Photo Credit: nordstrom.com
Nordstrom started as a Seattle shoe store in 1901, expanding into a full-scale department store in the 1960s and earning a reputation as a perennial favorite among shoppers who love great customer service and stellar product selection. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the store’s beauty department. I cringe at beauty counter clichés–sales associates in war paint pushing makeovers then upselling, aggressive spritzers at every entry, crammed displays that are impossible to navigate–thankfully, you’ll find none of that at Nordstrom. It is simply a lovely experience.
All of the available brands are showcased in beautiful displays, many with counters that feel more like mini-boutiques, including Dior, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Chanel, Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Philosophy and Guerlain. For a pre-party pick-me-up, nothing beats a visit to the Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash Bar, where you can get a gorgeous set of luxe lashes that range from realistic to whimsical fringe in innovative materials.
The fragrance department feels like a European department store with its flawless presentation and staggering selection. Some fragrance brands like delicious Jo Malone have dedicated spaces, while fragrances associated with full-scope beauty brands such as Lancome, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent are available alongside the product line.
At selected locations, Nordstrom has developed an amazing Spa Nordstrom service menu in concert with known and loved brands, including Anastasia Brow Studio Services, Canyon Ranch, Clarisonic, Essie, Jane Iredale MD Skincare and Somme Institute.
Nordstrom has garnered a following for some of the best store exclusives. Notable examples include the Laura Mercier Renaissance Collection, value size favorites from Decléor and Philosophy and L’Occitane gift sets and fragrances you won’t find anywhere else. This is the best time of year to go on a beauty bender at Nordstrom, with holiday gift packages for every taste and budget. Drool-worthy gift options for 2009 include Laura Mercier’s Master Toolbox, the Clarisonic Home and Away set, Essie’s Winter Mini 4-Pack, and the La Prarie ‘Skin Caviar’ Premier Collection.
When I can’t get to a brick and mortar store, the Nordstrom website offers a fantastic beauty fix with loads of useful information. The user-friendly interface is easily searchable, with “Faves & Craves” from the company’s beauty directors and a fun finder for all brands offering gifts with purchase. A comprehensive suncare shop features sun protection, after-sun care, self-tanners and bronzers, summer color and summer scents. The “Mom & Baby” section is a great resource for expectant and new mommies in search of safe and effective products from Belli, Decléor, Kiehl’s, Mustela and Clarins. There are also pages devoted to organics and naturals, men’s grooming, travel sizes and longwear makeup. Nordstrom’s Beauty Director Joelle Russo “coaches” Dior Pro Beauty Sessions online, giving seasonal advice and product recommendations.
If someone in your life needs some gift-giving inspiration or a good hint, create a Nordstrom wish list online to get the message across. Pressed for time? Fill your bag with all of your skin, cosmetics and hair care needs then use the Pick Up In Store option; instead of rushing around from counter to counter, Nordstrom will gather everything for you and email you when your package is ready, typically within an hour of placing your online order. These services set Nordstrom apart from the pack and keep me coming back to scratch my beauty itch, in person and on the web.