Friday, October 21, 2011

The Friday Forum - October 21

Meet Rusty, reader Gabby's sweet asthmatic kitty. Isn't he adorable? If you look very closely, you'll see that Rusty was reading up on cosmetic surgery. Obviously, he got tired of all the considerations and decided a nap was in order. As the leaves started to turn shades of orange and yellow, I remembered that I hadn't shared pretty Rusty with you. He matches the season, so it's a perfect day. We're sending love, Rusty and Gabby!

What a crazy-busy week I've had! I've had the same thoughts for the last few Fridays - I need a rest. Last weekend, I attended two events at Neiman Marcus. I still have to tell you about them. I've resolved to do three event features this weekend: RéVive Skin Care, Chantecaille, and Brandon Martinez. I must catch up.

Late yesterday afternoon, I posted a note on the Sephora Friends & Family sale. It seems there are multiple schools of thought on the sale and Sephora's intentions. Some who had publicized the sale stuck with their stories that it's the same fall 20% discount Sephora always offers its best customers. Others ranted on Twitter. A handful of women posted on Sephora's Facebook site asking why the e-mails returning their discount codes were unintelligible. Just in case you didn't experience the amusement of receiving one, they were HTML code. I wanted to share a few lines with you, but Blogger kept "understanding" them as real instructions from me, so I gave up.

Anyhow, the klutzy e-mail was suspicious, coming from an established dot com. There were other anomalies. Immediately after I placed my order, I received an e-mail saying Sephora was awaiting credit authorization from American Express. That never happens. I called AmEx, and they had no idea what was going on. They said to call Sephora because they had charged $1 to me, but that was all. I didn't call until I started reading the hysteria on Twitter. By that point, I wanted to find out what was happening. After I did, I shared it with you. Incidentally, the $1 charge is a test to ensure the card is valid, and the "test" is not unusual. The rest of the charge follows a little later.

There is a lot of speculation about the sale and whether it will continue. As I advised yesterday, if you can get the discount, go for it! Twenty percent is 20%. I wouldn't buy just to "experience" the discount, but if there's something on your wish or gift list, why not save money?

It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? 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 early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

Don't forget this week's giveaway contest: Love Brilliant Lip Gloss by Chantecaille - the shade Angelina Jolie made world-famous. The deadline is Saturday, October 22, at midnight.

Photo courtesy of Gabby


Gabby said...

Thank you again for posting my Rusty! His health problems makes me appreciate him more:)
I actually placed two F&F Sephora orders yesterday. One was at 4a (ugh!) for some products I had been eyeing.....what I really wanted was Dior's Smokey Khaki palette and it was sold out. So I used the code I received from my secondary email to get the palette when it reappeared (albeit briefly) later in the afternoon. Hearing all the problems others had, I consider myself lucky!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank YOU, Gabby, for the darling photo! I understand how you feel about appreciating Rusty more - when our friendship with our little ones is threatened, we appreciate them every day. I'm sure my cat Whiskers had (and died from) asthma. I don't think vets were as sophisticated as they are today in diagnosing cat illnesses. I loved Whiskers so much. He showed up a shy stray when I was in graduate school, and he went home to live with me. It was traumatic when he died. I wish I had been home to get him to help. More than once, I had rushed him to an emergency clinic to get oxygen. Rusty is lucky to have "selected" you. :)

Glad your orders went through. I don't think I'll try again because I ordered so much on my fist order - but saved a lot too. I hope Sephora comes clean at some point - perhaps on Facebook - on what they were "really expecting." They know women will do anything for a discount on beauty products! This whole debacle was so weird.

Hlopushka said...

What a lovely cat:)I hope he will be fine with asthma. It's so sad that our "tiny" friends have all these health problems:(

I also used Sephora coupon code yesterday and I got the message that my order was shipped today. I didn't receive any suspicious e-mails about my credit cards or anything like it. In banking statement it appears like a regular Sephora transaction. I hope you will receive your order without complexities.

Eileen said...

What an adorable kitty and how clever and fashionable he is to be sporting his autumn coat :-) There's nothing that gladdens my heart like seeing a beloved pet taking a nap. Rusty looks so secure and at peace--all is right in his world for the time being. Thank you for sharing him with us.

I know I said awhile back that I had decided I only need Météorites from Guerlian's Vol de Nuit holiday collection, but that was until I actually saw the items. When I got the call from the charming Guerlain SA telling me she had my "pearls" on hold, I dashed over to get them and was blown away by the rest of the collection! I bought the stunning Vol de Nuit Powder Spray, my beloved Météorites, the beautiful Ombre de Nuit eyeshadow quad, and the demure Flirt d'un Jour Rouge Automatique. And I said there wasn't anything I really needed! Who was I kidding? LOL

The Vol de Nuit Powder Spray is a luxury, but one I just couldn't resist. The overall appearance of the delicately scented shimmer powder is silver this year, but it's mixed with very subtle glints of aqua and sapphire sparkles that echo the colors in the quad. It's pixie dust for adults :-) Why haven't bloggers been mentioning that? Is it that they don't see color or they haven't really tried the product? I suspect the latter. Does that sound terribly cynical?

