skincare

Jack Black Epic Moisture Nourishing Oil is now available, and we’re giving it high marks. This lightweight, unisex gem is a hydrating heavy-hitter with a blend of 10 natural oils.

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10 ways to use it for him and/or her:
1. Pre-shave oil
2. Shave oil
3. Beard moisturizer
4. Facial moisturizer
5. Lightweight body moisturizer
6. Body lotion booster
7. Dry Hair treatment
8. Dry cuticle treatment
9. Dry elbow moisturizer
10. Dry feet moisturizer

Expert Tips:
For shaving: Spread a thin layer on slightly moist skin. Shave. Rub residual oil into skin for deep penetrating moisture. Or, rinse oil off with warm water and a washcloth.
As a pre-shave oil: Spread a thin layer on slightly moist skin, allowing oil to penetrate beard growth for 10 seconds. Apply Beard Lube Conditioning Shave or Supreme Cream Shave Lather over oil. Shave. Rinse with warm water.
As a facial and skin moisturizer: Apply a thin layer to slightly moist skin following bath or shower. Perfect for rough patches on feet, elbows and cuticles.
For hair: Apply a small amount to clean, towel dried hair from mid-length to ends. Blow dry or let dry naturally. Apply to dry hair to tame fly-aways or condition dry ends.
As a beard conditioner: Dispense 2-3 pumps in palm of hand, rub through beard, working into hair and skin underneath.

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The long weekend ahead has us daydreaming about spending some extra time in the sun (if the weather here in Seattle cooperates, that is!). Wherever your Memorial Day or summer travels may take you, stay protected from the sun’s rays. Our Beauty Stylists are here to help, sharing their head-to-toe selects for sunshine-ready SPF.

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Hair

Aveda ‘Sun Care’ Protective Hair Veil: I am obsessed with this spray because it protects my hair from UV damage and prevents my color from fading. I love it for those reasons, but even more for the smell; it’s impossible to not get addicted. —Meredith Christian, Online Beauty Stylist

Shiseido Refreshing Sun Protection Spray for Body & Hair Broad Spectrum SPF 16: I use this spray to extend the life of my expensive salon color, which the sun tends to strip. It leaves a subtle sheen in my hair, almost like a shine serum but not as greasy. Plus, you can use it on your body, leaving your skin silky soft. —Elyse Reneau, Costa Mesa, CA

Face

Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Primer SPF 50: As a runner, I suggest this lightweight and water-resistant SPF primer because it does not run into your eyes while sweating. Don’t forget the tops of your ears, a high-risk spot! —Iris Brostowicz, Michigan Ave

AMOREPACIFIC ‘Color Control’ Cushion Compact SPF 50: AMOREPACIFIC makes wearing sunscreen so easy with their new SPF 50 CC compact! This sheer, long-lasting makeup protects against UVA and UVB rays and provides all-day hydration for a luminous glow. It’s great alone for my days off or with a little loose powder to add coverage while at work. —Allyson White, Walnut Creek, CA

Lips

Supergoop! Lip Balm SPF 30: This product is always in my handbag. It has a light pink tint and shea butter to keep lips hydrated. I love that it is paraben- and fragrance-free. Skin cancer should be a concern for everyone—I don’t worry about my lips when I have my Supergoop! —Alesha Gerner, Wellington, FL

LORAC ‘Breakthrough Performance’ Lipstick SPF 15: Lipstick junkies like me can get ignored when it comes to sun protection. When my tan is on and my beach-waved hair is perfect, the last thing I want is a bare pout. These LORAC lipsticks are packed with pigment, but have SPF 15 so you stay protected. —Meredith Christian, Online Beauty Stylist

Hands

Clinique Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream SPF 15: We forget that our hands are directly exposed to the sun’s harmful rays while driving. Clinique was smart to design a product that helps fade dark spots from past sun damage while preventing future damage. —Allyson White, Walnut Creek, CA

