Archive for July, 2016

FDA Investigating WEN by Chaz Dean Complaints

July 27, 2016

Chaz Dean and his WEN hair care line are now on the radar of federal officials, after a sh-tload of complaints were filed regarding the QVC vendor’s conditioner-cleanser.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it is investigating the Left Coast hair stylist’s products, pointing out that it’s received more complaints about WEN than it’s ever received for any other hair-cleansing product. That’s a rather dubious distinction.

And WEN’s Sweet Almond Mint has caused the most problems.

We previously blogged about a class action lawsuit had been filed against Dean by disgruntled customers who claimed that his products were making their hair fall out.

Now the other shoe has dropped, with those complaints and others filed with the federales prompting the probe.

We don’t know if QVC will pull WEN from its inventory, but we know that it hasn’t posted the FDA’s announcement on its website yet.

We tried WEN once, but didn’t like it. The concept, as we understand it, was that WEN was a conditioner that was used to wash hair, rather than a harsh shampoo. But we use a ton of product on our hair to control the curl, and we just couldn’t buy the idea of not using a real shampoo to get that gunk out of it.

Many QVC customers swear by WEN, and some others complained about losing hair and having problems with their scalp after using it for long periods of time.

NPR reported that mediation of the class action suit began in Cali late last year.

Here is the lowdown:

Statement on FDA Investigation of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners

The FDA is investigating reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products. While the FDA continues its investigation, consumers should be aware of reactions reported in association with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products.

Consumers who experience a reaction after using WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products should stop using the product and consult with their dermatologist or other health care provider.

The agency also urges consumers to report to FDA any reactions they may have experienced when using these products.

As of July 7, 2016, the FDA had received 127 adverse event reports directly from consumers about WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, the largest number of reports ever associated with any cosmetic hair cleansing product, including cleansing conditioners.

We also are investigating more than 21,000 complaints reported directly to Chaz Dean, Inc. and Guthy Renker, LLC that we learned of during inspections of manufacturing and distribution facilities.

The FDA has not yet determined a possible cause for the adverse events that have been reported, and today has called on the company to “provide any data that might help us to better understand the reports of hair loss associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products.”

The FDA also has reached out to physicians and other health care providers asking them to notify their patients of hair loss and other complaints associated with the use of these products and to report adverse events to the agency.
The FDA will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.

The agency also posted a Q&A about WEN.

The FDA is informing consumers about reports of reactions associated with WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners. The following information describes what the FDA knows about these products, what we’ve done, what we can do, and what consumers can do if they have a reaction.

What kinds of reactions have people reported to the FDA?
People have primarily reported hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash.

How many reports has the FDA received?

Up to July 7, 2016, the FDA has received 127 reports from consumers. When the FDA inspected the manufacturing and distribution facilities for these products, we learned that consumers had reported reactions in more than 21,000 complaints submitted to Chaz Dean, Inc. and Guthy Renker LLC, the companies that market and manufacture the products. The law does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information, including consumer complaints, with the FDA, nor does the law require mandatory reporting of adverse events to the FDA.

Have these reports named specific varieties?

The reports all mention use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, although some also mention using them along with other WEN products.

The product line includes several varieties of cleansing conditioners. Guthy Renker stated that since 2011, at least 66 percent of all reports specifically about hair loss have named the Sweet Almond Mint variety. The following varieties were named most often in reported reactions:

Sweet Almond Mint- 5,689 complaints
Lavender- 2,537 complaints
Pomegranate – 1,542 complaints

Does the FDA know what caused the reactions?

No. We don’t have enough information to determine the cause of these reactions. As stated above, the law does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety data or consumer complaints with the FDA.

The complaints that have come directly to the FDA have not provided enough information to determine why some consumers experienced reactions when they used these products.

What is the FDA doing about these reports?

On January 17, 2014, the FDA sent separate letters to owners and officials at Chaz Dean and Guthy Renker LLC. In the letter, the FDA asked for the following information:

Data on reports of hair loss and breakage
Manufacturing locations
What the firm had done to find out what caused hair loss and other reported problems
Quality control procedures for evaluating product ingredients
Any formulation changes that may relate to the reports.

The companies responded in writing on February 18, 2014. The responses they provided did not address the association between WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners and hair loss.

Since receiving the companies’ responses, we have conducted inspections of the manufacturing and distribution sites of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, and have had further discussions with the companies about safety data for their products, as well as what steps they have taken to address the complaints they have received. The FDA is in communication with the companies as part of an ongoing investigation.

What should consumers do if they have a reaction?

