Penalized in Paradise-UPS-Clarins and Fresh

First of all, let me say that I love Clarins’ and Fresh products – most of them at least.

However, the treatment of Hawaii as a nation unto itself, is simply outrageous.

Both companies, including one or two others I have purchased items from, use UPS.

When I see free shipping offers from either company, in my dreams, I imagine that they have finally twisted the arm(s) of their UPS account executive and have succeeded where other companies have been successful.

I sent the same email to Clarins and Fresh this morning.


There are two points to make about UPS-

The negotiated rate charged to ship to Hawaii is outrageous and unreasonable – other companies are able to negotiate palatable rates – but $20, that’s too much.

UPS’ service to Hawaii customers is atrocious. Hawaii Yelp complaints about UPS are in the minus stars category.  My own UPS experience includes the driver blocking my car in my driveway, forcing me to stop and sign for a package by shoving the signing thing in my face.

The other UPS bad experience is the driver will leave packages with neighbors, who in turn leave the packages outside, because they are not aware of the contents.

It would be great if you would expeditiously review your relationship with your shipping choice.


Just to let you know, my relationships with my neighbors are fine, but one is a little “different” and that’s who UPS leaves the packages with to be left outside.

In any case, I got a call from Fresh about 10 minutes after I sent off the above email.

Seriously, the conversation only supported my observation that Hawaii customers are being treated as insignificant. “Corporate”, “We are a large company” etc. etc etc.

Et cetera

Et cetera

Et cetera

I got a generic customer service em from Clarins this am. Don’t expect any response.

I don’t know if they feel that “we are having a meeting about it” is salvo for the slight.

Maybe I’m just feeling a little salty this morning from the impending vog-but seriously, why?



Down to the Last Nub-Laura Mercier Brow Pencil v Clinique Super Fine Liner

You know something is seriously good when you use it down to the last itty bitty bit.

Much like scraping the bottom of a good bowl of chocolate pudding-it’s so good.

My brows and I had a rocky relationship for years before I met brow artist Stacie at Marsha Nadalin. Pre-Stacie, my brows were hideously lop-sided with one arch much much higher than the other.


I didn’t really think about brow make up either. I’m pretty sure I never thought about my brows until Jamie formerly of Bobbie Brown counter in NM, showed me how to use Mahogany eye shadow for my brows.

In any case, I graduated to Laura Mercier’s Brow Powder which comes in a duo pallette of a lighter and darker shade.  For me it’s pretty easy, because I don’t like to spend a lot of time on brows-just dab my brush into each color and slap it on!

Searching for the easiest, I also bought LM’s eye brow pencil in Blonde – which is an ashy brown color, because you know, blondes don’t go around with blonde eye brows unless they wear no make up. Neither do brunettes wear just brown color.

There’s nothing particularly special about the pencil itself, but when you compare it to others-the color and smoothness win out above others.

If people looked at their eyebrows in the sun, then a good number of them would realize that the Maybelliene  (sp) generic brown is actually a red-brown and looks odd in the sunlight. Or, people opt for black which is just too black.

We are having a brow moment in probably one of the last frontiers that cosmetic companies have to exploit in the search for perfection. L’Oreal has a number of products from pencil to products that make your hairs look bushier and echo Brooke Shields sun visor brows.

I like a fine arch-but not too thin.

I was with my Mom-shopping at the Clinique counter, and knowing that I had about 2 inches left of my LM, thought I’d try the Superfinerliner brow color from them.

I didn’t use it right away-but when I did, I thought the color is fine but there is one product defect that makes it impossible.

Much like a No 1 soft-lead pencil that I love to use, the thin thin thinniness of the products breaks under the solid grip of pressure that I use.

Really it’s not that bad, and of course I am exaggerating, but I get out a few strokes and it breaks.

There are a number of these 1/8 nibs of brow color here and there in my make up kit, on my vanity on the bathroom floor-(horrors) – the product is just too brittle.

So, I am back to the nub.

Actually I just bought a new LM brow pencil that comes with a spoolie brush on the end which is more than I need as well.

Maybe I can use it to rake through my eyelashes?


Battle of the Tinted Moisturizers-Bare Minerals v Laura Mercier

I’ve used Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer for a couple of years because some days I just don’t want the coverage of foundation, but I want a little something.

Of late, I’ve been pretty happy with my complexion, so I’ve forgone wearing tinted moisturizer or foundation.

Maybe I’m just getting even lazier?

Nah-I just think as you age, looking flawless doesn’t quite look right on a daily basis-good for special occasions tho.

Flawless foundation coverage is like wearing a push up bra that leaves your boobs 2 inches under your chin.  It just looks odd when you’re 50+, and your boobs look 18+.  Much like the women who have fakies and are 60+ and their chest is rock hard and up by their ears.


I was intrigued when I saw the Bare Minerals TInted Moisturizer in a mag, because the ad copy emphasized that the product was formulated to retain moisture-whereas other tinted moisturizers -the pigment actually dries the skin.

I never thought Laura’s or any other product, Bobbi Brown, Shiseido, (too many to mention), did a great job of moisturizing my m-skin.

I went to Nord’s expressly to visit the BM counter (ha ha I bet they didn’t think of that when they named the product), but BM had left the building. So I went 200 yards away to the BM store.

Unfortunately, the 3 ladies at BM were fairly disinterested in helping customers.  There were no other customers in the store-roughly around 1pm on a weekday.  The person who did wait on me, greeted me at first, then wandered off.

In any case, she eventually helped me with a shade and applied it over thier silicon primer with their special kabuki/stipling brush. I explained to her that the powder formual turned gray on me, plus my skin was too dry anyway.

She acted surprised when I said I would buy it-I don’t get it-are there really that many looky-loos? I usually will sample the product, but at $29 bucks a tube, it sounded reasonable.

The real test for me is using it over my regular regimen and seeing if it: 1) worked with my sunscreen and did not pill, and 2) didn’t turn ashy gray during the day and 3) kept me hydrated.

BM’s tinted moisturizer works well with sunscreens formulated to work with makeup like Clarin’s SPF and Estee Lauder’s Day Wear, but terrible over creamier formulations like Mychelle Coconut Cream SPF or Avene’s slighted tinted sunscreen.

As for color-it stayed true and a couple of people remarked my skin looked amazing.  

I think it keeps me as hydrated a little better-but I wouldn’t say it’s exceptionally better.

Still at $29 a tube v Laura’s $42 a tube-it’s not a hard decision. Plus the BM product is actually more buildable and starts with more coverage than Laura. 

I love Laura’s Radiance primer, but I think it’s adios for her tinted moisturizer!