Friday, November 9, 2012

The Friday Forum - November 9

The nor'easter added insult to injury. This photo taken in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, says it all. It now appears that Hurricane Sandy may have been the second most expensive storm in our history - the first being Katrina.

People are grief-stricken, hurting, frustrated, and cold. Some feel helpless. Some are even angry. It's the anger I don't understand completely. There's a big difference between losing your home or a loved one and losing electricity.  We can all whine about our utility companies; it's become a national mantra in times of extreme weather conditions. Unfortunately, when you have to rebuild an interconnected infrastructure, and do it as quickly as possible, it isn't easy.

I've seen anger here (and deleted it). I see it on the news. Fortunately, more often than not I see the amazingly resilient American people, maintaining a spirit and generosity that characterizes our country's residents. New Yorkers taking off from home - sometimes on foot - giving away food, clothing, and labor to complete strangers. Utility workers - many from other states - working throughout the night, in cold, snowy, and miserable conditions, to help people in New York, New Jersey, and other hard-hit areas by rebuilding the infrastructure. I see charities stepping in to help people and animals. I see national and local government agencies doing their best to aid those in need. I am heartened by the spirit of America.

Chantecaille tugged at my heart. Instead of writing what has become the obligatory e-mail expressing sympathy to those affected by the storm, Chantecaille did something by offering to donate a portion of the proceeds of Les Pétales de Rose to help the victims. Repeating a time-worn expression, "Actions speak louder than words."

We carry on. I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with the Sephora sale. I keep checking to find what I don't expect: those Edward Bess eye shadow palettes. Part of Liu was "up" the other day. I'm not sure what happened to it. Did it sell out? I ordered WAY too much. I'll tell you about it in the comments when I get home from work. It's Friday, which means I have to lug all my trash and recycling outside for pick up. That's one of my least favorite chores of the week. Today, it will be even less fun because my right knee swelled up after standing in line to vote. Ice had been my best friend this week.

[This paragraph has been updated.] Do you have a favorite holiday collection? I believe all have been launched, with the exception of Le Métier de Beauté's Bauhaus Kaleidoscope Lip Kit. Click here to get the scoop. It is a Neiman Marcus Web exclusive. Additionally, there will be a new Kaleidoscope Lip Kit exclusive to Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, designed by Michael Reinhardt. It's called the Best of Tina West. Dr. West is a DC-area dermatologist. I have not been able to confirm plans for a holiday Kaleidoscope Eye Kit, although there are rumors that there may be a Bauhaus Eye Kit coming. You can also look forward to the new year for new Le Métier de Beauté color.

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. Have you selected your favorite holiday collection - and purchased a few new treasures? 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.

Don't forget this week's giveaway contest for Sephora's Favorites Give Me Some Lip kit. The deadline for entries is tomorrow, Saturday, November 10 at midnight. If you don't enter, you can't win. Come on back Saturday for a special "flash" giveaway contest. I have a couple of surprise deluxe samples to give away.

Update: Zuneta is offering free international shipping through November 18. Use code FREESHIPXMAS.

Photo courtesy of WTOP/AP


Swathi Narumanchi said...

Hi CG,

It is quite heartwarming to see the spirit of people after a bad incident always. I have seen here, how people lend a hand after flash floods, bomb blasts and such. Teaches me to have faith in humanity.

After I told you last week that I am considering splurging at Zuneta, I shamelessly went ahead and did splurge. But it was worth it. I ordered EB compact rouge in After Sunset, a beautiful rose bronze for me and his lipstick in Demi Buff, it looks like a nude on me. Becca quad in Galactica - this is simply one of the best quads I have seen in a long long time, shimmering skin perfector in Moonstone - again perfect skin in a bottle ! RBR white mirror - this was a last minute impulse - but I love how posh this looks, Hourglass lipstick in Vintage - a beautiful rose again.

I also asked for samples og RBR seas os illumination and liquid bronzer - which they sent egnerous samples of.

Also received their gift of NUDE serum and treatment oil. Perfect shopping experience too as I ordered on Monday and received my parcel on Thursday - That is amazing coz I live in India.

