Another Year, Another B Day

Tomorrow is my birthday and this is probably my most public announcement of the event ever.  I’m not so vain that I want the years to just slide by unnoticed but anyway….

My birthday wishes in the realm of beauty:

I’ve asked my dermo for this for years-new set of skin on my face and body.  It’s pretty good with all the TLC I slather on-but there’s room for improvement.

A product that definitively takes off the little sun moles off my foot and various areas on my legs-curiously on my upper inner thigh.  I’ve been using the Philosophy Miracle Dark Spot product on my scar and that’s working, and the spot on my foot looks like the pigment is “breaking” up.  This particular product is supposed to inhibit the production of melanin while it is fading the spot.  It reminds me of the Nerium AD product in consistency and smell but Philosophy doesn’t come out and say they use the same secret ingredient.

A product that keeps my eyebrows at the right length and the right shape without the plucking and waxing-I love Stacie, she has made inheriting my Dad’s brows fun.

For Laura Mercier;  to combine her radiant primer and tinted moisturizer in the same product.  I mix them on my finger, or I put them on in layers, depending on how much time I have to get ready. I realize this is probably found in the illuminating moisturizing product, but that produces more of a white shimmer affect for me vs the golden shimmer color I get from the primer in radiance.

For my finger and toenails to be the perfect length and shape at all times. For nail color to last in perfect condition until I’m ready to change colors.

Honest and truly knowledgable sales people who are paid salary and not commission.  The only ding I give Sephora is the salespeople who really know nothing and just push their product.

To never have to shave my legs.

To never gloss my hair-but I’d miss Hillary J.

Long lashes. Never had them ever without the aid of Revitalash or mascara.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the original equipment that came from the parent factory.

I have incredible health. No high blood pressure, easily maintained weight, happy disposition, no major health threats looming, wake up with no aches and pains, etc.

It’s pretty good.

Thank you mom and dad!



Hardly Dead-Products from the Dead Sea

Prior to the bf’s last travels, the Dead Sea was something that I heard about in my college oceanography class and in movies now and then.  For my omiage(Japanese tradition of souvenir gift giving) he brought me back a treasure trove of products from Ahava.

I love all my choices!

I’ve been comparing the performance of different body moisturizers between how they feel on the windward side of the island vs town-side, or Honolulu proper.  I had been using Cera Ve’ and Aveeda’s Baby Cream in town and they are perfect-but if I put them on in town and drive over the hill, I get sticky.

This morning I tried out Ahava’s Dead Sea Moisturizing Sorbet-a very pleasant smelling, frothy cream-gel that slides on the skin.  It is 9 hours later, and after a trip to town and back and a nap it feel perfectly moisturized with no stickiness.

I put the sorbet product on one leg and the mud product on the other.  The mud product is in cream form-so a little thicker-and it had the mineral mud  ingredients for sensitive skin.  This leg feels equally moisturized!

I’ll keep you posted-it’s scheduled to use the mud facial and body facial – put on and leave on for 2 minutes and rinse!

Hmmm-sounds fun!


Luxury BB or Fancy Tinted Moisturizer with Treatment?

I’ve been trying out different BB creams – just getting samples here and there-you know Estee Lauder, Clinique, Dr. Jart, Boscia, Sulwahsoo etc.  I’m wondering when Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier will jump on the bandwagon?  Long after mineral powder firmly placed Bare Escentuals as the category killer, Bobbi Brown brought out hers.  I tried but didn’t buy.  I bought Laura Mercier’s- but the product rep failed to tell me that the color gets pretty dark -so I gave it to my friend who tans.


Now I’m wondering when Laura M and Bobbi B will offer up a BB cream?  I mean, I really like the idea of a one size fits all products but the tint is usually off for Asian complexions, or I worry about spf protection and put on my beloved Clarins  spf40 on anyway.

Recently I was killing a few minutes in Macy’s and wandered by Lancome‘ (the Neiman’s Lancome counter is getting smaller and smaller-probably because the woman there is one of those counter snobs.

Off topic.

The floater at Macy’s came out and told me she didn’t know too much since she was just helping whoever at whatever counter.  That’s cool-it was refreshing to talk to someone who admitted they didn’t know much as opposed to the people who go right ahead and sell you something you don’t need in the wrong color.

Can I get a witness?

I sampled Lancome’s RÉNERGIE ÉCLAT MULTI-LIFT – I paste in the name here because why don’t they just call it Energizing Multi-Lift Color?  Kate Winslet is the spokesperson–watching her over the years from chubby heroine in Titanic to the woman she has become has been interesting.  About 2 years ago, she had a moment of astounding beauty, but I’m sorry she just looks hard-Lancome’ needs to rethink her.

So, Lancome does not call it a BB product, but has all the claims of being lifting, illuminating and “skincare”.  I have to admit it feels unbelievable on the skin, and the light tint actually looks perfect on me!  The formula over my regular regimen(Kiehl’s Rosa Artica, Philosophy’s Booster C and Clarins spf 40) wore great all day-with no need to rehydrate with a little dab of Laura Mercier’s Secret Finish.

Pretty fab for $75.

Pretty expensive for foundation-but I guess their pricing theory is they are not calling it a BB cream, they call it a “treatment”, and of course it has a French name so it’s priced it accordingly.

But, I’ve used Renergie’ and it’s a great moisturizer but I don’t really see any other treatment effects-but it is pretty nice. Even if I gave up my regimen, I would still have to put spf under.

Great product. Try it, you might like it.


See Me Clearly-Mirrors

Can I get a witness?

You just know that some stores have better try-on rooms than others.

Hands down in Honolulu – the absolute worst changing rooms whether it’s in the Brass Plum, Individualist, Savvy or otherwise, is in Nordstroms.

It’s a wonder that anyone buys anything. Doesn’t matter how many crunches you’ve done or pilates, or miles you’ve run, the mirrors, the lights-are the worst ever!  Nords on the mainland doesn’t seem to have this problem so what’s the deal?

Macy’s try-on rooms, pretty much anywhere in Hawaii are just filthy-nuff said.

You get what you pay for. In Neiman’s you get great lights, big 3-way mirrors and the salesperson cooing every few minutes asking if you’d like something else.  Plus they bring you a pair of shoes if you’re tooling around in your flip flops.

When DKNY was still open, you had the two junk rooms, and the one, larger great room.  My regular salesperson would put me in the big room, and the people not interested in their commission would put me in the small rooms, that were cramped.  DKNY did have good lights.

Betsy Johnson is closing and I am sad.  I have a few cocktail dresses from her- nothing like BJ for a sexy dress!  But her dressing rooms were pretty bad – using curtains!

Banana Republic Kahala  – not bad.  Definitely have skinny mirrors.

Gilly Hicks, Abercombie & Fitch. Ok I know I am an old fart just trying to buy a bra or t-shirt, but I can’t hear myself see in here!

Ohelo Road Kahala – for years I wore this boutique’s clothes. But nowadays, I swear they still have stuff on their shelves that just haven’t moved in the slow economy. But their try on rooms were just curtains as well.

I can give Sports Authority and other places not known for clothes no diss for bad try on rooms because that’s not what they are about-but they could improve from having gum on the floor.

Okay so I don’t enter Chanel and the like often-but really – if the lower priced stores shelled out for a few more lights, cleaning and doors don’t you think they would sell more?



I did have a penchant for St John for awhile-they had a season or two with more contemporary styles but, at the end of the day, nice dressing rooms, but the clothes are just too old fart!

Now Appearing on FaceTime!

I recently had the experience of communicating with the man-in-my-life who at the moment is 12,0000 miles away and floating around in a body of water.

Thing is, after him being gone for soooooooo many days, we tried doing FaceTime.

Of late, I have seen a couple of articles on the jump in botox usage and other cosmetic procedures in reaction to the upswing in video tele communication.

In my own experience, I chatted with him in my evening (his morning), my late evening ( his lunchtime) and my morning (his evening).  It’s funny because in my evening I still had my makeup from the day and maybe even later, and in the morning, what I calll my Saturday make up-not much-just brows, liner and lips.

