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We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.

kate fannin

Kate Fannin‘s job is a girly-girl’s dream. As our Beauty Trend Editor, Kate gets paid to play with new makeup, lotions and perfumes, and hit trend shows, line launches and celebrity appearances at stores across the country. Oh, and twice a year she flies to New York Fashion Week, where she hangs out backstage with famous friends like makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury and nail guru Deborah Lippmann. But when Christmas rolls around, the down-to-earth Texan puts all her focus on gifts for her family, including 14 nieces and nephews and 3 tiny dogs.

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Senior M•A•C Cosmetics Artist Melissa Gibson shares her 5 essential steps to a party-perfect lip—a timely refresher on putting your best face forward.

Love a glamorous lip? It’s easy to get a full-on gorgeous red—just in time for the holidays.

Step 1: Always start with clean, hydrated lips. I like to begin with Prep + Prime Lip. This primer will keep a matte lipstick from turning glossy, and leaves the skin feeling cushioned, not greasy.

Step 2: Once you have decided on the right red for you—I’m loving 5-Alarm from MAC’s Red, Red, Red collectionchoose a lip liner that is either the same color as the lipstick or a half-shade deeper. 5-Alarm pairs perfectly with Lip Pencil in Brick or Cherry.

Step 3: Outline the entire lip, fading the line down towards the center.

Step 4: Apply the lipstick in the opposite direction of the liner—from the center, outward. This makes for a seamless finish and for less of a chance of the color wearing off, fading or bleeding.

Step 5: If a sexy, glossy finish is your thing, layer Night Is Young Cremesheen Glass over your lipstick. For a stronger, more opaque look, pat Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder on top.

Glossy or matte, a red lip is a classic option for adding a touch of glamour this holiday season!

Follow Melissa Gibson on Twitter for more tips and inspiration.

SHOP: MAC Cosmetics Red, Red, Red collection

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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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November 13, 2014

Follow Up: @ItsStellaRose

New series! In which we hook you up with the feeds you need.

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Stella Rose Saint Clair has the Manhattanite girl-of-all-trades thing down pat. A few short months after moving to New York from Seattle, Saint Clair was street cast to star in a Lanvin campaign, she and her fashion design partner just showcased an ensemble at the first-ever Hello Kitty Con in L.A., and she blogs about lipstick by day and hosts goth parties in the Bowery alongside Amanda Lepore by night.

Saint Clair’s Instagram is kind of like if Jayne Mansfield asked Wednesday Addams and Siouxsie Sioux to room with her at the Pink Palace. Her eclectic and varied makeup looks are a constant source of awe and inspiration, especially if you’re drawing a blank on how to doll up for a night out on the town. Her life—and her Instagram—is a visual spectacle, filled to the brim with the glory of all things girly. Here’s a quick peek into the digital life of this gifted beauty guru.

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Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, gives us the scoop on the latest from Trish McEvoy.

I’ve been fortunate to meet the legendary Trish McEvoy several times, and I’m always impressed by her grace, humor and true passion for beauty (not to mention her very cool NYC loft offices, which are always wonderfully scented with one of her signature fragrances). She also has some amazing products, so I was very excited to try one of her latest—the two-in-one Beauty Booster Lip and Cheek Color.

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As you’ve guessed, you can use it on lips and cheeks, and let me assure you that it really works well on both. The chunky, twist-up pencil has a super-silky texture that adds just the right amount of color (and a hint of shine) on the lips but also blends seamlessly on cheeks (perfect for those of us who can quickly get heavy-handed). These Beauty Boosters are great for travel or to throw in a clutch for holiday parties!


Me with Trish McEvoy | Trish’s puppies

I love this picture of the beautiful Ms. McEvoy and me together, but she is so much more than just a pretty face. Here are eight reasons why Trish is one of the best in the beauty biz:

1. She invented the Makeup Planner, and they’re the must-have for beauty girls on the go.

2. Trish McEvoy brushes are extremely high-quality and luxurious—you feel prettier just using them!

3. She sometimes brings her adorable pups, Oliver and Lucy, to the office—just as irresistible as her Wild Blueberry Candle (which is the best housewarming gift, truly).

