Toe Mask-Korean Facial Cloths Part 2

I don’t know if the craze for Korean foot masks has reached the mainland US yet–but I know my family in California all watch Korean soap operas and such and like to eat the Korean food they see on the shows.

The Face Shop in McCully Shopping Center here in Hawaii has all types of cool masks to try and very reasonably priced.

One in particular is the Smile Foot Mask for $5.

Soothing Korean foot mask.

Well my feet get pretty crusty( but I consider it a sign of my hard work) in ballet class, so I figured today when I am doing a mini dry dock after toiling all morning at work, I’d do a foot mask.

The package comes with two little plastic booties which have an interior lining, kind of cotton like, that must have all the secret ingredients to soften and rejuvenate the feet.  I kept the mask on for 25 minutes as I continued to do other stuff like write checks etc.

I have to admit the foot mask did take off some of the dry skin and softened the skin around the nail beds. I give this product a B.

I also gave my face some tlc after playing golf the other day (  I’m rarely in the sun so I had slathered on moisturizer and sunscreen and escaped any tan lines.

I had bought a bunch of face masks – just think for $2 you can refresh your face with moisture, boost with collagen, mung bean, CoQ10, rice for brightening and a lot more.

Today I used the Hyluaronic Acid mask. No it’s not acid—HA is something that naturally occurs in your body. It’s for super moisturizing your skin-great for post stressful days.  I took off the mask and applied a little moisturizer with sunscreen.
My face feels pretty moisturized and my skin looks plumped.  I saw a few laugh lines around my eyes this morning-so this was much needed.


I’ve run into a second product in the past year that my skin reacted badly to—Oil of Olay’s Silk Whimsy body cream in Rose fragrance.  I used the product once and noticed that the fragrance was very strong but didn’t smell much like roses-almost a fake chemical smell.

I wanted to try it out anyway-my truly fragranced products like Philosophy’s Falling in Love body lotion or Laura Mercier’s Pistachio body creme don’t have this effect, but these less expensive products have something in them that makes my skin VERY upset.

Within a day of using the product I got a few little spots–I thought it was heat rash because I went “trotting” which is slow jogging.  I shrugged it off.

Used the product again and noticed that the spots became more numerous. Immediately stopped the product and applied a little cortaid cream which pretty much took care of the rash.

To mention another product, I tried St Ives body lotion, don’t remember the   fragrance but also had a severe reaction to that as well. That reaction was so bad, my friend who is a personal injury lawyer thought I might have actionable issues.

I guess people with sensitive skin to start out with know to avoid these fragranced products but as I age, I think I am joining the ranks.

I read about Cerave’ products recently and a reader also suggested their lotions for their moisturizing properties.  I bought the body cream version-I always go for the most heavy formula because I like extremes, and this morning my skin is pretty silky soft.

Cetaphil products have always been a hit with me and I really love a new product Aveeno Baby lotion with 24-hour moisture with oatmeal to calm the skin.  Tried it at my mom’s house in Maui and really kicked Vaseline Intensive Care’s Aloe body lotion (which if I continued to use that would probably cause a reaction). Besides Intensive Care is so 80-s – I guess they have a lot of old faithful followers.

Johnson&Johnson baby body washes in the apple and honey or shea formulas are great too!  Their baby body lotions don’t quite do it for me, but their baby body cream is pretty good.


It probably makes sense in the long run to make the switch to products made for sensitive skin-hopefully they have less chemicals?


A Place in the Sun

Hah! On my first date with the blue-eyed man aka man-in-my-life, he was telling me how much he enjoyed golf, kayaking and the water in general. I told him right then and there that I am a sunphobe.

Things were great up to that point, but just reading his face, I could tell he was a bit disappointed. To his credit he had a nice recovery and countered, but if it were later in the day when the sun isn’t so strong, that would be ok?

Life is a negotiation.

Sun exposure in and of it itself is a non-negotiable in Hawaii-most days we have a lot of sun. But people know to stay out of the sun during the hottest points of the day and wear plenty of sunscreen.

But when you are planning a day in the sun – like golfing when you haven’t golfed regularly and probably in for hours, well….

I’m starting off this morning by moisturizing mask of a thick layer of my ReVive’ cream.  I have jazz class later this morning and will drink at least a liter of Deep Sea Water (from the depths of the Big Island, underneath the sea I think.  Real deep sea water is more expensive because they have to desalinize it etc).

My plan is after my shower, Kiehl’s Power Line Concentrate vitamin C, followed by Rosa Artica to seal in that first layer.  Under my eyes I will try out Laura Mercier‘s Eye Serum.  After that has a moment to sink in I will follow with my Clarins spf40. Let that dry a bit and put on a physical block, Neutregena55.   Over that, Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, and then Laura Merceir Tinted Moisturizer – both spf20.

