Friday, May 6, 2011

The Friday Forum - May 6

It was almost impossible to grab a crisp azalea photo this week, with the wind blowing the branches up and down continuously. They wouldn't sit still! No can see the color I've been celebrating with the earliest bloomers among my Satsuki azaleas.

This has been a hectic week. Sometimes, my phone rings so often at work that I can't get any "real work" done. I'm not complaining - I enjoy helping others. It's a good thing that many days I come home from work to find a box with a goodie or two at my door. It picks me right up from the fatigue. Yesterday, there were Chantecaille beauties. Right now, there is a beautiful gift with any $200 purchase at Chantecaille's Web site: a full-sized Papillon Veil Poudre Délicate. I love it!

This weekend will be fun, with one beauty event and some shopping too. I need to get swatch photos on Saturday before the sun disappears for the weekend again. I will also be selecting a new camera. My SLR was fabulous in its day, but it's not digital. I need to replace the digital Sony I have been using with a DSLR. I've narrowed the field to two. Now I think I need to hold them both in my hands to decide - something I haven't had the time to do recently. I have small hands and a thin frame that complains if I carry around much extra weight, so the camera must have the excellent optics of my old Pentax SLR, but in a lightweight body. The new camera will be with me for many years.

Can you even believe it's time for The Friday Forum? We use the forum to share information and chat. Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By Monday, most readers have moved on.

Don't forget that there are two current giveaway contests! The first is for a Sephora eyeliner set, The Hot 10 Nano Eyeliner Set. The second is an incredibly generous sponsored contest from AVEENO and Recyclebank for two beauty sets - one for mom and one for baby! Both contests end tomorrow night, Saturday, May 7, at midnight. Make sure to enter before then. If you don't enter, you can't win!

What did you see this week that grabbed your eyes? Is there anything you've been waiting for me to feature?


Zuzu's Petals said...

Your azalea is beautiful. My rhodies are just starting to bloom, thanks to several warm days in April. I look forward to reading about your Chantecaille haul (one of my favorite brands), and I hope you tell us what you end up with for your DSLR. I am also in the market for a better camera. I owe it to my swatches!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Zuzu!

Our rhodies have swelling buds. They should be gorgeous soon.

The Chantecaille beauties I bought were all "old." I can't wait for the company to release its new things. They still show "coming soon" on the Web site.

We do owe it to our swatches - that's cute! Had I not had knee surgery a few months ago, I would have done the deed by now. My life kind of stopped for awhile there. :)

Zuzu's Petals said...

I am sorry to hear about your knee, Charlestongirl. I had a frozen shoulder for 6+ months, and my insurance ran out on my PT so I had to finish it at home. I hope you feel better! Knee issues are far more debilitating than a shoulder, but I have to admit to being rather surprised by how much it limited me.

I am dying for new Chantecaille items, too. I really tried to think of $200 I needed to get that powder, but I had a major Chante haul a couple months back and even stocked up on d/c items on eBay. I really *love* that brand and use something from it every single day.

I do enjoy your blog and like when you show your swatches next to a flower. I believe our skin tones are similar (at least we're both pale!), so your blog is always one of the first I check. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks so much, Zuzu!

I had my left knee replaced on December 28. Funny that you mention shoulders. I woke up one morning not too long ago, and my shoulder was in spasm. I couldn't move it. I think it was my rotator cuff. After a week or so of that, I tried to see my orthopedic surgeon. I couldn't move my right arm backwards at all! He was off, naturally, for Easter, so I let it go. It healed on its own, and is way better now. The only thing I can trace it to was lifting an enormously heavy box of cat litter into my shopping cart, into the car, into my house. I think it ruined my body. :) The store likes to stock the super-sized stuff, and they don't care about wimps like me. I yearn for the days when I wasn't a wimp.

I use Chantecaille's Tiger in the Wild multiple times/week. The two shadows on the top are fabulous on fair skin. It is one of the best palettes I have ever bought/used. I really think I need to order a third one! Chantecaille has the best GWPs too. Not diddly little samples, full-sized products!

I like to do swatches next to flowers. :) A little bit of me in each. The sun has to be right when I'm taking photos. If I could just win the lottery and stay home, I could get much better photos! LOL

Hope you have a happy (pain-free) weekend!

Kate said...

Hi Charlestongirl!

I can't speak from any personal experience, but my mother-in-law shattered her kneecap when she fell a few years ago, and I remember how excruciating and frustrating her recovery was. I am glad you are "on the mend"!

I bought the Dior Aurora bronzer based on your review (and also based on some other reviews) and I love it. I am wondering if I should get Sunset, too. Let's call a spade a spade - I am desperately trying to justify it in my mind! I love bronzers, and since I don't wear blush (I have a lot of natural redness in my cheeks) I am trying to rationalize that purchase by telling myself that my bronzers do double-duty! I also got the Electric Tropics nail polish in Aloha. It is super bright, and I can't wait to try it out on my toes. I do love summer makeup, even though I don't necessarily love the heat that comes along with summer.

