The People You Meet at Winam (Street)

All people of a certain age remember Cheers!,  and the moment Norm walked in everyone called Norm!

That’s kind of how it feels when I go to Winam (Street) Studio.

I started going there when I found Hillary Juliette on yelp and found a woman who had hair like mine and I liked her cut.

A year and give or take a few months later, I’ve met some interesting people.

Today I met Dr. Chocolate.  An interesting guy who consults in cacao bean farming – which get this, Hawaii is the only state in our great nation, where the stuff of chocolate grows!  He got a cool cut, that made him come in looking professorial, and leaving looking a little sassy.  I think he had some extra bounce to his step too!

The other client today got a golden gloss over her highlights and a cool long bang, short on the back cut and style which Hillary J basically just finger brushed it while blow-drying.

Another client just moved back to Hawaii and she looked to be in her late 50-s and was making a transition back into the job market with a cool short cut that took advantage of her curls – had a really interesting nape too!

The time before, the woman was a new client, and she went from kind of no-inspiration cut to something or someone with a new outlook on life.

I swear Hilllary J has a way of breathing new life into people via their hair.

I met her when I was on the brink of leaving my bf of 7 years, but had not quite made the jump.

I was kind of a wreck–I didn’t realize it at the time, but 10 pounds overweight, hair a mess and struggling to figure out what to do next.

Anyway -it’s not about me.

I just think the people I have met in the last year have been pretty interesting – from walks of life I would never have experienced.

And before going to Winam Studio, I never did.

Thank you Hillary J!



Peel Me! TonyMoly AppleTox Smoothing Massage Peeling Cream

Somethings are always lost in translation, others simply don’t supply the info.

Yesterday, I was in the mood for some Korean BBQ Chicken and have been awaiting the opening of Palama Supermarket’s new location.  It’s on my way to the LikeLike Highway so I’ve noted their progress.

They opened 3 weeks ago, so remembering the great BBQ and Korean sushi at the old location, I had high anticipation!

Unfortunately, the food concessionaires weren’t really open for business.  A couple were serving in the back, but they looked not quite ready for business, but they were serving food.

So I wandered by and the TonyMoly cosmetics department caught my eye.  It’s actually a small booth, chockfull of colorful products.

The packaging is very youthful and playful.  The owner, followed me around the small booth encouraging me to try the products, but maybe a little too much attention.

She pointed out to me, TonyMoly’s Snail Lotion, that whitens the skin.  I didn’t realize it had snail anything, until I asked her why a snail was on the package.

I got a sample of the two step serum and lotion, but I don’t know…..

I did buy the AppleTox.

I tried loading a photo but their website does not have the photos optimized so they load slow and they are hard to copy to insert.

Me with way too much foundation and moisturizers–the AppleTox is a peel based on green apple and papaya. It does not have any scrubbing particles, but works from the enzymes present in both fruit.

I tried it this morning, and because there are no directions on the package-left it on for an hour while I did work.

No harm done though.  The product smells good and feels a little chilly going on.  When you take it off with water and a wash towel, it feels peely, like some skin is getting sloughed off.

In SkinCeuticals CF product, after much internet research, I theorize the active ingredient is the same green apple enzyme in the Fleurectin.


The product line is inexpensive and cute.  When you go to their website, they have a huge product line of color and skincare all made in Korea.

I would try something else—next time I get a yen for Korean BBQ!


BlogWorthy-See Me Clearly (Snark Warning!)

I wasn’t planning on going to the mall today, but the BF wanted his prescription sunglasses fixed so I said ok, I figure I can get some awesome chocolate mochi with peanut butter inside from Kansai Yamato.

So the only salesperson in the store was finishing up with someone-selling him some outrageous non-prescription shades for $500 plus tax!

That’s nuts already. But I guess the guy was on va-kay.

So, she acknowledges me, and said she’d be with me in a minute.

Ok-but after 20 minutes or so, I probably should have taken a seat.

If she was really on her game, she probably should have suggested that.

But she probably figured I wasn’t there to buy.


She finally gets to me, doesn’t thank me for waiting and asks, “what happened?” Or however she asked, it led me to ask her, “what do you mean?”

I said the “lens popped out when he picked them up from the counter.”

She then TELLS ME, most lenses pop out because the sunglasses were left in the sun.

She doesn’t SUGGEST, she TELLS ME, that’s why they broke.

Seriously, the people that get hired for these jobs amaze me.

Like they don’t want a repeat customer at Ilori – whatever happened to being tactful?

