September 29th, 2012 / posted by paularath

Joelle Russo, Regional Beauty Director, Nordstrom


I love it when I meet someone in the cosmetics world who really knows her (or his) stuff. Especially when she (or he) doesn’t represent a specific brand and has a broad overview of what’s out there. That’s the case with Joelle Russo, Regional Beauty Director for Nordstrom. We spent a couple of hours talking about what’s new, what’s out and what works. In fact she shared so much information that I will need to write two or three blogs about fall makeup so I don’t overwhelm you with information all at once.

As one who is easily confounded by makeup (“Really? I’m supposed to use three eye shadows to make my deep set eyes look bigger?”), I love what Joelle quoted from Shiseido’s national makeup artist, Dick Page: “Beauty is fun. If you don’t love it, guess what? You can take it off.” A good thing to remember as we try out fall trends.

First, on the subject of those trends:


“There is a bold red lipstick for everyone. It’s like the LBD of makeup,” Joelle said. All shades of red are trending right now, from cherry to bordeaux. It really is true. There are so many reds out there, just search until you find the right red for your skin tone, eye and hair color.

If you’re shy of red because you have numerous barely used red lipsticks in your makeup kit, don’t let that be a deterrent. Just ask a Nordstrom sales associate to give you a sample of the lipstick you’re considering. Yes, they can sample lipsticks – just tell them Joelle said they should slice off a little bit of lipstick and give it to you to try. Check out how it works for you in a variety of lights, from bright daylight to soft candlelight.

Red lipstick can really run, so be sure to prime the lips first so the lip color will adhere. Joelle recommends Touche Eclat by YSL be placed around the perimeter of the lips as well as over the entire lips (don’t forget the outer corners). I like a pencil called Omit by Julie Hewett which I buy from Liz Dahl at Etch Salon on the corner of Keeaumoku and Young.

Some of what’s new and hot at Nordstrom now.


I can’t recall a time when nails were such a strong fashion statement. Even on the runways, models are wearing nails as patterned as some of their print frocks. I think the polka dots are my fave so far. A dark nail with a light polka dot is just so eye-catching. I read somewhere that you can create your own polka dots at home with a bobby pin. Worth a try!

Joelle said nails are either neutral or bold this fall. Reds are especially hot, in deeper, richer shades of berry and ruby. It’s popular once again to match your nails and lips.

If there’s a lot going on in your outfit, or you’re rocking a lot of makeup, nails should probably be toned down, however.


The ombre eye is a bit different from the smokey eye. When creating it, the same color is used, but in different intensities. For example, to cite my faves of the moment, use a rich, deep green gold as an eyeliner, a medium green gold over the eye and a shimmery gold under the brow; three shades that are similar but decrease in intensity as you get closer to the brow. Blend, blend, blend!

A shimmering gold under the brow is also beautiful with browns, peaches and blues.

Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill mascara is fabulous.


William Squire, a well-known makeup artist who often comes to Nordstrom, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus for Chanel, says he thinks navy is the end-all color for fall; navy eyeliner and navy mascara in particular. Of course navy and red play so well together. He made up 130 women for the Emmys, many of them with navy.


Not a big season for false eyelashes, but long lush natural lashes are a must.

Many went into mourning when Shu Uemura’s makeup brand disappeared. However, here’s a little secret: Shu Uemura was owned by L’Oreal Paris and L’Oreal Paris also owns Lancome. Now Lancome is making the same eyelash curlers as the uber-popular Shu Uemura lash curlers – just with a different brand name. Get one!

As for mascara, Joelle and I agree that you can’t find a better mascara than Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill. Pricey, yes, but so worth it!


Joelle said that fall 2012 foundation is matte rather than shiny. However, she advised “Finish with a little highlighter on the cheek or over the eye to bring a little sparkle and shine.” The totally matte look can appear too dull. She loves Nars multiple sticks for eyes, cheeks and lips or M.A.C.’s Belightful, a powder highlighter.

Coming soon to Nordstrom Ala Moana: Jo Malone fragrances will launch on October 1. Jo Malone is especially great for layering to create your own signature scent.

On November 10, Nordstrom Ala Moana will introduce a Frederic Fekkai national team who will be offering hair analysis, styling and even a master class.

Look for another makeup blog tomorrow. What are the essential brushes for your kit? Is primer necessary? And a list of Joelle’s favorite products!

– Paula Rath

What are they saying?
Leave a comment below.
September 30th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Fabulous! Being a makeup and skincare junkie myself I look forward to your future articles. I mix the high and low end and find there are lots of affordable stuff out there. One recent discovery is Revlon’s Age Defying Makeup w/ Botafirm, Dry Skin, SPF 15. It was recommended by Paula Begouin’s Beautypedia.

October 22nd, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I love Paula Begoun and her Beautypedia! I recommend it to all my readers and hope they discover it!

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