Ooo La La! YSL Glossy Stain

And a lot more french words to that name.

Hands down I have never received more compliments on my lip color than when I was wearing #24, a perfectly red red without a lean toward blue or orange.

I heard about this product from Brow Guru Stacie at Marsha Nadalin Salon in Kahala Mall.  She had been shopping with a friend and gave it a high recommendation.  Her friend wore hers and many hours later, the color remained.

That was Thursday.

Friday I was driving around the Nordstrom parking lot around lunchtime and was fighting for a space. Seriously, it was one of those parking nightmares that only happen when a good sale is going on.

And a good sale was going on-Nords was having its Access Event for their anniversary sale.

I being a slovenly user of my Nords card for greener pastures of my other cards, didn’t get the memo.

I was lucky anyway and got a space.

My head spun a bit when I walked in.  Areas of the store were draped in sheer cream curtains for the special access event with nice prices on a lot of stuff.

For the beauty department, it was full of people. Not to the point of pressing, but pretty full.

I had gone in with the thought and mission of-checking out the YSL stain, the Trish McEvoy Flat Liner Brush and Osmotics line.

More on that later.

The YSL lip stain, is very lightweight when applied, slightly shiny, but not shiny to the 10th degree like the more gel-like products. I was a bit challenged with the doe applicator.  It does have a point to the flat wand, but even with lip liner, I was drawing outside the lines. It is easily removed before it dries.


Wearing a new lip color is like wearing freshly styled hair. I don’t want to move my head or disturb the lip color and try to avoid actions that remove it.

But that defeats the purpose of the stain right?

By the time I got home, the color was still there, but had a ring around the edges, with the interior of my lips decidedly less hued.

The real trial was the next day when I wore it to ballet and reapplied for dinner that night.

It’s not drying at all, but I slicked on some Fresh Lip Balm later in the first part of the day, but the color stayed true.

I reapplied a fresh coat before dinner.

Now, in Europe, I understand that ladies remove their lip color prior to eating to avoid lips on their glasses. From my s. american source who lived here and there, he thought this was the height of manners, even tho you removed your color at the table.



The product definitely was challenged at dinner. I had grilled salmon, veggies and a salad. Read all contain some oil in the preparation.

Still had a hint of color when I got home tho.

For me, this product lasts about 4 hours.

It’s not bad–at $35, it’s worth it to not think about color for 4 hours.



Shine Bright Like A Saphire-Saphira Shampoo and Conditioner

Or maybe shine bright like a diamond-sorry I’ve been on this streak of getting blog title inspiration from music.

But Saphira Nutritious Shampoo and Mineral Mud mask made my hair seriously silky, felt very clean and smelled exotic in a good way.

Saphira hair products are distributed and sold locally at BOSS Beauty Supply on Nimitz Highway here in Hawaii. Chief Hair Guru Lincoln Whang started bringing these dead-sea mineral based products in to satisfy the demand for natural hair products that avoid paraben and paraffin waxes and other chemicals that aren’t great for your hair.


That just means extra stuff.

I don’t know about you, but some conditioners, when I am rinsing them out in the shower, definitely feel like they are leaving a coating on my hair. To note, the Nexxus conditioner and Alba organics Coconut conditioner are guilty of this feeling. I continue to use the Alba product because it smells good and my hair is very silky but my hair doesn’t feel clean very long.


Made in Israel, Saphira products have Moroccan Dead Sea formula plus argan oil and 26 minerals from the Dead Sea.

I’ve never tried Ahava’s hair products, but having used their dead sea mask on sore areas of my body, there is something to those dead sea minerals that tingle when applied.

The Mud Mask can be used on your face too. I’ve used it as a conditioner but have not left it on for the 4-5 minutes as suggested.

Nevertheless my hair is shiny and silky.  The fragrance is a little strong-but not crazy strong.  It reminds me Morocco-little bit like incense, but like flowers.

You have to smell it yourself I guess.


The Meh Files-Products That Didn’t Make the Cut

I really like to sample products when I’m not entirely convinced they will work for me.

This is especially true for any facial moisturizer.

Whether a brightener lightener, eye wrinkle, cellulite or anything other will work on the first trial is iffy.

Oh-the other two items that are best sampled are foundation and sunscreen.

The moisturizer requirement is all about will my face really feel moisturized after wearing the product the entire day or night?

Re: foundation, will the color look good in any light, under varying conditions ( all day, evening, thru a workout(when I need to rush off for a meeting and don’t have time to redo my whole face). Will it not become gray and ashy, by itself or when used with other products?

Re: sunscreen, will the product dry white and masky, or willit go in and disappear? Will the product have a drying affect?

The Meh files includes more than the above product categories, though:

Shiseido Benefiance SPF 15 Day Moisturizer Cream. Smells really good, light cream, fairly good moisturizing staying power. Can not put it around my eyes without stinging and tearing. Makes it a fail for me-I use it on my decollete. Might as well use it for what it can provide, far far away from my eyes. The Benefiance Eye Cream is great tho-but no spf.

Fresh Creme Ancienne-wonderful story about monks who hand mix the product in a monastery.  Plus it’s an ancient recipe created in the time of Marcus Aurelius, thus “ancienne”.  Furthermore, it was discovered in the vaults of Louis Vuitton.  I got a nice sample from the Fresh store in San Francisco.  I used the entire sample in what I call harsh conditions.  Meaning I went out to dinner and my skin was going to need a good drink after a couple of glasses of wine. I put on a good amount before bed-my skin felt a bit tight in the morning. ( Rosa artica from Kiehls is still the best for me-going thru the big M it was the only product that helped, so why do I stray? That’s just my personality to venture forth!). Knowing that the after party test was pretty good, but not perfect, I used it for my flight home to Honolulu. It was pretty good, though I always keep a cream in my flight bag to dab on during the flight.

Fresh-New SPF 50 Sunscreen.  I also got a nice sample of this product which I used for the remainder of my stay in SF and then a bit at home. It is an almost ballet pink color-pink but a little bit of apricot.  It gives a teeny bit of color to the skin-and works perfectly well if you like to go without foundation.  The only thing I would really give this product a ding on is it is a little sticky, you need a whisper of translucent HD powder so your hair doesn’t stick on your face.

Sorry Fresh, one more entry–Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream.  Actually the jury is still out on this–not knowing the Fresh line really well, I had a hard time choosing an eye cream. I used the Black Tea Serum on my eyes, which worked pretty well on my vertical wrinkles.  The salesperson applied a bit around one eye in a circular motion-its claim to fame is 30 hours of moisturizing and depuffing of the circles. It does feel like it tightens, though I’m not so sure about the moisture for 30 hours.

Oh oops, one more Fresh–Black Tea Serum. I hesitated because of the $85 price tag, but I had been intrigued because the sample of the eye cream worked very well, but between the two, I decided to buy the serum to use on my face and eyes. I will probably give the eye cream another shot, because you can buy the Black Tea eye cream and it comes with a Soy Fresh cleanser(awesome!), and (I think) a Lotus Preserve mask.

Sunscreens to pass on-Mustela 50+ mineral sunscreen lotion. Goes on white and stays white. I used it to golf one day, and boy did I get a tan on my arms where I used it.

The Face Shop-Baby Mild Sun Lotion SPF 30. Uses the same Sunflower ingredients. Nothing great to say about this product.  It goes on white and fades a little, but meh.

I’m interested in trying Josie Maran’s new SPF-Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. I don’t know much about it yet, except it smells good. I know that most of the oil products have natural sunscreen via antioxidants vitamins C and E, but that’s not quite enough in my opinion if you live in a sunny clime like Hawaii. This product does have a bit of titanium oxide and zinc-but less so. Need a sample.

Cetaphil SPF 15 lotion.  This I use to smear on when I wake up-my house is full of windows, so from early in the morning, I have sunlight on my face. This product is ok, but it stings my eyes. I recently bought another bottle of Cerave’SPF15 for the morning duty. It does not sting my eyes and was suggested by a reader-it’s very awesome!

Clarins Body Tonic Oil. It smells very nice. I watched the videos on how to apply to help stimulate the lymph nodes to help get rid of water and toxins. My skin is very soft but I can’t see much in the way of change in my skin texture or firmness.  I use it with the Cellulite Body Lift, meh.

Burts Bees Moisturizing Body Lotion. Very moisturizing, but during the day gets sticky. It has no spf, but the humectants make it a bit much.  I would recommend to ladies who are having the big M and need extra care for dryness.

This is a bit long–:-}, but needed to catch up!




Wonderful (Robert) Williams-YSL Top Secret Natural Action Exfoliator

Hawaii has a lot of desirable retails stores that opened since I moved back here in 1986.

When I was a really single, very independent person-I traveled to San Francisco on a regular basis.  Just a couple of days-it was when air fare was pretty reasonable-roundtrip going for $240 or so, and hotel reasonably cheap at the Donatello for under $200 a night most times.

A lot of the rationale for that travel was the fact Hawaii did not have many stores-but like I said, now we have about everything so when I go back I spend my time in stores we don’t have (yet).

I was tooling around Westfield Center-I’m too lazy a shopper to do more than one branch of a shopping center at a time-and smartly so, Bloomingdales has their cosmetics and shoe department on the first accessible floor.

I was rounding the edges of the makeup section and I heard someone call out when I passed the YSL counter.

YSL is one of those brands that I typically don’t check out, because not even knowing the prices, I think they are out of my mental limit. The association with designer haute couture or something like that.


