Friday, March 25, 2011

The Friday Forum - March 25

Remember that first star magnolia flower I showed you last week? The next day, the tree burst into full bloom, with its frousy white flowers and heavenly fragrance. I have enjoyed it for a week, but I fear that we had a freeze last night. That will leave the beautiful blossoms hanging like wet Kleenex on the tree by late afternoon when I get home from work. It happens almost every year, but never fails to depress me. It wasn't the best tree choice, but I made it in 1982. I would never cut it down and start over. In most years, it has only a few glorious days before the variable spring weather frosts it.

This week has flown by! I was saddened last weekend by Knut's passing; and Elizabeth Taylor's death, while not entirely surprising, left us mourning a legend. I meant it when I tweeted that her loss ended an era. She had it all, and she shared it. I think her greatest legacy will be her humanity.

My mention of Sephora frustrations yesterday touched a nerve! While I continue to buy like crazy, I am not the Sephora groupie I used to be. I don't understand why the company doesn't try harder to be the company it used to be. In some cases, Sephora is the only game in town, but we can purchase much of Sephora's makeup elsewhere. When I have a choice, I now try to buy elsewhere. It didn't used to be that way. I also feel that Sephora doesn't care about my age group. The sample and point rewards are often geared to very young women. Perhaps the company's demographic data prove their average customer is 20 years old. I'm not sure why they don't try harder to please all of us - from 15 to 70. Shipping is much slower than it used to be; I miss the black pouches; I hate receiving stinky perfume samples I didn't select; and the padded envelope I received recently sent me over the edge. I think it will take a serious competitor to shake Sephora out of its complacency. The old management consultant in me would love to give Sephora some advice! How do you feel about the company?

Speaking of Sephora, I received some fabulous new products this week, and I can't wait to tell you about them. One is a concealer by Temptu. I have read so many good reviews, I finally ordered one. I guessed correctly on the perfect color for me, and the coverage, texture, and blendability are top-notch. I will try to write up a feature when I get home from work.

What's new in your life? 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? 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.

We have a great giveaway contest going. I can't figure out why there haven't been a ton of entries. There will be four prizes - all from the new bareMinerals Skincare collection, which has a two-page ad in the new InStyle. You can still enter at this link. The contest ends tomorrow night (March 26) at midnight.


Eileen said...

What a beautiful picture! Your magnolia is in its glory even though it's for such a short time. It's those transient moments of riotous blossoms and flowers that can take the breath away. Any day now, my gardens will come alive. The bushes and trees are covered with little buds and the bulbs are poking up. Our neighbor's jasmine, which has grown over the common fence out by our corral and which completely covers the roof of the tack shed, is an intoxicatingly fragrant blanket of pale pink flowers. It's nice to smell something out there other than Eau de Horse :-)

Elizabeth Taylor will certainly be missed. Her humanitarian work will long be remembered even though her legendary beauty will eventually fade from public memory. The most beautiful thing about her, though, was not her famous violet eyes. It was her generous heart and fierce loyalty to loved ones, to friends, and to her sacred cause--AMFAR.

I bought those resveratrol chews you reviewed and received them yesterday. GNC has an on-line special: buy one and get the second one at 50% off, 15% off the total order, and there's free shipping. I got an additional 6% cash back for ordering through Ebates. Whoopie!

Anyone who does a lot of on-line shopping should know about Ebates. The percentage of cash back varies store by store and fluctuates month by month. Ebates sends a check for the accrued cash back every calendar quarter and I spend it on . . . cosmetics :-) Quelle surprise!

Speaking of cosmetics, the UPS hunk (that's right ladies--hunk!) delivered my packages from Neiman's and Nordstrom's this morning. I'm going to lunch with my gal pals so I won't have time to open them until later this afternoon, but the anticipation of something good is always sweet.

Whew! I better give someone else a turn. Happy weekend everyone!

Deb said...

You really touched a nerve with me about Sephora. I was starting to think I was the only one that felt that way! I have been shopping there a number of years and am becoming more dissatisfied with them in general. I am 54 years old and still as interested in beauty products as any other age group. I also have far more money to spend now on those products that I did even 10 years ago. Sephora seems to have jumped on the "youth is everything" bandwagon. Don't get me wrong, I love and support the younger women as much as my age group. I just fail to understand why there can't be a balance. I've gotten so disillusioned with Sephora that I've started going into the stores only to swatch or test a product in person. Then I buy it elsewhere or order online. The samples are just pathetic. I'm a VIB and I never use my points because the reward products offered are not worth it. The sales people are pushy, the shipping is slow, and my local store is always out of stock. I sure wish someone could get their attention. They really need to wake up and realize they are no longer the only game in town. I hate to be a hater but I've spent a lot of money over the years in their stores and I really feel like I have not been rewarded by that loyalty. The only way to fix a complacent company is to take your business elsewhere. Thank you for letting me vent!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Eileen. The photo was taken pretty late in the afternoon. I wish it had been lighter.

Oh how I would love to be able to grow jasmine here. It is absolutely divine in gardens further south.

Hope you like the chews! I love the healthy thought of all that resveratrol in one little candy.

Have fun with all those boxes! I'm jealous. I need a fix. :)

Charlestongirl said...

I vented, Deb! Why not you too! I plan to compile the comments about Sephora and send them to the company. They may not care, but they should know that they are losing the love.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I think you're right-on the money about Sephora. They THINK they're the only game in town. But I work at a small independent makeup boutique, and women are telling me that they used to drive up to the cities to get their makeup at Sephora and they don't anymore because they want SERVICE! Good service=sales and lifelong customers! (p.s. I'm worried that my crocuses are going to freeze!!)

Eileen said...

Just to add a bit more fuel to the Sephora fire, when I opened my Neiman's box this evening, there were three samples in it: RéVive Neck Renewal Cream, La Mer the Regenerating Serum, and Natura Bissé The Cure Eye Cream. Now those are samples!

Like you, Deb, I often take a look at things at Sephora, but purchase somewhere else. The only time I order from Sephora is during F&F or the very rare occasion when they have a special discount for VIB's.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Mama Val!

Crocuses are tough little devils; they should be fine. Not so for the flowering trees, though.

I would love to know how Sepphora is doing financially. I wonder if the service deterioration is due to money vs a cavalier attitude.

I hate our local Sephora stores. They are a mess, and the lines at the register are ridiculous. Then there's the sample issue. What are the SAs doing with them if they aren't giving them to customers? Why do you have to ask to get them? That's why I shop online.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen! I have been using The Cure! Love it!

Eileen said...

The sample from Neiman's is my first experience with Natura Bissé. I've heard and read some wonderful things about the line, so who knows? Maybe I've found a new eye cream :-)

Goodnight all.

Charlestongirl said...

It's a great line, Eileen. I think you're going to love it.

Deb said...

Charlestongirl, you rock. Thank you for taking reader's comments about Sephora and sending them to the company. I thought of a couple more things: the testing swatches are rarely all available. They will have the product in stock but the testers are either empty or missing. Or the testers will be available but the product is out of stock. The displays are messy and dirty. The perfume wall is a mess.......disorganized and sloppy looking. Same problems with fragrance testers and stock as with the makeup. First, second, third impressions......lazy staff and poor housekeeping.
I read a few other blogs and continue to see complaints about Sephora but the bloggers and readers are still linking to them and buying from them. Oh well.....
Thanks again!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Deb,

I don't think they will be real happy with me. :)

I think we all shop with and link to them because it's easy. No matter their faults, they do have an easy-to-use Web site.