Stand Up and Curl! Diorshow Iconic Over Curl Mascara

I think I’ve been taking ballet class as an adult for nearly 10 years now.  I have to use “who my boyfriend was at the time” markers to help remember how long. I had been taking class for about a year when the boyfriendathtetime remarked I must take yoga because of my inner radiating calmness.

I know – yeah-what an interesting line.

At the time, I transitioned from being an aerobics princess who was always obnoxiously bouncing around the front, giving the moves some flair, or riffing off my friend’s moves in my own way, or just trying to jump higher.

When I think of it now, I have to laugh at my silliness.


I used to think that being sort of ratty “flashdance” sort of look with torn sweatshirts falling off the shoulder and worn out leg warmers was the look to covet, but not anymore.

Neat hair, leotard, tights and cover up with no holes, and believe it or not, pretty make up.

If you flip open any fitness magazine, they are always telling people to remove their make up before exercising.

I get it-it clogs the pores blah blah blah.

But when you think about it-ballet is a moving art form-and if wearing a little mascara makes it prettier, then ..

1.  Mascara for me must make it through ballet class without making me look like raccoon ballerina.

Sometimes it’s so bad it looks like a botched smoky look.

I guess that makes sense because one of those passed on mascaras is Bobbi Brown’s Smoky Eye Mascara.  I like the way it lengthens and it’s not clumpy but it looks pretty bad after class.

Another fail was Trish McEvoy’s High Volume Mascara-great at first-but now it sits in my mascara graveyard, only to be used when I know I am only going to not do anything more physical than lift a glass a wine.

2. When Clumping is Good-it’s ok when mascara washes off in “clumps” -a phrase taken from my ace brow person, Stacie at Marsha Nadalin, vs smudgy messes that can only be removed with oil or real eye make up remover.

That’s what I like about the Trish mascara, but it was a fail at the raccoon test.

However-I was searching for a xmas gift and know that she really likes mascara and it must satisfy pretty much the same requirements.

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl came with a mini 5 eye shadow quad of neutral colors – cream, peach, light brown, medium brown and a brown for liner.

I am loving the mascara.

It stays on in class and doesn’t move – even when I perspire.

It comes off easy without special efforts. Comes off with my Cerave’ foaming face cleanser, or my Fresh Soy cleanser.

3.  Stand Up and Deliver-mascara doesn’t have to curl for me to like it, but the Dior product does work well and pretty much stays at attention through the entire class.

The plus was the little eye shadow that came in the holiday pack.  I had always been curious about it, but you know Clinique and everybody else and their sister brother give away eye shadow in their gwps-so I only buy shadow if I really like the color.

The colors are really neutral but for my aging lids, works better than wearing a lot of color product.

Since people are now referring to me as “issheyourmom?” I need all the help I can get.



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!




Pert Plus Revisited? Shampoo and Conditioner Together?

I think I was reading Elle or INstyle-just checking out the pages and saw this “tip”. Maybe it was More (old fart) magazine-yes, that makes more sense, because when you are getting older you have less time in general so you’d probably want to save some time during the grooming process.

The shower pressure at H club is unbelievably low.  Only 2 shower stalls have decent shower heads so I can rinse my Japanee thick wire hair in an expeditious manner.  The other showers are dismal. Once I mentioned it to my hair and she said, “rinse longer”.

Seriously, the last thing I want to do is stand in a shower at H club any longer than necessary.


The tip was to shampoo your roots and condition your ends at the same time.

Yes, you read that right.

Like the same as Pert Plus where you just shampooed and conditioned in one application and more importantly-one rinse cycle.

So I tried it one day. I think I was using Nexxus light moisture shampoo and Neuma conditioner on the ends.

Felt ok, but strange to be sudsy and moist at the same time.

My hair performed ok that day, though I wondered if my roots wanted a little conditioning.

So, yesterday at the trade show, I asked local hair expert Lincoln Wang of BOSS Beauty Supply-and he said-no, it didn’t make sense to combine the steps, because shampoo opens the cuticle, and conditioner closes it.