What makes it bad for the brands they sell; Tom Ford, Chanel, Ray Ban, Maui Jim, Oliver Peeples – her bad sales behavior reflects on their brands.

Seriously, where do they get these people?


Sunscreen – Why Not?

I live in Hawaii-where we are lucky to have sunny weather a good part of the year.  Even when it’s a little chilly, we still have sunny skies.

So, this is a few years back, but me being a sunscreen promoter, I asked a woman whether she used sunscreen when she exercised outside.  She replied that she did not, and didn’t really see why-or some other answer that was not an explanation or rationale.

At the end of the day it was none of my business.

But, I had seen photos of this woman, who was still  very pretty in her late 50-s, though she had significant sun damage, as a young woman, she was one of those rare beauties that would take anyone’s breath away.

Most people in the 40-50-s age range in Hawaii, and most other places didn’t use sunscreen in their youth while baking on the beach, playing in the sun, or otherwise. But a good number of people started using sunscreen in their later years.

I started at 35-though I was still naive enough to think that if I applied before going out and hiking and swimming, it would magically still work.

The truth is I knew better, but would only occasionally re-apply.

The net-net of this blog is, when I’ve seen the woman recently, her skin has rapidly degraded so she looks much much older than her age.

I don’t get it.  Why wouldn’t you want to preserve yourself if all it takes is a little sunscreen?

You eat right, you exercise and try to live a happy life.

What’s the point? Is fitting into your clothes enough?



Recently I ordered Clinique Super Defense for the bf and thought I was getting a gift with purchase (GWP) that was mentioned on the Clinique site,  and also appeared on the Nordstrom’s site when searching for Nordstrom Clinique GWP.

I saw it but couldn’t recreate the gwp when I called Nordstrom’s to let them know my gwp was not included in my shipment. The Nordstrom’s call center connected me to the Clinique counter at some store location, where I was informed that there was no current GWP – you know the cool kind with moisturizer, a chubby stick, mascara et al – but only a step up of a $75 purchase where I would get a foundation brush.

Since I purchase only so much Clinique at any given time, it wasn’t something I was interested in, so with the salesperson’s tone of voice in mind, I decided to not push the issue.

Until, however…..

I got an email follow up from Nordstrom’s asking would I give a review of the product? I could, but whatever…I already blogged about it before.

Reading down I saw that they also were asking about the quality of the customer experience-which I filled out; being honest, rating everything high but added a little one liner saying I thought the salesperson used a dismissive tone of voice.

Not an hour later I got an email from the Beauty Stylist saying that Nordstrom’s was sorry for my experience, and that happily they would send the foundation brush as a gift.

It’s really interesting in that the response was so swift – I know in the day of email and the internet, anything can go around the world in seconds or minutes.

It wasn’t a bad experience – just thought I’d probably not fall over myself to buy the product from Nordstrom’s.  No biggie.




Origins-Not So Perfect World

The sign that a product really fails to perform for me is that instead of throwing it out I use it on my body or my feet.

Origin’s A Perfect World is a moisturizer with white tea as its’ chief antioxidant. I liked the way it smelled in the store, but it reminds me of the way Clinique’s product has that funny almost plastic consistency.

There’s no way of telling how effective it is or isn’t in terms of shielding me from free radicals with the antioxidants-but the real testimony is if I really don’t like something, the product skips being used on my feet and goes in the trashcan.


I like a few Origins products – I’ve looked at EyeZing–an eye cream with ginseng. But Ginseng is another fragrance I don’t care for.  I know about its amazing properties, but I can’t get over the smell.


Back to the Compact-Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer

For the last so many years my skin has been unbelievably dry, and finally it has normalized.

I still use a power-packed moisturizer but I haven’t used foundation in any form of compact in years. ( I used to be a Lancome’ Dual-Finish girl).

Regular powder, cream to powder, liquid to matte powder finish—nope, nep,nah.

Seriously, I missed how easy it is to use a puff and just powder foundation on.

I began looking longingly at the compacts a few months ago.

I even tried Laura’s Tinted Moisturizer Compact–the salespeople put on Nude or Sand, but I just didn’t care for it-

But you know, the lights in the stores…I can never really see what the foundation or any of the makeup actually looks like until I get outside or in my car mirror.

That’s when the proof hits the pudding–uh–you know what I mean.

So the other day when I had my makeup put on at NM’s event, LM’s national artist put on the compact in Fawn.

And lo and behold – we gotta match!  I looked at the color in my car mirror and I never want to admit I look tanner than I want to be-but the color really works.

The last few days since, I’ve joyously been applying the compact foundation (technically tinted moisturizer in a compact) over my Laura Mercier Radiance Primer.

