A Queen and a Princess

With my mom a couple of months after being selected as SFVJACC Queen.

When I was a little girl, my mother told me that one of her dreams was for me to be in a Japanese American beauty pageant which was closely tied to a week-long festival in Los Angeles known as Nisei Week. The first Nisei Week celebration took place in 1934, and a year later, the queen pageant was added. With the exception of the years during which World War II took place, the Nisei Week Festival has taken place yearly. I knew how much my mother wanted me to participate in Nisei Week, but since I wasn’t that interested in vying for a queen title and being in a pageant, I tucked the idea of pursuing such a goal in the back of my mind and kind of forgot about it.

Shortly after I turned 18, I decided to contact the Japanese-American community center close to where I lived and inquired about the pageant, only to be told that the age requirements for queen candidates were changed to 19 to 25. The following year, I inquired again, but the area’s queen selection had already been made at that time. After that, I simply forgot about the Nisei Week queen selection. Then the year that I turned 25, I figured that I had one final chance to see if I could win a queen title and advance to the Nisei Week pageant. So I submitted my candidate profile and waited for the queen selection day to approach, while also keeping my plans completely hidden from my mom. I thought that if I wasn’t selected as the San Fernando Valley queen, I wouldn’t say anything to my mother, so as to spare her any disappointment.

While at the queen selection event, I noticed that I was up against only one other candidate, but that candidate had competed for the queen title for two consecutive years previously, and since she was also 25 years old, the event was her final chance at being selected as queen. I made an assumption that since the judges were familiar with the other candidate, she would most likely be chosen as their queen.

We were assessed on our physical appearance and poise, were asked impromptu questions while standing on a small stage, and were interviewed individually by every single judge. When it was time to announce the 1991 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center Queen, who would then go on to compete at the Nisei Week pageant with 8 other regional queens, I prepared myself to hear the other candidate’s name, so it was a complete surprise when I heard my name called. Next thing I knew, the judges and guests were congratulating me, and the former queen placed a bouquet of tulips in my arms. When I arrived home, I called my mom to tell her the news, and she was incredibly proud and thrilled.

At Mayor Tom Bradley’s office with fellow Nisei Week Princess and WLAJACC Queen Alice Akahoshi

Over the next three months, I went to pageant practice 3 days per week, attended events with the rest of the court, and was primed and polished for business visitations and parades. It was like attending Japanese-American charm school, and I was grateful for the experience. I wore a tiara to many events, and also wore a sash whenever clad in kimono or in the matching outfits the court was expected to wear during events and visitations. We performed in front of 1,200 guests during the pageant, and though I didn’t win the Nisei Week Queen title, I was a Nisei Week Princess, still held the Queen title for my region, and became part of an incredible community.

Captured By Fragrance

Copyright: svl861

Several months ago, I read a book entitled The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr, which mainly explores the life and work of scientist Luca Turin. Luca Turin has made an indelible mark on the world of scent theory because he believes in a different concept of how we smell, and backs up his belief with hard science. What I did not expect while reading this book was that I learned how deeply immersed Turin is in the world of fine fragrance, to such an extent that he wrote a well respected perfume guide.

As I continued to read The Emperor of Scent, I became intensely curious about several fragrances which have been touted the world’s best scents. Turin’s description of Chamade by Guerlain captured me so intensely that I blind purchased two tiny vintage bottles of the extrait, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed, because the fragrance is sublime.

Une note de départ verte et anodine donne le coup d’ envoi à un miracle qui se produit sur plusiers heures, voire plusiers jours. A green and somewhat nondescript top note launches a miracle that happens over several hours, even several days. As soon as the initial fog dissipates, a splendid form appears, all of one piece, smooth and seamless, a strong white note, powdery and sculptural, that strengthens without losing complexity until complete evaporation. Typically Guerlain in its flattering and tender character, Chamade is nevertheless a haughty perfume, pure and distant and miles away from the slightly catty chic of Jicky and Shalimar. Its tenacity is prodigious, and one would believe it conceived to be smelled two days later. Put it on at least two hours before asking it to have its effect.

