Wonderful (Robert) Williams-YSL Top Secret Natural Action Exfoliator

Hawaii has a lot of desirable retails stores that opened since I moved back here in 1986.

When I was a really single, very independent person-I traveled to San Francisco on a regular basis.  Just a couple of days-it was when air fare was pretty reasonable-roundtrip going for $240 or so, and hotel reasonably cheap at the Donatello for under $200 a night most times.

A lot of the rationale for that travel was the fact Hawaii did not have many stores-but like I said, now we have about everything so when I go back I spend my time in stores we don’t have (yet).

I was tooling around Westfield Center-I’m too lazy a shopper to do more than one branch of a shopping center at a time-and smartly so, Bloomingdales has their cosmetics and shoe department on the first accessible floor.

I was rounding the edges of the makeup section and I heard someone call out when I passed the YSL counter.

YSL is one of those brands that I typically don’t check out, because not even knowing the prices, I think they are out of my mental limit. The association with designer haute couture or something like that.


The first thing that struck me about Robert Williams of YSL, was how beautiful his skin is. He’s not a youngster, but his skin had a dewiness and a look of moisture without any obvious cosmetic help.

I absolutely hate going to counters where the salespeople can’t give real testimony to how well the products work, especially when it ain’t working for them. I went to Dior in Macys, and the woman told me how well the Dior Magic worked on her brown spots-but clearly, to me, it wasn’t working and she had a lot of foundation on. Not like a sheer foundation, and I know she’s supposed to be selling foundation, but…..

Seriously salespeople, just because I dress really casually, you should never ever treat a customer like you are better than they are and they can’t afford your products.

Take a note from the luxury car salespeople-the most hema jang dressed people are usually the ones that will buy with the least hassle.


Robert told me the secret to his skincare routine was exfoliation-he uses YSL Top Secret Natural Exfoliator.

He demonstrated the product on my hand-the gold flecked infused gel goes on a bit thick at first, but after gently swirling around, it liquefies.  Robert’s further instruction, which I know from my Korean friends, is to tap the product into the skin to help stimulate the skin.

The second step in his routine is Malin+Goetz 10% glycolic acid pads. This is actually a men’s skincare product, and knowing that men’s facial skin is a bit thicker, proceed with that in mind.

The 10% glycolic pads are used after the YSL to further exfoliate the skin on a deeper level. Over time glycolic acid will help lighten brown spots and encourage cell turnover which means-dewy skin and a skin surface that will accept skin care more readily, and color products will go on smoothly.

The pads are gently applied with a sort of tap and press instead of scrubbing the skin like those neutrogena pads from when you were a teenager with zits. I think the other brand was Clearasil?

I find that my skin is smoother after using the product.  I don’t always use the glycolic pads-but I apply my Retin A after the first step.

What’s more the prices of both products are reasonable too–the YSL is only $44, and the pads were $48 at Bloomingdales.

In comparison I had purchased some pads from Sephora-Dr Jart(?) and 10 pads were $20!

It’s like men’s clothes-they are often made better and less expensive. What’s up with that?

I think I’ve found my dream product for exfoliation in the YSL!





Nerium AD

Update 8/14/14

I as checking out Biologic Stem Cells-my friend gave me a sample so I found this site. Kind of scary about Nerium.



I’m a marketing person by trade so I like to look at my statistics on my beauty blog.

Consistently people find my blog on web searches for Nerium AD, WInam Street Studio and The Face Shoppe for its Korean foot mask.

I continue to go to WInam and last time I was at the Face Shoppe I stocked up so I pause to revisit my Nerium blog.

Like any pyramid product, Nerium enjoys natural word-of-mouth by the nature of how it is sold by individuals who have set up their own businesses.

There’s no question that the product works for some people removing wrinkles and age spots-but in search queries, I also see questions like, ‘nerium makes my eyelids swell”.

Which, the deal is, I make no claim that I am an expert on products, I just like to try a lot and have fun writing about them.

But, I have to wonder, if the people selling (sorry no offense meant) don’t tell people not to apply the product on their eyelids(a very sensitive skin area), or otherwise, do a test spot on the inside of their arm to gauge sensitivity, then….

they should.

Most beauty counter people are instructed to tell you to not apply face creams to your eyelids or even around the eyes. That may sound like hype to sell the additional eye cream product, but the face skin is not quite as sensitive as the eye area skin, and for that matter, the neck or decolette’.

I’ve frequently posted about what I call the zero-to-60 effect-if you never do, or rarely use a type of product, then using the product for the first time will probably show results quickly. You know, when you’ve been walking around all-day and the Clinique person takes her cotton soaked with their alcohol based cleanser and swipes it on the back of your hand taking off the accumulated dirt which she shows you the icky instant result.

So, yeah, some people will get results from Nerium, but for how long will it be effective?



Really? The Search for Testimony


Three times I have been by the Lancome‘ counter to check out or purchase whatever.

And three times, the salesperson is probably in their 60-s, or at least their skin looks like they’ve spent a lot of time in the sun.

More power to you.

But, all three times, the salespeople talked about how Visionnaire, and the combo of Visionnaire and Genefique had made a huge difference in their skin texture.

I’m sorry, I have a very hard time believing them.

I know, that people need a job, and this job is what they want or like to do. But I think the salestraininers/marketing people at Lancome’ need to rethink strategy on getting this product flying off the shelves.  Personally I think when they gave 7-days of genefique samples that was a better way to get people hooked on the product.  Expensive yes, but far more convincing.

I think nowadays people are less willing to shell out cash for a wing and a prayer promise of lines, wrinkles and brown spots removed.

Somewhat like that, is when the ReVive’ people were in town and a very young person was part of the sales team at Nordstroms.  That’s cool, but it’s the flip side, do I really think the products make a difference NOW for her?

I mean, a much younger person hopefully has the benefit of starting sunscreen earlier so there’s less concern about brown spots from the sun, or premature aging.

At least that’s what I am thinking.

Then there are the real life testimonies that I see with my own eyes.  Like the ReVive/Estee Lauder person who was using ReVive’s Peau line-I hadn’t seen her for a month or so, so I really noticed a huge difference in her skin.  The Peau line is the super duper line, the upgrade from the $250 a jar ReViVe’ Moisture Renewal.

And the other testimony I saw and believe is a woman I have known for about 20 years. I asked her about the Nerium AD product she was selling, and she pointed to around her eyes and said her crow’s feet were pretty much gone in 3 days!  She showed me her pictures too.

But, what I found remarkable was that around her eyes DEFINITELY looked like she had done something because there were no wrinkles!


Let’s hear it for real results based on real testimonials done by real people and not in a lab where the percentages are based on controlled environments and improvement is relative.




Brown Spots: The War of the C’s

In the quest to get rid of brown spots from the sun, melasma or just plain aging – I’ve been using two products (primarily) the last few months.

In the war between Kiehl’s Powerful Line Concentrate v Philosophy Turbo Vitamin C Booster Powder, I know that the Kiehl’s product by itself works very well.  In a way, since I used the Kiehl’s product first, it lightened by brown spots significantly, and using Philosphy‘s Turbo Booster C Powder has turned out to be a novelty.

At the end of the day, Kiehl’s Powerful Line is just plain easier to use.  It comes in a brown pump bottle that just a squirt pretty much gets the product on your face.

On the other hand, Philosophy’s powder product with the little spoon and the mixing of the product with a cream is a fun novelty at first, but it gets old after awhile.  Especially when I am at the gym and don’t have a lot of time to dilly-dally.

I know I could use other serums, but for price point and superior performance of working on brown spots, Kiehl’s wins. At $56 a bottle, it just makes sense.



Another product that I love but is in that same category of fun at first is Laura Mercier‘s Tight Liner-fun to draw on but mixing with water ( I don’t need waterproof) works when I am at home,but not at the gym and I am not near a sink.