4. All her skincare is designed by a dermatologist; try the Beauty Booster Cream SPF 30 (I’ve been through at least three tubes).

5. The Brightening Eyeshadow Primer seriously delivers on brightening while also creating the perfect base for shadow.

6. We adore her signature off-the-shoulder sweaters; no matter the season, Trish epitomizes breezy chic!

7. The Instant Eye Lift is called that for a reason—if you missed some extra ZZZ’s, this is all you need.

8. Ms. McEvoy was born in Ireland, which likely explains her jovial spirit and endless charm, and why her eyes are always smiling (well, Irish genes and her award-winning mascara)!

And that’s my take,
Kate

SHOP: Trish McEvoy

“I love making women feel beautiful and empowered,” says Beauty Stylist Nadia Tyby at Nordstrom Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA. “And everything about make-up is about a feeling.” If, as the holiday season approaches, the feeling you’re going for is sparkly and bright, Tyby can help with that, too. The four-year Nordstrom beauty pro says she’s already got her favorite Adrianna Papell shimmering party dress primed for party duty, and she was more than happy to turn us on to the three top tools in her glitter bag.

 

For your face: “I am obsessed with beautiful luminating skin. Shimmer Brick by Bobbi Brown is a perfect balance of shimmer and radiance leaving the skin looking healthy and youthful.”

For your eyes: “Adorn your eyes by pressing perfectly sparkly Mac Pressed Pigments onto the lids. Totally dresses up any outfit. Feeling a little sassy? Before applying your shadow, Spray Fix Plus on to your shadow brush and then pack that pigment on!”

For your lips:Dior Golden Shock – Addict is pretty amazing. It’s lightweight and plumping, creating fuller luscious lips that say ‘kiss me.’”

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick | MAC Pressed Pigments | Dior Golden Shock – Addict

SHOP: Sparkling Accents
Connect with a Beauty Stylist

Still agonizing over your Halloween costume? We’ve got your back. Here are three gorgeous makeup looks you can pull together in a snap.

Porcelain Clown Doll
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What You’ll Need

1.) Giorgio Armani ‘Face Fabric’ Foundation in #001 for that porcelain complexion.
2.) NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna for the apples of your cheeks.
3.) Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink for that sad clown face paint.
4.) M·A·C 30 Lash to up the drama on those peepers.
5.) M·A·C ‘Cremesheen + Pearl’ Lipstick in Coral Bliss for a subtle kiss of color.
6.) The Topshop Leather Choker with Imitation Pearls and a bowler top hat (try your local Halloween-supply store) to complete the look.

Pretty Kitty

What You’ll Need

1.) Lancôme ‘Artliner’ Precision Point Eyeliner in Noir to define eyes and draw on nose.
2.) Laura Mercier ‘Smoky Suede’ Eyeshadow Palette for a smoky cat eye and to fill in and set the eyeliner on your nose.
3.) M·A·C Eye Kohl in Fascinating for your waterline.
4.) Dior ‘Addict’ Fluid Stick in 575 Wonderland for a splash on pink on your lips.
5.) The Topshop Lace Cat Headband for fashion cat allure.

Pop-Art Bombshell

What You’ll Need

1.) Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Harlow Red for those Lichtenstein-like dots (do this first) and lips (do this second-to-last).
2.) M·A·C Eyeshadow in Gesso all over your eyelids from brow bone to lash line. Press shadow onto lids for bolder color.
3.) M·A·C 3 Lash for larger-than-life lashes.
4.) Two coats of Dior ‘Diorshow – Black Out’ Mascara for eyes that POP!
5.) Lancôme ‘Le Lipstique’ LipColoring Stick in Clair for the highlight accent on lips (dab with the M·A·C Eyeshadow for a brighter white).
6.) Clinique ‘Quickliner for Eyes’ Eyeliner Pencil in Really Black for your cartoon contours.

Happy Halloween!

Product photos by Brooklyn Benjestorf, Porcelain Clown Doll image from Pinterest, Pretty Kitty image from Pinterest, and Pop-Art Bombshell image from Pinterest.

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.”

