Monday, December 29, 2008

I Felt I Had To Share...

The blog is getting a makeover! Yayyyyy! A wonderful, fabulous, great, fantabulous person is working on the "new face" of Suka & Spice. I can't wait! was your holiday? Still celebrating? You know I am--getting ready for the New Years celebration and have not a clue about what I shall wear. I usually keep it casual, but this year is apt to be a big one for me, so I'm thinking I should do it big (which means that I still may very well be in jeans and a "nice" top!). Well, many of the Christmas surprises still haven't arrived--as we were practically snowed in for a good week in these parts--but a couple of things made it off of the UPS truck this morning. I will review and post all about them once I've given them a fair chance. I do however want to point out a product that caught me on Christmas Eve. I was at mom's, and had nada to remove my nail polish with--which called for a quick run to the 24hr drugstore. Upon arrival (you know you saw this coming), I decided to do a quick sweep through the cosmetics department.

Lately, I've been watching folks pick up the new MAC Penultimate Liner as though it's water and there's a drought. The thing really is pretty novel. A liner that resembles a felt-tip pen, giving the user absolute control over the thickness of the line. It spreads easily across the lid and prevents any additional washing of tools. It's the same size as a regular pen, so it travels easily and can be stashed in a purse for on-the-go touchups. Well, that's all good and well, but of course I had to find a dupe. And I did. Jordana's InColor line, is a very affordable (and unfortunately not always dependable) line that you can find in most Walgreens and even dollar stores. They offer a liquid eye liner in felt-tip form in two colors (black and brown), and it's called Fabu Liner. $1.99. You read right. Not even two hundred cents (apparently because of this, they can't afford a website and so I had to link you to MUA. Oh well). It works in the exact same way as it's pricier more mature MAC counterpart, but at a huge fraction of the cost. I like to line with a regular black pencil, and then follow the line with the Fabu Liner. I've had it on all day, and it looks just as black as it did at 10am this morning. If you've ever even been slightly curious about this form of lining, pick one of these suckers up. You'll be happy you did.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Weekend Inspiration

"Love beauty; it is the shadow of God on the universe." -Gabriela Mistral

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry be ;)

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas celebration tomorrow, and don't forget--Christmas is 12 days! Celebrate them all ;)

I'll be back--after some serious eating and partying with family--with some ideas for your New Years celebration and also some new things to look forward to in the '09! Don't forget to enter the giveaway. Did I make it too difficult? Meanwhile, lose yourself in the bittersweet memories of one of the best bands to have ever hit the Holiday charts...


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finally, the Giveaway!

In celebration of this special time of year, I wanted to be able to share something with you that I had picked up and absolutely loved. So much so, that I wanted to give it to my readers to thank them for caring enough to read the rantings and reviews ;)

However, before I go any further I do want to reflect for a quick moment on the meaning of the season. It's not all about stuff--even though I sure love it! I post a lot about my "newest finds" and all of my latest obsessions, but by no means do I advocate buying every single thing that tickles your fancy. I don't buy into the hype surrounding the extreme worry regarding our economy, but I do think that it's smart and beautiful to be mindful of what really matters. I try my best to talk about affordable alternatives to the high end stuff (when it's possible--I mean, some things are highly priced for a reason, right?), but in reality, the way to stay truly beautiful is to take a good look at your insides and to figure out what's really going on inside your heart and mind. Best anti-aging trick I know of! This is not meant to be preachy, but as it's so easy to lose sight of the real meaning in life (especially around the holidays when shopping can be stressful instead of pleasurable), I figured I'd just throw it out there.

So...onto the good stuff. I'm gifting two Lola SocialEyes Gel Liners/Shadows in Fiji and Bora Bora (bottom two in the above photo). It took me ages to find something that I thought would be perfect in name and product for you guys! Although the title leads you to believe that the consistency is jelly-like, it's more of a cream shadow which is very blendable and buildable. Because it's a bit firmer than a typical gel, it makes lining and shadowing a breeze. Fiji is a striking ocean blue, while Bora Bora is a goldy bronze shade. I added a picture using both hues (with my own of course!), which I think highlights the possibility of using them together to form a look thats reminiscent of the sea. You can up the intensity by adding more of the gel, or by layering it with some powder shadow.

