Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Friends, New Colors: Playing with Marcus Monson and Guerlain at the Nordstrom Trend Show

Last week, I had the most wonderful time shopping and getting a makeover from the fabulous Marcus Monson at the Nordstrom Trend Show. I only have a few pictures to show for it, but I wanted to share my experience with you anyway!

Marcus Monson is a National Celebrity Artist for Guerlain, which means he spends about 90% of his time traveling and doing makeup for celebrities and special events. (The other 10% of the time, he says, he spends at home in Dallas, Texas.) He is also the brand's spokesperson for interviews, so you may have seen or heard of him before. I personally first heard of him years ago via KarlaSugar and hoped to meet him someday from that date onward, so I was thrilled out of my mind when my good friend Sarah invited me to come in for a makeover by Marcus at her Guerlain counter.

As a sidenote: I've been to many events like this one hosted by a variety of cosmetic brands now, and in every other one I've attended, the setup has been something like this: the event boasts a makeover by the brand's famous national artist, so you come in for that. What you actually get is being "prepped" by a local freelance artist who does your skincare and all of your makeup except for one "key" feature you choose; then, the famous artist swoops in, spends 5-10 minutes applying makeup on the feature you've chosen (eyes, lips, contouring, whatever), gives you a hard sell on the products he/she used plus several more, and then moves onto the next client.

Let me tell you, with Marcus, it was different. This was a real treat for me. I came in, sat down, and just like that, Marcus came over to greet me. We introduced ourselves, and then he got to work and we got to talking. He told me bits and pieces of what he was doing as he applied my makeup, but didn't insult my intelligence/cosmetic know-how by making the application process our only subject of conversation. I had a great time getting to know him as we chatted about all kinds of topics: traveling, self-image, dieting and health, eating out, makeup looks we love, and more. I even learned some of his housecleaning habits - don't worry, Marcus, I won't tell anyone! In all, he spent over an hour with me, uninterrupted, one-on-one. He also didn't push me heavily on what I should purchase, which I sincerely appreciated.

I learned a few really interesting tricks from Marcus, too. He told me about how he likes to layer eyeshadows, something I've never experimented with much, to create unique textural and color combinations. He layered the purples in Guerlain's Attrape-Couer quad with greens from Les Verts to create this look - see how the lid color looks purple from afar, but reflects green? You might need to click to view full-size. Check out the purple mascara, too!

We also lamented how difficult it is to find an eyeshadow brush with a density and shape just like this one we apparently both share a dream of finding one day (which I have since realized might be the Suqqu M - now I just need to get my hands on one...) and he showed me how he's modified some of his own brushes to suit his needs. I don't think I could "edit" Chanel brushes like he has for fear of butchering something so expensive, but he did give me the courage to (gently) hack away at a Posh crease brush I liked but found a little too round, and I don't think it came out half badly! It's much closer to being pointed/tapered now, and I've actually used it to apply my crease color for the past few days in a row. He even convinced me to experiment with layering lip products more often. For example: I love pinky-nudes, but have trouble finding ones in formulas I like that aren't too nude or too pink, so... I can take the ones I already have that are too nude and too pink and layer them! VoilĂ . So simple, but again, something I've never actually bothered to play around with before.

Long story short, I had a fantastic time. I've already swatched and photographed Attrape-Couer, which I purchased that day along with some other items, so I'll do a post on that soon. For now, let me leave you with this picture of the three of us: my friend Sarah (also the Guerlain counter manager - this is at the Nordstrom in Bellevue, WA), myself, and Marcus.

(Marcus, you were right about the camera adding ten pounds, but in this particular instance, I think it added all three of our ten extra pounds onto my face! Go figure.)


  1. I've ordered from Sarah before; never knew what she looked like! She is gorgeous! If you could find out what lip she is wearing in your photo, please let me know!

    Looks like you had a lot of fun at this event. Marcus sounds super sweet, and you look beautiful! I especially like the purple mascara.

    1. She IS gorgeous, I agree :) she says she was wearing Rouge G #28! I believe that one is called Genna.

      Yes, I had a ton of fun! Thank you! :)

  2. Thanks for the review :)
    Much love,


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