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.


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!


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.





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.


I’ll probably take it back.


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.


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.





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.





The Sunscreen Graveyard-Mustela SPF50

I’m always in search of the ideal sunscreen. Something with high SPF, goes on under make up and doesn’t sting my eyes.

The high spf and makeup goals are pretty easy to satisfy-but the not stinging my eyes thing-well ain’t been happening yet.

There have been a couple of contenders, but there’s usually something else I don’t like about the product. Like Lancome’s eye sunscreen-I just didn’t like the smell and the consistency was odd. Plus I had to wait a long time to let it dry.

Bobbi Brown’s SPF is pretty good-but for the price and the size of the tube-left me looking elsewhere.

Right around V-day I got an email from Sephora saying the VIP Beauty Gift was a collection of Fresh products-soy cleaners, lotus cream and their new oil. So, yeah you know it, I made up a reason to go shopping.

Not needing anything-I dug down deep and looked for a new sunscreen, finding Mustela.

I like the idea of using  products made for babies as they have to be gentle without a lot of chemicals and other additives like fragrance.


Mustela claims to be natural based and hypoallergenic.  The SPF 50 I bought is mineral based and it goes on really thick. I figured the first run out, it must take some time to soak in and disappear.  It never really did after a 15 minute break in the makeup routine, so I applied my tinted moisturizer over it. I kind of liked the look-using the whiteness of the sunscreen as a brightener-but when I did it again the next day, my face got itchy.

Also, since the formula is so thick, it would scrape off when I scratched.

So, I’ve decided this will go to the sunscreen graveyard-or give it to the bf for days he goes golfing and needs extra protection.



The Face Shop-Super Perfect Sun Cream SPF 50+

I’m always in search of sunscreen for the face-I’m not into BB CC creams much because you have to put on a good amount of sunscreen to get the benefit, and BB CC creams offer more than I want when it comes to coverage.

I enjoy going to The Face Shop-a Korean cosmetic and skincare store that opened in Hawaii a few years ago in McCully Shopping Center (really bad parking) and now Ward Warehouse (good parking).

The young girls are very helpful and use many of the products.  They give free samples with every purchase. (When I run out of my Clarin’s toner, I am buying their Green Tea toner-really nice!).

The most popular sunscreen is the whitening version of the same Natural Sun, Super Perfect Sun Cream, SPF 50+.

It’s somewhere in between a liquid like Clarin’s UV 40, and thick cream like Banana Boat or Dr. Melanie Tantisira’s physical, chemical free sun block.

It does feel moisturizing, and goes on easily over make up.  My friend asked me what the active ingredient was and I didn’t know. I did know the packaging is in a blend of english and korean. (Turns out it is sunflower sprout extract–coincidentally, Clarin’s uses the same in it’s neck cream).

As you may have figured out in the post about La Roche-Posay, I don’t read the package info often.

It’s like setting up a car stereo in high school- just mess around with a bunch of wires until you get music coming out of the speakers.

I do get a little irritation if I put the product on my eyelids-but nothing like the last product.  I really like the creaminess and non-greasy formula.  I use the Super Goop Vitamin C spray on product for my body, and it spells like oranges, but is sticky and definitely greasy. I think it gave me a bit of a rash too.

Anyway for $15 bucks or so-I like this product. Comparable in price to Cerave’ and Cetaphil, but natural based.

I like that.


Madonna Lift-Free Workshop

For those who have heard about the Madonna Lift, and have questions, than Dr. Melanie Tantisira’s workshop on 9/26 is the place to be.

I attended one of Dr T’s informative sessions a few months back, and the best part was the Q&A.  In the cozy setting of her office, attendees shared their concerns, and it was nice to have some interchange.

We’ve all been to workshops where the presenter says,, “any questions?”, and then everybody hits the street.

In any case, Dr T will talk about the Madonna Lift, share before and after stories, and talk about Botox and dermal fillers such as Radiesse and Restylane and how using them with the procedure, enhances the results.

She will probably include info on the Accent XL-it’s a radio frequency treatment that tightens skin and smooths cellulite.  I’m thinking I would like to have my little bit of skin under my neck treated, and possibly my décolleté.  I’ve preached about SPF on my face, but neglected my decollete and neck, so there you have it. I’m seeing aging of my skin if I did not use SPF all these years.

Like I said, it’s cozy, so if you’re interested, sign up by calling 808-591-9111. That means, seating is very limited.


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?


Calling Asian Complexions! Clinique’s CC Cream is a MATCH!!!!


I love the idea of a cream that does everything for you-like roll out of bed, slap on some BB CC AA cream and go!


Not true in my case.

Before I do that I put on serum, real sunscreen applied on my entire face, neck and décolleté, and I advise everyone who uses any kind of tinted moisturizer of multi-purpose cream to do the same in the sunscreen department.

Think about it, you put on your tinted whatever more sparingly than the quarter size helping of sunscreen you’re supposed to apply.  Do you put on  quarter size dollop of tint?

I DIGRESS as always to preach the sunscreen gospel.

Anyway, I don’t know about the US mainland and other places, but Clinique Hawaii counters offer 3 shades they claim are not offered allover.  They are special shades made for Japanese complexions who tend to be fair and a little less pink.

Even though I live in Hawaii, I tend to lean toward the fair side.  I’ve stayed out of the sun for the last 17 years and use sunscreen religiously even on overcast days.

So this new CC product-I got a sample and it matches my skintone perfectly!  Like the old Prescriptives ads, when it is applied it disappears into my skin.

What’s more, it has good coverage and for me, I apply it from the center around my nose and under my eyes.  It brightens my whole face – I don’t need to apply to my forehead, but I like a little coverage where I do have a few freckles.

Anyway-Clinique CC Cream in colors for Asians!

It’s a hit!




To the Defense! -Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector SPF 43

That’s a mouthful!

I saw the ad for this product in Allure magazine and was highly curious.

Shiseido doesn’t call it a BB cream or a CC cream or a ZZ cream.  But does everything.  The little sample says “A lightweight, oil free tinted protector that shields against daily UV rays.  Anti-photo aging, anti-oxidative and moisturizing effects protect and maintain skin’s beauty.

Another mouthful!  Amazing they got that all on the little sample card!

Like all Shiseido products, the cream smells good and goes on easily.  I like to take color products on my fingertips and warm it up a little- it stirs the product up as well.  Sometimes my Laura Mercier Silk Creme separates in the tube, but mixes easily.


This defending product is so highly pigmented it is like putting on cream foundation.  Plus it has all the benefits that guard against anti-aging.

Maybe the product is little league for Shiseido who is a skincare giant internationally – known for their color line, but if you take a look at the JNs from Japan most of them avoid the sun and take care of their skin.  They have a leg up on being taught to take care of their skin very early on, and have great products that FOCUS on skincare first.

The only thing is the product only comes in light, medium, dark–happily I match the medium shade so I can use it.  Many other BB CC creams also come in these few “shades” but they don’t work well – too pink, too dark too too.


A high recommend if you’re looking for an all in one.  Just make sure if you really want to use it as a one step, meaning you don’t apply separate layer of sunscreen, make sure you put enough product on to get the UV protection.