Friday, January 18, 2013

The Friday Forum - January 18

I love reading beauty catalogs - over and over again. These little Paul & Joe limited-edition tins, called Winter Wonderland, caught my attention the first time through Beautyhabit's superb Winter 2012-2013 catalog. They contain eye color and lip balm, but more importantly, two have squirrels on them. I collect "squirrel things," and I want those squirrels.

The price - $60 - has stopped me from ordering the set, but each time I peruse the catalog, I stop at page 78. Last night, it happened again. As I turned the page and drooled, I stopped at page 78. Clearly it hasn't left my mind. Here we are - the next morning - and I'm still wondering if I should throw reason to the wind and order those squirrels.

There is one other squirrel in the catalog. He's a vintage-inspired pill box created by Andrea Garland. He is filled with lip balm and costs $22. Had he been empty, I might have jumped, but the squirrel is a little dorky. Still, he's haunting me.

The Beautyhabit catalog is a wonder of things you'll be sure you must have. I love it. I have the paper copy, but if you'd like to run through all the pages and drool, just click on this link to download it.

A couple of months ago, I ordered a squirrel pillow and some kitchen towels from AHA Life. They looked so cute. Unfortunately, they are cute on only the squirrel side. The flip side has a hideous red print. Seriously hideous, like the company found it in a remnant store that carried fabrics from the '50s that no one could sell. Those squirrels arrived months ago, but I'm still disappointed every time I look at them.

I did purchase a darling nut bowl at Neiman Marcus this week. The bowl, carved from a tree and hollowed out has a squirrel perched on the edge and an acorn nut scoop. It cost less than the Paul & Joe squirrels!

I know everyone collects something. What do you collect? It might be fun (and whimsical) to share today.

The sun is out! In just a few minutes, I'm going to haul myself outside into the driveway to start taking photos. There are clouds, and if they cover the sky in the next two hours, I may have to quit blogging. I don't remember a run of clouds this long in the whole time I've been writing Best Things in Beauty.

I felt a little validated this week, when after a round of media adoration for Jennifer Lawrence's Golden Globes gown from Dior Haute Couture, a few critics finally admitted her droopy, triple boob look was not flattering. Perhaps her stylist will up his or her game for the next awards show.

I hung out at Neiman Marcus yesterday and learned a few things I want to pass along. First, Chantecaille's Geode Gel Liner Pencil has been delayed. It is not arriving in stores with the Spring Collection. More than likely, it will trail along in February, but it may be as late as March. Darn! I am squirming with anticipation.

I also saw photos of all the upcoming Le Métier de Beauté spring products. For some reason, the company will not share them with me, which leaves me terribly depressed. I know you are going to love them, and I also know most of you well enough to know you would pre-order them if you could see the photos. I don't understand the sudden secrecy, and I feel unloved. Let's just say you are going to adore the lip colors; the palette I showed you the other day, which was created using colors from Kaleidoscopes; and the eye mask (beyond cool). There's more too.

Getting straight information from companies like Chantecaille and Giorgio Armani makes me proud to feature them as often as I do. Begging for information and photos makes me uncomfortable (I'm not pushy, but I do take rejection personally). How can a beauty blogger focus on upcoming color stores without help? I've written and called Dior so many times - without any response - I finally gave up on them. I know they send press releases (all I requested) and even whole collections to some bloggers. I can't even get photos most of the time. This, my friends, is the life of a beauty blogger. I hate to whine, but I'm going to. If they added up the dollars my readers have spent with them, they might consider that it's to their advantage to share information. I'm not making that money. Best Things in Beauty loses money. It's a labor of love.

There is an intriguing nutmeg shade eye liner pencil GWP for the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event in February. I can show you that - as soon as I can get a photo. It will become part of the permanent collection - as Artemis finally has.

Alberto (Giorgio Armani representative and MUA in Boston) published a photo of Giorgio Armani's #2 spring palette on Twitter last night. You can find the photo here:  . It was the one photo I didn't have. Thanks, Alberto! If you live in the Boston area, you must go meet him.

One more bit of news, hot off the press. Jennifer Aniston has joined the AVEENO family. Jennifer is as enthusiastic about the partnership as AVEENO is. She said, “I have been using AVEENO for years, so this partnership is a natural fit.” You now I'm an "AVEENO Ambassador," so I'm thrilled.

It's time for the Friday Forum. 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.

Don't forget the fabulous giveaway contest of the week. If you'd like a chance to win Bobbi Brown's Eye Luxe Collection ($100), just comment here to enter. The deadline is tomorrow, Saturday, January 19, at midnight.

Now, I had better steel myself up for the cold wind and get outside to take photos. See you soon.

Photos courtesy of Beautyhabit


Anonymous said...

Hi CG, just for the record I only recently found you and now follow you daily! I appreciate ALL the bits of whit and wisdom you share, as well as the time and effort I can only image it must take to collect, review, photograph, write, etc, etc, etc, and still go out and earn a living. You have become my daily breath of fresh air! Thank you. Enjoy the sunshire you finally are getting. Denise, aeiokid at comcast dot net.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Denise! It's readers like you who keep me going.

Eileen said...

So, you're a squirrel lover! Who knew? We've got tree and ground squirrels in our neighborhood. And chipmunks! They're adorable.

It seems we're still buzzing about the abundance of droopy boobs and poorly designed bodices at the GG. The beauty of so many gowns was marred by the bizarre things that designers wanted to do to a woman's shape and the all too evident fact that many of the bodices simply didn't fit properly. There were some beautiful young women with enviable bodies whose look suffered because their breasts were totally lost in ill-ftting and unnaturally constructed cups. I'm sure all these people have heard of alterations, so what happened? There was so much beauty at the awards, it was a shame to see some of the stars wearing less than stellar gowns although the stars themselves were stunning.

As for promo pics, press copy, and samples, I'm sometimes amazed by who gets something and who doesn't. For instance, why send you a picture of the one Armani Pop palette and not the other? It doesn't make sense since pictures of the entire line have already appeared on a number of European blogs. There is obviously a press packet available, so why pick and choose what to send a legitimate blogger? Just send the whole bloody thing! As for who gets samples, don't get me started! The disconnect between the product and the blogger's audience is often laughable. But didn't I just say don't get me started? LOL As for advertising and promoting the new collections, I wish there were a happy medium between Chanel releasing spring in December and Tom Ford keeping everything secret until just before the release date--which is also kept hush hush. I love the anticipation, but I also like a bit of time to review the collections and make some preliminary selections.

On the beauty front, I picked up Gloss D'Armani in #502 (warm pink) and #403 (light tangerine). They're both colors I purchased last year, but they're so pretty and flattering that I decided to repurchase; especially since tangerine is still with us :-) I never keep a gloss beyond a year. All that dipping and applying to lips (shudder). There's just no way to keep it sanitized so I toss after a year. I guess that's why I buy so many. There's always room in my stash for a pretty new gloss.

Yesterday I called the sweet Chantecaille SA at Neiman's and she has some samples of the new serum ready and waiting for me. We've got cold, dry winds howling today so it is a good time to see how well it calms redness.

That's it for me. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

AnneD said...

Well, I love Day of the Dead stuff. I have a few great pieces that I enjoy. I also collect perfume, both new and vintage.
I am enjoying my new Bobbi Brown cream compact makeup and pink stick blush. I did get to try out DiorSkin Nude makeup and it will be next on my foundation purchase list. I also seem to be collecting lipglosses and balms. Good idea about throwing them out after a year. I must get rid of some, so I can obtain more. Thanks for all your awesome reviews!

Nemo said...

That one little squirrel looks like a red one to me. Get him! Remember, you don't have the little reddies down there.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

Don't even get me going. I am so beyond annoyed right now about PR.

Too funny, isn't it? Perfect Golden Globes show, but the girl's globes were not flattered.

The European blogs get info before we do because the PR departments are entirely different. I've had it explained to me. Doesn't make me any happier, but at least I understand what is happening. One example recently: We did not get in the U.S. the powder we were expecting from Armani because the U.S. distributor didn't order it.

I love those glosses - and I just started playing with my new Chantecaille sample.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anne,

Day of the Dead, like the Mexican holiday?

I've been trying to collect vintage perfume, but the prices are so high, I can't buy much. I don't have the energy to do flea markets, so I miss a lot.

Our wind was wicked this morning, but it seems to have died down. I was really cold with no coat taking swatch photos. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Nemo,

Real red squirrels have little tufts on their ears. I think that little pill box guy is a stylized red squirrel.

Melanie said...