A masterpiece of elegance and poetry. One of the greatest perfumes of all time.”

How could I pass up an opportunity to obtain Chamade after reading Turin’s description?

I became obsessed with finding other vintage fragrances, such as Diorissimo (Dior) and L’Interdit (Givenchy), and also found other lovely scents which are currently being produced. However, I always try to get the vintage versions, because the newer iterations are never exactly the same as the originals. I also try to get the extrait or the eau de parfum instead of the EDT because of the staying power of perfume formulations.

I ended up finding a vintage bottle of Diorissimo EDP, which is a gorgeous expression of lily-of-the-valley, but sadly, it doesn’t last on my skin. I kept a bottle of the original L’Interdit (1957) which my mother had in her collection, and I have noted a difference between the vintage version and the bottle which I recently purchased. Nevertheless, the modern take on L’Interdit is absolutely lovely when mixed with my body chemistry.

I also found other fragrances during my recent foray into the world of scent, and stumbled upon the lovely floral Mon Guerlain (Guerlain), and the intense Sublime (Jean Patou). I revisited Byblos (Byblos) which I had kept from my mom’s collection, as well as J’Adore (Dior). Another fragrance which I absolutely love is a brand new offering from Givenchy called Irrestistible Fresh, which is a beautiful light fruity/floral.

The one mistake I made was in blind purchasing Joy (Jean Patou) based on the fact that it is the most expensive fragrance in the world. When I received the bottle in the mail, I spritzed some on my pulse points, and immediately became concerned because I could smell an imminent funk from the mixture. In addition, it was heady stuff, very grandma-esque, and just not my style. I waited for a half hour for the fragrance to meld with my body, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to jump in the shower to wash it off! The clincher for me was when my kitten approached me, took one whiff, and made swipes with his paw on the sofa as if to cover the results of a recent potty session. I took another sniff, and realized that Joy had turned into something that smelled like cat urine on me, thanks to the civet which is part of the base of the legendary scent. I returned it immediately.

Now I am just experimenting with the various fragrances I have in my collection, and will switch up my scent depending on my mood, the weather, or what I plan to do later that day. And though Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Eau So Fresh is still my go to daily fragrance, I am truly enjoying the variety which the new additions to my fragrance collection are providing.

Popular Nail Shapes For 2022

Source:: 123rf.com
Image ID: 84478349
Copyright: druzhinina

It seems like lots of ladies are opting to have their nails professionally done these days, and there are now an assortment of different nail shapes which one can choose. The six most popular nail shapes are shown in the above image, with Oval, Round, and Squoval nail shapes best suited for imparting the most natural look. You ca even create an optical illusion with your nail shape, so that if you have narrow, long fingers and want them to look more substantial, you can opt for the Squoval (or even Square, which has sharper angles) silhouette. Those with short or wide fingers who are willing to have a bit of length to their nails will find the Oval shape more flattering and slimming.

Depending on how long your nails are, and whether you have natural or acrylic nails, you could adopt any nail shape and make them look elegant, especially if your nails are professionally shaped. An example is the Square nail shape featured in the image below. You can see that the model’s fingers are long and slender, so she can carry the more severe square shape and have nails which look feminine and pretty.

Square Nail Shape:

Source: 123rf.com
]Image ID: 140647549
Copyright: marigo

Oval Nail Shape:

Oval nails are flattering on just about any hand shape, and the shape is durable as well.

Copyright: berezandr

Ballerina/Coffin Nail Shape:

I used to have Ballerina shaped nails for a number of years, and I just got tired of the shape, so I switched to Almond. Ballerina, or Coffin, shaped nails, have side edges which are tapered, so the shape can have a nice slenderizing effect on small, short fingers. However, partially due to the fact that I had a horrible nail technician whose work would chip, peel, lift and break constantly, I had to go to her for frequent repairs. I found that the sharp edges of the coffin shape would crack and chip off, despite being very careful with them. So unless you are getting your nails done by a skilled nail technician, I would opt against this shape, based on my previous experience.

@nailsbysab

Almond Nail Shape:

I finally changed to the Almond nail shape back in November, after my previous nail technician disappeared without a trace. I can honestly say that the Almond shape is fantastic, versatile, strong, feminine and flattering to my small hands. My only regret is having waited as long as I did to change to this shape, but I never trusted my previous nail technician to do a skillful job with a new nail shape. You can see in the image below how flattering the Almond nail shape is for a woman’s hands.

Copyright: marigo

Stiletto Nail Shape:

I honestly have never seen anyone sport the Stiletto nail shape except celebrities and 19 year old strippers. The Stiletto shape is very severe, with nails which come to a very sharp point, so I can’t imagine someone getting Stiletto nails unless that person had a team of assistants who did everything, presumably possibly even performing wiping duty during a celebrity’s bathroom visits (I presume a bidet would be a good investment for someone who has stiletto nails). To be honest, I wouldn’t even want to try Stiletto nails, even for a few minutes, because they are incredibly impractical and ridiculous.

Source: Nail Art Designs 2020

Mountain Peak Nail Shape:

There is a variation of Stiletto called Mountain Peak, which is a shorter version, featuring a sharp point at the tip of the nail. While it is far less treacherous than the Stiletto shape, it still evokes a feeling of vampires and haunted castles. Simply by virtue of the sharp, pointed edge of Mountain Peak, it also lacks the versatility and practicality of other, more moderate nail shapes. However, I think it could work for some women as long as leggings and tights aren’t essential elements to their wardrobe, or they don’t care if they rip into every delicate fabric they touch. I can’t imagine this shape working with nitrile gloves, which are an essential part of my life as a physician.

Source: Secret Of Girls

This Is Seriously An Honor!

This is crazy to me! I was bored one afternoon and decided to type in “hottest female doctors” in the Google search field. I had done this in the past and was stunned when I saw more than one article which mentioned me. I once again stumbled upon another article which was published in 2016, and which is a highlighted “People Also Ask” question on Google: “who is the hottest female doctor in the world:?”. I honestly thought I might see a venerated female colleague as a response to that question, but instead, I saw that there was an article on me!

I have gotten a LOT of criticism for being forthright in my determination to show off the labors of my hard work in the gym. My determination comes from being a “practice what I preach” type of person, and not from wanting to be in any type of spotlight. So before the haters emerge and decide to blast me, keep in mind where I am coming from.

Review of Nutree Brazilian Bottox Expert

My hair was always straight throughout childhood and adulthood, to the point where it often fought any type of curl or wave I tried to create. Then menopause hit, and my hair mutated into a super wavy, frizzy, unmanageable mess. To give you an idea of how wavy my hair became after the “change”, let’s just say that as my hair air dries after I wash it, it looks like I had put my hair into two pigtail braids and left them that way overnight, then unraveled them to release intense waves. On the rare occasion when I am rushing around and unable to run the flat iron through my hair once it has completely air dried, a few friends have witnessed how wavy my tresses have become. Despite the fact that those friends have remarked that they think it looks pretty, I cringe when I realize that someone has noticed the change in my hair texture.

Copyright: badahos
This was taken in 1991, when my hair was at its longest. You can see how straight it was.

I wouldn’t mind the waviness in my locks if 1) the wave was evenly distributed (the right side is considerably wavier than the left), and 2) my hair didn’t expand as it dried, creating a frizzy mushroom-shaped mass. I honestly feel a bit like Roseanne Rosannadanna when my hair is in the process of drying, and I fight it like crazy, using a brush-style blow dryer, hair oil, and shine serum. I have tried to skip the flat iron, but I truly can’t stand how my hair looks without that final smoothing step. I am always bound and determined to kill that hormonal squiggle which runs through my hair!

