Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Free makeup bag with $35 purchase on Comptoir Sud Pacifique

This is one cute lil makeup bag that beauty.com is offering as a gift with a $35 purchase of Comptoir Sud Pacifique. The most amazing part of this though is the expiration - this GWP is good until January 3, 2010. Now that's planning. Seriously, how many bags do they have? Color me impressed. It's so comforting to know that someone reading this blog next year should be able to get their bag.

I highly recommend Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Vanille Abricot. If you like sweet, foody scents, this staple of the line is a must.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Estee Lauder GWP at Neiman Marcus

Now through February 3rd, Neiman Marcus is giving a gift of the following items with a $55 purchase:
  • Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lifting Creme
  • Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lifting Serum
  • Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick
  • Exclusive Spring Look Compact
  • More Than Mascara Moisture-Binding Formula
Your gift comes in a lovely ivory tote.

You could always try the famous Double Wear foundation, Magnascopic mascara, or the Pure Color lip gloss.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Diane von Furstenberg Sues Target

Diane von Furstenberg has filed suit over Target's fairly blatant copy of her Spotted Frog print dress, according to the Associated Press. Women's Wear Daily reported yesterday that DVF Studio had implemented some sort of program to combat copyright infringement (Copyright VAu 704-976 for the spotted frog print), and has filed several suits of a similar nature over the last few years. Here's a nice blog with pictures showing the dresses at issue in the 2007 Forever 21 suit.

The Spotted Frog print is very distinct, and as soon as I saw the Target dress online, I immediately thought that Tarjay was attempting a DVF-knockoff. The specific dress and pattern that the Target dress resembles is the Large Spotted Frog Beige print in the Samara style. This particular print comes in several other styles, and in another color as well (I own and love the Green Spotted Frog Jessica). I keep seeing blogs on this topic with pictures of the Green Spotted Frog Jessica or the Green Spotted Frog Gaby. The Target dress does NOT look like those.

I'll leave the debate of the legal merits of the case to the Fashion Lawyer , the Law Blog, and the Las Vegas Trademark Attorney (all offering a worthwhile read on the subject), but judge for yourselves based on the photos:

Below is the DVF dress:

The Target dress:

Target has produced other dresses that are very similar to DVF designs:

DVF Navy Scattered Stones Abel:

Target knockoff:

DVF Black Volante:

Target knockoff:

I am not sure if DVF has a case here, but I know that even as an owner of one of the Spotted Frog DVF dresses, I was tempted to buy that Target dress. I only found it online, and Target.com had it listed as an "online only" item. The AP reported that the complaint stated that the dress was not pulled from retail stores, but it has been pulled from target.com. I don't think it was actually ever in any retail stores. If anyone has actually seen it in a store, please comment.

Fashion Indie has an interesting perspective on this topic. Target has recently been teaming up with high-end designers to offer their fashions at a more modest price point. Apparently, DVF wasn't on board in this case. What do you think? Is DVF justified?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Adventures in Downsizing

If you have found my blog, you are probably a hardcore beauty addict like me. If so, you may also suffer from the enviable problem of a humongous makeup stash - one so large that you simply CANNOT use it all! While I must admit that this is a nice problem to have, it can be frustrating when one cannot find a specific product or when barely-used lip glosses start going bad. Thus, I am aware that my stash has grown too large and is need of downsizing.

Knowing and doing are two different things. I have found it very hard to let things go. I think so many items are special! Sometimes I will select some makeup to get rid of, and I end up changing my mind.

A few nights ago, my darling daughter said to me, "Mommy, you have too much makeup. You should give some away." (I've done this in the past) I said, you are right. She said, "I'll help you." We played and sampled, and believe it or not, she really did help me! I kept wanting to stop, and she kept saying we should keep going, and before I knew it, we had picked out a bunch of things.

All in all, my ruthless 5-year-old daughter helped me offload seventeen items from my stash! My blush drawer is now all perfectly arranged. Yay!

I already had a big bag of stuff, so now I have more items to add to it. I'm going to take it in to work and give it away. I did this a few months ago, and surprisingly, I got a great response at work. People loved it!

So my stash is still too big, but that evening was very productive and even somewhat fun. It made me aware of how much I am attached to these items, and frankly, I was a little surprised at how difficult it was for me to really let go of so much stuff at once. I have NO problems letting go of clothing that doesn't fit or that I don't wear, so why is it so hard to let go of makeup? I don't have the answer at this point, but I think I will explore the issue further on a later date.

Love your stash, everyone, and try to let go of items that do not elicit that love.

Free Shipping on Maccosmetics.com

Just in time for Valentine's day!!

Free shipping with any purchase on maccosmetics.com when you use the code POUT.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Beauty Board Rules for Retailers

If you have found this blog, chances are you participate in some beauty-based message board. This week, major drama unfolded when a long-time member of a to-remain-nameless message board complained using dramatic language that a certain retailer's customer service "sucked". The owner of the company then posted a long, drawn-out painfully personal defense of her company and products. Ouch.

Unfortunately, the owner's outrage and passionate defense gained instant notoriety and turned many people off. Since I started this blog and the sole purpose is for me to espouse my opinion as a makeup maven, let me offer some advice to owners and employees of beauty brands who dare to venture onto chat boards to read what people are writing about them or their products:

  1. Practice good public relations.
  2. Follow the above link and pay close attention to the section on "spin".
  3. Write a standard response for complaints that you deem invalid. Do it thoughtfully and be sure to compose it when you are calm.
  4. Whatever you do, do NOT take it personally or respond as if you do. There is a local newscaster in my city who does investigations on how tax dollars are spent; it is ALWAYS the ranting/cursing/loud/obnoxious people who are shown over and over again and make a big negative impression.
  5. Don't obsess over negative comments. Imagine you are a celebrity. Some people are NOT going to like you or your stuff. Accept it. Harvest anything constructive that you can from negative comments, if you simply *must* read them.
  6. Don't spam. 'Nuf said.
  7. Give your customers some credit. People who love your products are not going to be swayed by an off-the-cuff remark. I see people hating on Stila on beauty boards, and it doesn't dissuade me in the least. I like what I like.
  8. Give your potential customers some credit. I can usually tell when people are being flip, and I can make a determination if I agree that the CS "sucked".
  9. Avoid public airing of dirty laundry. Do not respond to an attack in a public forum.
  10. If you absolutely must be a participant on the board and you defend your product/company, do so gently and without malice. Oh, heck, JUST DON'T DO IT.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Codes, codes, codes!

In an effort to jumpstart sales following the Christmas rush, online beauty retailers appear to be offering some incentives. Here's a few for you:

- Use the code GREATSKIN at checkout to get 15 skincare samples.

Stilacosmetics.com - LIKETHIS will get you free shipping with no minimum, and LOVETHAT will get you free shipping and a convertible color duo with a $75 order.

Beauty.com - No code, but there's a free Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum with any purchase.

Benefitcosmetics.com - Free shipping if you purchase You Rebel Lite (a tinted moisturizer) and use the code YOUREBEL.

Skinstore.com - Save $20.08 with code NEWYOU on any order of a minimum of $100. Expires 1/14/08.

Neimanmarcus.com - Free shipping, no minimum with code SHOPNM. Free eye cream sample with any La Prairie purchase. (I'm not that impressed with the sample, but the free shipping code is great!)

Clinique.com - Free shipping, no minimum with code FREESHIP. Expires 1/13/08.

Happy retail therapy!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Top Ten Beauty Wishes for 2008

  1. What else? A Holy Grail foundation. Again.
  2. Clear, even skin. Perhaps my flightiness and failure to commit to products has been what has been wreaking havoc on my face lately.
  3. More efficient product storage. Why is it that lately I have products that I cannot find?
  4. Rotate products. I have a ton of makeup products. I need to "shop my stash" more often and really take advantage of the products I already have.
  5. Smell good. It's so basic. I want to ensure that I don't leave the house without perfume or lotion.
  6. Floss everyday (and get those wisdom teeth!). Gum health is important, and taking care of one's teeth is imperative in anybody's beauty regimen.
  7. Stop buying products/clothes just because they are on sale. No more sales goggles! I want to focus on high quality items that I love. Sometimes there is a reason an item makes it to Marshalls.
  8. Eat healthy food and make exercise a priority. An old standard, but I did a great job this past year, so I want to keep it up.
  9. Go to the salon regularly. Sometime my roots get a tad too long.
  10. HAVE FUN WITH MAKEUP! Isn't that what it's all about? Oh yeah, and looking better, too.

Happy 2008!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Top Ten Products of 2007

I saw that many of my favorite beauty bloggers were posting a listing of their favorite things for the past year, and I thought I would weigh in with my favorites as well.

My top ten beauty products from 2007 include the following items:

1. Alima Summer Intensities eyeshadow gift set - I actually really liked the Spring Flower Box eyeshadow set as well, and I had a hard time choosing which one to list. The Alima gift sets are nicely priced ($24 for the four full-sized shadows), and they are a great way to try Alima's well-mixed natural mineral eyeshadows. This set is wearable, but fun.

