Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shameless Plug: No Book Left Behind - The Weekend Edition

Just when you thought No Book Left Behind couldn't get any better... now we've got this!

Yes, folks, that's yours truly and Positively Cleveland (at right) back in college, outside of UH Manoa's Kennedy Theater back in 2001. Will you get a load of my big hair in this one! I also like to point out that this is the night when I wore one of my favorite red lipsticks in the world - the now-discontinued Rouge Catalan by Fresh - along with a dress that I got for no more than $10 at Nordstrom Rack.

This is one of those photos that make some people - but mostly ignorant boys - wonder how an absolute hottie like PC ended up being BFF with your humble little friend Meimei... until you read NBLB and entries like our Weekend Q&A, and suddenly it all makes sense.

PC, on the books she read as a form of teenage rebellion:

Star Trek: The Next Generation novels and bodice-rippers scandalized my very
conservative mother for different reasons, but ultimately, it was the parting
lament: "We have a library full of great classics, and you spend your allowance
on those trashy paperbacks!"

Meimei, on the book I would read to keep strangers from talking to me:

He's Just Not That Into You. Ironically, this book made me laugh so hard that it did keep strangers away from me when I read this at Jamba Juice!

PC, on her dream writing collaboration:

I would die of pure geek overload if Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett said
"hello" to me, much less wanting to share a byline with my name.

Meimei, on my dream writing collaboration:

Julie Powell, of the blog-turned-book Julie & Julia. Food, blogging,
autobiography - so many things to discuss! PC and I should take her out for

Don't miss this entry, along with Gerard Butler in a skirt, books on Christian "courtship" (because some people don't like the secular implication of the word "dating"), and a gut-wrenching look at Atonement - it's all happening at No Book Left Behind.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How I Spent My Easter Sunday, or Insert Landscaping Joke Here

First of all, this is what happens when you use your webcam for a mirror, as I did last Easter Sunday:

At first you'd say, "Great dress! Nice scarf!" Then, if you look closely, you'd notice that I'm barely wearing any makeup (save for Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in Raisin Glaze). And if you really, REALLY look closely, you'd realize that I didn't really have chocolate milk with breakfast.

That's right, folks: Your intrepid blogger here has a mustache.

Upper lip hair has been a problem for me ever since a certain unsavory person from high school (no names in case said person sends his lawyers and paid thugs after me) pointed out that the fuzz on my upper lip was not as "peach-fuzz" like as I thought. Unfortunately, seeing as this was Manila in the early '90s, waxing was still unavailable in my neck of the woods, so I basically covered up that fuzz with tons of foundation (see also: my senior yearbook photos) until I got to college, where I started to attack it with hair-removing creams and tweezers.

Can you say ouch?

As much as I like that photo, I thought I'd do some creative retouching on it anyway. But that took way too much time, and I couldn't get the exact blending correctly. (Yes, I was retouching my own photos on MS PAINT, folks. Sad but true.) So, after I went to Easter mass and helped out with the egg hunt at church, I decided that enough was enough and I might as well splurge on getting both my lip and my eyebrows waxed, since it has been a long time since I've had both of them done. Unfortunately, it did take me a long time to find a place that had a waxer working on Easter Sunday.

Until, that is, I walked into a certain nail salon not too far from Wal-Mart on Keeaumoku, with a name worthy of an Anjelah Johnson stand-up routine. Yes, they said, they were open. Yes, they said, they had a waxer.

On to the back room I go. Waxer doesn't do any of the gentle preamble that I'm used to with other waxers - no baby powder primer, no topical anesthetic. She goes straight to the wax and applies it on my brows, then cuts up the strips. Rrrrrrip. "So much hair," she says, and lays them on my collarbone so I can see how much fuzz she's taken off my now-bushy brows. Then she rubs the alcohol, and it stings a bit, but it's OK.