I love the pictures you post of your flowers. I am not a yard work/gardening type of person, but I appreciate the hard work and care that goes into growing those beauties. Kudos to you!

I read your blog daily and it is a real treat. Have a wonderful weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks much, Kate!

The Dior Sunset is orangy and darker. If you like Aurora, you may not like it. Definitely try before you buy.

How about buying another bronzer in the same color family as Aurora if you like double-duty bronzers? Have you tried the Bobbi Brown bronzers? They are available in so many shades. Another one I really like is Armani #1.

Yes, knees carry us, and when they hurt, everything hurts. :) My new bionic knee is great, though. After a slow recovery, I am starting to think it's the best joint in my body. :)

Please let us know what bronzer you choose! We love to shop vicariously.

Zuzu's Petals said...

Kate, I have redness in my face, too, and I adore Armani #1. I also like the Edward Bess bronzer in Daydream. Bobbi Brown's "bronzer" in Antigua is really pretty, but it contained too much rose for me to pull off naturally. I recently bought Chanel's Soleil Tan Rose bronzer, but I have not tried it on yet. I am the Monarch of Delayed Gratification.

Eileen said...

Azaleas and rhododendrons! I do love them so, but they'd never make it where I live :-( One of the most joyous sights I had ever seen was the rhododendrons that had grown up and over some of the little country roads in England. They formed natural tunnels of colorful blooms that were truly glorious to be hold.

And, speaking of things glorious to behold, I could no longer resist the siren call of Guerlain's Terra Inca bronzer. It had already sold out at the counter, so I had to order it. It should be delivered this morning. Yes, indeed, happiness is getting some goodies in the mail :-)

A friend of mine brought me some SK-II from Japan (Treatment Essence and Signature Cream). Since I don't read Japanese, I don't know what's in it other than their trademark pitera, but it sure is calming. I've been using it for about a week now and have noticed that it has substantially reduced the redness in my skin. It must contain a lot of anti-inflammatory things. I'll have to drop by a counter and ask to see the ingredient list.

Happy weekend and Happy Mothers Day!

Kate said...

Charlestongirl and ZuZu (and Eileen, of course!),

Thanks for the suggestions! I actually already own Daydream by Edward Bess. I was strongly considering Desert Sun by Edward Bess, the darker color. I actually like my bronzers to be mostly brown, with little to no orange, peach, pink, etc. So, liking Aurora was kind of a surprise to me. But, after seeing your swatches, Charlestongirl, I had to try it.

I have actually been considering the Terra Incca bronzer by Guerlain. I was a little afraid after hearing that it had a "rosy" hue, since I don't want to add any more pink/rose to my face.

I stopped wearing blush after Marcus Monson, the Guerlain national makeup artist, did my makeup and suggested that I just wear bronzer. The man is a genius, and thus my use of blush ended right then and there!

I have heard good things about the Armani bronzer, so I may consider that one. I absolutely adore is my go-to bronzer everyday (until getting this Aurora). So, I may end up ordering Desert Sun, and then layering the two together. But Armani beauty can basically do no wrong in my eyes, so I will have to take a look at #1.

Thanks for all the advice ladies! (And I love that I can write three paragraphs about bronzer here and no one thinks I'm crazy.)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

Happy Mother's Day to you! Charlie doesn't know it yet, but he's buying me a gift tomorrow. I'll tell him after I leave the store. :)

I think you will love the Guerlain bronzer. It's so beautiful - on the skin and in the compact.

I found out this week that Guerlain is discontinuing one of my favorite lipsticks, KissKiss Strass. NM has no 343's left, but I just found two at Nordstrom. They rang them for me. That means I'll be shopping at Nordies Sunday. I'm so bummed. I like the new Rouge Automatique, but it's no substitute for the KissKiss line.

I need to give SK-II an extended try. The issue has been that it's so expensive. I like to try a skin-care treatment for a month before I know whether it really works well. So many women love SK-II, it has to be effective. I'll bet you can find the ingredients online.

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Too funny, Kate. You're right. No one thinks you're crazy. You're normal in our book.

lovethescents said...

Beautiful flowers,Charlestongirl! It's been raining endlessly here with nearly any warmth at all so the only thing growing in our garden is chives :-)

Following your chat on bronzers, my favorites are Korres Monoi Oil Bronzer, BB's Brownie Shimmerbricks, and Bess's Daydream (for when I don't want shimmer). Shame about that Guerlain The Blonde 01 that I bought and used only once....doesn't do anything for me :-(

I have several beautiful makeup items on their way to me from a kind American. I can't wait to enjoy them!

One makeup lemming for me has been Dior's Imprime Jungle palette. Beautiful beyong belief but looks complicated to use....I should probably steer clear!

Fragrance lemming? Several from Hilde Soliani's ingenious Profumo e Gusto in Liberta collection. Delicious!