I am sorry if I am coming across as too enamored but such excellent service - start to finish. And such beautiful products from all the brands !

Nemo said...

Good comments and observations, Cg. We have no control over nature. People should remember that they haven't lost anything that can hug them back.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned LMdB's holiday collection. Do you know if the lip kaleidoscope is the only item they plan to release or will there be an eye kaleidoscope as well?

Nancy H. said...

In my practice as a psychologist, I have found that anger usually masks either sadness or fear. Many people have difficulty being that vulnerable. Whenever I hear the kind of anger you describe after a disaster, I hear it as an adult's cry of distress. That way I have more empathy for the complaining.

I hope you enjoy your new treasures from Sephora. Please give Charlie a cuddle for me.

Nancy H.

Bellyhead said...

I am so impressed with how resilient people are. Just a few days after the storms, people from the tri-state area were making the tough trek into their workplaces. Recently reading about the first responders and the civil servants doing incredible work while their own homes & families have been affected by the storms. They are dedicated and amazing.

The noreaster came in with a big bang, too. I feel for those already in miserable conditions from Sandy that have to deal with more power loss and damage to their homes. I was really touched to see that despite all the inconveniences and loss people felt due to the storm, people made it out in droves to participate in the election process!

On the beauty end, I finally got a sample of Armani's Maestro foundation. I was slightly irked when my husband looked at me a few minutes after application and asked if I was feeling unwell. Oh well, they can't all be winners.

Enjoy your weekend, CG!

Charlestongirl said...


Good for you! Everyone deserves a splurge now and then, and there's no reason to feel shame. :) You go, girl - as we say!

You got some gorgeous things. Interesting about Demi Buff being nude on you, but I hope you love it anyhow.

Zuneta is very generous with samples. Love them!

You come across as one of us, not too enamored. I enjoyed your account.

Charlestongirl said...

I've never heard that expression, Nemo. Nice sentiment. I would be devastated if I lost my art collection, though. I'm sure it hugs me back every day. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous,

Getting that info is akin to trying to get the keys to the kingdon. I think the answer is no, only lips. Don't hold me to it, please.

Charlestongirl said...


I also am a psychologist, but not practicing. I am kind of glad I left the profession. I was an experimental psychologist, and I can't imagine still studying psychoactive drugs.

Thanks for the perspective on anger. I know what you said accounts for some of what we've seen. Unfortunately, I suspect some is born in narcissim, and that's the part that frustrates me.

If we want to get really scientific as a nation (you got me going), we are going to have to figure out how to protect our shorelines, protective wetlands, and dunes. Houses don't belong on or in them.

Steeping off my soapbox. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Bellyhead,

Do you think you tried the wrong color. Was it your usual color? Try another!

It was inspirational that so many voted under adverse conditions - and that the governments figured out impromptu ways for them to vote (e.g., e-mail). Kudos to everyone!

Eileen said...

Wonderful comments, Charlestongirl. My spirit is always lifted and my heart gladdened by the incredible acts of bravery and generosity that are all around us whenever disasters strike. Bloomberg didn't need a marathon to show the "resolve" of the people of New York. All he, or anyone, had to do was look at the ways in which the wonderful people of his city were pulling together to help and support each other long before relief organizations made it into their areas.

The day after the storm, a friend's daughter, Jamé, packed her mom-mobile with donations of food, clothing, and medical supplies which she and her kids then took to Staten Island. They made several trips into the area bringing badly needed supplies and hope long before Red Cross or any other relief organization showed up. New Yorkers like Jamé and her family are angels and show the true resolve of people to get back on their feet.

As for the displays of anger, Nancy H. raises a good point in that it often masks deep seated fear or sadness and is, therefore, deserving of our understanding, but I'd like to second your comment, Charlestongirl, about narcissism being at the root of some of the ire. We've witnessed some outlandish tantrums by people who are totally incapable of empathizing with the plight of others. They know only that their needs are not being met and so they lash out. Fortunately, they are in the minority, but they do make a lot of noise, divert attention to themselves, and add to other people's stress :-( I prefer to focus on those generous souls, those brave spirits, who are doing something constructive to move everyone forward.

