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Posts Tagged ‘Nordstrom’

Farewell, Elizabeth Dehn

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The serum has sold out, ladies. Less than a year after its well-received launch, By Elizabeth Dehn is out of business. The pretty skincare collection was manufactured locally by Galen Labs, another highly lauded Minnesota brand, which abruptly shut its doors last year. Finding another manufacturer proved too difficult and costly for Dehn, author of the popular blog BeautyBets.

A lifelong product fanatic, creating her own line had been a dream come true for Dehn. I spoke to her about the experience as she packed for her next adventure in Seattle, where she has accepted a position as a senior writer for, curating beauty and fashion content. I’m going to miss her dewy glow around town. But she plans to continue blogging, so we’ll be able to keep up with her product recommendations and tips at BeautyBets and @beautybets on Twitter (where I stalk her when I need the latest bronzer -STAT.)

Dehn’s parting words of wisdom are a must read for other would-be entrepreneurs.

Q. Favorite thing about being a beauty mogul for a year?

I’ll ignore the mogul part and just say that there’s nothing better than getting to play with product all day, whether it’s mine or someone else’s. Who gets to do that for a living?!

Q. Hardest part of starting your own line?

As with many entrepreneurs, I am my own staff, help desk, accountant, trash-taker-outer, etc., in addition to all of the other demands of running a small business. It can be exhausting and incredibly isolating. Which is why you shouldn’t go out on your own unless you REALLY love what you’re doing.

Q. Best or surprising lesson learned about the beauty biz?

I thought I knew what was required to bring a product line to market, but to truly play with the big brands requires far more capital and man power than I could’ve ever imagined. Had I known, I would’ve never attempted this. For once in my life I’m glad I was ignorant.

Q. What’s your advice for other wanna-be product developers?

How are you going to differentiate yourself in this over-saturated market? If you can answer that question confidently, then start talking to manufacturers. They are going to help you determine what’s possible, how much it’s going to cost, and how long it will take. If you still want to proceed after those findings, then get ready for a wild ride!

Q. Which of your products will you miss most?

The serum. It’s been the real game-changer for my skin. Younger customers would probably say the Face Spray, and more mature skin types would say the Shea Cream.

Q. Have you stashed away a supply of your products for yourself?

Absolutely. I have a box of “factory seconds” for my mother and closest friends who’ve been on the By Elizabeth Dehn bandwagon from the very beginning. Thankfully the products have a shelf-life of at least two years. After that, we’re all screwed.

Q. Oh dear. What will you replace them with?

I was a facial oil junkie before this, so I can honestly say it’s going to be next to impossible to find something as equal parts hydrating and brightening as the serum. I’ve already started testing out potential replacements for the Shea Cream, and while there may be something as moisturizing on the market, it won’t have the soothing and anti-aging benefits that only shea butter can provide—especially not in the quantity we used. The Face Spray will be much easier—but nothing else will smell that yummy!  Short answer: There are no replacements.

Get Glowing With Kate Somerville

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Fresh off a busy Emmys weekend, during which her DermalQuench skin treatment was a pre-red carpet must for host Jane Lynch, her Glee co-star Lea Michele, Kate Walsh from Private Practice and many other celebs, Hollywood facialist Kate Somerville is headed to the Twin Cities. On Saturday, she’ll offer her $250 wrinkle-reducing treatment for free at Nordstrom Mall of America. Somerville will sign copies of her book, “Complexion Perfection,” from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Her DermalQuench machine, a hyperbaric pressurized oxygen treatment, which she says eliminates wrinkles on the spot, will be at the store all week.

Aside from Somerville’s high-tech treatment, she says great skin requires three things:

  • Exfoliation. Use a good peel or scrub twice a week to turn over dead skin cells
  • Hydration serum with hyaluronic acid
  • Moisturizer with peptides to stimulate collagen production

Follow these rules, she says, “and you’ll have gorgeous skin.” But just to be safe, you might want to schedule an appointment at Nordstrom. Call 952-883-2121.

Before heading to California for her little brother’s wedding (News flash: there was a WEDDING over the weekend!), Kaela Humphries went shopping at her favorite Twin Cities boutique: Covered in Uptown.

It’s good to have friends in retail when you’re keeping up with the Kardashians. Humphries’ bestie Bridget works at Covered, and has helped her plan outfits for the many events (and plane rides) she’s attended since her brother, NBA player Kris Humphries, started courting Kim Kardashian. Kaela Humphries’ other essential shopping resource: Nordstrom, where she used to work. Sondra at Nordstrom Mall of America is the go-to personal shopper for Humphries and her mom.

