Monday, May 14, 2012

Kiehl's Ultra Moisturizing Eye Stick SPF 30

Kiehl's Ultra Moisturizing Eye Stick SPF 30

Like a few of my other posts, I would like to entertain you with a story while I talk about the product that saved my weekend, the Kiehl's Ultra Moisturizing Eye Stick SPF 30. I don't want to call it a review, and I pretty much never title my posts as such, because for me, the more fun part of writing the blog isn't simply discovering products and telling the world about them. It's that little bit of sharing, and again I use the word journey. Everything is part of a journey. With the re-telling of that journey, I like to relay my thoughts about products. That's all there is to it. I insist on keeping the titles mostly limited to product names merely so that it's easy for anyone to look an item up if necessary.

Several years ago today, I was married in a lovely Catholic church in Brooklyn. That wedding was the product of many acts of charity that I will remember for the rest of my life. Beginning with the dress, the church dress, that was conceptualized in July the year before. Filipina brides almost never buy a wedding dress off the rack. These things are custom-made. I was a bride on a budget but I love beautiful things and I had the privilege of working with the brother of Filipino designer JC Buendia at one point. I asked him, the brother, if he would kindly set up an appointment for me, thinking that if I had cold-called, perhaps JC Buendia would not even meet with me, let alone create my wedding gown. Walking into his office one evening, I finally met the designer and immediately felt at ease in his presence. He asked me what ideas I had for the dress, which surprised me, because I didn't realize that my input was called for. I was thrilled to have my ideas heard, of course. Which made me ask him how this whole process usually goes. I will never forget what he said. Something to the effect that he doesn't impose what he wants on a bride simply because brides usually have a preconceived notion of what they want to look like on their wedding day. They often know what they want of the dress. And it's his job to make that happen (and make you look good, of course).

I paraphrase words spoken years ago. I hope I have captured them as accurately as possible. He was right. He is right. I truly did walk in there with not just an idea of what I wanted him to make for me, I even had fabric. What I had was a bridesmaid dress I had worn to my brother's wedding, which had this fabulous bit of lace all over the bottom of the dress, which if I remember correctly, had actually come from another gown that I think was my sister's. So we incorporated this bit of lace into my new dress and he put everything together for me beautifully, designing something that I loved. On top of all this, perhaps the biggest and most obvious act of charity, was that he charged me so little for the dress (I revealed my budget early on) and his staff was so nice to work with. Thank you, JC Buendia. May you have more blessings to come.

My bridesmaids ended up with dresses created by another Filipino designer, Danilo Franco, because my maid of honor had worked with him previously and was able to more easily coordinate everything with him, as opposed to JC Buendia's shop. I just told them the basic concept (a cheongsam but not revealing, therefore buttoned all the way up and must have sleeves) and the color of the fabric that I wanted them all in (baby pink), and my maid of honor took charge of it all. Everyone was wonderful and I still spent much less than if we had bought our dresses off the rack in the US.

The other act of charity that I received was from the church. I allowed my mother in law to select the date of the wedding to involve them in the planning. She picked a Sunday, Mother's Day no less, and none of the churches in Pennsylvania that I called, would agree to handle the ceremony. This is how I ended up leaving an almost tearful message on the voice mail of a pastor from Brooklyn, asking if he would marry us in his church. He was the only one, of the dozens of churches that I called, who agreed to do it. I have no ill feelings towards the parishes that denied me, as I was told that Sunday weddings really aren't normal fare in the state that I lived in. Sundays are busy at church and it was Mother's Day. But his allowing me the use of the church and presiding over the ceremony on that day, was an act of goodness that I would remember forever.

Although my husband and I typically celebrate our wedding anniversary when we had our civil ceremony (therefore not on that Mother's Day), we do celebrate Mother's Day. Our weekend started off completely wrong but by the time Sunday rolled around, all was well. I had a wonderful time, filled with beautiful and delicious things, and I got to spend every minute of it with my two favorite people in the world, my husband and my daughter.

We got to Maryland about an hour off schedule because I really could not get myself out of bed anytime before 7am, no matter how many times my phone alarm went off. Snooze... snooze... snooze again. OMG it's almost 7! And of course, we didn't leave until after 8. One of the things I appreciate about living in PA is that on any given day, in roughly about 2 hours or so, I could be in Manhattan or in DC. The distance is perhaps not equal, but my point is that I have learned to really like living in between Maryland and New York because those day trips are so within reach.

