Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Impressions: Sonoma Scent Studio

Oh, I've found myself a new addiction and it is...PERFUME.

Never thought this would be me, what with my long-standing disdain of the department store fragrance counter, but no escaping it now: first my PBFF (that's "Perfume BFF" to the novices out there) Ki introduced me to the Wiggle (Nani, the proprietress, makes incredible scents including limited edition Rosalba, that was the first scent that ever triggered a "back-up bottle" purchase)--which touched off an exploration of small-scale, artisan perfumers such as The Morbid the Merrier (I fell for Athelia, a dark and edgy fig) and Solstice Scents (Lace Draped Spectre is a beautiful spicy-incensey carnation).  Our online convos also took in the conventional fragrance scene, leading me to the perfume shelves at my local Sephora--and a bottle of Lavanila's Vanilla Passion Fruit plus a rollerball of their Vanilla Grapefruit, as well as the discovery that some "men's" fragrances (Burberry for Men, Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver) smell really, really good on me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What I did during my (end of) summer vacation!

Hello again, my wonderful and lovely readers!  So sorry to have been away from you so long, but the end of summer is a season all it's own in my little corner of the hula world:


Which means that my days consist of three phases: work (long), sleep (little to none), and...


The halau I belong to tries as much as possible here on the mainland to keep to a traditional lu`au, which means we all work together--very hard--to present all aspects of the event, including making our own adornments (fresh greenery lei for head, wrists/ankles, implements, etc.), costumes designed by our Loea Hula and made either by ourselves (if we have the skill) or a seamstress (if we don't--I'm in this category, myself), hours of extra practice every week to get us looking maika`i (good) as a group, digging an imu (underground oven) to cook all the kalua pork and then shredding the roasted meat by hand, cooking all the food, setting up the hall, doing our own/each other's hair, makeup, etc., serving the guests who bought tickets for the event (we had more than 500 this year!!), and of course...


From our Dress Rehearsal in mid-to-late August until the event in mid-to-late September, our lives revolve around our hula; for me this entails cutting back on social networking and other online and RL social activity as I squeeze my Lu`au-related commitments into every bit of spare time I can eke out from my work schedule.  After the event, our halau closes for a week for some much-needed R&R and my DH & I take off for Hawai`i to enjoy the break!

Now that I'm back, I wanted to give you all a slice of my RL, Island style ;)

close-up of the lei I wove for my ipu heke, or double-gourd drum, which I had the privilege of performing with during the Kahiko (ancient) segment of the Lu`au program.

Some of my Papa Hanohano ladies & I during the feast--note the gleam off the foodservice gloves we're wearing--sexy, yeah? ;P

Outside just before the show, when the halau gathers for a pule, or prayer, to ensure a good performance.  See the pretty fern lei on my head & wrists?  Yeah, I made those!

On stage with my Hanohano sistahs dancing an `Auana, or modern-style hula titled Akahikuleana A Ka Piko

Me with our alaka`i (class leaders) & aunties dancing Queen's Jubilee, composed by Hawai`i's last monarch, Queen Lili`uokalani, when she traveled to England to take part in the celebration of Queen Victoria`s reign
The Tahitian segment is always the most popular part of our show; here I am dancing the mamaroa "Na Te Moana"

If I managed to look beautiful in any of these pics, it is thanks in part to my much-loved indie makeup companies--my eyes were highlighted by a combo of Thunderpants by MPZ and (later in the show), Meerkat by Fyrinnae, with Fenix (Liquid Kiss Luxe) by DGC on the lips for Kahiko (more neutral and therefore appropriate for performing the "ancient" style hula) and then Nevermore (tinted lip balm) by Morgana Cryptoria with clear gloss over the top.  Mahalo, ladies, for helping me look fab for our guests!

And here's Kaua`i, where the DH & I went for some much needed down-time ;D

Waimea Canyon, often called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific," as seen through the poor lil' camera on my iPhone 3G o.O

The north side of the island, which is the area where we stayed.

View from our hotel room at the west end of Hanalei Bay the last evening of our stay
Thanks for letting me share this beautiful experience with you all!  Next time, I promise to have more lovely looks/reviews/swatches etc. for your enjoyment <3

Me ke aloha,