Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Forum - January 27

Our winter has been characterized by rain - clouds, rain, and above-average temperatures and, of course, short days. I like rain, but the last few weeks have been bad for the blog. There have been very few sunny days, ideal for taking makeup photos, and my time for photography on those occasions has been limited by "real work." You may remember I pulled into a church parking lot this week to snap photos of my newest Edward Bess Quad Royale. That was a detour driven by desperation!

Today? It's raining. Fortunately, sunshine is predicted for tomorrow. I have lots of new makeup - YSL, Armani, Clinique, NARS, and more - and I hope to get a week's worth of photos then. If the forecast changes, taking away my sunshine, I'll slip into blogger desperation disorder (psychiatrists probably haven't recognized it yet).

I wanted to use today's Friday Forum to mention my recent time constraints. I'm working on a "crunch project" that will, hopefully, continue into a subsequent phase (consultants rely on projects). Whether the subsequent phase will limit my "free time" as much as it has been limited recently is still an open issue.

In comments and e-mails, I'm getting increasing numbers of requests for product comparisons, side-by-side swatches, and more information than I am able to provide in my blog features. I can't respond adequately (as well as I'd like) to most of the requests. There isn't enough time in my day/week. There's one additional problem: I don't own some of the products that I'm asked to compare to new colors.

I'd love to be independently wealthy and blog full time, but unless I win the lottery, that's not going to happen! I hope you'll understand my realities. I'm peddling as fast as I can. So, I offer my apologies. I hope I haven't disappointed too many of you.

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.

This week's giveaway contest for Giorgio Armani Beauty's Fall 2011 Jacquard Woven Eye Color Palette ends tomorrow, January 28. Make sure to enter by commenting on that feature. You can find it at this link. Remember what Lady Luck says, "If you don't enter, you can't win." I think about that when I buy those zero-chance lottery tickets.

Photo courtesy of


Anonymous said...

CG, you've served on boards and commissions without remuneration, for fun and as a public service.

So you know how sometimes people assume that they can demand hundreds of hours of work and expenditure of your own money, without much, erm, *deep thought* as to how that might affect you. After all, it would be very convenient for them, and that's what's important, right? Eyeroll.

Please continue to write about exactly what you like and want to write about. Your ideas and artistic approach to makeup are unique and delightful. And happy Friday!

bisbee said...

I just wanted to let you know that I really love your blog, and I appreciate your VERY frequent postings! There are some other blogs I read where the writers vanish for days (or even weeks) on end, without any explanation. I don't think we, as readers are really owed an explanation - don't get me wrong, that was probably the incorrect term - but a quick note is greatly appreciated - no reason need be given!

On the other hand, I read a blog that I used to really enjoy, which is written by someone who does not work, but she seems to be unable to devote the time she used to. She has no advertising on her blog, and it's not the type where she is given lots of free items to write about, but I got used to the way her blog was, and I find myself getting frustrated that it's not living up to her prior standards.

All of that is neither here nor there - I read many different types of blogs, some regularly, some occasionally - and they are all different! I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your efforts!

Jan A said...

I enjoy reading your posts everyday. I think that you have done an incredible job displaying the colors and the descriptions. Thank you for your dedication to the field of beauty. Please do not feel pressured to do more than time will allow. This is a wonderful site to visit. Thank you for all that you have done. Have a great weekend.

Kate said...

Hi C-Girl,

I second (or third?) the thoughts expressed by the other commenters. I love your blog exactly the way it is. You have such a dedication to quality and thoroughness. It is what separates you from other blogs. I appreciate the time you put into each post. Don't feel rushed or pressured to put in everything. I know you want to make readers happy, and you do that on a regular basis. You are doing a superb job, and I truly appreciate all the time you put into this blog. Your committment shows.

Well, Eileen, I caved. I bought the TF Shade & Illuminate brush. It is arriving via FedEx today, so I can't wait to try it out. Based on your reviews, I am so excited. And if I hadn't just bought a new Chanel foundation brush, I would seriously be considering the TF foundation brush you raved about. So now, not only do I have to worry about being tempted by C-Girl's reviews, I have commenters to worry about! Lol. If you ever start a blog, I am in trouble!

I had an interesting experience with NARS customer service. I ordered two products directly from their website. To return a product, you must email them for a label. I emailed them twice and called them once, with no responses over a 4 day period. I was unable to get anyone by phone. I was getting rather frustrated, when they emailed me and said that they had credited my account, and would not require me to return the product. They hoped this gesture would encourage me to buy directly from them in the future. Overall, the way the return was handled in the end will cause me to order from them in the future. I wondered if anyone else had experiences with their customer service.

I am heading to Vegas next week (and won't be around for the FF, sadly), but am excited because the Neiman in Vegas has a LMdB counter, and I am so excited to see their products in person. If they have a TF counter, I will be one happy camper.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and the same goes for next weekend. You know you are a dedicated BBiB reader when you are sincerely sad about missing next week's FF!


Cindy's Societal said...


You are an amazing blogger and I can't even keep up with all your purchases!! Obviously you can't buy everything lol and i am sure we (all your readers) understand that you can not fulfil requests such as dupes and comparison swatches :)


Eileen said...

Charlestongirl, don't ever be concerned about what you don't have time or inclination to do. You are one of the most prolific beauty bloggers out there and I am always amazed at your energy and dedication.

Your blog's persona is that of an enthusiastic BFF sharing her latest acquisition and it's always a fun and thoughtful read. You post so frequently and do such a great job of integrating product description with your own thoughts and experiences that perhaps some readers forget beauty blogging isn't your job.

Persoanlly, I've never been interested in dupes because you can take two colors that are identical in the pan but find that they apply differently, have a different level of color complexity, reflect light differently, have different wear issues, etc. Being similar in color is just the tip of the iceberg.

As for comparison swatches, I can only imagine how much time it takes to sort through products, select ones that are similar enough to warrant a comparison, and then photograph them in natural and flash light. Sabrina and Amy are masters at bringing us true color representations, but the vast majority of bloggers aren't, so their comparison swatches are an unfortunate waste of their time :-(

Charlestongirl, I am perfectly content with whatever it is you have the time to post whether it is about various products or on a personal note because, alter all, the Best Things in Beauty are not always cosmetic in nature :-)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sophia1105 said...


With all you have done and that you continue to do, please take some time out for yourself, to rest, quiet your mind and regroup. You are more than generous to the blogging community, I cannot imagine how much energy you have poured causes closer to home. Do what you need, what you want, and things outside of that will manage themselves. It's the oxygen mask analogy when on a plane(putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping another person put on their oxygen). All the best to you, my dear.

Nemo said...

Charleston girl, yours is the only beauty blog still going strong with daily reviews!

DivaDebbi said...

You NEVER disappoint us! I always look forward to your posts. Keep doing exactly what you do. As a fellow blogger, I hugely appreciate the depth and honesty of your reviews.


time4beauty said...

Hey, you are never disappointing! You show so many new things and writing very helpful reviews!

I do understand you about having to enough time and resources to blog as much as I'd like to. But I hope you will find the greatest support in your readers who love you.

This week's product for me is Benefit Hervana blush. Actually I own it for more than three weeks, but did the review only recently. This blush is amazing - the color is so delicate, but still vibrant! I think that Benefit's team did a great job - this is the way the angles blush, really)

tasa said...


Your blog is filed in a "check frequently" folder for a good reason: your frequent, thoughtful and considered updates are wonderful to read and the pictures a marvel. I would still check frequently even if you updated once a week, or even less frequently, as some of my other favorite bloggers do.

It truly isn't a case of quantity, but quality, and you showcase everything with so much enthusiasm that I find myself tempted to go see all the products in person myself [before I remind myself that I cannot afford to indluge in GA or LMdB fantasy sprees :) ].

And I second Eileen's comment regarding dupes as nothing is ever a 100% match. Moreover, when you do post comparisons, I get the sense you do it out of a sense of curiosity, as opposed to blindly following an edict "must compare x to y."

This is long winded, but meant to say only that you should continue doing what you are obviously very good at.

p.s. Good luck with the consulting project!

Swathi Narumanchi said...

Hi CG,

First off, I want to let you know that I am with everyone who have commented that you are on eof the best bloggers and would make the top 10 blogger bookmark/newsletter for a lot of people out there. You are truly an inspiration to us.

