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“My name is Tracy Margolies (@tmargolies) and I'm the Chief Merchant at Saks. I've been at Saks for almost six years. When you're a buyer of a specific category, you go to every single appointment, decide how you're going to spend your budget, and then sort things by in-store location and online. I think a good buyer has that balance between financial knowledge and gut. What are you excited about? What do you think is the best thing? What's our customer going to like? There’s a lot of psychology in retail, but you also have to take chances.
What I love about my job is that it always comes down to people and product. I get to look at pieces from Dior and Chanel up close, and I’m always surrounded by true beauty. A McQueen show is theater. One of my biggest beauty secrets is that we have a service at the Saks spa called the Martine de Richeville. It's a lymphatic massage on your whole body, and you really do see a difference in bloat when it’s finished. That’s what I do when I really want to treat myself. The other thing I do is see Amber at the Saks Givenchy boutique for a makeover. She knows exactly how I like to do my makeup, and I'd go to her if I had a special dinner or something. I only like eyeliner on my top eyelid, and I really love extra eyelashes. I never use false lashes on myself, but Amber makes them look so great. She also does contour on me sometimes, which I’ve tried to do on my own and… it’s better if I leave it to her.
Now, being in front of my own personal Zoom camera all day, I'm ultra sensitive to what my skin looks like. I used to use primer every so often, and now I use it all the time. The Givenchy Prisme Primer is more of a color corrector, and I also have the Gucci Sérum De Beauté Fluide Soyeux. That one gives me more of a silk finish, and I use it when I don’t feel like I need the extra coverage. Gucci makeup is great! The products are really strong, the ingredients are safe, and I love the packaging. The foundation I use most often is the La Mer Soft Fluid Foundation in 250 Sand, which I wasn't sure about at first but really does give a beautiful glow. Instead of contour I put Guerlain Terracotta Sunkissed Bronzer in 03 everywhere and use Sisley Paris Le Phyto Blush in Rosewood.
I get my brows tweezed and tinted at Sabria’s Brows, which is phenomenal, and then I color them in with a Laura Mercier pencil in Soft Brunette. It’s just easy. I use a Tom Ford pencil eyeliner, and sometimes I use this Givenchy liquid liner on top if I want it to last longer. I don’t always wear mascara, but I do wear lipstick every single day. My mother always told me to never leave the house without lipstick, and my friends always make fun of me because no matter where I am, I have lipstick on. I always go for something a little darker than my natural lip color, like Chanel Rouge Coco in 438 Suzanne, or red like Rouge Dior in 999 Velvet.
I love hearing brands talk about the science behind their new products when I go on buying appointments. A lot of my recommendations come from those interactions. I always wash my face with the Sisley Radiance Foaming Cream, which gives me that really clean feeling. Sisley products just work, in my opinion—I used to use the Black Rose Oil, which is also amazing. Every so often, maybe once or twice a week, I exfoliate with the Lancer Polish or the Augustinus Bader exfoliating toner, which I like a lot too. Exfoliating helps even out my skin tone. I’m in my late 40s and always want to look glowy, not dry, so then I layer a few hydrating products. Clé de Peau’s Serum gives me a nice glow, I love the way the La Mer Soft Cream feels, and depending if I want a bit more, I might use the Bader face oil too. I use La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Cream morning and night—my mom always said how important eye cream was, so I’ve been using one for like 25 years. And then I also use La Prairie’s sunscreen, which has SPF 50. It’s a lot of steps, but I go through it very quickly.
As I’ve gotten older, I've really been focusing more on haircare. My hair is thin, highlighted, and I always blow it out. But now that I’m mostly at home with my toddler I’ve been wearing it up more often. I love to use the Sisley Purifying Mask before I shower, then I use their Volumizing Shampoo and Restructuring Conditioner. Philip Kingsley’s scalp products are really good too. I have a handful of fragrances that I’ve been enjoying—starting the day with fragrance makes me smile. The one I use the most is probably Ex Nihilo Fleur Narcotique, but if it’s very sunny I might wear something more rosy like Maison Francis Kurkdjian À La Rose, and if it’s dark and rainy I go a little deeper, like Byredo Bal d’Afrique, or stronger, like Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi from Kilian.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author