Really? The Search for Testimony


Three times I have been by the Lancome‘ counter to check out or purchase whatever.

And three times, the salesperson is probably in their 60-s, or at least their skin looks like they’ve spent a lot of time in the sun.

More power to you.

But, all three times, the salespeople talked about how Visionnaire, and the combo of Visionnaire and Genefique had made a huge difference in their skin texture.

I’m sorry, I have a very hard time believing them.

I know, that people need a job, and this job is what they want or like to do. But I think the salestraininers/marketing people at Lancome’ need to rethink strategy on getting this product flying off the shelves.  Personally I think when they gave 7-days of genefique samples that was a better way to get people hooked on the product.  Expensive yes, but far more convincing.

I think nowadays people are less willing to shell out cash for a wing and a prayer promise of lines, wrinkles and brown spots removed.

Somewhat like that, is when the ReVive’ people were in town and a very young person was part of the sales team at Nordstroms.  That’s cool, but it’s the flip side, do I really think the products make a difference NOW for her?

I mean, a much younger person hopefully has the benefit of starting sunscreen earlier so there’s less concern about brown spots from the sun, or premature aging.

At least that’s what I am thinking.

Then there are the real life testimonies that I see with my own eyes.  Like the ReVive/Estee Lauder person who was using ReVive’s Peau line-I hadn’t seen her for a month or so, so I really noticed a huge difference in her skin.  The Peau line is the super duper line, the upgrade from the $250 a jar ReViVe’ Moisture Renewal.

And the other testimony I saw and believe is a woman I have known for about 20 years. I asked her about the Nerium AD product she was selling, and she pointed to around her eyes and said her crow’s feet were pretty much gone in 3 days!  She showed me her pictures too.

But, what I found remarkable was that around her eyes DEFINITELY looked like she had done something because there were no wrinkles!


Let’s hear it for real results based on real testimonials done by real people and not in a lab where the percentages are based on controlled environments and improvement is relative.





Mud Bath

Err shower.

Boy, if the blue eyed man had witnessed the sloshy mess in the shower…..

Anyway, I decided to stall starting work today by trying out the Ahava Dead Sea Mud full body mask. You basically apply the product all over your body with particular attention to sore or achy muscles. (You can also warm it up in the nuker for extra help).  The dead sea minerals purify and moisturize the skin.

My skin felt not quite tingly, but felt like something active was going on.  Not like a menthol action-but something like that.

I also did the dead sea mud facial mask at the same time—the mask is mostly for cleansing.

I wonder how much exfoliation actually occurs as both masks have a little bit of texture-not grainy, but not cream either.

After 10 minutes or so–the mud flowed.  Very fine grains yes, but well, you never know what kind of a mess something like this will make.  It was easy enough to clean up.

I put on my regular regime of Kiehl’s Power Concentrate and Rosa Artica-and the products did not go into my skin immediately – kind of sat on top of it.

Anyway–my body skin where I used the body mask still feels a little warm and tingly.

And the shower is clean.


Moving Target

Yesterday I planned to go to Nordstrom’s, not so much for the event, but because I had some time, a rarity on a Sunday.

I should have taken it as a sign from the full parking lot that it might be crowded.

Yes, it was.

And then, one of the most irritating things in retail.

The counters had been moved around.  Kiehl’s had been moved from the center in front of the escalators, and had been replaced by Mario Bedescu, Erno Laslo, et al. You know, the lines that have a few specialty or cult products but are probably actually being given a last gasp before the store shows them the door.

And the counters were very crowded with people wanting to experience the event and the “new” offers.  I went by Bobbi Brown three times to sample her new BB cream-felt it on my hand, great texture.  At Clinique the rep had her hands full doing a makeover.

I finally found Kiehl’s which had been crowded onto half a counter.

This is my beef with Nordstrom’s they just don’t have enough reps at any given time.  You can roll a bowling ball through on some days, and even on a day projected to be busy weekend, there still aren’t enough reps.

Go to Macy’s and there are plenty of reps – but also a bunch of floaters – who can ring you up if you know what you want.  Or Neiman’s is usually staffed with someone who knows the line, but who are, like Sephora, driven by sales goals.  I get that it’s all about the sales, but consultative selling will when out over being pushed anyway.

I’m just not that easily convinced to buy a product just because someone says so. I guess that’s why buying color is challenging, unless if the rep actually gives a rip and is trying to get you the right color foundation, lip or eye selection.

Anyway-I like having things stay in the same place so I don’t have to wander around.

Don’t you?


Getting Ready Faster and Faster


Lately, for those who follow my blog, there has been more and more lag time between posts.

It’s not because I have a lack of subjects. But just time is at a premium lately.

I used to sit by myself at the gym long after my friends had gotten ready and left for work.

Lately, I am flying out of there myself to run an errand or get a few things done before whatever commitments I have.  Part of that is I like to be driving when there is the least amount of traffic.