So when Nutree asked me to review their Brazilian Bottox Expert, I gladly agreed to do so, since I am always in search of products and treatments which can calm my unruly mop. This is considered a professional treatment, and the chemicals are rather harsh, so I strongly urge you to work in a very well ventilated room, wear gloves, and even wear protective eyewear if you have sensitive eyes like I do. Though I didn’t use my onion cutting goggles, I honestly did consider wearing them while I applied the treatment and for the 40 minutes during which I had the product penetrating into my hair. Even when I blow dried and flat ironed my hair, some of the fumes made me choke a bit, and my eyes teared a bit then as well.

Since Brazilian Bottox Expert is a thermo multi-control mask, and fills in the hair cuticle so that it is nice and smooth. So what you can expect from this treatment is hair which is shiny, smooth, and more manageable. The large jar should be enough for three treatments on my thick, waist-length, half-Asian hair, which I guess is acceptable. There is a sweet, bubble gum/fruity smell to the product, but that smell can be pretty strong when the product is being applied, or when a hot styling tool is introduced. That being said, the fumes are tolerable.

My post-menopausal wavy hair…

The first thing I did was wash my hair with an anti-residue shampoo, then allowed it to dry completely overnight while I slept (I’m lazy like that, and prefer to let my hair air dry). I then sectioned my hair into six sections, put on a pair of gloves, and applied the product to each section. I also made sure to comb the product through from roots to ends to make sure the product was distributed evenly. I set my timer for 40 minutes and made sure to sit in a well-ventilated room.

After 40 minutes, I lightly rinsed my hair, making sure to leave a thin layer of product in my hair. I could tell that there was a thin layer of product by the slippery quality in my wet hair. I towel dried my hair, then blow-dried it with a round brush. I will admit that this took FOREVER because I have very thick, long hair, and also because I detest blow drying my hair. One of the reasons why my hair is so healthy is because I only wash it twice a week, and I only run a brush-style hair dryer through my damp hair for about 3 minutes to speed up the air-drying process. So what I did was split up the blow-drying into three sessions, with about 20 minutes in between each session.

Once my hair was completely dry, I flat ironed my hair, taking small sections and running the flat iron 12 times through each section. The heat from the flat iron really kicked up the fumes, and my eyes began to water a bit, but I toughed it out. The result was incredibly smooth hair, without that nasty frizz I have been getting after washing my hair.

My hair immediately after finishing the treatment

About three days after I applied Brazilian Bottox Expert, I washed and conditioned my hair with Amazonliss Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner. As my hair dried, I noticed that the wave in my hair had relaxed somewhat, which surprised and delighted me since the product is not considered a straightener or relaxer. Right before my hair was completely dry, I ran a hair dryer through it, but it took no time to get it to dry, and my hair looked smooth and relatively frizz-free, with no mushrooming out (no more Roseanne Roseannadanna!). I could actually tolerate the amount of curl in my hair, but I still ran the flat iron through it.

My damp hair after washing it 3 days post Brazilian Bottox Expert application
My dry hair after washing and conditioning it
This is how my hair looked after flat-ironing it and sleeping on it overnight

I absolutely LOVE how my hair is significantly tamer, much more manageable, with less wave and considerably less frizz. The other bonus is how shiny my hair is now! I am hoping that this will last a couple of months, because it has completely changed how I feel about my hair now. Brazilian Bottox Expert is a complete gamechanger for me, and I honestly believe that anyone who is dealing with excessive curl and frizz and wants to make their hair more manageable should try this product.

Great Mineral Oil Free Product For Angry, Reactive Dry Skin

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 104888033
Copyright : magone

 

I had spent the last two months of 2020 searching high and low for a natural, rich, mineral-free cream which I could use on my very parched, eczema-tortured skin which developed as a result of an overly aggressive CO2 laser treatment, a 2 month reaction to mineral oil, and the cold, dry winter air. After searching high and low in an effort to find a solution, I stumbled upon a product which fit the bill: Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty. From the very first application, I got INSTANT relief, and my skin drank this stuff up. I slathered it all over my neck, chest, shoulders, and forehead, and all the itchiness went away almost instantly. Ahhhhhh…

While the cream is extremely thick, almost like frosting, it absorbs quickly and beautifully, and hydrates like a dream. Another thing I appreciate is the fact that this product is fragrance free, and that there is just a nice, clean, very faint neutral scent from the ingredients themselves.

