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Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, recaps her trip to New York Fashion Week and shares the top beauty trends coming down the runway (and product picks to start trying now!).

Michael Kors, Kate Spade

1950s all-American. 1960s jet-setter. 1970’s Pop Art. These were just a few of the inspirations we heard backstage as we headed to Fashion Week for our biannual beauty adventure. Read on for a summary of the new beauty looks, trends and techniques we saw (plus a retrospective of my various hairstyles over the past week—because when you’re dressed in all-black, your most unique accessory quickly becomes your hair. And shoes).

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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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The beauty look at Derek Lam’s Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show perfectly captured a new take on nude. What started out as a conceptual “no makeup look” evolved into a sophisticated, natural color palette of lavender, mauve and violet.


Tom Pecheux for M·A·C was inspired by the colors and quality of Lam’s materials used in his fashion; he brilliantly centered the makeup look around a violet eye, making it the perfect complement to his cool, textured, earthy tones. Using a lipstick called Violetta, he placed it on the eyelid with his finger and blended it up into the crease.


Eyeshadow in ‘Force of Nature’ (a slightly metallic, taupe-y mauve), was used on top of the lower eyelid only, playing off the creaminess of the lipstick and creating the perfect blend of a warm/cool neutral. Brown eyeliner and a coat of black mascara, followed by a coat of violet mascara just on the tips of the lashes, finished it off. Satin skin, a peachy pink cream blush and a nude peach lip completed this stunning new take on neutral.


Nails were polished and fresh, courtesy of JINsoon’s nude nail combination of Nostalgia, a semi-opaque rose-beige, and Muse, a sheer pink (the perfect combo to complement any and all skin tones!). A high-shine top coat left an overall effect that was finished yet understated.


Meanwhile, Orlando Pita for Phyto and T3 wanted the models’ hair to be textured and earthy. He created an off-center part after drying their hair and adding shine and moisture, then hair-sprayed around the ears and up. A do-rag was fitted just over the models’ heads, so the hair stayed flat throughout the prep and the strands kept their texture. A large-barrel curling iron was used to add imperfections and bumps at the end of the hair, which made the completed style “look good, but not overdone.”


Makeup maven Alex Box captures the art of illumination at Issey Miyake spring/summer 2014, where she led the M·A·C PRO team.

“The makeup for this collection is very fresh and poetic,” says Box, backstage, on the look she crafted alongside Yoshiyuki Miyamae, Issey Miyake’s womenswear designer. “It’s about an absence of makeup and what I’ve left out. I’m playing with lights and shadow, which means creating a very fresh, blue-based look. I’m pressing in points of highlights on the skin, rather than doing just a blanket all over.”

Box achieved an opalescent, watercolor effect.

Get the look using M·A·C Face & Body Foundation.

Head over to The Thread for the complete designer dish on the show.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland


What are the CEW Beauty Insiders’ Choice Awards? They’re basically the Oscars of beauty, voted on by 5,500 industry pros (hence the ‘Cosmetic Executive Women’ moniker) and given to their picks for best products of the year. Here are some highlights from the 19th annual awards ceremony, held recently in New York.

Best Anti-Aging Skincare: philosophy full of promise dual-ended serum

Best Bath and Body: Bliss fatgirlsixpack Tummy-Toning Gel

Best Acne Treatment: GlamGlow SUPER-MUD Clearing Treatment

Best Cleanser: Fresh Rose Cleansing Foam

Best Eye Treatment: Lancôme Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate

Best Moisturizer: Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

Best Sun Care: Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50+++ (a Nordstrom exclusive!)

Best Lip Makeup: Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick

Congratulations to all the winners!

—Stefanie Frank

With the ever-expanding maze of options in the foundation field (BBs and CCs and minerals, oh my!), it’s no wonder many of us feel fuzzy about choosing the right coverage. That’s why this month our Nordstrom beauty team is focused on covering all the bases, with a quick-ref foundation guide to what works for each face. It’s a cover story worth checking out.

