

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The Zero + Maria Cornejo SS15 collection was a combination of nostalgia and femininity, inspired by a recent trip to London and Venice which was reminiscent of her time spent there in her youth—Cornejo used lace and light weight fabrics to create a casually understated effect. Dick Page for Shiseido and James Pecis for PHYTO and T3 were tasked with creating a fresh, summery, innocent look.

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Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, ran into the ineffable Charlotte Tilbury hard at work behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week.


Charlotte was creating a “no makeup, makeup” look for the Edun show.

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Join us backstage at the Monique Lhuillier spring 2015 bridal collection show for an insider’s view of the gorgeous nail and makeup looks.

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February 27, 2014

Spring Beauty Trend Event 2014

It’s time again for our Beauty Trend Event! Get the front-row treatment at our in-store events with a look at runway-inspired trends, complimentary beauty consultations with pro stylists, exclusive gifts and samples. Visit a store near you to reserve your spot and get complete event details.

Can’t make it to our Beauty Trend Event? Shop our favorite spring looks, and Live Chat with us or call 1.800.7beauty to book a free consultation with a Beauty Stylist.


You get to meet a lot of talented artists at Fashion Week, and today was no exception. We had an incredible experience watching one of the world’s top makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury as she created the looks for M•A•C at Cushnie et Ochs.

With work appearing in Vogue, Vanity Fair, V—the list goes on—and a client list full of celebs that reads like a who’s who of the fashion industry, Charlotte is a well-established and widely recognized name in the world of beauty and glamour. Here’s what she created at the show.

Elongated, winged eyeliner was the call to action for creating simple but elaborate standout eyes at Cushnie et Ochs. Charlotte described it as the ‘feline flick’, and walks us through how to get the look.

“I used M•A•C Kohl Pencil in Feline to draw an elongated feline shape and added exaggerated intensity with M•A•C Gel Liner in Blacktrack over the top. The lashes were then curled, and mascara was applied along the top lash line. Last, I added the Feline pencil to the top waterline of the lashes to really build that hypnotizing, feline shape.”

Charlotte’s tip: Draw a dot on the outer corner of the eye where you want the flick to end. From the dot, draw a line downward to the lash line, which creates the perfect triangle every time.