Friday, August 2, 2013

The Friday Forum - August 2

How I wish we could grow agapanthus here! They are so beautiful, particularly interspersed with daylilies. I had a variety that was supposed to grow here, but a brutal winter wiped it out. Should I try again or give it up to fate that the DC area will occasionally be extremely cold in the winter?

I'm having a bit of trouble keeping up with Best Things in Beauty. First, my schedule has changed so radically, I'm exhausted. On normal workdays, I get up at 4:15 am. I leave the house by 7:00. I get home from work around 4:30 pm. Because of my early rising time, I have to go to sleep around 8:30. That leaves four hours for life management, kitty time (so they don't feel totally abandoned), dinner (last night it was beer and Cheez-Its), e-mail communications, and blogging. My Saturdays usually start with going back to sleep after I've fed all the animals (my cats and the wildlife). Then I have to fit in my beauty shopping. By 5:00, the productive part of my day is done - usually having run my errands on the way home from work. Sunday is an errand day too.

On top of all that, I've spent countless hours dealing with the malware infection of my PC. The last step was uninstalling Firefox. While using IE, I had no redirects. I have now reinstalled Firefox, so I'm waiting to see what happens. I know you're thinking I lead a drab life. I think that too sometimes.

If I write one or two features each day, I have little to no time to respond to comments. I'm feeling pretty bad about that. I love our dialogue. I'm not sure how I'm going to resolve things. On the pro side of that schedule, I really like my new work, and I hope Congress' penny pinching will not create another government shutdown.

As the fall collections are being revealed, live and in person, I'm getting revved. Collections like Guerlain's and Armani's have arrived in select stores, and I'm excited by new treasures. Fall is such a fabulous time for makeup and fashion. I have a couple of very specific needs in the clothing arena. I need new fully-lined, smooth, lightweight wool gabardine slacks that are traditional - sitting on my waist, not half-way down my hips. Does anyone know where I can find them? Really nice, smooth-as-silk ones? I also need some new AGL shoes. These are my staples. I have plenty of jackets - mostly Armani, but I need these new basics. Unfortunately, my slacks are not trendy, and they are very hard to find. Argh! You will never see me at work in trendy fashion, like the fall couture shown below.

While the luxury beauty market is thriving, some very accessible brands are tanking. Avon's profits fell 48% in the last quarter. Holy moly, how can they survive? While they have some growth in international markets, their U.S. business needs resuscitation. Pulling that off may be a miracle. Meanwhile, Revlon and Shiseido have reported increases in income. It's a fickle industry. As you know, the limited-edition pieces everyone wants, like the new Guerlain blush, sell out quickly. Perhaps that's a key to the increasing trend of limited editions. They motivate us to spend now. Snooze and lose. I am sure that will be the case with Tom Ford's fall collection. I received an e-mail from Bergdorf Goodman today that implied it has arrived there. I need to check with Dustin tonight or tomorrow to see if he has received the collection at the John Barrett Salon.

There are samples available of Le Labo's City Exclusive - at Le Labo and Luckyscent through August. Why just samples, you ask? Because starting in September, you will be able to order full bottles of any of the Le Labo City Exclusives for a limited time, including the two latest additions: Cuir 28 (Dubai) and Limette 37 (San Francisco). The samples are pricey ($12), but I want to try two rather than buy blind.

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 current giveaway contest. Make sure to enter for your chance to win a new Long-Wear Cream Shadow from Bobbi Brown's Navy & Nude Collection. The deadline is tomorrow, Saturday, August 3, at midnight.

Happy weekend!

Photos courtesy of and WWD


Trishb said...

Charleston Girl, I had this redirect problem some months ago on my laptop and it affected both Firefox and Chrome. For both browsers, I had to first uninstall the problem extensions from the browser tools/settings menu, then uninstall the browsers. Next, I went to the Windows control panel and uninstalled 2 associated programs that I found listed there. After that I was able to reinstall my browsers with no further problems. Good luck and I hope you can get this straightened out soon.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Trishb!

I have done all those things too. The extensions/add-ons went a week or so ago. It was only this weekk when I unintalled and reinstalled. Hope it worked! Thanks for the info.

kellyroo said...

I don't often leave comments on the blogs, but I wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoy visiting this site everyday. I'm sure that all of your loyal followers will understand if you decide to minimize your postings and if you aren't able to reply to every comment.

Life is too short
and I would hate for this blog to become a burden instead of a creative outlet to share your love of skincare, fragrance, and cosmetics. Best Things in Beauty is a highlight in my day and I wanted you to know how much you are appreciated.