“I don’t need to stand out; I just want to be appropriate,” says Humphries, a successful medical sales rep who also models (yep, that’s her pic hanging in Kohl’s stores and on

Humphries has mastered the art of switching up her accessories. “Covered has a lot of vintage jewelry and belts – I’ve worn the same dress 100 times and changed the belt, the purse.”

And the lip. “I used to just do a nude lip or lipgloss. But when you’re recycling outfits and trying to get different looks – for five or six events in one day . . . I threw on a red lip.” Her new fave: Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain.

As for her bridesmaid dress, well, she’s sworn to secrecy until the E! wedding special airs in October. She did tell me that among the many celebrity guests at the wedding, two that she most enjoyed meeting were from the fashion world: clothing designer Rachel Roy and the designer of Kardashian’s engagement ring, Lorraine Schwartz. But mostly, Humphries says she was “surrounded by friends and family and caught up in the moment.”

She flew the red-eye back to Minneapolis, arriving just in time to go to work Monday, so Humphries has yet to see this week’s Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s episode, in which her brother goes on vaca to Bora Bora with Kim’s family. “My parents have them TiVo’ed, so I’ll probably sit down and watch a bunch at some point.”

After all, this is the brother she “did everything with” growing up, including swimming and playing basketball. “He used to be introverted,” Humphries says of Kris. “He’s kind of funny these days.”

Red Hot: Nordstrom Fall Designer Preview

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

So much to love about fall fashion 2011. Nordstrom brought its Designer Preview to the Mall of America store tonight – one of just five nationwide to be treated to this super slick show, featuring 11 top collections including Chanel, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Givenchy. Tweed, fur, leather and geometric prints were among the key trends. And where there’s color for fall, it will be red. Now. To pick just one look for the cover of the August Shop + Style section of MplsSt.Paul Magazine – oh, the torture!

See the collections up close before they fly back to New York: Nordstrom Mall of America hosts a post Designer Preview trunk show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 24.

Notes from a Saturday at MOA

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Spent the better part of Saturday at Mall of America, starting with a live broadcast of Shop Girls” at the Operation Glass Slipper Princess Event, including a visit to Sea Life Minnesota, and ending with a mad dash through DSW some nine hours later. Here’s what I learned:

People start lining up for Rainforest Cafe at 10:30 a.m. No wonder it’s so challenging to get in at dinner time.

Nordstrom is “going green,” offering to email customer receipts rather than printing it out. (They have long put a return sticker on every item at point of purchase, so the receipt isn’t really needed for returns anyway.

J. Crew has decided not to offer its swim collection at any of its Twin Cities stores this spring. Shortsighted – the cold makes Minnesotans all the more likely to take a beach vacation. And finding the perfect swimsuit is difficult enough without guessing online.

If you want to shop Nordstrom Rack on a busy Saturday, make it your first stop, while you have the patience to deal with the crowd, lines and assorted odors.

Pays to buy tickets in advance to the new Sea Life Minnesota – you save $5 each by ordering online, and you get to enter through an express lane. Now, whether or not admission is worth the $14.99 in advance ($19.99 at the door) is another question. The name isn’t all that’s changed: The mall aquarium, now run by Merlin Entertainment Group, just completed a major renovation that includes a new stingray exhibit, an enormous Poseidon figure in the shark tank, new sea creatures, and more educational elements. The good: The stingray tank at the new entryway (they flipped the entrance and exit) is cool – it’s at eye level for kids and includes a deck that allows you to walk over the stingrays. The jellyfish exhibit is striking, the sea horses are so cute, and the shark cove that lets you to experience sharks, stingrays and sawfish swimming overhead is still awesome (and seems longer somehow). The bad: The new “hands-on submarine play area” is ill-conceived. First of all, it’s aimed at a very narrow population of 2 to 5 year olds, which is an accident waiting to happen for bigger who still have the urge to climb. Second, the play structure is crammed in a corner near the exit with little space for strollers – something virtually every person stopping there is going to have. Ultimately, even with the added features, aquarium admission still seems pricey. It’s a great addition to a mall visit, but not a day’s outing, like going to some of the other museums in town. For an aquarium in the basement of a mall, it’s mighty impressive. But even with the slow moving crowd in front of us, we were done in around 90 minutes.

The Barnes & Noble Cafe is a wonderful respite from the chaos of the mall rotunda (and offers quiche and soft pretzels and other snacks beyond the usual Starbucks baked goods.