Also I agree with Eileen in that dupes necessarily aren't dupes for everyone. The same lipstick looks different on different people based on skintone, maintenance, lip pigmentation to opacity of their liking of the lipstick.

I am sure every one appreciates your honesty and love for blogging and makeup. I sure do !

SO done with that , Well the news over here in India is that GlossyBox is starting in India from March. Now I have heard many things about the service. I am not sure if I should subscribe. What do you think ?

I haven't really splurged this week. Kinda have money on a tight leash. Though exactly when I have no budget I am tempted by EVERYTHING! Sigh !

Take care CG ! We do love you and your enthusiasm.

MariaBent said...

Dear Charlestongirl,

This comment comes all the way across the Atlantic, to be more exact from a small place by the sea located in a country called Portugal (I’m Dutch, was raised in Portugal, lived many years in Amsterdam, Holland and have now settled with my family in the South of Europe). Like the other readers I find the quality of your blog quite impressive. Though (relatively) a new follower a daily visit to BTinB has already become a very enjoyable habit, so much that I don’t wait for the e-mail notification in order to pass by.
I know all about trying to conciliate a blog with a busy professional life for in 2005/2006 my son and I had a blog about classical music which unfortunately we couldn't maintain. I hope, of course, that this doesn’t happen in your case and that your blog goes on for many years, but please don’t feel upset if sometimes, due to lack of time, you don’t manage to do quite what you wanted. I’m sure that your readers recognize the love and care you put in all of your posts.

All the best in your blogging and professional life and a nice weekend for everyone.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi everyone!

I want to address all of your sweet comments one by one, but I'll start with a general comment. I came home to all your beautiful messages here, and I am humbled by your support.

Thank you!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous!

Thank you. Gosh, come to think of it, I've been neglecting my land trust. Fortunately, things are going well, but we are facing a court deadline with the temporary restraining order we won. Have to figure out what to do!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Jan,

Thank you for the support. I really appreciate it.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you so much, Kate!

I've already suggested to Eileen that she would be a great blogger. I think she may realize it would take over her life. :)

I have to recount my NARS experience. I had a Gilt voucher to get $80 worth of product for $50. When I went to use it, the voucher didn't work online. So, after waiting out a weekend to order the spring items I wanted, I started calling...and calling...and calling. They only staff their sales line on weekdays, 9:00 to 5:00 basically. No one ever answered their sales line, and no one returned my calls and messages. So I called corporate HQ and was told that the ONE woman they have to answer the sales line was in meetings and she probably couldn't get back to me that day. I asked why they didn't have a replacement when she was in meetings. No answer to that question. Did she EVER call me back? No! It has been two weeks. Fortunately, I got the code to work eventually, and I got my order. They overcharged me, but I couldn't stand the thought of trying repeatedly to get them on the phone.

I provided feedback to Gilt, and they seemed very appreciative. They should know they sold a voucher that was hard to use - and that NARS has a phone line that's almost an afterthought - basically useless.

I hope you have a great time in Vegas!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you so much, Bisbee!

I know bloggers get burnt out, and I know some who have toyed with quitting because they can't blog daily, as they did in the past. I'm not sure what that answer is, but I keep plugging.

I'd love to figure out the trick to getting all that free stuff. :) I think much of it goes to bloggers who established relationships years ago, but are now coasting. I continue to find it difficult to buy almost everything I feature. I love it, though - can't hide my addictions.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks so much, Cindy! I think those who write do expect me to own and swatch colors for them. I wish I could! It's not possible for me right now. Going to buy a lotto ticket before tonight's deadline. LOL

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks very much, Eileen.

You touched on a great point. Colors ARE different on all of us. I notice that those with darker skins experience colors I like as too light, and vice versa. Dupes never bother me either, but I know that they can be budget busters.

I can't even imagine having the time to find, much less reswatch, older colors. I'd love to be a lady of leisure, though, and do it. Maybe someday. I love Sabrina's and Amy's blogs - two of my favorites. Sabrina's skin tone is totally different from mine, so I enjoy seeing how differently colors look on her skin than they do on mine.

Thanks for the show of support!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Sophia, I love the analogy! Thank you. As soon as I finish commenting, I think I'm going to have a night's rest, collapsing early.

Yesterday afternoon late, I had a dental implant put in my jaw (all good), but on top of a busy work week, it left me worn out.

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Nemo! I think I may owe you an e-mail. I'll catch up tomorrow.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Debbi! Glad you stopped by. Yep, fellow blogger, it can get crazy. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi time4beauty!

I don't know how YOU do it, writing posts in two languages!!

I thought about buying that Benefit blush. I love Benefit, and I'm sure I'd love it. Alas, I ran out of money, and I know what's coming in the next four weeks.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Tasa!

The time will come when you can afford those Armani and LMdB splurges. Try hard not to get as "dependent" as I am. I need multiple "fixes" per week. :)

The consulting project is interesting. I feel like I've dropped into an alien world from outer space. I'm learning the lingo, so I hope I can sail along soon.

I'm glad you stop by often. My publishing schedule has been erratic lately, but I'll settle back into a routine soon.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Swathi!

I've never seen a Glossy Box. As a rule, I don't like those sampling programs because I might only use half of what they send. Please let us know what you think.

I wish I had your discipline. If I did, I'm not sure what I'd feature. :)


Charlestongirl said...

Hi Maria!

That is extremely interesting because Google has never told me I had a visitor from Portugal. None of my counters tell me that. Thanks!

When you were writing about classical music, did you review performances? How interesting!

Thanks very much for commenting.

MariaBent said...

Hello again,

Yes, I live in the south of the country in a province called Algarve. It has nice beaches and mild weather all year round, though one does need heating in winter.

I suppose our posts could be classified into 4 categories:
- talking about a particular composer or piece;
- explaining the meaning of certain musical terms with audio examples and diagrams, e.g. "what’s a fugue" (my son is a musicologist);
- indeed reviews of special performances, usually broadcasted live by several German TV networks, which we watched and taped via our satellite dish. Back then the Youtube was still very incipient (I’m truly amazed how soon after a performance one can find nowadays a video in the Youtube) so we would have to do our own editing;
- fun activities: we had many musical quizzes and my son even devised a way so that our readers could compose their own musical pieces which were then published in the blog.
On the whole, it was a very rewarding experience.

Have a nice Saturday, hope it’s not too cold.

mai said...

It's a pleasure to read your blog precisely because of what you write about and how you do it. I specifically appreciate BTIB because you don't seem to need to review just anything, but items that you truly enjoy.

Sophia1105 said...

Yikes! Dental implants sound painful! I hope you are resting well and pain free :) Sending many big hugs your way.

toughdoc said...

Many thanks for your highly informative and fun, fact- filled beauty blog. I subscribe to several blogs and your postings come nearly 7 days a week, full of your enthusiasm and sincere reviews of products you love. Nobody out there does it like you. Don't feel pressured to do more, you're doing such an amazing job!!

Thank you for the heads-up on the gift with purchase, I ordered the Wild Rose Shimmer Brick, Wild Rose Rich Color lipstick, the face oil, and a few taupe/brown eyeshadows and I can't wait to get it! I needed color and moisture in the depths of January. Thanks so much for your reviews of these new products. I don't rely on any beauty magazines nor company websites. I go by what looks good, what products I've liked in the past, and your blog is worth its weight in gold. Have a wonderful weekend!

Miss Brahms said...

C-girl, everyone I work with has always wondered how you did it - and marvels at the fact that you always buy what you've swatched; they aren't given to you. They also wonder at your incredible energy and how prolific you are. I think you do a fantastic job. I completely sympathize with you about being pulled a million different directions at once -working in cosmetics can sometimes be just as trying. Just continue to be yourself. As for me? New Year, New Me. I'm going to adopt your credo as well.

Unknown said...

as much as i would like you to own a cosmetic range its very understandable, you are an amazing blogger and even if i cannot get hold of the product i still love the way you speak about them. good luck with your church project

sunnyItaly said...

