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How-To

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

How to create the perfect smoky eye? Our friends at Jouer are here to help with a step-by-step tutorial on achieving sultry, smoldering eyes — and their Crème Eyeshadow Crayon makes it all a breeze.

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Step 1. Using the Jouer Crème Eyeshadow Crayon in Abstract, lightly glide this product from the inner corner of the lash line towards the outer corner of the eye. (No need to feather this product, it’s as smooth as butter.)

Step 2. Gently lift the eyelid to expose the space between each lash and smooth the crayon in between the lashes to fill in any space. Tip: This is much easier to do before mascara is applied.

Step 3. Using the Eye Definer Brush (No.5), gently sweep back and forth over eyelid, making sure the brush is gradually blending upwards in order to give the “smoky” effect. Repeat until the Crème Eyeshadow Crayon is softened and spread out.

Step 4. Lastly, glide the Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner in your favorite shade, starting at the inner corner of the eye and working your way outward along the base of the lash line. Make sure to flick the liner brush to give it that perfect point!

Step 5. Finish the look with Jouer Everyday Effortless mascaraHydrating Lipstick in Meredith, and lip gloss in Nude.

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Reporting from Chicago, our Michigan Avenue-based Beauty Stylist Iris Brostowicz breaks out the glitter to show you how to get the perfect holiday glow.

How can you subtly apply glittery eyeshadow?
IRIS BROSTOWICZ: There are a multitude of options to use glitter in a subtle manner that will add radiance to highlight a feature on the face, while also avoiding an over-the-top 2001: A Space Odyssey flashback. Keep in mind that the larger the glitter, the larger the flash of light, and the smaller the glitter, the more understated the look.

Subtlety at its best…
Apply your go-to palette of eyeshadows as you normally would, but add a contrasting touch of glitter directly at the lash line, above the iris, to attract light to the center of the eye. Try Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow in Silver Lilac. An expert tip to make this appropriate 24/7 is: The width of the highlight should not exceed the width of the iris. Use an eyeshadow and/or an eyeliner like stila ‘sparkle’ waterproof liquid eyeliner that has glitter in it, and stick to shades of white, champagne and/or pearl to achieve a hint of highlight.

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It’s holiday-party season, and we’ve got you covered. After you’ve picked your perfect little party dress, complete your look with makeup that’s fresh and flawless with a subtle celebratory shine. Here’s how we achieved this look.

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November 25, 2013

How-To Hair: The Wrap and Roll

Create this casual-chic updo in six steps from the experts at SARAHPOTEMPA—as seen on the spring 2014 Fashion Week runway at Badgley Mischka.

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Get a gorgeous look by following this visual tutorial from blogger Maryam Maquillage. It’s all done using the Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Excuse My Beauty’ from Jason Wu for Lancôme—a Nordstrom exclusive.

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Watch as one of the Head Makeup Artists for NARS, Cindy Rodriguez, shows you how to easily re-create two stunning looks using new NARS Eye Paint.

Smoky and smoldering with NARS Eye Paint in ‘Mesopotamia’

A perfect pop of color with NARS Eye Paint in ‘Mozambique’

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We tapped Duncan Smith, one of our Beauty Stylists at Nordstrom Westside Pavilion in L.A., to help style three of our tastemakers featured on Nordstrom Beauty Spot. We followed along to capture this stylist superhero in action. Here’s what he had to share, from super-handy tips & tricks to his favorite looks for fall.

Why did you become a Beauty Stylist?
Ever since I was little, I have been into art: sketching, painting and creating things. One day, I just changed my medium to makeup. It is amazing the things that makeup can do to enhance and transform a person. Seeing the happy reactions of women as they look in the mirror is priceless.

By working with many different lines and really paying special attention to trends in makeup styling and cosmetic technologies I have gained a wealth of knowledge that I am excited to share everyday with my clients and coworkers.

What was it like working with our tastemakers, Karla, Chriselle, and Joy?

This project was so fun! It really was an honor to have the opportunity to work with these women. It was interesting to hear their stories and to begin to get to know them in the short period of time we had together. I am so glad that Nordstrom partnered with these women.

What tips did you give each of them?
Two of my favorite tricks that I shared with all three of them were how to properly make skin more luminous and how to define the eye without looking like they were wearing eyeliner.

For luminzing skin, I like to use a method that is used by Trish McEvoy creating a ‘Triangle of Light.’ Bringing the luminizing product (cream, liquid or powder) under the eye, to the top of the apple of the cheek and then up again to the top of the cheek bone. This creates a beautiful, diffused sheen that makes darkness under the eye less apparent and gives the cheek an amazing lift.