As for the Ombre de Nuit quad, I must say it is a joy to behold! The silver, aqua, and sapphire combination creates a gorgeous ombré look for the eyes when blended properly. And the black liner shade actually has a blue/green undertone that makes it work the other colors in a way that a plain black never could. Once again, why don't things like that get mentioned? It's a brilliant concept that people should know about. For you ladies who are leery when it comes to color, don't be. These are very sophisticated, multi-dimensional, adult colors of Guerlain quality. You can blend them to create ombré as I do or apply them in such a way as to make a stronger color statement. Regardless, they're stunning.

Météorites. What can I say? Anyone who has read my comments over the years knows that I am completely addicted to this phenomenal finishing powder. I buy the LE holiday edition of these magic pearls every year and have quite a collection. One young blogger applied these so heavily she looked like a disco ball. That is definitely not the intended look nor is it the result that normal application achieves. This year's edition gives a soft and subtle pink champagne glow. Beautiful!

As for Flirt d'un Jour, it is a lovely, demure pink with quite a bit of beige to it. It's fairly sheer, but it wears as well as other Rouge Automatiques. I wear it with a touch of Chanel's Pampille glossimer in the center of the lip.

Between my Chanel and Guerlain purchases, I'm ready for the holidays--ya think?!? LOL

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, now you made me want Flirt d'un Jour. Thanks! It's not like I need any more makeup for holiday. :)

Isn't Rusty a doll? When I think about his tough life, sometimes struggling for breath, I am so glad he has Gabby. She loves him!

I saw a totally adorable Husky photo on a closed group on Facebook. I wanted to copy it and send it to you - just because it's so cute. I may still. It's corny, but adorable.

Any beauty blogger trying to apply Météorites to produce major color ought to re-examine her suitability as a blogger. Seriously? I'm "almost" speechless.

I adore the new Guerlain colors! I need more places to go - just so that I can apply my new Météorites more often. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Hlopushka,

Glad you hear your order went "seamlessly." I think I'll go check on Sephora at FB to see the latest. :) It's become a multi-act saga.

Evelyn said...

I did get through the Sephora fun and purchased a Laura Mercier Luxe palette I'd been eye-ing for quite a while. I just have to say I love the Meteorites and I can't imagine someone putting on so much that they turned into a disco ball! You'd probably have to crush the balls and pack them on your skin for that to happen. I'm always amazed that with a dusting they make my cranky skin look amazingly even and surprisingly tame my oily patches. I need to buy the holiday ones!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Evelyn!

Laura Mercier has such nice palettes. I just bought one too. Love them!

I think we will all chuckle over Eileen's story. Now I want so search for the dufus who tried to sparkle.

katie said...

I feel like I am missing out on Guerlain! I did order Flirt d'un Jour and am excited for its arrival on my doorstep- next week! It will be my first Guerlain lipstick. I just checked out Karla Sugar's swatches of the Holiday line and they are gorgeous!! I never considered purchasing a blue shadow because, well, it's blue...and I am a very fair neutral-girl with green eyes. But that palette does look beautiful! And I love the Vol de Nuit Powder art deco bottle! Wouldn't that look lovely on my bathroom counter?! I am so unfamiliar with Guerlain, however, that I haven't the faintest idea what the Vol de Nuit scent is. Oh dear. And it sounds like I am really missing out since I don't own any Meteorites other than my little compact from last year....

Charlestongirl said...

Katie, you can read all about the scent here:

Gaia started..."It doesn't happen every day that a perfume gets a hold of you and doesn't let go of your heart. Guerlain Vol de Nuit has done it to me."

The scent is universally loved among fragrance lovers.

Now, go buy the new Météorites. That's an order you will appreciate some day. :)

katie said...

oh goodness, i was thinking of 'investing' in the LMdB flawless face kit, but maybe i should go for the meteorites instead? my purchases have been on the mighty hefty side of late....

Charlestongirl said...

Katie, I love LMdB. However, I think everyone should experience the joy of Guerlain's Météorites. You can buy the LMdB later.

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

Yes, you really do need Flirt d'un Jour. It's a gentle shade that lets a bit of your own lip color peek through. As for pictures of cute huskies, bring 'em on! I'm crazy in love with the breed. We're lucky to have acreage so our little pack has plenty of space to roam although they love to curl up with me to watch Dancing With The Stars. Did I mention they're spoiled? ;-)

Hi Katie,

Karla's great swatches are very heavy so she can capture the color. The colors in Ombre de Nuit are not that intense unless you try "foiling" them. Check the quad out at the counter. You might be pleasantly surprised at how easy to wear the colors actually are.

Hi Evelyn,

I, too, was amazed at how shiny this particular young blogger was able to get her skin using Météorites. She mush have really buffed them. She also applied the quad in such a heavy handed manner that her appearance was that of a drag queen--no disrespect to the DQ's of the world. I just don't understand why Guerlain sent her just about the entire collection to try whereas they only sent Amy of Café Makeup one item to review. Go figure!

Charlestongirl said...

Hmmm...wonder what I'm doing wrong! I bought mine.

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

You'd think Guerlain would know who reaches their demographic, wouldn't you? Should they send samples to bloggers who review luxury products and will entice people to try them or should they send them to bloggers whose readership thinks MAC is high end! It doesn't seem like rocket science, does it? Perhaps Guerlain is trying to expand their base, but I think they defeat themselves when they send so many products to someone who obviously doesn't use them properly. Such a shame :-(

Leigh said...

I have a couple of highlights I am looking forward to this weekend: the charity event makeover by Lloyd Cassler of Chanel, and the Smithsonian Craft2Wear show.

Today, I was able to try out my Dior Versailles, and I'm pleased to report that it is exactly as you described. It's a beautiful pink/peach with shimmer. I've always thought of peach as a frivolous summer color, but Versailles' peach is a refined, pulled-together shade that looks lovely on a fall/winter evening. The application was effortless, and the formula is very moisturizing. I'm pleased to add this to my collection.

Evelyn said...

Hi Eileen & Charlestongirl,

I totally agree with you about demographics. I think I had wandered over to Cafe Makeup for example from Temptalia I think, and you realize the difference (not good or bad just different). So I was pretty surprised that Cafe Makeup only got one item as it's purely their fault that I started buying Chanel and Guerlain (and the NonBlonde for LMdB!). hehe I decided I needed to know more so here I am on this lovely blog too. :)

Your blogs are so fun and well written that the products you talk about really stand out and so rather than spend my money on a munch of spotty quality MAC stuff, I'll save and get the makeup I'll truly enjoy. So the big companies need to send you all pretty things to try out! But that's just my opinion. :)

Charlestongirl said...


I've never figured out how companies select their favorite bloggers. I know some use Alexa, which isn't always correct...seems to downplay Blogger sites. They do it based on blog ranking. However, others seem to have no coherent strategy at all, sending products to blogs with 100 readers/day, but not others who have high readership and cover their products consistently. Or sending gratis to blogs that don't project the image they wish to maintain.

I could lose sleep worrying about it, so I don't.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Leigh! Have fun with Loyd! Give him a hug for me, please.

Gald you like Versailles! It's so pretty.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Evelyn,

You are observant. Most blogs have their own style (look, feel, and words). There are huge differences, so I think there are at least a few to suit everyone. I have my favorites, so I'm sure everyone else does too.

I'd love it if those companies sent gratis products more often because I could feature more. I spend way too much money "feeding" this blog. However, I'm grateful for everything that is sent, and I expect nothing. That way, this hobby remains fun.

This week, one of my favorite PR reps surprised me with a full bottle of a fabulous fragrance when I was expecting her to send a vial sample. I was overjoyed. I will be wearing that fragrance!

Speaking of MAC, I'm not a member of their target demographic, but I do buy MAC products when they appeal to me. I find, though, that after the initial romance, I put them aside. That's not the case with some of my beloved brands, like Chantecaille and Armani - to name just two. I guess that says something.

Anyhow, back to gratis (so called "press samples," a term I find hilarious because the numbers of the "members of the press" must far exceed the general population of a large state)...on beauty blogger boards, new bloggers often ask how they can get free products. It makes me wonder if that's the only reason they are blogging. I suspect some bloggers even ask for gratis. I just couldn't do that. When I was a kid, my father wouldn't let us go trick or treating. He said, "No child of mine will ever go door to door begging." I laugh about it now, but it was distressing at the time. I guess his attitude stuck with me.

We do know one thing because reliable statistical data have been published. Bloggers now "sell" more beauty products than magazines.

Leigh said...

Charlestongirl, thanks for sharing Lloyd Cassler with us. He gave me a beautiful face, plus a wealth of tips. He has a great sense of humor! Photos and commentary are up on my blog as usual for anyone who's interested.

Charlestongirl said...

Isn't Loyd a sweetie, Leigh? I adore him!

For anyone who doesn't know, here is Leigh's link...

You look GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

Clarisse said...

Rusty is adorable and so sweet sleeping like a lovely angel, sure that Gaby will take care of him when he wakes up: isn't he lucky to have her and isn't she lucky to have him?
Love and hugs to Gaby and Rusty from a "happy mum" of two cats:-)