The giveaway is open to everyone--regardless of where you live! All male readers are welcome to give it a go as well...afterall, you either have a wife, or a girlfriend, sister, mother, etc. After subscribing, please give me your:
  • Name
  • Two favorite products and why you love them so
  • A holiday tradition that you can't live without
I will announce the winner on January 12th, 2009 and will post the winning entry. I'm sure you all have holiday plans, and that way you'll have one last surprise to look forward to! Good luck!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weekend Inspiration

"Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for instance." -John Ruskin

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now Featuring Tia Woods...

Thank you to Will over at Kavalava for sending this my way. I love seeing Pacific women in the industry--makes me wanna cry! I took a look at some of Tia's work, and her look is just so versatile. Slowly, we are building a growing list of working Polynesian models...yesssss! Oh, and if you're new to New Zealand's Tagata Pasifika, check out their YouTube Channel. They're a hoot!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frigid Weather Survival Kit

I don't know about you, but where I am, the weather is wayyy too cold. I'm talkin, it got down to 19 degrees the other day (that's -7.2 C for you gals in the Pacific!). Is this okay? Not really. Will I make it? Yah, probably so. I've been doing everything under the sun to prevent my skin from chapping, eyes from going bloodshot, and hair from splitting. I think after many years of this fickle sort of weather, I've finally got it down pat. The following are my save-my-life from the frost finds, which will seal the moisture into every major part of your body.

Body: When temperatures plummet, it's time to bring in the big guns. An everyday moisturizer is no match for the elements, so you need to call in something bigger, better, and badder. Something like Vaseline Vitalizing Gel Body Oil. Made with Brazilian nut and almond oil, and way more accessible than our reliable island oils (can you tell that I'm a nut for oil?), you comparatively don't have to wait for it to de-solidify. Either way, I like to keep a bottle in the shower so it's extra melty smooth, and then I apply it immediately after turning off the water. No towel-dry first. This locks in the moisture, and there's considerably less to dry off from afterward. After that, it's time to slap on your favorite moisturizer, because there's no taking chances during these trying times.

: We're all aware that the area under the eyes is tissue paper thin. But do we ever remember the fact that it's one of the driest parts of the face? This can mean horrible things during the winter. My save-all? Castor oil. I tell you, my mom must have laughed me out of the chemist when I went with her to pick up a new bottle. Apparently, it was more commonly used for treating another problem back in the day--but don't let that deter you, as the results are worth the criticism. After applying your eye cream (only at night, of course--and if you like, you can skip your regular eye cream), gently dab on a little bit of this stuff in all of the same places--and even on your brows! I admit, I go as far as using it on my lashes, but you can avoid this if you're worried about getting it in your eyes, or if you wear contacts to bed. Dry skin is one of the leading causes of wrinkles, and I'm just not feelin' the premature wrinkly look. Castor oil has been used around the world to cleanse, moisturize, and encourage regeneration in skin. It works wonders while you sleep.

Lips: I know that Aquaphor is touted as the go-to moisturizer when it comes to serious chapping and dryness. However, even though I keep a big vat of it bedside, it's more of a fallback. I really prefer Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 in Mint. Why mint? I think I played out the unscented version. This year, the new flavors are Mango, Coconut and Vanilla. Mmm...right up my alley! But what about when you need some color, or want to switch it up during the day? I have been attached at the hip to Milani's Glossy Tubes. They're more affordable than many of the cosmetic counter versions (cheaper in drugstores than online, and typically on sale), but just as good. They leave my lips moisturized and shiny, but not overly sticky. Dreamy Glow is a good shade for those who want to forego color (I kid you not, I have guy friends who have been stealing this out of my hands).

