The Battle of the Drugstore Daily Moisturizers w SPF

It’s more important than anything to wear SPF and moisture.


If moisturizer all by itself was going to do the trick, than everybody who has been faithfully moisturizing since their youth would be wrinkle-free.

You must protect from the sun.

I know, get off my pedestal.  I get pretty preachy on this topic, but many of my contemporaries who are actually younger than I am, love being in the sun, and are, well, wrinkly.

I used Olay’s daily moisturizer for years to give my skin a little moisture when I first woke up in the morning and because I’ve always lived in homes with a lot of windows, I needed spf as well.  Prior to Olay, I was a faithful user of Kiehl’s moisturizer with A and E, but it had, and still does not have SPF.

So I switched.

And truthfully I got bored. So I strayed.

For everything there is, I tend to be a person, who is always looking for a little more. My bf is glass full, I’m glass empty.

So both Cetaphil and Cera ve’ versions of moisturizer w spf were on sale at Long’s drugstore/Walgreens, but I purchased the cetaphil to try first.

The product is nice enough, but well, I’m not one of those people who avoids the eye area even when told not to, and true to form, the Cetaphil stings.

As an aside, that’s why there are not very many eye area SPF creams or lotions-only a handful exist like Lancome’s.

Anyway. Since an allover the face application is my deal, than I was back to Longs and I got the Cerave’ version.

The texture of the lotion itself is very nice-and however it is formulated, it does not sting my eyes!

So what did I do with the the Cetaphil? I keep it in my car.  Whenever I feel a little dry, I apply a few drops to the dry areas. And truthfully, it’s been suggested, that’s part of the reason why I don’t have wrinkles according to a facialist I recently went to.

She recommends applying SPF moisture cream over your makeup during the day. Meaning, go ahead and do your normal routine in the morning. Serum, moisturizer than SPF, makeup.  Then when you feel a little dry during the day, take a cotton pad (not cotton ball), and put a little moisturizer w spf on it, and gently pat it on your face.

This is the same as patting on with my fingers in the world according to me.

But seriously, in a sunny climate and the shrinking ozone, why not protect yourself a bit more?



Customer Participation or Ignoration?

I like making up new morphy-words.

I really like Nordstrom’s a lot – the clothing selections are good for my age (early 50-s) and they aren’t stuffed on racks that I have to shove around to look at, or compete with the other lady who wears the same size like at Macy’s.

But what bugs me about Nords is-and I’ve written about this before, is the serious lack of  make up department salespeople in our Honolulu store.

I have the luxury of going during the day before or after lunchtime – but when I go at lunchtime – everyone that’s supposed to be working there has also taken lunch! That so does not make sense to me since a lot of people run to the mall during lunch and pick up stuff.

So, more and more, I’ve noticed that there are plentiful samples of new products like Kiehl’s new copper peptide cream Power Wrinkle Reducer w spf 30.

Prior to that Shiseido had samples of their foundation, as well as Estee Lauder.

So, my question is, is this to help the customers who don’t like to chit chat with the beauty salespeople? Or is it to save money on personnel–kind of like the auto-self-checkout counters at Home Depot and Safeway?

In an economic time where repeat business is key–why would Nords not provide the customer service of interaction with a consultant?  Did they do the math and figure that to pay someone commission on sales, or an hourly wage, pays less in revenues than to just leave self-serve samples?

Don’t get me wrong – I actually love samples and it’s easy to just cruise by and pick them up, but….


Yesterday, I was cruising NM to pre-shop for their Beauty Event on Feb 21. And I ending up buying some Fresh Body Wash in Nectarine Milk, recommended by a friend and follower.  She prefers the original Milk fragrance.  More on that later.

What impressed me, is the salesperson was very helpful, offered me a few other items, and once she had my credit card to refer to, spoke to me using my first name!

What a turn-around for NM!

When our local NM and Nords have beauty events nearly back to back-it’s hard to choose what to get, or save up a few items to reach the goal of the samples w the obligatory tote bag. If you really love it (I do) you end up with oodles of bags and a bunch of totebags that I use to tote stuff back and forth from town to ww side.

So, in the beauty race for dollars – is NM in the left-hand fast lane back to the top on the race for beauty dollars in Honolulu?

Something to think about.

If you want to that is.


New Girl in Town

Uh-or at least new cream in town!

Kiehl’s shared a sample of their new peptide reach, spf30 facial and eye cream recently.  The new line replaces the Abyssine line-that’s the one in the red packages, with the Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream for eye and face.

I am skeptical as I am in love with my Rosa Artica cream which I started using last year.  It’s amazing!

