Laura Mercier reinvented the classics on Sunday at Jenny Packham, combining rock ‘n’ roll cat eyes with traditional red pouts for a fun take on modern femininity.
Laura Mercier–one of the biggest names in the beauty world–guides us on a trip to Paris, gives us a peek into her handbag and answers the one question she gets asked the most about makeup.
What makes the perfect lipstick?
For me, it’s all about the formula. It must feel comfortable to the point where you forget that you are wearing lipstick, must wear all day and must not bleed. Choose a color that is in tune with your mood and personality, truly making it a signature accent to your look.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Love yourself before you can love anybody else.
Expert opinion alert: Beauty stylist Anthony Tippins from the flagship Nordstrom in Seattle, WA, spoke to us about six mini stocking stuffers that he considers must-haves for these dark days of winter. His comments are below, broken out
We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.
Author, cosmetics mogul and makeup artist Laura Mercier is a beloved name in the beauty industry and in the celeb world—her client list has included Madonna, Julia Roberts and Sarah Jessica Parker. French-born Mercier splits her time between Provence and New York City and may be best known—or at least beloved by countless women—for her simple ‘Flawless Face’ approach to enhancing natural beauty. Another thing to love her for: this peek at her list of holiday favorites—including some Parisian chocolates that we’ll be trying tout de suite!!
With holiday parties a-flurry, ’tis the season to sparkle up (see Stylist Picks: Sparkling Accents) and go a little more glam. Why not have fun with false eyelashes? Lash extensions are a commitment, but falsies are for tonight. You can take them off and wear them again if you treat them well, and while the application is a process, even the inexperienced can do it perfectly on the first try with a little guidance.
To that end, major thanks to Tina Salazar, Nordstrom beauty stylist at The Shops at Mission Viejo, CA, for gracing us with her wisdom.
Still agonizing over your Halloween costume? We’ve got your back. Here are three gorgeous makeup looks you can pull together in a snap.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Kate Fannin, our beauty trend editor, is constantly asked which beauty products she recommends when preparing for travel. Here, she counts down her top 10 travel essentials for summer adventure.
Me hiking Mt. Abraham, the 5th-highest summit in Vermont
Last week, a friend told me about her upcoming 6-month South American adventure that she’s embarking on with her husband. (Color me jealous!) They’ve been budgeting for it for several years and have one simple objective: “Explore what’s out there and enjoy the adventure.” (Color me very jealous.)
When she asked for some travel-friendly beauty suggestions, I realized how often I’m asked for recommendations about good/easy/packable products. So here’s my top-ten list of simple items—many are multi-taskers and some even unisex. Let the summer travel adventures begin!
#1. Great as a light concealer or highlighter or for quick touch-ups, and it’s super-portable too—a cult classic for a reason.
My mom and me
Growing up, I always admired how beautiful my mother was. She is my greatest inspiration: a fashion designer and artist who always rocked her own unique style. I was inspired to embrace my own kind of beauty and not be afraid to stand out. After exploring different positions in retail, I fell in love with being a beauty stylist. My goal is to bring true beauty from within. I want to inspire people to be their own kind of beautiful and feel confident in their own skin, just like my mother taught me.
I love being a beauty stylist because it allows me the freedom to not only express my creativity but to customize beautiful looks for every customer. As a beauty stylist, I can share my knowledge and teach people how to be their very best! I love that I’m able to provide personal product recommendations and create a one-of-a-kind beauty. I am your ‘go-to’ girl, your best friend for beauty and someone you can trust! I will be there whenever you need me and you can count on me to make your day an amazing one! I love what I do because it embraces all that I am and gives me the chance to share my beauty secrets and bring true beauty within everyone. Today, let me share my secret to flawless, radiant skin!
“Be the best version of you!” This was a fun one-on-one beauty master class I had with my customer Michelle, where we focused on achieving radiant skin.
Want to glow and shine bright like a diamond? This season is all about healthy, glowing skin, and I want to share with you some of my favorite products!
First, I cleanse by gently massaging Erno Laszlo ‘Phelityl’ Pre-Cleansing Oil into the skin. Then I dip my Erno Laszlo ‘Sea Mud’ Deep Cleansing Bar into warm water and massage the bar directly onto the face, rinsing with warm water after a few minutes.
Once the skin is cleansed, I protect with Clarins ‘Double Serum®’ Complete Age Control Concentrate before applying any makeup products. This powerful serum is made up of 20 pure plant extracts and potent, high-tech molecules. You will get firmer skin, reduced wrinkles, more even skin tone and less visible pores in just four weeks.
To add radiance, I use Laura Mercier ‘Radiance Bronze’ Primer to give skin a smooth, glowy surface. Wear this fabulous product alone or under your foundation for a sun-kissed glow. Hydrating, water-based gel preps skin with radiance. It’s formulated with a blend of jojoba oils and vitamins A, C and E to keep skin healthy.
Lastly, I touch up the face with CHANEL ‘Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15’ powder to add a soft contour around the frame of the face. This is a beautiful product that will enhance, brighten and bronze for a custom glow with a sheer, luminous finish.
We’re excited about summer fragrances that not only smell great in the heat, but also evoke the perfect sunny retreat. We asked Sarah Zaret and Iris Brostowicz—two of our Beauty Stylists who specialize in fragrance—to spill on the most delectable new and classic scents inspired by summer memories.
Lei It On: Say, “summer vacation” and instantly an island getaway comes to mind. We all agree that nothing smells more like paradise than exotic flowers. Bronze Goddess from Estée Lauder teams classic suntan coconut with Tahitian gardenia. Sarah says it makes her want to turn up Ziggy Marley’s “Beach in Hawaii” for an instant mahalo moment. Eau de Lune by Laura Mercier picks mysterious plumeria to linger above other white florals and musk. The results? The perfect scent for an intimate island evening spent in a moonlit grotto. Iris loves BVLGARI Omnia Coral for a “fresh, fruity scent that somehow doesn’t overpower the senses on a sweltering day.” We bet the delicious combination of sparkling citrus with the allure of hibiscus will keep you cool in the cabana.
Stylist Tip: Summer gives perfume a one-two punch. Scents smell stronger on the skin, but sweat makes staying power take a dive. The solution? For easiest wear, opt for fragrances with excellent sillage but fewer spicy and sweet notes.
Island Longing: The noses at Bond No. 9 blended Shelter Island to recall every detail of a laid-back Long Island summer. Starting with an opulent opening of precious oud, shore-skimming marine notes quickly lure you to grab your weekender and escape the big city. Our experts love that this unisex scent satisfies both women and men looking to break out of their summer fragrance box.
Gold Coast: Feeling even more adventurous? Iris suggests Rive d’Ambre by Tom Ford for its “warm and compelling” notes. “It wraps the wearer in a blend of citrus fruits and amber. Based in essential oils, this perfume elevates daily fragrance,” she says. We couldn’t have made it sound any more daringly delicious.
Scent Staycation: Finally, for those of us who can’t get away, we can always take a journey of the mind with a great summer read. Iris cites The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende as a fave because it “pulls you into its complexities and fully entertains your mind. I would pair it with Oyédo by diptyque. It’s just as complex and fulfilling to the nose as the book is to the reader.” Yuzu citrus lends its multifaceted Asian charm to this intricate olfactory treat, named after Edo, the former name of Tokyo.
For more summer fragrance suggestions—from fresh to floral to fruity—visit our Summer Scents Shop.
Photo credits: Mona Lee, Liz Marklewicz, Stefanie Frank, Marcie Rouman & Amy Morgan