When she finishes with my brows, she does the same to my upper lip. Again, no preamble. Wax, strip, rrrrrip. She doesn't hand me a mirror, but I am certain that my lip is red. Again with the alcohol to make it all go down. Then I bargain with myself; the whole deal is going to cost me $25 including tip anyway - might as well grin and bear (bare?) it.

Here's what I looked the next day:

(Forgive the phone prop in this photo; I just had to take this call while the camera was running.)

Again, same no-makeup makeup (still wearing the Raisin Glaze), same lighting conditions in my apartment. Notice the brows here: I like how the waxer actually made an effort to keep them angled and tapered just so; the end result looks fuller, yet more sophisticated, than the "before" picture above. It's like I've gotten a whole new face!

Best of all, however, look at how my upper lip actually looks a lot less fuzzy! Still a tad bit pink, but at least I don't look like AJ from the Backstreet Boys any more. What a relief.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shameless Plug: No Book Left Behind

If you haven't been reading our brand-new group blog, No Book Left Behind, y'all are missing out on the action!

Today's features are a one-two punch of Eat, Pray, Love - Marge of Positively Cleveland puts it in a deathmatch against The Secret, while yours truly recommends it as part of an inspiring double feature with the more dude-friendly (but equally Oprah-worthy) Honeymoon with My Brother.

Be sure to check out the other entries we wrote over the weekend on crush-worthy Cleveland foodies and PBS' Jane Austen makeovers, too!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tag? Yes!

Here's what Toya had to say on Thursday:

I don't know if there's anyone else in the beauty blogosphere who hasn't
done these, but if you haven't and you want to ... TAG! You're it!

Being the good (if writer-blocked) blogger that I am, I decided to step up to the plate and get tagged myself.

My 5 MUST NOT-have Beauty Items:

1. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. Good Lord, is there any way I could NOT put this one at the top? Believe me, I've tried to make this work for as long as I can remember - bending the wand, wiping it with a paper towel - and still, nothing. Smeary and goopy, and I can think of so many other mascaras at the drugstore that work so much better than this.

2. Anything with glitter in it. I love shiny things, and I did own body glitter at one point (RIP Tony & Tina)... but I have to chalk this up to getting older and not looking like I've been assaulted by an army of faeries. Shimmer is where I'm at right now.

3. BeneFit Benetint. Again, another product that I really wanted to like, but the applicator made the whole process look sloppy. I'd rather work with a cream or gel stain that's easier to control on my own - something along the lines of NARS Multiple, Stila Convertible Color, or Tarte's cheek stains.

4. Lush Guantanamo Garden Bath Ballistic. Start clutching your pearls, people, because I can't believe they came out with this either - scent notwithstanding. (And pray that they don't start selling this in the United States, because I'd HATE to see Ala Moana get picketed by right-wing pro-war activists.) Say what you will about where I stand politically, but I steadfastly believe that if you can't bring it up in polite conversation at the dinner table, it definitely has no place whatsoever in your bathroom. You won't see me putting Bible verses next to my toothbrush, or lotions with the likeness of Jesus on them next to my SPF-15 moisturizer... so you definitely won't see me in the shower or tub getting all het up about some political cause I've read on a bath product. And really, if I can't get away from it all in my own bathroom, where else am I supposed to go? Sorry, Lush - I love you guys, but you definitely dropped the ball on this one.

5. Wet'n'Wild Creme Lipliner Pencil in Brandywine #666. And this is the part where the beauty-blog community starts screaming "BLASPHEMY!" at me. This was, after all, my first lip liner as a teenager, and I loved using this as a base for my red lipsticks. Then it got too crumbly and dry on me, and the wood part of the pencil started splintering. Ewww! I ended up switching my lip-liner loyalties to brands in the same price range that manufactured automatic-style pencils, like NYX and Jordana.

And for my 5 Biggest Beauty Crimes...

1. Not wearing enough sunscreen. It ought to be a crime, considering where I live - how sunny it gets outside, and how much walking I do on a daily basis. Yesterday, for example, I went hiking with a friend, and I forgot to slap on the SPF because I thought, well, it was raining, and we were under a rainforest canopy - it's not like I'm going to get sunburned, right? Silly.

