The general message at Neiman Marcus’s recent spring beauty preview for the Seattle media was: We can cure what ails you.
As reps from all 12 of the department store’s makeup counters took turns showing-and-telling their best bets for spring, the emphasis was firm, lift, hydrate.
Here are our highlights, in no particular order.
-Chantecaille has a 24K gold eye serum that harnesses bling’s anti-inflammatory properties. In keeping with the overall firm, lift, hydrate mantra, the Nano Gold Energizing Eye Serum (too new for a url even, but you can see their other Nano gold products here) is said to iron out fine lines, reduce dark circles, drain puffiness, and, “erase and prevent the signs of fatigue and aging.”
-Bobbi Brown: here, the message was more about education than eradicating imperfections. The line’s rep wanted everyone gathered at Neiman Marcus that morning to know that Bobbi Brown is all about quickie makeup lessons on subjects from smokey eyes to bridal beauty to simplifying and organizing your makeup kit. I thought it was a good time to clarify a concern that a lot of readers come to me with: What’s the expectation when you sit down in someone’s makeup chair for a how-to or a demo? The Bobbi Brown artist said there is absolutely no expectation; you may take advantage of their lessons and do what you see fit in return. Now, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t feel great about sitting through a 45-minute discourse called “Pretty Powerful Makeup Lesson” and then … just walking away, but I was told that you won’t be chased down and tackled if you do so. There’s another little mini-session called “Instant Pretty” that lasts for five minutes, and the course on smokey eyes lasts for 20. Would it be okay to go about your day and check out the makeup artist’s colors and lines in different lighting and in different settings, and return later after you’ve pondered purchasing the recommended products? I think that’s a sound strategy, and the makeup artists at Neiman Marcus agreed with me. Note: If you go in for special occasion makeup, on the other hand, you would really want to reciprocate by buying a few products. Say, an eyeliner and a lipstick or something. Think of it as a trade; you needed a service, they need to sell products.
-Guerlain is known for their ultra-luxe pop-up mirror lipstick. This season, they’re introducing a pop-up mirror mascara, too. The sleek little bullet-shaped tool will cost you a bit more than your average tube of lash-builder, but it you can buy less expensive refills after you’ve got the James Bond-esque little mirror apparatus.
-The black-glad gal from La Prairie intro’ed her pitch with the line, “We know everyone has a little spot they they want to hide.” That was news to me, actually, and I got a little distracted trying to settle on some part of my face that I’d like to cover or conceal. Should I have something mapped out? Is it wrong that I don’t? When and if I figure out what I’d like to hide, I now know the Swiss company has a whole suite of high-end products aimed at making the bad stuff go away.
-Creed has several new fragrances, most of which were too floral for my nose. I did sit up and pay attention when the words “cedar, sandalwood, and Tonkin musk” wafted through the air, though. The new gender neutral Royal-Oud may not be an immediate fit for most when thinking of fresh spring scents, but I thought the lemon, bergamot, and pink berry were sublime.
-Chanel’s pale peach tones feel ripe and ready for the hot neons that are all over the place in the ready-to-wear world. And the April, May, and June nail lacquers expertly split the difference between sweet and studied.
Upon returning from the media blitzkrieg in Bellevue that morning, a coworker noticed my bag of samples, Chanel-issued jump drives, and pink-foldered literature and remarked on how lucky I was to get all those mini-packets of eye cream and tester tubes of concealer. But here’s the thing: you could have them, too. Set aside a Saturday to explore the beauty offerings at Neiman Marcus or any other department store, and I’m quite sure you’ll be rewarded with all manner of tester packs and samples. Just be ready and receptive to what the reps have to say. They’re all exceptionally well-schooled on the chemistry of beauty and the cause-and-effect of products. Hear them out, and thank them kindly for their knowledge and whatever freebies they may offer.