Travel

Honolulu Hawaii

My mother was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was lucky enough to live in paradise until I moved to Nebraska when I was 8 years old. Or as the locals would say, I moved to the “Mainland.”

My memories of Hawaii are fond of the beach and all my favorite local foods. Hawaii is a piece of home to me.  Rough life, I know. Two of my most cherished places to go are Liliha Bakery and Ma’ema’e Elementary School.

Liliha Bakery serves the most light and fluffy pancakes at their well known pancake bar, which boasts a line out the door on most days. Don’t fret my pet, the line goes quickly and there are plenty of other delectable delights to go around. My three other favorite items on the menu are the Coco Puffs, which are cream puffs filled with rich chocolate pudding, the ladyfingers, and the blueberry corn muffins. These are the tastes of my childhood. The goodies are purchased in a deli counter fashion where the customer takes a number and waits for their number to be lit up in red and called out. My Popo, Chinese Grandmother, loves the chiffon cakes, so we always get her one and my sister, Megan loves the Ensemadas, which are sweet pastries.

http://www.lilihabakeryhawaii.com

Visiting my Elementary school, Ma’em’ae, is always a must. It reminds me of balmy Hawaiian days playing under the banyan trees and learning to hula for the school performances. The teachings of Hawaiian culture were embraced and celebrated. I have such warm memories of that time.

http://www.maemaeschool.com

The other must do for me is go to Lanikai Beach, which is ranked among the world’s best beaches and is known for it’s soft sands and aquamarine blue water. Lanikai means “heavenly sea,” which describes this beach perfectly. There are soft, onshore trade winds that cause a soft rippling in the water in the tide pools, which are perfect for children. Offshore reefs protect the beach and make the water ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and sunbathing. The ideal way to end the day is to stop for Shave Ice.

Hope you all get to visit one of my homes away from home, Honolulu, Hawaii. Aloha!

 

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Beauty

Nail Art

Having a perfectly manicured nail in a color will always be chic, but getting your basic manicure isn’t going to cut it these days. Japanese nail art is an increasingly popular trend and has really taken off in Los Angeles. These specialty nail salons are popping up on every street corner, making this style easily accessible to everyone, not just celebrities.

The talent of these nail technicians is truly astonishing. They can create any design your little heart desires with no questions asked and no falter in their confidence in delivering perfection. These manicurists are really modern day artists that create tiny masterpieces on each nail. They use metallic strips, gemstones, studs, microscopic paint brushes, nail glue, custom made gel polish, glitter, and even build custom shapes using acrylic.

The commitment to this trend is not for the faint of heart because you will need to put in the time and thought to reap the rewards. First off, you must decide on an overall theme for your nails, color scheme, and if you want all the bells and whistles, such as studs and 3-D acrylic art. Then you have to be patient and be willing to sit in the chair for an hour to hour and a half. If you can do both of these things, you can have the manicure you have always dreamed of. The only downfall is that because the nail art is usually done in conjunction with a gel manicure, you will have to commit to this design for two to three weeks and be okay with the removal process which is no picnic. It takes about twenty minutes to remove the designs and requires your nails to be soaked in acetone and wrapped in foil, then scraped off with a wooden or metal scraper.

If you can stick it out, the results are amazing and you will get compliments and Instagram pictures for days!

My favorite nail salons in LA are below and please note these services will cost $75 and up

Marie Nails http://www.marienails.com

ES Nails  www.es-nail.jp/us

 

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Beauty

Nars Dual Intensity Metallic Eye Shadow

NARS recently invited me to preview some of the new spring colors and the metallic eye shadows really caught my attention. They have amazing sheen, without being too glittery and can be applied wet or dry depending on the intensity and look of the color you are trying to achieve. The look comes off as modern, not fussy with these new metallics.

The in house makeup pros demonstrated the application and let us feel the texture of the shadow again our skin. The texture was velvet like and the color was beautifully glistening with just the amount of pop for a night out on the town. Some of the lighter colors could also be worn with a one layer application for daytime.

My favorite shades of the line were Subra, Lysithea, Callisto, and Sycroax. Subra is a pretty plum, brownish shade. Lysithea is an airy, palest of green shade. Callisto is a variation of a light rose gold, shimmery tone. Sycroax is a rich, glistening dark of night black color.

Wet your brush with water before application to build a strong metallic coverage on the lid, perfect for girls night out or a sultry date night. Keep your brush dry for a lesser, more sheer application fit for a little glimmer in the daylight, dewey lid look.