Eileen said...

Good morning, Charlestongirl. You never need to apologize for not blogging enough. Starting a new job, establishing a new routine, managing a household, and tending to myriad needs--at times, there are probably not enough hours in the day. Add to that all your aggravating computer woes of late, and I'm surprised you are able to post as frequently as you do. Hopefully, though, it will soon be smooth sailing.

I love fall fashion and cosmetics to begin with, but this year has blown me away with the collections we're seeing from so many different lines. An abundance of options will ensure there is something new and exciting for everyone. I must say, though, that although autumn is my favorite season, I really don't like the big rush we've been getting from some of the companies. I know products and story lines are developed way in advance and those early sneak-peeks of promo pics can certainly pique our curiosity, but I don't want to be pushed into making my seasonal cosmetic purchases two-three months ahead of time. When I rule the world, they'll all be prohibited from releasing their fall lines until August! LOL To all those companies who know autumn begins September 20, and are just now beginning their releases, thank you!

I'm actually not surprised about the decline at Avon. Back in the 50's, it's ding-dong "Avon calling!" approach was a boon to so many women who were pretty much house-bound and/or who didn't have easy access to cosmetic counters in their vicinity. On-line shopping and the huge amount of information to be found in the beauty blogosphere has radically changed all that. Most women no longer need, nor necessarily want, someone coming into their home to sell them products from one line when they can cruise their favorite websites or swing by a drugstore, department store, or local mall and be treated to a dizzying variety of products. Avon was a wonderful concept--for its time.

No beauty purchases for me this past week. I'm eagerly awaiting all the loveliness that will be flooding the counters this month.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

fgirl said...

I received my les Beiges pre-order and the kabuki brush from Chanel yesterday. That kabuki brush is worth every penny. Soft, densely packed bristles.
I also love the lest beiges powder. I am very fair and had been using the 40 from the sample Chanel sent me. It works well blended all over or as a contour. The 30 seems to work well too, but it is a bit warmer in tone and I have to make sure it is well blended, but that is easy because it melds into my skin.
I am going to have to get the 20 or 10 to use as a regular setting powder.

virginiaisforluvrs said...

I have some of those in my backyard. My husband was set on taking them out before we had our fence replaced but I wouldn't let him! I don't even have to do anything with them. They just grow and grow on their own :D

Anonymous said...

Charlestown Girl, I am a somewhat new follower of your blog and enjoy it. Thank you for you hard work. It doesn't go unnoticed. I am so looking forward to wearing fall fashion and makeup too!

Patricia said...

I think you need some longer time in bed in the early hours.
Getting up almost 3 hours before you leave the house is so unheard of but each to his own :)

Eileen said...

Hi fgirl,

I'll be picking up my Les Beiges pre-order tomorrow along with the new kabuki brush and I can hardly wait :-). My old kabuki was looking a bit worn so the new one by Chanel came along at an opportune time. I'm glad to hear it is a winner. After testing the various shades, I ended up buying #10 because I plan on using it as a finishing powder. I'm NC15 and #10 is perfect. Gosh! I love this powder.

alrenwald said...

Hi, CG,
I rarely post, but do read your blog whenever my email says you have a new entry :-) I am an avid fan of yours, and it never fails to surprise me how you have been so adept at balancing your many roles like a tightrope walker LOL
I wouldn't fret so much over not being able to blog very often, it is perfectly understandable, and I am really happy just reading (and re-reading your past blogs) whatever it is you are writing about--makeup that I will be lemming for, your furbabies, your PC woes (I imagine we all have gone through similar problems while living in the digital age!).
I have been on a shopping spree lately, due to the Nordie's anniversary sale. They ran out of the Dior Bonne Ettoile eyeshadow palette (but snagged me one through Neimann Marcus!). I also purchased several glosses from Dior (Merveille), and Guerlain (Prune Zip, Coral Wizz, and Bom-something)and two eyeshadow palettes which were new to me (Bois de Roses, Les Bleus). Also picked up Chanel eyeliner in khaki bronze and the Mystere quad...
Because of the wonderful things you have said about Guerlain's newest Violette collection, I am lemming for THE blush, of course, and for the gloss in Flirt! :-)
This is a wonderful time of the year, indeed, for watching the new makeup and fragrance offerings from my favorite houses.

Unknown said...

I am brand new here and I just love it. You are so real that it is so refreshing. I look forward to your postsnand I appreciate the time and effort it takes to do what you do. Thanks.

Meredith said...

