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Nobody really wants to talk about acne. But that doesn’t help solve any problems, so let’s just face it. Whether you have the occasional blemish or more of an ongoing problem, here are our top five tips to prevent and treat acne breakouts.

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The start of the new year is a perfect time for turnover—we’re talking about the skin-cell kind, of course! Resolve to find your skin’s natural luminosity with products that give you a healthy glow, starting with the tools that make treatments even more effective to deliver clear, soft skin from your head to your heels. Your radiance begins now!

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Ready, set, refresh! With the start of this new year, take some time to recharge and restore your skin with a few of our cult classic skincare faves.

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You probably won’t find many feasts where thanks are being given for beauty products, but we think they deserve a little love today too. We polled a portion of our beauty team to find out what they’re most beholden to among their cosmetics crop:


I’m thankful for my CLARISONIC® Skincare Brush because I’ve been using it for almost ten years, and am convinced that’s how many years it has taken off my face! It’s probably the reason I’ve been carded twice in the last six months. —Kate Fannin, Beauty Trend Editor



I’m thankful for my Clé de Peau Concealer, because it’s the perfect travel companion for easy touch-ups on the go. With just one product, it’s bon voyage to dark circles, spots and unwanted imperfections! —Debra Redmond, National Beauty Director



I’m thankful for my diptyque ‘Do Son’ Eau de Toilette, because this scent takes me back to my honeymoon in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. It’s such a beautiful white floral fragrance, so clean and fresh. —Natalie Kraft, Beauty Marketing Manager



I’m thankful for my Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Mascara, because I’m an incurable night-owl, and this eye-opening, luscious-lash-making miracle is my key to look less Walking Dead at work. —Stefanie Frank, Beauty Features Writer



I’m thankful for my SK-II Facial Treatment Masks, because I love instant gratification, and when I use one of these in the morning, my skin glows all day. —Autumne West, Assistant Skincare Buyer


Happy Thanksgiving!

Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, gives her recommendations for the best men’s grooming products that bridge the gender gap and are perfect for women.

“Hey, that’s mine!”
“Um…you have a beard now. You haven’t shaved with a razor in months.”
“Yeah, but still…it’s…guy stuff. And mine.”

So went a recent conversation between my husband and me about one of my new favorite products that I may have borrowed (okay, stolen) from him. It seems that my muscle-car-loving, motorcycle-riding, cowboy-boot-wearing husband also appreciates good “skin stuff.”

There have been so many masculine influences on women’s fashion and style recently—moto details, rich textures (hello, ‘For the Twill of It’ essie nail polish) and the return of the power suit (with shorts, no less). I thought it only appropriate to tell you about some men’s grooming products that you’ll want to spill over (no pun intended) onto your side of the bathroom counter.


Pre-Shave Oil by The Art of Shaving. It not only comes in a very cool glass bottle, but it has stellar viscosity like the perfect motor oil (I know a little bit about cars myself), which is perfect for shaving legs. Plus it’s available in lavender, zippy lemon or good ol’ unscented.

Jack Black Epic Moisture MP10 Nourishing Oil. Guys don’t like having six different products if they can get everything in one. This is such a product. It’s great for dry hands, face and lips—even staticky hair benefits from a touch of this. And, believe it or not, it’s really moisturizing without being greasy—it sinks in after less than 30 seconds. I keep it at my desk, and my keyboard isn’t slippery at all.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap. It’s big, blocky and exfoliating (aka “gritty” in man-speak), and absolutely the best exfoliator to use before applying a self-tanner. It also makes the perfect gift for dads, brothers-in-law and any guy who believes soap can only come in a solid form.

Bolin Webb R1-S Razor. Ditch your disposable, ladies, and step into something sleek, elegant and available in hot-rod red. This razor is your new best friend and has a design philosophy like that of the best sports car: “spirit, curve, balance, energy and movement.” Cue the checkered flag.

YSL L’Homme Intense. I’m typically a girly-girl when it comes to scents (I love a good fruity-floral), but something about wearing just a hint of this scent makes me feel a tad…cooler yet still chic. I feel like I could continue the motor oil conversation and move right into horsepower chitchat—all while wearing my favorite 5-inch YSL heels.