Though I suspect that I will go through the 8.8 ounce tub pretty quickly in an effort to finally heal my angry skin (my entire upper body is suffering), I think it is well worth it, especially since so few creams out there are mineral oil free, and also since this, along with only two other products I have tried (Skyn Iceland Arctic Repair Cream, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm), have the ability to calm my reactive skin to a point where I don’t feel like I have a million ants crawling all over me.

I will most definitely purchase this cream again. And again. This may be a new holy grail of moisturizers for me!

One Theory Complete Collection Skincare Line

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  I was provided with free product in exchange for my unbiased review.

Every once in a while, I encounter a skincare line which impresses me so much that I want to praise it from a mountaintop.  This is definitely the case with One Theory Complete Collection, which I recently got a chance to use and review.  You can see in the YouTube video review which I have shared at the top of this post that, though I am not standing on a mountaintop, I am definitely a fan of this skincare line, which is paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin like mine.

The Complete Collection includes the following products:

Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum | 1 fl oz
Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum | 1 fl oz
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum | 1 fl oz
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer | 1.7 oz

 

One Theory recommends using the following products in sequence for your morning ritual after cleansing and toning your skin:

Morning Glow Routine:

Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer

 

In the evening, you will use the following products in sequence:

Night Flow Routine:

Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer

One Theory Complete Collection

 

Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum:

Probably my favorite aspect of this serum is the fact that it features the more stable magnesium ascorbyl phosphate molecule as its Vitamin C antioxidant.  This particular form has both hydrating and calming properties, making it ideal for all skin types.  Vitamin C is terrific for combating environmental skin stressors, and it brightens skin beautifully.  When I apply this onto my skin, I get wonderful hydration, great absorption, and a glowy tone.

 

Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum:

Though I am not the biggest fan of retinol (I just don’t like walking around with flaking skin), I do honor its ability to increase cell turnover and refine the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Millionaire Sugar™ features a slow release, active 1% microencapsulated form of Retin-A which prevents the retinol from breaking down before it penetrates your skin.  The result is improved skin texture and improved skin renewal.

Imagine my surprise when I developed absolutely NO flakiness or peeling from this product.  My skin was already more radiant after using this product for a few nights.  I am in love with this retinol product, and look forward to rejuvenating my skin each night as I sleep with this wonderful serum on my face.

 

HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum:

This product boasts a collagen-boosting peptide known as Matrixyl 3000® which is phenomenal for the area around my mouth and eyes, because it just smooths out fine lines and rough skin patches (which I developed from a fractional laser procedure in November of last year). The addition of cucumber and green tea make this gel incredibly soothing, something my skin really appreciates.  It’s incredible how this serum seems to normalize skin, balancing out redness, dry spots, and oily spots (yes, I still have some oiliness in my T-zone even though I am over the half-century mark).

 

La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer:

Whenever I find a great moisturizer, I get almost giddy with excitement, because they honestly are difficult to find.  From the first time I ever used La Rituelle™, I was completely hooked.  It nourishes my parched skin without sending it into an oily mess, absorbs completely, and imparts such a smooth, amazing finish to my skin that I often don’t bother using finishing powder (I don’t use foundation, just finishing powder to combat shine).

La Rituelle™ provides a gentle barrier to moisture loss and works beautifully with all three facial serums in the One Theory line. Kojic acid, Willow Bark extract, Green Tea, and Ginseng are combined with a bit of glycolic acid in a Hyaluronic Acid base to create a magical moisturizer which has become a personal favorite.

 

I never recommend products which I do not personally use, so when I say that I am over the moon with the One Theory skincare line, I truly mean it. My skin is luminous, hydrated, and happy with all four products in the One Theory line.  I am also so excited to try their cleanser and toner when they become available, because I have no doubt that they will be outstanding!

