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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

M·A·C Senior Artist Keri Blair shares highlights from New York Fashion Week.

“The words New York and Diane von Furstenberg (DvF) are both synonymous with chic. Having the opportunity to be a part of the makeup team for the DvF show is always an exciting part of my Fashion Week.

For fall/winter 2013, Diane mixed two of my favorite things: glamour and rock ’n’ roll. The makeup, designed by key makeup artist James Kaliardos, was young and fresh with a bright, bold pop of pink on the lips.

To achieve this look, start with a veil of foundation—such as M·A·C Face and Body Foundation—to create a luminous and fresh complexion. Then place a soft, creamy highlight around the cheekbone using M·A·C Cream Colour Base in Pearl or Luna (tap it in with your ring finger). Curl your lashes and apply M·A·C Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash from the root to tip of the lash. Now for a pucker with punch: prep your lips with M·A·C Lip Conditioner and blot off excess. Use a lip pencil—such as Embrace Me or More to Love—to mimic the Process Magenta Chromagraphic Pencil we used at the show by carefully outlining your lip shape. Then use the side of the pencil to gently fill in your entire lip. Use a lip brush to smooth out the texture, and MWAH, you are runway-ready!

Walking into the Ruffian studio is like an escape to fantasy fashion camp. Mood boards, fabric samples, reference books and model comp cards line the walls, tables and racks. Partnering with Brian and Claude is one of the highlights of my fashion season.

Three seasons ago, I made a transition from backstage makeup artist to key nail artist for this amazing show. This season, I conceptualized a gothic, veiled snakeskin nail that was inspired by Ruffian’s seasonal references of the illustrations of Antonio Lopez, Scottish moors, opium dens and Snow White and the Huntsman.

Using M·A·C Nail Lacquer in Nightfall, I painted the underside of a gorgeous oval elongated nail tip. Then, using two coats of M·A·C Nail Lacquer in Nocturnelle, I painted all of the nails black and let them dry. Once dry, I applied a generous layer of M·A·C Overlacquer to each nail individually and placed a small piece of tulle on top of each nail, gently pressing down the sides with a nail stick. When dry, I used a small pair of scissors to trim off the excess tulle. For the flare nail, I adhered a small flat-back cameo using Overlacquer as the glue and then formed a small tulle veil, which I placed at the base of the nail. Spend a little time in your local craft store to find these materials.

This fall, I think we will see a play on deeper, darker, textured nails. Don’t be afraid to mix, layer and paint to your heart’s content.”

Find Keri on Twitter for more dish on all things beauty: @MAC_Keri_B

Hollywood heavy hitters brought the wow-factor to last night’s Golden Globes. We asked for your fave red-carpet looks on @NordstromBeauty Twitter, and you responded!

Les Misérables star Amanda Seyfried stunned in Givenchy. The Clé de Peau Beauté global spokeswoman kept her look natural with a focus on the eyes using the Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quad in 205.

Nominee Connie Britton sparkled on the red carpet in KaufmanFranco. The Nashville star opted for a 1940s old-Hollywood-glam-inspired ‘do created by celebrity hairstylist Rod Ortega, who used Leonor Greyl products on her tresses. “For Connie’s Golden Globes look the inspiration was Rita Hayworth in Gilda,” says Ortega.

Megan Fox is back post-baby and looking better than ever in Armani. The brown-haired vixen created a soft side sweep of curls with the Sultra Bombshell 1″ Curling Rod.

Tell us, which celebrity look did you love most?

Since 1976 L’Occitane has been bottling traditional Provençal ingredients that promote well-being, producing coveted items like their Shea Butter Hand Cream (a 2012 Nordstrom Beauty Award Winner). But don’t overlook their skincare collection ‘Immortelle.’ Launched internationally in 2002, this line is based on the Immortelle flower, which has exceptional longevity: it never fades, even when picked. Organic Immortelle is rich in active ingredients with unique cosmetic anti-aging properties. Find out which products our assistant buyer Melissa Ardavany is buzzing about.

L’Occitane ‘Immortelle’ Precious Serum
“I started using the serum in November, and this is the first winter that I have not had dry patches. A little bit of product goes a long way,” says Melissa.
o Each bottle carries 1001 flowers of youth for unequaled performance.
o Increases collagen presence, protecting existing collagen and even repairing damaged collagen.
o You’ll notice visibly smooth skin with restored firmness. Each day, the substance of the skin is rebuilt and replenished.

L’Occitane ‘Divine’ Cream
“People always say that French women have the most beautiful skin, and using this line I feel like I’m well on my way to getting the skin I want,” adds Melissa. “For max results, press into skin and follow up with outward sliding movements, small pinching motions to promote blood flow.”
o Although this cult favorite is not apart of the ‘Immortelle’ line it’s worth mentioning because it leaves skin smoother, plumped and deeply nourished.
o Stimulates collagen production and firms the skin while enabling skin to recover its youthful glow.

L’Occitane ‘Immortelle’ Precious Protection Day Cream SPF 20
“I love how universal this skincare line is. I can use it, my little sister and my mom can use it, and we all see results,” says Melissa.
o You’ll get hooked on this day cream’s smooth, light-textured formula that shields the complexion against free radicals and UV rays while fending off signs of aging.
o Within a few weeks your skin will be visibly smoother and firmer resulting in a youthful appearance that is protected from harmful UV rays.