I asked the makeup artist from Laura Mercier, Mark the other day at the Nordstrom’s event, why the color products did not have higher spf and he said because it would effect the formula. Makes sense. They did recommend a chemical and a physical block, and that you can’t really put more spf over foundation if you want to be flawless.

For face color, I will do brows, and line with Laura Mercier tight liner in Bleu Marine, her creme shadow, and maybe a smudge of Caviar shadow in smoke – all products that have staying power.  For lips, I will line a little, put on some initial lip gel color in Courtesan(by Laura) and carry around my Baby Lips, spf25 lip balm.  I also keep a little pot of moisturizer in my pocket which I shamelessly apply in public.

Multiple layers yes–and that vitamin C layer is its own block in the form of anti-oxidants.

Onto the bod.

My plan is to moisturize with my Johnson&Johnson 24 hour (my last bottle). On top of that I have Kiehl’s spf30 which I will put on my neck, arms and legs.  For my chest I will also apply another layer of Neutregena55.  I’ve noticed the times that I am out in the sun a little bit the neck area gets pink on me.

For my hair, believe it or not that’s a consideration as well.  I use the Kitoko Oil in my hair which has anti-oxidants which provide UV protection-probably not a lot but something is better than nothing.  Since I use a gloss on my hair, my color doesn’t really fade-it washes out after 6 weeks or so, but my grow out is faster so I am on a 4 week schedule at this point.

So that’s pre-sun. What about apres soleil?

I think we are going out to dinner so this may follow later. But I plan to do a Korean cloth mask with hyularonic acid.  HA is a naturally occurring chemical in your body which is basically a moisturizer.  They also use it in products like Restylane which is injected into your crevices to plump up lines.

Follow that with a mask of Orlane, and a generous slather of Rosa Artica and Vitamin C. I think that will help repair any exposure damage.

For my body, I have my new favorite moisturizers-CeraVe’ body cream and Aveena Baby 24 Hour Body Cream for Sensitive Skin.

I know-it’s a lot but I take skin and sun exposure seriously.

Anyway, this is what I do—


Out with Old, IN with the New!

It’s that time of year and Honolulu Nordstroms is having their big beauty event!  I decided to try and beat the crowds and went today and get my makeup done by Laura Mercier’s national artist, “Mark”.

It was interesting because one artist prepped my face with skincare-all of the products felt really good on my skin.  A vitamin A and Vitamin C serum, followed by Repair Serum and topped off with Repair Cream.

Once that was set, the next step and next artist applied primer with radiance and tinted moisturizer. I wear less and less foundation as my skin gets better, so less is more.  The artist applied concealer and brightener. Both made a big difference and the technique was so different than what I learned from Bobbi Brown.  A  lot less product and only where needed–lightly brushing in the brightening powder in the crevices. The artist shared a trick to lift the eyelids by drawing fine strokes of concealer up and out at the corner lid.

Onto color with Mark.  It was pretty interesting because I already use Silk Creme foundation, blush, Audrey lip color et al.  Mark told me that the foundation is great for a night out but really I didn’t need that much coverage and that it was aging.  Same for my beloved Audrey color – lighter was better.

I wanted to learn Laura’s smokey eye look and there were three choices–smoky in the crease, smoky smudged eyeliner and smokey shadow.  I wanted to learn the liner technique.

So beautifully simple.  Using the creme shadow in gold-kind of a beige neutral, that was patted on and above the lid.  Followed by tightener in bluemarine-a midnight blue color–no wings, just the slightest uplift and pushed into my lashes. No liner on the bottom.

Then he took the Caviar stick in Smoke-applied with a smudge brush and smudged more to cover about have the lower part of the lid. Such a nice clean and for me an updated look!

A little bit of blush and brightening powder and I was done.

Very light hand – loved the look!

I’m a Laura devotee!


DryDock-Secret Single Behaviors

Just recently I had all the time in the world to do my secret single behaviors.

You know in Sex-In-The-City Carrie ate crackers and read her fashion magazines and Charlotte stared into the mirror counting the pores on her nose.

I am constantly amazed at how people who have regular jobs that they appear at in the morning, and stay thru the day, maybe running errands at lunch, I always wonder how they get everything done. Like grocery shopping, laundry, clean the house, pick up haircare, study and buy beauty products,  dry-cleaning etc. I guess that’s why shopping centers and such are so busy on the weekend and the weekday evenings.  I usually avoid those areas at those times.