2. Not getting a manicure. Oh, sure, I'll insist on getting a pedicure because my feet always look like hell, and if I'm going to splurge on my feet I might as well paint them. That said, it has been two years since my last manicure, and since then I've taken care of my hands with a regular regimen of lotion, cuticle oil, and frequent nail trimming. Plus, my hands get sweaty easily - which explains why I don't own a pair of rubber gloves for housecleaning, either.

3. I do absolutely NOTHING to my hair. Yes, you read me. I have all sorts of volumizing products, but no rollers, no blow dryer, no curling iron. The only "thing" I ever do for my hair is to shampoo, condition, and brush every night, and get it cut every two months. And... that's it. I've even given up on coloring my hair, too.

4. I still rub my eyes whenever they get itchy. It also doesn't help that I'm in the middle of allergy season, so until I could get my hands on some Visine, that means no eye makeup for me.

5. Not throwing out certain beauty products after their expiration dates. Because I'm cheap that way.

Okay, now that I've laid all these out for you... any takers?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Domesticity Retail Roundup: Special Nordstrom Wing (Post-Circus) Edition

After calling the new Nordstrom at Ala Moana a FREAKING CIRCUS in my last blog entry, I decided to return to the mall this afternoon, while the weather was still overcast and the spring collections at Old Navy and J. Crew bored the heck out of me. Here's what I saw:

- Do you see that lovely blouse above? That, my friends, was from Nordies' plus size collection - and not just plus size, but Michael Kors plus size. I'm still bemoaning the fact that the "Encore" section still doesn't have the same breadth as the one at Macy's, only because it's still kind of hemajang and still hasn't manage to strike the same balance between the conservative (helloooo, Eileen Fisher!) and the disco-hoochie-mama (lots of sequins, people) - but between Michael Kors and Caslon, we're looking at a modest but well-curated collection of plus size stuff here. For the record: My apple-shaped self actually looks nice in yoked tops like the one shown above, but I was just so floored by seeing Michael Kors for $99.50 that I forgot to try it on.

- Also flooring me in the fragrance section: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Toilette. I'm a sucker for patchouli, so my uneducated nose immediately registered this one as sexy. That bottle, incidentally, was sitting next to a bunch of Apothia fragrances that I also liked. I also appreciated how the men's section now carries The Art of Shaving, which I thought was worth a try... and so did the other guys who were wandering around the men's section, as well.

- Speaking of getting suckered by brand names (and moving outside of Nordies)... How adorable was that Lululemon Athletica store, anyway? Women and men's sport wear, in a bright little store with the cheeriest-looking water bottles and (seriously overpriced, in my opinion) yoga mats. It's meant to be hip and crunchy at the same time, if you ask me, but... so cute! Even the tiny little thongs at the front counter were so cuddly.

- Williams-Sonoma: Still stocked with awesome. Chico's: Still not as stodgy as one might think.

- Weirdest store in Ala Moana: Ruehl 925. Yes, I know they're trying to make it look like a New York loft/club, but c'mon folks - did you really need that many stairs and walls inside the store itself? Did you really have to make it so dark and foreboding, like I was going to walk right into the set of Eyes Wide Shut if I wasn't careful? And did it have to smell like mothballs? Because I swear I felt like I was walking into a wall of mirrors inside there. Plus - hello, Hollister already cornered the market for "underlit clothes boutique that's supposed to feel like somebody else's home," for crying out loud, and at least their Ala Moana store has some TVs to break up all the seriousness. Really, this gives new meaning to the term "lighten up."

- And also: Hey, Ala Moana, great job with putting The Vitamin Shoppe outside the mall -- right on Kapiolani Avenue, across the street from KGMB-9... and next to the other streetfront stores that ended up being vacant (according to a Vitamin Shoppe employee, who made the same observation I did re: how people are having such a hard time finding them). Did the folks at GNC put y'all up to this? And don't tell me you did this because you wanted more people to get their exercise this way. Find more tenants for those other stores on Kapiolani, pronto!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Domesticity Retail Roundup: Special NORDIES IS A FREAKING CIRCUS Edition

Picture from (discussion can be found here)

It's been almost a week since I've been to the new Nordstrom's at Ala Moana, and I still can't get over what a freaking circus it still is.

