Friday, June 20, 2014

The Friday Forum - June 20

June has been strange. We have had weeks of rain interspersed with days on end on August heat and humidity. I think my plants don't like it. Isn't June supposed to be the glorious month?

What's new in beauty? Alicia Keys will be the face for Givenchy's newest fragrance, Dahlia Divin, which will launch in September. Is there anyone who doesn't love Alicia Keys? Of Dahlia Devin, Keys told WWD, “This scent is grounded, but still has a femininity that is very earthy, and I love that.” The scent, developed in-house by Givenchy perfumer François Demachy, combines notes of jasmine, mirabelle plum, patchouli, vetiver, and sandalwood. The eau de parfum will be available in three sizes, as well a large Skin Dew - all moderately priced. In the U.S., the scent will be sold in about 1,500 doors, including Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s and Sephora. I imagine it will receive the same "can't miss it" publicity Dahlia Noir received. I didn't like that one either.

Will I be giving it a whiff? You bet. Will I be purchasing it? Very unlikely. I despise patchouli, and it's a rare day when I can't smell it in a fragrance. I'm actually disgusted with today's perfumers who think they can't create a blended juice without it. There are plenty of other ingredients to give a fragrance an earthy edge. Patchouli must be the go-to because it's widely available and relatively inexpensive.

Speaking of fragrance, I read a book this week - I often don't have time for books - called The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense. I'd recommend it for a good and atypical read. M. J. Rose spun an unlikely and certainly unpredictable tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers, separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra - and lost for 2,000 years. I purchased it at Amazon, where the hardcover is on sale. I bought the Kindle version, though, and read it on my iPad. I enjoy reading. If I ever get to retire, I'll be going through a book or two every week.

Do you have a favorite beauty loyalty program - one that leads you to try to purchase from a single retailer whenever possible? Some are loyal to Sephora (I'm one of them, although I hate setting foot in their stores); others prefer Ulta. Both have approximately 13 million members. I enjoy my Sephora V.I.B. Rouge status. I really like the fast shipping and my ability to order a single item and get free shipping without a minimum purchase. I hope they don't roll that back someday. I think Sephora was brilliant when they set it up. It encourages me to buy more often.

I also like the perks of the Neiman Marcus special beauty events, but I am starting to tire of the ever-rising minimum purchases to get a few tiny samples from the brands. I gave up on the tote contents years ago. Now I'm starting to give up on the GWPs from the brands. They are far less generous than they used to be. Those of you who have been with me for years know that I've written about this before. I am lucky. I do have brand representatives who are very generous with me because I spend mega-bucks over the year, not just at events. Others have to spend $350 to get a little makeup bag with four samples, three of which they may never try.

I'd be interested in knowing your strategy for selecting a retailer. I'm sure the retailers would be too. Let's see if we can have a good conversation this week.

Don't forget that Giorgio Armani Beauty is having an online Friends & Family sale. If you spend $75 or more, you will receive a 20% discount through June 30. If you spend over $125, you will be able to select five samples. I got the e-mail yesterday and hopped right onto the site to order stock of my foundation. I also found some samples that were more exciting than packet samples.

Did you hear that UPS plans to change its fee structure to charge more for larger boxes? In other words, a regular-sized Sephora box filled mostly with paper padding will cost more to send than a very small box containing less padding. I fear that this change is going to lead to more damage in shipment or - the horror - more use of padded envelopes, which annoy me. When I have purchased a $75 compact, I don't want to see it arrive in an envelope. I remind myself that less packaging material is good for the environment, but I fear that I'll be spending more time returning damaged merchandise. One thing I hate about Chico's is that they send clothing in plastic envelopes, and by the time it gets to me, it is wrinkled beyond my ability - and time - to iron it. I end up returning half of what I order. I don't know why I should have to put work into making new clothes wearable.

Is anyone reading a fan of beachy hair treatments? I'm intrigued by one I just saw at Sephora. DRYBAR's Mai Tai Spritzer Sea Salt Spray ($25) promises to adds soft, beachy waves for a breezy look without the drying, damaging effects of seawater. The formula contains real sea salt, aloe, and algae to create just the right amount of grit, texture, and volume, while leaving hair with a soft, matte finish. I am this close to adding it to my cart. I'd love to hear about it if any of you have tried it.

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.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty and courtesy of Givenchy, Giorgio Armani Beauty, and Sephora


Nemo said...