So, normally it will take me 35 minutes to get ready from start to finish including blow-drying my hair and nice make up.

Just shaving off 15 minutes is a major deal. That means I just dry my hair to get the dampness out, and do stuff like:

Use pencil eyeliner instead of gel or Laura Mercier‘s Tightliner which requires and extra step

Use a neutral powder eye shadow base instead of Laura Mercier’s eyeshadow primer which enriches the color

Use tinted moisturizer which is more forgiving then to use liquid foundation. ( I know powder or otherwise mineral foundation is really fast but the color usually grays up).

Line with Laura Mercier lip liner and follow with Rose balm instead of lipstick or gloss.

Use Bobbi Brown Tortoise collection shadow set instead of dabbing on Laura Mercier creme eye shadow

I do not cheat on some steps:

Treatment – apply a squirt of Kiehl’s Power Line Concentrate

Moisturizer- Kiehl’s Rosa Artica

Sunscreen – Clarin’s spf40 under anything else

Lashes- I’ve been using Grande Lash MD to grow my lashes and I believe I am seeing results after two weeks. Lately I just need a swish of mascara (back to Mac ZoomLash)

That’s pretty much it-somehow I’m still getting more on my face than what women’s magazine’s would consider 5 minute make up -but oh well.




Pearl Cloth Mask–Shimmer!

I was running thru my condo for a quick treatment session of secret single behavior and decided to try one of my Korean cloth masks.

If you’ve never heard of them, these are moist, cloth masks that have different ingredients infused into them for different treatments.  You can choose from green tea, mung bean, rose, and many more.

The other day, for no particular reason I chose the Pearl Mask.  The package describes the mask as, “A clear and translucent mask sheet for smooth and light absorption and intensive efficacy of pearl”.

Actually I’m not exactly sure what that means-there’s some loss in translation.

So I did a little internet search – I mean you guys have seen those “ancient chinese secret” ads over the years, where the asian model is caressing a jar of a cream with pearl?

In a nutshell freshwater pearls and oyster shells are ground fine.  These crushed products have been used for years as a skin lightening treatment and to fortify the skin with calcium.

So I put it on for about 20 minutes while I am watching TV-it feels cool and refreshing.  I’m not expecting much more than just to feel moisturized.

I take the mask off (which is pretty Jason-looking from Friday the 13th)  and my face actually looks whitish.  Not so much shimmery – but actually looks white.

So I put on my regular routine of tinted moisturizer, sunscreen et al.  I really think the product did provide some “whitening” by distributing some of the crushed product.  Did not appear to immediately wipe off, and the next day appeared to have some affect.

Anyway-for the coolness and moisturizing properties on a warm day, the mask is great.


Econo Size ME!

I learned something new today.

I emailed my friend Lincoln, who is a hair expert, and asked if shampoos go bad? I wondered because I use Neuma which is organic-so I’m thinking no weird dyes and preservatives that normally keep all the good ingredients from spoiling.

He let me know that customers need to wash out and sanitize containers when they re-use them, or otherwise refill them with product.

I’m sure we all have a few of those travel size containers we fill up to take to the gym or put in our suitcase?

What happens is if you simply rinse out a container with water, the water has minerals in it that breakdown the plastic and cause it to leach.  So when you take your empty bottles to refill at some beauty stores, if you have not sanitized the containers, you may have a problem with the product becoming rancid quickly. What’s more, other scary and carcinogenic chemicals may also be released from the plastic into the container and onto you and your hair.

Even if your plastic container is recyclable, it is highly recommended to use it only once, and not rinse!

In any case, it makes me think about the fact that I rinse my water bottles out and refill them-I know a lot of people do.

So, I guess I should move onto one of those metal containers, but don’t they have their own issues?

Really, what’s safe anymore?


Grand Lash MD-Flitter Flutter

I’m Japanese so by definition I don’t have very long lashes. I’m lucky to have what I do have – kind of short, but fairly thick – I mean I can see them at least.

Quite awhile back I used Revitalash which quickly had my lashes growing – to the point when I did put on mascara, my lashes would hit the insides of my sunglasses.

I stopped and would put the liquid on every so often when I wanted a recharge.

I head some people did not get results from Revitalash-but I think the same observation could be made on other products like Latisse.

I heard about Grand Lash MD from a friend, whom, upon seeing her I immediately exclaimed, “did you get lash extensions?!!”

Turns out she was using Grand Lash MD-so after doing a quick check on the internet I decided to buy a tube.

I’ve been using the product for about a week-it’s easy to use-just brush on like eyeliner and go to bed.

I think that my lashes have already started growing-it takes just a flick of mascara to get my lashes out there.

But I will give it a few weeks and check back.


Brown Spots: The War of the C’s

In the quest to get rid of brown spots from the sun, melasma or just plain aging – I’ve been using two products (primarily) the last few months.