Since I freelance, that’s pretty easy for me.  My schedule is pretty much my own-at least until recently when I started hanging with the man-in-my-life on a frequent basis.  It hasn’t been very long(the post office just sent a note saying my 3-month forwarding of mail is pau) but it has impacted my schedule.

So…yesterday and today I have a little time to drydock myself back into shape. You know those little things you do when the b or g-friend is not around.

Like for me that would include my honey body scrub to soften me up to silky smoothness, dermologica gentle cream exfoliant for my face, followed by a moisture mask, polish my toes, file my nails, do my bleph treatment on my lower and upper lids(helps with moisture in my eyes for contact lens), deep condition my hair, dehair, and moisturize with my new product Cerave’ body cream(recommended by a reader for sensitive skin-the real moisture test for me will be to use it during the day and see how it goes).

I’ve always been a great time manager so I do all of this while I am doing my work.  So though drydock means resting at a spa for some people, for me it means it’s a double-duty multi-tasking day.


Old Faithful

Being loyal to a product is like being loyal to a man – as long as they faithfully deliver the promise, things are great.

If they change their program, well….

But is it possible that new and improved is better?

I think when you’re middle age like me, you’re skeptical about just checking stuff out just to check it out. Takes too much time away from the good stuff that’s already delivered.

It took me a really long time to just be happy and content, and not fickle, looking for something else, a two in the bush type in my younger years.

So I think I know better.

But can other shiny happy product advertising with promises lead me to plunk down the credit card and buy what their selling?

Doubtful. At 50,  I think I can like something, ask a bunch of questions and then figure out that I don’t need to buy it.

But what happens when products just up and quit production altogether?

Like my favorite drugstore brand Johnson & Johnson 24-Hour body lotion.  I LOVE the smell of baby products, and though this wasn’t a baby product, it did smell faintly of baby powder and delivered soft skin.

Then, one day I happened into Longs and noticed the product was marked down heralding a close out -so I bought the last 4 bottles.

This happened to me with L’Occitane.  Their honey body lotion smelled wonderful, delivered excellent moisturizing results and the store clerk told me you could ingest it? (That got a quizzical look from me and apparently some people use it for other purposes).


Sometimes, although you’re not planning on looking for a new option, you are forced to, but only it they quit on you first.

Otherwise, those advertising guys wouldn’t have a job!


Skincare at TJ Maxx, Ross et al-To Buy or Not to Buy?

I think everybody likes to save a few dollars when they can-but my question is, when you see product in aftermarket stores like TJ Maxx, Ross or even Nordstroms Rack…

How do you know if the product is “good”?

A favorite product line of mine is Elemis-absolutely fabulous UK line that I found when on a cruise.  On the cruise ships, they use so much chlorine in the shower water, that after a couple of my days, my skin was like an alligator!

I had brought L’Occitane Shea Butter Cream and believe it or not, after walking around the Roman ruins in Turkey, it just wasn’t happening. That plus the chlorine water-and my skin was drrrrrrryyyyyyyy.

I had a mani-pedi at the onboard spa and lamented the condition of my skin.  The nail person told me all of the staff used Elemis’ Milk Bath–technically this product is something you can put in the bathtub as a moisturizing soak, or it can be used as a lotion.

Most excellent results. Milk Bath has lactic acid (from the milk proteins) which have a gentle exfoliating property while moisturizing.  Got my skin back into shape.

Another great product for travel in a dry climate is Bobbi Brown’s Extra Skin Balm.  It’s like putting chapstick on your face – but in 98 degree, hot,sunny weather, I truly believe that is what saved my skin from becoming prune-like. I wear it on the plane for long flights as well-I won’t go so far as to wear one of those Friday the 13th cloth moisturizing masks onboard, but I will wear the Skin Balm.  Be forewarned, you’ll look dewey times 10-but at least your skin is protected.  I guess you can take a cloth and dab off the excess when you deplane.

I digress as usual.

So, the Milk Bath product was in a promotional pack at Nordstroms Rack with the cool little leopard purse/bag-but I hesitated.

Are the active ingredients in products sold in these stores-still effective?  Granted you’re getting a nice discount off retail-but are you also getting a discount off effectiveness?

Or are you paying a premium at retail for the guarantee of fresh product?

Something to think about-



Got Protection? Tinted Sunscreen

I’m always on the prowl for anything new in the way of sunscreen.  Living in Hawaii it’s a necessity with pretty much sunny weather 365 days a year.

A few weeks ago I was tooling around Nordstroms and picked up a sample of the Clarin’s spf 40 Tinted Moisturizer that is offered in light, medium and dark shades.

