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Laksmi Sam Spotlight

Laksmi Sam

Nordstrom Regional Beauty Director

For every beauty product you purchase, there were dozens of people behind-the-scenes who created it, tested it, and deemed it worthy to be sold at a department store beauty counter. Laksmi Sam is one of those lucky people: as beauty director of Nordstrom’s Midwest region, she is constantly trying new cosmetics. For the past few months, she’s been busy preparing for this weekend’s Cosmetics Trend Show at Nordstrom, a day-long event of beauty that marks the launches of new products from Chanel, La Mer, and Dior, and features appearances by Kimora Lee Simmons (her skincare line, SHINTO, is exclusive to Nordstrom), and Alex Chantecaille. As jealous as we are of her job, we love that Laksmi is fulfilling her girlhood dream: before she had any cosmetics experience at all, she realized this was her path: “My awe of the MAC girls at our downtown Seattle Nordstrom store?,” she says. “I wanted to be one of them!” We drooled over Laksmi’s makeup stash—and picked up some tips and tricks along the way—for this week’s spotlight.

BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>> scent: TOM FORD PRIVATE BLEND URBAN MUSK // moisturizer: LAURA MERCIER BODY SOUFFLE IN ALMOND COCONUT // concealer: YSL TOUCHE ECLAT // primer: ESTEE LAUDER MATTE PERFECTING PRIMER // foundation: BURBERRY SHEER LUMINOUS FLUID FOUNDATION // bronzer: NARS LAGUNA BRONZER // lips: NARS BELLE DU JOUR or CRUELLA // mascara: ARMANI EYES TO KILL // nails: CHANEL DRAGON //  brows: MAC BROW PENCIL IN LINGERING // deodorant: DONNA KARAN CASHMERE MIST DEODORANT // tried and true: CHANTECAILLE ROSEWATER SPRAY 

Q: We have to ask—what can you tell us about the trends being revealed this weekend?!
A: Here’s a sneak peek: polished skin, come-hither eyes, and show-stopping lips. Come to the show and find out more!

Q: You were just in New York for Fashion Week! What was your favorite part?
A: Hands down, the best part of Fashion Week was seeing Tom Pecheux [Creative Makeup Director, Estee Lauder] and Dick Page [Artistic Director, Shiseido] doing makeup backstage, and talking to them about their influences and artistic vision. Both artists are idols of mine, and getting to interview them was a treat.

Q: Which shows had especially great makeup?
A: My favorite Spring 2013 makeup and hair look was by Laura Mercier for Jenny Packham—a 60’s inspired, Vegas ‘Rat Pack’ glamour girl who loves to wear makeup. There was a thick, turquoise winged liner, paired with balmy bronze skin, lashes for days, and tangerine lips. The hair was a side-parted twist all the way around the head, pinned into a low side ponytail. The other trend I loved was seeing filigree glued onto the ring and pinky nails at Ruffian. The concept was ‘nails as jewelry,’ and I dug it!

Q: Fantastic! While we’re talking Fashion Week, who are your personal fashion icons?
A: Gwen Stefani is my fashion icon! Love her gutsy, edgy, but polished look! Second runner up is Rachel Zoe. I die for how she mixes eclectic vintage pieces with current fashion. Vintage pieces tell such an interesting story and make you stand out.

Q: Love both of them! How about for beauty: what’s your beauty philosophy and who embodies it best?
A: Smile a lot, and at everyone; and Christy Turlington is my ultimate beauty icon.

Q: So we know you’re a sucker for the cosmetics counters, but where else do you like to put your paychecks?
A: Farmer’s markets, vintage stores, small boutiques, and gourmet grocery stores. The only store I’ve ever been to where I’m completely lost is Home Depot!

Q: Anything you just haven’t found yet?
A: I’m always searching for art for my apartment, the right tall boot, and the best steakhouse!

Find more info on the Nordstrom Fall Trend show on The G&F Blog.