I only put a light light light dusting of MakeUp Forever’s HD Powder to set and finish and I’m off.

So easy.

If life were as easy as compact makeup.


Real Color – Sephora Color Swatches & Laura Mercier Free Spirit Baked Eye Shadow

Every once in awhile the beauty magazines I read will have someone with color similar to mine-asian, fair-light medium, dark hair.

But most of the time, the colors are on someone who will show how brilliant the color will be- like Allure’s January issue and the hot off the runway trend of neon colors.

I don’t think it is entirely brand-new, but color swatches eye shadow palettes against a variety of skin tones–light, olive, and dark.

It’s very helpful- Sephora Color Swatches

Plus the community can contribute their own swatches on their skin tone.


I bought the Naked’s new neutral palette this way. I do like it for doing a real nude, natural eye that you can’t really tell I have make up on, but it is a little zzzz.  I don’t wear a big shimmer or colorful lid so zzzz is pretty zzzzz.

The new Laura Mercier baked eye shadow pallette on the other hand, pretty much delivers (though there are no swatches on sephora).  I put it on dry the other day and the effect was natural but with a hint of color – blue and pink. Very shimmery.

For evening I think I will try it wet – and/or use the darker blue as a liner.

Laura Mercier - Free Spirit Baked Eye Colour Palette

Either way, this was a good buy for me and I think I will use the different colors.

As a side bar, I have a few of those shadow and lip combos from Bobbi Brown too.  I find that some colors are usable and others don’t work at all.  I have the tortoise shell collection – with the beautiful gold shimmer, a nice yellow toned neutral and then the other colors not so great on me.  I also have a lip and shadow palette with lilac and violet colors and coordinating lip – but I only use the lilac shimmer.

Yes, another sidebar – I bought a LORAC and a Nordstrom shadow palette prior – the colors are pretty, but both proved to be really cakey.  When I used the dark colors they flaked off and were hard to remove. I know some people recommend putting on your eyes before foundation,but I think it’s more of a testimony of the quality of the product if it’s that flakey.


Smoooooooothe! Neuma’s NeuSmooth Leave-In Conditioner

Mr. Lincoln Whang recently visited us at the HClub with all of his wonderful products.

Before I got serious about my hair and was still using the detergent they fill in the free dispensers at the gym, his giant rack of OPI and China Glaze nail polish caught my eye.

Fast-forward, and now that my hair is back in condition thanks to Hillary J’s PM shine glosses instead of ammonia based color and using organic Neuma products, I laggard, have finally gotten a flat-iron.

Janie-come-lately I know, but, I’m a lazy sort, but I do admire the sleek shiny hair on people and then just when everyone is going for big wavy volume, I go the other way.

(Sidebar-the BF and I have been watching the Bachelor and he remarked that Desiree’s hair looked oily  – like an oil-slick.  She was flat-ironed and shined-dropped).


BOSS new product is their NeuSmooth  Leave-on Conditioner and also NeuSmooth Revitalizing Masque.


Especially on days I use the masque, my hair blow dries like glass. I jut point the blow drier down the length of my hair and finger-comb it and I don’t need to straighten!

The leave-on conditioner is applied after towel-drying and then style as usual, or you can put it in dry hair.  I like it in damp hair.  It also has a great straightening affect and de-volumes my hair.

I like anything that makes my life easier.



I was going to put on a product photo but they haven’t updated their packaging.  The new product is in a pinkish bottle.


Winam Studio Officially Opens in Kaimuki!

Winam Studio is in the top 5 topics for my blog!  Amongst the blogs about Nerium, lots of skincare and makeup and The Face Shoppe’s foot mask, I’ve written about Hillary J and her amazing skills as a stylist.

When I first met her a little over a year ago, she was still at her home studio on Winam Street in Kapahulu, then at Billy Fong’s where she decided to go for it for real and create a space in Kaimuki.

On my first visit she told me her history of growing up in the restaurant business, being a paramedic, a firefighter in CA and then going to beauty school in Oakland.  Returning to Hawaii, she cut and styled at Macy’s for 9 years.

I recently found out she was studying to be a nurse but her customers begged her not to! She realized that her jobs all had the same thing in common- a person came needing help, she diagnosed the situation, and gave them a solution.


Nestled above the post office on Kokohead Avenue, Hillary J’s new space echoes the zen-like quality of the original with a peaceful sitting area, buddah art and orchids.  Her husband and partner built out the space with the help of a designer friend who specializes in small spaces with creative budgets.

It’s pretty amazing – yet still feels right in Kaimuki.