I Had A Good Title Yesterday-Japanese Hair Salon

I was wandering around the Ilikai Hotel last week and saw a Grand Opening sign for a new hair salon. The salon, like the rest of the vendor spaces had glass walls so I could see that the staff were definitely from Japan also known as JN’s for Japanese nationals.

I went in anyway because I was curious to know if they could buy advertising from my other job at KIKU tv, or  I could try them out as stylists.

The staff were extraordinarily friendly, and in the very Japanese way, very gracious and welcoming. I took to one nice looking young man stylist and walked out without making an appointment but with their brochure.

The rates are very reasonable especially when I compare them to what I have been paying for $100 for retouch to color grey.

I must be tired because I have been feeling pretty put out about the entire experience of paying $120 for a retouch where only the assistant touched my head for 90% of the time I was at the salon.

Seriously.

Ok I feel the snark coming on.

It just riles me up to pay that much of my hard earned cash to not have the stylist do my hair, walk out with a black band of color on my forehead, drops of color on my face, plastered bangs sprayed into place and a burn mark from a too hot blowdryer.

I am one of those easy going customers when I am at the mercy of the hairstylist, but once I have to start scrubbing the black dye off, my patience wears as well.

Anyway.

Everything about my experience made me feel very happy about my choice.

My hair was dry as toast (after nurturing it for years with organic high grade hair products and non amonia color) after the  assistant from the other salon spaced out and left the color on  for 1.5 hours!

So, I opted in for the moisture treatment, haircut, retouch roots and got a complimentary ozone treatment for half the price of the last salon without any treatments. So half the price and twice the treatment.

The stylist was upfront with what they were going to charge me–something that seems to never happen. My experience with so many stylists is they add on and add on and never say how much more something is going to be until they present you with a $200+ bill! Or, they raise rates and never say anything!

They started with a shampoo and moisture treatment which had a warm steam directed at my head while I sipped herbal tea.

Then after the moisture was rinsed out, the stylist applied an ozone treatment-which felt reminiscent of a bubble rinse from Ryan Jacoby.

Off to the chair, and the stylist put on little shower caps to cover my ears. He also applied a thin type of tape around my forehead-none of that disgusting vaseline goo.

Then he applied the color very thouroughly. Yes he used a paintbrush, but he went through and did one coat, then using the comb side, went through the entire head again until he was satisfied.

Rinsing the color out was followed by the stylist blow drying my hair by hand and with a brush.

Then a precision cut style I had never seen before–I got long layers and some bangs.  (I really look like my avatar).

Man-I think it was way back in the 60s when that much graciousness was part of the trip to the hair salon! Complete with Japanese style “doomo arigator gozaimashita, please come again!”

My last snark-why are stylists so possesive about their clients and treat them like sh$t? If they gave a hoot about clients then they’d treat clients alot better, not be so sloppy, and be upfront about costs for services.

What’s up with that bad behavior?

It’s alot easier to keep a client than to try to get new ones-

k

Heading Down the Yellow Brick Road-Battle of the GWPS

Seriously, my eyes and fingers always answer the siren call of the GWP.  My favorite go to blog is GWP Addict-a daily update of all things GWP, written by Lisa of Arizona.

Over the years I have found some tried and true products that I like so much that I will always buy them for my basics and it takes a lot to turn my head to pull me away from my beloveds-Clarins’ SPF sunscreen, Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Moisturizer and Kitoko and Neuma hair products.

So, when I see it’s time to stock up on my basics, I go to gwpaddict.wordpress.com to see if there are gwp offers for whatever I have in mind.

I recently started using Estee Lauder’s Advanced Time Zone Age Reverse eye cream (which I haven’t written about yet!), which has the consistency similar to rosa artica moisturizer-a heavy (shortening like-yes like the baking stuff) cream that I rub a very small 1/2 pea sized or less amount on my finger tips and apply in the inner corners of my eyes.  It retails for $58 a jar.

I know that Macy’s is supposed to have an Estee Lauder event soon, early in September, so I’ve been waiting around-but I thought I’d check Lisa’s blog for any specials. So lo and behold Macy’s is having a Tuesday Flash Sale!* As you guys know, beauty products rarely go on “sale” unless they are about to expire or be discontinued so I snapped up the eye cream and a Laura Mercier Bronzer that someone put on me at NMs but I didn’t feel like buying at the time. The Estee product had a mini-gwp of advanced time zone eye serum(meh) and mascara(rarely buy mascara because companies always give samples. yay!).

So was feeling pretty happy about that.

However this morning, Sephora sent their daily blah blah of whatever is new, and I, heeding the call, open it and check out the new beauty lines, and failing to be sold, go to the Fresh products page, which eventually leads me off sephora.com to gwp addict in search of whatever.

I had seen the Nords $125 gwp gift bag with a bunch of samples, but I did not know there is also a gift bag for a $50 threshold. When you compare the two, I’d rather pay the $50, cuz from my point of view the $50 had better samples and less perfume which I don’t wear.

$50

06-29-15-p04-cid0628156443-7-adam-38ab9e85-1d00-4cde-8a97-a4c20110e43d-fil-file $125

august-gwp_promo

I already knew I needed to restock my Clarins’ sunscreen-I had tried the Murad Invisible Blur which is great, but no great gwp so I bought the Clarins,plus Nords is offering a two-fer sale of $62, a savings of $22. But as I am checking out, I think to look at the Estee offer.

A much much better gwp than Macy’s for a $45 gwp threshold, plus spend $5 bucks more and you get the $50 gwp bag!

I know so what, but I work from home so little things are exciting.

The clincher for me is that Nords ALWAYS has free shipping to Hawaii which is a huge perk. It’s pretty much why I do not shop the Fresh or Clarins’ company online stores because shipping is outrageous to Hawaii. I mean it’s like they are sending the products to Russia.  (I recently got ballet slippers from Grishko Russia, and unbelievably, shipping was free!).

Anyway.

It pays to be a shopper, and a free shipper.

k

*These offers will expire and may not be available when you read this post.

Melt Me-Boots No 7-Melting Gel Cleanser V Fresh Soy Cleanser

I paid my taxes so I’m feeling a feeling of a period of austerity is appropriate.

But seriously, I’ve always felt that Fresh’ Soy Cleanser, a fragrance-free, gel to liquid cleanser was a fantastic product, but too expensive at $38 for 5.1 oz.

I usually get the Fresh product in a sample, or if I really feel I want it badly enough, I buy the deluxe “sample” at Sephora-1.7 oz. for $15.

So  you get that I really like the product – or at least the formula.

I waited until the excitement died down over the new Kailua Target that opened last week just prior to spring break. Was wondering if it offered anything different from the Salt Lake branch so, because I had a free afternoon-cruised on over.

The Target is identical to the older one, it’s a clean and pleasant place to shop.  The Bloomingdales of the box retailers.

So, nothing new.

But because it was new, the cosmetic shelves were stocked a little better. Once or twice I have been in the store and the Boots No 7 product specialist was around. Not today, but it didn’t matter.

I’m at the point where I actually have to think pretty hard to figure out if I really NEED to buy anything related to skincare and make up.

Sad I know.

But I haven’t been head over heels in love with the foaming version of Cerave’ cleanser, it works but not so happy with the experience, so…

As usual, I strayed.

The Boots No 7 Melting Gel Cleanser on the anti-aging/mature/dry skin shelf fit the bill–about $8 bucks for a 5 oz or so size.  It’s sealed so I could not smell the product, which if it’s stinky is grounds for putting it back on the shelf.

Anyway.

I get it home, and use it in the shower where I wash off my make up.

I require that cleanser be a one-step process. Take off the mascara, clean off whatever make up I have on, DONE!

And, the Boots No 7 product does the job just as well.

Although it does have fragrance, it is not strong. Though for sensitive skin types, it might irritate.

So, am I in love so much I won’t stray?

I dunno.

k

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.

Hello!

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.

Thanks!

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?

k

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.

Anyway.

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?

k

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.

Anyway.

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!

k

Third World or Fourth? Beauty Products From Places Beyond

If it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck – is it a duck?

Question I ponder when I get samples from Ipsy that are labeled PRC, Made in China or anywhere that far east.

Save Japan and Korea-when it comes to beauty products, I wonder what is in that?

