Friday, October 5, 2012

The Friday Forum - October 5

I thought we might have a slow-down in new releases between fall and holiday, but with the staggered schedules of our favorite brands, I've been kept busy with new introductions almost every week. That's a good thing, right?

Before I get too far into The Friday Forum, I want to tell DC-area readers my exciting news of the week. One of very favorite makeup artists, Chantecaille's Eddie Hernandez, will be at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, next Thursday, October 11. Eddie is amazingly talented, and he has great material with which to work; we all love Chantecaille. Eddie's visit will coincide with the start of InCircle, another Neiman Marcus event with loads of GWPs for big spenders.

I cannot praise Eddie enough. I won't be able to go that day (work commitments), and I am dying over it. I adore him - not only for hleping me look like myself, but enormously better, but also for his personality. He is a sweetheart. If you want to make an appointment with Eddie, give Jeannine Barnes a call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2289. If you take off a few hours from work or skip out a bit early, Eddie will make you happy you did it. That's Eddie with me (above) after he applied my makeup the last time.

I'd love to see how Eddie would apply L'Éléphant on me. I'll have to call him early that day (before he gets overwhelmed with customers) for over-the-phone ideas. Eddie is a Virgo too, so you can imagine how precisely he applies makeup.

Remember that purchases of L'Éléphant Palette benefit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where orphaned elephants are given a second chance by caring humans. I was horrified this week when I read that the King of Spain had gone elephant hunting. I was sure no one in the civilized world would do such an immoral and cruel thing. Supposedly, he broke his hip while hunting. Too bad he wasn't crushed to death. I'll admit that's a strong sentiment, but that's the way I feel. Killing elephants is not OK. What's wrong with people?

I am so stunned by Giorgio Armani Beauty's new Eyes to Kill Palettes that I just bought two more. I was at Saks the day they arrived, and I don't think they all arrived together. This week, I purchased two more from Neiman Marcus.

I've been frustrated by this week's clouds. I can't get photos to show you! Every day, even if the sun makes an appearance for a few hours, it's history by the time I get home from work. What's likely to happen over the weekend? More clouds and rain. I'm desperate. Today, the sun is predicted to shine, and I'm going to do what I can to get home early to take pictures.

Fortunately, Monday, predicted to be sunny all day, is a federal holiday, and I plan to take the day off. Between this afternoon and Monday, I hope to be able to show you the rest of the palettes I purchased.

Very soon, the holiday collections will begin to arrive in stores and online. Can you believe it? I'm so ready. I want select pieces from Guerlain, Armani, Chanel, Dior...  I will be so broke - but so happy.

On top of makeup, there are upcoming fragrance releases that have already given me palpitations. I've sampled all three By Kilian In the Garden of Good and Evil scents, and I must have Good Girl Gone Bad and Forbidden Games. No matter what.

Where do you purchase your fragrances? In department stores? Online? I like to buy online, although I've spent plenty of my fragrance money at Neiman Marcus and in Saks. I've become adept at reading the notes in a fragrance and knowing whether it will appeal to me. In the last year, I have purchased from many sources, among them LuckyScent, BeautyHabit, MiN New York, New London Pharmacy, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, First in Fragrance, Parfum1, eBay,, Pacifica,, Sephora, and others. I've ordered directly from perfumers on their Web sites - most recently from Juan Perez on his Etsy site, Exotic Island Aromas. I could keep going, but started this thought with a question. How do you like to buy fragrance? Do you have to sample it first? Are you comfortable blind-buying without trying first (I am)? How long will you wear a sample before deciding to buy? Do you ask for samples at department stores? Do you shop for the best price?

Let's talk about your week of beauty. It's time for the Friday Forum, our open chat. I love this part of our week. 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.

This week's giveaway contest is for Chanel's Les Vernis in Vertigo. It's a great fall shade. The deadline for entries is tomorrow, Saturday, October 6, at midnight.

I'll be back later.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty or courtesy of By Kilian


Anahita said...

Because I am not very experienced in fragrances, I have to smell the fragrance before I buy it. If its a bottle that I can't get at my local Neimans or Nordstroms, I will usually ask my trusted makeup SAs to smell it and report back to me. I did, however, break out of my comfort zone and purchase L'Artisan Seville L'aube from Barney's unsniffed. I am happy to report that it was a success. Its absolutely gorgeous. If you love orange blossom, you'll definitely love this. I liked this so much more than the Houbigant which also featured orange blossom.

bisbee said...

I also have to smell AND sample a fragrance...unless it's a simple vanilla or another very simple gourmand-type. I have a body chemistry that works pretty strangely with many scents - I can turn a lovely perfume into something smelling slightly like Raid! Then again, many supposedly hard-to-wear scents are great on me!

I'm also woefully unable to identify the various notes that you and others - like The Non-Blonde - describe. I guess I'm fragrance-challenged!