For Mother's Day, we decided to trek to the Georgetown Cupcake on Bethesda Row, only because the lines tend to be shorter there than at the M Street location in Georgetown. As we arrived after 11, there was a line but the wait was completely tolerable. There were perhaps 10 people in front of me, maybe less. I heard that there had been a line even before the store opened so it didn't make much difference at that point. We got a dozen cupcakes, with three of our favorite varieties and a couple of new ones to try. We also got the Cupcake of the Day for free. White Chocolate Raspberry. Yum!

We devoured the White Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes at the store so pardon the absence of pictures. After which, we walked around Bethesda Row, scoped out the Apple Store (made a list of things to acquire in the future LOL) and then my husband and daughter sat on one of the benches in a little promenade so that I could browse at a Blue Mercury while they played Angry Birds.

I had already seen pretty much everything that was new from Chanel, NARS and most of the brands that Blue Mercury carried so there was nothing to buy. When I stepped back out to the promenade, I realized that I had forgotten my daughter's Cetaphil cream and the dry spot under her one eye was back with a vengeance, just screaming for a dose right there. I only had Eucerin on me and this very thick moisturizing cream is highly inconvenient to apply in a public place and probably inappropriate for this tiny patch of skin under the eye anyway. I sat there and wished that someone would make an eye cream in a stick, which would really solve all my problems at that moment. Out of desperation, I walked back into Blue Mercury, and after perusing the Kiehl's display, emerged victorious. Eye moisturizer! In a stick! I was also relieved to discover that this eye stick did not have anti-wrinkle ingredients, because really, when do five-year-olds get wrinkles? But it had sunscreen. It was the life saver.

Living with eczema in the family, it's a lifestyle. I run around with 5 different moisturizers and even our own soap, in my purse, everywhere we go. And now I will be adding eye cream to that arsenal, because you never know when you'll be 150 miles away from home and realize that you desperately need eye cream.

About the Kiehl's Ultra Moisturizing Eye Stick SPF 30. You get 0.14 oz. for $20. The product is packaged much like lipstick. The bullet looks like solid petroleum jelly, with that pale yellowish color. It applies colorless and although Kiehl's insists that it is non-greasy, when you apply it, it can look like you have greased your under-eye area.

I bought this for my daughter, who is too young to wear makeup. It does not look bad on her and it instantly relieved the dryness under her eye. I have no plans of using this on a regular basis myself and I can't say if it's your best option if you plan to wear makeup over it. However, one quick swipe is enough to moisturize the area quite well. It does it so well, in fact, that I no longer want to bother using anything else on her for the same purpose, day or night. I would recommend this if you want something safe for that patch of skin and has SPF 30. Maybe I'll borrow it when we hit the beach. It's topnotch for moisture and unbelievably convenient to apply. That is its main draw.

I did worry a little because I don't know if it will be discontinued and the associate at Blue Mercury said that they haven't received a shipment of it in a long time. I bought the last tube off the shelf. I am planning to get one more tube at Nordstrom today because I cannot live without it and must have one everywhere (at least one for the purse and one for the house).

Peanut Butter Fudge Cupcake at center

As for the cupcakes, Peanut Butter Fudge, is the best cupcake ever created. Even my husband, who normally does not like cupcakes, loves this. And Chocolate Coconut (partially shown in every picture with the coconut topping). I'll take two of that every Sunday if possible. I got some Chocolate Ganache, which is on the regular menu and is one of my favorites. We also tried a couple of other cupcakes like the Hummingbird, which is a banana, pineapple and pecan cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting. As it was Mother's Day, we likewise ordered two varieties of the Mother's Day cupcake (shown partially in two photographs).

Chocolate Ganache cupcake at center

Hummingbird cupcake at center

We had lunch at a little place called Guardado's to satisfy my craving for paella and finished the day with a little tax-free shopping at Christiana Mall in Delaware. My husband made all this possible and of course, my daughter, whose presence in my life made me a mother. As I settled down to play with my new Nook Color with its bright pink case, all I could do was sigh, smile, and say Thank You.

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