So I know enough about video to make sure I wasn’t too shiny and to position my laptop camera so I could catch some natural light.  But as the hours ticked by, I think I looked okay but he told me I looked ‘tired’.

Granted I’ve been working waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy more than I normally do-but I was like uhhhh.

Anyway-if you are going to use your laptop camera-in my case an apple-here’s a few pointers.

Moisturize and apply light foundation, and basically your regular makeup-but the secret is to dust a little HD powder.  I’ve been doing an appearance at an office where I  am freelance writing, so I’ve been doing my hair a little more, and wearing a little brighter make up.  When I catch my reflection in the mirror-I say-hmmm, nice, definitely a little brighter but in a good way – like I write a beauty blog.

But, in a blog to be–about being mouse-ee-I think my guy has gotten used to my Saturday morning look.  Some school days, he leaves I’m in my pajamas, he comes back and I am back in my pjs. I’m not an advocate for slapping on makeup when I get up – I’m into doing moisturizer, brushing my teeth, fluffing my hair and a little rose lip balm.

Anyway–the point is-when you take a photo or are appearing in a video-take a moment to put on a little color on your lips and take the shine down. No need to go the botox route for a video call- at the end of the day-it’s only the chemistry between you two anyway.



I saw Dark Shadows a few days ago and I thought boy, the editing of the trailer was a masterpiece! But the movie itself barely gave me a chuckle!  I had watched the series when I was in 3rd grade-didn’t give me nightmares like The Twilight Zone, but creepy nonetheless.

The thing that alarmed me the most was the formerly beautiful MIchelle Pfieffer. Her lips were blown up to twice the normal size.  She never was a chocho lip girl to begin with, but the overcompensation of the super-sized lips was pretty scary.

I thought the same thing when Sex in the City 2 came out-my first impression was, wow-the doc doing the botox on set must have made a fortune! Even the totally foxy Chris Noth had his expressions botoxed into oblivion.

So, it brings up the question of, how much is too much?

In our quest to be presentable to ourselves and to the outside world, how much are we willing to spend?  Willing to do?

How much does the salesperson have to do with what we buy? Or don’t?

I have to admit I’m a sucker for a new product if that’s what I’m searching for anyway. I’ve been trying to narrow in on a product for puffy bags under my eyes.  I’ve tried a couple of roll ons, chilled spoons in the freezer, chamomile tea bags, various high line serums and creams and happened upon a nifty little product by Kiehls.

It’s basically a roll-on stick of product that does a little moisturizing by sealing in whatever you put on before.  It’s kind of like putting on chapstick-it feels good and I think it helps a little with the puffiness.  I didn’t really believe the salesperson because around her eye area was pretty dry and spackle-like but I fell in love with the idea.

I guess it’s my own type of spackle.


Does It Work Outside the Store?

I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve had experiences where I loved the color of a lipstick at the store, but when I took it out to the light of day I couldn’t stand it.

Yep, I know to walk outside with the hand mirror before buying, but sometimes, or most of the time I just buy it, cuz I don’t know I like the way it looks.

Just like when you get a makeover at the store with skincare or makeup.  It feels and looks great – so why not buy it?

Especially when the high-end skincare usually comes with a free facial with a real esthetician. So, yeah your skin feels wonderful and your face just glows.  So, you buy right?

I recently attended a ReVive’ workshop and it was great! The guy who took the doc’s place with the UK accent just furfelled with enthusiasm. I’ve tried a lot of the products, so I tend to be skeptical and bought pretty much what I planned to buy.  I pretty much knew that buying their cucumber toner was probably the same as  buying the much lower price point Kiehl’s toner-as well as make up remover. But I was pretty astounded by how much some ladies did decide to buy.  The gwps were at the $350 price point with of course the obligatory step ups-buy more, get more.

When I did the Laura Mercier make up the first step was their skincare line-which is pretty reasonably priced for LM.  It started with vitamins A and C, followed by their moisture serums and moisture cream.  Sure felt nice, maybe next time. To me, anything feels pretty nice on my face, it’s what happens in real life as to whether I will buy it.  (BTW the LM skincare products kept my skin nicely moisturized for the better part of the afternoon-that’s saying something for Hawaii).

So what happens when you buy a lip or foundation color and it just doesn’t work?

As I peruse a line-up of lip glosses and lipsticks I have on my vanity-I have been putting them on and tossing the ones I have decided don’t work for me.

I’ve talked to my friends, and they pretty much just toss it to the back of their makeup closet.

Me, I have no shame-most of the time I will take a color product back.  I’ve never had a problem with NM and Nords, I’ve never taken back stuff to Macys, though their store return policy is pretty cruise. I don’t bother with drugstore products-they are a small investment, and my time is worth much more.

But then,

A friend who travels from the east coast and back to Hawaii suggested that women keep two bags of makeup.


One for travel to different locales and one for home. What exactly does that mean?

I used to go to SF and loved to buy prescriptives lip colors-mostly matte style.  But when I brought them home to Hawaii, they looked terrible on me! I did ok with foundation and blush but lip colors rarely worked and I’ve heard the same from other people.

I’ve noticed the same geo reaction of my moisture products lately but not so geographically far.

When I put on my Cera Ve’ body cream on the much drier town side and drive over the mountain to the moist windward side, I feel sticky and icky. The cream is too heavy. I’m planning to check out the lighter lotion, but I am surprised at the change.

Conversely, when I put on my lighter moisturizer when I start my day on the windward side, and come back into town, I dry up!


I don’t know how reasonable it is to keep products for both sides of an island.

But it’s nice to have a lot of choice.



Channel BATV-Beauty Appeal TV

I think when I was younger I would feel a little insecure when some guy got all starry-eyed when he mentioned some celeb and how hot some other girl on tv was.

One day it just dawned on me that the possibility of the reality of him ever meeting that person was nil, and how silly it was for the attraction to even register.

Of course, I’ve heard some pretty fantastical stories that involved Darryl Hannah, Lauren Bacall and another blonde from a man who had a penchant for long leggy blondes. But, when (to this day) he claimed he saw Mick Jagger in the UK at a tourist sight with no entourage, and I was there and saw the same person of which he still refers, I just laugh when he tells the stories of his chance meetings.

Anyway – I love New Beauty Magazine-it’s a bi-monthly-quarterly glossy mag that has the latest products. I love the celeb before and afters because I really think some of the befores are real because the celebs really look like they just fell out of bed, zits and all.

My bone to pick with NB is I don’t get the feeling so much that the editors are just reviewing product impartially, but for selling ads. Sometimes I question their view-they tend to be a little narrow in focus especially when it comes to skin lightening products.

Two things – if you don’t use anything at all then you’ll see results faster. If you already do a lot, any difference will take a lot longer. The second, would be everybody has their own little chemical system so products act differently. But New Beauty seems to recommend the same stuff that usually doesn’t work like licorice extract, kojic acid etc. I’m all for a gentle, more natural approach but I know to expect results on a much longer term basis(if at all).  Are they getting paid to feature those same products – supported by ad sales- or would they really back their hype up?

It’s all in the marketing anyway.

A few weeks ago I watched the series finale of Desperate Housewives, and I thought, wow-I know they are on tv and such, but they have a lot of make up on, and they all have really long hair. I love their outfits and they look great!

But then, those feelings of insecurity started up-maybe I should wear more makeup? Grow my hair longer and grow my bangs out?

Is the beauty ideal really just marketing people trying to entice you into buying one more cream, one more serum or something or other of a new whatever?

The tv show marketing people probably figured out this is how everybody wants to be? So they can sell more L’Oreal ads for hair color or wrinkle cream, or on The Good Wife where Juliana Marguiles is a spokesperson for L’Oreal and the show bumpers curiously enough use the same close up pose used in the ads.

So, fast forward to my Nordstrom’s Laura Mercier national make up application and I am asking Mark what about the makeup they use on tv shows?  He told me to the affect-if real people wore that much make up it would look really aging.

But it looks so pretty.