But I have to say, this new kid on the block gives Rosa a run for the money.  Smooth, silky and with spf 30, the product moisturizes nicely all day without a need to dab on a little more.

I will say, that the product does burn the eyes a little bit.  Not like you’re supposed to put it around your eyes, but when showering, it does sting a little.

Now if they only added spf to Rosa Artica life would be complete.




Johnson&Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel


Like I said before – I LOVE the smell of baby products!

So, I’m getting my supply of J&J Baby Wash-I actually like the honey-apple version for the wash, and the baby fragrance for the 24-hour, but I saw something new!

Okay, new to me.

It was Baby Oil Gel -the package saying it lasts 8-10 hours longer than just lotion.

So, of course I have to try it.

Took a shower so I can have a clean surface to work with – I was expecting gel – like the aloe-gel you smooth on after a sun burn, or something like jello.

I squeezed it out and it is seriously THICK. It really doesn’t glide on the skin so much as you need to smear it on.

I am sure that this is perfect for townie dry weather – but not sure how it is going to fare on the more moist windward side, but my first impression is it is very moisturizing but maybe too much so.

Of late, I’ve also noticed by beloved Kiehl’s SPF 30 lotion is starting to feel sticky as well. Could it be that my skin is getting used to the place I used to visit only once every other year and usually out of necessity?




Kiehl’s Nice to Nose


I don’t wear perfume-or at least rarely wear perfume.  I, like a lot of people will get a headache after awhile, or the fragrance will cause a rash (Olay’s Total Effects, Olay’s Smooth (something)).

We were wandering around Nordstrom’s in LA where the salespeople appear to be very anxious to make a sale.  Seriously, every counter we walked by someone would call out and ask if we needed help, etc.

I visit the Kiehl’s counter here in Honolulu, at least once a month to replenish something; Power Line, Creme de Corp lotion with spf30, Rosa Artica; so I’m pretty on top of their products.

A really great addition is their new Aromatic Blends—they come in shower gel, lotion and perfume.  My favorite is the Orange Flower and Lychee Blend.  It’s soft, non-cloying and the lotion formula is very moisturizing without being so much that it gets sticky on this side of the island.

Of course there are other choices, but I’ll leave it up to you to explore.  The web page dedicated to the blends is pretty cool-aromatic-blends,default,pg.html.



Mud Bath

Err shower.

Boy, if the blue eyed man had witnessed the sloshy mess in the shower…..

Anyway, I decided to stall starting work today by trying out the Ahava Dead Sea Mud full body mask. You basically apply the product all over your body with particular attention to sore or achy muscles. (You can also warm it up in the nuker for extra help).  The dead sea minerals purify and moisturize the skin.

My skin felt not quite tingly, but felt like something active was going on.  Not like a menthol action-but something like that.

I also did the dead sea mud facial mask at the same time—the mask is mostly for cleansing.

I wonder how much exfoliation actually occurs as both masks have a little bit of texture-not grainy, but not cream either.

After 10 minutes or so–the mud flowed.  Very fine grains yes, but well, you never know what kind of a mess something like this will make.  It was easy enough to clean up.

I put on my regular regime of Kiehl’s Power Concentrate and Rosa Artica-and the products did not go into my skin immediately – kind of sat on top of it.

Anyway–my body skin where I used the body mask still feels a little warm and tingly.

And the shower is clean.


Moving Target

Yesterday I planned to go to Nordstrom’s, not so much for the event, but because I had some time, a rarity on a Sunday.

I should have taken it as a sign from the full parking lot that it might be crowded.

Yes, it was.

And then, one of the most irritating things in retail.

The counters had been moved around.  Kiehl’s had been moved from the center in front of the escalators, and had been replaced by Mario Bedescu, Erno Laslo, et al. You know, the lines that have a few specialty or cult products but are probably actually being given a last gasp before the store shows them the door.

And the counters were very crowded with people wanting to experience the event and the “new” offers.  I went by Bobbi Brown three times to sample her new BB cream-felt it on my hand, great texture.  At Clinique the rep had her hands full doing a makeover.

I finally found Kiehl’s which had been crowded onto half a counter.

This is my beef with Nordstrom’s they just don’t have enough reps at any given time.  You can roll a bowling ball through on some days, and even on a day projected to be busy weekend, there still aren’t enough reps.

Go to Macy’s and there are plenty of reps – but also a bunch of floaters – who can ring you up if you know what you want.  Or Neiman’s is usually staffed with someone who knows the line, but who are, like Sephora, driven by sales goals.  I get that it’s all about the sales, but consultative selling will when out over being pushed anyway.

I’m just not that easily convinced to buy a product just because someone says so. I guess that’s why buying color is challenging, unless if the rep actually gives a rip and is trying to get you the right color foundation, lip or eye selection.

