Archive for the ‘Cosmetics’ Category

Beauty trends at Macy's

August 17th, 2016


Joy Ramos, left, was the mannequin for the day as nine beauty brands worked their magic on her bare skin, from a foundation of skin care, to brows, lashes and full color look, during Macy's Ala Moana's inaugural Beauty Trend Show. Here, she's in the chair with representatives from Lancome.

Macy's hosted it's first Beauty Trend Event July 16 at the Ala Moana Center store, highlighted by something I haven't seen done here before, a start-to-finish makeover, from skin care to color, featuring several beauty brands.

It had to be hard to determine who would do what. Typically, each brand would perform a makeover using all of its own products, but that's not realistic.

I think even the most loyal customers pick and choose the best from each product line, and very few match their skin care to their choice of color brands.

Among skincare products highlighted were:
Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel
SKII Facial Treatment Essence
Clarins Double Serum
Chanl Le Blanc Intensive Spot Treatment and Hydra Flash Balm
Shisedo Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask and Ibuki Quick Fix Mist
Origins Plantscription line

Color products featured:
Lancome Le Base Pro and Le Lipstick in "Clear"
Estée Lauder Nude Cushion Stick Double Wear Foundation
Benefit Browvo and Kabrow brow tamers
M.A.C Dazzle Eyes shadow
Urban Decay Vice Lips and makeup setting spray
Bobbi Brown Sunset Pink Collection

I stopped by the Benefit Brow Bar after the show, where nine brow-perfecting products are the most offered by any other brand on the beauty floor.

The "no makeup" makeup look continues to go strong into fall, with the "skin is in" belief that your own glowing skin is the best face you can put forward.

Also current are strongly contoured, thicker brows; and a range of soft neutral and nude lips to candle apple and red lipsticks.

Guests could drop in for a brow redo at Benefit's Brow Bar, with a line of nine products to help you achieve a bold look like Cara Delevingne's.

I finally had time to check out Lancome's Juicy Shakers, oil-based lip tints, that were a hit in Dubai when I was there in April.

It was also my first opportunity to actually try Lancome's Juicy Shaker since returning home from Dubai way back in April. It was funny that one of my friends wanted me to search for the Arab woman's beauty secret, kajal, or kohl, while I was there. I searched high and low because, the real Arab woman's beauty secret is contemporary beauty products, and I saw them lining up in the malls for the launch of the Juicy Shakers!

It's a new generation of pigmented oil "gloss," a combination of cranberry, peach, sweet almond and rose de muscat oils with lip-softening and antioxidant properties with just a hint of color. I'm using the Juicy Shaker in "Berry Tale" and love it. You can wear it as is for a sheer color wash, or wear it over any of your lipstick shades to give it a glossy coat.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her food coverage in print in Wednesday's Crave section. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Shiseido's Ibuki Quick Fix Mist puts you a spritz away from instant relief from skin's enemies, dehydration and stressed skin, while preventing makeup from wearing off or creasing.

Joy's finished look.

One of the sales associates in color by Urban Decay.

Natural works for Tata Harper

August 3rd, 2016


Tata Harper was in town to host a skin-care master class featuring her all-natural line of beauty products.

Beauty expert Tata Harper has been in Hawaii celebrating her birthday, and made a trip to Neiman Marcus July 30 to host a skin-care master class, utilizing the all-natural products handmade on her Vermont farm.

I was running a bit late that morning, but still managed to put a face on, only to find we were starting the session with a good face cleansing. We began with Tata Harper's Nourishing Oil Cleanser, that went on silky smooth and washed off easily with a damp sponge, taking my makeup job with it. To familiarize ourselves with the products, we were also able to try her exfoliating Regenerating Cleanser, detox-oriented Purifying Cleanser, and for sensitive skin and rosacea, Refreshing Cleanser.

There's an idea that's hard to shake, that "natural" cannot be as effective as industrialized ingredients. One of my friends once said that in the war against wrinkles, "Give me chemicals." But in my experience, Tata Harper's products are much more effective than most brands I've tried, that take a more traditional approach to creating skincare products.

A display highlighted the fresh fruit, botanicals and herbs that go into Tata Harper Skincare.

I've interviewed Harper many times, and her origin story is that she began questioning the many household and beauty chemicals we use every day after her father-in-law became sick from cancer. What she learned horrified her, because many of the ingredients used in beauty products are also used in automotive and industrial products. "How can that be beautifying?" she asks, and started studying and learning, changing her family's lifestyle in the process, so that her father-in-law became a cancer survivor.

In speaking to industry chemists, she also learned that, for marketing purposes, most beauty products utilize only one or two active ingredients, whether hyularonic acid or vitamin C. Beyond that ingredient that sells the product, the rest is filler.

As an industry outsider, she wasn't afraid to question the norm, and to challenge that idea, saying that for the money, she wanted customers to have effective products packed with benefits. In following through, her products contain 20 to 28 active ingredients. She sources her botanical ingredients internationally, but makes the products in small batches on her farm for quality control.

Tata Harper products have certifications few brands can match, including being recognized as 100 percent Vermont Made, certified cruelty free by the Leaping Bunny Association, EcoCert-certified by the globally recognized sustainable accreditation body, and certified 100 percent vegetarian by the American Vegetarian Association.

For those who dismiss tree-hugger philosophies over results, Harper is a walking testament for her brand. She needs no foundation because her skin has a natural glow just from using her own creations.

Class members worked from portable vanities stocked with towels, sponges and cotton swabs.