I don't really think I could expect anything more! It's already difficult to keep up with you the way it is! So thanks!
I splurged on Dior's very pink blush this week. I love it. It's a teaser. It seems to gain full colour after you've a minute or two, so sheer when first applied. A life of its own?? It's a true pink, not easy to find without other undertones. I also ordered Guerlain's beautiful flower! (can't remember the name of the product now). Well, hope the weather brightens up for you. Very cold here in Italy at the moment, but sunny days. They forecast snow in the next few days. I'm dreading the thought. Please excuse any mistakes, but as you know, my cats are all over the keyboard as soon as they see me typing.
Bye for now! Rachel Sunny Italy!

Charlestongirl said...


I had a great laugh out of your comment. I DO know - there are times when I can't type because Charlie is in the way. Usually, it's the way he sits on my lap (he's a big boy).

Snow? Yuk! I will take all the rain we've had any day over snow. Hate the stuff. It's pretty, but such an inconvenience! If it snows, I have to shovel. I can't do that with my back bothering me. So...

I need to reconsider that Dior blush. Because of you, I'm putting it on my "potential buy list." Thanks!

Charlestongirl said...


Thank you. The church project could indeed become a project if I end up using the parking lot for swatching, LOL! It's actually a project near a church. It takes me 45 minutes (without horrible traffic) to get there, which is WAY beyond my tolerance for commuting. I need a closer project. think of all the blog time I'm missing while I'm in the car...

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks much, Miss Brahms! Which one of my credos? New Year, New You?

I am glad I write quickly. Always have. Pretty fast with a keyboard too, except with cat interference. Good thing feeding them involves opening cans.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, ToughDoc! I hope you are getting seven feeds/day. I missed one in the last few weeks, but that was the first miss in a year.

I appreciate the comment! I missed that gift. I'm kicking myself. I got so busy, the deadline passed. I hope there's a good gift at NM Beauty Week. I think I "deserved it." Big smile.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Mai,

You're right. I seldom feature things I don't like. I will do it when something is new and I want to warn y'all. There's so much makeup and so little time, why waste time on mediocre products?


Charlestongirl said...

I'm OK, Sophia - very little pain. It's a fast and easy procedure these days. Much easier than getting those epidural shots!

Charlestongirl said...


That blog sounds wonderful. I wish I had discovered it when you were still writing. Can you send us the link? Even if you aren't updating it now, I'll bet there's some great reading there.

The Beauty Bug said...

I enjoy your blog tremendously, I have found so many wonderful products I would never have known about. You are never ever disappointing, although you can be tough on my credit card! LOL

Leigh said...

Charlestongirl, I understand completely. My own blogging has suffered due to my work as assistant director for the school play. During the week, between teaching and rehearsals, I rarely get home before 8:30 PM. It's exhausting! Today I went for a pampering facial and massage, and it was wonderfully restorative.

The key is to take care of yourself and do what you, not others, want to do. I hope everything works out the way you want it to, because you deserve it.

By the way, did you hear about the new Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Oxygen Treatment on QVC yesterday? It comes in a bottle with a pressurized air nozzle. You were so effusive about the office facial in an earlier post, and I wonder what you think of the home version.

sunnyItaly said...

Hi! Still no snow but not even a shy ray of sunshine. Looks like the forecast is right! :-(
Rosy glow! That's the name of the Dior blush. It is described as a "healthy glow awakening blush" and and I've just read it adjusts to the moisture of each skin to make the cheeks blush with delight! How good does that sound?! And let me tell you: it's true!! a tailored colour for each cheek. Do give it a try, you'll like it! Makes dull winter days a little brighter.
No cats around at the moment so any mistake is only mine all mine! :D I thought I'd sit here while the two little beasts play on my freshly made bed.
Have a lovely day.
xxx Rachel

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Rachel,

I ordered that blush today. You sold me!

Charlestongirl said...


I pre-ordered the Kate treatment. It won't come until mid-February. Can't wait!

Funny how blogging takes over one's life. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Beauty Bug!

MariaBent said...

I’ll send you some links by e-mail after checking which audio files and videos still work (the videos are not in the Youtube, by then we used a site called Angelfire).
My son says they should play with Internet Explorer 6,7,8 and 9. Anyway I’ll try in my computer with Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Bye for now.

sunnyItaly said...

Great! Let me know what you think! :D I'm pretty sure you'll be dilighted.