Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday This and That

Earlier today, I wrote that it was raining. That's what the local forecasters predicted. Imagine my surprise, then, when it started sleeting in the early afternoon. The sleet quickly turned to snow - great big snowflakes. Now the snow is mixing back with rain. I have a light covering of snow on my walk and grass. I must remember to watch for black ice in the morning when I go outside to feed the birds and squirrels. As I listen to the evening news, the weather forecasters are eating crow.

Speaking of squirrels (not crows), I have one little dimwit who chewed through metal and wood to ruin my squirrel feeder a few weeks ago. I bought a new one last week. I just went out and found the dimwit had almost finished Act II, ruining a $30 feeder. I hope he learns how to lift the door with his head soon. I can't afford to buy a new one every week. I may have to get my handyman to screw through the metal edges to squirrel-proof the squirrel feeder.

Have you noticed that Estée Lauder has been almost moribund? No new collections have been introduced for months. The latest is a collection of Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks. I played with them at the store, but they bored me. See the look above. I was hoping for a new Illuminating Powder Gelée for spring. I asked my favorite Estée Lauder representative when I might see one - or anything of interest from Estée Lauder. What she told me was stunning. The company promoting Aerin Lauder's somewhat ho-hum line at the expense of the mother ship. If you want to see new palettes, you're going to have to pay more attention to Aerin's meager offerings. The rep said we "might" see an Estée Lauder collection for summer. I am amazed.

I would love to think that what she told me is not true, but the evidence is at the counter. Am I the only one who thinks the Lauder conglomerate has made a seriously bad decision? Estée Lauder has died and come back before. It wasn't too many years ago when Tom Pecheux resurrected the matronly brand and made it hot again. Where is he? Now I read about Pecheux's connection with M·A·C (January and February) and his work as a runway makeup artist.

While Estée Lauder snoozes, Dior is Dior Addict empire with the new Dior Addict Fluid Stick. "Billed as a cross between a gloss and a lipstick, Fluid Stick’s formula combines wax-free pigments with water and glycerol for a true, intense, long-lasting color," Senior Vice President, Lisa Hawkins told WWD. “Traditionally, lip glosses are made of color pigments mixed with oil. Our formula mixes the pigments with water and other ingredients.” She continued, “This formula delivers the color payoff and lasting power of a lipstick, but with the shine and weightless sensation of a gloss. Lips are continuously moisturized with a blend of water and glycerol."

That sounds exciting. I am a huge Dior Addict fan and have been for years. What horrified me about the announcement was that statement that the Dior Addict" franchise" attracts a customer between 18 and 30 - the sweet spot. Given the Best Things in Beauty readership, which ranges from 18 to 70, I think Dior is selling its "franchise" short.

The Palace released an adorable family photo showing Prince George, the eight-month-old son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, making his love for Lupo perfectly clear. I think it could not be more adorable. What do you want to bet the shot came naturally? There is no way to make a kid and a dog pose like that. What a family treasure!

As I close Sunday This and That, I want to remember the people in the community of Oso, Washington. The mudslide that buried so many came too fast for them to seek shelter. Now, as I watch the community - professionals and volunteers - dig to find every last person (and pet and family heirloom) lost in the tragedy, I weep for them and the survivors, many of whom feel guilty that they survived and their loved ones didn't. It has been a sad reminder to hug your loved ones.

Update: It is so embarrassing to spell "Sunday" incorrectly! Why didn't one of you tell the typo queen?

Photos courtesy of Estée Lauder, Dior, and the British monarchy/NPR, and the Huffington Post


wendy said...

...i passed the estee lauder counter today. they were featuring the bronze goddess collection. they had an interesting "nude" eye pallette. i didn't see the new lipsticks. it's hard for me not to get distracted in the cosmetics department. michael kors small assortment of makeup is right next to it. they have a "glittery bronzeyw spray" that looked very tempting. shame on dior!!! gee, i haven't noticed an ad campaign with sharon stone lately. is that because she's too....i'm not even going to say the word. i guess it depends upon how you look at things. but, the way i look at it now is not so good! xxxx

Charlestongirl said...

Yes, Wendy, Bronze Goddess has arrived to save me from the boredom of the lipsticks. So far, I am not moved.

Anonymous said...

Good point about EL and Dior. I have never been an EL customer but have appreciated their collections and your covering them. Why doesn't Aerin put her weight behind EL with a small line of her own.
The mudslide is tragic beyond belief. An unfathomable act of nature.
Have a good and snow-free week.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Tanja,

Aerin has a small line of her own. That's the problem. Go to an EL counter today, and the prime real estate is dedicated to Aerin.

bisbee said...

Just wanted to thank Eileen for the info about the Sephora sale - I don't know why I didn't get notified, but that's one of the great things about the Beauty Blog community in general - we spread information! Not good for my wallet, but good for me! ;-)

Charlestongirl said...

Bisbee, the Sephora sale is for VIB Rouge members only. Are you one? If not, that's why you didn't get notified.

Eileen said...

Estée Lauder was a formidable woman who left an indelible mark on the cosmetic industry. I'm sure it has been tough on Aerin always being identified as "the granddaughter of Estée Lauder" rather than a cosmetic mogul in her own right. There's a publicity shot of Aerin sitting at her desk with a humongous black and white portrait of Estée on the wall directly behind her. I imagine Aerin just got tired of having grandma Estée always looking over her shoulder. The problem, though, is that I can't think of a single Aerin product that draws my attention. As a line, I find it's image and products are blah and uninspiring. Aerin just doesn't have her grandmother's flair.