To order the One Theory Complete Collection, just click on the link below:

https://www.onetheoryusa.com/collections/all

Scent Beauty Has Incredible Fragrances!

 

I’ve been working with Scent Beauty as one of their brand ambassadors for several months now, and I absolutely love the fragrances they sell.  So far, I have seven scents from their line:

  • Intention, Transcend, and Balance from the Phluid Project
  • Rise and Shine, I Am Bright, and So Serene from Scent Organix
  • Cher – Fragrance Foundation’s 2020 Awards Winner

Here are links to the fragrances I just mentioned:

https://scentbeauty.com/collections/house-brands

https://scentbeauty.com/products/cher-eau-de-couture

 

So you may be asking, do I actually use any of these fragrances?  The answer is a resounding YES.

Intention by The Phluid Project

 

Intention from the Phluid Project is the perfect blend of spicy, floral and sweet, with the following scent profile:

SCENT PROFILE
Pink Pepper, Rosebud

TOP

Cherry, Saffron

HEART

Tonka Bean, Cedarwood
BASE
Intention has only a hint of sweetness which comes from the cherry, but is well balanced with the other tones.  I love this fragrance and wear it often.
—-
I also love the dual phase feature of all three fragrances in the Phluid Collection.  They are just gorgeous!  All you do when you need to use a Phluid Collection fragrance is to shake the bottle to mix the phases, then spray onto your skin!

Transcend by The Phluid Project

Then there’s Transcend, which is mildly reminiscent of Prada Candy, but is a much softer expression, a tropical beach with hints of fruit and sea salt and sultry warm notes like vanilla.  It is my current favorite!
SCENT PROFILE
Dragonfruit, Pineapple Leaf

TOP

Tiare Flower, Sea Salt

HEART

Palo Santo, Vanilla Orchid

BASE


Balance by The Phluid Project

In stark contrast, Balance is a very clean, crisp fragrance, and one which to me is a men’s fragrance, despite Scent Beauty’s claim that all of its scents are unisex. Here are the notes:
SCENT PROFILE
Cardamom, Iced Grapefruit
TOP
Black Tea, Clary Sage

HEART

Vetiver, Atlas Cedar

BASE


Rise and Shine by Scent Organix

Rise and Shine from Scent Organix is a beautiful, light, clean fragrance which just makes me happy when I smell it. Here is the scent profile for Rise and Shine:

SCENT PROFILE
Tangerine, Lemon Spritz

TOP

Hibiscus

HEART

Peach Blossoms, Orange Zest

BASE


I Am Bright by Scent Organix

I Am Bright from Scent Organix, while also light and fresh, has more of that tropical citrus vibe.  This is more fruit-forward than Rise and Shine, but not in an overt fashion.  I love it as well!

SCENT PROFILE
Juicy Pineapple, Salted Coconut

TOP

Tiare Flower

HEART

Orange Flower, Lemon

BASE


So Serene by Scent Organix

Then there is So Serene, which I love to wear when I go into the office.  It is very subtle, and no note overpowers any other.  It imparts a relaxing vibe which keeps me at an even keel.
SCENT PROFILE
Mandarin, Violet Leaves

TOP

Wild Freesia

HEART

Green Tea, Lime

BASE


Cher Eau De Couture_Icon

The last scent I have in my Scent Beauty collection is Cher Eau de Couture, which is a very intense, smoky, deep and complex fragrance.  It’s as commanding as Cher is!  It just declares itself, as a sultry, clove-dominant scent. I do love it, but I don’t think I would ever dare wear it during the day.  This is something I can imagine someone of either gender wearing on a steamy date night!
SCENT PROFILE
Bergamot, Clove, Neroli

TOP

Jasmine, Rose, Orange Flower

HEART

Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orchid

BASE

 

To order any of these amazing fragrances, please use the following link so that Scent Beauty knows that I referred you: