Tuesday, September 23, 2014

By Request: Storing and Organizing All of Those Gift With Purchase Samples!

When cpl100, a lovely Lola's Secret Beauty Blog reader, made the request that I reveal my method for storing all of those gift with purchase samples that I have-- I knew that I needed to clean up the disastrous mess that had accumulated before my reveal! While this area of my collection had been quite well organized-- it recently descended into pure unmitigated chaos. The problem seems to be that while I sleep the samples breed and multiply-- I therefore had to empty out my large sample drawer and reorganize it before taking any pictures and describing what I do.

I have a large original built-in cabinet with a bank of very large and deep drawers in my master bathroom that I use to store many of my products. The bottom drawer is where I store many of my skincare samples, but in the spirit of full disclosure I would be remiss if I told you that was the extent of what I have accumulated! Yes, there are other piles of skincare products that need to be organized and stored properly as well, and this is to say nothing of my makeup samples that are stored elsewhere.
My method of storage is a pretty simple one, really. I tend to organize products by their brands rather than by the type of product (with a few deviations). My rationale for this choice is twofold: first, it allows me to see precisely what I have from a particular line; and second, it enables me to try out several pieces from a given line at the same time. I tend to use plastic bags or whatever see-through drawstring bags that I have on hand from bag events. This allows me to see what I have at a glance without too much fumbling about.
Samples, particularly those generous deluxe versions, are such a wonderful way to test out products to determine whether you like them enough to purchase the full size versions, and they are absolutely perfect for traveling. As you can tell from my monthly Empties posts, I tend to use a fair amount of samples, and when it comes to traveling I use skincare samples exclusively with few exceptions. They save so much space in my travel bag-- plus they comply with the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) stringent regulations if you are flying.

While there are probably more efficient ways to store skincare samples-- I find that this method works for me provided that I keep it organized.

How do you store your samples? Do you store them by brand or type? Do you intermingle your skincare with makeup samples?
Copyright © 2014 www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Few recent beauty events have made me happier than the big party on September 18 to celebrate the unveiling of the Hourglass Cosmetics Flagship Store at 1351 Abbot Kinney in Venice. This is the first brick and mortar store that founder and CEO Carisa Janes has opened, and this momentous event likewise marks the ten year anniversary of Hourglass. The store officially opens to the public today (Monday, September 22).
The highly anticipated, by invitation, store unveiling was filled with many industry insiders including publicists, magazine editors, celebrity makeup artists, estheticians and beauty bloggers-- to name but a few of the attendees. I am thrilled and grateful to have witnessed this historic unveiling, and I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful celebration.
The architectural space is itself a significant accomplishment, and while a modern masterpiece it lacks the austerity of many contemporary interior spaces. Original brick walls and the discovery of wooden ceiling beams, hidden beneath years of Sheetrock, are ingeniously juxtaposed to undulating glass walls, and zig-zag sculptural lighting that echoes the shape of the gorgeous display unit beneath it. It is a beautiful architectural study fusing the old with the new in a stunning 1400 square foot retail space that has a wonderful loft upstairs with multiple stations for makeup application, makeup classes and other special events. 
 The view as one walks through the front door.
Every space the you encounter is so beautifully articulated. 
Despite the fact that the space was packed during the event-- it remained comfortable to navigate.
The logically arranged display space makes it very easy to find precisely what you are looking for.
Have you ever seen a more beautiful way to display makeup?

The Ambient Lighting Bar is a Flagship exclusive that allows clients to customize their own palette of Ambient Lighting Powders. Can you imagine?! Such a brilliant idea to have your favorite shades of this groundbreaking finishing powder in a single palette!
Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tints, Illume, Crème-To-Powder Bronzer Duos and Oxygen Foundation Mineral Powder
Femme Nude Lip Stylo and Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks
Obsession-worthy lipsticks
Panoramic Long Wear Lip Liners and Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipsticks

Gorgeous Calacatta Marble countertops and Onyx Quartz sides grace the sculptural structure upon which the Hourglass collection is elegantly displayed. The design is at once modern and timeless-- yet accessible in that it invites the clients to linger at each of the artfully composed Hourglass vignettes.
  View of the retail space from the loft window
Light illuminates and permeates the architectural and sculptural interior, and it serves to enhance the airy nature of the elegant minimalist space. Not a single detail was left to chance in the conception and execution of this masterfully conceived space, and one feels as though they have just stepped into a modern interior sculpture garden punctuated by Hourglass jewels throughout. I can hardly wait to go back and experience the space again. In my dream house remodel I would hire Standard, the Los Angeles architecture firm who created this space, to build me a modern masterpiece!
Janes says that the store is, "designed to engage our clients and tell the brand story in a holistic way." She further stated, "We are free to be creative and present something truly special, such as capsule collections and limited edition products."
Bird's-eye view of the first floor as seen from above.
The mirrors alone are masterpieces in craftsmanship!

The second level loft is the home of makeup classes and private services.
 Makeovers upstairs in the loft:
The Makeup Artists working their magic on the many Hourglass devotees.

The gorgeous loft space:

Upstairs there was a full bar:
Projected on the wall was the recent Oscar de la Renta show at New York Fashion Week:
Oscar de la Renta himself
Gucci Westman exclusively used Hourglass Cosmetics on the models (see Press Release here)

The architectural elements in the stairwell to the loft:

 Elegant modern lighting juxtaposed to the original beamed ceiling

A stunning ethereal wall composed of glass rods magically captures the light in the interior space, and the curvilinear shape arcs across the front window.

 Carisa Janes

Mary is the beauty on the right.
 DJ Rashida played amazing music all night long!

 Coleen & Jillian

Cerre, on the left, is the Hourglass Store Manager 
The event was very crowded, therefore I wasn't able to take unobstructed pictures of the interior space. I am arranging to go back and photograph the space in order to show you clear views of this architectural masterpiece. It was, however, my intent to share this amazing evening in enough detail that you feel present!

Coming Soon: A Limited Edition Ambient Lighting Blush Palette for the holidays featuring 3 shades: Luminous Flush, Mood Exposure, and an exclusive new shade, Incandescent Electra.
Hourglass is also launching their very first skincare product, and it is an otherworldly serum that I had the pleasure of trying at the event. Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum is a nighttime anti-aging treatment serum that specifically targets cellular regeneration. It employs cutting edge technology that was described to me as one that utilizes a "micronized oil-in-water emulsion" that intuitively works with the needs of the skin and that triggers epidermal renewal. Hourglass posits that, "it relies on a bio-identical Phosphatidylglycerol, the youth lipid that occurs in high concentrations in amniotic fluid, which is found to normalize skin growth and reduce the signs of aging." It is a anti-aging powerhouse that is sure to become the serum. I will say that it left the backs of my hands so soft and supple that I can hardly wait to try it on my face. It has been in the making for the last two years, and the beautiful condition of Carisa's skin is the only selling point that I need! 
Equilibrium is among the store's exclusive items.

 Carisa Janes is such a gracious hostess that she provided each guest with a lovely gift bag
 ...and what a lovely gift, indeed!
Ambient Lighting Palette and N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil
If you live in the Los Angeles area it is very worth your while to visit the gorgeous Hourglass Boutique.
Location: 1351 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA. (310) 392-3409
Monday through Thursday 10-7
Friday and Saturday 10-8
Sunday 12-6

Copyright © 2014 www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com All Rights Reserved.
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