Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Busy being busy

Well, well, it seems I've left my little blog unattended. I was busy getting married, looking for seasonal work  and volunteering my time for a good cause. Oh, not to mention selling my Mary Kay for the holidays.

So you may now call me Mrs. Culver -- that handsome gent would be my husband Brian.(It was at the Harris' Pelham Inn in New Hampshire.) I can't speak highly enough of my vendors, the cake was from Frederick's Pastries, the flowers from Petals Inc, the DJ & uplighting were from AllStar Entertainment, my photographer was Elaine Donahue and the videography was by Visual Excellence Video.

The seasonal work is simply because it's there, but also I sometimes find it's a great way to gain new skills without the commitment of a permanent job. (I've primarily learned cashiering but also various sales techniques, how bookstores are organized, the best way to rotate stock and face the product and in general learning what the customer really wants.)

The volunteer work, is an extension of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life I walked last year. If you scroll back one entry -- to this summer. You'll see that I am both a cancer survivor and caretatker (my dad was diagnosed with the same cancer 14 years after me.) Now I'm the team co-captain and have decided to take on a leadership role by being part of the Relay Committee for our town as well as the Team Development Chair (coordinating all the team captains for our event) this year. If you want to know more check out this site and find a relay near you. http://www.relayforlife.org/

I would be remiss to mention my Mary Kay business. Not to sell you anything but to let you know I'm doing an adopt a grandparent program. I have an association with the activities director at Wingate Healthcare nursing homes in Needham and Sudbury (they were nice enough to invite me to their holiday craft fairs) so I figured it was time to give back. Most of these folks don't have visitors or even get gifts during the holidays. So I'm looking for folks to be sponsors for $20 your "Grandparent" will get a mint foot lotion, satin hands lotion and warm fuzzy socks all nicely packaged with a bow. (I'm matching all gifts by donating my profits.) My goal is to give 120 of these, so I really need your help. Please contact me for more information: KRoseCarol@marykay.com (781-816-7465)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Taking time out to do some good

Sorry I've been away too long. I recently was "downsized" from my day job and cranked up my "fun job" to full time. As a Mary Kay beauty consultant I have made the decision to make it my full time job by becoming a sales director. (That takes a bit of focus, hence the lack of blogging.) OK shameless plug aside, let's get back on topic...

I'm doing the American Cancer Society: Relay for Life with my cousin this week. So glad the rain will finally stop (up here in New England) so we can truly enjoy the night sky.  As a Thyroid cancer survivor myself, I thought it was time to do something for the cause. (I've walked for everyone else's fundraisers: JDRF, ADA, MS, etc, but I feel like this is my own.) It's been almost exactly 14 years since I had my surgery. I hadn't even heard about thyroid cancer. So naturally I panicked when I was diagnosed. Fortunately, we caught it early enough that all I have to show for it is a small (yet cool "pirate scar" as I tell my nephews.)

I was only 22 at the time. Then 2 years ago, my father (67 years old), was diagnosed with the same cancer. It was my turn to help him go through the process and hold his hand. Kind of odd to me that the child was leading the parent. I gave him books to read and talked to him about what would happen. Thankfully, technology had improved in 10 years, so his procedure was less invasive with a faster recovery time. It's an odd bond we share, so when I walk this week at the relay, I'm both survivor and caretaker.

I can't take all the credit though, as my mother helped both of us through our respective dilemmas. She is the ultimate nurturer. Mom went out of her way to prep our food according to the doctor's restrictions/specifications. She made sure we took our "pills" and took care of our scars. Mom's great like that! Every cancer patient needs someone like my mom caring for them.

So as I walk around the track, looking at the faces, the luminaries, and reliving the memories, I'll be smiling, not crying as I know I'm stronger for having lived through this. Not everyone is so fortunate. Some people experience much more malicious forms of cancer. Ones that attack the body viciously, without relent. I understand many people who will be there have lost one or more friends/family to cancer and I respect and honor their memory.

My take home message is this. If there's an ACS: Relay in your neighborhood, please sponsor a walker, or even better, join the cause and walk with them.

