Friday, May 11, 2012

The Friday Forum - May 11

I have this pretty little rose planted behind my mailbox. This has been its best year ever. Wish I could say that for Mom.

Just when I thought that my mother's condition was improving, she got up in the middle of the night, without calling her caregiver for help, and she fell face forward into something. I'm not sure what she hit first - whether it was the bureau or the floor - but she had to go to the ER in the wee hours of the morning. I answered my phone with, "What's wrong?" not "Hello."

As you might imagine, it's not very busy at the ER at 3:30 am, so she was seen and treated quickly. It was very clear that her nose was broken. As we sat there, her face swelled pretty badly, even with ice on it. Long story short, a CT scan showed no bones broken except in her nose, and there was no subdural bleeding. Home she went.

My mother looks absolutely scary, and it won't be much better on Mother's Day. She has two black eyes to go with that broken nose, which is very swollen and crooked, and a badly swollen face. She is in pain, but the Vicodin is helping (making her loopy though). She has said some really weird things, which makes me think it's the drugs.

There are now bed rails up to ensure she stays in bed until the caregiver can help her in the middle of the night/early morning. That's when her worst falls have always occurred. I really hope she can start to feel better soon.

Fortunately, in the midst of all this chaos, we found a good caregiver. She is very sweet and capable with Mom. Although she had told me during our interview that she could cook, she can't do much more than reheat already prepared food. Bummed about that, but Mom loves her, so all is currently well on that front.

Now that you know how Mom's week went, you can guess mine. I'm wiped out. Between working (my real job) and Mom care, there has been little time left. I've tried to keep up my blog schedule, but I should have posted a La Prairie lipstick feature last night. I just didn't have the energy to move as single body part. I'll try to get it published at lunchtime or shortly before.

No time this week for department store hopping. In fact, I'll miss Tim Quinn at Saks Chevy Chase today, which depresses me enormously. I wish they would schedule his visits so that at least one of the days is on a Saturday. I did order fragrance and makeup online, and I received one thing from Sephora I adore. Sunshine is predicted for tomorrow, so I'll have wonderful photo ops - and features to come.

I've got to get busy with fall color, but I can't find the motivation. It's May - a cold May so far. I remember the days when fall colors were launched in August. Now it's late May/early June, just as summer starts. I think brands ought to create multi-shift seasons. There would be Summer I, and Summer II would follow. Fall 1 could come out in July, ensuring sales in a slow month, then Fall II could continue the sales bonanza in August, the traditional start of the fall fashion season. I'm just not ready for deep plum and burgundy lips right now, as I start to enjoy all my pretty pinks and peaches for summer. I wore one of the new summer Chanel Rouge Coco Shines yesterday, and it looked perfect for the day.

I'm looking forward to reading what you did this week. That's how I'll get my beauty fix - in 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 will have moved on.

I'm thrilled about this week's giveaway contest. Though Mindy Yang's (MiN New York) generosity,  I have 10 sample sets of By Kilian's Asian Tales duo to give away. Make sure to enter by tomorrow, May 12, at midnight. Water Calligraphy and Bamboo Harmony are gorgeous fragrances. Wouldn't you love to try them?

Photo by Best Things in Beauty


Elysse said...

Oh my, your poor mother! She's not having a good year, is she? Don't worry about what she says, drugs affect everything. When my granddad had to stay in hospital after a fall (he hit his head pretty badly)he always mumbled things and when they stopped giving him drugs he was convinced that during his stay he had been on a day trip with his son and a few other people.

My week has been stressful and it's probably going to be that way next week to as I am preparing for some exams (they have some other sort of fancy name which I can't recall now, but they feel like exams)for a job. My skin is in a terrible shape cause of it, so I am trying to find appropriate remedies and time to breathe!

I hope it all goes well with your mum. At least she has a good carer now!

Shelnmum said...

Dear CG
I really hope and wish for your poor mom to get better soon, and I sincerely hope things will be much better for you and her really soon:)

This week was a stressful week for me as my 10 year old son is having his mid year exams here where I live, in Singapore. It's exams fever for me as well as I have to work half days to come home in the afternoon to do revision with him :( Oh well, it's really not easy being a mom either.

