She was beautiful…

 

…. but not like those girls in magazines.
She was beautiful for the way she thought.
She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes
when she talked about something she loved.
She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile,
even if she was sad.
No, she wasn’t beautiful for something
as temporary as her looks.
She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.

She is beautiful.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Memoirs of a “Geisha” – A Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto

Just over a week ago we returned home to Hawaii after a 10-day vacation in Japan.  From Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo then back to Osaka again.   Even with the threatening typhoon Lan and stormy days during the trip, it was still oh-so-amazing!

To me, the most memorable experience was the opportunity to be a Maiko for a day.

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A maiko  is a geisha-in-training.  The term “Geisha” means “art person”.  This means one must be highly skilled in their arts to be considered a geisha.   Geishas are experts in traditional dance, classical music, tea ceremony, and much more.   They are well versed in social situations and are expert conversationalist. The role of a geisha is constantly misunderstood (mostly by westerners) as they are thought of as escorts, sometimes prostitutes.  They are not.  They are exclusively hired to entertain during sophisticated dinners and events.  They portray beauty, elegance, and their talents that they perfect.  They go through rigorous years of training, and they are an important cultural asset to Japan, sadly there are very few of them left.

Having a maiko makeover wasn’t just the chance to put on white makeup and dress in a kimono.  It was the experience of being professionally made up, to wear a warishinobu wig adorned with colorful hair pins and be beautifully dressed in a traditional kimono.  Not to mention being able to tour (in tabi socks and platform clogs) a few of the most historic and preserved streets of the Edo Period in Gion, Kyoto….. specifically Ninenzeka, one of the oldest streets in the history of Kyoto.

For a few hours you get to feel like a real maiko or geisha, and it was an unforgettable experience!  Although it was a bit tiring because of the stairs, slopes and uphills, and the nonstop photo ops/selfie requests by tourists and locals alike…..but well worth it….

AYA KYOTO –

This Maiko Makeover Experience would not have been possible without AYA KYOTO. They have been very accommodating since the beginning.  They were responsive through email even while I was still on-island (Akiko and Wakana were my contacts through email). We rescheduled because of the storm and they even allowed my bff Kelsie to participate.  Another geisha makeover company in Gion, who will remain unnamed, wouldn’t allow any woman expecting, no matter what stage of pregnancy, to participate in the makeover.  AYA accomodated Kels, and we had the time of our lives!  Here are some photos from our maiko makeover, to help you get a feel of how the process works.

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The AYA studio was a traditional teahouse during the Taisho Period in the early 1900s so it has an authentic, traditional feel as you enter.  You are welcomed into their common room where you fill out paperwork and choose what poses you would like during your photo shoot.  You will then have to remove any makeup you are currently wearing in the washroom, where there are lockers to place your belongings.  They will give you a simple white under-robe  and white tabi socks, the robe which you will be wearing beneath your regular kimono.

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You then go into the makeup room, partnered with one of their professional makeup artists, where all of the magic happens!  

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Phase one includes skin cleansing, moisturizing and the application of white makeup powder.

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Phase two – four includes eyebrows, eyes, then lips!  Pictured above with my makeup artist Yukiko.  She was such a joy to work with, such a sweetheart!  After the makeup was applied, my hair was styled and sprayed to accommodate the maiko wig to make it look as natural as possible.

Here’s a quick video clip of how much fun and laughter actually happens during hair and makeup!  Look at those adorable little maikos behind me! 🙂

After makeup you go into the dressing room where you pick from over a hundred choices of kimono and obi combinations.  I picked a black and red color palette.  Pictured below are the racks of exotic and colorful kimono designs and obi sashes you could select from.  

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In the photo above, pretty Kelsie is getting dressed after choosing a pink and light green ensemble. 

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After dressing, we are taken into a different room where the indoor photo shoot takes place.  Below is a candid while doing a sitting pose, with photographer Mark guiding  proper body angles and where to look.  

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After the indoor photo shoots, we were given one hour outdoors to walk/tour the streets Maiko style 🙂   We could not do it without our platform clogs, or slippahs as we call it here in Hawaii.

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During the walking tour, our husbands Marlon and Bronson along with little Kellon became our personal photographers.  They took candid photos as we strolled the fascinating streets of Gion.  It was like taking a step back in time as you meet tourists dressed in casual kimonos and yukatas.  There were some locals who may have believed we were also real maikos on the way to an appointment.  It was sooo fun to see how curious and starstruck they were. 

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Photo above were students from Sakurajima Elementary School who wanted a photo, they were soooo adorbs!

And just a few more photos featuring Honey-san and Kelsie-san as Maikos, promise 😉 ….

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Doesn’t it look fabulous?!?!

If you are thinking of doing something as amazing as this during your travel to Japan, contact AYA KYOTO below:

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“Maiko or Geisha in Kyoto. Try on a Maiko Costume at AYA and experience the exotic worlds of traditional Kyoto culture. to be a Maiko makeover yourself. “

They recently received a 2017 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Adviser where they hold an average of 5-star reviews!!!