As for beauty, I enjoyed reading about the products that so many of you scooped up during the Sephora sale. As those packages arrive, we're all sure to have some fun. You're going to have a lot of reviewing to do, Charlestongirl! LOL

This week I've been trying a couple samples of Guerlain's new foundation, Parure Lumière. The jury's still out on this one. It's definitely for those of us with normal to dry skin as it is moisturizing. It would probably end up looking shiny on anyone who has an oilier complexion. On my dry skin, it wears very well, provides medium coverage, and gives the skin an even and luminous look thanks to its light diffusing technology. When first applied, it looks a little too light because of the sunscreen (SPF25), but as it dries, it darkens a bit. All considered, it is quite nice so what's my issue? It's the shade selection. Guerlain has expanded the color range but I still find it difficult to get a really good match. I have to adjust it a bit via the judicious use of finishing powder, bronzer, or highlighter depending on whether I'm trying 01 or 02. Like many of you, I'm not interested in having to mix two foundations to get it just right.

Here's wishing everyone back east a safe, dry, warm, and cozy weekend :-)

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking. People have been victimized by the one assailant that cannot be brought to justice -- weather.

I bought Mom a Clarins Rouge Prodige lipstick, but forgot the colour name. She loves the colour and hydration of it.

I haven't used Nars in years and am scanning their website this afternoon for products to try.

I have looked at the holiday collections, but won't buy anything this year.

lovethescents said...

It's so sad that the people of NY and NJ have been hit again by the weather. I'm sure it feels endless, but I know most will get through it thanks to the kindness and caring of others.

It's been a tumultuous week for Americans, indeed.

No new makeup purchases this week for me, although I've been lemming that Guerlain Lou Ling since you posted about it. I've held off...with a lot of difficulty, though!

I did get to sample Tableau Parfums Miriam. Oh those aldehydes! What a stunning creation!

I need to brighten my complexion. It's been looking a bit on the dull side. I exfoliate, I moisturize, I use a serum....oh, and I drink water :-) This is a pickle!

Melissa said...

As someone with many relatives and friends in NY I can definitely understand the anger of someone whose power is still not back in the freezing cold 12 days after Obama got his pre-election photo-op.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Eileen. Wasn't that wonderful of Jamé to do that. The actions and generosity of "plain vanilla citizens" who could have looked the other way have been a model for citizen activism. They may not call themselves activists, but they were.

I may have overreacted, but I'm so tired of the people who tell reporters, "What about me?" I want to scream at the TV, honey there are 2,000 you's. What makes you more worthy of immediate help than the old folks in the nursing home down the street? No matter how prepared we are for a storm of Sandy's magnitude, no one will receive immediate assistance.

I'm enormously impressed with New Jersey's response. I heard tonight on the ride home that they expect to have power restored to everyone by tomorrow night. What a herculean accomplishment!

I haven't tried Parure Lumière yet. I'll check it out this weekend and let you know what I think. Hopefully, there will be a shade that matches me. I have such a line-up of foundations to test. Never know which to do next.


Charlestongirl said...

Hi Maureen,

I've never heard that (assailant that cannot be brought to justice), but I love it!

How nice of you to buy a lip color for your mom. I'm sure she will enjoy the Clarins lipstick. It is hydrating.

Happy NARS shopping!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lovethescents,

I will have to check that out - love aldehydes.

Use more blush! It hides fatigue, the blahs, and all kinds of seasonal changes. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Melissa,

This summer, many of us went for 10 days without power. The unfortunate fact is that they have to rebuild an infrastructure after these natural disasters, and that takes manpower and time. The utilities called in help from everywhere - and got it.

What I've learned is that the grid has a system, and you have to fix it from the source before you can fix it at the end of the line. In our area, it was west to east. Not sure about New York or New Jersey.