Hair: No straight minded island girl wants her hair to suffer. It's her pride and glory! Well, the sun isn't the only thing that wreaks havoc on your locks. Cold, blistery air works double time to parch and break the healthy head you've been maintaining all year long. To the rescue? A deep conditioner. Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment isn't necessarily easy on the wallet, but will do all sorts of miracles on your hair and scalp. I've yet to come across a product that will really do the things that this little wonder does--even my mama can back that up! My trick is to apply it, and then either do a little housecleaning or just go to bed (of course I wrap my hair first), so that I can awake to the healthy hair that I only dream about. On a post-shampoo basis, I like to coat my ends (which otherwise will be a big splitting hot mess) with Herbal Essences' Long-Term Relationship Leave In Split End Protector for Long Hair. Wow, that was a mouthful. This is an extra step that goes a long way in lengthening the amount of time between trips to the salon. Additionally, if you're like me and you have a bad habit of throwing your hair up into a bun, you don't end up with those crazy iron-fried looking ends that usually hang out. You know what I mean, don't act like you don't!

Eyes: Can't forget the peepers! Sometimes they get brushed to the side, until it becomes painfully obvious that they need some TLC. I grew up in a Visine-dependant family, and looking back, I don't know what was going on that forced everyone to have an economy sized bottle in their pocket at all times. With that said, I really enjoy Rohto V's Cooling Redness Reliever/Lubricant Eye Drops. They do everything that the others claim to do but don't, all the while making you feel as though you've popped an Altoid in your eye. The packaging's not too shabby either. To some, the sensation is a little too intense and I understand. If that's the case, I also highly recommend Similasan Computer Eye Relief drops which have a very natural ingredient list, and is non-habit forming. Just nice and refreshing.

Before you know it, we'll be bending the holiday corner to Spring. If you're on the lucky end at this time of year and are experiencing all sun and sand, just know that I think about you often. You have to admit though, don't you just sort of wish you had a reason to use these things?

PS. I really am posting the giveaway soon. I've just been slacking on uploading the pictures of the prize--make sure you subscribe so you don't miss out!

Free Shipping Day!

Just in case you have yet to complete your holiday shopping, today, December 18th is now also known as Free Shipping Day! Over 200+ retailers have agreed to offer free shipping to customers, with a promise of delivering all goods by Christmas. It's so much easier for me to find what I'm looking for, when given all of the options online. Even one of my favorite island skincare brands, Pure Fiji (a green company that is swear-to-goodness really located in Fiji), is in on the action! Hey, it saves on energy and gas ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

...On the Head.

A couple of posts ago, I added an OPI polish to the Polyvore mix. Originally I wanted to add my favorite tried and true color of all time, but for one reason or another it appeared too fuschia-ish in the bottle. Well, no need to worry because I took a picture of it over the Thanksgiving weekend, and have decided to feature it here as a must-have nail hue. The shade is Senorita Rose-alita, and it's by OPI. Online, it appears as though it's a very pinky matte tone, but on the nail it is much different. I've decided to feature two photos, in order to show the warm pink tone, as well as the gold shimmer that appears in different lights. I admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for a gold shimmer. It's been 5+ years, and I haven't gotten tired of the thing.

Oh, and have you ever been at the cosmetic counter, and wanted to check out a nail color but didn't want to ruin your manicure? Slap a piece of transluscent tape on the back of your hand and polish away. The sheen of the tape acts as a newly buffed nail bed, while the skin color below, ought to be very similar to that of your fingers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's the Drama of It All...

I learned early on, that there are a few lip pencils on this planet that will pretty much go with next to any lip color. The first shade I learned of was MAC's Spice--a pencil that will match the natural lip tone of most medium to tan-skinned women. Needless to say, this pencil has been floating around my makeup bag, glove box, or fishing tackle box for just about every single year since I became privy to the above stated information. I'm always looking for new products that hit the market, but rarely am I willing to completely replace an oldie but goody with just any 'ol thing. This weekend, I purposely stumbled upon some theatre cosmetics that I couldn't help but indulge in. Typically found in costume or theatre stores, these cosmetics give you so much bang for your buck in the area of steadfast, well pigmented shades. By no means will I suggest using all aspects of any theatre line, but I will say that perusing these brands is an affordable and significant way to switch up the contents of your makeup stash. Although I was originally on the search for some Kryolan (Bollywood makeup gurus use this stuff religiously), I picked up an extremely long lip pencil by Ben Nye named, shockingly--Spice! One swipe, and I knew that I had found an exact match to my old standby. After shelling out only eight dollars, did I run to the car to match the swatch. Identical. Not only is it a five dollar savings, but the texture is very blendable and about a quarter to a third longer (7 inches!) than a MAC pencil. I say we all get a little dramatic and check it out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weekend Inspiration

"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul." -Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday Morning Rain is Falling...

Happy 2nd week of Advent!

Lately, I've been experimenting with creating "looks" on Polyvore. Sure it's fun to put together collages of beauty products--but so much more interesting to create looks for island ladies who want to build off of our everyday (or in this case weekend) norms. With that said, I present to you my Sunday morning getup:

Sunday Morning by Suka&Spice

I confess...I don't wear a puletaha to church every Sunday morning. More accurately, I like to reserve it for times where I'm forced to (okay, kidding), or am experiencing warmer weather. If I were to rock this every weekend, you'd probably find me sporting some thermal underwear and leg warmers underneath. It's too cold for that business here. What do you think of adding a little shine and glitz to your puletaha/puletasi?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smooth Shaving

I can't seem to convince the other half to use an electronic razor. To me, it seems so much easier than all of the many steps you have to go through with a manual razor, cream, brush, balm and aftershave. But no--he insists that to achieve the closest and finest of hair removal, one must use a hand held razor. And this is coming from a very non-metro male (can I get an Amen from the readers who know him?). Because I've had to accept this and move on with my life, I decided to do the next best thing--which was obtaining a shaving cream that would soothe and protect his not-so-delicate face. Enter Arbonne REsurface Shave Gel. To be honest, it originally came included in a packet of skincare products for men, in order to bulk up my first order from Arbonne. I had heard the praises being sang of this shaving tool, from girlfriends to Golf Magazine. Little did I know how difficult it would be to convince him to use another. After one use, I was told to never again look for another shaving cream. WTF? What was in this stuff that was making him turn all caveman on me? I checked--almond, sunflower and cucumber. Apparently a dangerous mix. So I guess it's that good. In all actuality, I've yet to see a nick or cut on his face since he turned to the stuff. So if you've been curious as to what can turn a completely non-opinionated male bananas, this is the product for you. Try on, my little lambs, try on.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'm Firing Comcast.

It occurred to me that we never discussed the Oprah Beauty Episode, or the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show! How could I?

First things first--there is no question that Big O's last edition of Beauty Secrets from Around the World was so much more satisfying than the one we watched this month. Am I wrong? I feel like learning about the differing outlooks that women from around the globe hold, concerning inner and outer beauty, is much more satisfying than just plopping a couple of exoticized products on the show, and wrapping after only viewing "secrets" from about four or five countries. I was however, surprised to see the clip on the Maori moko. It's a shame that nothing was offered in the way of meaning or significance when it came to this. To the average viewer, it was just played off as a "cultural thing" wherein Polynesians happen to love blue lips. Not okay. One thing that caught my eye however, was the Nightingale Droppings that they touched on in the Japan feature. I remembered seeing an ad for a product with this ingredient years ago, and sped straight to my computer to check it out after the episode aired. I mean, did you see those women's faces? Why not give it a try? After all, I just noticed that one of the main ingredients in my night serum is urea, and you know the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that word. What would we have offered in the way of Pacific Island beauty secrets, had we been featured?