Thank you

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Classic Beauty

What is considered classic beauty? I honestly feel it could change over time as people's opinions of what is beautiful do. The gist of what I think it is: the face is so well structured and flawless, a person don't need make up. As one blogger I was reading put it: A classic beauty looks just as beautiful in the morning and she does in the night, she can wear anything and people will still only notice her face, you don't need specific lighting or make up to make her look good. Another way of putting it: A classic beauty would be considered beautiful no matter what time period they lived in.... the 50's, the 20's, the 80's, or now. So that might explain why some actresses through the years, even long after they have passed are still held up as an example of what is considered beautiful.

These would be my personal favorites:

Audrey Hepburn

Bridgitte Bardou

Grace Kelly

Katherine Hepburn

Elizabeth Taylor

Marylin Monroe

Rita Hayworth

Sophia Loren

Although I considered it, the lyrics to Madonna's "Vouge" only came to mind after the fact!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Would you buy skincare from a vending machine?

No, I would not. I'd still go to a store or a beauty consultant before resorting to a vending machine. 

In it's defense, if you've already consulted with a dermatologist, then perhaps when you need a "refill" this might be a good thing. 

But there's something so impersonal about using a machine that just doesn't seem right.

I saw this a the mall and decided to look at how it works. You use the touch screen and pay with a major credit card. They provide an 800 number if you have any questions or problems. The same number for "consultation" is used for if you have any problems with the product, such as needing to return it. 

I will give them kudos for their policy that if you're not happy with it, you can send back the half-empty bottles for a refund.Very few places will let you do that, so they must believe in the quality of their product.

I noticed that other skincare brands have not jumped on this bandwagon yet. I guess it works better for iPhones and other items (often found at airport terminals and hotel gift shops.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How do you prefer to shop for makeup and skincare?

I found growing up that my mother would prefer to get a catalog from her Avon lady through the local hair salon, than go into a department store to talk to the gals at the beauty counter. once she tried and found a brand she liked, she stuck to it. (She probably got it as a gift first and then decided to reorder when she ran out.) Nowadays you can shop from many direct sales companies like Arbonne much in the same way. (I think she found it less intimidating as she didn't know much and didn't really want to bother.)

If they had the internet back then, she'd have probably bought things online, had them shipped home and tried them out that way.) Although return policies vary from company to company,  most don't take back opened merchandise, so I'd have probably ended up with "gifts" from time to time.

Personally, I like trying things and asking questions. So I'm more of a hands on kind of shopper. Although, I too find the department store approach a bit much -- you're on their turf and they're eager to show you "everything." It can be a bit much if you're not ready for the information overload. I have found the pharmacies that have beauty sections with a consultant are a little more approachable. It's a good place to start if you just have some basic questions about what cleanser to use, or how to find makeup that looks good on your skin.

I know the specialty stores like , The Body Shop, MAC and Sephora are really amazing to wander around in - like Disney World of skincare/cosmetics stores, but unless you know what you're looking for, sometimes you come off as a little uneducated.(I personally didn't know what foundation primer was for the longest time. To me is sounded like supplies to build a home! LOL) But if you are willing to be patient you can learn a lot from a helpful clerk. Don't be afraid, just ask.

I will admit to some bias as I've worked both at Bath & Body Works and in Mary Kay. I liked that they'd let you try something on your hand and wash it off at the sink. They wanted you to try stuff, because then you'd know before you put any money down what you were getting into. Also, they seemed to encourage you with a satisfaction guarantee -- I'm sure other stores do it too -- but I personally knew they honored it as a former employee.

I guess, the less folks feel at risk of losing money or feeling stupid, the more comfortable they will feel shopping. (I'm absolutely certain there are some very sharp women out there who are fearless, know their stuff and could teach the clerks a thing or two, but they're probably in the minority.) The rest of us are a bit lost in all the terminology and trends. All they want is to just look good.

In the end it's good that there's no one way to do it. So whatever method of shopping works for you, kudos!