runway beauty

The Alexis Mabille Spring 2014 makeup by M·A·C Cosmetics had a retro-glam vibe to it, with the ’60s-inspired updo hair, bright red lips and graphic cat eyes. The look was reminiscent of the American cultural icon Rosie the Riveter as well as to contemporary musical artists such as Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse.

Recreate the look with these M·A·C products:

1. ‘Retro Matte’ Lipstick in ‘Dangerous’
2. Liquidlast Liner in ‘Point Black’
3. ‘In Extreme Dimension – 3D Black Lash’Mascara
4. Pro Longwear Blush in ‘Whole Lotta Love’

—Kirby Ellis
Photos by Ford Leland


I’ve spent years looking into my girlfriend’s makeup bags and seeing an array of discarded, abandoned mascaras. So what is it in a mascara that women want but can’t seem to find? Some lengthen, others add volume, some are smudge-proof and some are waterproof. One thing’s for sure, women will never do without mascara in the morning, no matter how little time they have!


Big, bold lashes were seen all over the catwalks of fall/winter 2013 – like on the sultry eyes of models for Roberto Cavalli (pictured above). In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash is a breakthrough mascara, containing carbon pigments that absorb light to intensify the lash application from root to tip. The uniquely molded brush separates and coats every individual lash for incomparable drama. It’s every woman’s eternal quest to find the ultimate mascara, and finally, I believe, the search is over!

Using mascara on both top and bottom lashes is an excellent way to open up smaller eyes, but should be avoided if your intention is to create a more sultry effect with your eye makeup; stay with just the upper lashes to elongate the eye line. For full, luscious lashes, use the unique Mega brush to tease the lashes from the roots by zigzagging the brush up to the tips. Applying several light coats to each eye and allowing each layer to dry will ensure the lashes stay separated. For bottom lashes, turn the brush vertically, and (carefully) sweep from side to side to avoid smudges under the eye.

Check out even more eye candy must-haves from M•A•C.

For more beauty tips and quips, follow Neil Young on Twitter @MAC_Neil_Y.


MA•C Cosmetics Senior Artist Louise Zizzo talks about her fave spring/summer trends as she reminisces about some of the runway looks we’ve seen so far in 2013.

One of my favorite things about this season’s makeup trends is the focus on the natural beauty of the skin. It’s apparent in practically every look I have seen—no matter how bronzed, bright or bold the makeup, the complexion itself continues to take center stage.

J. W. Anderson, Blumarine, Ruffian
These looks bring a natural light to the face. Use products like MAC Beauty Balm and Strobe Cream to highlight the high planes of the face, even out skintone and hydrate. There are no hard contours, and the brows are brushed with a touch of color to frame. The lips are neutral, dabbed with a bit of lip conditioner or natural-toned color like MAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Posh Tone.

Issey Miyake, Peter Som, Nicole Miller
These looks use shades inspired by nature with added metallic flashes. It’s not focused on perfection but instead has more of a blurred and diffused feel. Don’t be afraid of bold colors; apply in gentle washes using soft brushes with shades like MAC Eyeshadow in Beautiful Iris or Electric Eel. You can also add metallic touches across the eye for a clean, serene look. Keep the lips hydrated with lip conditioner.

Haider Ackerman, Aquilano. Rimondi, Missoni
Color with conviction and attitude! These looks have a futuristic strength about them that is free-spirited and avant-garde. The skin is still center stage with its purity, but there is also a strong focus on the lip. Apply bold color in shades like MAC Lipstick in Cyber, Lady Danger or Candy Yum-Yum, and then dust lips with pigment or eyeshadow in a similar shade. Translucent powder gives the lip a new edge that gloss doesn’t, so don’t be afraid to turn it up a notch!

Max Mara, Theskens’ Theory, House of Holland
You can’t have a spring/summer season without a bronzed glow look, but this season’s tan seems to have a pure, chic and effortless feel. It’s less about bronzing the entire face and more about bronzing in a modern and minimal manner. Wrap the eyes in shades of tobacco, sepia and toasted taupe like MAC Eyeshadow in Woodwinked. Hug the bone structure of the face with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish and Skinfinish Natural in warm gold and wheat shades like Give Me Sun or Gold Deposit to create a subtle treatment that looks lived-in and natural. Don’t forget a nice balmy lip to finish, in a nude or natural tone like MAC Lipstick in Myth.

Follow Louise @MAC_Louise_Z for more beauty tips, trends and insight.


Our national beauty director, Debra Redmond, gives us the scoop on three beauty trends from the fall ’13 runways as seen at New York and London Fashion Weeks.

1. Skin with a natural radiance at Christopher Kane, Burberry Prorsum and Rebecca Taylor

“Skin had a natural sculpt with radiant definition. Primer was a must-have, as it evened out complexions but left the skin looking smooth and not makeup-heavy. Use a cream foundation and or blush one shade darker than your skin tone to create a natural sculpted definition in the hollows of your cheeks, along your jaw and on the sides of your nose. Apply luminizer on your brow and your cheekbones, right above your blush; set with a finishing powder to achieve a satin-matte finish.

2. Graphic, smoky eyes at Altuzarra, Donna Karan and Jason Wu

Perhaps the most versatile look in your repertoire is the smoky eye, and mixing up the finish with shape and intensity is what makes this perennial staple revolutionary for the fall season. Goth met sensual aesthetics when it came to the prominent eye seen on many runways during Fashion Week ’13. Whether they detailed with classic black or shades of plums, grays and blues, artists upped the smoldering quotient with pops of unexpected reds.

3. Velvet Bordeaux-stained lips at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Zac Posen and Kenneth Cole

Lips for the fall season were extremely seductive. From the juicy berry stains to the three-dimensional red velvet finishes, audiences were captivated by their sophisticated sleekness. Inspired by Victorian opulence with an ultra-cool gothic edge; the variation of deep plums, berries, rubies and garnets were mesmerizing. We saw two types of application when creating this femme fatale lip:

1) It’s all about the subtle variations in color. Start with a bright red lipstick applied with your finger to the center of the lip, and finish by defining the mouth with a dark burgundy shade at the corners applied with a brush. The intent is to have the two colors transition into each other while still maintaining individuality. The result: velvety va va voom!

2) Apply red lipstick in the center of the lips, blot it off, top it with a deeper-pigmented purple and then blot that off as well. Repeat this process until the lips are stained with the perfect jewel-tone effect.”

Take a peek inside Debra’s beauty bag and learn her secrets to surviving Fashion Week and looking fabulous.


Brow Basics for Spring

This year, one thing the spring runways screamed was precise and strongly defined brows, which was often the focal point of a model’s entire look. Both behind and on the scenes, fierce full brows make a real statement. Below, our beauty stylists reveal the secrets behind bold, natural-looking brows.

L to R (top): Backstage at Carmen Marc Valvo and Naeem Khan spring/summer 2013 shows
Bottom: Ruffian and Edun

“I know many of you are asking, ‘What if I don’t have full brows?’ Effective immediately, put down those tweezers! Give your brows a few weeks to begin growing in on their own. You may also want to speed things up with a serum that enhances growth. Save yourself time and money with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Enhancing Serum Advanced; it’s only $45, and no doctor visit is required. Perfectly defined brows do for your face what the perfect pair of Jimmy Choo‘s do for your outfit.”

Follow these five easy steps to creating perfectly defined brows:
1. Comb your brows down and apply a very fine brow pencil, using light strokes and starting at the high point of the arch. The Precision Brow Pencil from Kevyn Aucoin Beauty comes in the perfect shade for you and includes a brush on the opposite end of the pencil for easy blending and grooming.
2. Now comb the brows back up into place. Follow with a brow powder to define the thicker, denser part of the brow. Alexa recommends M·A·C Brow Duos, which you can customize to your ideal shade.
3. If your brows are a bit unruly, use a brow gel to set and hold them in place. Jennifer’s personal pick is Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in a shade that will enhance your brows’ color.
4. Next, apply your favorite concealer under your brows with your concealer brush. This will create a sharper edge of definition.
5. As a final finishing touch, apply a brightener between your brows, above your brows and at the outer corners. Voilá! Instant eye lift! My favorite miracle brightener is Touche Éclat by Yves Saint Laurent.

Meet our blog post contributors:

L to R: Alexa Kehoe, Beauty Stylist, Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
Honour Pillow, Beauty Stylist, Kenwood Towne Centre, Cincinnati, OH
Jennifer Kochenour, Beauty Stylist, King of Prussia, PA

Ask questions, learn tips and trends—make an in-store appointment with a Nordstrom Beauty Stylist.


From Halle Berry to Hilary Swank, Oscar leading ladies turn to Lebanese designer Elie Saab to get red-carpet ready. For fall ’13, Saab brought to the runway an androgynous tone that came in the form of masculine tailoring. To enhance this boyish narrative of the collection, a “broken smoky eye” was created by French makeup artist Tom Pecheux using M·A·C cosmetics.

The look: Sculpted eye shape, defined brow, matte skin and a nude lip help keep the Elie Saab woman looking fresh and modern at all times.

American model Mackenzie Drazan shows just how easy this beauty statement can go from runway to reality. It’s all about a defined brow and smoky eyes that can be worn day or night.

“I love walking for Elie Saab. This collection was beautiful and very red carpet,” said Russian model Katya Riabynikina as she exited the show with her smoky eyes still intact.

ASK A M·A·C ARTIST: Make this Elie Saab look your own and get step-by-step expert advice from our in-house M·A·C artists (under Tips & Tools).

–Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland