Service Files: The Beauty Stylist Program

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.”

The stylist: Kristen Lawson, whose gorgeous bottle-blond locks and of-the-moment, partially shaved ‘do are a sort of calling card for her modern, fashion-forward approach to beauty and makeup.

The strategy: Lawson wanted to give Wolfkill a sophisticated, dewy look for evening. By creating this special-occasion glow Lawson could introduce our consultant and fashion-marketing instructor to a suite of products, and Wolfkill could edit or dial back the options and ideas for regular, everyday wear from there.

First steps: Lawson says she often asks her clients to bring in their personal makeup bag; this allows her to take a look at the customer’s existing collection and suggest not only updates and additions, but new ways of utilizing those current products as well. The focus here was on introducing Wolfkill to some new tricks and tools, however, so after Lawson and Wolfkill spent a little time gabbing about moisturizing, cleansing and general beauty routines, our pro went off in search of a few of her favorite things.

The essential prep: Clarisonic’s Opal just couldn’t come with a bigger and heartier endorsement. Lawson likes to see it used with Osmotics Eye Surgery. She gave Wolfkill a good workup with the tool, pointing out that this time of year—cold season, that is—the eye massager also works as a lymphatic drainage booster. “Oh yeah, this feels good,” said Wolfkill as the Opal hummed along.

The essential moisturizer: Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer

The essential primer: Laura Mercier Radiance; “Glow without the sparkle, which just isn’t right for a woman like Patricia.”

The essential tool: A mirror. “I always give my clients a hand mirror so they can follow along,” Lawson said. “It’s pointless if they can’t go home and replicate the process.”



Creating the look: Again, it was all about the glow—and to this end Lawson had a great point: The dewy, glowing look always trends in summer because it’s relatively easy to achieve. An afternoon of gardening or farmers’ market shopping in the sunshine and you’ve got it. But in the cold months, we really want and need to mentally and physically combat the doldrums. It just takes a little more effort.

Foundational: YSL’s Youth Liberator and Touche Éclat with a NARS eyeshadow base—”The best in the world.”   

Pivotal: Chanel Soleil Tan. “Just a little,” Lawson warned. “You can’t be doing Kim K. everyday.” But for just-right contour, both Lawson and Wolkfill—already a card-carrying fan of the product—agree. This is it.

Colorful: From there Lawson’s routine included 12 more products and applications, including La Prairie Cream Blush, NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner in a nude shade—get this, pro tip!—on the inner rim of the lower lid, Dolce & Gabbana Passioneyes Mascara and Estée Lauder’s Nude Lip Pencill—”The very best nude.” There were lots of pencils, pots and sticks on the desk when she was finished, but it’s all about exposure. Lawson wants her clients to see the wide and colorful range. And a price range, too. There’s certainly no expectation that all of the appointment’s elements will go home with each client, and she says she actually loves the process of talking them all through and deciding what’s right for now and what can be revisited later. What does always go home with the client is a face chart—a handmade map of what was used and where, annotated and fully cross-referenced.

The result? That, friends, you can see for yourselves.


To make a free, no-pressure appointment with a Beauty Stylist near you, or to consult with one by phone or Live Chat, visit our Beauty Stylist page.

Images by Brooklyn Benjestorf

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jean December 20, 2014, 9:51 am

    I am 62 years old, and am lucky enough to have good genetics for few wrinkles. However within the past year, I have definitely lost some elasticity and have developed some dryness and wrinkles. I am looking for a good skincare line to use. Any recommendations? I don’t wear a lot of makeup, however I never go outside without wearing sunscreen or BB cream. Also, I do wear glasses, so I always use mascara and eyeliner to prevent my eyes from getting lost. There are so many products, it is confusing and dificult to find the correct one that would be the most beneficial! HELP!

  • Shannon October 28, 2014, 7:37 am

    Kristen Lawson is amazing! She is truly a makeup/skincare expert. She guides her clients from season to season with makeup and skin care updates so that you always look your best. Not only is she the beauty expert , but also a fashion expert and has also consulted me in my wardrobe updates. The is THE all around expert to keep me pretty, glowing and on point!

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