Archive for July, 2015

Ala Moana updates Ewa lineup

By
July 31st, 2015



PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comIt's beginning to look a lot more like a store. A view of the continuing advance of the Ewa wing at Ala Moana Center from the parking lot near the elevator entrances to Morton's and Longhi's.

NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

It's beginning to look a lot more like a store. A view of the continuing advance of the Ewa wing at Ala Moana Center from the parking lot near the elevator entrances to Morton's and Longhi's.

Given the snail's crawl of freeway and rail construction on Oahu, it's surprising to see the quick pace of development at Ala Moana Center. When it was announced this week that the Ewa Wing expansion project would open Nov. 12, I couldn't believe it. We were still looking at mounds of dirt.

But from a driver's vantage point in the parking lot outside the elevators to Morton's and Longhi's, one of the entrances looks pretty near complete. I guess that's the difference between government (using our money) and commercial (time is money) operations.

The project will transform the former Sears space into an expanded three-level retail space, featuring 650,000 square feet of new retail, including a 167,000 square-foot Bloomingdale’s.

In addition to Bloomingdale’s, 25 retailers have announced they will be opening in the Ewa Wing Expansion in November including the state’s first Zara, Magnolia Bakery, and Ted Baker London.

Here is the list of confirmed Ewa Expansion merchants to-date:

» Aēsop

» Agent Provocateur

» AQUA BLU

» The Art of Shaving®

» Bloomingdale’s

» BOSS Hugo Boss

» Café Lani Hawaiʻi

» Calypso St. Barth

» David Yurman

» Desigual

» Foodland Farms (July 2016)

» Gloria Jean’s Coffee

» Island Slipper

» ivivva

» Kay Jewelers

» Laline

» Lorna Jane Active Living

» Magnolia Bakery

» mālie organics

» Ninja Sushi

» Nitrogenie™

» Pierre Marcolini

» Planet Blue

» Ted Baker London

» Tempura Ichidai

» The North Face

» Zara

In March 2016, Nordstrom will relocate to the Ewa Wing to a new 185,000 square-foot retail space followed by the opening of Foodland Farms in July 2016.

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Make-and-take at Lucoral

By
July 30th, 2015



PHOTOS BY DENNIS ODA / doda@staradvertiser.comThere are many gemstone, bead, pearl and shell options offered during daily walk-in jewelry-making sessions at Lucoral Museum.

PHOTOS BY DENNIS ODA / doda@staradvertiser.com

There are many gemstone, bead, pearl and shell options offered during daily walk-in jewelry-making sessions at Lucoral Museum.

The great outdoors can be overrated when it comes to dealing with insects, mud and the occasional helicopter rescue.

But, there is a way to explore in the heart of Waikiki, in the safety of the indoors and the sanctity of air conditioning.

At Lucoral Museum in Waikiki, owner Flora Lu has built an indoor cave reminiscent of lava tubes to house displays of rocks, minerals and ocean treasures as a reminder to care for the planet that, in turn, provides for us.

Visitors can take a self-guided stroll through the museum in a half hour, but some will spend an entire afternoon browsing Lu’s jewelry creations or sitting in her workroom during walk-in, make-and-take jewelry sessions, stringing semi-precious gemstones, pearls and shells into bracelets, at $10 per bracelet.

If it’s a necklace you want, the base cost is $10 plus $1 per inch for every inch over 8 inches, so a 16-inch necklace would be $18. An 18-inch necklace would be $20.

Private parties can also be arranged for girls night out getogethers and other special occasions.

Flora Lu welcomed members of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble from  Vancouver, B.C., Canada, when they were in town for the Hawaii Ukulele Festival July 19.

Flora Lu welcomed members of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, when they were in town for the Hawaii Ukulele Festival July 19.

For Lu, a wholesale jeweler, building the museum was a way of engaging with the public, and reminding children to appreciate nature’s gifts. It’s her way of giving back out of gratitude for the blessings in her own life, starting when she was a child growing up on Penghu Island, or Pescadores as named by the Spanish, a fisherman’s island off the coast of Taiwan.

In 1963, Typhoon Gloria hit, destroying all the fishing boats, and with them, the island’s industry and her family’s 10-generation livelihood.

