As a beauty editor, I like to think I have a bit more insight than the average consumer. I'm by no means an expert, but ask me about retinols, fiber mascaras, or long-lasting lipsticks and I could tell you a thing or two. That being said, when I visited my local Nordstrom beauty department for a day of pampering, I was floored by the services available to me. Walking in first thing on a Monday morning, I had no idea my beauty stylist, Stacey, was about to become my very own fairy godmother. She took me under her perfectly crafted wing (literally — wait till you see her cat eye!) and walked me around the department on a beauty excursion of epic portions. Read on to see the details of my whirlwind makeover.
Get a Counter-Side Mini Facial
Even if your local Nordstrom doesn't have Spa Nordstrom — an in-house spa where you can take a break from shopping to get a massage — you can still indulge in a little pampering session with your appointed beauty stylist. Although I showed up wearing zero makeup (this is how much I love you guys), Stacey insisted that the key to a perfect makeup application is good skin. So right there in the middle of the Nordstrom beauty department, I was treated to a mini facial. Using just a dime-size amount of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and the Foreo Luna, she cleansed and massaged my face. Usually when I'm done washing my face, I'm left with a blotchy red mess. But the combo of a gentle face wash and cleansing device was perfect for my sensitive skin. And after Stacey applied a brightening mask, La Mer face cream, and an eye serum, my face actually looked brighter and smoother.
Score a Flawless Makeup Application
No matter how many beauty tutorials I watch, I can never get my coverage just right or my contour perfect. So when I have the chance to learn from a professional, I jump at the opportunity! There were a few big takeaways from my time with Stacey that I feel it's my duty to share with you.
First, always, always use a face primer. "You don't paint a wall without priming it first, so why would you do your makeup without using a primer?" Stacey explained. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head — she was so right! If you just apply all that makeup on top of your skincare products, then you're not giving them the chance to work. Your primer acts as an important layer between your skincare products and your makeup.
Next, apply concealer, followed by Bobbi Brown liquid foundation. You want to cover up any imperfections with a concealer or color corrector before going all-in with foundation. You'll need less product that way.
Another thing: if you're switching from liquid to powder makeup, you need to set the look. Stacey dusted my face with a setting powder after she applied my foundation to prep my skin for blush and eye shadow.
And finally, lipstick and lashes are the perfect way to really do up your look. I was surprised by how easily the MAC 7 lashes went on and how good the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick felt on my lips.
Treat Yourself to a Quick Brow Upgrade
One thing I learned: no makeup look is complete without done-up brows. Stacey passed me over to the Anastasia Brow Bar, where I met Rosie. The woman groomed, shaped, and tamed my brows in under three minutes. I used to think my natural brows were fine, but once you see the difference a filled-in brow makes on your face, you'll never go back!
Pick a New Signature Scent
First, let me clarify that this was not one of those moments where I was getting sprayed with perfume against my will while trying to navigate the beauty department. Not at all. The Jo Malone counter was probably my favorite stop during this beauty adventure. It had a table set up with an assortment of testers and I was able to sniff and spritz to my heart's content. When I settled on a woodsy, floral scent called Wood Sage and Sea Salt, Stacey treated me to a luxurious hand massage using the Wood Sage and Sea Salt Body Cream before adding a quick spray for a final touch.
Try So Many Amazing Products . . .
. . . and Leave With So Many Custom Samples
One of my favorite aspects of the whole day was that I never felt put on the spot. Stacey let me play, touch, and test so many products and never expected me to leave with all of them. In fact, she gave me a custom sample of almost everything I tried! Now I get to bring all these samples home so I can experiment on my own. I already plan on visiting Stacey again now that I know what products I can't live without and which I want to add to my permanent collection.
Photographer: Felix Wong
Production: Sasha Bar-Tur
Stylist: Victor Vaughns
Model: Amanda Murray