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…..

 

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

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

Goodbye Michelle, Hello Lisa

No dis on Michelle Phan, I love watching her videos especially the early ones that had tips like how to clean your brushes, do it yourself masks etc.

Her makeup artistry creates great looks with a lot of emphasis on the eyes of course but  I find myself getting a little bored lately with super dark smoky eyes and dark lips to match.

Besides, I get that celebrities like to keep it sizzling with info on their love lives, but frankly it’s not that interesting. Maybe if you’re in your thirties like Phan is, but I’m not, I dunno – her love life bores me.

Anyway.

A while back I youtubed Audrey Hepburn Breakfast At Tiffany’s make up and one of the better videos featured this woman with an accent.  I watched it a couple of times and tried the technique which is pretty simple with a white/light base on the eyes and just really clean lines, soft color and winged liner.

I know it looks a little silly with the crown-but the look is classic.

I just had a bday a month ago and had a belated birthday lunch and my friend emailed the photos. That day I had forgotten my makeup kit and only had my eyes on-eyebrows, mascara and blue liner on the upper waterline. Lucky for me I had some sunscreen moisturizer and always have balm.

Really not enough makeup for photos tho.

So checking out videos for mature skin or aging eyes or whatever I found Lisa Eltheridge again. She’s a makeup artist out of the UK-she uses a range of US products from Max Factor and Revlon to department store brands like Chanel and Dior.

What I like about her techniques for aging folks or not, is her looks use a light hand for color.  This particular video emphasizes a glowy base, the model’s skin is quite wrinkly, but somehow the magic of makeup makes it less noticeable without heavy concealing, just moisture and light colors.

She’s like Bobbi Brown but a lot less screechy-Bobbi tends to use natural color and really too much pop.  If you look at Bobbi’s books, her models use so much concealer that all you see is concealer and a big thick gel liner line. Her shadows are beautiful but too sparkly for aging lids.

Lisa recommends getting away from using all neutral beiges and such on aging eyelids and adding soft color, “defining” the eyes.  She also uses gel blush for softness.

I particularly liked this one because the look is professional and polished.

In any case, I spent a good part of the morning watching her vids.

Check it out!

k

It Just Doesn’t Fit-Trying on Shiseido

I like Shiseido products I really do, and it was a long time before I bought their products because of my limited income, and then I as wooed away by others when I could.

The Beneficance Wrinkle24 Eye Resist caught my eye first-I really loved it, so when Shiseido had a a gift with purchase, I plunged forward.

I bought the Softener and the Creamy Cleanser.

I’m a Clarin’s Toning Lotion kind of gal-never had a problem with it, love that there is no alcohol and it’s gentle.

So rethinking it, reading some rave reviews and consideration of the price, I decided the $58 price tag was just too much more than the $20 something I pay for a product I love.

So I took it back to Windward Mall Macys. The girl was nice enough–I decided to try the Neck Contour Cream which was sold out so it was delivered to my door.

It was like living through the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream again!

The product did not smooth on and I felt like it dragged on my skin.

I took that back. I purchased the Benifiance Moisturizer Cream with SPF18. Hardly enough spf for Hawaii-but I like the smell, the cream is light, and works ok, though my expectations for anything more than just moisture are low.

So, I used the original creamy cleanser about 6 times-one pump or two pumps depending, and it is supposed to tissue or rinse off. In the end the product left too much of a greasy feel and..

I took it back.

I got the UV Environmental SPF 50-it has moisture so it is a little thick.  When I applied to my face it makes it pretty white-tho I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

But

I’ll probably take it back.

k

Beauty Illusion-Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eye Shadow

Usually I run away from the Chanel counter-I have set my own limits for what I am willing to pay for any given product.

But lately I have noticed that Bobbi Brown really raised her prices–Laura Mercier probably has too, but her products still stand in the light of I love them so much I buy them anyway.

Bobbi on the other hand–it’s just too expensive—maybe get a lower paid spokesperson?

Anyway.

I threw out my old Bobbi cream shadows because I realized it has been years since my fav makeup artist Jamie T left Neiman Marcus and had a baby who must be 3-4 years old.

So what does that mean?

HA HA More room for new stuff!!!!!!

I like eye shadow pallettes and I don’t know if it was on QVC or where-but I saw a Bobbi pallette that intriqued me. But I went to her site and it’s not there so…whatevs.

