Purple Haze-Kiehls Company Store

I really enjoy Kiehls’ products-Rosa Artica is my long time fave go-to moisturizer when skin is parched.  Bar-none it is the thickest face product I know.  Like whipped vaseline.

But in a good way.

Got the friends and family card in the mail and left it in my car so I’d remember to take advantage of the 20% off.

So, I thought the sale started Monday and already knew what I wanted when I walked in the store.  I overheard the purple haired salesperson say “see you tomorrow when the sale starts”.

Then I realized that the sale started on TUESDAY.

I rarely venture over the hill on Tuesdays since I live 12 miles away on the Windward side.

I know, “too far to go”.  At least for people who live in Hawaii.

I figured that Kiehls might be nice and give me the discount a day early if I asked nicely.

I’ve been going to Marsha Nadalin in Kahala for over 10 years and their sidewalk sales happen on Fridays, and my brow person only works on Thursdays. When I nicely ask, they nicely reciprocate and give me whatever discount a day early.

Not so with the purple haired one.

I rarely shop in the store since I can buy Kiehls from Nords, Blooms, NM and sephora.

All you can do is vote with your credit card since

good

help

is

hard

to find.

Nuff said. I don’t need to start a lecture on competition.

Note:  I started this a few months ago but never published. I went in the store the other day when I walked by and didn’t see the purple haired person. (I have nothing against hair dye).  

 

 

Creamiest of the creamy-By Terry Eye Shadow Stick

When I watch videos about using long-wear eye shadow sticks-youtubers drawing on big smudgy blobs of color to blend out to big smokey eyes, or drawn on to precise sharp wings…

I think, I can do that.

I don’t use a lot of quotation marks here.

As always, I answer the siren call of obsession with a product when I become convinced I NEED IT NOW!

Such is the case in my collection of Bobbi Brown eye shadow cream pots and sticks.

Ditto with my Laura Mercier eye shadow sticks.

Love them both on you tubers, but they feel like dragging a rubber eraser along my eyelid.

In the ripe age of approaching the next decade mark, I’m thinking a lot about the texture of products I put on my eyes.

I recently consulted with the Nords Fresh counter manager and he suggested it might be that my eye shadow was drying out my lids.

Hmmm.

I have quite a collection of powder eye shadow palettes.

It makes sense that if you put powder on to keep dry in the summer, than powder would dry out your skin on your eyelids. Duh.

He suggested one of my fave brands-Nars eye shadow stick in Goddess, a peachy, rose gold color which can be worn alone or as a primer.

I received it a few weeks later in the mail.

Excited to use it-I compared it to my Laura shadows. Somewhat softer, but still felt a little draggy.

My heart is always searching.

So I wandered into Saks and I’ve always loved the By Terry hand cream….

Wanting to buy and needing nothing….scary.

The salesgirl was actually from the La Mer counter but she spoke highly of By Terry products.

I took out the eye shadow stick and glided it on my hand and I couldn’t believe how creamy and soft it was….sigh. But, I just bought the Nars version and thought the color was really close.

Never mind.

Bought it anyway and came home and compared colors-not the same.

However, the By Terry shadow stick is waaaaaaay softer.

Kirsten’s glide rating of shadow sticks:

Bobbi Brown-like dragging a rubber eraser across your eyelids.

Laura Mercies-Like dragging a softer eraser, but somehow feels abrasive-like the glitter particles are scratching my eye.

Nars-Better slide, but I can’t help but wonder if the product was old and maybe dried out?

By Terry-soft like sliding whipped cream on your eyelid.

Price wise, the By Terry product is the most expensive, but it’s cheaper than plastic surgery.

The other lesson learned? Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much of sale another line might offer, the product will drive the purchase when the benefit outweighs price rationalization.

K

 

Siren Song aka I Need More Make up Like a Hole in My Head

My name is Kirsten.

I am a skincareandmakeupaholic.

Less than 2 months ago, a friend and I were getting caught up in the fervor of Black Friday, and pre Black Friday, and Purple Thursday, and Pink Saturday and Hangover Monday. My email promotion inbox was going crazy with special offers and super sales for more more more!

