Having A Moment

You have probably noticed that cosmetic retailers are battling it out for a piece of the beauty dollar pie. Used to be Sephora had a sale twice a year and the rest of the time I’d wait to buy stuff when there was a good gwp.

Nowadays once one retailer posts a sale or promo coupon than Macy’s or Nordstrom posts a price match. They even compete with company stores!

If you want to replenish a basic like Clinique sunscreen- should you it buy for 25% off at the company store, or hunt around for a gwp with free shipping?

If you can’t tell by now I’m of the “wait until I get a deal” crowd.  Sephora reduced their samples per order to two and the pickings are slim. Even if you’re rouge, you get nothing extra for the privilege of the upgraded plastic card.  Just the status of being amongst the crowd of the big spenders.

Or at least perceived as such.

One day I was in line and the cashier said to the woman, “You have 20000 points…..”

I was a bit shocked.

Previous to that I thought I bought a lot – mostly skincare but still a lot.

This past holiday was different.  I bought gifts and stuff for me and then said- step away from the credit card .

Nevertheless I bought MORE.

When it was all said and done I was in a drunken stupor of a makeup buying frenzy.

After recovery, I seriously had moments when walking into the cosmetic dept of any store and my eyes would glaze and I would get a buzzing in my ears.

Too soon.

I wasn’t safe from myself.

Only a few days ago when a pot called the kettle black, on the same day I dumped two eye palettes I stopped using, did I go shopping for makeup.

It was nice.

I felt calm.

I responded to salespeople, “I feel like buying today.”

I’m the type that in a nice store, I veer away from the manolo blaniks to stay in Stuart Weitzman Ville.

There’s just a price point where I refuse like a stubborn horse and avert my eyes.

Maybe I was just reacting to the pot, but I walked up to the Dior counter and bought a limited edition shadow palette.

I told myself it was to replace one of the two palettes I dumped.

The truth is-I was buying it to feel better.

Some people can face truth about themselves, and well, others just can’t, so the best thing to do is just let them look in the mirror and hope someday they will face themselves.

Now, what am I going to do with my Nordstrom  note?

Save it for something I really need instead of something I just want to feel better.

k

 

 

 

 

 

Lashgasmic-Search for Non-Clumpy Mascara

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I have a dog but he is kind of borrowed,

I have no kids, though there are a few in my life.

I’m older so I’m not taking classes at college, and I don’t have time to take craft or cooking classes (tho that might be fun).

So, I spend my time and money pursuing a couple of things I really enjoy. Taking dance class and playing with make up and skincare.

Last week I spent 8 hours watching videos on youtube according to my fading battery report.  If you were able to slice up those 8 hours, I’d say I spent at least 3/4s watching some related video about skincare, make up, some vlogger’s sephora haul, or a few hair videos (check out provocativewoman channel-all long hair, cut and color).

Even Google is tracking your video hours-I recently saw a report that of the time spent on youtube a great big chunk of users were watching…make up videos….and what do they do with the info…..shop online.

It’s VIB and VIB Rouge shopping season-which for those of you unannointed means 20% off everything in and on sephora.com. For Rouge level, Sephora started the sale early, stopped a few days to let buyers catch their breath, then started up VIB level which included Rouge level too.

I have to admit at this point after shopping both levels (for gifts for other people-I swear!) I’m a smidge fatigued.

Having said that, yesterday I was with my buddies and I asked them what I bought.  I buy make up and skincare like one friend buys diamonds and jewelry. (I guess if I didn’t buy so much make up I could buy diamonds). Oh well.

The discussion kind of stirred up the frenzy again..but thankfully only for a little while and the desire dissipated. I did check the sephora app for the weekly wow and inbox but no takers.

Anyway.

Because I’ve found my dream creams at least for now (Shiseido Future Solutions Eye and Contour cream, Clinique SPF 30 Sunscreen and Clinique tinted City Block SPF, La Mer Moisturizer or Shiseido Waso) I’ve moved on to mascara.

Now I’ve never really had a mascara fetish. As long as it stayed on in a sweaty dance class, could take a touch up application, washed off easily and didn’t clump, I was pretty happy. I used Great Lash for years, non-waterproof and life was good.

But I, like everyone get so many mascara samples that may as well try them, right?

Side note(s):  my test for washability is to remove it with micellar water.

Side note(s): Brands please make packaging less similar.  I’ve been at counters where the salespeople had a hard time identifying the right formulas.

Here’s my thoughts in no certain order:

Estee Lauder Sumptous-smears under my eyes and definitely clumpy.

Estee Lauder Sumptous Bold Volume-I think this is the sample I got, which I would try again.  It doesn’t smear like its sister.

Too Faced Better Than Sex-pretty awesome. Long, fat lashes, washes off with micellar water and combs through pretty well if it does get clumpy.

Benefit They’re Real-impressive lengthening, though won’t take a touch up at all. I guess whatever makes the formula curly, also makes it stiff. It does lengthen enough that I can feel my lashes on my glasses.

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes, Great Lash and other drugstore-I haven’t found anything I like for a long time, I’ll buy it to try it but take it back.

MAC-I used to love False Lashes but the people at the counter at the mall nearest to where I live are pretty horrific so I rarely buy anything MAC.

Clinique

-Chubby Lash-I liked this so much I bought for friends. But then it started clumping.

-High Impact-no impact

-Lash Doubling-good price

-High Lengths-I liked this at first because of the brush but I think the formula is too liquidy so it clumped.

Laura Mercier-Long Lash-clumpy.

Blinc-my friend recommended this brand. It has a specific way to put it on, takes no touch ups, lengthens and doesn’t clump, and washes off with water. Like it but wouldn’t buy it again.

Burberry ?-beautiful packaging. Super clumpy.

Guerlain ? I got this as a sample but the purchased tube was horribly clumpy.

Shiseido-Full Lash Multi-Dimension Waterproof-just used this yesterday. I loved loved the lack of clumping but getting it off was a struggle.  I don’t really use make up remover unless I get samples-so that’s where that lost points for me.

Bobbi Brown-a few varieties over the year but nothing I’d buy again.

Tarte-Lights, Camera, Lashes-tried the sample and tossed it for abundance of meh.

Mary Kay Lash Love-great brush, but doesn’t take a touch up. Kind of crinkly.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir-nothing in particular to say.

Lancome Definicils-I guess if non-clumpy was the only thing I wanted this is fine. It lengthen but lashes don’t get fat.

Smashbox Full Exposure-meh. Just meh.

Makeup for Ever-Smoky Extravagant-I think I liked this but clumped after awhile.

Some I’d like to try:

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl

Wander Beauty-I have it, but haven’t tried it yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

My name is Kirsten.

I am a skincareandmakeupaholic.

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

I was giddy!

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

LOL

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

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

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

Even then, they both did not fit.

Anyway.

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

And what do I have to show for it?

Nothing that I can easily recall.

A pity story.

A sad story.

Perhaps a state of madness.

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

I feel like I am in my withdrawal state.

Actually looking for something.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wanting for nothing and yet still searching.

That’s gotta be so wrong.

k

 

 

 

 

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.

imgres

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