Interviews

No stranger to the Nordstrom Blogs (we do love her style), Margaret Zhang is a writer, photographer, stylist and the creative powerhouse behind the blog Shine By Three. Oh, not to mention a law student at the University of Sydney and a brand ambassador for Clinique. We can barely keep up! Zhang found some time between all that (and traveling the world) to give us a peek into her universe. Read on for our full Q&A with this inspiring young entrepreneur.

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Beauty Blog: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Margaret Zhang: My mum has the most fantastic pearls of wisdom. Throughout my career in the fashion space, she has always reminded me that longevity comes from real skills, so you should never stop learning and trying to improve your work. It might take longer than faking it ’till you make it, but “at least you can sleep at night,” she says.

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What three things do you never leave home without?
I always have my phone, Lucas Papaw Ointment and Clinique Black Honey in my wallet. I don’t know what that says about me!

What’s you beauty regimen? How has it changed over time?
I cleanse, tone and moisturize every morning and evening, do some kind of sheet mask or clay mask once a week, avoid hot showers as they can be quite drying, drink 2-3L of water a day, and fit in 1-2 hours of exercise 5-6 days a week. Obviously, the products I use change as I travel because of different climates, mineral content of tap water and time permitted to work out, but that’s my baseline and I tweak from there.

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A three-part miniseries in which we ask the founders of beloved home fragrance brands to share their favorite aromas and their secrets to creating a home’s signature scent.

Since launching in 2008, award-winning NEST Fragrances has quickly developed a devoted following of its luxurious, well-curated fragrances thanks in no small part to the discerning taste (and nose) of founder Laura Slatkin.

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Of all in the world, what are your top three favorite smells?
My three favorite aromas are always with me when I am entertaining guests at home, which is something I am very passionate about and enjoy very much. The first is the scent of the perfume I am wearing and the cologne my husband, Harry, puts on as we dress for dinner. Then, I start to smell the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen while dinner is being prepared, and that always makes me smile. And last, but certainly not least, I will light either Grapefruit or Sicilian Tangerine 3-Wick Candles in the entryway of my home to set a festive mood for my guests as they arrive. Fresh citrus and tropical fruit home fragrances are always best to use when entertaining because they are universally appealing—everybody loves a refreshing, citrusy fragrance!

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Bobbi Brown is a woman who needs no introduction, so let’s jump right into our recent interview with this much-adored beauty mogul as she shares her expertise, tips and tricks, a delicious (and simple!) summer soup recipe and so much more.

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What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
Bobbi Brown: My mother taught me that confidence is true beauty.

As a person who loves healthy food, what things do you find yourself going back to this summer? Even better, do you have a favorite recipe you could share?
My three-step soup on my blog, Everything Bobbi, is perfect for summer as it’s easy and works well with whatever veggies you have on hand.

Another summer favorite is my Coconut Kale Shake. I make it using coconut milk, cocoa powder, chia seeds, chocolate protein powder, frozen organic banana, frozen organic cherries and, of course, kale. It’s great for breakfast or as a midday snack.

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A three-part miniseries in which we ask the founders of beloved home fragrance brands to share their favorite aromas and their secrets to creating a home’s signature scent.

Voluspa duo Troy and Traci Arntsen created their first candle in their kitchen—a decade and a half later, countless people now enjoy Voluspa’s coveted fragrances in their own kitchens and homes.

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Nordstrom Beauty Blog: Of all in the world, what are your top three favorite smells?
Traci Arntsen: Snapped Tahitian vanilla bean, ocean salt and wet pavement. And burning firewood, if I get four. :)

What’s the most unexpected combination of scents you’ve loved?
Arntsen: Champagne and oak wood. It smells like a vineyard to me … more than just a glass of bubbly.

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A three-part miniseries in which we ask the founders of beloved home fragrance brands to share their favorite aromas and their secrets to creating a home’s signature scent. First up, the business partners, best friends and fragrance fanatics behind Antica Farmacista: cofounders Shelley Callaghan and Susanne Pruitt.

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Nordstrom Beauty Blog: Of all in the world, what are your top three favorite smells?
Susanne Pruitt: One of my all-time favorite scents is freshly cut grass. I grew up playing golf with my dad, and the smell of the crisp, green grass in the morning is reminiscent of those days. I also love the spicy notes of coriander (found in our coriander, lotus & cucumber scent) and the soothing notes of sandalwood.

Shelley Callaghan: The smell of the cigars my father smoked when I was a child is definitely one of my most cherished scents. Even today, I can smell a burning cigar as I’m walking down the street and be instantly transported to those great memories of my dad. Another favorite is fresh Daphne odora, in bloom throughout Seattle in early spring. Intoxicating! (By the way, we are working to re-create this fragrance.) The scent of sautéed chopped garlic would be another; it’s a staple in my kitchen, and a meal just doesn’t seem complete to me without it!

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Laura Mercier–one of the biggest names in the beauty world–guides us on a trip to Paris, gives us a peek into her handbag and answers the one question she gets asked the most about makeup.

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What makes the perfect lipstick?
For me, it’s all about the formula. It must feel comfortable to the point where you forget that you are wearing lipstick, must wear all day and must not bleed. Choose a color that is in tune with your mood and personality, truly making it a signature accent to your look.

What three beauty products do you never leave home without?
Secret Camouflage, Primer Radiance and Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Love yourself before you can love anybody else.

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Moms know best, so we asked some of the coolest ones we know to give us the skinny on personal style, what motherhood means to them and, of course, what’s on their wish list as May 10 approaches. See all the featured moms in our series on The Thread.

 

Aerin-Lauder-Mothers-Day-1 As the founder and creative director of AERIN and the style and image director at Estée Lauder, Aerin Lauder wears a lot of hats. Oh, let’s throw wife and mother of two into the mix. We’re not quite sure how she manages all of that with such stylish aplomb, but she did take a few minutes away from it all to give The Thread a glimpse into her life as a mom who’s long on to-dos and short on time (read: every mom out there)—and what makes it all worthwhile.

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Katies Hughes possesses one of the coolest-sounding job titles: Global Colour Ambassador for butter LONDON. She took a little time away from her diplomatic mission to save the world one gorgeous manicure at a time and answered a few questions for our 5Ws series.

SHOP: butter LONDON

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Following the lead of our sister fashion blog, we’re starting a 5 Ws video series here on the beauty blog. Quick and candid, our first micro-interview features one of our favorite celeb makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury. She tells us who she idolizes and how anyone can look like Kate Moss—all in just two minutes, no less!

SHOP: Charlotte Tilbury

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On your mark, get set… party! The winter holidays are here, which means Secret Santas, cocktail soirees, family gatherings, and if you’re lucky, an event requiring an evening gown. Tis the season for merrymaking, and when it comes to makeup, you might need to pull off a party look in a pinch. We asked Australian beauty authority Napoleon Perdis about the latest and greatest of this season’s makeup trends, as well as better-than-best tips for selfies, glitter, and that time-honored holiday classic—the bold red lip.

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