Carolee’s Lux Sandstorm Summer Collection and White Glove Customer Service – Dan Bracciale, of MAC Cosmetics all at Bloomingdales’

22 Jun

Text, Vivian Kelly

I don’t like department stores. That sounds un-American, but my dislike of warehouse sized shopping extends to include Home Depot, Macy’s Herald Square, and until last week, Bloomingdales’ on East 59th Street.

Nevertheless, I ventured in with my Jr. Editor and Daniel Ortega, a professional soccer player, who was in town and who felt like shopping for watches and sunglasses.

Before inspecting the sunglass selections, we dropped into the Carolee/Dior Beaute in store event, because:

1.It was intimate – it was held in a small curtained-off back room, and not open to the G.P.

2. Paul Wilmot’s team has never put on an event I did not enjoy and blog about.

We were late, but got a one on one with Carolee’s Director of Marketing and PR, Nancy Risdon, who couldn’t have been nicer and who graciously gave us a mini preview of the Lux Sunset Stones Collection designed by Carolee jewelry designer  Seung Hye Choi.

The summer jewelry is pretty and the subdued jewel tones and antiqued gold treatment are a great finishing touch to the white and cream clothes we’re wearing this summer. Better still, it’s divided into 4 categories to fit the look you’re going for. My favorite for summer were the carnelian and pumpkin beaded pieces that are just the right thing to wear with this summer’s long  dresses. Worn on their own, the dresses can look TOO boho and a bit downmarket. If you add a necklace and bracelet from  the Sand Storm grouping however, the look is transformed to hippie chic. Think Talitha Getty, Allegra Hicks.

Before leaving, we stopped to sample some Dior Beaute and to chat with Tanya Pack, who was demoing and explaining Dior’s latest skincare and summer color palette.

I loved the anti aging trifecta from Dior’s Capture Totale Skincare line Tanya demoed on me  and the fact that a bottle lasts for nearly a year! You only need 2 [yes, TWO] drops of the “One Essential” toxin remover and “Super Serum” which you apply on top of it. Once Tanya was done, my skin felt as if she’d just performed a 45 minute hydrating facial on it.

[see Video in an upcoming post, which shows Tanya demoing the specific application process. Also visit her beauty site, Fancy Face Artistry, in which she gives all sorts of helpful makeup advice. I’m now a subscriber!]

I’ve saved the best part of our Bloomies’ adventure for last. Here goes.

Our Jr. Editor, Juliette, didn’t fare so well, and had a mild allergic reaction to Dior’s hot “Color in a Flash” product. After a panicked visit to the Ladies’ upstairs, to wash it off, we spotted a mini MAC Cosmetics counter, mercifully far away from the bedlam at the main downstairs beauty jungle.

We asked MAC Makeup artist, DAN BRACCIALE,  if he could cleanse her face, after explaining what had happened.

He was friendly and empathetic. “I know, if it’s free, I’m the first one to try it. Why not, right?” He was also generous with his time. Dan cleansed and spritzed away, using the sensitive skincare products on the line, describing them as “meat and potatoes skincare”. The result? Calmed-down kin with a gorgeous dewy glow.

During the process, we got to know him a bit and discovered that he is a performance artist, painter, and more, in addition to being a slam dunk makeup artist.

He’s also honest. I picked-up the mauve I’d been eyeing in the capsule Surf collection as he worked on J. “No, not unless you wear some eye shadow.” We started in on the topic of the latest collection’s packaging. None of us liked it. The photos on the signage – great, but the graphics on the tubes were we agreed, “kind of Old Navy-like, not MAC.” All of us were crazy for past capsule collections such as Barbie love MAC , Tartan Plaid, and Wonder Woman.

Dan approved the Viva Glam VI I pulled out of my pink Prada bag. “Perfect, this color is great for everyday, nothing else needed.”

Approval! Music to my ears.

He invited J. to come back when she had a special event to get her makeup done. This is an invitation we’re actually going to follow-up on. Gems such as Dan are a store’s most valuable currency. Good, really good, customer service is hard to find. When MAC’s next Limited Edition drops, we’ll  pop into Bloomingdales’ and go upstairs to visit  to compare notes and buy another lipstick and some skincare products.

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