Let's face it: I was in college when Neiman Marcus opened their Ala Moana store, and I could still remember how wowed I was by the whole space. Imagine: wall to wall marble! White butterflies cascading from the ceiling! Every imaginable luxury label on earth! Then, when Macy's took over Liberty House, I wasn't wowed, but it was fine by me - I've always thought of Liberty House as a more relaxed version of an otherwise uppity department store anyway, and I thought Macy's did a good job of maintaining the same vibe Liberty House was working.

But... Nordstrom? Oh. My. Word.

The first thing I noticed when I went inside was how crowded and small it was. Say what you will about what Nordie's looks like on the outside, but the department store proper reminded me way too much of ShoeMart back home in Metro Manila, with more soothing music and less loud intercoms. Every single floor was packed like sardines; every E(spresso)-bar had lines rivalling the scariest rides in Disneyland.

Madness? This... Is... NORDSTROOOOOM!!!!

I tried to take a gander at the shoe section, hoping for the same wide selections that I was used to seeing at Nordstrom Shoes in Ward Center. No such luck; all I could remember were some yellow strappy sandals that were too pointy for my own good.

I tried to wander into the beauty section, also packed to the gills with people getting makeovers. Same brands as elsewhere (Clinique, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, etc.), with Chanel taking over some prime real estate and both Kiehl's and Bliss getting counters of their own.

I looked into the Nail Salon and, to my shock and disappointment, found an open space with no doors. Say what you will about the exceptional service those ladies were getting during their mani-pedi, but I did not need to watch them get their cuticles scraped at that moment. Especially not when I'd just gotten my pedi at the nail salon across the street, which I swear was so much bigger than the space Nordies allowed.

I even went into the clothes section, disappointed that I didn't see a more substantial plus size section to rival the one at Macy's. I wasn't too het up about the regular clothes, though - especially after seeing a really nice white blouse from 3.1 Phillip Lim. Unfortunately, said blouse is also not on the Nordie's site, which makes me sad because I wish you could've seen how gauzy and pin-tucked it is. (Closest I have to that blouse is this one, but this is in green and doesn't have the same breezy feel as the one I saw on the rack.)

Then somebody thrust the Ala Moana home fragrance under my nose (thank you, folks at Antica Farmacista!) and all was right with the world.

Really, if I hadn't been in such a rush that afternoon, I would've enjoyed the experience better, but my friend Jones told me that I should go back in there when the novelty has died down, so it wouldn't be so crowded and small when I go in. Jones thought that the selection was not too bad; then again, she's about ten years younger than I am, and she's in the perfect time of her life to get away with some of the designs I saw on the Nordie's floor - not too trendy, but not too boring and stodgy.

My friend Kitty, on the other hand, recommended that I go into some of the newer stores in the same building. I didn't get to see the new Bare Escentuals or Williams Sonoma (moving to a bigger store than their old location across the mall from the Apple Store - Kitty told me they were giving away samples), and I was bummed about missing the new J.Crew store, which was on the ground floor. I did, however, duck into Design Within Reach, which made me yearn for the funky but expensive penthouse-loft apartment that I have yet to move into (preferably after my yet-to-be-scheduled wedding with the heterosexual version of Nate Berkus) with their lovely Bertoia chairs and minimalist couches.

For kicks, I also wandered into Chico's because I know this was going to be the kind of store where my Mom and I can shop together without recrimination or sticker shock. (I thought Kitty might like this store, too, since she's working the same island-lady vibe in her personal style.) All I can remember was a lot of draped jersey and bold prints that would feel right at home here in Hawaii, if not in my own closet. In Chico's defense, however, I will say that their jewelry is worth a look - I wouldn't wear it with the same Chico-style clothing, but I'd definitely rock something like this with a V-neck and jeans.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Aveda Abundance at Ala Moana: Part 3

NOTE: All photos below are mine. See disclaimer in this entry for more legalese regarding photos and coverage in this blog regarding this event.

