Makeup bag makeover at Nordstrom

(Photo taken by Miss Eve Pigat)

Is your makeup bag a mess? Is it filled with “gift with purchase” freebies you forgot you had? Is there a tube of (brown) lipstick in there from the 90s? Do you keep using beloved blushes and eyeshadows even though they’re horribly cracked? No? Perhaps it’s just me then. In a quest to be more current (and organized!), I trotted over to Nordstrom to get a complimentary makeup bag over. And you can too! Here’s a look at what to expect.

Free hand treatment at Nordstrom

Nordstrom is pretty good about servicing gals without an appointment, but I’m always pressed for time, so I called and booked in with Davinder. Trouble was, I got my gals mixed up. Davinder, who works at the Diptyque counter (and gives the most incredible hand massage – also complimentary) was more than happy to take me, but I knew it wasn’t her bailiwick. I jammed on her and strutted over to the Laura Mercier counter, where I foisted myself onto Brenda. That’s the thing with Nordstrom, they really do a cracking job servicing potential customers and making them feel welcome.

What to bring to the Nordstrom Beauty Counter

To make the most of your visit, bring in your current makeup bag. Trust me, they won’t laugh. It’s good for them to see your colour preferences, the brands you use and why you like them.

makeup bag

It ain’t pretty!

Testing skin ph levels

Brenda could tell immediately that my skin was dehydrated and applied products to help get it back to a normal ph level. Truthfully, I just thought they were going to look at my mangey makeup bag and tell me what I needed to replace and suggest some product.

women's makeup

The sad contents of my make-up bag

What actually happens is after going through your bag, they give you a variety of options to sample so you can comparison shop. Getting a free make-over was a lovely, unexpected bonus.

Do you need to wear primer?

I’d heard of primer, but I’d never used one and after seeing how well my make-up stayed on I was hooked. Primers seal in moisture and also level out pores and fine lines, so make-up stays on all day. For me, Brenda recommend a mineral (not silicon) primer and steered me towards either NARS, MAC or Laura Mercier brands.

Next came a mineral powder foundation. This I would never have tried myself. I’m used to liquid, not something you put on with a brush. But here’s the thing, this powder didn’t give me that cakey look at all. Again, major Oprah aha! moment.

We would’ve kept going, but then I had one of those sudden kid emergencies that didn’t turn out to be an emergency at all, and I ran off with half my face on. Fortunately, I was sent home with tons of samples to play with on my own.

Nordstrom Beauty Concierge

The next week I booked in with Nerissa, a Nordstrom Beauty Concierge. After looking through my bag it was decided I could probably use a blush update and that it would be way better to go with one good mascara than three almost empty sample sizes. I also desperately needed a new lip and eyeliner.

make-up artist

Nerissa is one of the many rock stars that work at Nordstrom

What I didn’t expect was to get hooked on Anastasia Brow-wiz eyebrow pencils. Using short, quick strokes, my brows were drastically improved and I became enamoured with brow gel. Imagine having your thick, unruly brows stay put for once!

I walked away with the brow pencil, lip liner, plus a blush and lipstick both in colours I never would’ve tried on my own. (My girlfriends thought I looked like I had a tan, with my new NARS blush!) I didn’t expect to pick up a super smooth Chanel eyeliner, but I’m so happy I did! Spending the extra $10 makes a world of difference. I realize most gals refresh their makeup seasonally or at least annually, but I’m a total slacker on that front. It felt so good getting tips on how to quickly pull myself together and one week later, I’m still getting a rush whenever I apply my new finds.

Nordstrom Beauty Concierge Calgary

Want to try out some new looks or get an overhaul of your make-up bag? Simply call the Nordstrom Beauty Concierge in Calgary at 587-291-2000 (in Calgary) to set up an appointment.

Be sure to give them your email, so you can get invited to lots of awesome (free!) events. During their fall beauty trends event two weekends ago, anyone could’ve received a complimentary hair blow out or manicure or hand massage or brow shaping. Sorry! I didn’t know!

How often do you update your make-up bag? Do you ever go to beauty counters to get tips on how to update your look?