Jane said...

I usually buy fragrances in store after testing several times over a few weeks, but I have wanted to buy some of the Lucky Scent sample sizes for a long time.

I hope Very Estée perfume hits stores soon. It looks like it might have been released in limited ways overseas; I get why Chanel and Dior would release first overseas, but I don't understand why American based companies like Lauder and Revlon launch elsewhere first.

I haven't really purchased anything. Until I figure out a way to get my calligraphy and illustration work off the ground, I'm shopping my own collection, which is both more and less fun than one might think. I do not know, however, if I will be able to resist either the Chantecaille powder or an Armani eye palette!

Evelyn said...

Holiday collections are a killer this year. Guerlain's is online but I'm debating going into Saks to see it in person...with a gift card my friend gave me (yay!). Hopefully my promotion will get approved and I'll have a little extra money to buy myself early Christmas presents! I looked at Dior's holiday collection at Macy's and bought the Marilyn lipstick and Diorling nail polish (because the bottle was adorable!). I also saw through a tweet that Burberry will be releasing eyeshadow palettes soon too! I'm going to have to exercise some restraint somewhere to make it through the end of this year.

Now ones I really need try in the store because I'm not so great at reading the notes and predicting whether I will like something or not. I need to wear it awhile too because it can change on me. I had purchased a perfume once that smelled great in the bottle. On my skin, I wondered what the foul odor was. It was the perfume. What a waste. Jo Malone's Red Roses, which I love in the bottle, on my skin smells very intensely soapy after some time so I use it to perfume my room which works beautifully. Yes, I do check around for prices of different sizes so that I'm prepared for my shopping trip.

I'm really reluctant to ask for samples, it seems they rarely want to give them at counters. It's a good idea to give out samples for things like foundation, skin care and perfume because those are very much dependent on the individual's chemistry. It gives you good customer karma too. I'm willing to buy an expensive foundation that I've sampled, doesn't change color or break me out. I will also invest in an expensive perfume too. I have bought items because I loved the samples so much. But, if I have to buy something without having tried it and can't return it (or have to return it), I will be super unhappy and debate if I want to put myself through the trouble of buying from you again. That holds true most especially for skin care where you run the most risk of spending a lot of money for something that does nothing for you. Maybe I'm fussy but it's my money and I'd like to be happy when I'm spending it. :)

Anonymous said...

NI mostly try fragrances before buying and need a few days to decide if I want it or not (but I'm trying to be a minimalist (make up table filled up, no space for a bigger one) and not purchase too many of the same type or ones that I just like - it must be love :)). Sometimes after few hours of enjoying the scent base notes coming out that I can not stand. Reading notes helps (for example I don't like patchouli... although there are couple of fragrances that list it and still are my treasures :)), but only to start with.

My autumn favorites are Nu YSL (why, WHY change the package?!) and Magot Etro.

lovethescents said...

Oh how delightful. Well this week, you reviewed such stunning palettes. Resistance will be VERY difficult.

Stunning pic of you, by the way.

I get samples from Luckyscent, TPC, Surrender to Chance, First in Fragrance, and The Posh Peasant. I usually buy full bottles from shops, either here in Canada, or while travelling, or on the bay or through friends. Our Canadian niche shops are few and far between!

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadian BTIB readers!

Charlestongirl said...

Phew! Home from work!

Hi Anahita,

That L'Artisan you purchased is wonderful and a limited edition. The L'Artisan orange blossoms always sell out. For that reason, I bought three!

I also love the Houbigant. I'd hate to hate to choose. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Bisbee,

I hate the smell of patchouli. I can make it worse then it smells coming out of the bottle.

I think learning the notes comes from experience. Smell a lot of fragrances, learn to isolate the notes, and you would usually be able to buy blind.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Jane!

No one can quite figure out why Chanel launches first here, rather than France. It's kind of bizarre. I'll let you know when the press becomes available on Very Estée.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Evelyn,

I have my hands on Guerlain holiday and will start to feature it tonight. The collection is gorgeous.

I also have Chanel. I haven't seen Dior here yet. Maybe I should check out Macy's. :)

That's too bad about Red Roses. It's one of my favorites.

Definitely ask for fragrance samples. Nordstrom will make them for you - always. Saks, NM, and BG will too if you express an interest in trying before you buy.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lovethescents!


When is Thanksgiving in Canada?

lovethescents said...

This weekend, C-girl!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Ladytekki,

I totally understand. The base notes are usually the fragrance killers for me too.

I despise patch. I have to scrub off fragrances that dry down to patch. Glad to hear I'm not alone!

Charlestongirl said...

Wow, Happy Thanksgiving to you and all my great friends in Canada!

Eileen said...