Sorry if this part of the Aveda series took way too long to post - I guess I got sidetracked by that Ala Moana home fragrance to remember what else to post!
When: March 6, 2008
Where: Center Stage, Ala Moana Center
Who: Jon Reyman of Aveda Academies, New York (with model Cynthia and stylist/ manager Sherri of Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa at Ala Moana Center)

What's going on here? Cynthia, the model, started out with long, thick hair that hung past her shoulders. Jon decided to give her a fresh new look by dry-cutting her hair into a choppy, shoulder-length bob - using thinning shears, and angled layers, where necessary - then softening her bangs (already dyed a fierce indigo color) to frame her eyes and face.

While he was cutting Cynthia's hair, Jon talked a little more about hair trends in general: Most of the women who come to him for hair, he says, tend to ask for a more practical, low-maintenance style that doesn't require much fuss. The same goes for male clients, who are not only discovering softer lines for hairstyles but also softening up on services for full-service salons as well. (Jon was also here to talk about Aveda's new men's hair-care line; his presentation on that matter was scheduled for Saturday, which I missed.)

Cynthia's bob was then finished with a grand total of three products: First Jon sprinkled some Pure Abundance Hair Potion into Cynthia's hair for body and texture, which he then distributed throughout her roots using only his fingers. Light Elements Smoothing Fluid was then used for shine, followed by hair spray for hold.

Also of note: Rudy Miles also did Cynthia's makeup, using the same techniques demonstrated on Yasmin (see Part 2 for more details) but modified to work with the model's cool skin tone: The eyes were enhanced with navy blue shadow, and cheeks were kept neutral. Jon also talked a little bit about Yasmin's hair, which was styled to look effortless and not "done" - a loosely gathered ponytail arranged into an updo with few pins and fewer products.

Domesticity responds: First of all, repeat after me: "It's a powder, and a lotion, so it's a... potion!" If I wasn't broke the day I went to the mall, that Hair Potion would've been sitting in my bathroom cabinet right now. I'm just amazed that the guy used three products, a few minutes, and his own bare hands to achieve what I couldn't even manage with a whole afternoon and a blow dryer - and we're talking about somebody who would rather live a life without a blow dryer. It also helps to note that I also got a similar haircut at the Neighborhood Chain Salon a few days before I went to the mall, but shorter and without all the fancy dry-cutting and thinning shears.

Anyway, back to the Aveda stuff: Let's face it, I thought this demo was definitely appropriate - season-wise, climate-wise, and Hawaii-wise, I can see a lot of women duplicating the styling technique on their own, provided that they begin with a good haircut - which Jon did say is the "good foundation" for any great style. Again, here's the difference between myself and the expert here - just because I'm too chicken to spend anything more than $25 on a haircut doesn't mean that I don't agree with the above sentiment. I just happen to be somebody who knows how to stay closer to budget by spending the extra time to talk to my stylist and share pictures of what I want my hair to look like at the end of the appointment. God bless those who can spare the cash and the time for the full-on star treatment, though - as long as they've got a stylist that they can work with and makes their hair look as good as they feel, more power to them!

Epilogue: I did return to Ala Moana on Saturday at around noontime, however, and I swear I did get an eyeful of our sassy friend Steve Kemble - standing around Center Stage in a black beret, big dark glasses, and a black sequined jacket - in the audience for the Sephora presentation, which featured a hair guy who may or may not be Oscar Blandi. (And if it is OB himself: God bless you, kind sir! You are much sexier in person!) Unfortunately, I was camera-less that day, so I didn't get any shots in. Also, I spent the rest of the day in the area shuttering between my nail salon (outside the mall) and the new Nordies - both of which I will be writing about soon.

