Category Archives: Noteworthy Fashions

Your Face is a canvas! The art of makeup!


The-Art-of-Makeup-01I had the pleasure of chatting with Kiwi (Sha’Kiah Johnson) at the Clackamas Nordstrom M.A.C cosmetics counter on what Instagram says is her birthday – whaaaaaat? Happy birthday to a true artist! Kiwi is a gorgeous woman naturally, but check out what she can do with her own look on her instagram page! The interview below gives an insight into how the cosmetic artist views their canvas (your face).

The-Art-of-Makeup-04I brought my daughter in for a 1930’s vintage makeover last month, and the transformation was incredible, taking her from a perfectly sweet looking teenager into a classic vintage beauty.. I have always held that makeup is a very high form of art, because the cosmetic artist is already working with a naturally painted canvas. Finding ways to enhance and bring out features in such a way that gives the subject more confidence and pleasure in their own appearance – well, it’s art and psychology and communication!

Because of the insane variety of options offered, M.A.C. provides consultants like Kiwi to help select the right colors, and formulas of foundation, blushes, powders, shadows, lip, and nail lacquer choices. The experts can apply makeup in a variety of general styles, or can customize your look for a special event.

The-Art-of-Makeup-02M.A.C. cosmetics is a special line of products designed with dramatic and theatrical intent – strong vibrant colors created with quality for long-lasting wear. I’ve done stage makeup for several rock shows, and this is my go-to cosmetic line. I also have sensitive skin, and M.A.C. has always been kind to my face.

The-Art-of-Makeup-03The company is not just about outside beauty – they have a recycling program, offering a free lipstick in exchange for six empty M.A.C. product containers. They also support local organizations helping people dealing with HIV through their Viva Glam program. The Clackamas Nordstrom M.A.C. department works directly with Our House of Portland.

Thanks so much to Kiwi for sharing her experience with us at Portland Notes! I’m always so impressed by what these artists can do!

The Art of Recycling Fashion – Thrift Store Shopping Tips!


I sat down and thought about this the other day – I’ve been thrift store shopping for 32 years! Even when I worked at Nordstrom, I still refused to pay full price for clothes that were intended to last one season and one season only. It seemed so wasteful…

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-05Having always been somewhat fashion conscious (HAHAHA for those of you who know me somewhat?!?!?!?), I started trying to duplicate the current trends by purchasing similar items at resale shops. Since I was working in merchandising for a number of years, I realized that it’s totally true: fashion goes in cycles – why pay full retail for a copy when the original prototype is far less expensive and generally of better quality? Maybe because it’s risky…I get it.

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-07Sure, you can take the easy way out – hit Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Spanky’s Closet, or a smaller local consignment shop in your area – there are experts in every store to help you put outfits together. But if you want to really save some bucks, help out a non-profit, and feel amazing about your thrifting abilities, then let me help remove some of the risk for you.

Here are my Tips for Fun and Fashionable Thrifting:

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-04Have a visual – know what you’re looking for. Take photos of outfits or pieces you’d like to approximate. I always shoot photos of creative outfits in the mall – it’s a good place to start! The crazy print dress I’m wearing (Goodwill on Woodstock – $7.99) was a very close copy of a Nordstrom designer dress on display in City Center.

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-03Dress for success – wear a good basic black tank and black leggings as a base. The tank allows you to try on jackets or sheer items over your base, and leggings gives the appearance of tights under a dress as well as that extra waistband that must be considered. You can assume you’ll be walking for miles. Bring extra thin and thick socks in case you find a pair of new shoes to try on.

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-01Be prepared – Carb load – be well fed before you shop, Or you’ll make goofy decisions. Bring water, as clothing is dry and trying on clothes will dehydrate you. Shopping is dirty work – bring antiseptic wipes or diaper wipes to clean your hands. Bring a recyclable shopping bag to carry your treasures home in.

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-02Budget wisely – it’s easy to end up overpaying: remember what things are worth generally and personally. If you NEED it, it’s worth more. If it’s just “interesting,” think twice before spending more than a few bucks. Keep a list of the items you are looking for, and realize that there will be a few awesome surprises you won’t be able to pass up. The sweaters shown are a good example – on the left, black angora blend from Deseret Industries $14.99. On the right – Macy’s acrylic, same style $69.50.

The-Art-of-Recycling-Fashion-08When first looking, size doesn’t matter – you’re going to need to try everything on! Look through all the sizes for items you like. Do not shop by size. Shop by item.

Land of no returns – don’t buy a maybe unless you have money to spare. Get what you came for or a nice surprise you didn’t know you needed til you saw it. Don’t get distracted – if you can’t visualize yourself using the item ASAP, it might never make it out of the closet. Thrift stores don’t make it easy to return items.

If you’d like to come along on my next fashion adventure, send us a comment!