Entering the mall off of I-494 on Killebrew Drive is always faster than Lindau Lane. But parking near Nordstrom is entirely more civilized than the east side lots.

Cool boots – now, and later

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Love these Sigerson Morrison suede peep toe ankle boots from Pumpz & Co – shown today on Twin Cities Live: That’s Sharon Allemong – when she’s not modeling on TV, she runs Insite Interiors and the Sale Room @ IMS. She made a Classiques Entier dress from Nordstrom look hip and season-appropriate by layering a thin turtleneck underneath and adding a belted jacket by the same brand on top. Peel it apart and she can take the pieces into spring. Even the boots (which are $350), which would look great without tights too. Sharon led off the show today – see the other models and their boots here: – Boots.

Affording Monique Lhuillier

Friday, August 27th, 2010

For those of us whose level of style doesn’t always (ever?) match our level of income, good news from celebrity-favorite designer Monique Lhuillier: she inked a deal to design a bridge collection of separates starting at $295, cocktail dresses starting at $395 and evening gowns starting at $595. There are plans for two bridesmaid collections too, starting at $200. The first bridesmaid line, ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids will be available next month at Nordstrom; the second collection, Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids will debut at bridal salons worldwide in January and watch for the bridge collection in stores for Spring 2011. You won’t see all of the affordable pieces at the Monique Lhuillier salon in Edina, which will remain primarily a collection store, but some of the favorite pieces will likely make their way into the mix.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview

Monday, July 12th, 2010

On Friday, July 16, Nordstrom will introduce new fall merchandise at discounted prices. After August 1, the prices go up. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a sale for planners who can think ahead to leather boots and wool suits when outside it’s 90 and humid. It is a sale designed to make shoppers feel special – like they’re getting a deal before anyone else. But getting that opportunity with everyone else isn’t enough – the department store lets some customers pre-shop the sale. Ask and most sales associates will say the pre-shopping opportunity – which means avoiding crowds, getting first pick and having your selections shipped to your home at no cost – is open to Nordstrom card holders. But I know some credit card holders who don’t get invited. And I know at least one person who doesn’t have a Nordstrom card, or an unlimited budget, and still, she gets invited to pre-shop every year. So what’s the real story? Ask. Nicely. The pre-shopping is open through Wednesday, July 14, I was told when I called the children’s shoe department today. At first, the salesperson told me I’d need a Nordstrom card to shop ahead. When I pressed, and mentioned my friend, she said I could come in make my picks from the new sale merch. Sales associates are out to establish relationships, and helping shoppers buy early and feel excited about it is the perfect way to create those ties. Meanwhile, If you’re content to preview the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale online – including beauty exclusives, click here.

The next big ticket

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

In some cities, Nordstrom’s Fall Designer Preview draws upwards of 500 people. The crowd at Nordstrom Mall of America was considerably smaller tonight, maybe 150, but give it a year, I think we’ll see the fashion troops mobilize for this classy event. It’s not the dancing-on-the-rooftop party that you get at Glamorama, but if you love fashion and want to feel like a New York housewife, it’s the real deal: a straight, serious runway preview of fall collections including Chanel, Gucci, Missoni (you can already picture the blonde MN ladies in their patchwork sweaters and leggings) and the gorgeous finale, Oscar de la Renta (pictured here). Thanks, Nordstrom, for realizing that you don’t have to live on the coasts to appreciate fashion. As proof: after the show, guests shopped while sipping champagne. Armani, Donna Karan – and none of it on sale.

Shirt dos and don’ts for men

Monday, June 21st, 2010

T-shirt or polo? Polo or t-shirt? While I envy men their simple, clear cut choices (no man is late for work because he swapped a blouse for a sleeveless dress at the last minute and then realized he hadn’t shaved his underarms for, um, a few days), men’s casual clothes for summer can get fairly boring. And still, men do manage to make mistakes. Like the tattoo-type graphic print t-shirt (no need to name names). I think Tom Julian, author of “Nordstrom Guide to Men’s Everyday Dressing,” is being kind when he says no guy over 35 should wear those shirts.” What men should add to their wardrobe this summer: a cotton slub polo (like this one from Diesel, $60 at Nordstrom). It’s got the polish of a collared shirt, but the ease and comfort of your best worn t-shirt. That’s casual cool.
What else should men buy this summer? Listen to my conversation with Tom on Shop Girls on myTalk 107.1 (click the podcast for Hour 1, June 19). And see what he had to say about Spanx for Men. My favorite line, which, unfortunately, I just couldn’t work into the newspaper article: “Men want to avoid the Simon Cowell problem: Man boobs.” | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved