Archive for December, 2013

Flag-J marks 1st year in Hawaii with Taboo launch

December 31st, 2013

Taboo grants an interview to Reiko Tokushige Rogers during Elements at The Modern Honolulu.Nadine Kam photos

Japanese-based women’s shoe boutique Flag-J celebrated its first anniversary in Hawaii during Elements at The Modern Honolulu on Dec. 27, with celeb appearances by DJ/rapper Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas, Hype 5-0, and Tiara and Tamara Rapp of 8 Flavahz.

The event also marked the launch of Jump, a new collaboration shoe line by Taboo. During media interviews at the event, he said of his partnership with the brand, "I love Japanese culture and fashion and I'm inspired by all the designers in Japan. I can't wait to get back there."

Guests who arrived early were welcome to shop the brand, as well as other popup vendors such as Allison Izu Denim, Summer Style, Flutter Lashes and Koi Boutique.

I was ending my second day of a five-day juice cleanse so wasn't up to staying out very long.

Taboo urges photographers to keep their eyes on his Jump shoes. (more…)

Beauty Spot: Sulwhasoo Sensorium

December 30th, 2013


Amore Pacific national educator and trainer Steven Snook shows a handful of the Korean red ginseng that goes into many Sulwhasoo products. —  Nadine Kam photos

Korean skincare brand, Sulwhasoo brought its Herbal Sensorium to Neiman Marcus from Dec. 9 to 15, when those interested in learning more about the herbs going into the products were welcome to smell and touch the various ingredients and ask questions.

Parent company Amore Pacific's national educator and trainer Steven Snook was in town to share information about the brand, with products rooted in Korean herbal medicine.

Asian medicine differs from Western medicine in that it attempts to address ailments from inside and getting to the root cause of problems vs. addressing symptoms.

In Hawaii, we're one step ahead of much of the nation in this regard because of many of our diverse ethnic backgrounds, with knowledge of folk and herbal remedies. He said that in his travels across the nation, he finds people unfamiliar with the idea of Korean herbal medicine, and afraid of the word "medicine."

"Sulwhasoo" is named after a flower that blooms in the snow in the dead of winter, and the brand's aim is to restore balance to the skin, through use of Asian botanicals.

Sulwhasoo's products are rooted in Korean herbal medicine recipes that refer to some 2,000 ingredients. Many of the original remedies were intended to be ingested, but the company studied the ingredients, using only the 200 that would be most effective when applied topically.

I've used their Time Treasure line and feel it works, if you don't mind the herbal scent of ginseng.

Korean red ginseng.

Snook said he gets nods of understanding when those of Korean ancestry look at the displays, but said, "The one thing that Koreans don't understand is pine, because it's the only ingredient not eaten."

The display featured wood from the red pine, but in cosmetic usage, they use the chlorophyll and oils of the Korean red pine, which in Asian lore is said to treat myriad ailments.

The line is based on addressing skincare needs in seven-year cycles and restoring skin to balance, from First Care Serum that is intended to reduce inflammation and improve circulation, to the Time Treasure Collection that addresses permanent signs of aging for those 36 and older.

In formulating the Concentrated Renewing Ginseng Cream, he said no added water is used so you get an effective blend of the roots, berries and sap of Korean ginseng, along with other herbs, and avocado, mango seed and sunflower oils.

An image from Steven Snook's presentation.

The Herbal Sensorium display of ingredients that go into Sulwhasoo products, including Korean red ginseng, red pine, white lily, Solomon's Seal, rehmannia, Chinese peony and East Indian lotus.

Wood chips from the Korean red pine.


White lily helps the skin with moisture retention.

Beauty spot: M.A.C hosts 'Divine Night'

December 27th, 2013


M.A.C brought its "Divine Night" Holiday collection to Ala Moana Center's Centerstage, complete with disco performances.Photos courtesy M.A.C

M.A.C debuted its glam "Divine Night" Holiday collection in a big way, bringing models, dancers and a disco diva to Ala Moana Center in the spirit of Studio 54 and honoring the late fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. The illustrator's work frequently graced the pages of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Interview.

A person who may not have been to the center recently, commented on Facebook about the setup, saying, "OMG, Ala Moana has gone so chic," but it was all M.A.C's doing as they created a club vibe to Centerstage.



Events took place over three days, Dec. 20 to 22, with M.A.C artists including John Stapleton, M.A.C. Cosmetics Senior Artist, available to help anyone with their holiday look.

I was able to catch up with Stapleton back stage, where artists were preparing models for the stage, and he was able to share some tips for holiday sparkle, with some real practical tips for women who don't want to go overboard, or others who never wear makeup but just want to amp up a bit.

He reaffirmed that less can be more when it comes for real-way makeup, and when it comes to going out at night, what you really want are products that help light you up in the most flattering way possible.

For those who don't want to juggle a lot of products, I asked for a short list of must-haves. His New Year's Eve recommendations:

M.A.C's Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Powder: For prep with built-in sheen.

Strobe Cream: With one stroke across the cheeks, you add a pearly opalescence that varies with the way light hits the skin.

Divine Night Mineralize Blush: A '70s-style glam look would not be complete without contouring, but the new contouring is achieved with color ranging from the coral pink of "Lured to Love" to the violet pearl of "Lavish Living."

Divine Night lipstick: Create the strong, bold look of the N.O.W. era with such colors as "Prepare for Pleasure" or "Private Party." Going bolder on the lip allows you to lighten up around the eyes by simply highlighting your peepers with eye liner and a good mascara.


Nadine Kam photos
The effect of M.A.C's Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Powder, and Strobe Cream could be seen on male models' bodies. After prepping, models were patted down with a light dusting of M.A.C Pigment in "Old Gold" for an overall glow.

Models were made up following the Divine Night face chart below.

divine hair


One step closer to show time!

#MyKiplingBag Tour continues in Waikiki

December 19th, 2013


An 8-by-10 foot inflatable replica of Kipling's Defea bag marks the spot of #MyKiplingBag Tour.Nadine Kam photos

Kipling, a fast-growing global accessory brand, brought its #MyKiplingBag Tour to its second Hawaii store in the King Kalakaua Plaza, 2080 Kalakaua Ave., for three days of fun and celebration.

The event started yesterday and continues from 3 to 9 p.m. today and Dec. 20, with an interactive photo experience, free monogramming of purchased items, a sweepstakes, VMV Hypoallergenics Beauty Bar, and complimentary drinks offered from 5:30 p.m. daily.

The event is free. To RSVP, visit

Founded in 1987, the Belgian brand is known for injecting fun into its lightweight, contemporary handbags, accessories, and luggage for women of all ages, with the aim of creating the perfect accessories for an active life.

Hawaii got to know the brand through Macy's stores, and the company did so well that it was able to open its first Ala Moana Center store in May, followed by this Waikiki sibling, in the large space that was once home to Banana Republic.

In the spirit of travel and adventure, the brand is named after Rudyard Kipling, author of “The Jungle Book.” In homage to the story, Kipling chose the monkey as its mascot, and each of its bags is accompanied by a hanging monkey keyring. Check out their really cute video featuring their monkey troop:

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The company offers multiple ways to engage with the brand through social media, with opportunities to win merchandise through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For instance:

Instagram your photo with #MyKiplingBag and follow @KiplingUSA to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of up to $1,000 in products from the Kipling Create Your Own Collection.

Fill in the blank: "The funniest thing in #MyKiplingBag is ____" at Instagram to win weekly prizes.

Name that monkey: The company names each of its monkeys, many bearing the name of its employees around the world. Trouble is, so many monkeys are sold, they are always looking for new names. If you've got one to share, tell them on Twitter @KiplingUSA #KiplingNameGame and you might be surprised one day to receive a Kipling accessory and Kipling Monkey with your own name on it!


Colors that make you smile, and a barrel of soft, furry monkeys too!


Stacy Roman, left, and Kathy Hines, right, vice president, marketing for Kipling were in from New York for the grand opening, with Cris Pageler, PR and social media manager.


From left, Jan Hail, Lance Rae and Joanne Magday posed for photos with Kipling bags. A prompter in front of them called for acting out various scenarios, ranging from yogaing to caffeinating to jetsetting.


Miss Hawaii USA 2014 Moani Hara and Jocelyn Fukuda also stepped in front of the camera. I don't know which word they're responding to.

kipling lee anne

Celeb chef Lee Anne Wong provided the food for a private event before the public opening, including Korean-style sushi and dessert bruschetta topped with Greek yogurt and diced tropical fruit. She was helped by Jason Chow, left, and Andrea Onetti of Onda Pasta. She's getting ready to open Kevin Hanney's Koko Head Cafe in January.


Shoppers can get their purchase monogrammed with up to nine characters, with several choices of typefaces and colors.