I got a laugh out of the thought of all those 18-30 year olds flocking to Dior, but realistically, what company doesn't want to promote the idea that they're the brand for young, modern, glamorous women? After all, why do we buy cosmetics if not to look attractive and relevant? Although various brands periodically use an older woman (usually a celeb) to promote a collection, the basic premise behind cosmetics is youthful enhancement. There isn't a company out there that wants to be known as the geezer brand! Charles of the Ritz (And, if you remember CotR, you're as old as I am! LOL) and Estée Lauder are good examples of what happens when companies develop a stodgy, old lady image. Sales plummet.

Although I'm 69 and know very well what flatters me, I still look to younger women for inspiration which I then adapt to suit my features. And, I'm not alone. There are legions of women like me who want to be fashionable without appearing foolish; on trend without trying too hard. And, we quickly learn which brands excel at using youthful images to promote products but then deliver products that are eminently wearable by women of all ages. And, yes, Dior is definitely one of them :-)

Now, I do realize that there are many women my age who have given up and are residing in frump-ville, but to suggest that a company like Dior is no longer relevant to a woman of my age is complete poppycock! Poppycock? Did I really say that? Does that mean I'm old? LOL Now, if you'll all excuse me, I need to go and get cleaned up. Perhaps I'll wear Dior! ;-)

Eileen said...

Hi Bisbee,

If you're not a VIB Rouge, I read on Temptalia that the regular VIB 15% off begins 4/3. Hopefully, you're one or the other :-)

Inez Hansen said...

Wow I haven't heard any word about my high school favorite Charles of the Ritz...(I'm 65) my mom and I would sit at the counter and have our powder colors mixed right before our eyes! What fun that was...and there suntan cream in the brown glitter plastic bottle made every spring break trip to Florida,for the most beautiful tan! It's good to think of those memories! Love reading this blog every day...I feel I know all the regular commentors! Inez Hansen

Sandra said...

Eileen, I am with you! I am a 69 young gal living in Vt where no one wears makeup. So sad. However I still will not leave my house in the mountains even to go to CVS without my full "face " on! I was so excited to come across yor blog, Charleston Girl, as I still get a rush walking by a Chanel counter. Albeit now I must do my makeup shopping on line as it is a sad story here on high-end makeup and fragrance products. I so appreciate your updates since I have no place to browse untilI I am back in NYC! Than you, Charleston Girl for all of your wonderful research. Sandra

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Sandra. I keep blogging for my readers.

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, they just don't know. Marketing is clueless.

Eileen said...

Hi Inez,

I also used to have my face powder custom blended at Charles of the Ritz. I always felt so special and sophisticated sitting at the counter watching all the colors that would get weighed out and then mixed to create my perfect shade. I usually got the large size which yielded a disk of pressed powder that would be slid into a special compact and a small box of loose powder for the vanity. After making our purchases, my BFF and I would then go upstairs to the tea room for afternoon tea and pastry. It was such a treat and we thought ourselves so worldly! LOL I remember when Prescriptives tried resurrecting the concept in the 70's, but they forgot that luxury and pampering were the core of the experience. Anyway, thanks for sharing your remembrance :-)

lov2read68 said...

Thank you ladies! Imagine my surprise when I sit down to catch up on some blog reading and more than one of you is talking about Charles of the Ritz. My grandmother wore CotR. I still remember the weight of the compact, the sound of it clicking shut and the scent. I can see her in front of the bathroom window so that she had natural light when she did her rouge and powder. And using her pinky to dab her red lipstick so that it was just a pretty stain - nothing harsh or bright. Happy, happy memories are flooding my mind right now!
Wow - 18-30 for Dior's target demographic?!! When I was at the younger end of that range, I didn't have the disposable income for it & didn't pay the brand much attention. When I was at the upper end of that demographic, I had the $ to shop there but it seemed matronly to me. So I pursued other lines that appealed to me more at that point. I fell in love with the Dior Addict line several years ago. There are several shades that I have purchased again & again.
Lancome hasn't churned out as many cutting edge or exciting things compared to Dior or least not as many spring to mind. But they haven't been resting on their laurels either. They brought out Rouge in Love followed up by Gloss in Love. This spring added Lip Lover. And every so often there is another new mascara being added to their line up.
And at the back of the class is EL. They reformulated Advanced Night Repair last year and have added a couple of eye products to that line up. But nothing else comes to mind that has caught my attention. Even the Aerin line when it was introduced was underwhelming. It felt to me like they quit working on the line before it was completed.
I discovered yesterday that my MIL occasionally likes to do a bit of makeup shopping at places other than the drugstore. Every so often she'll wear a bit of eyeshadow, mascara & lipstick but not regularly by any stretch and I've only ever seen her use drugstore items. She went with me to the mall yesterday afternoon as I wanted to look at a couple of things IRL as I sort my list for the Sephora VIB sale. Imagine my surprise when she started talking about Urban Decay foundation and eye primer. In all the years I've been part of this family I never had an inkling!
On a more serious note - the news on the mudslide has been heart-wrenching to watch. Added to the heartbreak of Flight MH 370. I can't begin to fathom what families from each of those tragedies is going through.
Enjoy your week - I hope it is sunny, warmer and snow-free wherever you call home!