And now onto the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Every year I look forward to Tivo-ing, watching, Tivo-ing while watching, and then of course re-watching the Tivo version over and over and over. However, something went insanely wrong this year. I can't put a finger on it, but I cringed at almost every scene. The horizontal runway. Usher's poor styling. The overly orange brown skin tone of all the models. Total bronzer-gone-wrong. Why VS? Why would you do this to me? I usually love the crazy accents that the girls have, but this year I'm quite positive that they were asked the dumbest questions that anyone could have scripted. Making of course, the dumb answers sound even worse--accent or not. What went wrong? I don't want to lose hope in next year's return, but I'm wondering if it has something to do with the absence of Giselle. As you can see, the idea behind the makeup looks never really translated onto the runway. Ah well, like the prodigal daughter, I will return next year with refreshed hopes. Oh, and I still can't be mad at Miranda Kerr (above).

One last note. While Lifetime television usually wins the award for better-than-life, but cornier than Kim from Real Housewives of Atlanta "women movies", they are now taking a jab at reality TV. Blush is all about makeup artists trying to make their mark. Have you seen it? What say you?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Weekend Inspiration

"Just because you are blind, and unable to see my beauty doesn't mean it does not exist." -Margaret Cho

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ah, the Memories...

Certain scents remind me of different periods of my life--specifically men's cologne. Don't come around me with some Tommy for men. That has 9th grade sprayed all over it, and my mind will jump immediately to my first barnyard tolo. As a consequence of my scent memory, I've always enjoyed collecting the perfumes and lotions that remind me of people who have been truly important or significant to me. This means that Obsession for women will lead me to believe that my mom's following me, and that White Shoulder will make me think my grammy is hiding in my bathroom. The latest of these scents has been Caress' Moroccan Body Wash. I've talked about my thing for Caress before, but this is in a different sort of category. It's not the everyday scrubdown sort of shower gel--but more like an in-shower lotion that is slightly residual, but in a very very good way. A way that makes you feel as though you've already moisturized your whole body long before stepping onto your bathmat. Although my dear Grandma was far from Moroccan, something about the scent makes me feel as though I'm five years old, sitting in her kitchen waiting for her to finish making my keke Tonga. Although it contains starflower oil and cassis cream, it smells more to me like a very intense mix of baby oil (or maybe powder?), with lolo Tonga. It's probably the most comforting scent I own, but I reach for it when I want to take a jog down memory lane.
Is there a product that you use that brings back memories of someone you love or miss?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

So Fresh and So Clean

Want to put your best face forward? I learned years ago from a beloved Eastern European facialist, how to ensure that I wouldn't redistribute bacteria to other parts of my face, every time I washed. It has nothing to do with buying special sponges or battery operated scrubbers, but everything to do with keeping your derma sparkling clean. Oh yah, it's washcloths. Can you believe it?! It's easy as pie--as long as you follow these steps to a T:
  • obtain stacks and stacks of white washcloths (I choose to go the Costco route--a dozen for somewhere around the $7 mark)
  • use a new cloth every single time you wash your face--be gentle, but be sure that it is a one-time use situation, and that you don't use it beyond your face and neck
  • toss washcloth in laundry and ONLY wash with other said white washcloths
  • bleach the hell out of them
  • begin again
Of course because of this little addiction to clean face washing, I've had to endure the many questions from friends in regards to why there's a basket full of dozens of rolled washcloths under the sink...usually something along the lines of whether or not I'm extremely dirty, or just extremely OCD (definitely the latter, in case you were wondering). Can I tell you something though? I will never stop doing this. It's the most effective way of ensuring that every last speck of cleanser has left my face, and it serves also as a mild daily exfoliation. Everyone I've convinced of this, has told me they love it--guys included. So make your cleanser work overtime for you, and get down to the "nitty gritty" (I can't stop throwing that in).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Budget Crisis, Much?

