May 29th, 2011 / posted by paularath

Celebrity makeup artist Ross Burton addresses the huge crown at Nordstrom.

If you have never been to a Nordstrom beauty trend show, wow! It would seem you are one of the few women on the island who hasn’t. The crowds lined up hours before the 8 a.m. start time this morning to get a seat for a show that brings in dozens of national makeup artists, celebrity makeup artists, and even MDs who are founders of department store brands.

The headliner this year was Ross Burton, best known as Oprah’s makeup artist, who has also appeared as a beauty trend expert on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style. In addition, he is well known backstage  at the Emmy’s, Sundance Film Festival, and the ESPN ESPY Awards.

He just learned that he has been nominated for an Emmy Award for “Best Makeup on a Daytime Show.”

It’s always interesting to find out how someone at the top of his field got there. Burton said he originally thought he was going to be an “actooorrre” he told me, with a long drawn out funny phony English accent and a roll of his eyes.”I was drawn to New York,” said the Michigan native, “I knew there was something there for me in the bright lights of Broadway.”

His drama career did not take off as expected, although he certainly has the good looks and charisma for it. Burton began dating a makeup artist and she introduced him to the world of makeup artistry. He started freelancing with Lancome fragrance at the Macy’s Herald Square store and while he was at the counter “Women would ask me, ‘what blush should I wear and which lipstick is the right shade for me?’ That was my pathway to my journey called makeup artistry.”

“I loved seeing an instant reward as women walked away from the counter a little straighter and taller and with a level of self-confidence.” Burton said with a glint in his eyes and a hint of Oprah wearing off on him.

He rose rapidly in the Lancome company, becoming Vice-President of Artistry Programs and Artistic Director. He also trained Lancome’s makeup artists. He finds it amusing that when he began with Lancome, Isabella Rossellini was the company’s face. When he left Lancome, Elettra Wiedemann, Rosellini’s daughter, was the face of Lancome.

Oprah‘s best friend, Gayle King, discovered Burton and asked him to work with her and Oprah. Since 2007 he has traveled the world with Oprah, to South Africa, England, Scotland, Turkey, Rome and Australia, to name a few countries. “It’s a responsibility being part of that inner circle,” he explained. “It’s not just about making her look her best, it’s also representing her.”

Ross Burton applies his magic to a lucky Nordstrom customer.

Now Burton is no longer tied to a particular brand of make-up so I was curious to know what he always keeps in his makeup kit. Here are a few of his faves:

  • MAC makeup brushes
  • Laura Mercier translucent powder
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick
  • Nars Illuminator in “Super Orgasm” shade
  • YSL Touche Eclat concealer and highlighter
  • Lancome Bi-facil eye makeup remover
  • Clarisonic cleansing kit
  • Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in “Maui” shade

The capacity crowd leaves the third floor event to shop en masse in the second floor cosmetic department. Samples, sales and special packages await them.

At the Nordstrom Trend Event it helps to have a strategic plan to take advantage of all the special offers. Here's just a slice of the crowd after the show.

– Paula Rath

What are they saying?
Leave a comment below.
May 30th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Aloha Paula! Absolutely LOVED this bit. I am a skin care and make up junkie. Never heart of this Nordstrom event. How did you hear about it?

June 1st, 2011 at 5:46 am

I received a notice in the mail because I am a Nordstrom customer. I’m sure you can ask them (customer service or marketing) to put you on the list. And I did write a blog about it. It’s called the Nordstrom Trend Event and has a different title each year.

Leave a comment:
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.