I was giddy!

Not only did I buy for myself, I bought for my clients and my friends, saying, with my eyes bulging out of my head like a crazy person, “I can save this for their birthday…..next year”.

LOL

And as Christmas grew closer, I said with steely resolve, “Stop the madness!”

And then yet, another unpassable deal came in my inbox.

I was among the group of shoppers who did not set foot in a mall, except to purchase two of the same shirt for someones on my list.

Even then, they both did not fit.

Anyway.

I am trying really hard to think of what the last deal was that I bought that I just couldn’t not have.  I think it must have been some sephora deal because I have 2 tubes of City Defense and 2 bottles of sunscreen and I am not a hoarder.

And what do I have to show for it?

Nothing that I can easily recall.

A pity story.

A sad story.

Perhaps a state of madness.

And yet, I found myself a week ago watching “reveals” on youtube for the Too Faced Cosmetics mystery bag and feeling non-buyers’ remorse for not jumping at it with my credit card memorized in my head, poised for the next deal.

I feel like I am in my withdrawal state.

Actually looking for something.

I’m even stocked up on hair care. I bought a round blow dry brush.

When I wander the store post holiday-I actually take a mental inventory of everything I have searching for something that I might need.

I read recently that Toys R Us had to temper their online sales promos with their in store promos. The year before, they had such monstrous online shopping that they had to take inventory from their brick stores.

Is this perhaps what happened to sephora? The first days after the holiday, my inbox was void of sephora deals.  Only in the last few days have they started up.

But then, brands like Kiehls and Fresh must have been holiday wanna bees cuz right up to and a little while after, they were still letting me know that there were products to be bought and samples to have.

Even gwpaddict.com wrote last week that there were lots of coupons but no big gwps yet.

Wanting for nothing and yet still searching.

That’s gotta be so wrong.

k

 

 

 

 

No Hope In Jar-Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream

I stalk a new product before I actually buy it.

I read about it.

I take a sample on my wrist at sephora and sometimes take a sample home.

The first time with the doctor, I was up to my eyeballs with moisturizer so I was just flirting with him. It was the Water Drop moisturizer that interested me. In fact, sephora has a try it set of a mini Water Drop, BB Cream and micellar water. 

But I decided to try the mainstay of his line-Ceramidin Cream. It comes in 3 formulas-lotion, cream and in suspended micro bubbles that burst on application.

I opted for the micro bubbles only to be disappointed. I read the box and it suggests applying the product after a prior layer of cream or serum.  

I can see that after serum makes sense, but after another moisturizer?

The micro bubbles do work fairly well when applied after a serum or over or under another moisturizer.

So back it went.

I admit I was thinking of buying the Tiger Cream because when swatched, it definitely is smoother than the cream. But I bought the cream anyway.  Even the Bobbi girl at Blooms said the Tiger side was smoother.

So

Although the cream is an improvement over the micro bubbles, when I wake up in the morning my skin feels dry and tight.

So

back to Sephora.

K

Open My Eyes-Sunscreen That Doesn’t Sting

I love Bloomingdales store in Ala Moana Shopping Center. It’s not crowded to the chagrin of their managers, but hey, I prefer not wrestling or queing just to buy something.

I’ve been on a sunscreen mission for the last few months because my beloved Clarin’s UV Plus SPF 40 has started stinging my eyelids.

Yes, I know, we are supposed to purchase a separate sunscreen for eyelids, neck and lips because the skin is different than that of your face and body.

Whatever.

I think a sunscreen should be gentle enough to put on everywhere and be done with it. It’s bad enough that there’s a toner, a serum, a moisturizer, an eye cream and a sunscreen to go over it all before you start with a facial primer and eye shadow primer. Then on to the make up.

Seriously, I’m busy enough with that stuff let alone slicing and dicing it up into one more product!

Anyway.

I tried a couple of Clinique products-and now that I am googling to figure out the name of the products, I see a new Clinique SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen ($26) on the company online store. Will have to check it out next.

Clinique’s Super City Block Broad Spectrum SPF 40 has a slight tint to it.  I tried this product years ago when the formula was white and my theory is they added tint to disguise the white cast it would leave on your face. Think zinc, but not as bad. I was telling my fellow make up maven friend that I had nothing on, and she countered with, while she rubbed some on her hand saying-oh wow, look my hand looks amazing! Meaning, from her point of view, this product provides all kinds of coverage.]

No matter, I also tried Coola’s Organic Cucumber Matte Finish Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 and the same in unscented matte tint. Bllomingdale’s spa area only offers a few variations, and when I checked it out online-the full line is pretty extensive in scent, SPF, moisturizers, primers and BB creams.

I could not figure out from reading the package, how Coola’s product protects-but from what I gathered it was from a combination of rosehip vitamin C and anti oxidant oils.

?

Bloomies also has a small section that has Korean skincare and make up brands: Sulwahsoo, Iope and Laniege. I’ve had samples from the other 2 brands, but Iope was the only one that had an interesting sunscreen. (Sulwahsoo products smell like ginseng and Laniege only had a stick sunscreen).

Interestingly enough, at first glance, Iope does not appear to have a company store online when I typed in Iope sunscreen-from my point of view the most logical google search keyword string.

If you type in Iope skincare -the company store comes up, though it’s in Korean. If you try to translate, the categories and product names translate, but there is no text.

It’s a little discombobulating to not have the info.

However, UV Shield Sun Protector, SPF 50+ is lightweight, doesn’t sting my eyes, does not leave a white residue and is not sticky or plastic feeling.

I guess I just have to depend on the product knowledge of the salesperson-but I like it anyway.

k

 

 

 

Light in a Palette-Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

I’ve stayed away from using powder formulas on my face for years, but now that my face is settling in and not needing as much moisture, I’m taking a second look at powder.

I never really checked out Hourglass in Sephora or department stores. But at Nords, a make up artist that used to be with Laura is now repping Hourglass. I’ve always liked her because she demonstrates the product but does not over push me into buying something that doesn’t work. Just the right touch as a salesperson.

Hourglass has a trio of their Ambient Lighting powders in a palette for sale in department stores and at Sephora. When I checked it out online at their company website, I found that you can mix and match and make your own palette for $8 more. images.jpg

That’s pretty cool. Because the powders are made to reproduce different lighting situations.

For example, if you’d like to go around like you’re candlelit, you can choose the shade, “Dim light”.

If you’re sitting in the office under fluorescents there’s a shade for that, as well as highlighting shades too.

DIFFUSED LIGHT: A soft, warm, pale yellow powder that conceals redness and gives skin clarity—like a soft ray of morning light.
• DIM LIGHT: A neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones.
• ETHEREAL LIGHT: An opalescent sheer, cool white powder that mimics a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight.
• LUMINOUS LIGHT: A champagne pearl powder that creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night.
• MOOD LIGHT: A soft, sheer lavender pink powder that mimics the softest, most forgiving light and brightens the complexion.
• RADIANT LIGHT: A sun-kissed golden beige that enhances overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth, and also extends a summer glow.

The come on is that these powders correct so you can put your best face forward with a flick of your fluffy brush.

And the best thing is, they work! After I apply sunscreen and maybe a pea size tinted moisturize for light coverage, I brush the powder(s) on and I immediately like the affect.

A high recommend, and with the mix and match palette found online even better.

k

Battle of the Titans-Honolulu, Hawaii Make Up Landscape

Or at least the make up counters.

In the last 6 months, Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, Hawaii’s version of America’s Greatest Mall, has opened two major contenders in the battle for the beauty budget dollar.

Prior to the holidays, Bloomingdales opened in all of its splendor. I never went into post holiday, cuz, I really don’t like crowds.

Post holiday, Nords opened in the same wing of the mall.

Kiehls is slated to open soon-a company store stand alone near L’Occitane.

I’ve always been pretty lazy about traversing the entire mall-and now everything I want is located on one side.

Like a sailboat with the heavy contenders sitting on the same side, beauty mavens, the elite is all on the west side of the mall.

Nords opened in a brand new, much larger space–the beauty department is almost designed like Sephora with rows of cosmetic lines in separate corridors.  Nords also has the deluxe samples for sale-in center stations.

One thing I like is their “try it” stations-hey, on Friday night I don’t remember the name exactly, but brands have the GWP or other products set out in the center stations for people to try and play with. I like that.

It’s a wunderland.

Nords also boasts the first Charlotte Tilbury counter-known for the makeup artist turned entrepreneur-her eye shadow palettes are gorgeous-soft and silky powders. The make up artists are pretty knowledgeable and wear the make up product well-

I think it’s owned by Goop(sunscreen) but there is a running water wash basin-which I greatly appreciate so I can wash my hands of the products instead of just using alcohol or Purell.

Bloomingdales is pretty awesome and I love the calm atmosphere-read-less busy. I appreciate this fact, tho of course it is very hard for salespeople. The store itself is wonderful, a high shine new cousin to SFO’s store. The marketing people need to get busy cuz, as gorgeous as the store is, there is a perception issue.

Nords and Bloomingdales are pretty much parallel in pricing and offerings-but somehow people think B is much pricier.

Nay, B is the same as Nords-B just offers trendier labels in clothing. But cosmetics-the prices are the same.

Take a walk to the west-side-it’s really worth it.

And if you happen to live in K-town meaning Kahala or vicinity, check out Anela, who is heading up Macy’s Kahala’s new cosmetic headquarters with Urban Decay, Smashbox, Anastasia, Philosophy and more, products to offer. Anela is a make up artist who I met at BOSS Beauty Supply, the headquarters for beautiful hair. She’s very chill and very knowledgable-give her a visit.

K

What’s Up With That?Sephora Pricing Same Product, Same Size at a Premium

I pride myself on shopping around for the best deal-when all things are the same, same product, same size-I still look for the extra whatever to sweeten the deal.

The other day, I shopped online while my friend was driving and talking on speaker phone as we researched the best deal for a certain eye cream and moisturizer which was on her shopping list for the day.

After a few clicks, I helped her figure out how she could get the cream(s) she wanted, get the brand GWP, and the store GWP!

So this morning, the siren call of a Bobbi Brown GWP came in via Sephora’s daily sell email. I click on it-it looks good, so I check for the Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone eye cream I like.

At Sephora a .5oz jar is $62.

At Macy’s a .5oz jar is $58.

WHAT?

I have become increasingly suspicious of Sephora’s practices.

I get that the 100 point aka $100 threshold for the VIB deluxe samples really cost me $100.

And that they now sell the same deluxe samples that the brands giveaway in GWPs in the stores and online.

But to add injury to insult by pricing at a premium?

I don’t think so.

K

 

Late to the Party, Better Than Never – Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

I am in marketing and advertising so when I see the same products touted in magazines and media again and again,  I am suspicious of the relationship and wonder if the products really work or are the reviews based on a great lunch and woo woo?

Anyway.

I’ve tried some products and have ended up throwing the product(s) away and others like Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair I am happy to report, actually work.

One bottle later, I have noticed that my pet-peeve area around my eyes and eyelids have definitely improved with regular nightly use of the night version of the product.

Prior to use, my “bunny” wrinkles on the inner corner of my eyes and eyelid corners, and the crepiness of my eyelid skin was REALLY starting to bug me.

I used my Nu Face electro shocker stimulator, but like all devices, rarely get used, but I did feel that I got a jump start on the problem when I did use the device.

But, the Neutrogena product is easy and easy to put into my routine. Instead of applying a gel and then manipulating the device for 10 minutes or so, I just spread the product on after cleansing my face, and DONE!

If it ain’t easy, it ain’t gonna happen!

But happen it did and does-this product is a huge thumbs up and I am ready to buy another.

To note, I chose the night version of the product because I figure the SPF version and the additional chemicals would probably interfere with the base product chemicals. I also did not have any skin irritation whatsoever as I did when I used the real deal Retin A.

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.