I like a particular purply shimmery brown ish color.  I had it in Bobbi and I think she called it Black Opal in her cream shadows.

I was cruising Macy’s waiting for the bf to do his clothes shopping (which literally takes hours), and saw the color I love at the Chanel counter in their D’Ombre line.

I try not to lead salespeople on by trying on something I have zero intention of buying. But this day I was in the buying mood and the woman who helped me was less the brand’s attitude if you get my meaning.

She tried every color in the line on her hand and asked if I wanted to try it on.

I would only say yes if she opened a brand new shadow but of course they don’t. If you read about the amount of bacteria in sample testers you wouldn’t either.

Some people have no problem with spreading germs all over everywhere including the creams and shadows at ANY make up counter or store.

As we say in Hawaii-pi-lau- pronounced pee-lauw.

Ick.

Anyway back to the review. I bring the product home which I have yet to really try on my skin-and I open it with the kind of reverence you pay to Chanel. I was surprised to find that the shadow is creamy-yet it’s a powder at the same time.

I put it on with a brush in pretty light layers-then I take my Laura Mercier blending brush(like a stipler) and blend it down.  I take a little light brown matte color from Bobbi and blend that in.

It’s a little more color than I usually wear-but I really like the Chanel shadow and will probably buy more. It would be cool if they offered it in a little less shimmery formula which wears better on older lids.

But between my Fresh Black Tea Extract Serum and my Shiseido Benfiance eye creams-my crepey lids and those extremely annoying horizontal lines have faded especially the crepiness.

k

 

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.

k

Whip it Good! Perricone MD Photo Plasma

I love Perricone’s ads-very 80-s disco with the product spotlighted in an otherwise dark background. Very different than the 90-s green-inspired.

Anyway.

I was excited to try this product as it boasts that it is a moisturizer, treatment and sunscreen. However the price tag, made me feel that I didn’t want to commit to a jar.

So I settled on the deluxe sample size for $20 in the product bins at Sephora. The .5fl oz. gives you enough product to ascertain whether it works or not, or whether you might consider buying the jar.  Unlike other samples that are a drop of this or that.

My first impression was that the product is air-whipped and sort of like marshmallow cream but not sticky. The peachy color is pretty and the products goes on much like spreading whipped cream on your face.

I’ve tried it with and without a base of moisturizer-as a moisturizer it fails. My face is feeling tight in the early afternoon, so when I do use it, I apply my regular moisturizer.

My real comment on this product is-my impression of its whipped consistency is-this is how the company expands its profit margin by whipping up the products volume and less product for the customer at the end of the day.

That’s ok-its business of making money.

k

 

 

 

Korean Sunscreens-Nature Republic v. TonyMoly

As time goes on, I suspect more Korean beauty stores to open in Hawaii.  Nature Republic and The Face Shoppe opened in the last 5 years, and TonyMoly set up shop in Palama Supermarket-a Korean supermarket with vendor boutiques.

I’m on Korean sunscreen #3-I had tried The Face Shoppes-Sunflower Super Perfect sunscreen which I liked a lot, but when applied to my eyelids, stung.

More recently, I found Nature Republic at Ala Moana Shopping Center.  I had seen an ad in the holiday guide but because the location of the store was not in the ad, had no idea where it was in the center.  I stumbled upon the store when I parked in that area, which is a rare occasion.

The Nature Republic product-UV Lock Flower, is a non-chemical sun liquid, that has a very similar consistency to my beloved Clarins’ Spf 40. It is very light and goes in quickly-it does leave a little bit of a white sheen, much like the Clarins product. I like this because it brightens my face.

I was looking for a peach flavored soft drink I first had in the old Palama Supermarket when I visited a couple of weeks ago.

Didn’t find the drink, but I did discover one of my ballet friends worked at TonyMoly. I had tried their Green Apple mask and loved it, so I was willing to try something else.

Kay turned me on to the UV Sunset Aqua Sun Gel, SPF 30, PA++, a mineral oil-free gel with a watery texture that leaves no sticky feeling behind.

Left to translation but in english is “Morning Dew Complex” which must be its secret.

The product smells nice, and somehow seals in moisture so my face feels pretty good most of the day.

It does say avoid contact with the eyes.

But I put it on anyway. It doesn’t sting them.

I love this product-a high recommend.

k