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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.