While the FDA continues this investigation, we are asking physicians and other health care providers to advise their patients about these reports and to contact the FDA if they have patients who have experienced such problems.

Additionally we encourage consumers to be cautious if using WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, especially if they notice problems such as hair loss, balding, itching, rash or other reactions. If you have a reaction, stop using the product and contact your health care provider. Then, please tell the FDA about the incident.

You can report a reaction online or by phone:

Contact the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system, either online or by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088. Contact your nearest FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator.

When you report your problem to the FDA, please provide as much detail as possible about the specific product you used and your reaction. The more we learn about WEN products and the reported problems, the better we can determine the cause and if the FDA can take action under the laws we enforce.

What kind of action can the FDA take?

The FDA can take action against cosmetics on the market that don’t comply with the law, including cosmetics that are adulterated or misbranded. In some cases we can work with the Department of Justice to seize a product, in order to keep it off the market. While we can’t order a recall of a cosmetic, we can request one and work with companies to make sure their recalls are effective.

However, even with what we know so far about this product, including the adverse events, we are unable to determine that the product does not comply with the law.

TVSN Host Geoff Cowan Invades HSN

July 25, 2016

OK, what’s the story on Geoff Cowan hosting on HSN?

We noticed HSN jewelry vendor Carol Brodie talking about being on the air Sunday with a new face, “Geoff,” and so we looked him up.

Cowan isn’t listed on as a host. But we found his Facebook page, which states that he is a TVSN presenter who lives in Sydney, Australia.

TVSN stands for TV Shopping Network, and it is an Aussie shopping channel.

Don’t know if Cowan is on a tryout or has landed a permanent gig on HSN.

L’Oreal Buying QVC Vendor IT Cosmetics For $1.2 Billion

July 24, 2016

One of QVC’s popular makeup vendors, IT Cosmetics, is being purchased by L’Oreal for $1.2 billion, the French company said Friday.

Let’s hope this doesn’t mean a decline in the the up-and-coming makeup line, which according to Bloomberg News is based in our home state, in Jersey City.

Prior popular lines on QVC, such as Bare Minerals and Philosophy, were later sold by their female-entrepreneur owners to giant corporations, leading customers to complain that the products’ quality declined subsequently.

According to The Wall Street Journal, IT Cosmetics had net sales of $182 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, a 56 percent jump over the prior year.

Here is the press release on the sale.

Clichy, New York – 22 July 2016 – L’Oréal announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire IT Cosmetics, one of the fastest growing prestige beauty brands in the United States for a cash purchase price of 1.2 billion US dollars.

Founded in 2008 by Jamie Kern Lima and Paulo Lima and co-owned by TSG Consumer Partners, IT Cosmetics was developed with leading plastic surgeons to provide women with innovative, problem-solving skincare and makeup products that empower them to feel confident and beautiful.

IT Cosmetics offers more than 300 high-performance beauty products focusing on color cosmetics, skincare, brushes and tools. IT Cosmetics’ multi-channel distribution model includes select television shopping channels including QVC and TSC, specialty stores including ULTA and Sephora, and the brand’s website. For the 12 months ending June, 2016, IT Cosmetics had net sales of 182 million US dollars, up by 56%.

“IT Cosmetics shares L’Oréal’s passion for product innovation and our belief that offering beauty for all is a deeply purposeful mission,” said Frédéric Rozé, President and CEO of L’Oréal USA. “The brand has earned the devotion of its highly engaged consumers and we see potential for significant growth in the years to come.”

IT Cosmetics will become part of the Luxe Division of L’Oréal.

“IT Cosmetics will perfectly complement the L’Oréal Luxe’s brand portfolio to satisfy the rising demand for make-up as well as hybrid skincare. We are happy to welcome IT Cosmetics to the L’Oréal dream team which includes other great beauty brands such as Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani and Urban Decay,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, President L’Oréal Selective Divisions.

The brand will continue to operate out of its Jersey City, New Jersey headquarters under the current leadership team.

“At IT Cosmetics our mission is to make the world more beautiful through our products, through our actions and through our belief that every woman is beautiful and deserves to feel her most beautiful,” said Jamie Kern Lima, Co-Founder & CEO, IT Cosmetics.

“Our makeup and skincare products are not only game-changing in their innovation, they are also life-changing for real women everywhere. Partnering with L’Oréal and utilizing the power of their global infrastructure will help us scale our mission in an even bigger way and we couldn’t be more excited.”

The closing is subject to the standard regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

Paul Deasy’s Carico Lake Doesn’t Cut It For Us

July 21, 2016

We received our Evine Live Carico Lake pendant yesterday, and were eager to see what color the turquoise would be in this Paul Deasy special.