There is no answer that will please everyone. I can assure you, though, that if the power companies raised their rates to have more people available all the time and to build redundant systems, we would all be screaming. There's just no way to please us customers all the time. I've done my share of bitching about Dominion Virginia Power, but when they have had to rebuild an infrastructure, as they did here late June. Someone is always last. In June, it was my 90-year-old Mom. Was I unhappy? You bet!

I sincerely hope your area opened warming centers and shelters. Ours did (in that case cooling centers - the temperature was 105). Mom wouldn't go, of course, but she finally moved in with my sister. That's heart attack weather for the elderly.

As for those who chose not to evacuate when they were told to get out? What can we say?

Please don't get me wrong. I feel for everyone who is suffering. I think we all do. Unfortunately, I just have an understanding of how power grids are constructed and fixed (great fodder for trivia games). Hang in there! It's not about politics. Members of every party, Rs, Ds, and Is, are doing whatever they can to help people get back to some semblance of normalcy. Along with all those volunteers.

For some normalcy will never return. I cry for those who lost love ones or their homes. I have no words.

Becca @ The Beauty Sample said...

I think it's absolutely wonderful what Chantecaille did and I really wish more brands would do so. Chantecaille consistently finds ways to give back--it's so nice! I really need to start shopping the brand more, I think.

As for purchases--I just shopped the VIB sale. I repurchased a Caudalie Vinoperfect serum (one of the only ones not sold out), Nars eye primer, Becca blush in Sweetpea and Eye Quad in Astro Violet, and another Jack Black lip balm. I think I did pretty well at restraining myself. The 2 Becca items were my only "fun" purchases--the others are staples for me. I am taking a peek at right now though (thanks again for the tip!!) to get my Caudalie S.O.S serum, Sorbet Creme, and quite possibly the Jack Black serum Eileen was talking about (oof--that's a lot of skincare :P). This weekend, I also plan on getting the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation. Very excited about that!

Have a great weekend, CG!!

Walls said...

My heart goes out to those who have been hit, yet again, by inclement weather. I can certainly see how people could feel frustrated given the misfortunes they've endured, but I doff my hat to those emergency crews and workers from all over the country who are trying to make things right.

As for my week in beauty, it turned to been more eventful than I had anticipated. I bit the bullet and bought Chanel's Sculpting Veil in Notorious after reading/seeing rave reviews by Xiao of Messy Wands, Gaia, The Non-Blonde, and Raeview, all beauty sages I trust. I am very happy with it, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the Nordie's associate also included a sample of Le Volume de Chanel mascara in the shipment! I am wearing it now!

The formula is thicker than Sublime de Chanel, as one would expect from a volumizing mascara, but on the eyes the look is similar. I may prefer the Sublime wand simply because it offers a cleaner application. I find Volume de Chanel _slightly_ thicker than what I would like. I think I may give the edge to Sublime, but I will forgo a final verdict until I give Volume de Chanel more mileage. What I love about both mascaras, however, is that they curl my lashes without the help of an eyelash curler. No racoon eyes, either! I am interested to hear your thoughts once you receive Sublime de Chanel from France.

I was lured by your post about the Sephora sale. Sadly, I don't shop enough at Sephora to qualify as a VIB. I could give them my money, I suppose, but I don't much care for their customer service and end up waiting ages for shipments from Maryland to arrive here on the West Coast. I may reconsider so that I qualify as a VIB for next year's sale. Twenty percent is good! I am tempted to try the YSL Touche Eclat foundation. Also calling out to me is the Tom Ford foundation. Not sure which voice to heed!

Looking forward to seeing and hearing about what gems you bought from Sephora. I am hoping that Black Friday brings some good internet sales at the big department stores. I liked that Saks gave out gift cards last year. I may be one of the rare people out there who would rather get a gift card or discount than a gift with purchase with cosmetics. I digress. Happy weekend and rest that knee, Charleston Girl.

Evelyn said...