As I sit here in my pjs with no makeup and my hair in a post-sleep bun-I wonder,

does the ‘on’ button go on immediately, or is it just for when you walk out into the world?


What Smells?

My number one favorite scent is baby powder. I walk down the aisle in the supermarket and breathe deep.

Sure, I like the smell of old-school Japanese erasers, summer rain or the breath of puppy. But that smell makes me swoon.

Makes me wonder why they don’t make men’s cologne or after-shave products in baby powder scent.

I guess not masculine enough.

But it begs the question-how do people choose their personal fragrance? Do people wear it for themselves? Or to attract others?

Me, I’m not a big fragrance wearer-I’m not sure why-that’s a lie- I actually know it’s because most fragrance gives me a headache.

When I was little I  loved dabbing a bit of my mom’s Chanel No.5 or Emeraude perfume behind my ears – she had the same tiny sample bottles for years but I loved them anyway.

In 7th grade I spritzed on lemon, strawberry perfume or Love’s Baby Soft. I think it went along with my blue eye shadow cased in a revolutionary crayon stick made by CoverGirl. In blue jeans and very long hair, I moved onto musk (the original!) and patchouli. Must have had something to do with my octagon shaped wire rimmed glasses.

Fast forward to high-school and disco and wearing Charlie!, Giogio, Halston and more musk!

Once I graduated college and into the workforce, I moved onto much headier perfumes like Dior’s Poison, Issey Miyake’s Green Tea, Issey, Angel et al.  Walking down Bishop Street after Mother’s or Valentine’s Days, the street was a smorgasbord of the latest perfume by Liz Claiborne, Anne Klein or whoever.  I think that’s when I started getting sensitive to fragrance.

Add to that people would give me fragrance that just didn’t work for me–among those, Chanel’s Coco, Estee Lauder Cinnabar/Youth Dew or Knowing.

Estee Lauder’s Knowing probably strongly influenced my path toward not wearing fragrance – or maybe it was Fracas.

To this day, when I smell Knowing or Hermes’ Earth, or anything with high jasmine notes-I either get a headache or nauseous.

I don’t know if middle-age has just made me more sensitive to fragrance or it was being assaulted by Estee Lauder’s Knowing or Hermes’ Earth as to when I actually stopped wearing perfume.

I used to love Polo, Armani and Halston Z-4, and even Polo Sport. But wave a bottle of any of those under my nose nowadays and I will probably get a headache. I love love my friends who wear these colognes, but…

if the guy wore one of these or Earth on a first date, there would not be another.

On the other hand, I enjoy the blue-eyed man’s scent whether he is fresh out of the shower -smelling like Dove, or curiously his chapstick or another mystery product he uses.  I actually don’t mind the cologne he wears that is usually soft and not demanding attention.

My best bud was known for wearing fragrance- mostly Thierry Mugler‘s Angel because it smelled like chocolate-women would practically faint when he walked by.

So does it really matter what your man or woman in your life is wearing?  Can you smell the real them through the hypnotic camouflage of bottled scent?

Must be able to–otherwise how would you find them in a crowd?

Me, I just like the smell of his skin.


BeTween the Lines

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but I’ve noticed since it was pointed out to me – that there is a lot of eye liner that is applied above the lash line, leaving a funny looking line of skin between the lashes and eyeliner.

I know, real minor stuff, but it’s so noticeable!

I think as I get older and need reading glasses to do stuff more and more, I try to be more careful about getting my eyeliner line pushed into my lashes.

The way I do this with a pencil eyeliner is from the top, push the liner into the lashes as I draw.  On the bottom, or actually the interior of the upper eyelid, I take my pencil and draw and color in the spaces in between the lashes.

This way it leaves no question that there is no weird looking line-plus you have the added benefit of darker, thicker lashes.  On a hot day you might forgo mascara with this look.

I also learned to do this with Laura Mercier’s tight liner–using the same technique, take your loaded brush and push into the upper outer and upper inner lash lines to get a nice intense line.

Having that funky bare line is right up there with tangerine lipstick and overly pink cheeks – so aging!