Some of us have seen those news reports about bootlegged beauty products- you know in the makeup supply stores you find a MAC cosmetic for cheapo. Maybe you rationalize that the product is last season or a little past the expiration date, but if the news is accurate, the products may be made in less than sanitary conditions in China, and the products may be more than just dirty-they may contain dangerous components like LEAD.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/04/is-that-brand-name-makeup-you-bought-online-a-knockoff/

I wrote IPSY after getting nearly an entire sample bag with products from China. They must have listened because the next month they sent only one product from the PRC.

What? In some world, PRC is not the People’s Republic of China?

Duh.

k

Those Little Samples Are For Sale-Sephora

Have you noticed lately that Sephora is selling the same deluxe samples that used to come with gwps?

I get that everybody needs to make dinero-but part of the fun was to get samples!

I’m not really into getting a sample of product that has had a bunch of germy fingers dipped in because some people don’t obey cosmetic etiquette. You know what I mean.

Those people who dip their fingers into jars, across eye shadow and actually apply lip color from the tube!

Seriously could anything be more gross?

They’ve done studies on how many of the super ick germs find their way into make up displays.

You know I used to be a ready participant in getting a free makeover at the counter-but the more germaphobic I get the less interested I am. I might put on a color on my wrist and wipe off with alcohol at the most nowadays.

Anyway.

Sephora used to go pretty good samples for VIB ladies and they were usable. But don’tcha hate the samples that are just a whisper of product? Like Skinceuticals Eye SPF. I know eye product is applied the size of a pea, but when I get a sample like that, I have to really be jonsing to try it to use the manini sample.

I’ve been buying product from Neostrata and Lovelyskin.com the last few times for skincare. I think Neostrata is really generous with the size and the amount of the samples, but so far nothing to write home about. Lovelyskiin sent me the Skinceuticals sample which is not their fault, but they don’t really have great samples to select from at checkout.

Lovelyskin.com does have a cool comparison table that you can see how different products stand against each other. I used it to choose an eye product last month.

So Sephora take a note-I’m giving you the bulk of my beauty dollars in the quest for the 500 point perks (really I paid $500 for those mini’s of Laura Mercier)?, so how’s about show your customers some love with better samples?

K

 

Splat! Shiseido Spf 30 Package Fail

There are some things the bf is particular about like not having any funky things in the sink or having every last drop of water wiped up around the kitchen, and then there is the mirror…

Technically it is my area so I rule. And what I say goes. Meaning I over ride what he wants.

Much like the tv remote which we have dubbed the “sceptre”.

When in the living room it is his sceptre.

In the bedroom it is my sceptre and we watch what I want.

One of those over rides is my make up vanity.

In the beginning of time-I told him I didn’t like the housekeeper to mess w my area.

I won’t say exactly why-but I just don’t like exposing my personal stuff to outsiders.

Kind of like not wearing bowling alley shoes.

Anyway. I know gross.

So I inherited my suggested replacement sunscreen for the reformulated Clinique super defense that he bought and did not like. Clinique changed their formula and reduced the Spf to 20 from 25. No big deal but they also do not offer it in a normal to dry formula anymore either.

The shiseido product is a light liquid but it is a little heavier than the clarins spf 40 I use which has a screw cap. The shieseido packaging snaps shut, which you would think would be pretty secure so the product wouldn’t seep out.

But that’s not how it works.

When you dispense the product, a well around the cap retains some of the fluid.

So when I snap the cap shut the product splatters all over the mirror.

At first I did not realize where the spots came from-but when I was cleaning up I noticed that the shiseido bottle had product running down the sides.

Now even when I consciously try to not splat,the faulty packaging makes me splat even when I am trying very hard not to.

He doesn’t say anything tho.

So all is right in the world.

And I still have my sceptre.

K

Ps
I could get into a rant about faulty packaging but Trish McEvoy kind of owns that territory.

Clue?

I get that good help is hard to find.
I was at macys ala moana today and checked out the clarins counter and their new product “restorative ” something.

It boggles my mind when salespeople are hired and not educated about the product.

The product had SPF 20 in the day moisturizer. I asked the sslesperson was it the same sunscreen product that was in the SPF 40 sunscreen ? The SPF 40 product I can put on my eyelids without irritation.

So it turned out that she didn’t understand the question and did not know much about the product.

Later going to the Chanel counter I ran into the same lack of product knowledge and sales skills.

It’s just frustrating.

I really get it that retailers need help and people need jobs. But can we we not put square pegs in round holes?

It’s not rocket science.

It’s make up.
K