La Prairie ‘White Caviar’ Illuminating Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15: With a mother from Lithuania and a father from Ireland, I can burn in the moonlight. Not wearing sunscreen, even on my hands, is not an option. This hand treatment not only protects, it brightens and hydrates for younger-looking skin. Plus, it strengthens nails and softens cuticles, essential to keeping my manis looking fresh! —Alexa Kehoe, Michigan Ave

Body

Kate Somerville ‘Body Glow’ SPF 20 Sunscreen: Not only does it provide protection, it also has caffeine to tone and mango butter to moisturize. —Allyson White, Walnut Creek, CA

Sun Bum Sunscreen Spray (SPF 15, 30, 50 or 70!): Sun Bum is based out of Cocoa Beach, Florida, so you know they mean business when it comes to sun protection. And, if that’s not enough, they are endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation. This spray is just one of those products you can’t go wrong with. —Meredith Christian, Online Beauty Stylist

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Bikini-Ready Beauty Secrets


To give you that extra boost of confidence, our Beauty Stylist Tannah Ives from Thousand Oaks shares her favorite skincare tips to get ready for bikini weather.
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Tone. Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control Treatment targets cellulite before it starts, leaving your skin looking smoother and firmer. Pair the treatment with Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads for Body, which enhance your natural curves by adding a golden, tan touch.

Remove unwanted hair. The Bliss Poetic Waxing At-Home Hair Removal Kit is amazing! It comes with its own microwavable cup, along with a calming pre- and post-waxing oil, making at-home head-to-toe hair removal simple, comfortable and convenient. Also by Bliss are Ingrown Eliminating Pads, which fix lumps and bumps on legs and bikini areas.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Simply Mahvelous Legs Shave Cream is perfect for the lady who doesn’t want to wax. Its rich and creamy formula contains moisturizing essential oils and herbal extracts. The brand’s Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub contains aloe vera and chamomile to help calm skin, smooth, and exfoliates dead surface cells for after a shave.

Exfoliate. Do this regularly with Clinique’s Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream. It ‘s oil-free and stimulates, invigorates and refines rough skin. Use in the shower; the refreshing menthol scent will stay with you all day!

Be sure to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. L’Occitane Certified Organic Pure Shea Butter comes in a beautiful tin that travels easily. This wonderful product glides onto skin in one swipe, and it replenishes moisture and calms skin in no time.

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Introducing Beauty Connections, our new series of on-the-spot, open conversations with the amazing—and very real—people behind the world’s top beauty brands.

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This month we connect with skincare guru Kate Somerville, who talks about female friendships, celebrity hang-ups, a preteen son, and being called ‘bitchy.’

BEAUTY 24/7: You seem like true cheerleader for women.
KATE SOMERVILLE: I’ve actually been thinking a lot about that lately. My mom was an alcoholic who left when I was 9, and what my business has given me, more than anything, is a lot of moms—that kind of feminine love and connection I didn’t have growing up. All of the women I treat, who really share their lives with me… yes, maybe I’m giving them the gift of youth, but they give me just as much. I have to remember where it all started: connecting with and helping other women.

You’re known for touching a lot of famous faces—you probably make all your clients feel like stars.
KATE: I think it goes both ways: I also make celebrities feel like they’re accepted for the people they are on the inside. If you knew some of them—they’re so like us, they just happen to be actors. They have the same kinds of struggles as we do: kids, husbands, weight loss, weight gain, illnesses—everything!

Many of your competitors are men (Drs. Gross, Perricone, Brandt)—is it hard being a woman, even in the beauty business?
KATE: Back when I first started out—I’ll never forget this–and I was going to be acquired by a big company, at our first meeting, they asked what my goal was. I told them I wanted to be in all markets—I want an infomercial, I want to be at Nordstrom, I want to be on QVC. The man sitting next to me—who’s a genius but who comes from the old school—patted me on the knee and said, “Oh, honey, that’s just not going to happen.” Well, I loved that, because when someone says to me, “You can’t,” I say, “Watch me.”

So in other words, hop on or hop out of the way?
KATE: Since the beginning, I’ve had a vision, and I’ve stuck with that vision. It’s interesting what happens as you grow—a lot of people I meet will say, “Oh, you’re so personable and friendly,” but my staff will tell you that I can get really bitchy. I understand now how people can get the reputation of being a diva, because when you have a vision and people try to change your vision, you’re like, no, sorry—I’m not going to move off of this. And at the end of the day, if the product isn’t great, we don’t get paid!

Your business just went global [Kate recently opened her first international clinic in South Korea]; how do you maintain that personal connection with your customers?
KATE: It’s something I’m constantly aware of—I really have to rely on my staff now. Obviously, things are still “born” from me, but we have a panel of women at the clinic who have been with me for eight years. They know the culture, and they know skin—probably even better than I do now!

But more importantly, I also have an 11-year-old son, who is the best part of my life. When he was younger and I was just starting out, my husband was great about being there as a parent, which I am so grateful for. But now, the older my son gets, the more I see how much he needs his mom too—and I need him, because he fills my heart more than anything. I’m trying to balance being with him more, plus staying connected to my clients and the business. It’s definitely a lot to juggle.

Being a busy working mother must help you understand your clients’ lives on a very personal level.
KATE: That’s why my products need to WORK—quickly! I’ve always been all about that: no nonsense, cut to the chase. That’s why my packaging is the way it is. If it’s not easy—something you can throw in a bag and go—then forget it. Plus, with the clinic, we get to try everything out on the clients, talk to them about the experience. If they don’t get it, if it’s not working for them, then we don’t release it. We’re literally right there at the point of impact. We’ve had so many flops, but we just keep tweaking until we get things right.

I also get that women don’t have time for downtime or delayed healing when their skin looks weird. That’s why my products are a mix of the optimum level of active ingredients balanced with botanicals like lavender oil, apricot, almond oil and aloe. Take ExfoliKate®—there’s no other exfoliator like it out there. It will change your skin in two minutes. It’s a cult favorite for sure.

And then there’s RetAsphere™, our first retinol product. For a long time, I resisted doing a retinol product because of the irritation. But RetAsphere™ is very emollient, with pure, stable retinol encapsulated in a lipid shell. Your skin is made of lipids, so when you put the product on, it melts like butter—really getting to the root of the wrinkle.

Can you talk a little about your relationship with Nordstrom?
KATE: Oh, Nordstrom is just amazing. I chose to launch my brand with Nordstrom out of all the companies that approached me. It’s just such a perfect partnership because the Nordstrom customer is my customer—she’s fun, she’s chic, she reads the magazines. Nordstrom makes it all accessible; it’s where I shop, where I go to get my designers, but it’s still young, hip and easy.

Inspired to try Kate Somerville’s wonder products? Shop her full skincare and makeup collection at Nordstrom. And stay tuned for our next post, when we connect with Anastasia “The Brow Expert” Soare.

—Stefanie Frank

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This year, it’s all about getting the perfect summer tan without the harmful sun damage. We consulted Beauty Stylist Cassi Coulter at Nordstrom Mission Viejo, and she shared her favorite products for looking perfectly sun-kissed—with no sun required.

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Self Tanners

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Tinted Self Tanning Gelée gives a heavenly tan as well as a soft bronze shimmer when applied. Its color starts to develop in under an hour.

Xen-Tan Mousse Intense is a great weekly self tanner for face and body that gives a more natural-looking olive undertone. It’s streak-free and oil-free, and it smells delicious.

Last but not least: Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel. One of the first self tanners to hit the market, this gel is quickly absorbed, and it’s beautiful on both the face and body.

Expert tip: be sure to exfoliate before any self tanning application, and always apply to well-dried skin.

Bronzers

Perfect your glow with Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, one of my favorites—a little goes a long way. I use the ‘Golden Light’ shade for fair skin and the ‘Medium’ shade for warmer skin with cinnamon undertones.

Laura Mercier ‘Matte Radiance’ Baked Powder (in shade 03 or 04) is also a beautiful way to give the face, neck and décolletage a warm summer glow.

Expert Tip: You can also use bronzer to color-correct. If your face and neck are lighter than your body, you can even out your skin tone by applying bronzer with a large fluffy brushlike the Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush—on your neck and all around the edges of your face (jawline, hairline and sides of face).

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In May, we celebrate mothers, so this month’s must-haves are a mix of long-loved and just-discovered multipurpose marvels that make life easier for busy moms (like me) on the go.

Clarisonic ‘Opal – Ruby’ Sonic Infusion System: Amazing. After just one use, my eyes looked less puffy and felt more hydrated; within one week, they looked smoother, more refreshed and less crepey—all day! Even better, this wondergadget is quick (just 30 seconds on each eye) and very simple to use. Pair it with your favorite eye cream and/or serum and use it day and night for maximum results.

Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Sunscreen Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 50: I hit the jackpot with this product! Not only does it protect my skin with a broad spectrum SPF; it’s also a fantastic makeup primer. It creates the perfect non-greasy, smooth, even canvas for your foundation, with bonus anti-aging benefits built in. Brilliant.
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Giorgio Armani ‘Luminous Silk’ Foundation: There’s a reason this product achieved immediate cult status and wins practically every beauty award. Just one pump is all you need for silky, smooth, weightless coverage that lasts all day. I am honestly blown away by how flawless and radiant it makes my face look, plus it’s oil-free—the perfect finish for my combination skin.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color: I’m addicted to these new easy-to-wear lip shades that offer just the right wash of sheer color. Of the 14—yes, 14!—shades I’ve already acquired, my current #1 favorite is Passion Fruit, my power pink for summer. (Bonus: these beauties condition lips, too!)

L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil: I first tried this product because I couldn’t resist the delicious almond scent; now I can’t live without the way it makes my skin look. I spray it on right after my shower to lock in moisture and face the day with supple, radiant, glowing skin that smells like a dream.

These are just five of the many must-haves I’d love to tell you about (I’ll save some surprises for next month). In the meantime, if you’d like to start finding your own new favorites, you can set up an appointment with one of our Nordstrom beauty stylists (1.800.7beauty). Experts on all brands, they’ll be happy to make suggestions and give you samples of products that will work for you. Too busy to get to the store? No problem: you can chat with one of our online beauty stylists instead.

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With last weekend’s Beauty Trend Show (at Nordstrom Bellevue Square, near Seattle) so close to home base, we jumped at the chance to join 700 women who—like us—would happily line up at 8am on a Saturday. For beauty. But before you judge, take a look at why this awesome event was worth waking up for…

Runway fun. With a live DJ and Nordstrom’s national beauty director Debra Redmond (below, far right) as emcee, we were treated to a runway-style show with trend talks, models and giveaways from Guerlain, Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Clarins, Dior, Clarisonic and bareMinerals®.

Special guest Kate Somerville—yes, THE Kate Somerville, skincare guru and facialist to the stars—was there to introduce her amazing new RetAsphere™ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream. She was down-to-earth and warm, and quickly made us feel like old… er, longtime friends. (Stay tuned for our full interview with Kate, pictured below, coming soon!)

Debra gave her behind-the-scenes report from New York’s Spring 2013 Fashion Week, getting up close and personal with the audience.

Reality fab. After the show, we moved to the main cosmetics floor to see how the trends would translate among all the different brands. Spring Trend #1, a “flawless, luminous, barely-there makeup look,” may sound doable if your first name is Gwyneth, but for some of us, that’s the “Well, I’m out,” cue to move along. Not today…

Everywhere we looked, beauty fans were literally glowing with gorgeous, natural-looking bases. Longtime Dior skincare devotee Susan (above, left) had never tried the brand’s makeup line, but she was beaming after stylist Cathy used ‘Diorskin Airflash’ Spray Foundation to help her look cover-ready.

A bold brow was Spring Trend #2. April, a stylist for Anastasia Beverly Hills (a.k.a. “The Brow Expert”) was layering Tinted Brow Gel over a dark brown pencil to soften the color, a look inspired by Versace’s “Gold Leaf Brow” seen on the runway in Milan. At the Estée Lauder counter (below), we saw a slightly more toned-down yet still prominent brow, combined with that dewy skin of the day.

