Brand Experience

CoverGirl Foundation Color Issues | Product Review

by Jamie Sanford on January 29, 2019

Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

I’m adding this to the product review category, but it could easily be in the Brand Experience category.

I’ve been a fan of the CoverGirl 3-in-1 Foundation for years. I have repeatedly tried more high-end foundations to see if there is a better option, but I haven’t found one yet that I enjoy as much as the CoverGirl 3-in-1.

I recently decided to try another drugstore foundation after RawBeautyKristi raved about the CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation. She looks great, so obviously I need to try it out.

So I quickly head to Amazon, find that they have it in Ivory, and purchase it right away. A few days later, my new foundation arrived and I tried it during my next makeup application.

My first impressions were great. The application and coverage were nice, and I liked the outcome. I find myself not always wanting 100% coverage these days, and this let my skin show through a bit, which was well-received. I then wore it again mixed with the Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation, as I still struggle with the Fenty foundation being a bit dry on my skin. Everything was fine, or so I thought.

Cut to a regular day at the office, but a day in which I’m wearing a v-neck top. It turns out that the major downside of using a lighted mirror to apply my makeup is that I don’t get a wider look at myself before I leave my house in the morning. It turns out that this Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation, in the color Ivory, is not anything close to the Ivory shade I have been using for years, made by the same company! Having not done a side-by-side test, I had no idea.

These are both Ivory. How disappointing. I am surprised that a company as large as CoverGirl would not keep consistency in the colors of their skin products. Especially when you are naming them! These products do have numbers that aren’t the same, but the format of the numbers is very different, so I’m not sure that seeing the different numbers but the same shade name would have made me think twice.

Once I noticed the error, I went back online to look further into the issue, and found a LOT of product reviews mentioning the same issues that I had, that the Ivory shade was not light enough, and that there is not a lighter option in this particular product. So it’s not just an issue for me, but many customers who wanted it to work, and like me, seem to really enjoy the product itself.

Ultimately, I do think that companies that manufacture makeup should commit to matching shades to their names, across all products. I’ll take responsibility for not attempting to find out some more about this product before buying it, but it still seems ridiculous.

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Tory Burch New Year Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 16, 2019

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In follow-up to my previous post about the Year in Review email from Lyft, I’m back now with a Tory Burch email to wish me a happy new year. Unlike the Lyft email, this is not personalized to me, but still feels like a personal note from the founder and namesake, Tory Burch.

The only issue I take with this messaging is that it is extremely top-line and vague. I would almost prefer more information in this email with some links to more information about their philanthropic projects, as I’m sure they’ve created content around those efforts. I do really like the message of “here’s to a year of travel, color, and giving back,” as it feels extremely on-brand for Tory Burch, in aesthetic and company reputation.

I’m including the whole email below, but everything under the happy new year message is fairly standard e-commerce email content. I do feel that it takes away from the overall message of the email to include such basic content after such a specific message at the top. Ultimately, I would have preferred that this email be paired with more content about the Tory Burch Foundation, and for them to have left the shopping links for next time.

Take a look at this Tory Burch email below.

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Lyft Year in Review Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 10, 2019

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It may be too late to say “happy new year,” but it is not too late to talk about new year content.

Today I wanted to share the email I received from Lyft, with a recap of my use of their service in 2018. I’ve seen these from a number of brands, but the content of this one really struck the perfect balance of personalized information about my own use of this service and company information. Included here is information on how to better use Lyft, what Lyft is up to in terms of their philanthropic efforts, where Lyft service is available, interspersed with specific information about my stats for 2018.

I don’t get a lot of emails from Lyft that aren’t related to specific usage of their service, but I opened this one as it totally played into me wanting to know more about me. The personalization of this email was super effective at pulling me in, and in the meantime, taught me a bit more about Lyft as a company.

What I do notice and appreciate is that nothing here is about money spent on this service. Why bring you down with a reminder of how much money you spent? December is generally a spendy month for many people, so a reminder about having spent $X over the course of the year on rides isn’t going to help anyone. Good move on Lyft’s part.

I would like to see other companies create this kind of recap of my own activity with their service or store. I am slightly concerned that for some customers, it would backfire into letting them know that they might be shopping a bit too much, or taking Lyfts a bit too much, but the avoidance of including dollar amounts is a key point.

Scroll down to take a look.

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Spotify Election Playlist | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on October 31, 2018

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I’m back today with another quick post – an excellent promotion of our upcoming election by Spotify.

Here’s a link to the playlist on Spotify.

I really enjoy this idea. I appreciate any and all efforts to encourage people to vote, and this mention by Spotify that I received on my phone isn’t at all telling me which way to vote, but encouraging me to do so nonetheless, with a playlist of songs that are “uniquely popular” in New Jersey.

I would like to know more about how this information is determined (how much more popular are these songs in NJ than they are in other states?), but this might be expecting too much. The bottom line is that I still think this effort by Spotify hit the correct tone and timing.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

It’s been a while!

I had to acknowledge this effort from a brand I know and love, Excedrin. Excedrin was the go-to choice for headaches in my household growing up, and so there is always a giant bottle of it in my home now.

I saw this Instagram post today and was intrigued. It’s Tan and Antoni from Queer Eye!

This is a brilliant idea. It makes complete sense to associate headaches with common triggers, and this particular choice of spokespeople is relevant and far-reaching. We all get headaches!

Here’s a look at the packaging on the Excedrin website:

Unfortunately handled was the page where you could sign up to receive a free sample of Excedrin Extra Strength with the limited-edition packaging. I filled out too many fields before finding out that they were apparently out of the free options.


The Excedrin team should have been ready to edit this page to alert visitors that they had run out of the giveaway items. It’s a miss in a day full of fun branding wins.

Which package would you pick if you had to choose the one that best fits you?

Here’s a news article covering the variety of content associated with this promotion.

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