Anyway-I like having things stay in the same place so I don’t have to wander around.

Don’t you?


Getting Ready Faster and Faster


Lately, for those who follow my blog, there has been more and more lag time between posts.

It’s not because I have a lack of subjects. But just time is at a premium lately.

I used to sit by myself at the gym long after my friends had gotten ready and left for work.

Lately, I am flying out of there myself to run an errand or get a few things done before whatever commitments I have.  Part of that is I like to be driving when there is the least amount of traffic.

So, normally it will take me 35 minutes to get ready from start to finish including blow-drying my hair and nice make up.

Just shaving off 15 minutes is a major deal. That means I just dry my hair to get the dampness out, and do stuff like:

Use pencil eyeliner instead of gel or Laura Mercier‘s Tightliner which requires and extra step

Use a neutral powder eye shadow base instead of Laura Mercier’s eyeshadow primer which enriches the color

Use tinted moisturizer which is more forgiving then to use liquid foundation. ( I know powder or otherwise mineral foundation is really fast but the color usually grays up).

Line with Laura Mercier lip liner and follow with Rose balm instead of lipstick or gloss.

Use Bobbi Brown Tortoise collection shadow set instead of dabbing on Laura Mercier creme eye shadow

I do not cheat on some steps:

Treatment – apply a squirt of Kiehl’s Power Line Concentrate

Moisturizer- Kiehl’s Rosa Artica

Sunscreen – Clarin’s spf40 under anything else

Lashes- I’ve been using Grande Lash MD to grow my lashes and I believe I am seeing results after two weeks. Lately I just need a swish of mascara (back to Mac ZoomLash)

That’s pretty much it-somehow I’m still getting more on my face than what women’s magazine’s would consider 5 minute make up -but oh well.




Does It Work Outside the Store?

I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve had experiences where I loved the color of a lipstick at the store, but when I took it out to the light of day I couldn’t stand it.

Yep, I know to walk outside with the hand mirror before buying, but sometimes, or most of the time I just buy it, cuz I don’t know I like the way it looks.

Just like when you get a makeover at the store with skincare or makeup.  It feels and looks great – so why not buy it?

Especially when the high-end skincare usually comes with a free facial with a real esthetician. So, yeah your skin feels wonderful and your face just glows.  So, you buy right?

I recently attended a ReVive’ workshop and it was great! The guy who took the doc’s place with the UK accent just furfelled with enthusiasm. I’ve tried a lot of the products, so I tend to be skeptical and bought pretty much what I planned to buy.  I pretty much knew that buying their cucumber toner was probably the same as  buying the much lower price point Kiehl’s toner-as well as make up remover. But I was pretty astounded by how much some ladies did decide to buy.  The gwps were at the $350 price point with of course the obligatory step ups-buy more, get more.

When I did the Laura Mercier make up the first step was their skincare line-which is pretty reasonably priced for LM.  It started with vitamins A and C, followed by their moisture serums and moisture cream.  Sure felt nice, maybe next time. To me, anything feels pretty nice on my face, it’s what happens in real life as to whether I will buy it.  (BTW the LM skincare products kept my skin nicely moisturized for the better part of the afternoon-that’s saying something for Hawaii).

So what happens when you buy a lip or foundation color and it just doesn’t work?

As I peruse a line-up of lip glosses and lipsticks I have on my vanity-I have been putting them on and tossing the ones I have decided don’t work for me.

I’ve talked to my friends, and they pretty much just toss it to the back of their makeup closet.

Me, I have no shame-most of the time I will take a color product back.  I’ve never had a problem with NM and Nords, I’ve never taken back stuff to Macys, though their store return policy is pretty cruise. I don’t bother with drugstore products-they are a small investment, and my time is worth much more.

But then,

A friend who travels from the east coast and back to Hawaii suggested that women keep two bags of makeup.


One for travel to different locales and one for home. What exactly does that mean?

I used to go to SF and loved to buy prescriptives lip colors-mostly matte style.  But when I brought them home to Hawaii, they looked terrible on me! I did ok with foundation and blush but lip colors rarely worked and I’ve heard the same from other people.

I’ve noticed the same geo reaction of my moisture products lately but not so geographically far.

When I put on my Cera Ve’ body cream on the much drier town side and drive over the mountain to the moist windward side, I feel sticky and icky. The cream is too heavy. I’m planning to check out the lighter lotion, but I am surprised at the change.

Conversely, when I put on my lighter moisturizer when I start my day on the windward side, and come back into town, I dry up!


I don’t know how reasonable it is to keep products for both sides of an island.

But it’s nice to have a lot of choice.



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—