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Keri Blair, M·A·C Senior Artist, shares easy-to-follow tips for holiday season glamour using products from the newly launched Heirloom Collection.

Polish up your holiday look this season: Drizzle it in gold, surround it in silver and shine, shine, shine! Romance flashes in mauve tones; burnished greens and blues give a proper backdrop to all of your holiday wishes.

For a quick way to glaze the eyes with the perfect amount of shine and shimmer, opt for M∙A∙C Heirloom Mix Pressed Pigments and Glitter. Apply to the eyelid with the tip of your finger, and press in a blended-out eye kohl (try Feline Kohl Power Pencil for more intensity).

For a full holiday look to put your best face forward, all you need is the M∙A∙C Cosmetics Keepsakes Gold Lip and Eye Bag, available exclusively at Nordstrom. Inside the metal-flaked glitter pouch, you’ll find a gorgeous eye shadow quad of glistening golden and brown patinas paired with lipstick and Lipglass to create a perfectly peachy, nude lip. It’s the one-stop shop for your holiday affairs.

For a gilded eye and soft lip look, start by lining the water line of your eyes with Eye Kohl in ‘Tarnish’. Deepen the outer corner of your eyes using Heirloom Mix Fluidline Eyeliner in ‘Gentrified’ and a 239 Eye Shading Brush to blend.

Before the Fluidline dries, flip your brush (to the clean side) and press the rich chocolate brown shade from the Heirloom Mineralize Eye Shadow Quad onto the Fluidline. Then press the golden nude shade from the quad onto the inner corner of the eye and blend into the brown.

Apply eyeshadow in ‘Saddle’ with a 224 Tapered Blending Brush into the crease and blend. Using a 228 Mini Shader Brush, swipe the ‘Gentrified’ eyeliner under the lash line, concentrating your color directly under the iris of your eye, and blend.

Using the 219 Pencil Brush, apply the golden-olive shade from the same Eye Shadow Quad, concentrating in the center of the bottom lash line, then using eyeshadow in ‘Goldmine’, highlight the inner and outer corner of the bottom lash line.

Finish off the look with a strip of 43 Lash and two coats of In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash.

Sculpt your cheekbones using Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in ‘Dark’ using a 168 Large Angled Contour Brush. To give cheeks a pop of color, load your 109 Small Contour Brush with M∙A∙C Heirloom Mix Mineralize Blush in ‘Modest Blush’ for a hint of cool to complement the warm tones on the eye.

Pair with Mineralize Rich Lipstick in ‘Posh Tone’ and Mineralize Lipglass in ‘Modest’ on your pout for an effortless effect!

No look is complete without dazzling digits. Apply two coats of M∙A∙C Studio Nail Transformers in ‘Gold Pearl’ to nails and let dry. Follow with M∙A∙C Heirloom Mix Nail Lacquer in ‘Just Jewels’ onto a makeup sponge and dab on the tip of your nails to create a glitter gradient. Picture perfect!

Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, loves Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics so much. Let her count the ways.

With Halloween right around the corner fun beauty products are a must, which is why I’m so excited that Nordstrom is now selling OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics). Their Lip Tars are perfect for creating any color imaginable. Here are seven reasons to become obsessed…

1. Lip Tar: crazy name, awesome product. Use alone or MIX them to create your own ‘bespoke’ color—check out the Electric Orchid color I created. Tap into your creative side and let us know what you invent!

2. Color names include Captain Howdy, Pool Boy, Electric Sheep, and Leeloo (any reference to The Fifth Element instantly ups the cool factor).

3. The Lip Tar Primer is one of the best I’ve ever used. It melts into lips and has serious staying power to “grip” the Tars.

4. We spotted Lip Tars in use backstage during NYFW SS15. If they’re good enough for the pros, they’re good enough for me!

5. The Colour Pencils can be used as lip liner or eyeliner; I’m all about using the hot-pink color, Anime, as a night-out eyeliner.

6. There’s even a clear, anti-feathering pencil that keeps the Tars from wandering.

7. Who doesn’t love a brand name that validates beauty junkies everywhere? Obsessed? Check. Compulsive? Unashamedly so. Cosmetics? Obvi.

And that’s my take,
Kate

SHOP: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics