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Nordstrom Fall Beauty Trend Show

A few weeks ago, Dormouse and I were hanging out and shopping around downtown Seattle. We wandered into the flagship Nordstrom as people who are interested in department stores are wont to do. We got caught up looking at awesome eye shadow palettes at the Lancôme counter. A beauty advisor came over and began talking to us about the new fall trends and holiday gifts that were upcoming. You know, doing her job. She mentioned that Nordstrom was having a big old fall cosmetics fashion show coming up on the 26th of October. She hooked me by telling me that they will have national makeup artists there and they would be doing people’s makeup if you set up an appointment. I told her about the wedding I had that day and she said, “Well that’s why you should come, so you didn’t have to do your own makeup.” With a bit of needling and realizing that I had a wedding that afternoon, she suckered me into purchasing a ticket (which counted towards $20 worth of purchases on that day) for me. Dormouse, resistant to the cute beauty advisor’s charms, declined. I ended up taking my lovely wife to the show, after going back and buying her a ticket too.

Flashfoward to 7 a.m. yesterday and Carolina and I were getting ready and groggy. We had no idea what to expect other than we knew we were going to get a professional makeover for the wedding we were going to. I had never been to a fashion show of any kind before. I had only curiously watched a few on TV. I knew this wasn’t Paris or Milan and that Kanye wouldn’t be showing up. Since we were going to the wedding right after our appointments at 9 a.m., we put on our really nice clothing and I immediately regretted not staying in pajamas. Not really.

After successfully caffeinating ourselves, we went to the entrance where they were letting people in. Immediately, I knew I was in for a new experience. We got our gift bags that contained a host of free samples and our $20 gift card (the ticket basically). By the time we made our way to the third floor, we could hear the DJ spinning and the MC warming up the crowd. We made for the back row of the main seating area because even though we got there 15 minutes after they opened the door, it was almost fully packed. I should have known; upper class Seattlites love their Nordstrom. That is the first thing that struck me. As someone who barely hovers around the working poor/lower middle class lines, this was definitely not supposed to be a show for me. I do appreciate the finer things in life but looking at the price of some of the skin care items listed in the programs just tore me up. Not everyone there was obviously upper middle or upper class, but it seemed to be more than people like me.

The show started and right away, I felt like my critical feminist self went into overdrive. I began to analyze everything the MC was saying. It definitely felt like our consumer culture that tells women to not get old and tells children to strive to be thin was coming out to play. Though this was focusing on skin care and cosmetics, of course the models played into how we view women and men in the fashion industry. I will give them a win on the fact the models were extremely diverse compared to most runways.

The three trends that were talked about were Graphic Eyes, Redefined Smokey Eyes, and Bordeaux Lips. Each scene contained about seven companies showing off new product. Not all of the companies were talking about those three trends, but the models had each of those trends on. So it was all loose association in some ways. I appreciate a great smokey eye and I love the look of Bordeaux lips. A great matte lip color looks good on me, so that is probably why I love it.

In between each scene, they gave away prizes and Carolina was lucky enough to win some Yves Saint Laurent youth serum skin creme. I have no idea if either of us will use it, but hey, it’s cool to win something. The gift bag gift samples that were probably my favorite were some of the new perfumes out. Honey by Marc Jacobs smells amazing on both me and Carolina. Boucheron had a sample of their new perfume and it also smelled great.

After the show, we went down to get our makeovers and we both felt a bit rushed in how they were doing it. I feel like the artists probably were just so stressed because they were so overbooked or something. We did end up looking good though. My artist went for a nice smokey eye look that felt out of place at 9 a.m. but not out of place as wedding makeup. We ended up buying some Lancôme lip gloss and a lip gift set with our gift cards. Of course, money had to exchange hands as well.

I would say my overall experience was OK but not amazing. I do not know if I would go back again to a show like this. Too much consumerism really hurts my brain. I do love shopping and exploring new things, but having it drilled into my head is not my favorite thing. I did end up looking amazing and enjoying the wedding we went to.

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

3 replies on “Nordstrom Fall Beauty Trend Show”

I’m out of it when it comes to fashion trends, so I had to google the terms used. (I’m probably going to have to look out for the books Moretta mentioned.)

That said, omg yes! It’s why I feel so uncomfortable in department stores near the make-up and perfume areas. It’s all much more than I could afford, and sometimes I look around at all the seemingly well-off people there and get even more intimidated.

Glad you and your wife got your make-up done up all awesome for the wedding.

My mom loves Nordstrom, but it is dizzifying for me. I saw your makeup on FB and it did look fabu, so it looks like you got your money’s worth, so to speak.

If you enjoy playing around with beauty in a fun way, I strongly suggest buying any of the makeup books by the late Kevyn Aucoin. He LOVED makeup and making his subjects look great, but he also clearly thought they were beautiful beforehand, too. It was a really healthy makeup worldview, and he was absolutely brilliant. He just seemed like the the nicest person, and his books were all about the love.

If you need a reference book, Bobbi Brown’s makeup books are just the opposite: they are all facts and tips and understatement, but if you are like me and avoided certain makeup areas, this is the place to get a tutorial. She’s big on neutrals, but in a good way.

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