It's amazing what people can do when they put their minds to it. A former classmate of mine from high school on Staten Island started a swap page on Facebook and added all of us to it and more. This basically started a huge chain of posting and collecting supplies between NJ, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Generous people burning gas picking up stuff from our homes to bring it to not only places that you see on the news but also to many smaller areas that are still without power & heavily damaged from the storm. Many coastal communities in Brooklyn for example have been heavily damaged, powerless...and looted of all things...and FEMA & the Red Cross are not there yet. Now if we had gas we could move more of the surplus supplies to where they are still needed.

30 families from our school lost everything so the school started a fund to raise $30,000 for $1000 pre paid AmEx cards to give them something to start rebuilding their lives. Well, the fund is way past 30k so it will give out as much as it raises. And this is just one story. All over NYC people have been doing what they can to help their neighbors no matter who they are and it's really heartening to see that. lol I talk too much about this but I'm really proud of all the great people from NYC and around the country giving help to those in need. We need less politics and more of this kind of humanity!

In the midst of all of this talking about makeup is entertaining. I still haven't put in my VIB order but I have a few things on my list from some of the newer to Sephora lines. I saw a pink lip palette from Edward Bess. Cute but pink overload for me! I think another red lipstick is calling my name, Icon by Hourglass but we'll see. My sister would probably like something from Sephora for Christmas and maybe my coworkers as well. More to think about.

Have a great weekend everyone & stay well!

Jo said...

Hi Charleston Girl,

Taking out the trash is my least favorite chore too - I can relate!

My heart goes out to those still without power - I don't blame them for being frustrated. I'm so happy that part of my Chantecaille powder purchase will go to help the victims of the storm. I've already contributed in other ways but I'm happy that I could contribute with a Chantecaille purchase too.

Hi lovethescents,

The best way to brighten your complexion is by using products with Vitamin A (retinol or Retin A) and Vitamin C. Marie Veronique Organics has a retinol serum that is wonderful. I used to use Retin A every night but started feeling like my skin looked a little unnatural so I looked for a retinol product to alternate with the Retin A. Now I use Retin A three times a week and the Marie Veronique Pacific Retinol serum four times per week. This is such a lovely serum. My skin has never looked better. I swear it took five years off of my complexion. She also makes Vitamin C capsules which are the best way to use l-ascorbic acid, the most effective type of Vitamin C. The capsules contain a powder form of Vitamin C and ferulic acid which work well together. You mix the capsules with a serum or water. I usually mix them with the retinol serum and use them 4 times per week with the retinol serum. I highly recommend Marie Veronique products and use her oils too. You can do a search to find her website.

Anonymous said...

My cousins live in NJ and one has a beach house on one of those flooded islands we see in the news. The National Guard deemed it uninhabitable. the gas line is sealed and needs to be rebuilt. The owners can see their places this weekend then no one is allowed - to avoid looting. It will be 6 months to a year before they can get back on. Dear folks who live there full time - what will you do?

Anonymous said...

Big storms like this highlight our weaknesses and our strengths. I'm in Florida, for 6 months/year we are under hurricane watches and it's normal for us to prepare, stockpile and have disaster preparedness plans in effect at home and businesses. Lost my roof, lost business income, lost a lot during hurricanes. I learned to prepare.

Climate change is making these events more frequent. It will cost a lot of $$ to retrofit the power grid and have coastal flood management like Holland's in place in the US. It doesn't help that federal and state regs prohibit building new power plants or refineries, so with a triple sized population, we still have the infrastructure of 1970. Our govt has been asleep at the wheel on so much, but particularly in honestly producing a safe populace with 21st century technology. They get a big F on that one.

The electricity rates won't rise, there are laws blocking them from doing so. What the power companies did here in FL was to add a "Hurricane Wilma surcharge" or "Hurricane Charlie surcharge" which we are still paying 6,7 years later, every month on our bills.

To forget this pain, I look at makeup with wonder and glee. I bought Guerlain's Turandot eye palette this week and I'm in love. The colors apply much differently than they appear, at least on my fair skin. I was annoyed when the SA tried to pass off the regular Meteorites as the "holiday" meteorites, they were out of stock of the Perles du Dragon. I told her I know what the line has from my beauty blogs and she was speechless. I know it's a pet peeve of so many of us when they sell out of the LE products and they substitute older ones and aren't honest with the customer!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Becca,

Chantecaille has made philanthropy a mainstay of its company and I will love them forever for it.