I participated in the NM Camp Gorgeous. I am shopping for a new cleanser. I'd like something in a pump, please, and paraben-free. The NM Camp Gorgeous tote contained an Eve Lom cleanser sample. I like it, but it's none of what I want. Also, I detest the suggested routine of using the cleanser with the little accompanying muslin cloth. Who has time to follow those tedious directions? Not me. So I'd like to know which cleanser you selected after your own hunt some time back. As for beachy hair, here is my suggestion because it is what works for me: Nothing! I have long, naturally curly hair when it's wet. I work out daily, doing 45 minutes of double stepping on a stairmaster step mill. That leaves my hair soaked with sweat--and curly. I use
Aveda Dry Remedy hair oil on it when I disembark from the step mill, and then I simply let my hair dry. It's beachy and sexy. Guys do not like styled hair. They like wild hair that looks like you just had a good romp in the hay with it. So try that next time, ladies!

Tatiana said...

I'm just the opposite of you. I like patchouli. I love oak moss even more, but since it's been limited due to allergy reasons, perfumers are using patchouli more often as an anchoring base in scents.
I've been trying the Armani CC cream and really like it. But that one CC cream will not get me the 20% F&F discount. I suppose I could stock up on a mascara as well, but I'm afraid mascara dries out rapidly even if you don't open the tube.
I like Sephora and I do like their VIB Rouge program. I too enjoy free shipping. As far as shopping in brick and mortar stores I have usually disliked Neimans, only because I've had pretty bad experiences with rude, pushy and competitive sales associates. I've found one or two lately that I like, but the 45 minute drive and paying for parking in The City makes it not worth the trip. My local Nordstrom on the other hand has very nice associates. I like that the points I earn can be spent anywhere in the store and on-line. Quite often I'll use my rewards to get a gift for my daughter. Or I'll just let her use them to pick a treat out for herself as a reward for her hard work and good grades at university.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been overly wowed by my VIB Rouge status. I was offered the same shipping deal for a flat rate before I hit Rouge status and I passed since I rend to order enough for free shipping when I make an order. Other than shipping, I haven't seen any of the other promised benefits. No surprise extra samples or gifts, or however Sephora generically described what we were getting. I prefer to do my spending with Nordstrom and use their rewards program to earn gift certificate dollars and my relationships with MUA for additional samples at Saks and Neiman's based on what I spend throughout the year. I end up with better samples than the GWP typically has these days. The only gift bag I make sure to get is the Barney's beauty event bag. It's pricey, but actually worth it in terms if product samples. I only need so many fragrances in on gift bag (looking at you Neiman's summer event).

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous,

I don't receive those surprise gifts either. I wonder when.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy from Sephora n it can keep any minuscule samples with purchases. Bad experience with them.
Back in the yester years, I got tons of perfume sample which I gave to my Auntie. Companies used to give me galore of samples with asking when I bought makeup at the department store. And they were nice deluxe unique gifts.... not the size of a pinky. GWP minimums were not ridiculously high like now n were unique each time....I am talking to you Clinique n Estée. One time, my gift from Lancôme even came with a large French roll around July 4th. You never forget the nice gifts n that is what makes you buy more.

Charlestongirl said...

Nemo, that little routine that Eve Lom recommends for their cleanser is more than I can handle. I want fast and effective.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Tatiana,

If you love the CC cream, buy two. It will last way longer than mascara.

I can't even imagine driving 45 minutes to go shopping. I'll do it for the outlets, but not regular stores. :)

Eileen said...

I checked out the Chanel fall collection and was so disappointed in it. Mystic Eyes--been there, seen that, done that so I wasn't interested in what I now consider to be a somewhat dated look. As for the singles, the colors didn't bother me so much as the general lack of quality :-( Then, because I was miffed about the eye products, I lost my interest in all the other pieces in the collection. The only thing I bought was the nail polish in Atmosphere. It's very pretty but not particularly fall-like or unusual for that matter. Still, it's pretty on my nails and so I'm happy.

So many new eyeshadow collections are just around the corner-- quads by Chanel, Clé de Peau, Guerlain, etc. It's just as well États Poétiques didn't impress me. I'll be ready to splurge by the time the fall collections begin arriving on counter in earnest. I hope the new Clé de Peau quads will feature some more of their beautiful satin-matte shades. I'm still giving my two selections from the spring collection quite a workout.

As for shopping, I'm very loyal to Nordstrom because of the wonderful SA's we have at the local store and because of their great on-line service. Free shipping and returns, cash back with Ebates, what's not to like about that? :-) I also like racking up points for Nordstrom notes. Since I'm a regular Nordstrom shopper, those points add up fast.

I'm also a frequent flyer at Sephora. I'm thrilled with the VIB Rouge free shipping perk. As you said, Charlestongirl, with free shipping I'm more likely to order frequently. If I have to pay shipping on something, I'll just buy it in store or order it from some other place. Now I don't hesitate to order from Sephora. Once again, free shipping, cash back via Ebates, and special discounts are a big motivator.