The first thing that struck me about Robert Williams of YSL, was how beautiful his skin is. He’s not a youngster, but his skin had a dewiness and a look of moisture without any obvious cosmetic help.

I absolutely hate going to counters where the salespeople can’t give real testimony to how well the products work, especially when it ain’t working for them. I went to Dior in Macys, and the woman told me how well the Dior Magic worked on her brown spots-but clearly, to me, it wasn’t working and she had a lot of foundation on. Not like a sheer foundation, and I know she’s supposed to be selling foundation, but…..

Seriously salespeople, just because I dress really casually, you should never ever treat a customer like you are better than they are and they can’t afford your products.

Take a note from the luxury car salespeople-the most hema jang dressed people are usually the ones that will buy with the least hassle.


Robert told me the secret to his skincare routine was exfoliation-he uses YSL Top Secret Natural Exfoliator.

He demonstrated the product on my hand-the gold flecked infused gel goes on a bit thick at first, but after gently swirling around, it liquefies.  Robert’s further instruction, which I know from my Korean friends, is to tap the product into the skin to help stimulate the skin.

The second step in his routine is Malin+Goetz 10% glycolic acid pads. This is actually a men’s skincare product, and knowing that men’s facial skin is a bit thicker, proceed with that in mind.

The 10% glycolic pads are used after the YSL to further exfoliate the skin on a deeper level. Over time glycolic acid will help lighten brown spots and encourage cell turnover which means-dewy skin and a skin surface that will accept skin care more readily, and color products will go on smoothly.

The pads are gently applied with a sort of tap and press instead of scrubbing the skin like those neutrogena pads from when you were a teenager with zits. I think the other brand was Clearasil?

I find that my skin is smoother after using the product.  I don’t always use the glycolic pads-but I apply my Retin A after the first step.

What’s more the prices of both products are reasonable too–the YSL is only $44, and the pads were $48 at Bloomingdales.

In comparison I had purchased some pads from Sephora-Dr Jart(?) and 10 pads were $20!

It’s like men’s clothes-they are often made better and less expensive. What’s up with that?

I think I’ve found my dream product for exfoliation in the YSL!




Yesterday Once More-I’m Getting

Seriously, the last 2 years have been pretty good. Been hanging out with the blue-eyed man, and he’s a good cook. And he likes to eat like a normal person, read-cereal for dinner is a rarity.

And a great glass of wine each evening during the at-home cocktail hour is de rigeur too!

What does that mean?

Errr-what is the result?

I tried on my black leather mini-skirt (ok I wear it with black tights and boots-so not so racy!) – and no way it was gonna zip closed!

Some things in your closet are not gonna lie!

That knit dress-well you can suck it in and wear control top pantyhose-but

something with no stretch, well

it aint’ going anywhere except the goodwill bag.


Now I know, I was feeling a bit chunky in the last so many months, when I quit Diet Pepsi, I lost weight for awhile, and bright idea I had, I started drinking Naked’s Blueberry juice.

Feeling oh so virtuous and healthy for once, I wearing my at home work uniform of Alpine shorts and gray t-shirt(s), did not notice that the lbs from the diet pepsi diet were coming back to visit!

Duh! The juice has boku calories! It’s been so long since I focused on calories and carbs and fats and stuff that I had to shake myself awake.

After being a bad-ass exerciser for many years since I quit smoking-7 days a weeks, 2-3 hours a day, no rest, well

I try to tell myself I was waiting until I got to the point which I call the 0-60.

60 meaning-going full-tilt and exercising like crazy, where doing anything more brings only small incremental results.

0 meaning-night after night of cheese and wine, doing my beloved ballet class-that has the happy (un?) result that ANY amount of effort will have a result.

I digress.

I am acutely aware of my body and gaining a few pounds just brings it in to sharp focus the toll the last 2 years have had.

When I first looked in the bf’s standing mirror-I thought, damn, I’m skinny. Now I angle the mirror this way and that to make me look skinny!

Adding injury to insult, when I read the yelp comments for Hclub, the obviously young set talk about the lack of eye candy, and the fact that everyone is over 50!

When I used to read in magazines about the fact that after a certain age, women lose their appeal and become invisible to men.

I have become invisible.

In some ways, that’s a relief.

I was always the shy person who didn’t want people to look at me, unless I was performing on stage, or at least on the stage of the exercise floor in a fury of high-kicking aerobics or kick box.

I was a bad-ass.

Now I’m a flab-ass.

Oh well. I’m a happy flab-ass.

At the end of the day, I am blessed to be extraordinarily healthy without a cloud in the sky.

While my peers are struck with health challenges that are pretty serious.

It makes me realize the amount of love and caring I have for my friends and family.

So I say a little prayer.

And jiggle on down the road.