If you are still not convinced, watch their official YouTube video below

Thank you so very much AYA KYOTO, we had the time of our lives, we will never ever forget our memories in Gion.  Much love and Aloha from Hawaii!!!

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Honey

 

Gifts for Mom

Happy May, everyone!

One of my favorite celebrations this month is Mother’s Day, which is less than a couple of weeks away.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14th.  Of course we have to spoil her because she is supermom and every amazing thing about you, you most definitely got it from your mama! 😉  If you are not sure what to get her yet, don’t worry too much as Miss Honey have some wonderful gift ideas that will sure to wow mother dearest.

Here are some of my faves:

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Pandora Vintage Allure Gift Set –  An exclusive, dazzling set with silver drop earrings and matching necklace will sparkle mom’s heart and any room she’ll walk into while wearing this striking jewelry set from Pandora.

Fraas Lightweight Solid Scarf – A wardrobe staple that can be worn for all seasons.  The pastel color is perfect for spring and summer and can take any of mom’s outfit up a notch!  For fashionista moms, let her know this one’s made in Italy 🙂

Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About– Ms. LaBelle, the original Lady Marmalade songstress, superstar singer and bestselling cookbook author recently came out with her desserts/baking book!  This will definitely have mom singing and you wishing for more, more, more pies please.

LipSense Lipstick– Say goodbye to smudged lipsticks, lipstick on cups, clothes or even on your loved ones! As a loyal user of LipSense, I can definitely say it what all the wonderful things everyone say it is!  Mom needs lipstick that will stay all-day and LipSense will give her that.  She can pick from a whole range of color and gloss styles, from glassy to matte.  For my fellow island girls, please contact my dear friend Lila Uyeno, or order online through LipSense Distributor #277486.

Kate Spade Flower Metro Watch– For no-nonsense moms that don’t want anything too fancy, but they deserve it, this rose gold watch etched with a single blossom will surely catch her attention. Simple but special enough to wear every day and/or on special occasions.

S’ip by S’well Insulated Water Bottle in Pineapple Bliss – This stainless steel water bottle use ThermaSwell to keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.  It will keep mom well-hydrated for all of the multitasking that she have to do.

Godiva Sweet Dreams Deluxe Chocolate Gift Box – The perfect indulgence for a chocoholic queen who is as sweet as what she eats.   Pamper her with this gift set that includes two boxes of chocolate, cosmetic bag and a satin pillowcase.

Nest Fragrances White Camellia Reed Diffuser A breathtaking scent of fresh camellia, wisteria and Indonesian jasmine with notes of white tea and amber will fill mom’s home with luxurious and memorable fragrance.

Minnie Rose Cashmere Slippers – For the low-maintenance mom who wants comfort around the house.  These cashmere slippers speak for themselves with a “Cool Mom” embroidery.

Tory Burch Block-T Brogue Tote– This sleek leather tote is ideal for any tasks that must be done whether it is for quick errands or a weekend away.  It features a distinct perforated trim and can easily hold a full-day’s essentials.  It also includes a removable zip pouch for smaller items.

Hope I inspired you a little.  As most of us can agree on, mother knows best, and she deserves the best.  To our angel mother in Heaven, you know if you were here I would get you anything you ever wanted.  To everyone else, have fun shopping for mom! The price shouldn’t matter, the most important thing is the thought and effort you put in it 🙂

**For more ideas, SHOP Mother’s Day Gifts here.**

Love,
Honey

Pretty-In-Pastels

Hope everyone had a blessed and beautiful Easter Sunday!  Today’s fashion post takes inspiration from the soft and sweet candy hues of our most recent holiday – pastels!  We are already seeing pastels as one of the biggest trends this year, and with spring and summer (almost) here, it doesn’t look like it’s going to fade out anytime soon.

Pastels can be incorporated with almost any color.  The light, delicious hues range from blush pink, pale yellow, sweet sorbets, lavender to mint and seafoam green, to baby blue. They are indeed, very ladylike, however pastels can be worn by anyone, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “girly-girl”.

Here are some wardrobe ensembles you can put together, whether you’re just beginning to add a touch of soft colors in your wardrobe or you’re a fashion diva experimenting with color blocking.

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Anson Asymmetric Stretch-Ponte Mini Dress, TIBI
Alexia Suede and Leather Shoulder Bag, M2Malletier
Jurassic Rose Fan Station Necklace, Lele Sadoughi
Keenan Block-Heel Sandals, Charles by Charles David

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Cutout Hammered-Crepe Top, Michael Michael Kors
Scalloped Crepe Shorts, Madewell
Crystal & Gemstone Daydreamer Earring, Isabella Tropea
Harper Crossbody Bag, Tory Burch
Lafayette Loafers, Diane von Furstenberg

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Wool-Blend Cardigan, Vince
Pointed Toe Pump, V Italia
Crepe Blouse, Atos Lombardini
Pleated Tulle Skirt, H&M
Rayne Pendant Necklace, Kendra Scott
Gancini Crossbody Bag, Salvatore Ferragamo

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Le Skinny De Jeanne Jackwood Stagger Hem Jeans, FRAME
Bomber Jacket, H&M
Chuck Taylor All Stars Dainty Sneaker, Converse
Cotton Drawstring Backpack, Baggu
Women’s Aloha Forever Hat, Billabong
Marled linen-jersey Tank, MAJESTIC

Hope these ideas inspired you to mix and match your candy colored wardrobe pieces!

