No stranger to the Nordstrom Blogs (we do love her style), Margaret Zhang is a writer, photographer, stylist and the creative powerhouse behind the blog Shine By Three. Oh, not to mention a law student at the University of Sydney and a brand ambassador for Clinique. We can barely keep up! Zhang found some time between all that (and traveling the world) to give us a peek into her universe. Read on for our full Q&A with this inspiring young entrepreneur.


Beauty Blog: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Margaret Zhang: My mum has the most fantastic pearls of wisdom. Throughout my career in the fashion space, she has always reminded me that longevity comes from real skills, so you should never stop learning and trying to improve your work. It might take longer than faking it ’till you make it, but “at least you can sleep at night,” she says.


What three things do you never leave home without?
I always have my phone, Lucas Papaw Ointment and Clinique Black Honey in my wallet. I don’t know what that says about me!

What’s you beauty regimen? How has it changed over time?
I cleanse, tone and moisturize every morning and evening, do some kind of sheet mask or clay mask once a week, avoid hot showers as they can be quite drying, drink 2-3L of water a day, and fit in 1-2 hours of exercise 5-6 days a week. Obviously, the products I use change as I travel because of different climates, mineral content of tap water and time permitted to work out, but that’s my baseline and I tweak from there.

[continue reading…]


Our beauty trend editor Kate Fannin gives us the low down on the best and brightest in anti-aging products.


As I celebrate my birthday today, it’s the perfect time to mention some favorite anti-aging products (and some that just make me feel or look younger than my 42 years!).

I started using sunscreen in high school (and am thankful I did; I shockingly still get carded sometimes). Also, I diligently follow my dad’s greatest ‘beauty’ advice, “keep a lip balm in every jacket pocket”–that has saved my lips more times than I can count! Ultimately, you’re truly as young as you feel, but a little ‘preventative maintenance’ and good old-fashioned primping never hurts. Nor does a glass of champagne and gourmet cupcake on your b-day…

[continue reading…]


Three Last-Minute Halloween Looks

Still agonizing over your Halloween costume? We’ve got your back. Here are three gorgeous makeup looks you can pull together in a snap.

Porcelain Clown Doll
What You’ll Need

1.) Giorgio Armani ‘Face Fabric’ Foundation in #001 for that porcelain complexion.
2.) NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna for the apples of your cheeks.
3.) Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink for that sad clown face paint.
4.) M·A·C 30 Lash to up the drama on those peepers.
5.) M·A·C ‘Cremesheen + Pearl’ Lipstick in Coral Bliss for a subtle kiss of color.
6.) The Topshop Leather Choker with Imitation Pearls and a bowler top hat (try your local Halloween-supply store) to complete the look.

Pretty Kitty

What You’ll Need

1.) Lancôme ‘Artliner’ Precision Point Eyeliner in Noir to define eyes and draw on nose.
2.) Laura Mercier ‘Smoky Suede’ Eyeshadow Palette for a smoky cat eye and to fill in and set the eyeliner on your nose.
3.) M·A·C Eye Kohl in Fascinating for your waterline.
4.) Dior ‘Addict’ Fluid Stick in 575 Wonderland for a splash on pink on your lips.
5.) The Topshop Lace Cat Headband for fashion cat allure.

Pop-Art Bombshell

What You’ll Need

1.) Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Harlow Red for those Lichtenstein-like dots (do this first) and lips (do this second-to-last).
2.) M·A·C Eyeshadow in Gesso all over your eyelids from brow bone to lash line. Press shadow onto lids for bolder color.
3.) M·A·C 3 Lash for larger-than-life lashes.
4.) Two coats of Dior ‘Diorshow – Black Out’ Mascara for eyes that POP!
5.) Lancôme ‘Le Lipstique’ LipColoring Stick in Clair for the highlight accent on lips (dab with the M·A·C Eyeshadow for a brighter white).
6.) Clinique ‘Quickliner for Eyes’ Eyeliner Pencil in Really Black for your cartoon contours.

Shop Halloween Makeup here.

