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So it looks like this has been up on YouTube for a few years, but I am just now paying attention. And you should too!

This is part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, and shows everything that goes into making a model perfect, right down to Photoshop.

Manly man husband is an expert retoucher, and he does it for a living. Years ago he did piles of celeb and model retouches. When I was younger and gave a shit, I used to ask him to doctor pictures of me as well. He did a fantastic job. I looked not quite myself, but the not quite myself always looked a lot better than my real self did.

I am not a fan of Dove products (too drying) but I am pretty impressed with what they are doing with their campaign. I don’t want to be skeptical of their motives, as I usually am with corporate entities who decide to jump into one cause or another, as large corporation motives are usual driven solely by monetary gain. But since Dove started this campaign, I do have a warm fuzzy feeling associated with the brand. That doesn’t mean that I will buy their crap products, but I will support their push to educate the public about how these images are crafted.

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photoThere was another beauty event today at CVS, and this time I was THERE when it was actually going on! And apparently I was the only one. The cosmetics aisle was deserted.

A person who I think was one of their famous beauty advisers walked past me while I was poking around, pleasantly said hello, answered the phone and then promptly disappeared. Perhaps she was a beauty mirage?

Once again, CVS, a big old marketing fail.

photo-1Remember my post about my local CVS’s brilliant marketing strategy? Well, they had their Vichy Beauty Event–they were giving FREE 5 minute skin consultations. FREE! And I missed it by 15 minutes.

The marketing strategy for this event was my favorite homemade sign now placed outside of the CVS doors (blue marker smeared) and two deflated balloons, one blue and one white (Vichy’s colors, get it?!)

I raced in hoping that maybe, just maybe, they were backed up with customers and I would get my FREE 5 minute skin consultation! But the beauty aisle looked empty. I decided to ask the cashier because maybe, just maybe, the “beauty adviser” hadn’t left yet and would be willing to squeeze out an additional 5 minutes in the name of a sale.

NYCEsthy: Hi! Did I miss the beauty event?

Cashier: The what? (she looked at me suspiciously, like I may rob the place)

NYCEsthy: The beauty event. The one with Vichy?

Cashier: A Vichy event? That was supposed to be today? Where did you see that? (Clearly, there was a stampede for 5 minute FREE skin consultations.)

NYCEsthy: The sign, outside. Right out front.

Cashier: Oh, let me call one of the beauty advisers for you.

So I wait by a table they have crammed in the corner by the door, adorned in a blue and white paper table cloth, with handwritten index cards (Best for Acne! Best Moisturizer! Best weekly Exfoliator!) stuck to various Vichy bottles with scotch tape.

The cashier, now with someone else with her, runs outside and looks at the sign and then comes over.

Cashier: This is the manager. All of our beauty advisers are gone.

Manager: The event ended at 4. No one can help you. We aren’t trained on the product.

No FREE 5 minute skin consultation for me.

So I came back here and hit the google to see what the requirements are for a CVS Beauty Adviser. And I couldn’t find anything. What I could dig up is that the Beauty Dept manager needs 2 years in a retail environment and a cosmetology license is preferred (but not required). Similarly, a beauty adviser position for their Beauty 360 store in CA mentioned that a cosmetology or esthetics license is preferred (again, not required).

I can’t say anything about Vichy products themselves, since I have never tried them. There were a few samples scattered on the table, but nothing appropriate for my skin type. What I do know is that Vichy is owned by L’Oreal and apparently the number 1 selling drugstore brand in Europe.

I feel like Vichy is priced a bit high for a drugstore brand, and since money’s a little tight right now, I am not up for dropping a chunk of cash on a product I have not had a chance to sample.

Fearless readers, if you have tried Vichy, please share in the comments! I am genuinely curious!

Did you know that CVS is unrolling a beefed up beauty department called Beauty 360? So far, they have locations in CA, CT and DC. The competition is concerning some estheticians–but it looks like they are dippng a toe in the prestige market and are a more mainstreamed Sephora (if that’s even possible).

That said, a stroll past my local CVS (to be fair, one that is sans Beauty 360), leads me to believe they may need a little help in the marketing department.

The welcoming sign that invites shoppers to "Beauty"

The welcoming sign that invites shoppers to "Beauty"

Makes you want to rush to this in-store event

Makes you want to rush to this in-store event

The best seller display... Highlighting with neon orange is an interesting touch

The "item of the week" display... Highlighting with neon orange is an interesting touch