Hi Tatiana,

I love the idea of letting your daughter pick out a special treat with your Nordstrom notes. That's so sweet of you!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I'm over the intrigue of GWP's. When Bobbi Brown quit doing it, I thought she was crazy! But now, I just see that she was prescient enough to realize the were on their way out. So, if I order Bobbi Brown, I get it from her site since she has generous treats quite often and I find them perfect for travel. But if I'm buying other brands, usually, I spend the minimum for Sephora and get free shipping and a decent sample as a Beauty Insider. (I'm kind of surprised that some of you find them skimpy!) Ulta is doing much better on carrying higher-end brands, I.e. Lipstick Queen, IT Cosmetics, etc.
I'm wanting to purchase Kevin Aucoin's tube mascara, but I've got SO many mascara so that I really don't need another one. And I'm trying to do better about using what I have.
Beautiful flowers, CG. Lillie's?

Running with Scissors said...

Hi CG, it’s been a long time since I commented on your blog, but I still adore it! I decided to get the Pixie by Petra Palette in Plum Quartz because of your recent review. The £ price plus shipping to Aust wasn’t cheap but I’m excited to get it! Enjoy your weekend. Christy x

Jo said...

Nemo, I highly recommend Yuli's Halcyon cleanser. They are a great brand and avaiable from their own website or Spirit Beauty Lounge.

As far as shopping goes I think I spend most of my time at Nordstrom. I love the Nordstrom Notes too. For LMdB, Chantecaille and Tom Ford I go to Neiman's but hate that I can't just relax and browse the department after I've gotten what I came for because the sales associates make it so unpleasant. Who knows I might spend more if I have an opportunity to look at leisure rather than feeling like I have to buy everything I pick up to look at. The only store that is worse than Neiman's in that regard is Barney's. They get you as you are walking down the stairs. I go there for Sunday Riley, Tatcha, Troy Suratt, Claudio Riaz (speaking of which he has a new mascars out that costs a whopping $65. I won't be trying that any time soon) and some of their other niche brands but I try to decide what I want before I go and then just get it and go. I frequent Sephora too and they are always generous about giving samples, as is Nordstrom these days. I do find that at Neiman's I am always given samples of some very nice products from various brands when I make a purchase. My Bloomingdales has a SpaceNK and I spend a fair amount of time there too. Online, Beautyhabit is just about my favorite and most frequently used beauty product website. But, if there is something I can only get from the UK there are a few places that offer free shipping to the US with any amount of purchase that I like too.

For my hair the best volumizing and texturizing product I have found (and I have tried many) is Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day thickening spray. You can buy it at Target. I tried it after Into the Gloss exposed it as one of the Fashion Week hairstylist staples. It's great.

As far as fall collections go I am looking forward to the new Cle de Peau lip glosses and eye shadows and the Tom Ford. It looks like he has a new eye quad and blushes. For lips it looks like he is going with red which is not my thing. Guerlain has some new lipsticks coming that I'd like to try too.

Have a great weekend everyone! I hope the weather is tolerable wherever you are.

Charlestongirl said...

Yes, I am aware that they filed for reorganization in February. I knew it when they did it, but felt it was discreet to let it play out without publicity. They are out of court now and should be sending new products to the counters, not pursuing the Vault surprise specials. If they can't recognize what made them famous and build on their strengths, they will be back in court for dissolution. I would hate for that to happen.

Anonymous said...

Why was it important to you that the LMdB bankruptcy play out 'discreetly?' I would think it would be much more important to you to let your loyal readers know about this, especially when we were discussing the $348 monthly product deal. I think if you had mentioned it then, even fewer women would have felt safe ordering that from them.

Idk, it doesn't make sense that you wouldn't mention it to your readers when it was public knowledge. I did consider the monthly deal, but would not have given it even a moment's thought if you had made me aware of their Chapter 11.


Nemo said...

Jo, thank you for the cleanser tip!

Charlestongirl said...

Anonymous, before you make any more incorrect assumptions, please consider that I did not publish a notice of LMdB's Chapter 11 filing while they were in Chapter 11. No one commented about it during that time. If you do not understand Chapter 11, please read about it. The following is a good article.

There was absolutely NO reason for LMdB customers to know LMdB was in court from February to May since their filing had nothing to do with insolvency. So why should I have disclosed that?

I had inside knowledge that was privileged, and I had no right or duty to let you or anyone else know about it. I continued to purchase from them during this period. That should tell you I had no worries about my money.

The $348 deal was offered after LMdB emerged from the court proceedings. I had an opinion that it was a half-baked deal, and I still feel that way.