Has the economic slide sent you into a frenzy, or even worse a beauty rut? I've tried my hardest not to let it bother me--in fact I'm a little tired of hearing about it (come on CNN, can we talk about something else for once--you know, like the fact that the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show will be airing tomorrow night at 10pmPST...oh Adriana, one day we will be friends. I promise.) But since I'm responsible and all, I've been brainstorming the creative methods I've used to satisfy my love of all things beauty-enhancing that don't force me to completely break the bank. Here are some of my tops, in no particular order:

1. Shop the CCO
Okay, I've lied already. This is my number one cash saver. That is, unless I go crazy over the "sales", and let the bill amount to something that is beyond what I would normally buy in a full line store. Unfamiliar? CCO is best known as The Cosmetics Company Outlet. Have you ever dreamed of a place where you could buy MAC, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives, Clinique, Estee Lauder, and a whole slew of other products for a deep discount? Well you probably weren't dreaming--maybe you were watching all of the crazy YouTube videos about the girls who go wild at their outlet malls. These stores work hand in hand with Estee Lauder (and her many sub-brands), to sell overstock, limited edition lines, and anything else that will no longer fit in a mainline store. Nothing's expired, and if you'd like proof you can ask a sales associate to show you how to read the expiry codes on each product. Money Saver? Yes. Tempting? Even more so. Remember that Fafi Lipglass that you wanted, and you were told they were sold out? Well, it's waiting for you at the CCO.

2. Discount Codes
Right now, nearly every last company you can think of is offering some sort of friends and family discount (usually synonymous with the holidays), of which you can cash in over the internet or in-store. This is great (who doesn't want 20-40% off?), but what's better is if you can find these codes all in one place. This helps with holiday shopping, and it's so much more satisfying if you have to do just a little less work to acquire the info (also read: not having to sign up for every last newsletter in order to get a code you'll use once). Enter Retail Me Not, an online port for all sorts of discounts. Just type in the name of the company or website, and stand amazed at what you will find. RMN is not the only site of its kind, so if you're still on the hunt for another code, just do a little more search engine digging.

3. Deal Sites
This is in line with the last two suggestions--there are whole sites that are devoted to giving you what you're searching for, but at huge markdowns. Beautycrunch has a handful of popular lines, as does Strawberrynet and Cherryculture. Other sites like e.l.f. have just plain 'ol affordable cosmetics, but make sure to read reviews on the products your interested in before purchasing. Who cares if it was $1 if you're never going to use it, right? As a general rule, be sure to do your research so that you will ensure you are buying legitimate products. Don't forget, these sites often have additional discount codes, so don't overlook obtaining one so you can get a super duper low price!

3. Palettes
If you're working on growing your collection of shadows (every girl needs to), so that you can really work all of the looks you've been dying to try, using a palette is your best bet. For instance, with MAC palettes, you're looking at spending anywhere from a few bucks or so for a 4-pan, that you can fill with shadows of your choice. When you purchase shadows without the outer packaging (in other words, to pot in a palette), they are cheaper than purchasing them with the normal packaging. So automatically, you are saving money.

4. Drugstore Brands
Never underestimate the power of a great drugstore find! There are so many high-end lines (from skin care to makeup) that are being replicated at a much lower price on the aisles of your local chemist. For example, I love the shadow pigmentation that Milani offers (even though I despise the packaging), and on that same note, I can definitely point out key players for many of the drugstore brands that rival the department store stuff. It rarely occurs that I will buy a drugstore cosmetic item at full price. There are always buy 1 get 1 promos and such going on, so watch out for those. More on that later. In fact, these "copycats" shall be posted at a later date.

5. Stylists in Training
I can count on one hand, the number of times that I have dramatically strayed from my standby haircut. Gone are the days of intense and serious highlighting. This all means one critical thing. I can stand to have my hair trimmed and all-over colored by a hair stylist in training, if need be. Find your nearest reputable beauty school, and schedule an appointment! Don't let a budget crunch mean that you're going to let your image suffer. Our hair is our livelihood! Sure, it may mean that you'll be sitting in the chair for a lot longer than you would at a full-service salon, but this also means that you'll only be leaving about $20 or so poorer. Same goes for massage and skincare schools.

Of course these are just a few ideas that are a little off the beaten path. There are so many more--and if you're looking for a specific way to save, I'm willing to share what tips I have. Sharing is caring--it helps us all save! Just not makeup or hair products. That's gross.
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