Dear CG, I don't think your life is drab! You pack a lot into your life and do a lot for others, critters included. Maybe you should try blogging once a day or 3-4 times a week until your schedule gets into a groove. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that no one is going to abandon you if you don't blog twice a day. We love your blog (it is head and shoulders above anyone else's IMO) but we also understand that you have other things that need accomplishing each day. It's impossible to do everything so pare things down. Simplify, and enjoy life more. You won't lose us.

Charlestongirl said...

I love you all! Be back tomorrow after a long night's nap. Starting soon.

CGirl said...

As I've said before (and will say forever), I love your blog. I love your descriptions, photos, and how you interact with your readers. Whatever you can do, I appreciate. I would hate for it to become a chore.

All I've purchased recently are refills of things I've used up: my First Aid Beauty daytime moisturizer, Bumble & Bumble curl conditioner (whatever it's called), and Jack Black lip balm. Oh! I did get IT cosmetics brush set. It was an amazing deal-I think QVC still has them in stock. I am eagerly awaiting Guerlain's fall collection. I'll be getting my first Rouge G lipstick and my first of the new glosses.

FYI, Nordstrom just listed some new AGL shoes online. I love the look of them.

Hope you have a relaxing weekend and that the computer issues are finally sorted out!

Anonymous said...

Hi CG-

I rarely comment but I think your blog really is the best. I look forward to reading your posts after a long day at work. Thanks for all you put into it.

Claire said...

CG, sounds like a grueling work commute/hour! I can't blame you for having just 4 hours. I am a part-time SAHM and even I feel I don't have 4 hours just to myself most of the days.

I have a question that maybe someone out there may be able to help/have insight. It's about the "balling" of sunscreen when using other moisturizer/toner/primer underneath it that contains silicone. Does anyone out there know what causes it and how to avoid it? I'm trying out several new sunscreens, some made my foundation balls up, some balls up on itself when I put it on top of my skin care. I hate when this thing happen, that means I can do nothing else but wash the whole face and start over.

Have a good weekend!

Eileen said...

Hi Claire,

Ugh! It's unfortunate when the products we love individually are incompatible when combined. If you know which product is triggering the balling, the easiest thing to do is replace it with another product. If you really love that particular product, though, and don't want to swap it out for something else, there are a couple of things you can do to mitigate the problem. First, try letting the proceeding product dry completely (10 min.) before patting (not rubbing) on the sunscreen. Then, let the sunscreen dry completely (10 min.) before patting on your foundation. While you're letting layers dry, you can do other things like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, etc. Another alternative is to look for multi-purpose products like Chanel Essentiel SPF 50 which is a light moisturizer, sunscreen, and primer all rolled into one.

Recap: Let each product dry/absorb completely before applying the next layer and then pat the products on; don't rub!

Apropos patting on foundation, squirt your foundation onto your finger tips and rub them together. Lightly pat the foundation over your face. The warmth of your hands will help the foundation spread out evenly. If you have some rough edges, you can use your fingers or a brush to lightly blend them out. A lot of MA's actually prefer to use their fingers because they like how the warmth of their hands liquifies the foundation so that it glides on easily.

Any of you other ladies have some good tips for Claire?

Melanie said...

Please never feel the need to apologize to us! Your daily schedule exhausted me just reading it. We all love your posts and will take whatever we can, whenever we can. You and your kitties first!

Fall has always been my favourite season. I don't "do" sun and adore sweaters and scarves. I agree with Eileen -- fall collections launching before August should not be done.

Nothing new for me this week either. I did finally learn that the skincare line that I have fallen head over heels with, PATYKA, changed ownership. Not too clear on why that means that stores across North America are phasing it out. Hopefully no change will come to the formulae, either.

Oh, good-quality pants that do not sit on the hips! Have you looked at J Crew's Hutton Trouser? Not sure if they are lined, though. Let us know if you find any.

Enjoy the weekend!

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

As many others have said, I appreciate all that you do. If you need to post less frequently, take time off, or reduce your posts to one per day, everyone understands. We all need our beauty sleep and your cats need you too.

I am going in search of Les Beiges this weekend! So excited! It seems like I have been waiting forever.

Claire- I have used Jan Marini's SPF 30 for more years than I care to admit and never had a problem, but I don't use a silicone primer. It was originally marketed as a moisturizer with sunscreen, so I use it after my daytime "treatment." I know people are jumping on the CC cream bandwagon. I would be interested to try something that promises to be everything- treatment, primer, sunscreen, and moisturizer. And I would love anyone's suggestions on this topic also.

