#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…..

 

Take it to the Matte-Too Faced v SmashBox

My biggest beef nowadays is shadow products made in China. Anything I put on my body should not leave me in doubt as to how it was a manufactured (Tarte).

I imagine that the mark up on cosmetics is crazy-like in the triple 000s. So, why would companies push for more by risking their reputation by manufacturing in Vietnam, PRC and other questionable places?

Granted just because a product is manufactured in the US, France or Italy does not mean it is magically blessed with the safeguard that some disgruntled employee has not spit in the product or otherwise-but why escalate the issue?

Anyway.

The salesperson at Macy’s did not know the answer. She tried to sell Tarte to me-and I asked her if she knew where the eye shadows were made-she did not know, but to her credit, expressed dismay that they were made in China.

So, she presents me with 2 shadow pallettes-SmashBox and Too Faced. Both have nice matte finishes, a nice selection of colors and no shimmers or glitter.

The SmashBox palette is made in Canada and the pigment in the shadows is poor. Much like rubbing on drugstore shadows, you could use the whole pan and not get the color payoff.

Cue the fail buzzer.

The Too Faced eye shadow palette has playful packaging and comes with a guide for various daytime and evening looks using the colors.

And?

Made in the U.S.A.

Another big plus-lots of color pay off.  A small brush stroke of product and pat of color and you’re done! Plus the colors don’t fade like Charlotte Tilbury’s Sophisticate palette.

For eyelids that can’t really tolerate a big smoky eye, which doesn’t look very good on saggy lids anyway, a high recommend for Too Faced Natural Matte palette of neutrals.

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

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

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

 

Dr Glossy-Loma Organics

Readers of my blog know that I have had a love affair with Neuma organic shampoos and conditioners, smoothing creams + Kitoko oil.  Between the organic products and using glosses instead of ammonia-based hair color, I have given credit to using quality products for my hair’s awesome condition.

Many people do not realize that I have been coloring/glossing my hair for about 10 years now because I stuck with my natural color, once in awhile being talked into a small bit of highlights, which don’t suit me, so I abandon after one round (several times).

When I first started coloring I was using ammonia-based products (at the salon) and what I thought were good quality shampoos like S-Factor and Bedhead. Turns out only the Goldweil products, which are pricey, were the only ones that were not contributing to damaging my hair into a frizzy dry mess.

By the time I met Hillary J at Winam Studio, my hair was pretty crispy-which she coaxed back into condition by glossing. Add to that Lincoln Wang’s ever-changing selection at BOSS Beauty Supply on Nimitz.

Lincoln is always searching for the next great product to improve upon the last. On my last visit, I came in with freshly washed and dried hair-and since I’ve never been one to section my hair to dry, it was a bit “puffy”.

I was looking at the new “Loma” organic product line-and Lincoln suggested a squirt of their smoothing creme and tonic–adding from the back and bottom of my hair and working through the strands, ending up with the last bits of product for the front bangs.

Seriously, in seconds, my hair transformed from being puffy to being sleek and almost achieving the same look the stylist at the salon gives me.

I’m all about easy so I was in love at first sight with Loma.

Plus, the fragrance is pretty wonderful. I grew up in Japan when the erasers had a indescribable fruity-like scent, and the Loma products have the same lean.

Lincoln had/has a 3 pack of shampoo, conditioner and smoothing creme. I also purchased the tonic which is like a hair oil-not as thick as Neuma’s argan oil, but not as thin as Kitoko oil. (BOSS members receive a discount).

The Nourishing line is for “dry, thirsty and thrashed hair including chemically treated”, and the fragrance is actually cranberry and pear.

It also has “Creatine –35% more effective than any protein or keratin on the market at rebuilding the internal tensile strength of the hair especially color, foiled and bleached hair types. You can never overproteinize the hair when using Loma”275_loma_pic.

I tested the product’s moisturizing power too. The next time I had my hair colored, I skipped the moisturizing treatment so I could see just how well the products worked.

The results are impressive. My hair almost achieves its pre-color virginity.

In case you go shopping in Hawaii-Lincoln has moved to the opposite side of Nimitz business center–he has relocated next door to Eagle cafe and Sensually Yours.

K

 

Expectations-Motels v Resorts

I’m the kind of person that although I like a nice bed with super soft sheets and fluffy comforters, I still go kicking and screaming when I go on “vacation”.

No, I don’t like to work all the time, and

No, I’m not a workaholic, but

Yes, I’m picky and have some germ-phobe tendencies, where

I think of a hotel room as a germ-plagued breeding ground for infection.

I believe the 20/20 investigative reports-

So I do what I can so I can feel a little better, no

matter what I bring flip flops to wear around the room, because although

I live in Hawaii and take off my shoes in the “house”, other

people do not, and wear their shoes in hotel rooms and shared spaces.

I once stayed in SFO at the Hotel Monaco- the web photos had cute cupid, all-set for romance rooms- even the hotel entrance had flying cherubs on the ceiling. But

getting into the room was another story.

I could not stop thinking about how many people did you know what on that divan, or that chair

You get the picture.

Anyway

Back to the subject

Last month we went to a wedding in California in a small college town, as we drove up, I said oh, it’s a motel, kind of like Holiday Inn.

Staying in a wedding spirit, I found that the room tho plain, was presentable. The sheets were a little “crisp” but it did have a Keurig.

According to the wedding coordinator, tho there was a major chain hotel nearby, this place was “the” place to stay.

And it was pretty cool–when we checked in we got a coupon for a free drink in the motel cocktail lounge, which served a pretty good glass of their own house wine, from an area vineyard.

They also gave us coupons for a free breakfast with an up to $8 value for each night we stayed.

The cafe is a bustling place and altho the wedding party and a few sports teams were in the house and overflowed to the cocktail lounge, the scrambled eggs and kale were out of this world.

Maybe I’ve just gotten used to getting one flat scrambled egg, a skinny piece of toast and an oily piece of sausage for double the price, but I ate the same breakfast all 3 mornings.

So, my expectations were over the moon exceeded for what I thought would be a passable experience, into one where fluffy scrambled eggs subbed in for the fluffy bed and soft sheets.

Interestingly enough, soon, I will be heading out to a 5-star resort, where, so far my expectations were high, but the customer experience has been pretty well, “motel-like”.

More later upon my return,

k

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