Boots No 7

I’ve been fascinated with this brand, and even though I went to London last year – still did not try it after reading about the line’s Protect and Prevent Intense Serum in Allure and other beauty mags.

I have a price threshold for drugstore brand skincare that doesn’t pass $15. I know it’s funny.

But, although I’m ok with buying Oil of Olay’s Daily Moisture spf15 – something that I put on when I first wake up to give my skin a drink, paying more than a few bucks is pain-ful.

I’m much harder on my evaluation of drugstore brands and their price points vs physician name brand, glitzy retail or prescription strength.

I guess it’s because I don’t expect the drugstore brands to really do much for me.  All of them have some product endorsed by Allure or Good Housekeeping et al -but somehow paying almost $30 for those brands doesn’t convince me that dollar for dollar they will work.

Because the same magazines also note that drugstore and lesser brands have less active ingredients.

That’s why you pay less.


There are plenty of products that work great – but I have to say they are in the cleanser and toner class- not the critical area of skin-CARE.


In the case that Boots No. 7 was on sale for $21.99 this past weekend at Tar-je’.  Lucky me the Boots sales representative was there encouraging people to try the products.  I asked her if the Intense Serum was for me because on the bottle it says it treats deep lines and wrinkles – that lucky for me I don’t have. She countered that -the product is great to prevent.

I smoothed a dab on my hand and smelled it – vaguely familiar.

Then it struck me – it smells like vitamin A based products-one of which is Nerium AD. I don’t know for sure what Nerium has in it besides retinoid product, but for $21.99 vs $100+ – hmmmm.

I asked the salesgirl —is the product stronger than physician prescribed? In the Obaji system the tretonin is usually given at 10% – though you can get stronger straight on Retin A. She did not confirm or deny.

I thought about buying it – but ended up not buying.  At the end of the day, though everyone says Retin A is the most critical skin care ingredient – I’m still a big believer in vitamin C.

I’ll give you the update on the 20% L-asorbic acid (vit c) product I bought instead.

Don’t ask me how much it cost.





Just for Men? A Shiny Experience

So, it was time for covering the gray-and I had mentioned to Hillary Julliette of Winam Studio I wanted to do something different, go a little lighter.

Thing is, since PM Shine Gloss, the product I’ve had to cover my gray for 1.5 years doesn’t lighten- she let me in on her own secret.

The secret is a product that she uses on men, that basically does the same thing as a gloss, but only takes 10 minutes to process. Hmmm-why? Because men are less into chit chatting while in the chair? Who knows.


This new product does not harm your hair like color. Color goes into your hair and changes it so you see a color change.  Gloss sits on top of your hair – for me, it’s been just as permanent as color.  It doesn’t wash out, and even better it doesn’t get dingy after a couple of weeks. And it covers my gray.

So–the deal is, when my hair grows out, the new product gloss will be a little lighter and be like highlights without the chemical processing that highlights require.

Your natural color is still there – just with highlights. I don’t think my graying hair pattern is going to be gloriously beautiful like some lucky people get–so this works for me.

As I write this, I am picturing an old school chum who has awesome white hair–doesn’t hurt that he’s hot.

Hot at 50-ish.

It’s a good thing.


The New De-Liner-Xeomin

Or should it be called the new Botox?  This new contender promises to do the same as Botox and little sister Dysport in terms of relaxing the muscles that make crow’s feet, those lines between your brows and the ones on your forehead going horizontal.

The advantage for physicians who inject is the product is shelf stable.  And just to reiterate-and protect me from backlash-but in the least see a physician for injections.  Preferably ophthalmology, oculoplastics or plastics.  These physicians are trained specifically to address how facial muscles are affected by these products.  Other applications like pain relief for dental work, is another story.  But seriously, if you’re having someone do things to your face, isn’t it worth it to have an expert do it?