Resham said...

We bought a home and now I will have to handle finances differently. I first thing that came to my mind was "how will I fund my hobby of makeup blogging" After all "best things in beauty" are often pricey... :)

Currently loving the New Tom Ford Blush brush, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils and Deborah Lippmann Cuticle cream.

Thank you for this forum. It is such a lovely feeling to ramble...

Charlestongirl said...

Resham, there isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about quitting BTiB. It is very expensive, and I don't want to starve when I retire. I understand totally what's going through your mind.

Congratulations on your new home!! You will figure out how to work your home and your hobby.

Eileen said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks for mentioning Tom Ford's fall collection. I hadn't realized sneak peeks were surfacing. I'm such a slacker! LOL. Anyway, I looked it up and am intrigued by a few of the products; especially the new quad. Oh, and Charlestongirl, you'll be pleased to know that there is no glitter shade. I guess Mr. Ford is movin' on :-)

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, I had an opportunity to see some quads today - they will follow those boring singles. I blew it. My hips and legs were not stable enough to get me into the mall without excruciating pain. I'm very bummed, but for once I listened to my body.

I ordered all the Rouge Coco Shines. I think they are downstairs in the "box pile." :)

Charlestongirl said...

Check this out:

I'm in lust over that quad!

Jo said...

The TF quad WILL be mine! It's gorgeous! The Black Cherry nail polish sounds like it could be similar to Chanel's Rouge Noir which I love and was my favorite nail polish purchase last year. I am intrigued by the concealer/corrector duo and think I will have to have that too. The blush/highlighters look interesting but I'm not sure if either color will work for me. In the pictures one looks orange (not even coral or peach but actual orange) and the other looks burgundy to my eyes. Who knows they may be sheer enough to work.

Behindthepillar said...

Oh that TF quad - from the photos it reminds me of the limited edition Enchanted from a few years back. It is my all time favourite eye palette and I quake at the thought it will run out one day. So I will be on this new one in a flash. Susan, London

Kiss & Make-up said...

I actually really like patchouli :-) As for samples, I got one of those Beauty Bomb bags once when they did this promotion. It had 10 samples alright, but I wasn't very impressed with them.

Charlestongirl said...

Kiss & Makeup, those beauty boxes and bags have always bored me.i guess I'm awfully spoiled, but in some categories, I want a sample I can try for a week.

Those kits had stuff in them I'd never use.

Charlestongirl said...

Christy, I can only imagine what that shipping cost! Next time, let's explore having it sent to me. I'll bet I can get a better deal for you at the Post Office.

Charlestongirl said...

Jo, I wish there were a way to send a telegraph to NM and Barneys that their sales goals are turning their SAs into turn-offs. I shop Barneys either with a known blogger or in the phone. That works.

At one Virginia NM, there are some aggressive SAs, and their behavior stems directly from their manager. It's actually not as bad as it used to be, but it's still annoying. No wonder we are all online!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know I purchased the Dry Bar Mai Tai Beach Spray; and promptly returned it...The fragrance was way too sweet and cloying for me; I couldn't get past it. And I don't think it gives the great beachy look that B&B surf spray does, or a new one that I just picked up: R + Co Rockaway Salt Spray. My favorite so far! :)

Jo said...

CharlestonGirl, regarding aggressive SAs - research shows that chances of consumers making a purchase increase exponentially if a SA talks to you and you engage in conversation with the SA. All sales people know this and it is the reason they talk to shoppers. Once you are friendly with an SA the chances that you will make an impulse purchase increase greatly. It may seem all nice and friendly but everything that is said is in hopes of making a sale. I understand it is their job - the way they make their living. But, it is my job to be an informed consumer and look out for myself and be aware of sales tactics so I don't have a bathroom full of products that I will never use. I do have some SAs that I am friendly with and I am on a number of email lists so I do understand the importance of having a good relationship with SAs. However, I have devised some tactics of my own (very polite ones) to prevent me from buying too much on impulse or because something was sold to me. I do allow myself some room for impulse buys but I decide what I will buy on impulse I don't let the SA dictate my impulse purchases to me. I have a budget and I stick to it but my budget leaves room for impulse or experimentation. I think I have to be just as aggressive at protecting myself as the SAs are at selling. I will be able to retire because of it. I'll get off my soapbox now. I'm sorry but this is a sore subject for me I actually tense up and feel like I have to be on the defensive sometimes when I'm just trying to browse and look at colors. Shopping should be enjoyable but even Nordstrom SAs are warriors these days. Your friend the Nonblonde has also ranted about the high pressure sales tactics at Barneys on her blog.