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.



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…..



Cover Me Calico-Body Potions

Seriously, I asked myself why it takes me so long to get out the door when I wear minimal makeup.

And the answer is-it’s because I use so many different products on each part of my body.

Mind you-I’m talking about the body not inclusive of the face which has it’s own craziness.

I started using the Clarins Cellulite Control a month or so ago and it has yielded fantastic results for me. I don’t feel like doing the mind-numbing zumba classes that everyone over 40+ takes-just too boring at the honolulu club. I take my ballet and jazz classes which are different every time so it keeps me interested.

Anyway-so I got the bright idea to put the product on under my arms in the area aka “back fat””-or armpit fat.  I just started so I have yet to see the results, but I think they will be good because it has greatly improved the texture on my legs.

On my chest I use two products-from the neck down I am using Shiseido’s Day Moisture with SPF 18–I’m primarily using it because their Neck Contour Cream was almost as bad as Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream. Terribly sticky and pulled my skin when I applied which is a huge NONO.

Over that, a huge drink of yummy smelling coconut moisture-Island Soap’s Creamy Coconut lotion which, hands down, gets rid of any skin irritation for me.

Because it is kind of stinky I am using Amlactin-an exfoliating moisture lotion only on my knees down.  It’s far enough from my nose that I can’t smell it.  Sometimes I put it on my back.

I really don’t use handcream on a regular basis but I like Aveda’s Hand Relief. It smells like lemon grass and is non-greasy.

On a golf day or other sunny possibiity-I picked up Banana Boats SPF30 Nourishing Cream. It smells good-I think it works, but the other day when I was golfing it was really overcast so I didn’t really put it through its paces.

I don’t even believe I do this everyday.


ZZZZ-Beauty Masking While You Sleep

The first sleeping mask I tried was from Korres-I love the smell of roses anyway, and their very wonderful sleeping mask had the whitening power of roses plus extra vitamin C.

Like many things, I go through one jar then look for something else-cuz-I’m fickle.

I was in the Korean cosmetic store called “The Face Shop” and came upon Raspberry Roots Sleeping Mask.  I squirted a bit out, and decided to try it.

Now mind you, all the salespeople in the store are under 30 years old, and have great skin, plus they have access to all of the product. So, I take their recommendations with a grain of salt.

I’ve tried the sleeping mask a few times and the verdict for me is-it leaves my skin dry in the morning. A bad sign for me. If the product were working, I’d keep going but it’s not to be.

As a side note, the packaging is odd–if you have every tried Bedhead’s After Party hair smoothing product, you know what I mean.  Raspberry Roots is in a dainty container, but take off the cap and the dispenser is a little, er…graphic. It’s about that sized too.

Another product I had-Flebote moisturizing serum, did not have the special graphic design, but an odd almost triangular top. However, the sides are not even, so you have to put the cap on with some effort toward matching the correct edges.

Geez-I’ll get a couple of lines just getting the product closed!



I Vote for CocoNut Pas Deux

Seriously, I had a rash from nerves aka hives for most of last year. To the point the bf started saying I should go to the doc. (He says this knowing how much I don’t like going to the doc unless I am bleeding, not breathing, or otherwise in dire straits).

So, I started using Island Soap’s Creamy Coconut body lotion a few weeks ago, mostly because I like the smell of coconut, and because the guy selling it said it helped him clear up a skin condition.

Lo and  behold, the rash is cleared up, and the affected skin is healing nicely.  I had called my dermo for an appointment before the end of the year to avoid having to start paying down a new deductible, and as of the end of last week, I no longer needed him and cancelled.

It’s amazing-and a high recommend. Check it out at Island Soap and Candleworks at Ward Warehouse or online at



I’m in Bliss-ex-Glow-sion, Triple Oxygen Moisture Cream

I wasn’t  too thrilled with Josie Maran’s new infinity oil.  It smelled nice and basically it was a solid form of her famous liquid oil products, designed for on the go moisturizing, dabbing on your stray hairs, as a lip gloss etc.

But, I think it was a little too much. Plus, when you squeezed it out, maybe it’s because Hawaii is a little more humid and warm, the product separated into solid and oil, so the oil would leak out first when you opened the tube.

So I took it back to Sephora who happily accepted the return with the receipt.

I’m always in search of moisture and even though picking up my gift w purchase bag at Neiman’s was only a few days away, and as part of the buy I bought Kiehl’s Rosa Artica, my mainstay, I was in love with the texture and how Bliss’ product felt on the back of my hand.  BLISS-484

I’m a sucker for new.


Hey, I don’t have kids to clothe, so I indulge.

In any case, I purchased the product that promises a youthful glow, applied morning and evening. Apply and massage in gently for 30 seconds.