Beauty-wise, I received my Koh Gen Do haul from Barneys on Monday. I tried the lipstick, it's too sheer for my liking. As for the blush, it comes in a little plastic canister and has a sponge applicator attached to it. Clumsy me,I had difficulty tapping the blush out for application so I opened the canister and spilled like 1/3 of the blush :( That's like 13USD gone down my sink :( It cost 41USD for 3 grams of blush! I also tried their Luxury Pressed Powder which cost 70+USD and unfortunately I have to say I do not think this brand works for me :( The saving graces are their body care products in my haul. I loved their hand cream and body wash :)

This week I caved (again! and what's new?!)and ordered from Barneys the new By Terry Aqualip Jelly Tint, as well as the new Lipstick Queen Liptropolis trio lipsticks set. Looking forward to receiving them next week! :)

Speedy recovery to your mom! :)

Kate said...

Dear Charlestongirl,

I am so sorry to hear about your mother's fall. That is so scary when an older person falls. IN regard to the pain meds, my grandmother experienced the same thing. She never took so much as an aspirin in her life, so pumping her full of pain meds at the hospital after she fell caused her to say some off the wall things, and also experience hallucinations. I sincerely hope her injuries begin to heal quickly.

As for you, I hope you can catch up on some rest. Don't you worry about us on the blog...we won't be going anywhere! We will just look forward to your posts, whenever you have time and the energy to do so. You are worth the wait! I am also glad you found a caregiver to relieve some of the pressure and stress for you. I hope she continues to work out.

As I mentioned late in the game on last week's FF, I am loving my Tom Ford Cognac Sable eye quad. The colors play well together, and bring out my green eyes. That coppery, sparkly shade is out of this world. Another home run for Tommy.

I also purchased the Guerlain Noir G mascara. I like it very much. I have been incredibly faithful to Lancome mascaras for most of my life (Definicils and L'Extreme), but it was nice to change things up. I do like the subtle scent to the mascara. You get a whiff here and there, but it is nothing overwhelming.

I was supposed to get a chemical peel yesterday, but my medical esthetician took one look at my skin and said no way. Apparently, I have overdone it as far as products go and my skin is terribly dried out. I have combination skin, so I use a lot of products (including a retinol gel) to control breakouts, etc. I had great results with my retinol gel, but I guess I need to back off. So, I had a wonderful hydrating facial instead, and left with instructions to baby my skin for a while, and taper off some of my retinol usage, as well as my Clarisonic usage. I guess my skin is now drier than it used to be. If anyone has a recommendation for a hydrating face lotion that doesn't cause breakouts, I am all ears.

I have been debating ordering some of the Burberry summer products. The Sheer Summer Glow looks gorgeous, but I worry it will be too subtle. I have never tried a Burberry powder before. I have their foundation and some lipsticks and glosses, but never a powder. I have fair to medium skin (probably a little more towards medium), so if anyone has tried this, again, your thoughts would be appreciated.

Shelnmum, I had the same issue with my Koh Gen Do Natural Lighting powder. It is a HUGE container, but it is easy to spill the loose powder out. I will say, I have been using their Aqua Foundation every single day since I got it a few months ago. That is a ringing endorsement for any foundation in my book. If you are looking for another KGD product to try, I would recommend the Aqua Foundation.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


Rosemary said...

Your poor Mom! Even though the Vicodin is making her a bit loopy, I'm glad she has it to control the pain. And even better news is that the new caregiver is good and that your Mom likes her! It's too bad she isn't a grand cook, but maybe this means she will spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your Mom. Whole Foods, as you probably know, has wonderful things that are easy to prepare.

And I maintain what I said the other day, CG, that you need a tropical vacation! At the very least, I'm sure we'll all understand if you have to update a little less.

Now to beauty. When I received my lovely Strawberry Suede lipstick, I looked over my nail polish collection and realized with no small measure of horror that I didn't have Chanel's Dragon in my collection! I raced to and ordered it along with Chanel's sunscreen. I'm hoping for a package today.

Speaking of red, I adore a red lip, but noticed that a few of the women at the Met Costume Gala had on the very, very, very dark vampish red lips. Is this a trend for fall?

Also, I have been getting emails from Chanel about a new nail polish that they will have only on These emails were quite cryptic in not giving out what shade this might be. However, being a Chanel devotee, I think I know. Stop reading now, ladies, if you want to be surprised.

At the Met Costume Gala, January Jones, Kristen Stewart, and Greta Gerwig were all reported as wearing the new Chanel nail polish called "Beige" to be released on May 16th on Can't say I'm holding my breath for this, although Chanel may surprise me.

In the meantime, I'll save my pennies and hope for the Blue Illusion collection reportedly being released in July.

Here's hoping for a MUCH better week for you and your Mom, CG!!!


Eileen said...

Ouch! Your poor mom. Fortunately, the new caregiver was alert and notified you right away. It's difficult for the elederly to relinquish independence, but your mom just has to learn to wait for her caregiver's assistance. It sounds like this new one is a real gem, though, so hopefully your mom will learn to rely on her a bit more. As for your blog, Kate said it perfectly: don't worry about it, we're not going anywhere, you're worth the wait :-) Take good care of yourself and enjoy Mother's Day with your mom.

Hi Kate,

It sounds like your poor skin has acid overload. Dermatologists see that all the time as women use more and more products in their quest for flawless skin: AHA's, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, benzoyl peroxide, physical exfoliants---it's all just too, too much. The recommendation is to adopt a very simple regime of mild cleanser, soothing moisturizer, and non-chemical sunscreen for 3-4 weeks to give your skin a chance to heal. Once your skin has recovered, you can begin adding products, but far more judiciously. Also, remember that if you're using chemical exfoliants, you don't need physical ones as well. For example, the regular use of Retin-A gel and a Clarisonic will result in over-exfoliated, irritated, reddened skin. I could go on ad naseum about this, but you asked for a recommendation so here they are:

Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream. It is an excellent parabe free cream designed for sensitive or compromised skin. It is often recommend as a good post-procedure cream for people who need something light. It moisturizes, sooths, and provides a light, non-greasy protective barrier so that skin can heal. It's also very reasonably priced. has it on special right now for $24 for a jar.

SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair Cream is an excellent healing cream and is intended for post procedure use or for people whose skin has been compromised by the use of retinoids. It is heavier and more moisturizing than Atopalm, so I'm not sure you could use it. I have dry, sensitive skin and use prescription strength retinoic acid every night. Epidermal Repair Cream prevents irritation and eliminates redness. It's my HG cream for keeping my skin calm, smooth, and moisturized.

While healing your skin and restoring it's barrier function, remember that less is more. Treat your skin like a baby's for a few weeks, Kate, and you'll be back to gorgeousness before you know it :-)

Kate said...

Hi Eileen,

Thank you so much for the recommendations. I should have known to cut back on some of the products. But the retinol (Kinerase Pro's Tretinoin gel) was working so well in terms of controlling any breakouts and unclogging pores that I just kept using it every night.

Before yesterday my routine was washing my face in the morning with a gentle cleanser, followed by SkinCeauticals Phloretin and eye cream. At night I used the Tretinoin gel and some moisturizer over it. However, I never apply a moisturizer in the morning, because I found they were usually too heavy.

I like the idea of trying the SkinCeauticals cream since I like their line from what I have used so far. So, I may check out that cream

One last query - do you have an eye cream you like? My eye area is very dry as well. I use Kinerase Pro Ultra Rich Eye Repair, but if you have another one you like, I am all ears!

Thanks again for all the sage advice! I missed the FF!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Odyssey, oh no! Exams can be so stree-inducing. Remember the mantra, "I am prepared; I will pass." :)

Good luck!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Shelnmum,

I hate it when I open something, and it pops out like that. Sounds like their packaging leaves some room for major improvement.

Ooh, you ordered some cool stuff. I need to go play at SPACE.NK!

Charlestongirl said...

Hey there Kate (and Odyssey), it's pretty well known that pain killers are a special trip for the elderly. Wish they helped me escape reality! :)

It does sound like you've been overdoing the product use on your face. I second Eileen's suggestion of Atopalm. I used to use it - so gentle. Nice stuff!

I keep wishing for a Burberry counter. I buy very little of it because I hate guessing on colors with a line I don't know well. There are nice alternatives to the Sheer Summer Glow. :)

Go baby your face with some hydration that won't clog your pores!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Rosemary!

Fortunately for my wallet, I can resist most of the nail color releases. I don't go through them very fast.

I can cook. Guess I'll be putting together some meals a few times/week. Like a meatloaf that will last a few days. It's way less expensive than buying those prepared meals that sometimes aren't all that good. I keep buying rotisserie chickens too.

Did you get your Revlon from that site link? Hope you stocked up!

Charlestongirl said...

Kate, the Kinerase is a good eye cream. If you like it, stick with it. iS Clinical makes a lovely Youth Eye serum, as does Dr. Perricone (I featured his recently).

I've been using Natura Bissé's Eye Recovery Balm a lot lately. I like many other brands, though. LMdB has a great one, but it's pricey. Sisley too.

Mary Ann said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother, take care of yourself and your mother. We will still be here.

Rosemary said...