Charlestongirl said...

OK, Lovethescents, tell us about Hilde Soliani's ingenious Profumo e Gusto in Liberta collection! We lemmings need to know more.

Charlestongirl said...

Today turned sad for me when I read in the Falls Church New Press (a nutty local newspaper) that Len Michalowski had been found dead in his front yard this week. Len was 84, but actually looked older when I saw him last Friday at the Post Office. I spoke to him, but I don't think he really recognized me. He should have. I worried about him last week. We used to have long conversations "over the fence" when I went on my neighborhood walks - years ago. Last week, we talked briefly about getting old.

Len had been a champion of veterans, and he was largely responsible for the establishment of a memorial for veterans on the bike path - passed by many every day with a nod to the nation's veterans.

His legacy as a citizen activist is undeniable. He may have been a little extreme at times, but his heart was always in the right place. I'll miss him. Deaths are always sad, but Len had a small veterans' memorial in his front yard. I think he would have chosen to die near it, as he did.

Eileen said...

The story of Len is so touching, Charlestongirl. I hope he was alive to learn of the assasination of Bin Laden and to know that Americans and people from around the world had taken time out to say thank you to ALL the men and women, deceased and still serving, who are the guardians of our freedom. Thank you for sharing Len's story with us.

Charlestongirl said...

He was, Eileen. He died on Wednesday. I'm sure he was proud.

Thanks for caring.

lovethescents said...

Charlestongirl, let me begin by extending my condolences to you and your neighbourhood. How sad when someone passes away, even if we weren't particularly close. Did he have any family or support network?

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Lovethescents.

His wife, Joesphine, lived with him, along with their dog. I really don't know if he had any children. It he did, it would have been from his first marriage.

It is sad. It's not like I lost a close friend, but any friend's passing is a loss. He earned our admiration.

lovethescents said...

You asked about Profumo e Gusto in Liberta, Charlestongirl, and it feels a little shallow of me to discuss luxury items when we are also talking about death, but that is part of life. Focusing on the living is more important in my culture than focusing on the dead....

I'm not sure if you've already sampled any Hilde Solianis but they are very unique indeed. I love Ti Amo Iris, all creamy without any of the usual irisy carrots, and *many perfumistas will whince here*, my favorite melon is Mangiami Dopo Teatro. It is by far, the most realistic, juicy cantaloupe fragrance, perfect for the summer. Also excellent in the summer is the simple fresh strawberries cut with salt that is Fraagola Saalaaata. BUT, the most recent collection contains,

Doolciiisssimo: my new favorite cherry and tobacco

Freschissimo: dying to try this lime, brown sugar and ginger [](not affiliated)

Acquiilssssima: incredibly refreshing aquatic, refined and certainly not in the same vein as generic, sporty aquatics like Coolyouknowwho

Saaliiisssiimo: curious licorice that smells wonderful on my husband

Sorry for the long post but you asked! :-)

lovethescents said...

Charlestongirl, I really feel for his wife Josephine now. I hope she won't feel too lost for too long.

Charlestongirl said...

Hey again, Lovethescents!

Yes, I feel badly for his wife. I need to leave a card at the door tomorrow.

Thank you so much for all the great info on Hilde Solianis. If I ever tried, I've forgotten. These fragrances sound exquisite, so I will be a lemming and seek out a few. Today, I went to a CREED event and bought two new ones. I could have bought for - only constrained by my wallet and the fact that Ambre Carnelle is impossible to find. I despise cinnamon, and I liked it! Amazing!

lovethescents said...

Oh Charlestongirl, Hilde Soliani truly is a genious. If you ever fancy a split, I'm in sistah! :-)

Now please indulge us and tell us which Creeds you bought. I'm afraid I've never tried Ambre Carnelle. I do like cinnamon, but only in small, well-blended doses: cue Parfumerie Generale's Un Crime Exotique!

Charlestongirl said...

Lovethescents, I despise cinnamon - seriously despise it. I can't be in the same room with it. That's why I was blown away by the loveliness of Ambre Canelle (sorry, I added an "r" in my name of it yesterday). That was the champagne Miss Brahms bought for me, I'm sure!

I could not smell cinnamon, and I can smell it blocks away. Roberto and I both pulled out our phones to search the Web to make sure it was cinnamon - like I should have doubted him LOL. I had it on my arm (and brought home a sample), and I smelled my arm every hour until I went to sleep. At no point did I get a whiff of cinnamon. I'm amazed. The warm scent is all amber - a good amber too. I will write up some of the fragrances we sampled later today, probably for publication tomorrow.

I'll send you some little samples of what I do have. One of the scents I purchased yesterday was Option 7'd, and it's coming from California - this week, I hope!

lovethescents said...

Funnily enough, Charlestongirl, Carnelle works as well as canelle :-)

I'm glad you love your new amber. I look forward to read about your sniffathon when you post it.

PS So no Ambre Narguile? :-)))