In the war between Kiehl’s Powerful Line Concentrate v Philosophy Turbo Vitamin C Booster Powder, I know that the Kiehl’s product by itself works very well.  In a way, since I used the Kiehl’s product first, it lightened by brown spots significantly, and using Philosphy‘s Turbo Booster C Powder has turned out to be a novelty.

At the end of the day, Kiehl’s Powerful Line is just plain easier to use.  It comes in a brown pump bottle that just a squirt pretty much gets the product on your face.

On the other hand, Philosophy’s powder product with the little spoon and the mixing of the product with a cream is a fun novelty at first, but it gets old after awhile.  Especially when I am at the gym and don’t have a lot of time to dilly-dally.

I know I could use other serums, but for price point and superior performance of working on brown spots, Kiehl’s wins. At $56 a bottle, it just makes sense.



Another product that I love but is in that same category of fun at first is Laura Mercier‘s Tight Liner-fun to draw on but mixing with water ( I don’t need waterproof) works when I am at home,but not at the gym and I am not near a sink.

AVEDA Salon-Birthday Bliss

Hola – oh oops Hoala!  Meaning the Aveda Spa at Ala Moana Center near Neimans.

I used to get my hair done here back in the days when I wore a business bob–you know short, slightly layered, shiny but not sexy.  I liked the little paraffin hand melt they would do when you were having your hair shampooed-I don’t know if my hands came out softer but I liked the treat.

So, the other day I went to Hoala Spa to kick off my birthday big evening activities which culminated at my favorite restaurant, Alan Wong’s. I really wish he would actually cook, but I guess I have to go when Obama is in town.


First step was to step into the nail salon-where a guy just finished up his manicure-by the look on his face you’d think he went to heaven or something.

The nail girls have the customer favorite colors in the front of the display and are marked with a star-interesting because I was just going to ask what the favorite colors were when I saw the display.

I have to say I was really surprised they did not offer Spartual or China Glaze polish-both are formaldehyde free.  I know OPI has started to produce formaldehyde free but not the whole line.

Somedays I’m not in the mood to chichat much – I just wanted to relax and my person, Christina obliged.  I did ask her where she went to beauty school and turns out she went to Remington’s Paul Brown program-and learned hair,makeup and nails.

The pedicure was very nice-not too much massage which is fine with me.  I had her put on a chocolate color with a bronze shimmer.  For topcoat, she applied a gold sparkle polish that really made my toes shine!

She was helping me on with my slippers- but I told her I had planned to do a back facial next. Oops. I wasn’t thinking that I would be lying on my stomach with my toes in the air so I opted for a elemental facial.

Seriously wonderful Selena.

On the table, I saw a curious little neck roll.  When I laid my head down with my neck on the roll, I went to blissville!  It had been heated and was just the right thickness to provide neck support but without feeling buldg-y.  (You wet a towel, wring it out, nuke it, roll it, cover it w saran wrap, and put it in a sock).

The Elemental Nature Facials match your skincare needs to the type of products they use-I think I got the Air Nature for dry, dehydrated, “mature” skin.  As part of my process, Selena used the Tourmaline Charged Radiance Mask which helps stimulate cell energy and gives a glow to the skin.  She finished off with the Green Science Firming Eye and Face Creams. Both of which promise a 37% reduction in fine lines.

No or very little spf-and since I am paranoid about being in the sun (it only takes minutes for the melanocytes to unite and activate into making brown spots!) I put on a little ReVive’ spf15 I carry around.

The experience was so relaxing I almost fell asleep.  I was awakened by the smell of mint–pretty cool.  I’ll have to remember that.

Anyway-my bf thought my skin looked radiant-and why not?!

It was my birthday!


AHAVA Dead Sea Salts – Pas Deux

I am loving my Ahava Dead Sea products.  Especially the body cream sorbet-perfectly light and very moisturizing, and a great light fragrance.

I tried the Butter Salt Scrub the other day-wondering if it would be like the macadamia nut and salt scrubs I have tried in the past that leave you soft but you have to scrub out a huge oil slick from your shower post exfoliation.

The butter salts are more butter than salt, and the formulation of the butter part is creamy but dissolves easily when you rinse off the product.  Plus the emphasis is on butter-the salt granules are not prevalent, but they do the trick!  Post shower, my skin was both soft and smooth for hours without extra lotion.

The other day, after a run that consisted of a few laps around the block, my and the blue-eyed man decided to try out the facial and body products – post shower of course.

The liquid dead sea salts have a gel-like consistency and go on just like that – sort of like sliding jello on yourself.  They don’t sting, but I wouldn’t put it on sensitive areas if you know what I mean.

The facial mask is more “mud” like.  Almost like a clay-mask.  The product claims to remove toxic stuff, smooth, and even provide UV protection. I’m not sure how it does that since you rinse it off.

Post slathering-we both agreed that our skin felt softer and curiously moisturized.

I can’t say I felt like it took out any of the toxins from the wine and champagne I had the night before but I slept like a baby.