Tata Harper offers a trio of serums that address varied skin issues. The formulations are a Concentrated Brightening Serum ($230) for anti-aging, Boosted Contouring Serum ($195) for lifting and firming, and Elixir Vitae ($380), an anti-wrinkle formulation.

One of Tata's fans gets help with application.

Following the class, everyone headed down to the Tata Harper counter for green eats and healthful juices.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her food coverage in print in Wednesday's Crave section. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Beauty Spot: Nordstrom hosts Lancer spa treatments

March 12th, 2014

belancerIn November 2013, Ferial Boukarroum, National Director of Sales and Training for Lancer Skincare, demonstrated use of the Lancer  Skin Care Microcurrent Power Boost on Midweek managing editor and style editor Yu Shing Ting. This time around, she'll be offering Microcurrent Facial Spa Treatments.Nadine Kam photo

_8296584Lancer Skincare National Sales Director Ferial  Boukarroum will be back in Honolulu March 14 and 15 for a facial event at Nordstrom, using clinical products not sold at the store to brighten and even skin tone.

There will be a gift with purchase of Lancer Skincare products, and a one-hour customers meet-and-greet with brand founder Dr. Lancer via Skype at 5 p.m. March 14.

Appointments are being taken at the Lancer counter for Microcurrent Facial Spa treatment, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 14, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15. Contact the Lancer counter at Nordstrom for reservations.

Avon amps up drama with reverse cat-eye on Nicholas K runway

February 7th, 2014

ncloseAvon courtesy photos

If you thought Avon was too "old lady" to be relevant today, it appears Avon Global Celebrity Makeup Artist Lauren Andersen wants to prove you wrong.

Love this reverse cat-eye look she created for the Nichoals K Fall/Winter 2014 runway show at New York Fashion Week.

n1To get the look:

Mega Effects1. She started with Avon Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Liquid Foundation.

2. She contoured cheeks using Smooth Minerals Powder Foundation in a slightly darker shade than the liquid foundation.

3. SuperShock gel eyeliner pencil in "Blackout" was used to paint a bold line on the lower lash line, extending the line beyond the eye for the reverse cat-eye.

4. False lashes were applied to the bottom lash line, then Andersen pumped up the drama with two coats of Mega Effects Mascara in black.

5. The look was completed with Ultra Color Absolute Lipstick in "Caramel Comfort."

Can't wait to try this over the weekend.

Caramel Comfort




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!

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.

Beauty Spot: Searching latest trends at Nordstrom

November 20th, 2013


The Bordeaux lip was one of the Fall 2013 trends featured during the Nordstrom "Beauty Spot" event that took place Nov. 16 at Ala Moana Center.Nadine Kam photos

There were hundreds of women who woke up early Saturday for the Nordstrom Beauty Trend Event, "Beauty Spot," highlighting the latest in skincare and cosmetics for Fall and Holiday 2013.

The event started at 7 a.m., and I prefer not waking up that early on a weekend, so I give these women credit for getting out of the house and lining up to get in. It just goes to show you how much women care about their appearance, and that in Hawaii we have to care more because of the damage inflicted by sun year 'round.

I have always gone out of my way to protect my skin with sunscreen, umbrellas, hats, etc., but as the dark spots emerge in specific places, I realized that for years—while living in Kailua—I let the sun shine on my face through the bedroom window in the morning, without thinking to pull the blanket over my head. No one really thinks they're in danger under cover of roof in their home.

I talk to a lot of the beauty experts when they come to town, and by far, fading dark spots is a major issue here. I've found a lot of products that work for other issues, but have not yet found the definitive dark spot remover, save for laser, and not everyone is a good candidate for laser treatments.

The three beauty trends highlighted were the redefined smoky eye, the graphic eye and the Bordeaux lip, with models showing the looks on the runway.

The show is always quick-paced and fun, with 21 brands getting 3 minutes each to show their newest product and make their pitch to the audience to come-and-get-it after the show. Those who do show up at the counters are rewarded with samples, gifts with purchase, and limited-edition packages that typically sell out!


This woman volunteered for a demo of Rodial's Glamoxy Snake Serum Mask. Normally, the peel-off would cover your whole face and the red clay and black licorice formula is good for tightening pores, exfoliation and removing blackheads.


It wasn't only about women that day. Men need to be presentable too, and this gentleman got a Bee Venom Super Serum and Dragon's Blood facial from Rodial. Other men stopped to ask questions when they saw the black Glamoxy Snake Serum Mask, definitely a showstopper when people see others in it. Brand rep Brenda Lavoie said people have also multi-tasked by wearing it as part of their Halloween costume, improving their skin while out having fun!


The cosmetic and fragrance department is also home to Diptyque, a French perfumer and maker of luxury candles, including a gift set of 10 candles, two iconic scents representing each decade of its 50-year history, for $130.


Alex Chantecaille, representing the brand founded by her mother Sylvie and sister Olivia, introduced Chantecaille's delicate plant- and rose water-based products, and shimmery fall eye colors.


Interspersed between beauty presentations was a mini fashion show highlighting a few of the season's trends, including looks from Top Shop.




Ferial Boukarroum, National Director of Sales and Training for Lancer Skin Care, shows Midweek managing editor and style editor Yu Shing Ting how to use the second-generation Microcurrent Power Boost, which helps massage facial muscles and stimulate  deep layers of skin where collagen and new skin cells are produced. It's $250.


Getting curls from a straightening wand.

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