She is the seventh of 11 children, and said, “Everyone have different ideas of what my parents could do. One said open a barber shop. Our neighbor was a shell manufacturer who saw that my parents have so many kids so taught us how to polish and cut shells and drill holes. That’s how I got started, at 10 years old.”

Before sitting down to string bracelets, visitors to Lucoral Museum are welcome to explore its manmade cave housing minerals, fossils, stones, coral and other natural formations. Flora Lu plays tour guide to Johnny Chang's Johnny Ukulele group from Taiwan.

Before sitting down to string bracelets, visitors to Lucoral Museum are welcome to explore its manmade cave housing minerals, fossils, stones, coral and other natural formations. Flora Lu plays tour guide to Johnny Chang's Johnny Ukulele group from Taiwan.

Accustomed to the abundance of the ocean, she said prior to the typhoon, fishermen regarded the shells as worthless.

“People would eat the shellfish meat, and the leftover shell we would dump into the ocean,” she said. “After the typhoon, it turned into treasure. Abalone shell became like gold."

In five years time, the Pescadores fishing industry rebounded, and with her family’s future secure, Lu moved to Taipei with two of her sisters, where she continued to develop her jewelry business. She moved to Hawaii in 1982, and opened Lucoral Museum in 1989 to share her passion and attendant messages of education, self-motivation, conservation and respect for nature's many gifts.

Her displays include a 145 million-year-old dinosaur egg, and 30 million-year-old fossilized fish, but much of what is displayed are reminders of how much Hawaii has lost over two centuries, such as calcite and stalacite caves and quarries lost to development, Kaneohe Bay clams, and the pearl oysters that gave Pearl Harbor its name.

Members of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble wear and show their finished bracelets. From left are Joseph Chang, Kashmir Penko, Beulah Lee and Eva Bellevontaine. The wrist in the foreground belongs to Tracy Mendonca.

Members of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble wear and show their finished bracelets. From left are Joseph Chang, Kashmir Penko, Beulah Lee and Eva Bellevontaine. The wrist in the foreground belongs to Tracy Mendonca.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comFossilized fish is one of the Lucoral Museum displays.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Fossilized fish is one of the Lucoral Museum displays.

Fluorite on display.

Fluorite on display.

Coral pieces for jewelry making.

Coral pieces for jewelry making.

Lu was named Mother of the Year 2011-‘12 by the United Chinese Society, but her mothering extends beyond her three children to all the youngsters who pass through her museum, many through school excursions.

“Teaching and education are very important. I often wonder what would have happened to me if my neighbor didn’t help us.

“Now, I see the homeless and so many kids living on the street and wonder if I can help them. Maybe if I collect shells from restaurants’ leftovers I could teach them to polish and buy it from them. Sharing my technique is something I could do because other people taught me ‘to fish’ so I could survive.”

Amethysts, and below, shells, for jewelry making.

Amethysts, and below, shells, for jewelry making.

lu shells

During a private party, I created this scary looking coral piece, and a necklace of shells and amethyst beads.

During a private party, I created this scary looking coral piece, and a necklace of shells and amethyst beads.

Lucoral Museum is at 2414 Kuhio Avenue and is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Admission is free. To book private jewelry parties, call (808) 922-1999.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Make-and-take at Sedona

By
July 29th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comJewelry-making instructor Trisha Cortez shows the array of beads and supplies available at Sedona, where she teaches classes in wire-wrapping and macrame bracelets.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Jewelry-making instructor Trisha Cortez shows the array of beads and supplies available at Sedona, where she teaches classes in wire-wrapping and macrame bracelets.

What did I do on my summer vacation? Thanks to Sedona, I learned to make macrame shamballa bracelets in a single afternoon with instructor Trisha Cortez.

The Ward Village shop recently began offering a couple of beginners’ jewelry-making classes in wire wrapping and macrame knotting.

The reason I wanted to try my hand at knotting is because I've purchased such bracelets around town and worry about the day the cords give out and I'm left with beads, stones and gems I would no longer be able to wear. I don't know who to turn to for repair so figured it would be good to learn.

I was drawn to the shamballa bracelets that have become popular over the past few years. Shamballa is a mythical kingdom that Tibetan Buddhist believe in, and the bracelets are a symbol of enlightenment, peace and spirituality. Each stone and bracelet has a different meaning for individuals. I chose stones representing calm, energy, positivity, clarity, love and protection.

The process of making shamballa bracelets starts with bead selection. I chose to work with amethyst, rose quartz, adventurine and malachite. Some students were smart to show up a half hour before class started to select their beads. Students have the option of purchasing or bringing in their own beads.

The process of making shamballa bracelets starts with bead selection. I chose to work with amethyst, rose quartz, adventurine and malachite. Some students were smart to show up a half hour before class started to select their beads. Students have the option of purchasing or bringing in their own beads.

The process seemed intimidating because I had no clue how the knots worked, except from a wearers' point of view. Even after she introduced the concept, I and fellow classmates were like, "We're supposed to finish that much in two hours?"

Stringing the beads.

Stringing the beads.

I had my first bracelet finished and a turquoise one in process by class end.

I had my first bracelet finished and a turquoise one in process by class end.

Class sizes are limited for individual attention, and boy did we need it. Luckily, I asked in advance if Cortez is patient, and yes she is a saint to put up with me. But once we got into the flow and rhythm, the process was fairly easy and zenlike. You just need to know your left from your right, and over and under.

I became somewhat addicted and wanted to make a couple more bracelets right away. It involved no more than purchasing the cording, beads and a macrame board for home use. For finishing the ends of the nylon cord, Trisha used a lighter, but I am afraid to be that close to fire so I used the flame from my gas range and an unfolded paper clip.

I went back to the store a few days later because I was in need of a carnelian bracelet.

I went back to the store a few days later because I was in need of a carnelian bracelet.

The next wire wrapping classes are at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 9, 23 and Sept. 13; cost is $35 per session, includes materials and a stone to wrap. You may also bring in your own stone or purchase a different stone on site.

Macrame knotting classes will be held at 2:30 p.m. the same days; cost is $26 per session, includes cord for a bracelet. Students may also purchase beads on site to weave into their custom design.

Call Cortez at (808) 591-8010 on Fridays and Saturdays for class openings and availability.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Showtime for Hui Makaala

By
July 28th, 2015



PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comFrom left, Cut Collective's Rumi Murakami, Summer Shiigi and Allison Izu tended to sales following their runway presentation at the 46th annual Hui Makaala annual scholarship fashion show.

NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

From left, Cut Collective's Rumi Murakami, Summer Shiigi and Allison Izu tended to sales following their runway presentation at the 46th annual Hui Makaala annual scholarship fashion show.

Among the models sharing the runway with the pros at the 46th annual Hui Makaala scholarship fund fashion show were several friends and past scholarship recipients of the Okinawan cultural, social and educational organization, plus politicos Ann Kobayashi, Keith Kaneshiro, Donna Mercado Kim and Hawaii First Lady and the event's honorary chair Dawn Amano-Ige, along with television anchors Moanike'ala Nabarro and Kenny Choi, who had people saying at my table that he is much better looking in person than on television.

I have to agree. It must be that whole suit and gravitas-added eyeglasses thing on TV that shows the more serious side of the person we saw on stage.

At any rate, with the triumvirate of The Cut Collective (Allison Izu, Rumi Murakami and Summer Shiigi), Manuheali'i and KZ Hawaii/Kini Zamora, it was one of Hui Makaala's strongest showcases in recent years.

The show opened with The Cut Collective, featuring casual and daily wear separates by the three individual designers. The great thing about showing the pieces on the guest models is that audience members could relate to the fit of the garments on people with normal — not giantess or extra slim — dimensions, which is what these designers keep in mind during the creative process. The pieces are very relatable and wearable, and included a trio of separates from Izu's recent summer travel capsule collection geared toward road warriors who travel light and want to get the most mileage out of the fewest pieces possible.

The navy, black and gray of the street-ready styles soon gave way to the color of Danene Lunn's Manuheali'i creations. The audience responded with plenty of applause for fruity, citrusy colors in breezy resort styles ranging from dresses to jumpsuits.

Because the designers used the same models, there was no finale walk to close the shows, and there was a moment of confusion when Neka Stephens walked the runway twice, in the finale of the Manuheali'i show, and start of Kini Zamora's KZ Hawai'i showcase. It's OK, we like seeing Neka on stage!

It turns out the bright orange and hot pink nautilus-print jumpsuit did indeed belong to Kini, whose show spanned the range of beach, day, evening and bridal looks.

And no one can say Hawaii audiences don't appreciate artistry. There was a noticeable buzz in the air when he sent down a black dress with sleeves and hemline that flowed like a cape, demonstrating technique that show why he finished so high on "Project Runway."

This year, nine students are the beneficiaries of Hui Makaala scholarships. They are Alexander Abe (Waldorf High to University of Hawaii at Manoa, public relations/communications), Riley Cabarloc (Hilo High to Hawaii Community College, nursing), Justin Higa (Aiea High to UHM, natural resource management), Kylie Leong (Kamehameha Schools to UH-West Oahu, business management), Kelli Miyahira (Punahou to NYU, music therapy), Ty Shimabukuro (Punahou to UHM, marine biology), Sydney Tsukenjo (Sacred Hearts Academy to Central Seattle College, political science and philosophy), Tylar Umemo (Mid-Pacific Institute to Anne Arundel Community College, culinary arts) and Kim Yamamoto (Hawaii Baptist Academy to UNLV, civil engineering).

Lastly, a suggestion for future fashion show producers. When you have models veering left and right on a runway, have them stop in the center first. It's better for photos and video.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

RELATED VIDEO:

Luncheon features local fashion

By
July 25th, 2015



BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

"Project Runway" alumnus Kini Zamora will join Manuheali'i designer Danene Lunn and Allison Izu for a special fashion showcase during the 46th annual Hui Makaala Scholarship Luncheon on Sunday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Zamora will show a range of day-to-night looks spanning his varied collections, from the casual Hawaiian spirit of his KZ Hawai'i designs to evening gowns and bridal wear; Lunn will share the latest Manuheali'i designs and Izu will present a lineup of mix-and-match separates.

23-D1-KZ-Bridal-2015-05_ne-1919443

46TH HUI MAKAALA SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON

Featuring Allison Izu, Danene Lunn and Kini Zamora

» Where: Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom

» When: Noon Sunday (fashion show at 1:30 p.m.)

» Cost: $75

» Info: Call (808) 551-7868

For Zamora, a designer with a taste for the avant garde, the market reality of life after "Runway" has meant being pulled into every design direction under the sun. A people pleaser at heart, he's not immune to the demand of customers who all have different ideas about what they would like to see from him.

"The range of different customers in Hawaii is so wide. My day wear is for the customer who wants to wear my brand but wants affordable," he said. "I could put out all these couture dresses but the reality is, no one can afford couture and no one is going to wear it every day. No matter what the price point, I still put myself into it."

He entered the bridal world after hearing from women who said they wanted to be more comfortable on their wedding day but couldn't find dresses to fill the bill. So he introduced dresses with the stretch of Lycra.

And, in an economy where practicality reigns, he said, "They want the option of cutting it short and wearing it again." He obliged with looks that can easily be hemmed and look intentional both long and short.

"I see a lot of gowns that are heavily embellished with layers of lace that look so heavy and don't fit in with the beach weddings and simple ceremonies here. I wanted to create gowns with simple silhouettes that are elegant but also sexy."

Career demands have pulled the designer away from home for months, and Zamora admits he's finding it hard to find balance in life.

"As much as I like to do everything myself, I'm lucky to have Dean (Satta) helping me. I have a brand ambassador now, an accountant and sales team that are really helping me bring my vision to life. Mostly, they're family, because that's who I can trust, who can support me in a great way.

"I see my business slowly growing, which is what I want. I don't want go from zero to 2,000 because I've seen that happen to other brands that have failed."

The designer's long absences from home, during which he's been mysteriously incommunicado, raise the question: Is there a "Project Runway: All Stars" or other TV program in his future?

He laughed, offering only that fans will find out in October.

The new season of "Project Runway" premieres Aug. 6 on Lifetime. Season 5 of "All Stars" starts early next year.

KZ Hawai'i designs are available online at www.kinizamora.com. Zamora's bridal dresses are available exclusively for $900 to $2,500 at WhiteHot Hawaii, 3457 Waialae Ave., Suite 201, in Kaimuki.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Bamboo Sky's 'Gypsy Diaries'

By
July 23rd, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comBamboo Sky staged a summer fashion show at Honolulu Night Market on July 18.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Bamboo Sky staged a summer fashion show at Honolulu Night Market on Saturday.

Honolulu Night Market celebrated the dog days of summer on Saturday with another round of pop-up boutique sales, food truck grinds and a "Gypsy Diaries" fashion show by Bamboo Sky.

The look was reminiscent of 1970s boho style: breezy, colorful and casual with displays of sheer print coverups, floral prints, mini dresses and rompers, beautiful lace-embellished pieces and retro floppy hats. Looks that feel comfortable to live in.

Bamboo Sky owner Tiffany Breeden, center, with daughter Willow and model . Willow was one of the stars of the catwalk.

Bamboo Sky owner Tiffany Breeden, center, with daughter Willow and a model. Willow was one of the stars of the catwalk.

During the event celebrating the Dog Days of Summer, pets were invited, and Hoku needed no formal invitation to pose on the catwalk prior to the show's start.

During the event celebrating the dog days of summer, pets were invited and Hoku needed no formal invitation to pose on the catwalk prior to the show's start.

What really struck me from my view behind the lens was the models' makeup. My first thought when looking at Miss Hawaii USA Emma Wo was, "Wow, she has more freckles than I thought."

Then I noticed all the models had the same pattern of freckles and bronzer that gave them a beautiful, sun-kissed glow that compels millions of visitors to book trips here. It was a reminder not to take our surroundings for granted, in spite of recent record-high heat.

Drawing applause at the end of the show was Willow Breeden, the daughter of Bamboo Sky owners Tiffany and Shane Breeden. Just like the runway savvy daughters of the Fighting Eel team, Willow looks like she'll be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

RELATED VIDEO:

GLAM! cams deliver model POV

By
July 22nd, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comModels wait to go on stage behind-the-scenes of the Goodwill Goes GLAM fundraiser fashion show, featuring garments pulled from Goodwill stores all across Oahu. Featured looks were auctioned after the show.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Models wait to go on stage behind-the-scenes of the Goodwill Goes GLAM fundraiser fashion show, featuring garments pulled from Goodwill stores all across Oahu. Featured looks were auctioned after the show.

It was a crazy experiment, but onlookers at Goodwill Industries of Hawaii's annual Goodwill Goes GLAM! fundraiser fashion show were likely none the wiser as six models came down the runway oufitted, not only in garments from Goodwill stores, but mini HD point-of-view cameras thanks to FlyWire Cameras.

I've always wanted to send cameras down the runway, but there are a lot of logistics involved, like will the model remember to turn the camera on? Will it even work? Who collects the cameras and footage after the show?

Luckily, Flywire's Jacob Isaac-Lowry and Sarah Alessi were on hand to greenlight the models, adding one more accessory to go along with Therese Wahl's styling.

The video cameras were small enough to send down the runway attached to purses, belts, dresses and lapels without attracting attention.

Finally!

As a writer and videographer, I'm very interested in technology as applicable to daily work/lifestyle, and I've experimented with other POV cameras and Google Glass. But Glass was too fussy, and I feel like GoPro size technology is just too big and awkward for street use. Yes it's fine for extreme outdoor athletes who don't mind looking like geeks with helmet cams, but I would feel pretty self-conscious about that.

Stylist Therese Wahl had her hands full making sure 40 models were ready to go.

Stylist Therese Wahl had her hands full making sure 40 models were ready to go.

The resulting video captures the show from my hand-held camera in the audience, as well as the models' point of view as they walk down the runway, which looks much longer from their perspective.

It was all for the show produced by Kini Zamora, themed “A Day in the Life of a Royal.” The event that took place Thursday was the kick-off for a three days of Goodwill shopping, featuring more than 40,000 pieces pulled from Goodwill stores, to raise funds for Goodwill's nonprofit job training and job readiness programs. See more Pulse photos from the fashion show here.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii President/CEO Laura Smith with Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Also attending was Gov. David Ige, whose wife Dawn Ige served as honorary chair of the event.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii President/CEO Laura Smith with Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Also attending was Gov. David Ige, whose wife Dawn Ige served as honorary chair of the event.