Another Year, Another B Day

Tomorrow is my birthday and this is probably my most public announcement of the event ever.  I’m not so vain that I want the years to just slide by unnoticed but anyway….

My birthday wishes in the realm of beauty:

I’ve asked my dermo for this for years-new set of skin on my face and body.  It’s pretty good with all the TLC I slather on-but there’s room for improvement.

A product that definitively takes off the little sun moles off my foot and various areas on my legs-curiously on my upper inner thigh.  I’ve been using the Philosophy Miracle Dark Spot product on my scar and that’s working, and the spot on my foot looks like the pigment is “breaking” up.  This particular product is supposed to inhibit the production of melanin while it is fading the spot.  It reminds me of the Nerium AD product in consistency and smell but Philosophy doesn’t come out and say they use the same secret ingredient.

A product that keeps my eyebrows at the right length and the right shape without the plucking and waxing-I love Stacie, she has made inheriting my Dad’s brows fun.

For Laura Mercier;  to combine her radiant primer and tinted moisturizer in the same product.  I mix them on my finger, or I put them on in layers, depending on how much time I have to get ready. I realize this is probably found in the illuminating moisturizing product, but that produces more of a white shimmer affect for me vs the golden shimmer color I get from the primer in radiance.

For my finger and toenails to be the perfect length and shape at all times. For nail color to last in perfect condition until I’m ready to change colors.

Honest and truly knowledgable sales people who are paid salary and not commission.  The only ding I give Sephora is the salespeople who really know nothing and just push their product.

To never have to shave my legs.

To never gloss my hair-but I’d miss Hillary J.

Long lashes. Never had them ever without the aid of Revitalash or mascara.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the original equipment that came from the parent factory.

I have incredible health. No high blood pressure, easily maintained weight, happy disposition, no major health threats looming, wake up with no aches and pains, etc.

It’s pretty good.

Thank you mom and dad!


Nerium AD-New Wonder Product?

Update 8/14/14

I as checking out Biologic Stem Cells-my friend gave me a sample so I found this site.  Kind of scary about Nerium.



(Original post)

My co-worker and I share the same interest of fending off aging and brown spots with various products.  I was at a fancy cocktail party a few months ago and he and his friend were there–the friend even recommended Garnier rolling ball to get rid of eye puffiness! Did I mention he was a guy?

So two days ago my co-worker friend called and said he was trying a new product for the last 2 weeks and he felt he was getting results.  I am a contractor so I usually see him at fancy cocktail parties(in fact the last was hosted by the same – Modern Luxury Hawaii).  So I see his skin from product to product.

He suggested I take the 5-day challenge of using the product Nerium AD which is to remove fine lines and pigmentation.  Some of the before and afters were pretty impressive.

Nerium is based on an extract -which is poisonous-so don’t go out and make your own! Every post I saw on the web about the extract itself said the same-very poisonous do not attempt to treat yourself.

I think there is more to this product than that – it smells like the Philosophy Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector.  Consistency is similar too. So this is day two of that product.  I think maybe the puffiness is better, but I slept well last night so we’ll see.  I will post the results in a few days.


I decided that my doing my blepheritis treatment which is a warm compress in the morning and evening, cleansing the lids with special wipes, and press/pushing the oil glands, is why my eye bags have diminished.  Apparently this is a common condition. Instead of special wipes, the doc recommends baby wash-gentle with no tears type.

My friend sent some before and after photos, Nerium AD seems to be working on the melasma, but after about 2 weeks of diligent use.

So the net is, the 5 day challenge might not produce results.  They should change it to the 2 week challenge.

For some of us who do a lot to our faces it may take longer to produce results. I think a lot of people go from doing absolutely nothing sort of zero to 60 so they can see a difference.

But if you have a drawer full of stuff-I think it will take longer.


My other friend with very sensitive skin had a little bit of a reaction. It is plant-based-my old dermo said, yeah it’s natural but so it poison ivy.