For those interested, here’s a special offer from Dr. Melanie Tantisira.  She does my Dysport injections-as an ophthalmologist and a very experienced injector-she uses teeny tiny needles, and changes them out so the patient has the best experience and as little pain as possible.  She’s the best of the physicians I have used-no pain at all.

To an unlined day!


Tantisira Xeomin Offer



Clinique high impact extreme volume mascara

I got this because I wanted a gift with product and I needed a little more to get the gift.

The tube is a sleek but chubby silver with a green stripe on the cap. The brush is really fat–

After all the way it looks – when I first pulled it out – I thought the product seemed really thick and gloppy.  But I used it anyway–it works well but you have to be careful not to get it on your skin around your eyes. It’s very lengthening and voluminizing and very black.

But after using it a month or so, daily, the product glops on and clumps my lashes together.  I only do the top lashes, and they get smushed into small haystacks of lashes instead of separated.

I’ve always liked Mac mascaras like False Lashes, so it looks like I have to go back. I don’t really like Lancome’s Defenicils because I don’t have time to do more than one coat.  L’Oreal’s Millionize is pretty good for drugstore, Laura Mercier’s is pretty good and yes, this can go on forever and ever…….



Think FAST ! Paul Mitchell Dry Wash Shampoo in a Can

I don’t know what you guys think, but naming a product properly is very important.  This newer product from Paul MItchell is actually called Dry Wash not my self-christened “shampoo in a can”.

I wasn’t sure how to use if after picking it up from Winam Studio where I gloss my hair, so I checked out the video online.  A cool looking stylist with a pretty model effused how much he liked the power of the aerosol–I guess that means the force of output in one direction.


This product is different in that you don’t have to brush it out! Saves you a step.

You basically separate the hair, in larger sections and spray the product from scalp to ends, but spray lightly. Then at the end, spray some on your hands and swish together, bend over and work it into the back of your ends.

The product builds volume and sops up the oil without leaving a powdery residue.  There is a powdery feel on the fingers-but no powder to be seen!

What I like mostly is, since my sense of smell is sensitive, I can use this product to freshen up my hair – sort of like deodorant. My hair is not dirty, but it doesn’t smell just washed fresh in the morning – so it’s like perfuming my hair for me-and it adds volume.

More stylists are recommending not washing your hair everyday-especially if you color.  The product can be used after a workout-but I think that depends how much your head perspires-hey everybody is different!

A high recommend! If you’re in Honolulu, pick it up at Winam Studio!


War of the Shower Gels – Fresh vs Aveeno

I really like Fresh’s Nectarine Milk Shower Gel that is sold exclusively through Neiman Marcus here in Honolulu-the fragrance is the best.  But at $18 for a small bottle- it’s a treat.

An added plus is the fragrance isn’t so strong I get a headache, or allergic skin reaction forcing me to shower again to remove the smell or itch.

Oftentimes I will choose something like Dove or Ivory-gentle but kind of blah.

I actually have 3 choices in my shower right now as I write.

Nearing the end of my third bottle of Fresh Nectarine Milk in as many months, I was on the lookout for a new gel.  I was using luxury soaps for years-you know the ones from Provence that cost about $10 a bar, but last a long time.  My favorite is Pineapple scent but it is hard to come by.


I was cruising Long’s Drugstore (a store that was actually named after a gent named Long) and came upon Aveeno’s Positively Nourishing & Hydrating fig and shea butter gel. It’s actually more creamy and suds up really well. It’s not a strong scent, but on days when I am more fragrance sensitive, it’s a little heavy.

On the windward side of the island with its higher humidity and moisture in the air-the Aveeno gel works well without having to lotion up my whole body- I just hit the dry spots on my feet and hands.

I have to put in a disclaimer here because I was apprehensive for a long time about using Aveeno after an extreme allergic reaction to their sunscreen!  Rash for days! Amongst the worst I have ever had!

Sorry for all the ” ! “, but something in their sunscreen is bad – very very bad.

But the gel that’s another story—