In addition to Goodwill shopping on the opening night of the event, fashion show producer Kini Zamora offered a pop-up shop featuring his KZ Hawaii designs.

In addition to Goodwill shopping on the opening night of the event, fashion show producer Kini Zamora offered a pop-up shop featuring his KZ Hawaii designs.

Models in various stages of dress.

Models in various stages of dress.

Finishing touches.

Finishing touches.

Zamora’s storyline focused on a day in the life of a princess and her prince, with eight segments that broke down into themes such as “World Traveler,” “Party Like its 1999,” “Boho Garden Party,” “Belle of the Ball” and “Wedding Bliss.”

Makeup was done by Motives Hawaii, and hair by Paul Brown Salons.

The show was emceed by Hawaii News Now's Grace Lee and Steve Uyehara. In keeping with the evening's theme, Uyehara got a surprise and the rest of us a laugh, when Lee presented him with a sparkling tiara to wear. It was a fun evening!

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

RELATED VIDEO:

From color to skinare

By
July 8th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comLe At Neiman Marcus, Métier de Beaute's Hylton Lea met with women to offer the brand's solutions to common skin woes.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

At Neiman Marcus, Le Métier de Beaute's Hylton Lea met with women to offer the brand's solutions to common skin woes.

The day Hylton Lea left ReVive, Le Métier de Beauté came calling. Alas, lured away from the beauty world to the realm of technology and multimedia, it would take another three years for Lea to consider returning to the cosmetics biz. A sampling of Le Métier's new skincare line convinced him they had come up with something exceptional.

Lea made a return trip to Neiman Marcus in June for staff training and to host a master class June 13 to introduce Le Métier de Beauté's CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask Set, Rejuvenating Anti-Aging Night Creme, Neck and Decollete Firming Creme and Peau Vierge Dark Spot Corrector.

Initially a color brand, Le Métier's entry into skincare came with the introduction of a skin-friendly SPF 15 tinted moisturizer containing such beneficial ingredients as hyaluronic acid; Vitamins A, C, E; and its Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complex.

The popularity of the moisturizer led Neiman Marcus officials to suggest the company develop a full skincare line.

Le Métier de Beauté's Rejuvenating Anti-aging Night Cream ($350) and Replenishing Daily Solution ($225).

Le Métier de Beauté's Rejuvenating Anti-aging Night Cream ($350) and Replenishing Daily Solution ($225).

Now here's the million-dollar question: Why delve into skincare unless you can improve on what everyone else is doing?

Every skincare line faces the same problem of how to get their products to penetrate the skin for maximum efficacy, so Le Métier turned to Phosphagenics, a company that developed the delivery technology TPM® (Targeted Penetration Matrix). The abbreviation TPM also stands for "tocopheryl phosphate mixture," a naturally occurring form of Vitamin E, present in animal and plant tissues. Vitamin E is an oil with poor solubility in water, but the addition of a phosphate makes the TPM® molecules amphiphilic, soluble in both water and oil, which is important for penetrating the skin's oil and water layers.

TPM® is used in the medical industry to deliver insulin in gel form, as well as other medications in transdermal patches. Le Métier holds 28 patents for delivery technology into the skin.

Because TPM® is created from Vitamin E, it is able to soothe the skin and reduce irritation that may be caused by the active ingredients that it delivers. To prove it, I was asked to be a guinea pig in the demonstration of the CHEM60 Pro-Peel, comprising exfoliating salicylic and glycolic acids. Such powerful ingredients can irritate the skin, but I felt none of the tingling usually associated with glycolic acid. That said, these products are strong and my skin is relatively impervious to most chemical treatments, so anyone else should do a patch test first.

Le Métier de Beauté's Dark Spot Corrector.

Le Métier de Beauté's Dark Spot Corrector.

Lea was living proof that the products work. A sun worshipper, doctors discovered a cancerous patch on his face that was surgically removed about a month before his Hawaii trip. He said it left an inch-long hole in his face. But using Le Métier creams day and night, any sign of trauma had disappeared by the time he arrived here, and his skin looks just as good as the last time I saw him, which was about seven years ago.

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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