This week, I received the Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB (spf 20). I was going to get the TATCHA sampler after all of the rave reviews here, but I needed something along the lines of foundation as I seem to have a good skincare regime going right now. The parcel came in two days (and it even had to cross the border) – impressive! I hadn't tried the BB thing yet, and was going to go for Jane Iredale’s, but this one has no silicone, and only physical suncreens. It cost an arm and a leg at $125, but I could not resist. It is a one-shade-fits-all, but, luckily, that shade seems to be mine. I have tried it once so far. My skin has been a little neglected lately, so I could see some dry patches. Otherwise, it gave great medium coverage, concealing the hyperpigmentation around my mouth (yuck and yay!) and reminded me a bit of Vitalumière in texture. It was “my skin, but better.” Apparently, with regular use, the skin care in it helps to improve it over time. We shall see. They included a few samples, one of which was their mask. I used it today (much to my toddler’s shock and awe!). My skin feels really great. I have never been too overly convinced of the benefits of masks with the results that I have had personally, but this one was nice. I am curious about their copper peel. The company has a points program, and they quickly amount to something useful, unlike other points programs. I fear a new obsession coming on!

Sorry about the difficulty in getting info. If only they truly understood how influential these blogs are, they'd get it to you stat!

Speaking of squirrly, that's how the Lance/Oprah interview made me feel last night. Like watching a car crash -- could not look away. To get back to the topis, though,her makeup looked wonderful, as always. I wondered what was on her lips.

Happy weekend to all!

Meredith said...

I think it's very disrespectful to you that they shut you out like that. YOU are doing THEM a favor by reviewing their products and giving them FREE advertising. I can't tell you the number of products I've purchased after being exposed to them by you. What's the point of all the secrecy? Do they think it builds anticipation? We're either going to like it or we're not. We're either going to buy it or we're not. It's up to us. If anything, keeping it secret works to their disadvantage because someone may have already "shot their wad" on the Spring Collections and not want to spend anymore. If we can see it ahead of time, we can plan what we want based on our budget and a company like Tom Ford might get a sale instead of losing one.

lovethescents said...

Melanie, I was given the Oromovicza body oils gift box and adore them all. I hope you, Charlestongirl, will dip your toe in the Oromovicza pool and give us some of your thoughts on this delightful new range!

Melanie said...

Second to what Meredith and lovethescents each said!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh Melanie, that Lance interview was creepy. There was an undercurrent of arrogance that makes you wonder, "What does he really want?" I don't get OWN, but I've seen enough clips to agree with Access Hollywood Live today on which he was called a "prick." :)

Charlestongirl said...

Yep, Meredith.

Sometimes I wonder whether PR people understand their impact on us. Their agendas can be "odd."

Charlestongirl said...

Maybe I'll dip my toes into that pool when I get a new consulting assignment. Right now, I'm being a minimalist spender.

CGirl said...

Happy Friday all!
I don't collect much anymore, other than makeup. I'm in a decluttering phase right now.

I second what everyone has said about the PR. That's unbelievable.

I have been playing a lot lately with my Christmas makeup. I received and love the Laura Mercier Artist Eye Palette. I also have the UD liner set (Smoked, I think) and love the colors. Both gifts are already well-used. I also purchased the Bareminerals cleanser and really like it. I was using Philosophy Purity cleansing oil, but it was drying my skin out (as the regular Purity does as well). My love affair with Tarte Maracuja Oil continues.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend (and that the PR start treating you as you deserve, Charleston Girl!).

Sabrina said...

BTIB - I hope you never stop blogging! I don't comment much on blogs, although I should make an effort to do so more, mainly b/c I read them on my iPhone while at work.

I really love your blog. It's clear it's a labor of love and you've inspired many a lemming (I just got the BB Almost Bare set from Neimans b/c of you!).

On the PR notes - I completely sympathize. Rejection or no response/interaction from companies is very frustrating to deal with. Especially when some of us invest so much time and effort into sharing what we are passionate about. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to quit b/c of the "why bother?" feeling.

Anyhow, I don't know if I can give any consolation or help or advice. Just know many of us love reading your blog. You share the latest with us and help with purchasing decisions more than you know!

Eileen said...

Hi AnneD,

When you say you collect Día de Los Muertos stuff, do you mean things like the Mexican folk art? I have a friend who has collected some extraordinary calaveras and marionetas over the years. It's certainly a colorful and fantastical collection.