Post-epilogue: I've also decided to forego the proposed Part 4 of this series, aka My Pathetic Attempt to Recreate the Hair and Makeup from the Aveda Event. What you will be seeing instead, however, would be my own attempts to create a Face of the Day, which will be taken with my trusty laptop webcam. I'll still try to use as much of my own "product" as possible. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ooh, Ah, Oh Wow!: The Fragrance

With apologies (once again) to Ala Moana Center ... here's my favorite souvenir from the first few days of Hawaii's first Nordstrom store.

You may not be able to make it from the fuzzy webcam shot here, but it's a card advertising Antica Farmacista's exclusive Ala Moana home fragrance for Nordstrom at - where else? - Ala Moana Center. They were giving this away at Nordie's yesterday when I wandered into the store (you'll hear more from me about the new Nordie wing at Ala's later) and I couldn't help but sniff the delicious scent on the card.

On the card: Reminiscent of the lush humid nights experienced on the islands of the tropics, this signature scent, meaning "path to the sea," is a full floral experience. Night blooming jasmine, plumeria, tuberose, and gardenia create an intoxicating floral experience. Refreshing lush green notes and a crisp, clean infusion that brighten this luscious scent.
They got the "luscious" part right, for sure. The jasmine/plumeria notes, in particular, stand out the most on the sample that I got, but the overall effect reminds me of the most fragrant, most beautiful fresh-flower lei that I could ever get from anyone. It reminds me of warm hugs from aunties and kanakapila nights, complete with all-night-long ukulele jams and impromptu hula.
Best of all, though, it reminds me of graduation season... and in particular, my upcoming graduation for my Master's degree, in May. Knowing that I will soon be up to my ears in warm hugs and fragrant leis from people I love makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and this fragrance comes super close to capturing that. If you love jasmine and plumeria as much as I do - or if you just love all things Hawaii - you'll definitely love this.
According to the card, the Ala Moana scent is available "as home ambiance reed diffuser and as room and linen spray." Unfortunately, it's not on the Nordstrom site, and neither is it available on Antica Farmacista's - which means that the only way for anyone right now to be able to come up close to sniff this (and compare it to any other plumeria/jasmine/whatever fragrance you know) is to make the trek to Ala Moana Center. Definitely an exclusive worth checking out.

Aveda Abundance at Ala Moana: Part 2

NOTE: All photos below are mine. See disclaimer in this entry for more legalese regarding photos and coverage in this blog regarding this event.

When: March 6, 2008

Where: Center Stage, Ala Moana Center

Who: Rudy Miles, Aveda Global Makeup Artist for Aveda (with model Yasmin)

What's going on here? Rudy was inspired to create a Hawaii-inspired (and Hawaii-appropriate) face with warm, dewy tones on the skin and dramatic eyes. In these pictures you can see him working with Yasmin on creating a warm-toned look using Aveda products and brushes.

On the face, Rudy skipped powders in favor of creams and liquids. He used a foundation brush to concentrate mostly on evening out skin tones where necessary, and Inner Light Shimmer Accents to bring out and enhance features. Cheeks were also warmed up with Petal Essence Cheek Tint, which was also applied with a brush.

Eyes were enhanced dramatically with black eye liner (like this one), which he blended and smudged from the lash line towards the lid with some eye shadow to make the eyes pop. Mascara was also applied on the lashes to enhance the effect.

Lips are kept neutral, but with a boost of color from lipstick (edited: The exact product Rudy used is Aveda's Nourish-Mint, which I didn't find on the site - sorry guys!) and shine from lip gloss.

Domesticity responds: To be honest with you, when I first saw this demonstration, I was actually concerned that this was going to be way too dramatic a look to be practical for most women in Honolulu. For one thing, not every woman I know here can get away with a dewy face most of the time - least of all yours truly, who's way past the recommended age range for that much shimmer. In fact, when Rudy actually took out the cream blush and started applying the stuff on the model's cheeks, I had to stop myself from screaming, "Oh, honey, no," because I thought it actually looked way too strong going on her face.