Yes, I got the Strawberry Suede. Thank you, CG!


Evelyn said...

I hope our adventures, or misadventures as the case may be, in makeup distract you from all the stress you have been going through lately. I certainly wish things were easier for you and your mom and hope they improve quickly!

I have one misadventure in beauty. I was disappointed with the Chantecaille rep in Bloomingdales NYC today. Either she was very tired after a long day (giving her the benefit of the doubt) or deliberately unhelpful and uncommunicative because I was plainly dressed. Maybe a rep in a different store will have a better attitude.

On the positive I met a particularly energetic Trish McEvoy rep at Bloomingdales who talked me into trying a few of her skin care products, of which I did purchase a few, and I will gladly go back for more. That is how you treat a customer, be positive and polite and know your stuff! It also helps that the skin care I bought seems to be helping my skin very quickly.

I think there is so much competition amongst high end companies they really can't afford to have staff leave customers with a bad impression.

Wishing a Happy Mother's Day to moms of every variation!

Eileen said...

Hi Kate,

Like Charlestongirl, I'm always on the look out for a new eye cream. I've tried some wonderful ones by SkinCeuticals (AGE), Natura Bissé, Guerlain, etc. One that I always come back to, though, is Chanel's Ultra Correction Lift Total Eye Lift ($100). What is best for you, though, really depends on what your issues are. For me, those issues are moisture, emollience, and firmness.

By the way, your C+Phloretin serum is for oily to normal skin and can be a bit drying. The C+Ferulic serum is for normal to dry skin and might be a better match while you're using a retinoid. No matter which C serum you decide to use, though, you need to wear a moisturizer over it since the serum is basically just an antioxident--albeit a very good one. If the retinoid is working well at controlling your breakouts, then you should definitely continue using it. Just remember that it does make your skin "thinner", more sensitive, and drier so treat your skin accordingly. That means a good moisturizer day and night. Sorry if I'm coming across as preachy, but as you can probably tell, I'm passionate about good skin care.

toughdoc said...

Hi CG--
I'm sorry to hear about your poor mother's fall. The home can be a deadly place for the elderly at night, lots of little nightlights, a clear path to the bathroom,
a walker, and no obstructions may help. If she's as stubborn as my dad, she'll refuse the walker, as he did after surgery when on painkillers too. I got tough with him and he didn't fall again. But it's a huge nightmare, I feel your distress, and I hope it gets stable ASAP!!

In the beauty world, I got some goodies this week--Chanel's JC blush in Tumulte and Glossimer in Calypso. The blush is amazing, a cool clear deep pink with no shimmer, lasts all day in the heat of south Florida. Calypso gloss looks screaming orange in the tube but applies like a warm peach, and it has a bit more color than some of the other glosses this year that are wild in the tube but apply like a clear gloss. This is perfect, no lipstick needed, color and gloss in one swipe, and the perfect Glossimer texture that lasts a good couple of hours if no coffee is consumed.
I also got from Nordstrom online the Burberry lipstick in English Rose and the blush in Peony. I'm in LOVE!! Peony is a cool pink that warms up on my skin, it applies a little darker than in the pan, with a super soft blush brush that one can actually use and a divine violet scent; English Rose is a true-blue cool rose, subtle, no mirror needed to apply, moist and soothing, and it has a wonderful violet scent that wears off in about a half hour. I adore scented makeup and thankfully I have no allergies.
I do wish Burberry puts a display counter within my state; I've been to the Coral Gables and Naples Nordstrom and they're not there :-( I would get more products but the color swatches online are such a crapshoot and it's a waste of $$$, I hate returning makeup too.

Charlestongirl said...

Kate, Eileen is right. Put less delicately, you have been frying your skin, and you need to get moisture back into it without clogging your pores.

Before the big M, I had hormonal breakouts - usually one horrid chin undergrounder every few months. Nothing really worked, and my skin was so dry, my dermatologist finally told me to bag it on Retin-A, Renova, etc. I'm wondering if you should try a cosmetic strength formula, rather than a prescription one.

I really feel for you. Have you tried systemic antibiotics? Do you like your dermatologist? Have you tried regular exfoliation as an alternative to retinol? Shoot me an e-mail if you want to chat more about the options.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Toughdoc,

After her subdural hematoma and lifesaving emergency brain surgery, we removed all obstructions, installed bars, the whole bit. Until recently, she used a cane, but switched to a walker about two months ago, realizing she needed it. The night she fell, we had allowed her to take Ambien, which is the ONLY thing short of painkillers that allows her to sleep. She is totally dependent on it and had gone a month w/o sleep. Had to try to reset her sleep/wake cycle. Well, you know the rest. Now we have bed rails up so that she must call for help - or crawl out the bottom of the bed, which is unlikely.

