Category Archives: From Mary’s Desk

My Thoughts on the Sephora Epic Rewards (aka Sephora Epic Fail) Yesterday

Sephora Epic Fail Epic Rewards

Yesterday, most Sephora customers (myself included) felt like Chris Bosh.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a beauty enthusiast like me and you spend a good chunk of change at Sephora (also known as a makeup paradise).

But with the Sephora Epic Rewards fiasco yesterday, many have been referring to it as a Sephora Epic Fail!

Is Sephora now a paradise lost?

Today, I share with you my honest, raw opinion about how everything unfolded.

Although it’s a departure from my usual nail-polish and beauty-product reviews, I feel that the topic is worth discussing because: 1) This is a beauty blog, 2) Some of my readers were probably affected, and 3) I was one of the people who tried to score the Sephora Epic Rewards and didn’t.

This post isn’t a rant. It contains constructive criticism and my viewpoint as a customer, the marketing missteps I think Sephora made, and how the company should see it as a lesson to be learned, so they can avoid making the same mistakes again and avoid a similar hailstorm of complaints.

Although I feel like I’m in the minority here, despite them being under attack from all angles, I still support Sephora and hope that they’ll find their footing again.

For the record, I’m very disappointed in what went down yesterday. They dropped the ball.

Readers, get comfy, and start painting your nails because this post is very text-heavy!

Also, if you were affected by the Sephora Epic Rewards event yesterday, how did you feel about it? Even if you didn’t participate, but heard about it, I’m curious to see which way the pendulum swings for you.

P.S. I added the caption to the image of Chris Bosh, which is from my video clip I posted over a year ago on Instagram. I think it expresses how a lot of Sephora customers feel.

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Public Relations (PR) & Requesting Press Releases & Samples (Part 4)

PR-Public-Relations-Blogging-Public-Relations-PRPublic Relations (PR) is a topic that I’ve wanted to blog about for a very long time because I’m very opinionated on this, and I have so much to share.

In case you weren’t sure, in an overly simplified nutshell, PR is managing information between a company or an individual and the public.

For all brands, it’s very important that the company’s information is consistent, accurate, and positive. It’s in PR’s interest to make sure that press releases are sent to the right media sources and that the public views the company in the best possible light.

There’s a lot of pressure for PR firms, and I really respect and admire their work – it’s not easy. Even when scandals break out, the PR team has to work their tail feathers off to do damage control and to ensure that the public still views the company in a hospitable light. That takes sharp wit!

When it comes to blogging, PR often spells press releases and samples. This is what I’d like to address in this post because, although I’ve had only a few questions about how to get on PR lists, it’s enough to make me want to help…or at least outline what I did in case it helps.

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – How to Plan & Execute a Blog Giveaway (Part 3)

How to Plan a Giveaway for a Blog SwatchAndLearnIt has been a while since my previous installment of From Mary’s Desk, so I thought that it was fine time for this Smorgasbord Sundays post.

Today’s topic is How to Plan and Execute a Blog Giveaway.

I think that this might be especially helpful to those who are new to blogging and have been considering running a giveaway.

Some things I’ll go into more detail about are why a giveaway could be a good idea for your blog, how to choose what to offer, sponsored giveaways, online giveaway tools, how long you should run your giveaway, etc.

No, I’m not an expert on blog giveaways, but I have run a few in the past on Swatch And Learn, and along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two.

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Pictures & Swatches (Part 2)

Swatch And Learn From Marys Desk Part 2 Smorgasbord SundaysWelcome to the second installment of From Mary’s Desk, a series focusing on issues that bloggers face on a daily basis. (See Part 1 here.)

Even if you’re not a blogger, I urge you to read this because it’ll give you a little peek backstage.

This time, I tackle the pressure of taking pictures.

Although I’m not a professional photographer and I haven’t taken any photography lessons, I’ll share basic tips and tricks that I’ve learned since the beginning of Swatch And Learn.

I hope that veteran bloggers will chime in and share their experiences when they first started out so that this may provide comfort and reassurance to new bloggers. And, I hope that new bloggers will say what they’ve been struggling with to help others realize that they’re not alone.

The underlying theme of the From Mary’s Desk series is that learning is a two-way street. And on that street, there’s a streetcar named Desire. And in that streetcar is Marlon Brando. And…wait a minute, stop distracting me! 😉

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Some Things I Learned While Blogging (Part 1) Blogging Tips & TricksI may not be a blogging veteran who served time in the Nail Polish War and travelled the seven seas fighting for colour freedom. I don’t even have any cool badges or pins.

But after sticking with Swatch And Learn since July 25, 2010, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons that I feel are worth sharing.

I strongly believe that everyone can contribute. It doesn’t matter if you have very little blogging experience or even professional blogging experience – we can learn from each other and I have learned from others.

This is my contribution.

Today’s Smorgasbord Sundays post is a little different than my previous ones. Firstly, it’s way more text-heavy than picture-heavy. Secondly, there are lots of photos of my face. And thirdly, I have finally admitted to being The Cheshire Cat.

I will talk your ears off about jealousy, perseverance, and how to get over other common blogging hurdles. If you don’t want to listen, that’s okay – there’s no audio.

My intention is not to be preachy, and I swear to you that I wasn’t wearing a white collar while writing this. My goal is to share my thoughts and advice with you because I’m curious to see whether or not you feel the same way. Sometimes issues that bloggers face are swept under the rug, and that rug may be a little too small to conceal what has become the elephant in the room.

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