Love the texture- the tinted version uses the same as the original formula, which is a opaque white but dries clear with no chalky look.

There’s a few reservations I have for the product. As usual for most products that have the one size fits all approach of light, medium, dark-they don’t take into consideration all the different shades of complexion.  Which is ok, but if that’s all you’re wearing in terms of foundation-one size does not fit all.

The other thing I was thinking this morning as I did my morning routine, was if I use only the tinted moisturizer, would I be covering all areas on my face?  I put my foundation on with a very light hand, just a little pea of product which I rub with my fingertips and pat on.

A far cry from the recommended dime size dollop of sunscreen-and that’s really for those creamy thick formulas that you wear to the beach.

I use the regular formula Clarins spf40 as my daily face sunscreen and I draw out about an inch of product and using the same fingertip rub motion I pat that on, but all over.

So, if I was only using the tinted moisturizer I wouldn’t necessarily get it on my entire face.

So it makes sense to use both regular sunscreen, followed by the tinted version. But isn’t that double?

Yeah, but more is better when it comes to sunscreen.

And then there’s foundations and BB creams with spf.

In my opinion, same thing.  You really need to use regular sunscreen under, and put the color product on over.

I’ve done both for years, foundation and sunscreen- even if the foundation has spf15-but why is it so low?  Is it because higher spfs mess with the foundation formula?

Must be something like that, because I have tried all my sunscreens-Clarins, Trish McAvoy, Laura Mercier’s Primer w spf, Neutragena and my outdoor screen, Ocean Potion and none of them work well with the Laura Mercier’s new moisturizing foundation.

I put sunscreen on, let it dry, and everything I have tried so far, the new foundation “pills” and I end up smearing it off. Ick. Not my favorite thing since I disliked doing anything that pulls or tugs my skin.

I can only thing using a makeup sponge or brush would make the problem worse and more streaky weird.

In a few days, I’m going to Nordstorms event with the Laura Mercier national artist applying the makeup-so I will definitely ask, What’s up?

But as for sunscreen, apply, and repeat.


Happiness is the Best Makeup

Maybe some people would differ, but I’m wearing foundation less and less. Pretty much I wear for days that I have business meetings or a night out.

I was home for Mom’s Day last week and pretty much did only brows, mascara and lips-plus sunscreen of course. Maui sun feels hotter than Honolulu for some reason.

Makes me feel like those articles in the magazines that say, oh I just put on my all-in-one, lip balm and go. I have my little test when I get in the elevator or waiting in the lobby of wherever.  I stand there with a hint of a smile and make a little eye contact- and I find it amazing how people react so positively even if they look really grouchy.

Happiness is spreadable-share!


Oil in Your Hair?

Note, I didn’t say oily hair.

Once upon a time, I had shiny shiny jet black hair, pretty straight, maybe just a hint of a wave.

As I aged (ugh) my hair got frizzier and frizzier and really felt crispy dry and this was before I started coloring! Ack!

I had been using S-Factor products to smash my hair into submission-loved the smell of the shampoo, conditioner and smoothing cream.

Also, tried Bedhead’s After Party with the totally ‘unique’ packaging. Loved that too.  Used Paul Mitchell’s Shine Serum too. I like the Aveda product but it has that herbal smell I don’t like.  I also bought a moroccan oil based product cream for smoothing and it fell flat-add to that the coconut oil product I used and tossed. Sometimes I use these creamy products to shave my legs or put them on my feet – might as well not waste.

Every few months or so, Lincoln W. from B.O.S.S. Beauty Supply visits us at the Honolulu Club.  He’s great – so experienced in the hair biz and a nice guy! He has great hair as well – lucky!

Lincoln recommended the Neuma moisturizing products-I tried the samples he gave me – and they were fantastic.

They really tamed my frizzy head. And organic!  I had gotten samples of Alterna and even bought the Alterna products at a retail store – for whatever reason my hair really did not like the products so I returned them.

And then there is Kitoko Oil.

Kitoko Oil is the wonder product and I fully give it props for getting my hair back into silky condition. Along with Neuma’s moisturizing shampoo and conditioner-all recommended by Lincoln W. of B.O.S.S. beauty supply in Honolulu!

Kitoko Oil is based on Karite Oil which is extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree. Add to that Argan Oil and Vitamins A&E plus it smells great!

I’ve tried Neuma’s Argan Oil and although I like it, I think Kitoko is the winning combination plus it provides UV filters. For people living in sunny climates and those who color, or in my case gloss my hair, UV is an appreciated benefit.

Anyway.  Kitoko Oil works on all types of hair.

Try it you might like it!