Lindsey Muraoka, left, and Ritsuko Kukonu show their monogrammed Freedom cosmetic/pen cases. (more…)

Pull-In to Waikiki for new undies

December 19th, 2013


Darth Vader is less frightening in his Pull-In undies. — Nadine Kam photos

Pull-In Underwear opened its doors with a media event Dec. 11 with owners Emilie and Frederic Cannas and informal modeling of underwear and swimwear.

The Cannas, from Corsica, France, fell in love with Hawaii and tried to figure out how to move here permanently. Although neither has a fashion background—she was in education, he ran bars—they decided they could make a living by introducing locals and tourists to the high-performance French brand, Pull-In Underwear.

Pull-In was created by Emmanuel Lohéac in 2000 with the idea of revolutionizing the lingerie market by introducing bold, fun prints we more likely associate with children's underwear, and efficient, high-performance materials such as Lycra and 100 percent certified organic cotton mixed with Elastane fibers for stretch and comfort.

Covered with print, the undies are so colorful and sturdy, they look more like swimwear and the Cannas said the brand is a natural for Hawaii, where we have the option of pulling off your outerwear and simply jumping into the water when the mood hits.


Kelia Fu and Sani Taylor in Pull-In designs with colorful cupcakes to match some of the fun prints available. The cupcake print below also has a circle reading, "Yummy!"


Our regular underwear is simply too flimsy and thin for that. I know, because while I was in Bali earlier this year, I met a British guy and we were just hanging around talking after lunch and it was hot day, so all of a sudden he says he wants to go for a swim and asks if I want to join him. I was like, "Oh, did you bring swim shorts?" and said I had to go back to my room and change into a swimsuit.

So he just strips to his underwear and cannonballs into the pool! If I had some Pull-In pieces at the time I might have done the same, but no, I didn't.

Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 5.04.05 PM

Meanwhile, the store is running a contest through Dec. 23 to win a special Xmas gift pack with the items above. To enter:

1. Follow @Pullinunderwear on Twitter or @Pullinstagram on Instagram.

2. Take a photo of yourself in the new store on Waikiki Beach Walk, 227 Lewers St. near Giovanni Pastrami.3. Post your photo on Twitter or Instagram with #pullinhonolulu, and mention the store in your post.

This is a global contest and one winner per store will be chosen at random. No purchase is necessary. The winners will get a notification on their Twitter or Instagram account by Christmas.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.


May the force be with you in Pull-In Underwear. Briefs are about $29.99 for women;
$39.99 for men. Bikini tops run $39.99 to $49.99.


Marketing director Thierry Daupin, right, with owners Emilie and Frederic Cannas, and Conchita Malaqui, left, general manager at Waikiki Beach Walk.


The way these briefs are seamed in the back is supposed to give men a butt lift. However, no one in the media crowd volunteered to put them to the test. (more…)

Beauty Spot: M·A·C hosts 'Divine Night' events

December 19th, 2013


A photo from a previous "Divine Night" event.Photo courtesy M·A·C

M·A·C Cosmetics will be introducing its new holiday collection "Divine Night" at the Ala Moana Center Dec. 20 to 22, with models showcasing the newest looks, accompanied by disco performances at various times throughout the event.

Book an appointment with a M·A·C Artist who will create a stunning look for you, sending you home with a photo of your glam moment. M·A·C senior artist John Stapleton will be there to answer questions and offer product demonstrations.

Hours are:

Dec. 20: Noon to 9 p.m.
Dec. 21: 11 a.m.  to 8 p.m.
Dec. 22: 11 a.m. to  7 p.m.

For more information, call 955-0356.


While there, also check out the RiRi M·A·C Holiday Collection.

Sanuk opens first brand store at the Hyatt

December 17th, 2013


Sanuk aims to put the fun in footwear, with the slogan "Smile ... pass it on!"Nadine Kam photos

Sanuk founder Jeff Kelley was in town to mark the grand opening of the brand's third company-owned store, and first in Hawaii, in less than one year.

The event took place Dec. 11 at the store in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, where there was a blessing by Blaine Kamalani Kia, performance by long-time Sanuk ambassador/surfer/musician Donavon Frankenreiter, and beach party fare of hot dogs with all the necessary condiments, and fancy s'mores on a stick.

Sanuk is now a division of Deckers Outdoor Corp., but Kelly told me the whole story of how he simply started creating funny footwear for himself in his back-yard shed because that's what he wanted to wear and there was nothing like it on the market at the time, in the late 1990s.


Sanuk founder Jeff Kelley with a display of men's designs.

He dubbed his first creation, with a bed of indoor/outdoor carpeting the "Fur Real," (like AstroTurf) inspired by a trailer trash moment in fashion, and he dubbed his fledgling company Sanuk, which means "fun" in the Thai language, and his aim was to create "funk-tional" sandals for fellow outdoor buffs.

"I knew all the surf shop owners, but the funny thing was they did better with luxury retailers like Louis Boston, Fred Segal and Barney's." His high-end contacts came through attending the Magic Trade Show.

Even so, he said business was slow until he created his signature slip-on Sidewalk Surfer, by putting a shoe top made of poncho fabric on a sandal footbed. He also became the first to create a sandal with a cushy yoga mat footbed in 2006. It's now one of the top sellers among women.

"The cushion's different," he said. "It works like a Temperpedic mattress, molding itself to the shape of your foot."

In the spirit of fun, the shop was giving away stickers, and Frankenreiter-inspired moustaches, which will be perfect for wearing to the opening of "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," tomorrow!


Shoppers on opening day received extras like this Donavon Frankenreiter-inspired 'stache.


The popular yoga-mat sandals is available in many more colorways.

sanuk music

Donavon Frankenreiter, right, arrived straight from the plane from South America, where he performed in Peru with Incubus, and in Chile with Jason Mraz. (more…)

Beauty spot: Look younger with Juvéderm VolumaXC

December 12th, 2013


Before, left, and immediately after a VolumaLift procedure using Juvéderm VolumaXC, a patient's cheek is fuller and smoother, with some redness from the procedure.Photos courtesy Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii

After talking with clients of Dr. W.Y. Chung following their Juvéderm VolumaXC treatments, I told the doctor, "You're going to have a problem with word of mouth."

In the best way possible.

In this case, the results of the new-to-the-U.S.-market product look so natural that the women told me they weren't going to tell anyone they'd had an injectable procedure done. "I'm just going to tell people I got a lot of rest," said one Realtor.

Juvéderm VolumaXC is made by Allergan, already known for other age-defying, enhancing products such as Botox, Juvéderm XC and Latisse. The product debuted in Europe eight years ago, and Canada three years ago, for an effective five years on the market. So far, results have been good, with only minor complications noted, such as bruising, redness and swelling that might be expected from any type of injection. In this time, Chung said Juvéderm VolumaXC has already become the No. 1 injectable in Europe and Canada because of its relative ease of use and instant results.

It was tested on women between the ages of 35 and 65.


After using Juvéderm Voluma XC on cheeks, Dr. Chung uses the original Juvéderm XC to fill in smile lines. He cautions against overdoing injectable procedures to avoid a plastic, artificial look. The aim should be to look refreshed, or a few years younger, not 20.

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Chung is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of the Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii where he is using Juvéderm VolumaXC for the VolumaLift™ procedure, which gives individuals an instant "facelift" without surgery.

Juvéderm VolumaXC is an injectable gel that is the first FDA-approved filler to add volume to the cheek area, and the first hyaluronic acid filler to be clinically proven to last up to two years. That’s more than double the life cycle of current fillers, which last approximately six to 12 months. It's formulated with the local anesthetic Lidocaine , so it's said to be less painful than the original Juvéderm facial filler. All the women said it's less painful than a flu shot.


The patient enjoys seeing the results in the mirror.

The procedure gives the cheeks a subtle lift, if you can imagine the cherubic, full-faced look of toddlers. As we get older, collagen loss, hyaluronic acid (a naturally occuring, hydrating substance in the skin) depletion and gravity take their toll, causing a saggy hollowing out. The plumping effect of the VolumaLift restores volume to help individuals look five years younger.

After puncturing the skin with a needle, Chung uses a blunt-tip microcannula for injecting the gel, to minimize the risk of puncturing any major blood vessels, as could happen with a sharp-pointed needle. Once the gel is inserted, he uses his hands to manipulate it in place and shape the area, like building with clay. The entire procedure lasts about 15 minutes, and the cost is about $1,000 per syringe, with one syringe recommended for each cheek. You can resume normal activities immediately afterward.

Considering the results, for minimal pain and minimal cost compared to more invasive procedures, I'm pretty sure this will take off in this country as well, and I'm mighty tempted to buy stock in Allergan, though it's pretty high at about $95 now.

Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii is in the Pan Am Building at 1600 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 808. Call 949-8346.

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