Sort of leaves your hair confused.

Life is confusing enough.

So, H club, please increase the shower pressure in the name of quick grooming and non-confused hair everywhere?!


La La Style

I’ve never been to Los Angeles with a native.

Much like being taken around with somebody who has local cred for living or being from Hawaii, being toured around with a LA local is a different experience.

Not to mention my guy is a “valley boy”.

Weeks up until the trip I asked him for an itinerary – where were we going, who would we see, dressy, casual, jeans, slacks, dresses or shorts?

I mean men just don’t think of clothes the same way women do.

What’s appropriate-what’s not. What’s too fancy, too sexy, too casual, too old, too young blah blah blah.


The point is I ended up with a suitcase of clothes that numbered the amount of options planned for a month-long vacation.


White jeans, white ankle-length, shorts, skirt – all white.

4 tank tops – from black to shiny to hot pink.

2 what I call “rumple” skirts-habutai silk skirts dressable up or down.

2 long sleeve knit tops.

4 variations on black t-shirts.

4 dresses appropriate for evening but wearable for day.

1 pink golf shirt ( I wore it to the Beverly Hills Hotel to have a drink at the famous Polo Lounge.  The shade of pink was exactly what the valets were wearing, plus of course my standard white jeans-I’m surprised no one tagged me to go trot after their BMW).

1 jean jacket-perfect for the plane. ( I always wear machine washable clothes on the plane – you never know what someone before sat on, in, over…..).

2 shawls – one turquoise pashmina, one black cashmere-really for the plane-it helps cutt down on cold air drafts and other things unmentionable!

1 shanghai tang evening jacket with mandarin collar.

Don’t get me started on my shoe options, but I took more than I wear on a typical week at home!

The heaviest thing in my suitcase is my make up bag-I tried to repack it but at the end of the day, I like options.

Laura Mercier – radiant primer, tinted moisturizer and silk creme foundation.

Make Up Forever HD Powder-perfect for setting make up and taking down shine.

Laura Mercier lip liner, 2 lipsticks, 1 gloss-but mostly I wear my Maybelienne Baby Lips Grape Lip Balm.

Bobbie Brown and Laura Mercier Brow Powder-the LM color is softer for day, the BB Mahogany is great for night for an intense look.

MAC Zoom Lash-my favorite. I’ve strayed to others but come back to this frequently. One brush and done. Now that I’ve been using Grande Lash MD for a month I need less and less mascara.

Laura Mercier blush and Bobbi Brown Hot Pink blush for a pop of color and to shade it to clothes with more blue in the color.

Plus skincare-Kiehl’s Power Concentrate Vit C, Rosa Artica, Clarins SPF40. Sample packets of ReVive’ Eye Renewal, SPF15 Sensitif.

Next week for a weekend on MAUI.

Packing list.

1 dress for Alan Wong’s new AmAsia.

2 shorts for the house and cruising around.

4 t-shirts.

Makeup that fits in a small Elemis box-everything has to do double-duty or in sample size.

What’s the difference? I know where I’m going.


What Smells?

My number one favorite scent is baby powder. I walk down the aisle in the supermarket and breathe deep.

Sure, I like the smell of old-school Japanese erasers, summer rain or the breath of puppy. But that smell makes me swoon.

Makes me wonder why they don’t make men’s cologne or after-shave products in baby powder scent.

I guess not masculine enough.

But it begs the question-how do people choose their personal fragrance? Do people wear it for themselves? Or to attract others?

Me, I’m not a big fragrance wearer-I’m not sure why-that’s a lie- I actually know it’s because most fragrance gives me a headache.

When I was little I  loved dabbing a bit of my mom’s Chanel No.5 or Emeraude perfume behind my ears – she had the same tiny sample bottles for years but I loved them anyway.

In 7th grade I spritzed on lemon, strawberry perfume or Love’s Baby Soft. I think it went along with my blue eye shadow cased in a revolutionary crayon stick made by CoverGirl. In blue jeans and very long hair, I moved onto musk (the original!) and patchouli. Must have had something to do with my octagon shaped wire rimmed glasses.

Fast forward to high-school and disco and wearing Charlie!, Giogio, Halston and more musk!

Once I graduated college and into the workforce, I moved onto much headier perfumes like Dior’s Poison, Issey Miyake’s Green Tea, Issey, Angel et al.  Walking down Bishop Street after Mother’s or Valentine’s Days, the street was a smorgasbord of the latest perfume by Liz Claiborne, Anne Klein or whoever.  I think that’s when I started getting sensitive to fragrance.

Add to that people would give me fragrance that just didn’t work for me–among those, Chanel’s Coco, Estee Lauder Cinnabar/Youth Dew or Knowing.

Estee Lauder’s Knowing probably strongly influenced my path toward not wearing fragrance – or maybe it was Fracas.

To this day, when I smell Knowing or Hermes’ Earth, or anything with high jasmine notes-I either get a headache or nauseous.

I don’t know if middle-age has just made me more sensitive to fragrance or it was being assaulted by Estee Lauder’s Knowing or Hermes’ Earth as to when I actually stopped wearing perfume.

I used to love Polo, Armani and Halston Z-4, and even Polo Sport. But wave a bottle of any of those under my nose nowadays and I will probably get a headache. I love love my friends who wear these colognes, but…

if the guy wore one of these or Earth on a first date, there would not be another.

On the other hand, I enjoy the blue-eyed man’s scent whether he is fresh out of the shower -smelling like Dove, or curiously his chapstick or another mystery product he uses.  I actually don’t mind the cologne he wears that is usually soft and not demanding attention.

My best bud was known for wearing fragrance- mostly Thierry Mugler‘s Angel because it smelled like chocolate-women would practically faint when he walked by.

So does it really matter what your man or woman in your life is wearing?  Can you smell the real them through the hypnotic camouflage of bottled scent?

Must be able to–otherwise how would you find them in a crowd?

Me, I just like the smell of his skin.


Toe Mask-Korean Facial Cloths Part 2

I don’t know if the craze for Korean foot masks has reached the mainland US yet–but I know my family in California all watch Korean soap operas and such and like to eat the Korean food they see on the shows.

The Face Shop in McCully Shopping Center here in Hawaii has all types of cool masks to try and very reasonably priced.

One in particular is the Smile Foot Mask for $5.

Soothing Korean foot mask.

Well my feet get pretty crusty( but I consider it a sign of my hard work) in ballet class, so I figured today when I am doing a mini dry dock after toiling all morning at work, I’d do a foot mask.

The package comes with two little plastic booties which have an interior lining, kind of cotton like, that must have all the secret ingredients to soften and rejuvenate the feet.  I kept the mask on for 25 minutes as I continued to do other stuff like write checks etc.

I have to admit the foot mask did take off some of the dry skin and softened the skin around the nail beds. I give this product a B.

I also gave my face some tlc after playing golf the other day (  I’m rarely in the sun so I had slathered on moisturizer and sunscreen and escaped any tan lines.

I had bought a bunch of face masks – just think for $2 you can refresh your face with moisture, boost with collagen, mung bean, CoQ10, rice for brightening and a lot more.

Today I used the Hyluaronic Acid mask. No it’s not acid—HA is something that naturally occurs in your body. It’s for super moisturizing your skin-great for post stressful days.  I took off the mask and applied a little moisturizer with sunscreen.
My face feels pretty moisturized and my skin looks plumped.  I saw a few laugh lines around my eyes this morning-so this was much needed.


I’ve run into a second product in the past year that my skin reacted badly to—Oil of Olay’s Silk Whimsy body cream in Rose fragrance.  I used the product once and noticed that the fragrance was very strong but didn’t smell much like roses-almost a fake chemical smell.

I wanted to try it out anyway-my truly fragranced products like Philosophy’s Falling in Love body lotion or Laura Mercier’s Pistachio body creme don’t have this effect, but these less expensive products have something in them that makes my skin VERY upset.

Within a day of using the product I got a few little spots–I thought it was heat rash because I went “trotting” which is slow jogging.  I shrugged it off.