Happy Halloween!

Product photos by Brooklyn Benjestorf, Porcelain Clown Doll image from Pinterest, Pretty Kitty image from Pinterest, and Pop-Art Bombshell image from Pinterest.

{ 1 comment }

Kate Fannin, our beauty trend editor, knows how much we all covet a terrific tan during the summer. Here, she explains how to get that beach babe bronze without the harmful side effects.

Me soaking up the rays during my swim team days.

Remember when you were on the neighborhood swim team and were more concerned about your cheesy one-piece than the long-term effects of the sun? (See my 15-year-old self above for reference.) What I wouldn’t give to have that perfect tan shade again, albeit in a much SAFER way. Good news—you totally can, and with no chlorine or kickboard required. Here are some quick steps and picks for achieving the perfect “swim team” tan without risking serious sun damage:

1. Get Ready: Use a great body exfoliator or soap in the shower to prep the skin (shaving also helps). Some good options include Kate Somerville ‘ExfoliKate® Body’ Intensive Exfoliating Treatment or Fresh Seaberry Exfoliating Soap.

2. Get Set: Use a lotion or cream around areas that are susceptible to absorbing too much product (i.e., the often-dry parts) like heels, ankles, knees and elbows. A few of my faves are Estée Lauder ‘Nutritious’ Energy Lotion, L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate and Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture.

3. Tan!: With so many new formulas available, there’s definitely one for everybody—and every body! (Or face!) Check out Xen-Tan ‘Absolute Luxe’ Dark Lotion. It’s non-greasy and has no icky self-tanner odor—it even has Scent Secure technology to make sure. Also, St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse is a good bet—you can’t argue with an Allure “Best of Beauty” winner AND 5-star customer ratings!

One last tan tidbit…

If you’re in a hurry or traveling, try one of my “hall of fame” self-tanning favorites: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads—travel-friendly towelettes that exfoliate AND give a gorgeous tan all in one! Use at night (after shower and before bed), and by morning, you’re gorgeously tanned and guaranteed to score compliments about your glowing skin! Best of all, they come in both face and body options.

And that’s my (tan) take!


Give your face a subtle pop of color this summer. Recently launched, these cheek and lip shades from Clinique add a bright little burst without going overboard.

Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm blooms on contact to highlight the natural tones and hues of your lips, giving you a little bit of color and a whole lot of hydration. The Cheek Pop blush is truly mistake-proof—you don’t even need a mirror! Just apply it with two fingertips and you’re good to go for a natural summer-flushed look. Great for your on-the-go makeup kit, these buildable, sheer colors are essential for a no-fuss touch-up.

See all of our favorite summer pops of color.


This cult classic just got a facelift. If you haven’t yet tried the updated version of Clinique’s #1 moisturizer, now is the time.


Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ is a new complex—a formula that strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier by 54%. It’s no wonder that one of these beauteous bottles is sold every five seconds. That’s about four more people with soon-to-be softer, more glowing skin by the time you get to this period. Period.


Each month we’ll be bringing you the best of what’s new in beauty at Nordstrom, from eye candy to the gentlest skin smoother. To start us off, Beauty Stylist Candace Duong from our South Shore Plaza store gives us the inside scoop on her fave new items.

Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes: Every girl’s dream come true–it glides on like silk! Use your Smashbox Crease Brush #10 to blend for best results. My favorite color is Ample Amber. When my eye makeup feels BLAH, I just apply it on top of my crease area. It gives me that instant lift I need.

Smashbox Lights on Lips 5-Piece Set: This is the perfect emergency backup or a great starter kit for a makeup novice. I use the face highlighter as my “shimmery eyeshadows” as well as a bronzer for a pretty glow.

The best part? You choose the lip color that works for you. I went with Fuchsia Flash, because I love that pop of color.

Agent Provocateur Pétale Noir: “Sexy” is the best way to describe this fragrance. Start with the body elixir then layer with the parfum. The sweetness of the elixir is flirty and makes skin feel like silk. The spiciness of the perfume is uber sexy and mysterious.