For defining the lash line, paint eyeliner under the top lashes filling in gaps between lashes making the lashes look much, much fuller. I will often use an eyeliner pencil that is safe for the waterline or Laura Mercier’s ‘Tightline’ cake eyeliner.

What did they discover during their time with you?
Karla is a makeup girl. For her, it was really about honing in and finding something new to share with her. The trick was to really give her makeup that looked uncontrived and lived in. I used mostly cream products and blended them out until edges were seamless.

On the other hand, Joy was not much of a makeup person, so using products that were nearly undetectable, yet perfected was extremely important.

Chriselle said you helped her achieve a smoky eye, which she didn’t think she could pull off. Share the wealth!
Chriselle felt that doing makeup for an Asian eye is difficult, so she only felt comfortable wearing eyeliner. I was able to show her that actually, a smoky look is the best and most flattering for her and her eye shape. Creating a soft gradation with the deepest color at the lash line and working the color up until it diffused in the crease created a natural contour that opened the eye and created more lift.

[Tip: The biggest trick for doing makeup on an eye where the ‘crease’ is not naturally defined is to stick your chin up and look down into your mirror. Magic! You can see where the crease is. By adding a color that is just a couple shades deeper than your skin tone, into the shadow that is created, you will have a perfectly contoured crease every time.]

What are the questions you always get? What do you tell people?
The number one thing that my customers ask me is, “How do I look younger?” I tell them that the trick is really to use lightweight products that create minimal texture on the skin and to use colors that are fresh and with varying levels of sheen to play tricks with light.

When a customer asks, “Can you come home with me?” I tell them that I would love to, but I am really expensive. Instead, I book them for a complimentary appointment–sometimes several–so that I can really teach them, showing them exactly why all the proper tools, techniques and products are essential to achieve their ideal look. Practicing is the key.

Favorite new things right now?
1. My Clarisonic Aria!
2. I am also loving the new ‘Always Sharp’ Eye Pencils from Smashbox. The colors are great, but the fact that you never have to sharpen your pencil makes them absolutely amazing!
3. This isn’t a new product, but I love the Dr. Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Pads. The trick is to wait the full 2 minutes after the first pad, then use the neutralizing pad. And yes, use the neutralizing pad because the ingredients in it are amazing for anti-aging!

Anyone in the world…who would you want in your stylist chair?
I would love to work with Ke$ha. Sounds crazy, but I think we would have so much fun…and I’m a sucker for glitter.

Looks you love right now?
For fall, I am loving the focus on brows! I use three products to create the best brow. I am obsessed with Anastasia’s Lash Genius to hold a brow in place. I use it first because it really allows for the other brow products to adhere properly to the skin and give a super sculpted look. Then with an angle brush, I use two colors of brow powders, one about two shades lighter than the brow first, and the second, the same color of the brow. This gives an extremely natural diffusion of color making the brow look more natural.

The other trend that I am in love with is a dark lip. Whether it is a deep wine stain in the center of the lip, or a perfectly defined, nearly black lip, I love it!

“We saw this everywhere backstage, and it’s actually quite simple to do at home.” —Tawni Hart, Nordstrom Beauty Director, on this Fashion Week trend.

For a look subtly dramatic and oh-so-easy, watch as Tawni takes you through our 3 simple steps—and adds an extra expert tip—for the perfect ombré eye.

Get the look featured in the video: Start with CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES QUADRA EYESHADOW, and line the lower lid with NARS ‘Larger Than Life’ Long Wear Eyeliner. Then, top it all off with a favorite mascara.

Let’s talk foundation fundamentals. Is yours helping bring out the best beauty it possibly can? Watch Laksmi, one of our Beauty Directors, as she shows how to apply foundation step-by-step for perfect coverage and long-lasting results.

Of course, these great tips need a great foundation, so meet your newest BFF: best foundations and friends—our favorite foundations with a standout sidekick paired with each.

bareMinerals: Ready Foundation SPF 20 | Precision Face Brush
Bobbi Brown: BB Cream SPF 35 | Foundation Brush
Giorgio Armani: Maestro Foundation | Maestro Concealer
Shiseido: Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 17 | Perfect Foundation Brush
Yves Saint Laurent: Le Teint Touch Éclat Foundation | Foundation Brush
Estée Lauder: Double Wear Makeup | Illuminating Perfecting Primer