In regards to cosmetic purchases, I'm still holding out, waiting for the Chanel and Guerlain holiday collections to arrive this week. Then, it will be time to really splurge. Except for the über dark lips, those two collections look custom made for me :-) I can hardly wait to read your reviews, Charlestongirl.

For those of you who are not fond of the color scheme of those two collections or who want to add something different to the holiday mix, YSL is offering a completely different take on Holiday 2012. The Northern Lights collection is based on a crystalline white and arctic blue color scheme that looks like the proverbial winter wonderland. I saw the promo pictures on Marina's blog and will be eager to see the products in person. Even though blue is not a color I usually wear, I still appreciate the beauty of a well crafted collection and there are a couple things I might be interested in getting.

Ah perfume! I love it and wear it daily, but I don't really buy it very often. I never seem to have more than three or four bottles of fragrance on my vanity at any given time. Samples are another matter. I have a drawer full and love to purchase them from Perfumed Court, LuckyScents, etc. I always test a fragrance before making a purchase and have never been given any trouble when asking for a sample at Nordstrom, Neimans, Saks, etc. A scent can have all my favorite notes and still smell like garbage on me and then there are other times when a fragrance I'd normally eschew smells absolutely divine. Let's hear it for body chemistry!

Hi Charlestongirl,

Next week I'll be meeting friends for lunch in the SF Valley so I'll go have a look at the new Armani palettes while I'm there. There are four on my must see list and so far, you've featured two of them (amethyst Parma and "vreige" Pantellaria) The colors are so sophisticated and chic. I'm completely sold on them. I'm also particularly interested in seeing Terra Siena and Boudoir. Did you get either one of those? I'm in the market for a no muss, no fuss, nude/neutral selection of shadows that has an architectural edge--meaning the shades can be used to shape the eye area. I also definitely plan on purchasing the Maestro Eraser Concealer. I adore the foundation and am really intrigued by the concealer. I don't need anything heavy duty so I think this new one might be just the thing for those days when I'm looking a bit tired.

Happy Thanksgiving Lovethescents and to all you other lovely ladies to the North. To everyone else, have a restful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Oh Eileen, that`s exciting about the YSL! Really pretty polish and blusher, but I don`t `get` the lip gloss. This will just lighten a darker lipstick, I guess?

The eyeshadow palettes are stunning, particularly the blue one, but I don`t think I`d wear those colours. They`d be GORGEOUS on a woman with dark eyes, no?

Have a great day!


AnneD said...

Where do I begin? I had so much fun yesterday in Dallas. A friend dropped me off while she had a doctors appointment. I hit the Chanel boutique and bought Coromondel (very nice SA BTW), then Kiehls' (adorable and fun girls)and my last stop was Santa Maria Novella. The lovely young lady was very generous with samples and very helpful. I don't know anything about this line except for the history. The scents are beautiful but if anyone can share any recommendations from this line I would be grateful. It is overwhelming.

Well, that's it for perfume shopping for me for awhile. Oh, I forgot that I bought a bottle of the Vanilla and Cedarwood from Kiehls'. I think it will be a great everyday scent this fall and winter. Happy shopping everyone!

Charlestongirl said...

Anne, did you see that cool sampler that Kiehl's offers of all for new fragrances? I did, after I bought two full bottles.

I will write later and let you know my last two purchases from Santa Maria Novella. I was in the store an hour - that's what it took to narrow it down to two!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

Yes, I have them. I just can't get sunshine. My late afternoon photos of the last one I featured were terrible. I'm reluctant to take more bad photos.

Today, I had expected sunshine this morning, but it's mostly cloudy. That means it might be Monday before I can go on a photo marathon. Stay tuned. Sometimes the weather predictions are wrong.

Eileen said...

Hi Lovethescents,

A good white gloss will lighten a color just a bit and add some shimmer and depth. Chanel's Aragonite (sparkle) and Tom Ford's Vinyl Lip Lacquer (pearl) are two of my favorites, and the new Armani holiday gloss sounds particularly promising. As for YSL's blue gloss, it will cool a color down while adding some sparkle. It would look beautiful layered over neutral or cool pinks, berries, plums, and even some reds. From what I've seen of blue glosses in the past, it's probably safe to say that it will be better suited to the cool toned, fair beauties amongst us.

Isn't makeup fun? There seem to be layering glosses in every color imaginable--even black!

Anonymous said...

I need to sample a fragrance and even try it out for a few days to find out if I like both the first spray and the longer lasting notes. Typically, I buy at Nordstrom for their great customer service and my relation with certain SAs.
My discovery is Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Serum. It is so wonderful to apply that I actually look forward to my evening routine and leaves my skin soft and nourished.
Oh, and I have been thinking about the Chanel Black Friday quads. Could they be the ones that were introduced in Europe earlier in the spring: Intuition, Eclosion (also available in the US) and Vanites or Variations (cannot remember)?
Thanks for your great blog and excellent reviews.
Have a good weekend.