CHI-lebrity Style File: Nicole L. Townsend of 'Pretty in the Windy City'

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With flawless makeup, hair, and fashion sense, it is not a surprise to wonder “Who’s that girl?” when you see Nicole L. Townsend enter the room. As a freelance beauty journalist and fellow writer with her blog “Pretty in the Windy City“, Nicole is known for her in-depth product knowledge, eye for color, and obsession with red lipstick: and the world is taking notice. She has appeared on ABC 7 News as a beauty expert along with writing articles for top media like AOL City’s Best,, N’Digo Magazine, Celebrating the Success of the Modern Woman, and Second City Style. Plus, Nicole even competed for the Miss Michigan USA crown, proving this Chicago girl truly lives the glamorous life.

Describe your personal fashion philosophy.

Fashion is so subjective; I truly believe that you can stay on trend and true to yourself. The lessons learned from competing in pageants will forever be my saving grace. Poise, glamour and sophistication definitely define my personal fashion philosophy. I always feel so fortunate when I cross paths with people who have that certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to fashion, and I’m so excited to see where the industry is going.   

What beauty products can you just not live without?

I live for Murad Skincare. I use their Clarifying Cleanser both morning and night, and I follow with their Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20. April was “National Facial Protection Month,” and as an advocate of sunscreen, I reached out to my “Pretty in the Windy City” followers to communicate the importance of sunscreen year round.  Since I have oily skin, I also stock up on oil-blotting sheets, Clinique Clarifying Powder and Superfit Foundation. It’s love at first application.

Where do you go in the city to find the latest and greatest in fashion & beauty? Any particular stores, spas, etc?

I Iove Deliciously Vintage for their original high-end pieces. The team is so talented; they can spot trends from miles away. And get this…if they don’t have what you’re looking for, they’ll take the time to search for it in their “secret vault.” Super cool, indeed!
I’m a beauty writer by trade, so I usually don’t shop for cosmetics. On occasion, you will find me in the drugstore isles searching for new mascara, nail polish and bronzer.  Make no mistake, some drugstores brands are golden! I shop at C.O. Bigelow for the Mentha Smoothing Body Buffer and Lip Salve. I love Exhale Spa for all things beauty and health related. They have beginner’s yoga and meditation classes that are soothing for the soul. If I could have it my way, I’d go every day.

Look for Nicole’s latest beauty articles on “Pretty in the Windy City” and the “Kyles Files” every Tuesday.

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