Sara said...

Hi CG! My Guerlain order arrived and I am loving the Madame Flirte. It has an almost jelly-like finish that is very nice. Also the eyeliners (brown and silver) are fabulous. They stay in place and don't move! Many other eyeliners end up smudged under my eyes but these do not. I am going to try the blush tomorrow! -Sara

CGstrein said...

Hey Charleston Girl,

I agree with what everyone is saying. Please do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. If that means posting less or not responding to every comment then so be it. I think your loyal readers will completely understand.

Good luck finding lined pants in any fabric. I hunted for them last year and never did find any. I even looked at the high end brands (Ralph Lauren, Armani, etc.) and the sales people told me the designers don't like the way the pants lay when they are lined so they stopped doing it. Hmm, is it really because they don't like the way they lay. or they can save money by not lining them and charging the same price. What can I say, I am a skeptic.

No make-up purchases for me this week. I did return my Marc Jacobs damaged eye palette to Sephora today and, to my surprise, they swapped it out for a new one. It was sold out on line so I figured no one had it yet but I was wrong. Apparently, in my Sephora anyway, the entire Marc Jacobs collection has arrived, they just aren't allowed to sell it but since this was a previously purchased damaged product, she could exchange it. Can't wait to play with it tomorrow. The sales person told me they received some sample products, an eyeliner pencil and mascara. She loved the eyeliner pencil but thought the mascara was only okay. She said the mascara is super black so she uses it as a "top coat." She says she can't use it by itself because, for her, it isn't lengthening or thickening. I will be interested in hearing other's reviews.

Hey Eileen,
Keep us posted on the Les Beiges powder. I finally got to play with it today and couldn't believe the texture. So amazing. They didn't have it in yet and I opted not to pre-order. I have too many powders to justify another but I am sure it won't take much to persuade me.

Hey Claire,
That is a tough one. I think Eileen's suggestion is a really good one. I don't know if changing the order of the products would help but it might be worth some experimenting. I believe, Dr. Neal Schultz, a dermatologist who does YouTube videos, recommends putting sunscreen on first. However, I have heard others state that the order should be based on the weight of the product so, for instance, a lightweight serum would go on before a thicker sunscreen. Hope something works out.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Claire said...

Hi Eileen & LoveSugarBabyDoll, thanks for the suggestion, esp the one about waiting between layers. Unfortunately, I have no luxury in time, makeup is a necessity but must be done in as short amount of time possible. But maybe, if the sunscreen is stable enough, I am able to put it perhaps while brushing my teeth in the morning, and then put on the full make up few hours later. I always do my sunscreen fresh before going out for maximum protection. Yeah, annoying problem.. I bet silicone is the culprit but without it, so many products would be un-blendable mess esp on me.

Eileen said...

Hi Claire,

You're right about silicone being the primary culprit. Give the "let dry then pat" routine a try and if that doesn't work, then your best bet is to look for a different product. Such a nuisance!

This is my curent mourning routine (which changes throughout the year): Wash with Cetaphil and apply Jack Black Protein Booster serum mixed with CE+Ferulic. Pat on a bit of La Mer to seal in moisture. Brush my teeth and pick out my clothes while my skin care is settling :-) I then apply Chanel Essentiel SPF50 and let it set while I slather the rest of my body with sunscreen and get dressed. If I'm wearing primer, I spread it out on my fingers and pat it on, let it set a moment, then do the same with my foundation. I use my Tom Ford cream foundation brush to lightly smooth out any areas that need a bit more blending which is usually just the area around my nose. Lots of patting; very little rubbing :-) Once you get the hang of it you will find that patting is just as efficient as rubbing and that it yields results that are just as good as using a brush or sponge.

Good luck Claire.

Charlestongirl said...

Claire, Silicone, as Eileen said, is often the curse, causing balling foundation or other products. However, there's more involved, and I've never figured out what.

Even though I leave lots of time between layers, I sometimes have balling. I hate it when my foundation comes off in ribbons if I rub my face. I know that certain "Brand x" skin-care products produce it, and I don't know why. They do not have silicone in them. I move on and only use those products at night.

I wish there was a definitive answer, but I don't have it. Try different products. It may not be your sunscreen, but your moisturizer or serum. Try that Clarins SPF 50 product. I love it.

Melissa said...

Hi CG, I hope you're doing well and the new job isn't tiring you out too much. Such an exhausting change! I also hope that your computer behaves itself soon... I swear, that technology has a mind of its own!