 

Love,

Honey

Introducing First Lady Melania Trump

This morning, Friday January 20th, 2017, American businessman Donald Trump was sworn in as the United States of America’s 45th President. His wife, Slovenia-born former model Melania Trump was also formally introduced as our nation’s First Lady.

Speculations grew in the fashion world of who would (and wouldn’t) dress Melania Trump amidst the scandal of her husband winning the highest seat in office. Today, she stuns in an elegant ensemble from a classic American brand, Ralph Lauren.

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Original Photo Source Harper Bazaar

Her outfit consists of a cashmere cropped jacket and mock turtleneck knee-length dress, pointed stilettos, and suede gloves and clutch, all in powder blue.  She wore her hair in an updo, departing away from her usual simple hair down style.  Makeup is smokey eyes and soft pink lips.

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Original Photo Source Harper’s Bazaar

Her outfit has earned comparisons to Jackie Kennedy’s pale blue suit she wore to her husband John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.

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Original Photo Source: Kiro7

#FlashbackFriday indeed!

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Original Photo Source:  WFAA8 ABC

This is not the first time Melania chose Ralph Lauren design as she also wore a Ralph Lauren Collection jumpsuit to Trump’s final presidential debate against Hillary Clinton.  A wise move by the First Lady as Ralph Lauren brand has already secured its place in fashion history, representing patriotism and America in all positive ways.

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Original Photo Source: New York Times

Here some fun facts: Melania Trump is the second foreign-born First Lady, and the first First Lady to have immigrated to the U.S.  She also speaks five languages: her native Slovenian, Serbian, English, French, and German.

Looking forward to what our beautiful First Lady will wear in historic events during the next four years….

Honey

Pantone Color of the Year 2017

Global color authority The Pantone Color Institute revealed the 2017 Color of the Year-Greenery.

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Photo Courtesy of Pantone

Described as nature’s neutral color, Greenery signifies new beginnings, as this bright yellow-green hue “evokes the first days of spring.”  Tapping into minimalism, Greenery inspires us to be more connected with nature as well as with one another.  We live in a stressful world which can be draining.  Sometimes we just need to stop what we are doing, take a deep breath, put away those electronics and just embrace mother nature.  Doing so is rejuvenating.

“It speaks to what we call the ‘re’- words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew,”

said Leatrice Eisemen, Executive Director of The Pantone Color Institute.

Just like in the spring, Greenery gives a sense of hopefulness and affirmation  that things can change.

Here’s a fashion tip this coming year:

Having a bad hair day?  You’re absolutely not having it?  Want to de-stress?  Wear Greenery. 😉

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1.  Dolce & Gabanna Small Sicily Leather Shoulder Bag
2. Kenneth Jay Lane Jade Bib Necklace
3. Stella McCartney Eva Silk Crepe Blouse
4. Smythson “Inspirations and Ideas” Panama Notebook
5.  Laura Ashley Green Watch
6. ILA Gold Green Onyx Drop Earrings
7. Bajra Cashmere Scarf
8.  Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Satin Crystal-Toe Pump
9.  Maje Pleated Crepe Mini Dress
10. Marco De Vincenzo  Green Wool Skirt

24K (Magic) Holiday Fashion

One of the holiday season’s biggest fashion trends include metallics.  An excuse to shine on like bedazzling Christmas lights without looking like an overdressed glitzy grandmama?  Sure, why not.

Glittery gold is a seasonal standout, and thanks to Bruno Mars‘ current hit, even more so that you’ll feel the “24 karat magic in the air” …

Our Company Holiday Party / 2017 Kickoff happens to have a fabulous golden theme to celebrate a momentous year of achievements… As always, the plan is to not only have the most wonderful time but also look the most ravishing at these events.  Also because I’m part of the party planning committee so I cannot be under-dressed.  Oh, like I am never properly dressed for any occasion, hahaha, thanks.

Here is an inspiration board for a holiday gold rush featuring some of my faves….

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  1. H&M Sequined Dress
  2. Tibi Éclair Sequins Cami
  3. Juicy Couture Jet Set Dangly Drop Earrings
  4. BCBG MaxAzria Chain Link Necklace
  5. Vince Camuto Phoebe T-Strap Sandals
  6. Herve Ledger Bandage Skirt
  7. Noir Jewelry Gold Crystal Ring
  8. Halston Heritage Clutch
  9. Elizabeth & James Roxy Cuff Bracelet
  10. Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps

So what are you waiting for… Let’s set this party off right…

Honey