For best results, spray on before getting dressed–it’s a scent that you will want to linger all day long.

La Prairie Cellular Mineral Face Exfoliator: If you want to improve your complexion, this is worth the investment. This exfoliator gently refines and reinvents the skin by removing dead skin cells while delighting the senses with its rich and silky texture.

Remember to use two to three times a week to see immediate and long-term benefits.


Maintain radiant, moisturized skin year-round with these tried-and-proved products.

CLARISONIC® goes beyond cleansing by using sonic technology to gently yet deeply cleanse pores without abrasion or harsh chemicals. Try using the CLARISONIC ‘Mia 2 – Champagne’ (a Nordstrom exclusive) daily to reduce dry patches, oily areas and blemishes.

Tip: A little goes a long  way. Use a quarter-sized amount of CLARISONIC Refreshing Gel Cleanser, which comes with the cleansing system, and pulse with the T-TIMER slowly and evenly around your face for a 60-second cleanse.

Riku Campo, celebrity makeup artist and author of the book Best in Beauty: An Ultimate Guide to Makeup and Skincare Techniques, Tools and Products, says he “likes the oscillating cleansers, especially the Clarisonic brush. I use it when my skin is wet with my everyday cleanser. I dry brush my own skin in the wintertime when the surface of my skin is dry. It really polishes it.”

Once your skin is looking clean and clear, thoroughly moisturize your face and décolletage with Clinique ‘Moisture Surge’ Extended Thirst Relief. This advanced hydration booster is equipped with a new botanical blend that holds skin’s moisture in balance through stressful weather shifts.

 If you’re searching for something new in the skincare market, we’ve got the ‘in’ on good skin.


It’s time to vote for your favorite products in beauty! Why? How about for a chance to win the top 12 products, plus a $500 shopping spree with a Beauty Stylist. And two runners-up will also win the top 12 products. Yes, please.

With thousands of votes so far, here’s our play-by-play of your top products, with the current first-place contender on the left, followed by the second on the right. Don’t see the products you love in the lead? Vote now and vote daily, through September 10 (ends 1pm ET)! Winners will be announced September 17.

M·A·C Eyeshadow | Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior ‘Diorshow’ Mascara | Lancôme ‘Définicils’ High Definition Mascara

M·A·C Lipstick | Clinique ‘Chubby Stick’ Moisturizing Lip Color Balm

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 | Giorgio Armani ‘Luminous Silk’ Foundation

NARS Blush | M·A·C Powder Blush

La Mer Moisturizing Cream | Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion with Pump

Clinique ‘Even Better’ Clinical Dark Spot Corrector | Estée Lauder ‘Advanced Night Repair’ Synchronized Recovery Complex

Eye Treatment
Clinique All About Eyes | La Mer ‘The Eye Concentrate’

CLARISONIC Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System | philosophy ‘purity made simple’ one-step facial cleanser

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne | Viktor & Rolf ‘Flowerbomb’ Eau de Parfum Spray

Body Care
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream | Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

BB Cream
Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 | Smashbox ‘Camera Ready’ BB Cream SPF 35


There’s a lot of hype in the beauty world about BB creams right now. They’re hotter than hot, as well they should be, so let’s talk about all the fuss and just how they can simplify your daily beauty routine.

Short for ‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm,’ these creams are like the everything bagel of beauty basics, with all your daily essentials packed into one powerful bottle: primer, foundation, sunscreen and serum. Delicious little miracle workers! To us, that means fewer bottles of product to keep track of and less to apply in the morning. Who doesn’t love a time-saver like that?

BB creams have been the secret weapon for women in South Korea and Japan for decades, and are just now exploding in Western markets. No wonder: Just apply a small amount in your choice of shade to the face, and that’s it. You’re all set with sun protection, a tinted moisturizer, primer and imperfection reducers for a more even skin tone. It’s a perfectly natural look on its own, or can be applied before a light dusting of powder or your favorite foundation for more coverage. We’d definitely call that a hype-worthy blessing in a bottle.