My work staples are almost exclusively from Ann Taylor and White House Black Market. They have a variety of fits so you can pick and choose what works best for you, and they are consistently classy and elegant! I also have always had a good in-store experience with the sales associates. IIRC (I have only been wearing jeans to work lately due to the company culture) many of my Ann Taylor slacks are lined. The best part is, I can usually find some AMAZING deals on the clearance racks! I came home from LA once with 6 new pairs of pants from Ann Taylor... and I spent maybe $50-60 total.

I am utterly and completely blown over by the Guerlain fall collection, and am trying to resist splurging on a few colors of Les Beiges + the kabuki brush. Being good is no fun! :(

Melanie said...

Hi Claire,

I agree that silicone may not be the issue. I do not use any and I can still experience it. I think that sometimes it seems to be caused by incompatible layers: one product is not sitting well on another, or one is too heavy under the foundation, causing it to lift along with the foundation when it's applied. Maybe try the sunscreen as the first layer?

Let us know how you make out!

Eileen said...

Hi CGstrein,

I picked up my Les Beiges powder yesterday and love it. It is smooth, creamy, and absolutley dreamy! Even powder-phobes might be tempted by this one because it is not dry, chalky, or powdery. It's like applying a whisper of silk that leaves a healthy, soft-focus, real-skin glow in its wake. If you match your skintone, the powder will blend out to create an invisible veil of light. If you opt for a deeper shade, it can be used like a subtle bronzer or contour. I can't speak to the highlighting effect if you choose a lighter shade, because the lightest shade (#10) matches my skintone. This powder has such a natural finish, though, I can't really imagine it having enough oomph to use as a highlighter.

In selecting a shade, it is not just a question of selecting from light to dark. Each shade has a different undertone which should be taken into consideration even though the powder is quite forgiving. For example, I tried #10 and #20 and found the intensity of both shades was good, but #20 was entirely too yellow on my skin.

I would imagine that anyone who loves a good finishing powder will be happy to add Les Beiges to their stash; especially if they're looking for something that is travel friendly. Since all but one of my finishing powders are either loose or in the form of Météorites balls, this compact powder will fill a void. I also think Les Beiges will be an ideal fast fix on those low maintenance days. For example, today I just used Les Beiges over my Guerlain Météorites primer, Les Ors, and received compliments from complete strangers on my "beautiful" skin. Overall, I'm very pleased with Les Beiges whereas I was totally unimpressed with the texture and quality of Nars and Hourglass' new powders. But, in the world of cosmetics, chacun à son goût :-)

Hi Melissa,

Chanel's new Kabuki brush is awesome although you certainly don't need it to apply Les Beiges. I bought it because my old Kabuki was looking pretty haggard and it was time to replace it. This one by Chanel came along at an opportune time and is an excellent choice. It's dense, well-shaped, super soft, and travel friendly. And, you are absolutely right--being good is no fun! LOL

Enjoy the last remaining hours of the weekend, everyone.

Claire said...

Hello Eileen, CG, and CGstrein, thanks so much once again for the input. Well, Eileen, the let dry and pat works! Today, I was able to put on the two sunscreen + foundation combo that balls up on me (Elta MD UV Clear + GA Maestro) on top of each other. Both products are silicone heavy (esp. GA is practically pure sillicone), but I made sure I rub in the Elta on the skin & let it sink in, then put the GA afterwards -- which I did with minimal rubbing and some patting around areas I need more coverage. Oh, I also check my serum, it also contains silicone. I do use the CE+Ferulic but only during night-time, but encouraged to try during day time per your routine, Eileen.

Well, I'm hoping this would be less of a problem now we are heading for Fall and I can start wearing my emollient foundations again. I know I never have any problem with those balling up, only with GA Maestro so far (and a couple of other sunscreens in the past that I've forgotten which one).

I hope everyone have a nice weekend!

Eileen said...

Hi Claire,

Ah, success! I'm so glad the method worked for you especially since you are using two great products. Thanks for letting us know how it went.

Definitely try using your CE+Ferulic during the day (you can use it at night, too, if you like) because it is a great anti-oxident and will give your skin added daytime protection against sun damage.

Anonymous said...

I also finally got to see the les beiges in person this weekend and ended up with #30. I don't know exactly how it did it, but when I left Macy's my skin just glowed (in the best way). I could not stop looking at it all day. The SA applied it with the Chanel duo-fibre brush- my counter did not receive the kabuki brushes. The #30 is just a shade darker than my usual and is perfect this time of year to add some all over color to my face since my body tans but I don't tan my face! -Sara