Used the product again and noticed that the spots became more numerous. Immediately stopped the product and applied a little cortaid cream which pretty much took care of the rash.

To mention another product, I tried St Ives body lotion, don’t remember the   fragrance but also had a severe reaction to that as well. That reaction was so bad, my friend who is a personal injury lawyer thought I might have actionable issues.

I guess people with sensitive skin to start out with know to avoid these fragranced products but as I age, I think I am joining the ranks.

I read about Cerave’ products recently and a reader also suggested their lotions for their moisturizing properties.  I bought the body cream version-I always go for the most heavy formula because I like extremes, and this morning my skin is pretty silky soft.

Cetaphil products have always been a hit with me and I really love a new product Aveeno Baby lotion with 24-hour moisture with oatmeal to calm the skin.  Tried it at my mom’s house in Maui and really kicked Vaseline Intensive Care’s Aloe body lotion (which if I continued to use that would probably cause a reaction). Besides Intensive Care is so 80-s – I guess they have a lot of old faithful followers.

Johnson&Johnson baby body washes in the apple and honey or shea formulas are great too!  Their baby body lotions don’t quite do it for me, but their baby body cream is pretty good.


It probably makes sense in the long run to make the switch to products made for sensitive skin-hopefully they have less chemicals?


A Place in the Sun

Hah! On my first date with the blue-eyed man aka man-in-my-life, he was telling me how much he enjoyed golf, kayaking and the water in general. I told him right then and there that I am a sunphobe.

Things were great up to that point, but just reading his face, I could tell he was a bit disappointed. To his credit he had a nice recovery and countered, but if it were later in the day when the sun isn’t so strong, that would be ok?

Life is a negotiation.

Sun exposure in and of it itself is a non-negotiable in Hawaii-most days we have a lot of sun. But people know to stay out of the sun during the hottest points of the day and wear plenty of sunscreen.

But when you are planning a day in the sun – like golfing when you haven’t golfed regularly and probably in for hours, well….

I’m starting off this morning by moisturizing mask of a thick layer of my ReVive’ cream.  I have jazz class later this morning and will drink at least a liter of Deep Sea Water (from the depths of the Big Island, underneath the sea I think.  Real deep sea water is more expensive because they have to desalinize it etc).

My plan is after my shower, Kiehl’s Power Line Concentrate vitamin C, followed by Rosa Artica to seal in that first layer.  Under my eyes I will try out Laura Mercier‘s Eye Serum.  After that has a moment to sink in I will follow with my Clarins spf40. Let that dry a bit and put on a physical block, Neutregena55.   Over that, Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, and then Laura Merceir Tinted Moisturizer – both spf20.

I asked the makeup artist from Laura Mercier, Mark the other day at the Nordstrom’s event, why the color products did not have higher spf and he said because it would effect the formula. Makes sense. They did recommend a chemical and a physical block, and that you can’t really put more spf over foundation if you want to be flawless.

For face color, I will do brows, and line with Laura Mercier tight liner in Bleu Marine, her creme shadow, and maybe a smudge of Caviar shadow in smoke – all products that have staying power.  For lips, I will line a little, put on some initial lip gel color in Courtesan(by Laura) and carry around my Baby Lips, spf25 lip balm.  I also keep a little pot of moisturizer in my pocket which I shamelessly apply in public.

Multiple layers yes–and that vitamin C layer is its own block in the form of anti-oxidants.

Onto the bod.

My plan is to moisturize with my Johnson&Johnson 24 hour (my last bottle). On top of that I have Kiehl’s spf30 which I will put on my neck, arms and legs.  For my chest I will also apply another layer of Neutregena55.  I’ve noticed the times that I am out in the sun a little bit the neck area gets pink on me.

For my hair, believe it or not that’s a consideration as well.  I use the Kitoko Oil in my hair which has anti-oxidants which provide UV protection-probably not a lot but something is better than nothing.  Since I use a gloss on my hair, my color doesn’t really fade-it washes out after 6 weeks or so, but my grow out is faster so I am on a 4 week schedule at this point.

