One of the benefits of living in the suburbs of Philadelphia is having QVC in your backyard. While regular readers of EverBeautiful.com will recall my adventures with QVC from last year (I’m Gonna Be in a QVC Ad for Vogue Magazine!), I must admit that I have not taken advantage of all the home shopping giant offers to visitors including tours of the studios, contests with fabulous prizes (like a weekend in the Hamptons), special shopping events, the QVC Store – which is roundly recognized as a worthwhile shopping destination – and special shows where you can be a member of the audience. (We’re talking swag, EBers. QVC offers unbelievable swag.)
So last night, I was the guest of my friend Debra Lavin-Martin who I met when I participated in QVC’s Makeover Show (it was all part of the QVC/Vogue Magazine experience). Turns out that Debra, who won the QVC Hamptons Weekend contest last year, is major league keyed in to upcoming events at “the Q.” The show that we attended was for Philosophy to commemorate their 16th year in business and, since I’m already a Philosophy user, I thought the experience would be fun.
The QVC studios are huge. If QVC were in NYC, it would probably take up a square block of real estate and perhaps even have to obtain a few air rights.
We arrived early, checked in (got great center seats quite close to the “stage”) and hit the famed QVC store. We didn’t buy anything but we had fun trying on jewelry that people who watch from home only get to see on air, testing makeup, checking out home goods and clothing and people watching.
Ok, I’m going to address something that many people have asked me since having my QVC moment in the sun and that is, “is there a typical QVC shopper?” Let me be perfectly honest about this and not sugar coat it. Actually, the question is usually phrased something like this: “Aren’t home shoppers lonely shut-ins who know nothing about fashion, have no interest in beauty and wouldn’t know or care about the difference between a Galanos gown and an off-the-rack number done up in polyester and lined in nylon?” Judging from my own experience with QVC and last night’s studio audience which was comprised of women – and six men – of all ages, sizes, ethnicities and, to be perfectly snooty about it, fashion savviness, I’d say there is no such thing as the typical QVC customer. I saw impeccably dressed and accessorized women and, yeah, there were a few who, let’s just say, may have had other interests than dressing to be seen.
Before being asked to fill the studio audience seats, we entered a reception room where QVC had a couple of large tables set with platters of beautiful mini cupcakes, cake “lollipops” and beverages. QVC knows how to throw a party, even a half hour one that takes place minutes before a live television presentation of beauty products. Everyone seemed happy, chatty, excited. Way to go Q.
We were ushered into the studio where the behind-the-scenes scene captured and held my attention for the duration of the show. The host was Shawn Killinger, who QVC viewers know as a funny, sometimes irreverent, balls to the wall (NOT a sexual reference, by the way, even though it sounds like one: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=balls+to+the+wall) host who kept the studio audience laughing and, I assume from the number of sold out products, the home audience shopping. I focused as much on the stage as I did on the cameramen, tech crew, models prepping for their closeups and the audience “wranglers,” women who ran through the aisles offering phones to audience members who wanted to place orders at that very moment, samples of the perfumes and products that Shawn was selling, answering questions and seeing to it that everyone was happy. And they seemed to be.
Philosophy is a well known personal care brand that includes skincare products, bath products (many of which do double duty as shampoos and bath gels), fragrances and cosmetics. They are known for their appealing and enduring fragrances like the clean, soft and feminine Amazing Grace and, my personal favorite, Vanilla Birthday Cake, because I love smelling like food I no longer eat. I also love Coconut Frosting and French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. I just love products named after baked goods. (And research says I’m not alone. Most women look for lipstick shades named after food and sex. I’d be first in line to buy a shade of lipstick called Chocolate Cherry Kiss, if anyone who can make that happen is reading this. Here’s an article referencing the study: http://living.msn.com/style-beauty/simply-chic-blog-post/?post=368f42e9-b3a8-42db-be98-c79207d6c8cc)
Back to the show … QVC host Kerstin Lindquist was in the audience to take testimonials from attendees who wished to appear on camera. While I eschew the camera, Kerstin took several testimonials from the aisle adjacent to my seat so, yeah, if you caught the show, you saw me and Debra.
A word about QVC and beauty products: I’m a beauty products junkie. QVC gets many of the best names in the business to sell their products on air. (They also get some of the best names in fashion. I’ll watch any show with Dennis Basso, Rachel Zoe, Isaac Mizrahi and Mark Bouwer.) When it comes to beauty products, the QVC attraction, for me, is watching the models apply the products as the host or brand spokesperson talks about its qualities and ways to use it. I don’t know why but I can endlessly watch models apply makeup. Weird, I know. But maybe not. Given the rate at which QVC sells beauty products, I am obviously not alone.
Oh, the swag! I almost forgot about the swag.
We were handed a large pink Philosophy cosmetics bag as we entered the studio. Inside? A 16 ounce jar of Philosophy’s Cinnamon Buns Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath; a bar of Grace soap; a 2.6 fl. oz. jar of Amazing Grace Perfumed Firming Body Emulsion; a 2.6 fl. oz. jar of Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel and two tubes of Kiss Me lip balm. Swagalicious – and I get to smell like baked goods yet again. Happy day!
If you want to visit the QVC studios for a tour, to shop or to attend a show, check out the “Come Visit Us” link on the bottom of their homepage. Or, I’ll make it really easy, just click this link: http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/app.html/params.file.|cp|st_main,html/left.html.file.|nav|navhqvisit,html/walk.html.|nav|navhqwel,html
Drop me an e if you go. I’ll tune in and maybe catch a glimpse of you …