Talking beauty with the Neiman Marcus cosmetics buyers is SO much fun. These are ladies who have seen (and tried) everything. Not only was it great to pick their brains on everything from lash-growers to lasers, but they were willing to let me peek inside their suitcases and makeup bags to discuss the best of the best.
Katherine Coleman is a cosmetics buyer for NeimanMarcus.com and BergdorfGoodman.com. She’s a self-professed skincare junkie and lipgloss addict. (I know she looks like she’s fresh out of college. It’s never polite to say a woman’s age, but let me just say that her skincare obsession is WORKING.)
I asked her what she packed for a business trip like this one.
Katherine says she makes moisture a focus when she’s traveling. She noted that airplane-air, traveling (to the less-humid) north, and indoor heating (NYC is often colder than Dallas) can wreak havoc on your skin. She also sagely observed that you’re drinking less water, but probably more caffeine — so you’re already a little dehydrated.
She doesn’t wear concealer on a daily basis at home (hatechu), but does on the road — to compensate for maybe getting less sleep than usual. She also depends on her “old faithful” standbys — products that just won’t quit, no matter how many meetings she’s got lined up (one example: Trish McEvoy’s gel pencil eyeliner).
She graciously let me snoop around her (freakishly well organized) hotel bathroom for the full scoop.
Any skincare ritual starts with cleanser and toner. Katherine likes Revive’s Gentle Cleanser Gelee because it’s soothing, yet gets everything off (including eye makeup). She uses it in conjunction with her Clarisonic Mia (obviously a Clarisonic is not used around the eyes). She follows with Revive Tonique Preparatif Lotion (toner), pressed on with Cle de Peau cotton squares. Katherine says the toner is gentle, refreshing, and leaves her skin super soft.
For daytime, she’ll use La Mer Regenerating Serum, followed by Creme de La Mer lotion. I recently learned from the La Mer counter that you should warm their moisturizers up between your fingertips and press in (nonchalantly rubbing it on can apply too much, and leave you feeling heavy and greasy). She likes Revive’s Les Yeux Presse eye serum (for day and night), followed by Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel for day (she says its gel formula absorbs super fast). She also showed me Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System, a hydrating, water-free, botanical mist that you can spray on before serum/moisturizer, or on top of makeup, for an added boost of hydration.
At night, Katherine uses Revive Moisturizing Renewal Eye Cream and Revive Moisture Renewal Complex Supreme (Revive is a line I’m just starting to get into, and I do really like their MRC Supreme moisturizer).
Now I have personally noticed that if I fail to exfoliate on vacation I WILL break out. Katherine’s a fan of steady maintenance as well: she uses Kate Somerville Clinic to Go pads twice a week, and Omorovicza Copper Peel (a two-step mask) once a week.
The number one thing I learned from Katherine’s bathroom counter: I shouldn’t be lazy. Good skin is a matter of consistency, even on the road. It’s better to maintain your usual routine and keep your skin happy than skimp and try to make up for it later.
In terms of color, Katherine wears Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 Anti-Glycation Primer when she’s going to be out in the sun, and Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20 (BB cream) is her go-to daily foundation (silicone-free!). When she wants more coverage, she’ll wear Armani Light Master Primer with Luminous Silk Foundation #5.
She likes Laura Mercier’s Eye Basics in Wheat, composes all her eye looks from a compact palette of Trish eyeshadows, and is currently obsessed with Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Nudes powder (she’s been wearing it instead of blush). She also had high praise for Chantecaille’s Faux Cils Longest Lash lash-growing mascara.
Now I wear whatever makeup I’m in the mood for that day, which has absolutely no relation to the clothes I’m wearing. So I was astonished to hear that Katherine’s daily makeup choices are based on the color palette of her clothes. (I think I said, “really?” half a dozen times.) Do you choose your makeup based on your clothes? Your clothes based on your makeup? Or do they have no relation to one another?
The items she has with her at all times? Chanel Double Perfection Natural Matte Powder Makeup in Tender Bisque (and Katherine was pretty sure that every member of the buying team uses this powder. She also says it can be used wet or dry). Lollia hand cream (a brand I hadn’t heard of, but the packaging is cute and the product smells really good).
Katherine SWEARS by Kiehls Argan Oil Hand Salve. She says she puts this on throughout the day to combat her dry cuticles. She says it’s super moisturizing, incredibly nourishing, and leaves your hands looking like you just got a manicure. I was skeptical that it would dry completely, but I touched her cuticles a minute after application and it had. She said you can even use it on split ends, or to tame flyaways.
Now, Katherine said she had a lipgloss problem, but when she unpacked her handbag, I really didn’t see a problem. For this trip she brought Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Treatment, Trish McEvoy Instant Pick Me Up color-changing lipgloss, Edward Bess lipliner in Natural (“the only lipliner you’ll need,” Katherine says), Edward Bess lipstick in Tender Love, Trish McEvoy Flawless Lip Color in Perfection, Clinique Vitamin C Lip Smoothie in Goodness Grapecious, and Edward Bess Gloss in French Lace.
Also in this picture: Cle de Peau concealer in Ivory, and Trish Instant Eye Lift (“a nap in a bottle,” says Katherine).