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

Secret Tips to Combat Aging After 30

Well here I am.

After talking about it for years, months, weeks, days…. I’m finally here.  And yes, for those who have heard my daily rant counting down to this momentous event, this may be the last time I publicly acknowledge it.  I however am not making any promises, haha! 😉

Anywho, in a haze of fabulous shoes, career changes, bridesmaids dresses, blessed godchildren, familial bonding and getting hitched…I managed to somehow get here.  As of yesterday, Dec. 27th, 2016 I reached the point of true adulthood.

A crowned thirty-year-old.

That’s three decades.  360 months. 1565 weeks. 10,957 days.

Oh, and thank you to my wonderful friends and family who greeted and celebrated with me on this fabulous day! Hugs & Kisses!

Amazing how time goes by faster than you know it.  The goal is to age gracefully, yes? Soon enough I’ll be in my sixties, older, wiser, grumpier, wrinklier.  Although at that point of my life, I would love to still feel (and look) like I’m in my thirties, (it doesn’t feel that bad at this moment, kind of glamorous almost) hence this blog post.

To look and feel healthy and young for as long as the hands of time allows can indeed, be possible.

Let’s unveil some secrets to fight off the not-so-glamorous signs of aging.

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WATER
Water is essential to all living things, making up 2/3 of the human body.  It’s not only important to life itself but also for the quality of life so make it your best friend.  Water is needed in our bodies to transport nutrients to our organs and oxygen to our cells. Water lubricate  joints and eyes and keeps skin healthy by eliminating toxins.  Did you know that when you are dehydrated your body pulls liquid from  your tissues and skin to maintain the balance in your blood?  When that happens, your eyes look sunken and your skin feels dryer, there is no elasticity, hence you look older. Make a conscious effort to drink water to keep hydrated. There is no denying water is the elixir of youth.

MEDITATION
Meditation is important to keep a stress-free life.  Without stress, life is happier!  Stress affects our bodies in more ways than you can imagine.  Our immune system, quality of sleep, our hearts and mind…. our relationship with others can be affected by stress.  Meditation can help relieve stress by focusing on being in the moment and appreciating the present. Studies show that there is an increase of melatonin in our bodies after meditating.  Melatonin energizes the immune system and slows the aging process as it has the ability to repair damaged cells.

ANTI-AGING SERUM
Serums are more lightweight than creams so they are able to penetrate deeper into the skin delivering active ingredients.  Industry fave Estée Lauder “Advanced Night Repair” serum is a must-have. The serum contains the exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology improving dryness and dehydration, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and restoring radiance.

EYE CREAM
Keep an eye on your peepers! One biggest sign of age is that thin-skinned area under and around your eyes. Crows feet dig in during this decade so commit to purchasing a high quality eye cream such as La Mer “The Illuminating Eye” Gel. Great eye creams protect against the aging effects of the environment, fatigue and stress while making eyes look youthful, energized, and awakened.

SLEEP
There is a reason why we call it beauty sleep. Our cells grow and repair while we sleep and our immune system is strengthened by sleep. The more sleep we get, the less time aging catches up to us. Be sure to get about about 8-9 hours of sleep to keep your mind and body healthy.  If you are a light sleeper grab a cute sleep mask to help you sleep faster and stay asleep.  Besides that, sleeping is absolutely free.  

TEETH CARE
Your smile is one of the first things people notice. Protect it. And keep them guessing about your age by showing those pearly whites!  Brush and floss at least twice a day or after every meal.  Basic habits can go along way.  In advanced technology, now available at your Dentist’ office is a toothbrush designed to build better oral care routines, the  Phillips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush.  You can download its coordinating app that offers in-depth tracking of your brushing habits. The toothbrush includes location, pressure, and scrubbing sensors, which allow the app to map out the areas in your mouth that need some work.  What a way to throw off a youthful look with missing, black or rotten teeth!

EXERCISE
Exercising regularly can fight aging by protecting cells and lowering the body’s level of inflammation.  Yoga, due to the extent of stretches and core exercises involved, is believed to help reverse signs of aging such as sagging skin and loss of muscle strength. Endurance activities such as running may also be able to slow down aging.  Benefits of running include a stronger heart, more efficient blood flow and a powerful immune system.  Exercise fights aging by protecting your cells from the ticking clock but make sure that you also protect your body by investing in proper attire and gear.  On a personal note, this is the best time for me to include running as part of my physical activity and to do so properly, I will need to purchase running shoes, like the  NIKE Air Max 2017.  I am in love!
They are the perfect running shoes, but can also be street casual.