Spring Trend #3, “Color Crush,” was all about peachy corals, sweet pinks and pops of psychedelic hues. At NARS, stylist Melissa (below, right) used ‘New Lover’ Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil to top off her customer’s look, which she described as “fresh and clean for spring, and easy and quick for her in the morning.”

As usual, things were a bit wilder at M·A·C, where stylist Deena (below, left) told us, “I like to use one bold pop of color and keep the rest of the features more neutral. I’m also playing with textures—on her eyes, I’ve done a slash of aqua on the lower lid with a wash of matte purple on top. Her lips are neutral but glossy to give her face some balance.” We loved the slightly-out-there-but-not-over-the-top look.

Last stop: Chanel, where Sherry (below, left), a stylist with the brand for 26 years (!) was showing Chanel first-timer Christina how to look fresh and current for her wedding in July. “In the Northwest,” Sherry told us, “women aren’t as used to wearing these bright pinks and corals, so I help customers translate the trends and give them the confidence to wear them.”

“As an artist,” Sherry added, “I like to share with my clients the tricks of the trade. We can all look at a magazine and see end results, but I want to take the mystery out of it.”

That sound bite perfectly sums up the mood and the mission of the morning: a few blissful hours spent playing with makeup, being treated (and styled) like a star and walking away with on-trend looks that work with real life. Oh, and presents—who wouldn’t line up for that? (We may camp out for the next show.)

Interested in learning more about spring beauty trends, picking up expert styling tips and joining the fun? Events are happening at Nordstrom stores around the country! Find one near you, and make your Beauty Trend Show reservation today.

—Stefanie Frank

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New at Nordstrom: Fresh

For over 20 years, Fresh has garnered a specific following of beauty lovers: those who crave skin and body treatments crafted with natural essences. Using sake, Umbrian clay, soy, brown sugar and more, Fresh co-founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg continue to combine unique, natural ingredients in skincare, bodycare and fragrance, and they’re all as effective as they are indulgent.

“Fresh embodies beauty. We’re dedicated to luxurious ingredients, rich textures, and addictive scents for a sensorial experience like none other,” says Glazman. Get ready to feel your most Fresh and discover why this brand is coveted by Hollywood’s elite and beauty editors worldwide.

Fresh is now available online and in selected stores.

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Manhattan-based dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross, created a problem-solving skincare line in order to empower women to take control of their beauty routines and to raise the bar on expectations and results. We talk to this miracle worker about protecting the skin from winter’s chill, new skin treatments he’s excited about and knowing when to purge outdated products.

Beauty 24/7: Do you have any recommendations to protect skin from the winter weather?
Dr. Dennis Gross: Winter can be tough on your skin because skin produces less oil in the absence of sunlight and heat. To avoid over-drying your skin, skip extra hot baths and showers and choose cleansers that don’t completely strip the skin of its natural oils.

After a bath or shower, try this technique for moisturizing: Keep the bathroom door closed to preserve the steam, then gently towel-dry your body and apply moisturizer to skin that is still saturated, for optimum skin hydration.

What is the most common mistake you see people make with their skincare regimens?
Dr. Gross: The most common mistake people make is waiting too long to begin an anti-aging skincare regimen. The best way to maintain a healthy, youthful complexion is to work aggressively to preserve your skin early (in your 20s) with antioxidants, topical vitamins and regular, gentle chemical exfoliation.

A majority of your products are vegan. What differentiates vegan products from nonvegan products?
Dr. Gross: We do not test on animals. Vegan products are products that contain no animal-derived ingredients.

Which new skin treatment you are most excited about?
Dr. Gross: I’m always an advocate for at-home steaming to hydrate and clarify the skin; Steamer Solutions does just that. The constant flow of moisture exfoliates by getting rid of surface debris and dead skin cells while simultaneously clearing passageways (nose, mouth and lungs). It was important to me to create an easy way for my patients to achieve relaxing, clinical facials at home.

What is your #1 tip for aging gracefully?
Dr. Gross: My #1 tip for aging gracefully is to maintain proper balance of your skin. You can do this by using products specifically formulated for your skin type—dry, normal or oily. This will avoid over-moisturizing oily skin (leading to greasy skin and enlarged pores) or over-drying skin (leading to irritated skin and aging).

What is the shelf life of your skincare products? What are the dangers of using expired products?
Dr. Gross: Most products are made to have at least a 1-year shelf life from the moment you open the bottle, unless otherwise specified.

When using any product (expired or not), make sure to be aware of consistency differences, odors and separation properties. Ask yourself, “Is it usually this thick?” Damage to the product structure or chemistry will affect its potency. This is very unsafe because the product delivery to the skin could be flawed.

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The Must & Lust of Serums

It’s been said that “the secret is in the serum,” meaning that if we want to share successful home skincare practices with our fellow beauty mavens, then we need to start teaching the importance of serums. These high-performance treatments have smaller molecules that penetrate far below the skin’s surface, where creams and lotions cannot go. Serums are more concentrated in active ingredients, so not only are you going to see change in today’s cells, but you’ll also see change in the overall condition of your skin in the future.

Below, our beauty stylists share the best skin-transforming serums as loved by our top clients, helping you to choose a serum that suits your skincare needs as well as your wallet.

Need: Hydration

MustKate Somerville® Quench Hydrating Serum, $65
“Quench DEFINITELY wins the hydration serum category (and is my favorite serum ever!). Quench is used for very dehydrated skin, and we all know that dehydration causes wrinkles. Kate uses a grape analogy: Really healthy skin is full of water; just like a grape, the skin is nice and smooth. What happens when you take the water out of a grape? It becomes a raisin—dehydrated on the inside and wrinkly on the outside. I love this analogy because it shows us what actually happens to our skin without moisture. Quench truly gives you the red carpet glow and a gorgeous dewy complexion,” says Deanna Vella, Beauty Stylist, Store 239 Waterside Shops; Naples, FL.

LustCHANEL HYDRA BEAUTY SERUM, $135
“CHANEL HYDRA BEAUTY will not only be a drink of water for your skin; it will provide a natural radiance and glow to give you the appearance of younger skin. This product is absolutely luxurious,” adds Deanna.

Need: Age Defiance

MustClarins Double Serum® Complete Age Control Concentrate, $85
“I have recently tried and love the new Clarins Double Serum—it combines two age-defying formulas to deliver firmer skin, reduce wrinkles, even skin tone and give you less visible pores in just 4 weeks! This serum is for all skin types and all skincare routines. I like to apply this product morning and night before applying my moisturizer—I use one pump for one side of my face and a second pump for the other side. Once applied, I like to use my hands to gently massage the serum into the skin,” says Heather Baker, Beauty Stylist, Store 34 Park Meadows; Lone Tree, CO.

LustYves Saint Laurent’s Forever Youth Liberator Serum, $200
“This Nobel Prize-winning technology makes the skin look and feel better. Anytime I demonstrate this product, I put it on one hand and use a rich moisturizer over it, while only using moisturizer on the other hand. The secret to any anti-aging product is a great serum that will penetrate the top layers of skin, and with Forever Youth Liberator, you can really experience the difference,” says Alexander Ross, Beauty Stylist, Store 751 the Streets at Southpoint, Durham, NC.

Need: Repair

MustKiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $46
“This serum will help prevent and correct damage. It contains essential oils that naturally help your skin fight future damage, but it also corrects what’s already been damaged. Serum ingredients of primrose oil—which has omega-6 fatty acids—and lavender to help hydrate the skin and repair from within,” adds Deanna.

LustEstée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, $140
“If you want to repair damaged skin, Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is a no-brainer. Based on groundbreaking DNA research, this best-selling and award-winning serum continuously repairs the look of damaged skin. As an added bonus, I love to use this serum over makeup on the cheekbones and under the eye to add a beautiful glow,” says Alexa Kehoe, Beauty Stylist, Store 220 Michigan Avenue; Chicago, IL.

Alexa adds, “Keep in mind that this isn’t an overnight change. Serums are working at a level you cannot see, so you need patience to notice the results. It takes about 4 weeks for the cells that the serums are targeting to reach the skin’s surface, so the glow you get on initial application will be better in a month and even better in months after!”

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