So that’s pre-sun. What about apres soleil?

I think we are going out to dinner so this may follow later. But I plan to do a Korean cloth mask with hyularonic acid.  HA is a naturally occurring chemical in your body which is basically a moisturizer.  They also use it in products like Restylane which is injected into your crevices to plump up lines.

Follow that with a mask of Orlane, and a generous slather of Rosa Artica and Vitamin C. I think that will help repair any exposure damage.

For my body, I have my new favorite moisturizers-CeraVe’ body cream and Aveena Baby 24 Hour Body Cream for Sensitive Skin.

I know-it’s a lot but I take skin and sun exposure seriously.

Anyway, this is what I do—


Out with Old, IN with the New!

It’s that time of year and Honolulu Nordstroms is having their big beauty event!  I decided to try and beat the crowds and went today and get my makeup done by Laura Mercier’s national artist, “Mark”.

It was interesting because one artist prepped my face with skincare-all of the products felt really good on my skin.  A vitamin A and Vitamin C serum, followed by Repair Serum and topped off with Repair Cream.

Once that was set, the next step and next artist applied primer with radiance and tinted moisturizer. I wear less and less foundation as my skin gets better, so less is more.  The artist applied concealer and brightener. Both made a big difference and the technique was so different than what I learned from Bobbi Brown.  A  lot less product and only where needed–lightly brushing in the brightening powder in the crevices. The artist shared a trick to lift the eyelids by drawing fine strokes of concealer up and out at the corner lid.

Onto color with Mark.  It was pretty interesting because I already use Silk Creme foundation, blush, Audrey lip color et al.  Mark told me that the foundation is great for a night out but really I didn’t need that much coverage and that it was aging.  Same for my beloved Audrey color – lighter was better.

I wanted to learn Laura’s smokey eye look and there were three choices–smoky in the crease, smoky smudged eyeliner and smokey shadow.  I wanted to learn the liner technique.

So beautifully simple.  Using the creme shadow in gold-kind of a beige neutral, that was patted on and above the lid.  Followed by tightener in bluemarine-a midnight blue color–no wings, just the slightest uplift and pushed into my lashes. No liner on the bottom.

Then he took the Caviar stick in Smoke-applied with a smudge brush and smudged more to cover about have the lower part of the lid. Such a nice clean and for me an updated look!

A little bit of blush and brightening powder and I was done.

Very light hand – loved the look!

I’m a Laura devotee!


DryDock-Secret Single Behaviors

Just recently I had all the time in the world to do my secret single behaviors.

You know in Sex-In-The-City Carrie ate crackers and read her fashion magazines and Charlotte stared into the mirror counting the pores on her nose.

I am constantly amazed at how people who have regular jobs that they appear at in the morning, and stay thru the day, maybe running errands at lunch, I always wonder how they get everything done. Like grocery shopping, laundry, clean the house, pick up haircare, study and buy beauty products,  dry-cleaning etc. I guess that’s why shopping centers and such are so busy on the weekend and the weekday evenings.  I usually avoid those areas at those times.

Since I freelance, that’s pretty easy for me.  My schedule is pretty much my own-at least until recently when I started hanging with the man-in-my-life on a frequent basis.  It hasn’t been very long(the post office just sent a note saying my 3-month forwarding of mail is pau) but it has impacted my schedule.

So…yesterday and today I have a little time to drydock myself back into shape. You know those little things you do when the b or g-friend is not around.

Like for me that would include my honey body scrub to soften me up to silky smoothness, dermologica gentle cream exfoliant for my face, followed by a moisture mask, polish my toes, file my nails, do my bleph treatment on my lower and upper lids(helps with moisture in my eyes for contact lens), deep condition my hair, dehair, and moisturize with my new product Cerave’ body cream(recommended by a reader for sensitive skin-the real moisture test for me will be to use it during the day and see how it goes).

I’ve always been a great time manager so I do all of this while I am doing my work.  So though drydock means resting at a spa for some people, for me it means it’s a double-duty multi-tasking day.