HEALTHY EATING
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that combat free radicals, oxygen fragments that attack cell membranes. Nutrients in fruits and vegetables can also help do everything from preventing wrinkles to killing off cancerous cells. Luckily I have had a pescatarian diet for half my life now (since age 15) so I just have to continue the greenery and fish intake.

SUNSCREEN
SPF not only prevent skin cancer, but it also prevent wrinkles.  A study conducted has proven this to be a fact.  So be motivated to SPF your skin every day. AVEENO Sunscreen with SPF 50 For Face contains sun protection while hydrating skin to keep it soft, smooth and feeling healthier than before you went in the sun.

GREEN TEA
Green tea contain powerful anti-aging and antioxidants that help slow down the skin aging process such as sagging skin, sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The polyphenols in green tea help neutralize harmful free radicals, which can cause significant damage to the skin.  Antioxidant properties of tea help fight off cell damage, can help revive dying skin cells, and even prevents high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Besides green tea, white tea has been shown to slow down the breakdown of elastin and collagen, which is essential in keeping skin look young and supple.

Purposefully, not mentioned in this list is HAIR CARE, which is as important as  those above. If you have time, read a couple of my favorite health and beauty posts “Locks of Youth- Secrets to Luscious Hair” and “Superfoods for Superhair”, both which goes into detail about how to keep your hair healthy and lustrous as it indicates well-being and youth.

The other unsaid secret of youth is laughter.  Lots and lots of it.  I’ll elaborate but I’ll save it for another day 😉

Love,
Honey

The Power of Honey

There is something about Honey.

No, not me, honey – honey. Like Honey, as in Honey Bee.

Honey is one of the most powerful food on the planet.  

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Besides the fact that it has a shelf life of almost forever, Honey is proven to have a vast list of health benefits for the whole body.  It’s literally liquid gold. A sweet, golden fluid from beehives loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that when kept in its raw state, can be stored for centuries and still be edible. Honey contains hidden nutritional and medicinal value used for thousands of years, and can be traced back to Ancient Egyptians.

One tablespoon of honey = 64 Calories, 0% Fat

Here are some amazing health benefits of Honey:

1. Helps with Allergies: Aid in reducing allergy symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Natural Energy Booster: Honey has high-carbohydrate load without the processed sugar. Honey’s natural sugars also prevent fatigue during exercise.
3. Cold Relief:  Soothes sore throat and is a natural cough suppressant.
4. Memory Booster: Honey helps the brain absorb calcium, helping to enhance memory and prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
5. Anti-Cancer: Studies show that honey possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumour properties.
6.  Wounds and Burns:  A natural remedy containing antibacterial properties prevent infection and functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing swelling and pain, and even scarring.
7. Skin & Beauty Must-Have:  Honey helps prevent acne, deep-clean pores, decrease wrinkle and fine lines and increase cell renewal.

Isn’t Honey just undeniably remarkable?!!  Sweet and powerful there is no denying it.

Below are some of my Beauty Faves with Honey as a key ingredient::

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  1.  Garnier “Honey Treasures” Whole Blends Repairing Shampoo- A delicious fragrance of royal jelly, honey, and propolis extracts strengthens hair and helps prevent split ends and breakage.
  2. Touch in Sol “Feel Like Honey Moon” Skin Base- A honey and collagen-based rejuvenating skin primer that supports smoother skin for flawless makeup application.
  3. The Body Shop “Honeymania” Hand Cream- Helps soften and protect hands with light, juicy moisture.
  4. Laura Mercier “Crème Brûlée Honey Bath”A foaming, honey-scented moisture bath.
  5. Farmacy “Honey Potion” Antioxidant Hydrating Mask – This super hydrating mask with natural honey sugars is rich in amino acids and essential B vitamins.
  6. The Face Shop “Honey” Face Mask – The honey extract, with its nourishing properties, reveals younger looking, invigorated skin. Shop local @thefaceshophawaii
  7. Burt’s Bees “Honey” Moisturizing Lip Balm – This natural balm helps nourish your dry lips with a touch of golden Honey and Vitamin E, leaving them soft, supple and super happy.
  8. Josie Maran “Divine Drip Honey Butter Balm”This indulgent body balm combines two ancient holistic ingredients—Honey and 100% Pure Argan Oil.
  9. Freeman Beauty Infusion “Manuka Honey” Hydrating Cream Mask – Manuka Honey softens while skin-plumping Collagen helps to improve elasticity and restore smoothness.
  10. Marc Jacobs “Honey” Fragrance- A sunny, delicious floral—energetic and alluring, with a sparkling, golden touch. The perfect mix of brightness and warmth. See a my previous post introducing this fragrance back in 2013.