Lesley said...

I love reading your blog. Everything is always so put together and I always want everything afterwards. I've been in a bit of beauty dilemma both makeup and Skincare. I wonder how you beauty bloggers do it with all the products out there that come out. But props to you and the rest of the bloggers. Currently on my wish list: sk-ii's facial treatment essence, Chanel's vitalumiere aqua foundation and loose finishing powder and Armani's master corrector vs. Bobbi brown's newly formulated brightener, and also Jane iredale pressed foundation. I have combo skin. Any thoughts on these..anyone?

Charlestongirl said...

Hi CGirl,

You remind me, I still must feature Tarte Maracuja Oil. It is indeed nice stuff!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Sabrina,

I don't comment much either. Who has time to write AND comment?

I know you understand that getting the information we need (or want) can be very difficult. There are companies that act like they are doing us a favor by sharing it - rather than the other way: we are giving them free advertising. I'll never understand it.

Thanks for the encouraging message!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lesley,

It's simple. We can't test everything. For skin care, I have my own standard that I must test for 3-4 weeks before I will publish a "review." When you test skin care, you can't use multiple products - or else you won't know what's doing what to your skin. So, it's hard to cover the landscape on skin care. It's also expensive.

You will like Chanel's foundation if you prefer light coverage. The new Armani Maestro concealer is what you should try there. I have and am loving the Bobbi Brown brightener and must feature it soon!

Bonnie C. said...

I didn't know you collected squirrel stuff, I myself love butterflies. :-) Not only are they beautiful creatures, but I love their whole concept of how such beauty can come through struggle. Thank also for giving a little insight to the world of beauty blogging, I'm so surprised that some companies are not being very helpful. I also don't understand why some bloggers get sent entire collections, and others have to request the basic info, especially when there are a bunch of beauty blogs out there that seem to have more "fluff" and are not as thorough as you are with talking honestly about how the products perform, giving us swatches, and tempting us with what future collections will bring. Your blog has always stood out for me, and I am a grateful recipient of your labour of love. :-)

P.S. I felt the same way about Ms. Lawrence's gown the first time I saw it, nice from the waist down, but very weird in the chest area. :-)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Bonnie,

I like butterflies too - and dragonflies. Have a mini dragonfly collection.

I know that companies are deluged with "bloggers" who request gratis products. I don't ask for that - just photos. Perhaps all requests fall on deaf ears because they are deluged with blogger communication? I just don't know/understand.

I do know that some companies are still employing a model that magazines are their best publicity. They are ignoring the data that blogs sell more beauty products than magazines.

Eileen said...

Hi Leslie,

SK-II's essence is good stuff. It is very soothing and contributes to a more even skin tone. It's very pricey, so don' apply it with a cotton pad--that wastes too much product. After cleansing, just pour a bit in the palm of your hand and pat it all over your face. Think of it is a watery serum rather than as a toner. It contains lots of good things for the health of your skin.

I have dry skin and found that Vitalumière Aqua was not compatible with my skin type, so if you're combo is normal to dry, forget about that particular formula and try the cream version which is meant for normal to dryer skin types. But, if you're oily to normal and want light coverage, it should work. There are better light coverage foundations out there; however, like Armani's, Burberry's, and Dior's. We've come a long way since Chanel introduced Vitalumière Aqua. One of the biggest issues a lot of people seem to have with Chanel's aqua formula is that it oxidizes which makes color selection a bit tricky. Sample it and let it set for 30 minutes before deciding on the color.

As for Chanel's Poudre Universelle Libre, it's a classic finishing powder that will give you a soft matte finish with just enough glow to make it look like the skin's natural radiance. I don't know that it would work well over the liquid aqua formula, though. Perhaps some of the other ladies know if a finishing powder is needed with that particular formulation.

Melanie said...

Hi Lesly,

I think Jane Iredale's Pure Pressed foundation is wonderful. It's buildable and lasts quite well. Gives great coverage, too, and I would say that it's medium. When I was on a trip last spring, I slathered my face in an oil-based sunscreen, then applied the foundation heavily and my face stayed fresh looking all day. No oilies, no shifting. I think that they have a great range of shades as well.

I used to use Vitalumière in its original formula. My skin has become drier, but I did find it worked well with my formerly combination skin.

Hope this helps!