These eye shadows and the entire NARS makeup line can be purchased at

http://www.narscosmetics.com

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All Things Foodie

Momofuku Milk Bar

I was introduced to Momofuku Milk Bar when I attended a friend’s wedding in NYC and their wedding cake was the Birthday Cake flavor. I was salivating for more after bite one and knew I needed to visit the bakery while in town.

I was staying at the Mondrian Soho so the closest location was the one in the East Village. Upon arrival at the bakery I was not impressed. It is small and very unassuming, with very little products on the counter. I even doubted that this is where the wedding cake was from until I tried the birthday cake truffles. These little balls were a party in my mouth! They managed to be slightly creamy and cake like and were melt in your mouth “confetti cake on crack” goodness. I became a believer and spread the word like wildfire. I bought some to bring home to friends and family in LA so they could share in my birthday cake truffle bliss. They too were hooked.

Lucky for you, Momofuku Milk Bar items can be ordered online, so no rush to fly to New York. But if you find yourself in the city, run there, don’t walk.

Birthday Cake Truffles are $16 for a box of 12 and can be purchased at http://www.shopmilkbar.com

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Fashion

The Perfect White Tee

The quest for the perfect white t-shirt can be quite tricky. There are two ways to go when searching for white which are sheer or opaque. I prefer a sheer white shirt that you can pair with a pretty lacy black bra, or if you are truly daring, no bra at all. The fit must be drapey, worn in and can be slightly tattered. The look you are trying to achieve is “I just threw on my boyfriend’s favorite  broken in white shirt as I left this morning.”

If you choose opaque, I would suggest the fit to be either fitted and preppy, country club chic or classic with a touch of bohemian. There is just something so appealing about a fresh, bright white shirt.

My favorite brands of sheer white tees are Blue Life from Planet Blue, in particular the Best Bum Tee and the Tissue V Neck Tee by Monrow. The best bet for opaque tees are from James Perse, especially the Relaxed V Neck and the Casual Tee.

Best Bum Tee retails for $77 and can be purchased at http://www.shopplanetblue.com

Tissue V Neck Tee retails for $55 and can be purchased at http://www.monrowattire.com

James Perse tees retail for $50 and can be purchased at http://www.jamesperse.com

After you have purchased the perfect white tee, it will become your uniform of choice for every outing, whether it be a date or running errands. Pair your sheer shirt with black jeans, leather shorts, or heavily distressed denim,  black bra and stacked bracelets for a rocker inspired look. The opaque shirt goes best with bright colored or crisp, slightly distressed blue jeans or cotton skirt.

 

 

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Travel

First Time to France

It is only fitting that my first post about travel be about the first time I went to France. The reason why it is so fitting is that a beauty brand, Rene Furterer, took me! I was managing the Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles and we were one of the salons across the United States that had been great ambassadors for the brand, so I was lucky enough to go to France, where the headquarters for Pierre Fabre (the parent company of Rene Furterer) is located.

I boarded my Air France double decker A380 and was off to Paris to learn all about the brand, eat my weight in croissants, crepes, and macaroons, and see the Eiffel Tower. I was greeted in France by hairstylists, salon owners and executives from the french hair care line. We stayed at a  boutique hotel called Astor St Honore and embarked on a dinner cruise along the Seine River touring the city.  It was this first night that I saw one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, the Eiffel Tower glittering against the evening sky. “All that glitters is gold” never meant so much to me.

We travelled along twisted, tree lined roads into the French countryside and dined on the finest meats, cheeses, baguettes and wines. We stayed at the Grand Hotel a Castres. We toured the botanical gardens and private estate and winery of Pierre Fabre and were treated like royalty. The landscape of the country was so vibrant, green, and enchanting. It was the best introduction to France a girl could ask for.

http://www.Renefurtererusa.com

http://www.Andylecomptesalon.com

http://www.laudree.com/fr_fr    there is also a Laudree store in New York  in Soho 🙂

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Beauty

Best Mascaras

The two best mascaras I have used are the Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara and the Diorshow Mascara (the original, not waterproof).

The Kevyn Aucoin Mascara is my new obsession. It has a slightly curved brush that aids in curling and lengthening the lashes. This mascara made my eyelashes look super long and the black color is nice and rich. It didn’t flake off or need another coat. It retails for $32 and can be purchased at

http://www.barneys.com

The Diorshow Mascara in 090 has been my go to for years. I have strayed many times, but always come back to this tried and true formulation. The brush is filled with thick bristles ready to inject your lashes with unparalleled volume. It is the fake lash effect without the mess of the glue. The only downfall I have with this is sometimes it flakes off a bit under my eyes, but I am willing to deal with it in exchange for the benefits. It retails for $25 and can be purchased at

http://www.nordstrom.com

Diorshow 2 Kevyn Aucoin

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