Along with coverage, finding the perfect shade can leave us in the dark as well. We talked to Beauty Stylist Shanilton Jackson (at Nordstrom Galleria at Tyler in Riverside, CA), who gave us three bright ideas:

1. Look at the skin on the underside of your wrist to determine your undertone (cool vs. warm).

2. Choose a foundation color with the same undertone.

3. Make sure your shade also works with your chest area so you have a seamless match.

Want more expert tips and advice? Drop by the Beauty counter at your favorite Nordstrom store—or check out our Beauty Stylist page for info on what we have to offer or to Live Chat.

With last weekend’s Beauty Trend Show (at Nordstrom Bellevue Square, near Seattle) so close to home base, we jumped at the chance to join 700 women who—like us—would happily line up at 8am on a Saturday. For beauty. But before you judge, take a look at why this awesome event was worth waking up for…

Runway fun. With a live DJ and Nordstrom’s national beauty director Debra Redmond (below, far right) as emcee, we were treated to a runway-style show with trend talks, models and giveaways from Guerlain, Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Clarins, Dior, Clarisonic and bareMinerals®.

Special guest Kate Somerville—yes, THE Kate Somerville, skincare guru and facialist to the stars—was there to introduce her amazing new RetAsphere™ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream. She was down-to-earth and warm, and quickly made us feel like old… er, longtime friends. (Stay tuned for our full interview with Kate, pictured below, coming soon!)

Debra gave her behind-the-scenes report from New York’s Spring 2013 Fashion Week, getting up close and personal with the audience.

Reality fab. After the show, we moved to the main cosmetics floor to see how the trends would translate among all the different brands. Spring Trend #1, a “flawless, luminous, barely-there makeup look,” may sound doable if your first name is Gwyneth, but for some of us, that’s the “Well, I’m out,” cue to move along. Not today…

Everywhere we looked, beauty fans were literally glowing with gorgeous, natural-looking bases. Longtime Dior skincare devotee Susan (above, left) had never tried the brand’s makeup line, but she was beaming after stylist Cathy used ‘Diorskin Airflash’ Spray Foundation to help her look cover-ready.

A bold brow was Spring Trend #2. April, a stylist for Anastasia Beverly Hills (a.k.a. “The Brow Expert”) was layering Tinted Brow Gel over a dark brown pencil to soften the color, a look inspired by Versace’s “Gold Leaf Brow” seen on the runway in Milan. At the Estée Lauder counter (below), we saw a slightly more toned-down yet still prominent brow, combined with that dewy skin of the day.

Spring Trend #3, “Color Crush,” was all about peachy corals, sweet pinks and pops of psychedelic hues. At NARS, stylist Melissa (below, right) used ‘New Lover’ Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil to top off her customer’s look, which she described as “fresh and clean for spring, and easy and quick for her in the morning.”

As usual, things were a bit wilder at M·A·C, where stylist Deena (below, left) told us, “I like to use one bold pop of color and keep the rest of the features more neutral. I’m also playing with textures—on her eyes, I’ve done a slash of aqua on the lower lid with a wash of matte purple on top. Her lips are neutral but glossy to give her face some balance.” We loved the slightly-out-there-but-not-over-the-top look.

Last stop: Chanel, where Sherry (below, left), a stylist with the brand for 26 years (!) was showing Chanel first-timer Christina how to look fresh and current for her wedding in July. “In the Northwest,” Sherry told us, “women aren’t as used to wearing these bright pinks and corals, so I help customers translate the trends and give them the confidence to wear them.”

“As an artist,” Sherry added, “I like to share with my clients the tricks of the trade. We can all look at a magazine and see end results, but I want to take the mystery out of it.”

That sound bite perfectly sums up the mood and the mission of the morning: a few blissful hours spent playing with makeup, being treated (and styled) like a star and walking away with on-trend looks that work with real life. Oh, and presents—who wouldn’t line up for that? (We may camp out for the next show.)

Interested in learning more about spring beauty trends, picking up expert styling tips and joining the fun? Events are happening at Nordstrom stores around the country! Find one near you, and make your Beauty Trend Show reservation today.

—Stefanie Frank