Great skin care treats! Remember, your skin has to look good for your makeup to look good. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Walls,

I found out just today that our Fairfax County Search and Rescue Team stationed themselves in Fort Dix before the storm, and after it passed got right to work doing water rescues and getting people and their pets to shelter. I am so proud of them.

Did you see my feature on Notorious? I was blown away by how weird it looks in the compact and how great it works on my face.

I found your comments on Sublime helpful and interesting. A friend is sending me Sublime from France. We can't buy it here.

If you want a friend code, please e-mail me at I have one to give away. In fact, if others want to offer their extra codes to readers, just use the comments here.

Totally ditto on the gift cards! I like money so I can choose my own gift. :)

Charlestongirl said...


I plan to feature the EB pinks today. I am not sure I can write the post in time for my feed, but it will go up.

Your account of the volunteerism was inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh Lord, Carol, that is tragic. I know that risk comes with the decision to live on the coast, but there are no words to express our condolences. Sorry seems so trivial at time. Uprooted without one's things in unimaginable.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous,

It's true that people in hurricane country plan, plan, plan and expect major life disruptions with every one of those darn storms that heads our way.

There are no simple answers. I guess regs are different from state to state. In Virginia, the power companies can ask for a rate increase to cover extraordinary expenses, and they usually get it.

That SA was so dishonest. I know we can't complain every time one of them pulls a stunt like that, but we should.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks for starting with skin care in your comment to Lovethescents. I assumed she was just feeling lackluster with the season change, and perhaps losing a tan.

Good thinking!

As for that trash, it's never ending. Sometimes I wonder how I can produce so much recycling. Then I remember all those boxes that arrive with beauty products.

Midwestern Mama said...

CG: Which of the new Armani Eyes to Kill is your favorite? Thanks again for the info about the Chanel volume mascara. It is amazing. Even my husband noticed.

Thanks for your blog. Most of my family and friends are on the East Coast and while most are back to (somewhat) normal, some are just beginning to repair the damage.

Charlestongirl said...


It has to be #3. I've already purchased two of them! :)

Eileen said...

I just want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and experiences related to Sandy's aftermath. Such an outpouring of humanity is what true beauty is all about.

lovethescents said...

Yes, Charlestongirl, you must check out Miriam!

Thanks for the tip re: the blush. I always wear blush but after a few hours, it seems to fade, leaving behind a tired looking me :-) I've heard of spritzing your face with rose water to brighten things up while on the go, but wouldn't that just make me wet and make my makeup run?

Thanks for the tip, Jo! Like Charlestongirl said, I seem to have lost my tan, eventhough I tried to prevent getting one this past summer. I like the idea of the topical Vitamin C. Must investigate!

Charlestongirl said...


Doesn't Best Things in Beauty have the best readers on earth? Every day I'm grateful for all of you.

Charlestongirl said...

Hey there, Lovethescents,

I guess you are going to have to try one of the cheek stains. Give up on powder (alone). OR, even better, use cream blush and finish it with powder (finishing powder or light blush).

Keep your hands off your face (just in case you sit with your cheeks cupped, as so many do).

beth said...

As a resident of NYC I could well understand the frustration, fear and anger of those people in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Breezy and who lost their homes. While they are sitting in the wreckage of their homes, freezing , without power, and having to stay and defend whatever they have left against looters, we have a mayor who was determined to hold a marathon. It was appalling the insensitivity he showed to those people affected by this Hurricane.
On a lighter note I purchased from the VIB sale a Sunday Riley blush in "BLushing", and a foundation from Koh Gen Do which I had a sample of and I have really enjoyed.

Charlestongirl said...

Agreed, Beth. The initial decision to hold the marathon was a travesty. Bloomberg had his head in the sand that washed inland from Sandy.

You got some nice things at Sephora's sale!