Friday, June 28, 2013

The Friday Forum - June 28

The one (and only) nice part of my drive to and from work is my route through neighborhoods dotted with fabulous hydrangeas, daylilies, and other delights of June. Plants make me happy. It's the little things. Does anything brighten your commute?

The commute has been hell. DC is known for it's brutal traffic. There's a downtown stretch of my new trip that is stressful, as pedestrians lollygag across an intersection in the heat, with no demonstrable knowledge that they are using the entire light cycle, preventing all of the cars from entering the intersection. Sometimes, only one car can proceed through the intersection, adding minutes to what should be a simple trip. On an ideal day, my trip is about 30 minutes. Yesterday in pouring rain, it was over 60. My whole body relaxed when I crossed the border into Virginia. Even though still miles from home, I felt at home.

I love my new colleagues. They are all smart, get-it-done people who are dedicated to the mission of contributing to caring for veterans by helping with the health care infrastructure. That's pretty cool.

I can tell Charlie has missed me. He's been clingy this week. I hope a time will come when I can work from home a bit. Right now, I'm still getting oriented to the work, spending lot of time listening and absorbing.

You probably noticed I had no new makeup to show you this week. I haven't been able to get close to a store. Plus, we are still in that in-between season when there really aren't new introductions. The tester for Le Métier de Beauté's Castaways arrived at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, and I will get photos tomorrow - my first chance to go there. I can tell you that it's much prettier than the original press photo I posted.

I am still waiting for the official, U.S. press photos of Guerlain and Chantecaile's fall collections. Both will be exciting, and I'm anxious to show you what will be in store. I must have Wild Horses - want it now.

I do have several new fragrance introductions to feature, skin care, and a new and promising teeth whitening system. While such features don't draw the audience makeup does, I think they are just as important to beauty as makeup.

About a week ago, the NY Times published a feature about sunscreens in makeup. New FDA rules require that any SPF claiming “broad spectrum protection” must protect against both UVA and UVB rays.The Times tackled the question about SPF 15 in many makeup products. Is it enough? The answer is a definite no. Companies are working to increase the sun protection in foundations. The paper cited AmorePacific, a Korean company, which introduced the CC Cushion Compact with one of the highest SPFs around: a broad spectrum 50+. “Sure, you’ll use Banana Boat or Coppertone for the beach, but you don’t want that on your face daily,” said Esther Dong, an officer with the company. She said the company had spent much time and money coming up with a stable formulation that would pass American standards and deliver smooth, weightless color.

Many brands are featured in the article, and I highly recommend it if you'd like to have a good understanding of how the industry is tackling FDA compliance. From removal of all SPF claims to stepped-up research and development, companies are making it more clear to us what we should expect from our makeup. Consumers are likely to benefit from better products and better information.

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 this week's giveaway contest for Chantecaille's amazing HD Perfecting Powder. The deadline is tomorrow, Saturday, June 29, at midnight. If you don't enter, you can't win (Virginia's Lady Luck).

Sorry I must run off quickly. It's time to shower and start my daily routine. I hope to have new colors to show you over the weekend, so please come back.

Photos courtesy of and the NY Times


Nemo said...

So good to hear that you are doing well and enjoying the little happys on your commute! I too as you recall started a new gig this year, one that changed my commute from a lonely country road to a major freeway. But I love it! Strange as that may be! I fly along with woods on either side of the freeway, seeing deer, wild turkeys with their feathers and colors showing like a Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving platter. I like it more than the old country road because every mile screams positive change and new flourishings for me. Meanwhile, please provide pre-order info if you can for the LMDB Castaways!

Zeynep said...

My mom just gave me that same Amore Pacific compact and I LOVE it. I mean really love it. I have been playing with application for the last several weeks, but it really is a fantastic product. In Colorado we have to be careful of the sun and this has been perfect for summertime. I think the best part is that it's totally buildable without caking.

Melanie said...

I am so glad to here that work is going well! Sorry about to hear about the commute, though. Those hydrangeas would be worth part of it! I love them, especially the blue, but they are not so common here (zone 3a). No doubt that Charlie has missed you. He probably really loved having you around all that time!

I saw that article about the sunscreens. I think that it is great!

This week has been about skincare for me. I am pushing 40 and this decade has been rough on my body: I began it with two years heavy medication (cancer) and, in the past three years, I have had my two children. Needless to say, my skin has changed on me! Dehydrated is how my friend’s colleague (a facialist) described it. I thought she was trying to push her services. Anyhow, I just did some reading on it recently and it *is* real! This lead me to learn about Hydraluron, a hyaluronic-acid based serum. It’s Canadian made, but do you think that I could find it here in Canada? I e-mailed the company. They told me that they had no way of tracking which locations of the specific drugstore that carries it actually sells (odd, I thought), but to give them my address to thank me for my “enthusiasm” in their brand. Why not? And guess what they did? They sent me a full-sized bottle of it! I was so shocked by their kindness. Anyway, I am using it and, so far, loving what I see. My husband commented the other day that my crow’s feet are disappearing. (Thank you, but, say what? Crow’s feet?!)

I had a great e-mail conversation with Le Métier de Beauté last week. I had wanted that Zeitgeist palette, but changed my mind over the parabens. I know, I know, but the ingredients matter to me. Anyhow, from what I could see on-line, they have some mica-based, paraben-free shadows (like a few Kaleidoscopes) and some talc-based, with-parabens shadows. I was confused, so I ask if they had been reformulated or if certain ones vary from others. Turns out it depends on the supplier. BUT, they are going paraben-free! Yay! It’s a brand that I have grown quite curious about thanks to this blog. I need to know what it’s all about!

Wow, what a novel! Enjoy the weekend, CG! And Happy Canada Day!

Db01 said...

I really like the Gurlain bb creme you recommended recently. I am 65 with roseacea. Only thing I do not like is that my oily nose breaks through. Using the Rimmel Stay Matte powder on my nose helps.
Love your reviews.

Eileen said...

I know we've all been wondering how the new work situation has been going, so thank you for giving us an update. The work itself is worthy and the people with whom you are working sound stimulating, so I hope it will prove to be an environment in which you can thrive. It seems that once we move into our sixties, it becomes more difficult to convince people that we are still relevant and that we aren't just looking for something to tide us over until we retire. It's true that many older workers are set in their ways and just marking time, but there are just as many who are still relevant and who can bring a great deal of knowledge and wisdom to the mix. Besides, people of our generation have a reputation for having an awesome work ethic :-)

As for your commute, I'm glad your route takes you past things of beauty. It makes a difference. My commute was 30 miles of primarily freeway driving, but it took me through beautiful mountain passes and rolling hills before eventually winding down into the San Fernando Valley. Between the beautiful scenery and classical music, I always arrived at work feeling relaxed and eager for the day to begin. After a long day surrounded by 3,600 teenagers, the drive home was restorative. As I left the urban environment behind, I would find a smile blooming in my heart. And, that sense of peace and joy would grow the closer I got to home.

On the beauty front, I am saving up in anticipation of the August release of fall collections and, of course, the US release of Les Beiges. Speaking of which, I lurk around a number of Asian blogs and was excited to learn that Les Beiges also includes a cream product---Les Beiges All in One Healthy Glow Cream SPF 30. It only comes in two shades and is an Asian exclusive at this time, but it is getting much better reviews than Chanel's CC cream (which I found disappointing). So, perhaps the release of Les Beiges powder is just the beginning and we'll be seeing additional products in this particular line.

I'm also really excited about Guerlain's fall release. I'm intrigued by the color combinations of the new duo eyeshadows. Marcus Monzon will be returning to us again July 10 (he likes us :-) ), so perhaps I can get a bit more information about the shadows at that time.

As for Chantecaille's Wild Horses collection--be still my beating heart! Such a beautiful selection of warm neutrals. And, knowing the texture and complexity of color that Chantecaille is able to pull off, I'm hoping this one will be a celebration of autumnal delight.

We're in the middle of a heat wave right now, so I had better get a move on and get my jog out of the way before it gets too hot. When I get back, I'll bring the dogs in. Only one of our huskies has shed her winter coat. The other two still look like fur balls so they need to come in where it is cooler. They stretch out on the tile in the breakfast room and let the AC work its magic.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi all,

Short lunch break. I cannot believe how many typos I left in this Friday Forum at 4:30 this morning! Yikes! I just corrected a few.

See you when I get home from work.

Anonymous said...

CG: Your commute might be income table, but your obviously enjoying your new contract and colleagues. That's always a bonus.

I bought my favourite hand cream last week--Estée Lider's ReNutriv Hand Cream. Yes, it is very pricy, yet it works so well. My hands look and feel wonderful.

Melissa said...

Hi CG!

I just got a text from my Neiman Marcus LMdB sales associate (Alyx in Las Vegas) saying that LMdB is pulling out of NM on 7/26! OMG!

This can't be true.. can it? I'm spazzing, NM is my favorite place to buy LMdB.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Kate said...

I just got a text from my LMdB Neiuman's sales person and she said that it is being pulled from all Neimans. Has anyone heard that?


Unknown said...

Charleston Girl, you're ahead of the curve! I remember you and another commenter on your site told me that SPF 15 was NOT enough a few months ago, and recommended a higher SPF product. So far I haven't been able to find the Neutrogena product you recommended, even though I keep looking in the aisles of my local drugstore. Guess I have to expand my search.

I'm glad you're enjoying your new job - that's one of the key things in life. One spends so much time at work, one should at least enjoy it!

I'm also glad you're continuing with the blog, without monetizing it, because there are so many bloggers out there who have monetized blogs, and you don't get the real low-down on products from them.

Charlestongirl said...

Kate real quick. No power here.

That is not true regarding LMdB.

Back later. Even iPad doesn't want to maintain connections.

Rosemary said...

I'm glad that work is going well, CG.

I had ordered Chanel's Gri-Gri from NM when you posted about it. It came last Monday and is gorgeous! I haven't had a lot of time to play with it, but the color seems to almost be chameleon-like. Today I did a simple look with Gri-Gri as a wash with the dark brown color from Chanel's Mystic Eyes quad in the crease. Lovely! I can't wait to have more time to try Gri-Gri with other color. I will definitely be buying a back-up.

Speaking of which, CG you made me break my No Rouge Coco Shine rule and buy Cavalier. I love it. It's pigmented enough for me and feels so creamy. I need another one. But here's a question: I also bought Pygmalion and while I like it very much, it doesn't seem to be as creamy as Cavalier. Is the formula different now than it was when the line was first released? I know there are new rouge coco shines that are a different formula, but Pygmalion wasn't one of them. Anyone know? I'd like to try some other shades, but only if they are the more creamy type.

Have a great weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Everyone, I so want to chat, but still no power. Whole area without power. No stop lights, nothing. The multiple lines of wicked storms slammed us.

I'll be back in the morning with comments (on comments). Sorry. Even my wireless signal is a slug. Glad I could grab some bandwidth now. Earlier, I couldn't.

Jenni said...

CG! I discovered the new summer palettes from Burberry (who knew.) via email and dashed off to the nearest counter to swatch, but they're a safe pass so my wallet is happy :) i found the shades rather unimaginative, and you can head over to my page to look at the colors!

Charlestongirl said...

What an evening we had! Wicked storms knocked out power in my area. Today, the sun shines. The power came back overnight.

I was able to get info from LMdB corporate last night. They partnered with NM to close the LV counter (only). There are no plans to leave NM.

If I had to guess, it was probably a decision in LV based solely on business. What astounds me is that a counter person could get the story so wrong. Anyhow, I know the other stores would be happy to have that Nevada business. :)

I'll be back later. After a fitful night of sleep (fall off to sleep roasting, wake up freezing because the AC came back on, waking ultra early because I went to sleep at 7:30 it was so miserable), I need a nap. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Nemo, if freeway driving were only that way here! I have part of my commute on an interstate. We move at about 20 miles/hour!

BTW, I love those Williams Sonoma platters.

For Castaways, call Chae Edwards or Michael Reinhardt at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236.

The palettes are scheduled to arrive next week.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Zeynep,

I think I need to check out that compact!

Charlestongirl said...

Happy Canada Day, Melanie - sorry my wish is late.

That Hyadraluron sounds good. Fortunately, there are many companies incorporating some form of hyaluronic acid in their products now. Look for high concentrations.

BTW, facialists often make you feel bad about your skin. They are trying to sell you something. I have a friend who asked me this week, "Do I have large pores?" Apparently, one of those skin care pests in a mall stopped him and told him they had a product that could shrink his large pores. :)

Glad to hear that LMdB will be going paraben-free!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Db01.

My nose usually breaks through my foundation because of allergies and Kleenex use. I am resigned to touching it up at lunchtime. I hate looking like Rudolph.

Charlestongirl said...


You are so right about employers writing off people over 60! I was rejected for work for so many age- or experience-related reasons. It ought to be illegal.

There is one of those Guerlain duos we are not getting. I am waiting to find out which.

I doubt I will purchase the Chanel CC Cream. I am enjoying my Guerlain BB Cream, and there's only so much I can buy.

I'll be lined up for Wild Horses!

Charlestongirl said...


There's nothing like a little luxury to uplift life!

Charlestongirl said...

Hey there, Melissa, read above, and you will see the Las Vegas rep was misinformed about LMdB and NM in general.

The Las Vegas counter only is closing.

Charlestongirl said...

Kate, ditto. Hope you saw my clarification that came from LMdB corporate.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Edith.

I love the Clarins SPF 50. Very fluid and nice with makeup. Also look for La Roche Posay. Theirs is fabulous too. Both are easy to find.

Charlestongirl said...

Rosemary, yes, the formula has changed. The newer ones have 30% more pigmentation and last longer.

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I laughed over the image of Rudolph's red nose. I know what you mean about those seasonal allergies. As much as I love the scents of summer, I, too, am constantly blowing my nose. I actually found Guerlain's BB cream to be a great touch up product. Easy to carry in my purse, a tiny bit warmed between my fingers and then patted around my nose conquers the Rudolph syndrome and restores the sunscreen. I agree with you that Guerlain's BB is far better than Chanel's CC, but I guess that's to be expected. Chanel's CC is basically just a mediocre tinted sunscreen. I just wish Guerlian would use fewer chemical and more physical screening agents :-(

Hi Jenni,

Thanks for the interesting info about Burberry. I visited your site and all I can say is "Who knew?" is right! It looks like a knock off of Clé de Peau's spring palettes except, judging from the swatches, CdP did an infinitely better job of it. I wonder if this is an Asian exclusive or if it will eventually make its way to the US. Hmmmm . . . You lucky beauties get things we only dream about :-)

Hi Zeynep,

What a great mom you've got! I've loved everything by Amore Pacific that I've tried and have got that revolutionary foundation/sunscreen on my must try list. My only concern has been the limited color selection, but I'll go have a look. My Sephora VIB renewal discount is still valid so this would be a good time to get the compact.

Melissa said...

Hi CG,

Thank you so much for checking. I hope you are having a delightfully relaxing and restful weekend! I am looking forward to seeing swatches of Castaway. What do you think of the new Beauty Vault VIP program?

I wish LMdB would release more information regarding it (they seem to be fairly snotty on Facebook when it comes to the VIP program, which is surprising because I've never had anything BUT good customer service from them) but $350 is a big chunk of change to put down for something of which we're not even sure.

Charlestongirl said...


Regarding Las Vegas, it's possible the LMdB counter will remain there, but there will be no LMdB representative. Don't count on that because I didn't hear it from corporate, but it is second-hand and from a very reliable source.

I just don't want to bother the company president on a Saturday!

Charlestongirl said...

Jenni, I need to go look, now that I've finished my swatching for today. Thanks!

Miss Brahms said...

Hey C Girl - have you purchased the Amore compact yet? It was recommended to me.

Charlestongirl said...

I'm laughing, Miss Brahams. I may have an image of daily shopping, but I haven't had time to even explore. I might have to go to Nordies later, but I don't think they carry AP. Just NM?

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your new job, CG! I know you're relieved. I'm not surprised to hear about the age-based discrimination you faced. I think it is illegal, isn't it?

I hate driving into to DC. Is Metro an option for you?