L’Occitane ‘Immortelle’ Precious Eye Balm
o Brighten up your eyes with this potent balm that stimulates collagen production and helps fill in deep wrinkles for smoother skin and a firmer eye contour.
o Say goodbye to dark circles and puffiness with this action-boosting formula that stimulates a youthful look around the eye area.

Check out more exciting skincare products from L’Occitane.

Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, is going ga-ga for emerald green, their Color of the Year for 2013. “Lively. Radiant. Lush,” the company proclaims. “A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” So why not add a little harmonious enhancement to your beautifying routine?

To achieve this gorgeous emerald eye statement, start with NARS ‘Pro Prime’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base to assure that the shadows blend easily and last all day. Next, apply Lancôme ‘Liner Design’ Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in the same way that you would a cream shadow, from lashline to crease (yes, this little pot can serve as both!).

Blend the crease out with the Nordstrom Blender Brush for a soft, smooth color with no lines. Now, also with the blender brush, apply Smashbox Blush Rush in Gingersnap and blend into the crease of the eye. That’s right, adding a little blush to your eye makeup is a great way to bring warmth to the eye and tie in the color on your cheeks.

Tip: When creating a dramatic eye, apply your eye shadow before any other face powders or makeup; this will make for easy cleanup of powder drops without affecting blush or powder.

Moving on to the cheeks, use the same Smashbox blush to highlight, and then dust on a little bronze shimmer like Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick Compact.

To add drama, line the inner rim of the eye with M·A·C Eye Kohl in Minted, and then define the lash line with Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner in Noir.

For this look, keep your lip color to a minimum and opt for Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lipstick in Nude Vanille, and add a little definition with the Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Praline.

Finally, don’t forget your nails: Essie Nail polish in Pretty Edge completes the on-trend emerald look. Voilà!

Mark your calendars. The much-anticipated Les Misérables opens in movie theaters on December 25. This musical-drama remake of the long-running Broadway hit (based on the French novel by Victor Hugo) features an all-star cast that includes the lovely Amanda Seyfried. To transform Seyfried into her character, Cosette, lead makeup artist Lisa Westcott turned to Clé de Peau Beauté (for which Seyfried is the global spokeswoman/model). Let us show you how to re-create this fresh, dewy look in a few easy steps.

1. Smooth Luminizing Enhancer Base all over the face.
2. Apply Concealer to cover any blemishes, dark circles or other skin imperfections.
3. Next, apply the Refining Fluid Foundation using your fingers or a sponge. Blend from the center of the face outward. Blend well.
4. Apply Luminizing Face Enhancer on the apples of the cheeks and gently blend up toward the temples to enhance the complexion with a radiant glow.

Brows & Eyes:
Using the Eyebrow Pencil, lightly fill in brows one stroke at a time for a natural finish. To create this look, you’ll want to use eyeshadow from Eye Color Quad #208.

1. Apply the first color on the left all over lids to the inner corner of the eye.
2. Apply the color second from the right on the outer corner of the eye, blend toward the center of the eye and up toward the crease. Blend the same color along the bottom lash line.
3. Apply the color farthest to the right along the upper lash line and the crease to add depth.
4. Apply the second color from the left toward the inner corner and blend well.
5. Optional: Apply Intensifying Cream Eyeliner #101 along the lash line for more definition.
6. Finish the look by applying two coats of The Mascara to the upper and lower lashes.

1: Apply Enriched Lip Luminizer.

Create Your Own Vision of Amanda Seyfried’s Character Cosette


Elevate your look this party season with glittery touches applied in the most sophisticated way to your makeup and nails. Sparkle and shine are very necessary during this holly, jolly time of year, and Nordstrom’s Regional Beauty Director, Cindy Tjon, weighs in on how to don these Insta-glam accents.

Nordstrom Beauty Stylists show off a few glam, glittery looks.

Glitter Nails: Glam up your nails with adhesive bling. Try the Nordstrom ‘Silver Bling’ Nail File Set (pictured) or opt for the Nordstrom ‘Gold Bling’ Nail File Set. If nail decals are not your style, try glitter polish like the Nordstrom ‘Glitter’ Mini Nail Lacquer Set (pictured). Cindy suggests, “Painting only your ring finger; although it’s the weakest finger, it’s the one that should be the most decorated! Silver pairs great with a pale pink, and gold is a great choice with holiday red.” Experience nail color in a spectrum of vivid hues with the Nordstrom ‘Red Sparkle’ Mini Nail Lacquer Trio.

Eye & Lash Gems: “The key here is one or two on the outer corner for understated holiday bling. They are super sparkly, and you don’t want these to detract from the makeup you’ve applied, just enhance and sparkle,” says Cindy. Achieve instant drama with the Nordstrom Silver & Gold Sparkle Faux Lashes. If lash shimmer is what you crave, pick a major celebratory occasion, Cindy adds: “Think New Year’s or any special holiday event. These should be your go-to lashes. Paired with a cat-eye liner, these truly make a statement that you are ready for FUN!” Make your eyes sparkle with the Nordstrom Eye Gems.