The first overnight, my skin was not tight at all in the morning.  Usually it is crying out for moisture. I washed up and reapplied under my makeup for the day, and my skin stayed very moist throughout the day.

The product smells like oranges–and is fairly thick, but goes in quickly.

I love it!

Rosa Artica has new competition on the block!

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?


The Only Road Leads Back To You

So, I zigged when I should have zagged, meaning I should have just stayed with my true blue Kiehl’s Rosa Artica moisturizing cream.

I veered off a steady course of superior moisture and purchased a jar of Origin’s A Perfect World – which at some point, I had had a sample of enjoyed the fragrance so much I wanted more.

In reality, the white tea anti oxidant based formula left me wanting for more.

More moisture that is.

Now that it’s getting a little cooler, I’d like more please.

Plus, I’m off to chillier regions via aero plane, so yes more please.

My heart leads me back to you,



Shimmer vs Radiance – Laura Mercier

I really like Laura Mercier’s approach to foundation- go for a flawless look but still natural.

Coming of age in the 90-s, I sported the matte, powdered-mask look using Lancome’s Dual-Finish, dark-brown-red lips, neutral eye.

And of late, more beauty magazines are suggesting women who are older use a lighter hand – especially when it comes to foundation for everyday looks.

The last LM make up artist event I purchased the radiance primer and tinted moisturizer liquid creme.

I do like the look-but I think the tinted moisturizer doesn’t really work for me.

However, I did combine the radiance primer, with Lancome ‘s silicon based primer over it, powdered a little with Make Up Forever’s HD Powder, and I think I found a better combination for me.  The silicon primer smooths out the edges without adding color, and the powder takes it all down a notch. For a more perfected look, I use my foundation brush and dab a little bit of Bobbi Brown’s foundation stick under my eyes, my nose and around my mouth and blend like crazy.

The other day, I picked up a sample of LM’s Illuminating tinted moisturizer.

Put on by itself, it brightens my complexion significantly-today I put on the regular tinted moisturizer over it, followed by the silicon primer and powder.

Tomorrow I think I will use it like the radiance primer, and top it off with the silicon primer, foundation stick and powder.

Stay tuned!




Luxury BB or Fancy Tinted Moisturizer with Treatment?

I’ve been trying out different BB creams – just getting samples here and there-you know Estee Lauder, Clinique, Dr. Jart, Boscia, Sulwahsoo etc.  I’m wondering when Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier will jump on the bandwagon?  Long after mineral powder firmly placed Bare Escentuals as the category killer, Bobbi Brown brought out hers.  I tried but didn’t buy.  I bought Laura Mercier’s- but the product rep failed to tell me that the color gets pretty dark -so I gave it to my friend who tans.


Now I’m wondering when Laura M and Bobbi B will offer up a BB cream?  I mean, I really like the idea of a one size fits all products but the tint is usually off for Asian complexions, or I worry about spf protection and put on my beloved Clarins  spf40 on anyway.

Recently I was killing a few minutes in Macy’s and wandered by Lancome‘ (the Neiman’s Lancome counter is getting smaller and smaller-probably because the woman there is one of those counter snobs.

Off topic.

The floater at Macy’s came out and told me she didn’t know too much since she was just helping whoever at whatever counter.  That’s cool-it was refreshing to talk to someone who admitted they didn’t know much as opposed to the people who go right ahead and sell you something you don’t need in the wrong color.

Can I get a witness?

I sampled Lancome’s RÉNERGIE ÉCLAT MULTI-LIFT – I paste in the name here because why don’t they just call it Energizing Multi-Lift Color?  Kate Winslet is the spokesperson–watching her over the years from chubby heroine in Titanic to the woman she has become has been interesting.  About 2 years ago, she had a moment of astounding beauty, but I’m sorry she just looks hard-Lancome’ needs to rethink her.

So, Lancome does not call it a BB product, but has all the claims of being lifting, illuminating and “skincare”.  I have to admit it feels unbelievable on the skin, and the light tint actually looks perfect on me!  The formula over my regular regimen(Kiehl’s Rosa Artica, Philosophy’s Booster C and Clarins spf 40) wore great all day-with no need to rehydrate with a little dab of Laura Mercier’s Secret Finish.

Pretty fab for $75.

Pretty expensive for foundation-but I guess their pricing theory is they are not calling it a BB cream, they call it a “treatment”, and of course it has a French name so it’s priced it accordingly.

But, I’ve used Renergie’ and it’s a great moisturizer but I don’t really see any other treatment effects-but it is pretty nice. Even if I gave up my regimen, I would still have to put spf under.

Great product. Try it, you might like it.


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.