 

Stay sweet & lovely darlings,

(The Real) Honey

Victoria’s Secret Paris

Victoria’s Secret just launched their newest fragrance, Paris.  A limited edition and also the official fragrance of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Paris was inspired by The City of Light, which VS also deemed as “the world’s sexiest city”.

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Victoria’s Secret describe the scent as “festive, crisp and sexy… captures the scent of Parisian gardens in wintertime.” Scent notes are composed of French cypress, night blooming jasmine and white cedarwood. The glamorous diamond-cut bottle seems to give a nod to the architectural style of the iconic Eiffel Tower.  The red ribbon add that touch of sexy as well as  holiday cheer to the season’s festivities.   The bottle is encased in a white and clear box with glitter and snowflakes, reflecting the sparkle of the city at night.

Paris Eau de Parfum is available in 50 ml/1.7 fl. oz. size.  The collection also includes a Fragrance Mist (250 ml/8.4 fl. oz.) and a Fragrance Lotion (250 ml/8.4 fl. oz.), which the latter you could get for FREE for a limited time.   In addition to the lotion, you can also get a FREE TOTE until Dec. 4th or while supplies last in store and online.

Stella Maxwell is the beautiful face behind this campaign.

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Watch her video below, courtesy of Victoria’s Secret.

For those who know me well a have a slight obsession with Paris and anything Parisian. Remember my 25th Birthday Celebration?   I also love Victoria’s Secret and anything VS.  So of course there is no doubt that I had to absolutely get it.  I went to the newly opened VS at Kamakana Ali’i in Kapolei, used my $15 Angel Rewards Card and went home a very happy & fulfilled shopaholic-on-a-budget. 😉

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will air Monday Dec. 5, 10/9c on CBS

Photo of angels and performers below courtesy of @VictoriasSecret  I wish I was there!!!

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Au Revoir,

Honey

Marc Jacobs’ Honey

I received an email from Nordstrom this morning introducing a new fragrance by Marc Jacobs, named Honey. I remember coming across an article from WWD a few months ago (maybe May) about this, and I was so excited about it because of the name 😉 of course it became less of a priority, so I forgot about it until today.

Long story short, for those who haven’t been updated, the whimsical and vibrant fragrance Honey by Marc Jacobs was officially launched exclusively at Sephora in July, then Bloomingdales in August, followed by the rest of other department stores in September, thus explaining Nordstrom’s announcement.

It looks so bright and fun! Just looking at the bottle makes you feel happy & good inside.

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“Honey by MARC JACOBS is a sunny delicious floral – energetic and alluring, with a sparkling, golden touch. The perfect mix of brightness and warmth. The fragrance energizes with the freshness of green pear brightened with a splash of fruity punch and juicy mandarin. At the heart of the fragrance is orange blossom, a note of sparkling femininity that mingles with nectars of honeysuckle and peach. Honey, vanilla, and smooth woods dry down to a warm, golden base.” -marcjacobs.com

I looked through YouTube for a commercial of the fragrance, and I have to say, it was the cheesiest, cutest commercial I’ve watched in a while. Seriously, you judge for yourself…

Too cute!!! The song “We Go Well Together” by Goldheart suits it perfectly! I especially love the screenshot below:

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Nordstrom is selling the fragrance for $52 (1.7 oz) and $92 (3.4 oz)

SHOP HERE

I may stop by Nordstrom to check it out. Although I am usually a fan of muskier and sweeter fragrance, rather than the floral and fresh scent, I just might give it a try and have date with Honey.

Love,
(the real) Honey 😉