So, next time you “borrow” his favorite worn-in T-shirt, you may also want to consider poking around in his medicine cabinet too. You just might discover your new favorite “skin stuff”!

Change up your beauty routine with high-tech tools designed to invigorate and pamper your skin.


1. LANCER Microcurrent Power Boost Device (Nordstrom Exclusive)

A FIRST-OF-ITS KIND TOOL: Designed to optimize the skin’s electrical potential while gently massaging facial muscles and stimulating the deep layers of the skin, where collagen and new skin cells are produced.

How to Use: Glide over the contours of your face and neck. Each glide should be about 5 seconds long. Repeat 3 times in each area. For specific target areas, hold the device in a stationary position for 5 seconds. Treat the affected area for up to 10 minutes. Rinse after each use and dry with a cloth. Use daily or as needed.

2. me smooth Hair Removal Device

PRO RESULTS/AT-HOME CONVENIENCE: Me is the only at-home hair-removal device to use patented elos technology, which is clinically proven and FDA-cleared to be safe and effective for all skin types.

How to Use: To prepare the skin for a me treatment, first you need to remove the hair from the surface of your skin by shaving or waxing. This will ensure that the elos energy is focused on the hair follicles beneath the surface for optimal efficacy.

3. CLARISONIC ‘Opal’ Sonic Infusion System

THE 30-SECOND EYE LIFT: Opal helps infuse serum more effectively than manual application for younger-looking eyes. Just 30 seconds around each eye immediately firms, hydrates and refreshes skin.

How to Use: Following the rim of bone outlining the eye area, gently glide the applicator tip over the skin using small, overlapping circular motions. Do not use on the soft tissue under the eye or on the eyelids. The sonic infuser will automatically turn off after 30 seconds. Gently tap any remaining serum into the skin using your ring finger. Apply additional serum to the applicator tip and repeat on your other eye.

Discover the latest and greatest Tools & Devices.

We shared a few of our favorite Allure Best of Beauty Makeup Award winners for 2013. Now let’s look at keeping your skin—the canvas for it all—looking healthy and radiant with some skincare showstoppers.

Best Tinted Moisturizer | Best Big Breakthrough
Best Facial Moisturizer for Dry Skin | Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles
Best PeelBest BB Cream | Best Top Splurge

See how your favorite beauty products stacked up, and discover some new ones; check out all the winners at Nordstrom in our Allure Best of Beauty Award Winners boutique.

Five of our Beauty Stylists share their top tips for transitioning your makeup and beauty regimes from summer to fall.

Victoria Levy: Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, WA

Trade glossy coral lips for a rich, matte burgundy, and keep your light summer shadows intact. Bonus: Use a stippling brush to buff the same color on the apples of your cheeks for a monotone blush effect—like NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress and Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy in #510 Dolce.

Turn your favorite waterproof gel liner into the season’s simplest smokey eye. Use a bullet brush to smudge liner from the lash line up into the crease—with a windshield-wiping motion, diffuse the color out until you’ve created a soft, hazy effect over the entire lid. For added drama, build color under the eye and connect at the outer corner. I love the classic Bobbi Brown Gel Liner!

Iris Brostowicz: Nordstrom Michigan Avenue, IL

I recommend that customers exfoliate at least twice-weekly during seasonal transitions with Kate Somerville ExfoliKate — with 3 versions, there’s one for everyone! It helps to remove the excess cells that build up on the skin—specifically around the nose and brows, which makes foundation look thick or cakey when applied.

As we move toward winter, when the skin can look sallow, I suggest customers switch to a luminizing primer, like Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. The benefit is that the skin looks more radiant and bright under foundation, as if it is lit from within. The customer can also press it on the cheekbones for a pick-me-up look, whether midday or just before leaving the office. For a more purse-friendly option, use Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand to add brightness.

Jennifer Kochenour: Nordstrom The Plaza at King of Prussia, PA

Brighten your complexion with a highlighter. One of my favorites is NARS Blush in Nico. It has a satin texture with just a touch of glow. I love to apply this with the Laura Mercier Cheek Brush to the highest points of the cheeks, the center of the forehead and the edge of the top lip to enhance the cupid’s bow. For a very fair complexion, Nico may also be used as a brightener applied all over using a NARS Yachiyo #27 Kabuki Brush.