Then again, we're looking at the fundamental difference between myself and a Global Makeup Artist here: We're talking about somebody who has the skills to adapt to the situation, and I do have to give Rudy mad props for doing the makeup under so much direct sunlight, which would have affected the look in so many ways. He did manage to blend both the foundation and cream blush onto the model's skin in such a way that it truly "melted" into the skin (as opposed to melting on the skin like Crayola), giving the face that desired warm, sparkling quality that really enhanced the darker skin tone. Black eyeliner aside - and he did managed to blend all of that product to get that ombre effect, as opposed to a really harsh and artificial one (hello, Mariah) - the whole look was exotic, pretty, and fresh, without screaming "Makeup!"

If I were to adapt this look for myself - and I do like it a lot for the days when I can have fun (as opposed to, say, a job interview with a state agency) - I would definitely put the foundation only where it's needed on my face (mostly around the center of the face) and skip the highlighter altogether, since I'm still not sure that putting anything remotely sparkly on my face would help matters much at my age. I will, however, keep the eye makeup and the blush to bring out my favorite features, and use a neutral but rich gloss on the lips.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Aveda Abundance at Ala Moana: Part 1

Just uploaded the pictures from the Aveda event at Ala Moana. Special thanks to my friend Kitty (nom de blog), who came with me to the mall, and the good folks at the Aveda salon at Ala Moana.

NOTE from Meimei: Apologies in advance for anyone I may have offended by posting these pictures on the blog. I was not specifically invited to cover this event; as far as the management at Aveda and Ala Moana was concerned, I was just another grungy bystander at the mall with a digital camera, which should explain a lot. To be honest, however, I felt like a guerilla journalist doing this, going back to my roots as a college newspaper reporter sneaking into department store makeovers to come up with a feature. I will gladly cooperate should legal issues arise; until then, however, here they shall stay.

In the background: a wide-screen TV showing the Marc Bouwer Spring 2008 collection. From left: Jon Reyman, hair instructor for Aveda Academies of New York; Jon's model Cynthia (you won't see it here, but Cynthia has fierce indigo-colored bangs); Rudy Miles, Global Makeup Artist and instructor for Aveda; Rudy's model Yasmin.
On Jon's table: the aforementioned Pure Abundance Hair Potion and Light Elements Smoothing Fluid, with Pure Abundance Volumizing Hair Spray. On Rudy's table: brushes and makeup, all by Aveda.

Note the black eyeliner for both Cynthia and Yasmin; this will be very important in the presentation. Rudy says that the makeup for both ladies are variations on the techniques he has demonstrated during the live demo, with Cynthia wearing the cool-toned version and Yasmin wearing the warmer variation. Also note the amount of direct sunlight Rudy is working with on his side of the Ala Moana Center Stage, which will come into play when I start posting the photos of him and Yasmin.

Here's a shot of the free gift that the Aveda folks gave away - a shower puff and a trial size of Aveda's Calming Body Cleanser. I didn't get one, but Kitty did... and she ended up giving hers to me, since she insists on being "particular" with her body products. The box smelled great - as does the body wash itself - and also contained discount coupons and fliers for various services at the Aveda salon. (Note to anyone reading this: Graduation gift, hint hint... graduation gift, hint hint...)

In the background: My own bedsheets, from Wal-mart. For shame!

Stay tuned for the rest of the Aveda Abundance series, which include the following:

  • Part 2: Makeup. Rudy Miles creates a look with smoky eyes and dewy skin, inspired by the climate and natural beauty of Hawaii.
  • Part 3: Hair. Jon Reyman demonstrates dry-cutting methods and "talks story" about hair trends for women.
  • Part 4: Practical Application. My apologies to Rudy and Jon, but for the interest of this blog, I will sacrifice my own face in a (sad) attempt to recreate what I had witnessed at this event, using products that are obviously not from Aveda.* It's a good thing I already got my haircut (from a nice lady who reminds me of Tammy from Beautiful Nail) because you do not want to see what happens when I dry cut my own hair.

*Although I have personally tried Aveda foundations in the past, and can personally vouch for their awesomeness. Sadly, those foundations have been discontinued, but given the opportunity, I will gladly *buy* them on my own dime. :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Aveda Abundance at Ala Moana: A Preview

So today was my Excuse for Going to Ala Moana Day, since my friend and I went out for lunch. We thought that today was going to be the day when we were going to meet Steve Kemble, but we both misread the schedule - from the looks of it, he's actually going to end up speaking tomorrow to coincide with the opening of the new Nordies wing of the mall. Nevertheless, we hung out at 2 PM and ended up sitting in at a presentation by the Aveda salon, with two of their professional experts from New York presiding.

I have pictures from the presentation, but they're still stuck inside my camera and I have to recharge the battery before I upload them onto the blog. The two Aveda guys were pretty chatty and charming, joking with the guests about how they felt like they were infomercial hosts putting makeup on their models and doing makeup under direct sunlight (thanks, Ala Moana folks - how about an adjustable awning over the Center Stage next time?)

There was also an Aveda gift giveaway, too, but I'll share about that later when the photos come out.

For now, here's some of the things I picked up from the presentation:

- A demonstration of how to use the Pure Abundance Hair Potion. ("It's powder, and lotion, so it's... a potion!") The way they used the hair potion was that they'd put it on after the Light Elemnts Smoothing Fluid, which I thought was a little contradictory. When you do see the pictures, though, you'd never guess that he'd used two lightweight products to get the same effect that you and I think would come from a thick, fibrous, waxy pomade.

- Black eyeliner. Lots of it. But not in an overly artsy, Amy Winehouse/Dita Von Teese kind of way. There is a way of wearing black eyeliner that actually works with dark skin, so it looks exotic yet warm at the same time - nothing gothlike or deathly about it!

- And, of course, my not so humble attempt to recreate these looks on my own, with my own stuff! (Oh noes!)

Keep your eyes peeled...

Baby, Did You Miss Me?

Okay, so this has been a rough month for me - after realizing that teaching in a public school isn't what I'm meant to do in the long run - but that's not to say that all is lost. In fact, I'm making the best out of a bad situation by... writing more entries for Domesticity! Stay tuned as I take my digital camera around the new and improved Ala Moana Center as I anticipate the opening of the new Nordstrom's in Hawaii.

In the meantime, here's an unexpected dose of baduy from Flight of the Conchords. (Man, if this hasn't killed my crush on Demetri Martin, I don't know what else will. Sad.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Learn to Speak Like a Local

Inspired by this Tomato Nation post...

Dear Mainlanders:

We promised we would never scream at you if you ever got any of our place names wrong. That said:

1) It's O-A-hoo, not WA-hoo.

2) "AH-la Mo-WAH-na," not "A La Mona."

3) The next time somebody mentions "Eva Beach" to you, remember that they are not referring to any person in particular... and the buses don't go to her house, either.

4) We'll definitely know that you're a tourist when you keep telling people that you're going to Kap-yah-lah-nee Boulevard.

5) "La-na-ee" is the island; "La-nye" is your front porch.

And we won't take these against you if you don't take these against us:

1) "Prah-aw-ree-tee."

2) "IRK-a-tay-ted."

3) Dropping the last R, as in "braddah," "buggah," and "rubbah slippahs."

4) Not being able to agree on a proper spelling for the colloquial pronunciations of "brother" and "lickings," for that matter.

Also, we apologize for those of you who have been screamed at by certain locals for pronouncing our home state as "Ha-why" and not "Ha-vie-ee," the way it was intended by those who are of this land.

And apropos of nothing: Pronouncing the word "tita" phonetically may get you kisses and hugs from ladies of a certain age in the Filipino community, but use the same pronunciation around certain populations where Hawaiians and Portuguese last names are common, and you'll definitely learn the hard way why you should have pronounced it as "tidduh" in the first place.