#jonesroadbeauty a Phoenix or a Dodo?

Been slacking off on writing about the stuff I try and leaving it up to the video creators on YouTube and TIkTok.

Sooo many comments about the amount of old people using TIkTok.

As a marketing person, I figure it’s TikTok’s way of being inclusive, aka we are showing you other old people to encourage you to engage.

When I’m on the app I see mostly people 50+, 50+ old guys saying this is my age, this where I live…..or 50+ women telling me about the menopause. I’m guessing young people are still on the app, I just haven’t liked the right, or followed the right creators to lead me to that statistical gold mine of data.

Then the ads.

The ads I see tend to be universal products. Even though the talent or influencer market-picked type is young, anyone can use the product like mascara or FAB face and body cream.

I must have watched the women who is 50+ with nice skin aka nice lighting that talks about product and make up tips too many times, because #jonesroadbeauty appeared in my newsfeed.

I watch a selection of people on YouTube, so I had not heard about @bobbibrowncosmetics phoenix product line, jones road.

The tiktoks (and YouTube videos) are pretty lame and lack the money invested in production as Bobbi’s slick vids for her namesake line. There is a way to keep production costs down, look great and sell product, but unless you are a diehard fan, you might pass out trying out the line if you never heard of the brand if you based it on her tiktoks.

I was a diehard Bobbi Brown cosmetics fan. In fact, hers was the first make up book I ever bought, and I was considered one of my salesperson’s best customers at NM. The Bobbi counter move from the right hand side, albeit a front front door position to the featured position in front of the ladies who lunch escalator where everyone lunching could see everyone buying make up from high up among the butterflies.

I digress.

When I saw the video, I excitedly looked for more videos-unfortunately they were pretty lackluster so I went to YouTube and the jonesroadbeauty website. Very few YouTube video reviews, and comments were pretty lukewarm. It’s surprising because the product line is nearly identical to Bobbi Brown cosmetics–the colors are the same, the textures are similar and Bobbi looks great (must be her skincare).

I’ve been searching for the perfect gray beige brown eyeshadow for a year and #natashadenona mini gray pallet and assorted others did not fit the bill.

But jones road’s selection does—the starter pack includes the miracle balm, blush, eye shadow, lip gloss and eye pencil. Plus I purchased one more eye shadow in a lighter variation of gray beige. (I checked today and this particular kit is not on their website).

The eye shadow is perfection. Soft texture and stay all day color. I applied it with and without a primer (more on Trish McEvoy’s eye brightener from Nords).

The eye liner is hard and stiff-but it makes drawing a line easy after using very soft pencils that don’t tug. Net neutral on that-not a break out color so I wouldn’t buy it as a stand alone.

The lip gloss is nothing to write home about. Could be anyone’s product.

The blush pigment is pretty good–the pale pink lookalike delivers a soft pop of color–I guess if you wanted to do Bobbi’s signature look, I would start with a light layer then dot a second layer on the cheek apple.

And then the miracle balm.

It’s a giant amount of product that you dab on like highlighter (mostly) though it is a multi-use product. When I saw the size, I’m like, why is there so much product? Can you rub it on like a body balm moisturizer?

I was excited to try it out and dabbed a little on my cheek. Almost immediately I noticed the not citrusy tart smell, but SOUR smell. Underneath I could smell a minty base–much like Bobbi’s extra product line.

It’s my karen-like issue that I won’t take the time to return products to one of 4 inconvenient UPS locations on Oahu, or buy an envelope to return rejects so I wrote jones road in hopes they would send fresh product.

The response was “it’s you, not us”, and that I can’t tell when product is spoiled v rancid.

I’d buy more eye shadow, but moist products like the balm, concealer etc that’s probably been sitting in their warehouse since Sep 2020 launch, is a so long jones road.

Little Joys-aka Items You Buy To Make the GWP Threshold

Or when you live in Hawaii, the extra item(s) that you buy when you need to buy something more to make the free shipping threshold.

Sometimes I’ll go ahead and buy more than one of the same product at the same time, but it’s a rarity when I like something that much, or plan to give it to a friend because I highly endorse the product.

It’s like when I’m in Nords and I see the Clinique rep and she points out the Early Access giant Dramatically Different Cream that comes with another regular sized cream of the same.

_12550393It’s a siren call.

I have to stand there and take a mental inventory of my beauty supply products cabinet(s). Yes, I said cabinet(s)-which actually is three shelves in the medicine cabinet, the top portion of the vanity, one full drawer of the vanity, underneath bf’s vanity (but only a small area for larger items like shampoo and travel stuff) and finally the catch all closet in the hallway for stuff like body wash.

As it turns out, after that mental gyration, I don’t need another of the same cream – though I really do like the cream version of Dramatically Different.  I use the lotion formula samples all the time, and use the cream version over my serum and under my sunscreen. I just use a small 2-pea sized dab smoothed between two fingers and pressed on-the moisture lasts the entire day.

So, anyway.

One of the products that I bought to make the threshold is Benefits’ Dandelion box o powder blush travel sized mini for $15 bucks.

When I received it-I took one look and thought-hmm rip off, hardly any product and doesn’t look saturated.  I watched a net video of how to use the product and promptly didn’t try it for a couple of weeks.

Time makes for a desirous heart.

On a day I was planning to stay home and work, I still put some sort of a “face” on, so I took out the Benefit product. The little flat sweeping brush that comes with is rough and cheapy but it fits in the box and does a good job of getting the product on. Smooth it out with a real brush tho so you don’t look like you have two pink racing stripes on. search

I like to use the product on the very tops of my cheek ‘bones”. The light peachy pink with no shimmer gives me a little boost of color that I like and when blended out a bit looks a little fake healthy-but better than without.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the retailer always wins with the threshold game.

k

PS

I hate Clinique’s pricing structure–their PepStart Eye is $26.50 and their GWP threshold is $27, so unless you want yet another sharpener…..

 

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

Charlotte’s Web-Charlotte Tilbury Comes to Honolulu

I’ve been intrigued by the Charlotte Tilbury brand having read about the products in mags and getting an occasional sample from mainland beauty buy bags.

Sidebar-when a salesperson treats giving you a sample like the sample is very special and limited like Revive, it feels more special. And maybe just maybe I’ll actually do the little pin prick thing in the corner and use it a drop at a time.

Hah. Who am I kidding?

Generally speaking I use the most of the packet on the first try, I figure I’ll give it a good try the first round.  If it doesn’t pass muster I put it on my feet.

Anyway.

Nords opened with much fanfare near Bloomies. The make up area is more like Sephora with alleyways by product lines and a strip of stations in the center with weekly make up artist picks. Overall it’s pretty cool.

Walking around the first day, I spied the Charlotte Tilbury counter-I was immediately drawn to the palettes since I just dumped 3-4 shadow palettes I was bored with or I decided were too old (6 months) to use anymore without risking infection.

Er-or that’s just an excuse. I know people keep powder shadow for years.

Makeup artists trying color product on the backs of their hands is a pretty useless exercise. Unless the person is your sib with the same coloring-what’s the point?

Texture is kind of hard to convey as well. But I told the artist my pet peeve is powders with a lot of fall out.

I’m in the habit of doing my face before eyes, so going back for a do over to take off stray powder is not going to happen.  If it’s a big make up day, I put my eyes on first then foundation.

Otherwise, I don’t have the time.

The Luxury Palette, Sophisticate is pretty neutral and not much different than what Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier offer.  The colors; prime, enhance, smoke and pop are numbered-which for me, is the way I would put them on; base, eye socket, corner and I haven’t figured out what do with pop since it’s a brown with not a lot of personality. It will probably just be one of those leftover colors.

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I’m the kind of shopper that does not buy on impluse. Rather I like to think about it and really I don’t read reviews very often.  I went back a few weeks later after yearning for the palette overcame me and ended up buying a lipstick, gloss and a eye shadow pencil on presale thinking or was impressed upon that the beauty event was going to be something special with a crappy bag filled with deluxe samples.

Instead, I was very disappointed in Nords. I am disappointed with Nords beauty bags. Unless you buy online, the Hawaii store only gives you a crappy make up bag. I guess I look disappointed because the salespeople usually throw in a couple of samples but it’s pretty pathetic.

Anyway.

Post facto I checked out the reviews on her products–I have to agree that the eye shadow stick is pretty meh.  I’ve used it as accent which is ok, but as a primer base it slides off my lids making all of the shadow fade prematurely.

The Sophisticate Luxury palette shadows are highly pigmented and go on smoothly with the right brushes, but I have to say they fade over the course of the day and I do not have greasy lids so it’s the product.

The lipstick is probably the best of the lot.  The Stoned Rose color is a coral brown and has good staying power.  The gloss is pretty but I don’t wear gloss much so….

Checking out how to use the palette online-CT’s own vids are pretty meh. The vids that bloggers post are much better using the colors as base and accent interchangeably.

Would I buy CT again? Probably not.

Check this out–really? Who wants lashes like this? Looks like a mascara nightmare.https://youtu.be/Rsc1qYcNnuo

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

PEP PEP PEP…errrr Clinique Pep Start Eye

Just like the jingle-I’m lovin it!

But I wasn’t loving the fact that the Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone eye cream I was using suddenly changed their formula without warning.  Either that or the stock at Macy’s Windward was so old that the eye cream muushed into something thinner than the Crisco like thickness I love in my moisturizer and eye cream.

So, off I go in search of a new eye cream that has the magical stick to it ness of Crisco.

Crisco?

Well, if you’re a younger person you probably have no idea what the thick, white, magical crisp making chicken aka shortening of which I speak.

Just picture something THICK-maybe p butter is a better example.

Anyway.

I had seen Clinique’s new Pep Start eye cream somewhere in a magazine maybe Allure-and thought I’d check it out at the Clinique counter.

Cliinique counter no more!  clq_ZH4801_402x464
What?

The new product is sold only at Sephora or clinique.com!

Ok-that’s cool cuz I have a sephora gift card anyway. So the next time I was at the mall I checked it out.

The packaging is a bright vitamin C orange tube, with a sphere shaped tip where the product comes out. I figure this is so, if you want, you can squeeze some up and apply the product right from the tube.

Ok in theory, but one could potentially contaminate the product in the tube with whatever cream, serum or whatever you previously applied to your skin.

So, I apply with fingertips-squirt a little of the thick product on the tips, rub to warm and pat all around the eyes.

I so totally ignore the make up counter directions to pat only on the orbital (eye socket) bones.

I have to tell you that this product delivers the claim that is directly addresses puffiness.

In the morning, I’ve dabbed on moisturizer first thing for years. But have noticed that my eyes are a little puffier.

So, first thing in the am I have added Pep Smart to my regimen.

By the time I am off, my puffs look pretty good.

Plus, I like the way the cream moisturizes for most of the day.

It wears well under concealer too.

Thing is, I spoke to the Clinique area rep and asked her why they don’t sell it at other retailers. Her explanation was that sometimes Clinique is testing a product and limits distribution, and later if the product proves popular, distributes everywhere.

Another explanation from a clinique counter was, Sephora sometimes negotiates for product exclusivity so…

Anyway-a high recommend. Only $27 bucks. Worth it.

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

 

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.

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

Texas Gold, Black Tea-Fresh Age Delay Eye Concentrate

From my point of view this product is very expensive at $85 for a .5fl oz.

However, when I was in San Francisco last year I learned that Fresh is owned by Louis Vuitton, and that some products recipes were kept in their safes.

Doesn’t really justify the price, but I threw that in, because at the end of the day it is the marketing of the product that makes people pay more.

After my bid for wrinkle free eyes using Retin A, probably using way too much around my eyes, and the result being MORE wrinkles and new vertical lines!!! I revisited the thought of purchasing Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Concentrate.

I had received a packet sample from Sephora a month or so earlier, and it had worked pretty well, definitely softening the skyscraper lines from the Retin A debacle. But I decided to purchase Shiseido’s Benefiance eye cream, convinced by the ads in New Beauty that specifically described my problem-vertical lines in the inner corners of my eye.

The Shiseido cream did a great job of really smoothing out the furrows that the Retin A left behind, but as I neared the bottom of the jar, my fickle heart wandered back to the Fresh product.

The holidays bring gift sets that are often a good buy.

In this case, Fresh offered the pricey-cream with a tube of Soy Fresh Face Cleanser(feels like aloe, and cleans off mascara), and the Black Tea face mask. Both good sizes, plus a full size eye cream for $90.

So, being the shrewd shopper that I am, I waited to use my 20% off coupon to buy the gift set.

I have to say that the Black Tea product definitely worked in further smoothing of the verticals as well as the horizontal lines I have from crinkling my nose.

But having used the jar, with a safety sample in my storage, of course, I have wandered in search of better.

I know for a fact that Dr Tantisira’s Madonna Lift will do the trick of smoothing out the eyelids, crow’s feet and under eye bags, but I just haven’t brought myself to go under the fractional laser again after the pain I experienced years ago at another office, doing a full face. Dr T is very good at making sure the patient is comfortable, but it is my own paranoia.

I tried Avene products when I went to Paris a couple of years ago, but me suffering from menopause dry skin, their heaviest cream didn’t do much.  But knowing that their creams are very gentle, I decided to try Retrinal EYES.

They have 3 products for different uses, but this one describes what I need, eye contouring, puffiness and wrinkles. It is a combo of retinal, hyaluronic acid and something to depuff, probably caffiene. 

This is for evening use ONLY!

So far, I think I see an improvement after using it for 2 weeks every night. The product pamphlet shows results after 30 and 60 days.

But so far, so good.

k