Repair your skin from summer sun with a concentrated Vitamin C treatment. My top pick is Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15. You’ll see firmer and brighter skin in just 7 days.

Sarah Zaret: Nordstrom Mission Viejo, CA

Transitioning your makeup wardrobe from summer to fall is pretty easy. Make sure to have a good bronzer on hand, but one that still matches your décolleté area. Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder is amazing, and helps to color-correct as well as maintain your faux glow.

Picking out a new lipstick that you can incorporate into your summer makeup is an easy way to transition your look into fall, and it will keep you looking on trend. I recommend trying the new Bordeaux lipNARS Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal is one of my favorites—it’s a pencil and lipstick all in one, that feels great and is easy to use!

Paploua Xiong: Nordstrom The Mall of Georgia, GA

Use your tinted moisturizer and mix it in with heavier fall foundation to create more coverage. I love taking CHANEL Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid and blending it with other foundations to create a more airbrushed look.

For lips, I like using my summer pinks, but adding a darker liner to create that deep bordeaux lip for fall and give more dimension.

Want even more tips and advice? Book a complimentary Beauty Stylist appointment today.

September 20, 2013

Beauty Connections: Tata Harper


Despite her bucolic life on a lush Vermont farm, skincare entrepreneur, beauty botanist, non-toxic purist, wife, and mom of three Tata Harper is not exactly the ‘mother earth’ type. “I’m healthy, but I’m not a hippie!” quipped the Colombian-born creator of her eponymous Tata Harper Skincare line during our recent chat. In fact, this no-nonsense advocate for chemical-free cosmetics is fiercely driven by a mission to help all women feel beautiful—in the most healthy, luxurious and effective way.

Refreshingly honest and open, Tata has a passionate perspective on beauty shaped by her South American childhood. “For Latina women, beauty is not a luxury, it’s a priority. And I’m not talking about vanity; it’s just that we celebrate the beauty of women and take care to look our best.” Tata spent Saturdays at her grandmother’s house, where, surrounded by aunts and cousins, she helped concoct skincare lotions and potions to play with and try out.

Tata Harper Skincare contains only all-natural ingredients cultivated on her farm in Vermont.

It was years later, when her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer and put on a strict non-toxic regimen, that Tata became aware of the amount of harmful chemicals that are not only ingested through eating unhealthy foods, but also absorbed through synthetic skincare products. She began searching for beauty products that were 100% chemical-free—and truly worked—and when she found none, decided to create some herself. She teamed up with a panel of chemists and travelled the globe to find the most effective, pure bioactive ingredients—natural skincare powerhouses like muscle-relaxing Spanish lavender extract, anti-oxidizing date palm extract from France and skin-renewing Madonna lily stem cells from Israel. Then, on her farm, she and her team cultivated, packaged and began selling her completely unique line of cleansers, serums, hydrators, moisturizers and aromatherapy treatments.

Tata loves connecting with women about beauty.

“My mission was to help women be their most beautiful in the healthiest way,” says Tata. “Starting out, the biggest challenge for me was convincing customers and retailers that an all-natural product could be just as effective as a chemical product. My line is just as technologically advanced, but it’s natural science, not synthetic science. Once people started trying the products and seeing how well they worked, the response was amazing and overwhelming. My customers are savvy, intelligent women who want to invest in taking care of themselves.”

Tata’s line has quickly become a cult classic coveted by celebrities and skincare enthusiasts around the world. (Her top-selling Rejuvenating Serum is frequently referred to as ‘life-changing,’ and her new Boosted Contouring Serum, with added ingredients to firm and tone skin, is already generating serious beauty buzz.) Tata’s healthy outlook is definitely catching on.

Tata Harper Skincare is now available at Nordstrom (online and at selected Spa Nordstrom locations).

—Stefanie Frank

Jacie Duprie, the blogger behind damsel in dior, dropped by Nordstrom Westside Pavilion in L.A. for a mini-haul at Nordstrom Beauty Spot. Here are her five must-have favorites for any damsel.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 | Dior ‘Diorshow – Iconic Overcurl’ Mascara
Kiehl’s Since 1851 Jumbo Creme de Corps with Pump | NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
CLARISONIC Cleansing Systems