We blogged about this when we ordered the piece.

It turns out that it is a large, heavy-weight brushed silver pendant, nice work for the $177 Today’s Top Value price. However, while our pendant is green, it is the color of typical green turquoise, not the soft pistachio green that characterizes what we know as Carico Lake.

So our pendant will be going back.

We also purchased a 36-inch 4MM brushed silver beaded chain. It was a bit pricey, but it is also well-made and a bit unusual.

Also, we own several brushed silver pendants that would match and look great on it. So we think that’s a keeper.

Melania Trump: QVC Vendor And Potential First Lady

July 21, 2016

Who’d have thunk that a QVC jewelry vendor could one day end up possibly becoming First Lady? Hello, Melania Trump!

We won’t rehash her RNC speech, the lovely white dress she wore or the flap over the plagiarism issue.

We best remember seeing Melania on QVC selling her jewelry, and we thought she came off as very sweet, smart and gorgeous — the way she did during her speech.

The New York Times ran a profile of her this week, and it talks about Melania’s family and youth in Slovenia.

The article also describes how in school Melania particularly loved art class.

“The future creator of the QVC collection ‘Melania Trump Timepieces & Jewelry’ made bracelets there (art class),” The Times wrote.

That’s a nice little plug for the No. 1 home shopping network.

‘Hot In Hollywood’ Jumps From HSN To QVC

July 20, 2016

OK, we’re psychic.

We were just thinking that we hadn’t seen the Hot In Hollywood line on HSN for quite some time.

Lo and behold, we were on Facebook tonight and saw that Laurie Feltheimer’s collection has landed at QVC.

“I’m so excited to share the news with you that Hot in Hollywood will be debuting on QVC on July 22nd and 23rd,” she posted on Facebook.

“We’ll be featuring favorites such as the boyfriend jean and the bootcut jean, along with a stunning new blouse. Please tune in as I start this next super exciting chapter!!”

Laurie is married to Jon Feltheimer, a movie studio honcho at Lionsgate.

It’s Christmas In July For QVC, Colbert And Lord & Taylor

July 19, 2016

We’ve blogged about it once and now we’ll do it again: We hate the home-shopping network practice of having Christmas-in-July sales.

QVC held its own annoying one last week, where we had to watch host Rick Domeier hawking fake Christmas trees. But most of the home shopping channels have jumped on this bandwagon.

And now, for what we’ve noticed for the first time, brick-and-mortar retailers are having Christmas-in-July sales. That includes Lord & Taylor.

We even saw that Macy’s had a “Black-Friday-in-July” event.

We can’t escape.

As we sat down to write this blog Monday night, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Stephen Colbert was doing a song-and-dance number about the Republican convention.

In his convention song, Colbert warbled, “It’s like Christmas in July!”

Oy vey!

QVC Host Jayne Brown’s Mom Dies

July 19, 2016

Condolences to QVC host Jayne Brown on the loss of her mother.

Brown posted the sad news on Facebook.

“Hello my friends,” she wrote. “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I share with you that my mother passed away yesterday. I ask for your prayers for my family during this difficult time. I will be back with you soon but for now I ask for a little time to grieve. Blessings, Jayne.”

Her fellow host Jacque Gonzales was among those sending good thoughts to Brown.

“Jayne – you, your family and your mother’s beautiful soul are in our family’s prayers,” she wrote. “Please send prayers to Jayne Brown and her family – her dear mother passed away yesterday.”

We send our prayers as well.

Ex-QVC Host Lisa Robertson Selling Jewelry Online

July 18, 2016

Former QVC host Lisa Robertson has opened an online shop, “Exotic Treasures.” And it’s not cheap.

“Our very first boutique is open!” the brunette glamor puss wrote on Facebook.

Robertson is hawking pricey jewelry on her website, and many of the baubles had sold out, despite their big price tags.

For example, a rough diamond and black spinel tassel necklace, priced at $479, was gone.

QVC Designer Susan Graver’s Kid Ties The Knot

July 18, 2016

Motor mouth QVC designer Susan Graver’s daughter just got married, and it looks like it was a lovely affair.

Graver discussed the nuptials of her daughter Jaclyn and groom Kevin in a blog on

“My daughter Jaclyn wanted to have a destination wedding surrounded by nature and chose a resort in Park City, Utah,” Graver wrote.

The mother of the bride wore a rather stunning dress, a strapless number with what appeared to have navy blue netting adorned with embroidered yellow and white flowers.

Her daughter’s wedding dress reminded us of the sleek silk number that John F. Kennedy Jr.’s bride wore.