2. Bobbi Brown Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick - I am a shimmer brick fan. I was very excited to get this one, and it makes a wonderful highlighter.

3. Chanel Rouge Allure in Evanescent - This is simply a great peachy-nude in the nice Rouge Allure formula.

4. Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara - I think Cover Girl delivered a great, layerable mascara in the Orange Beast. I just can't decide if I like Lash Exact more. . .hmm. . .

5. MAC Thrills lipstick - This rosy-copper frost is unique and fun, but suits warm tones best.

6. Mally Beauty City Chick Smokey Eye Kit in Canal Street Khaki - I love Mally's smokey eye kits (though the eyeshadow base is not my favorite), and I was pleasantly surprised to get this palette when I had ordered an Auto-Delivery option on a QVC Today's Special Value (TSV). It includes the aforementioned not-so-fab base and three coordinated definitely-fab eyeshadows in khaki-green shades.

7. Stila Mandarin Mist Warm trio - This baked eyeshadow trio is a great go-to reliable shimmery set for me.

8. Stila Moss Agate palette - Stila made another winner with this green eyeshadow set that comes with a coordinating blush. The little velvet case is cute, too.

9. Tarte Blissful cheek stain - I *live* for new Tarte cheek stains colors. This one was not a disappointment. It's a warm peachy-pink that anyone who likes Tipsy or Tickled will also enjoy.

10. Tarte We Wish You Wealth palette - I just had to put this on the list, because it is one heck of a bargain. The only downside is that the palette is a little unwieldy, but Tarte has managed to fit a lot of stuff into the space. For $52, you get the following 16 eyeshadows, 16 lipglosses, 4 gel eyeliners, 4 cheek stains, 3 lip sheers, eyelid primer, luminizer, and two mini makeup brushes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Matte Lips - A Rich Winter Indulgence

There is something about winter weather that begs for a matte lip. Perhaps it is the wind whipping our hair across our faces or the scarves bundled up around our mouths. Maybe we just need to balance the shimmer we don for holiday parties on our eyes, lips, face. . .whatever the reason, I find a matte lip in the winter to be very satisfying. It is bold. It is pigmented. It is classic.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a good gloss as well, but there is something mysterious . . .sexy. . .even powerful about a strong matte lip. Some of my favorite products for achieving the look include the following:

MAC Matte Lipstick – While MAC matte lipsticks are not for everyone because they are fairly dry in consistency, as usual, MAC does a fine job with color choices in its matte lipstick formula. Additionally, MAC has taken on the critics with the release of their “mattene” formula of lipsticks. Designed to be a creamier, less drying, take on matte, these are definitely worth a look if you find the regular matte formula too dry.

Bobbi Brown Mattestain – Bobbi Brown, Queen of the Neutral, does a fine job in her stab at matte with the mattestain. These little pots of highly pigmented, creamy lip color are fairly limited in color range, but the colors offered are rich and bold. The color goes on creamy and is not as terribly drying as many matte lip products. These are absolutely one of my favorite matte lip products, and I own almost all of the colors.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge – Bobbi delivers even more matte lip options with her multi-tasking pot rouge product. Pot rouges can be used on cheeks or lips, and the colors are a more muted take on the classic matte lip. These more natural-looking colors render themselves foolproof, going on easily and smoothly. They are the matte that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Laura Mercier Lip Stain – Laura Mercier, another neutral expert, released her new pot lip stains in 2007. As with many matte lip products, this one is somewhat drying. I find that my satisfaction varies with the color of this product, so I definitely must “try before I buy”. They are worth a look for any matte lover, but I must admit that I think Bobbi Brown has produced superior products for achieving a matte lip.

NARS Lip Stain Gloss – The fact that this is called a “gloss” will forever puzzle me. This product goes on very creamy. If you mess up the application, it’s no problem. Once this dries though, the reason it is called a “stain” becomes very apparent – it is a long-lasting matte lip product.

If you are going to go matte, I challenge you to go bold and uncompromising in your color selection – full-bodied reds, lush berries, or candied pinks are great choices. They look especially rich when paired with a light shimmery eye. A good matte nude or a YLBB-shade (Your Lips But Better) should be a staple in every makeup addict’s stash, reliably balancing a smoky eye. Some of my favorite mattes are:

MAC Russian Red

MAC Kinda Sexy

Bobbi Brown Candy mattestain

Bobbi Brown Powder Pink pot rouge

NARS Rage lip stain gloss

What are your favorite matte lip products? Post a comment, and let me know!