That Glossimer in Calypso is GORGEOUS.

From your Burberry-deprived friend, C-girl!

lov2read68 said...

I'm so sorry to read about your mom CG! I wish her & you a quiet Happy Mother's Day! I am glad that you've found a caregiver that your mom likes!
My mom & dad are actually in AZ helping my aunt & uncle this week. My aunt fell & broke her other hip. Long story, she was already recovering from breaking a hip.
And I am writing to you from a hospital room myself.
Here's to a hospital free week next week - all around!

Charlestongirl said...

OMG, Lov2read! Your are in the hospital why? Are you OK?

Those hip breaks can be deadly. I hope she will be OK.

lov2read68 said...

Will send an email CG!

Eileen said...

Hi Kate,

I don't know if you'll see this since it's Sunday, but I forgot to mention SkinCeutical's Hydrating B5 serum. It's hyularonic acid and B5--very soothing and aides in moisturizing the skin. Just apply one or two drops before applying your moisturizer. You can spot treat areas of dryness or apply it all-over. It's especially good around the eyes. A lot of moisturizers have some hyularonic in them, but it is usually such a small amount. This just gives it a substantial boost. I always have a bottle on hand for those times when LA gets blasted by dry desert winds.

Kate said...

Hi Charlestongirl and Eileen,

First and foremost, happy Mother's Day! I hope you both are relaxing and enjoying the day.

I think I dramatized my breakouts a bit. When I say "breakouts," I really mean the occasional blemish along my chin, or on my cheek. I did have some clogged pores along my lip line as well, near my cupid's bow. But I by no means had widespread acne. I had clear skin as a teenager and in my 20s. But now in my 30s, I started to experience a breakout or two. But the Trentinoin was very useful in getting rid of those clogged pores, and also keeping any breakout at bay. So I definitely think I overdid it, since I never really suffered from "acne" in the widespread sense.

Eileen, I was considering that B5 gel. I had read some lovely reviews of it. Maybe I will check it out. I have been using Vivite skin care as well, and I love their Replenish cream. I believe it was designed for post-procedural skin. I have also used La Roche Posay Toleraine line, which I like very much.

I do need to dial it back. I think I overexaggerated my "oily" skin in my mind. I really just have oil in the t-zone, and even then it is mostly just in the summer when it is dreadfully humid that it gets bad. I really do need to be better about moisturizing.

Also, Eileen, that is so funny you mentioned the Ferulic serum. I had a chat with my esthetician about switching to that serum over the Phloretin. I think we determined that for the summer, I am going to use Vivite's antioxidant serum in the morning, and the Tretinoin every other night. Then, in the winter, I will switch to the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic serum.

Part of the problem is, I have never really had anyone professionally assess what kind of skin I have. For a long time, I thought I had "oily" skin, when in reality, I think I have sensitive, combination skin, with patches of oiliness and dryness. So, the skin-type jackpot, if you will. Lol!

I hope I didn't hijack this FF, but thanks to both of you for the wonderful suggestions. I will definitely be using more moisture in the future!

You ladies are just the best!


Eileen said...

Hi Kate,

So, you won the lottery when it comes to skin conditions! LOL It sounds like you have combination skin that has just become too sensitized by excessive exfoliation (physical and chemical). It happens. As I aged, I went from oily to combination to dry and I've always been sensitive thanks to rosacea.

I'm glad you were considering the B5 gel. SkinCeuticals actually recommends using it with all their various C serums. It's really a nice product. I think you'll like it.

Vivité is a great line but most of the products contain glycolic acid--with the notable exception of the Replenishing Cream :-) The Daily Anti-oxidant Serum contains 15% glycolic acid, though. That's a pretty hefty dose. You would not want to use it the same days you are using your trentinoin gel or you'll have acid overload all over again. If you're having trouble with a nightly application of your retinoid, adding a heavy duty glycolic acid product to the mix is definitely not going to help. Perhaps your esthetician didn't realize the serum contains 15% glycolic acid.

While your skin is renewing itself, I'd just stick to a mild cleanser, the C+Furelic serum, Hydrating B5 serum, then seal it in with a light layer of the Replenishing Cream or a cream like Atopalm. Use your retinoid every other night. Let it absorb 15-20 minutes then use your B5 and moisturizer.