Steve just returned from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he goes often as the National SK-II Skin Care Ambassador. Even though most of his day is spent at events, he usually finds time in the evening to squeeze in some shopping. This trip was no exception. Check out Steve’s latest video featuring just a few of the items he found on Waikiki Beach … it’s a shopping haul exclusive!
I recently went shopping at my favorite outlet mall “Desert Hills Premium Outlets” in Cabazon, California near Palm Springs. There are many premium designer stores in the mall, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Tahari, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Loro Piana, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s, Versace, Saint Laurent Paris and Bottega Veneta.
I purchased a new bag from Bottega Veneta called Capri bag. This is an outlet style Capri bag from Bottega Veneta. Many of the premium designers have special design for outlet store only. I am going to share with you what I have learned from my sales person at Bottega Veneta boutique store.
Bottega Veneta’s philosophy is “your own initial is enough” therefore, no logo will be found on the external part of the bag. There are four cornerstones about Bottega Veneta: 1. Quality materials; 2. Artisan and craftsmanship; 3. Contemporary functionality; and 4. Timeless design.
All leather is dyed with mineral powder, no chemicals are used. Each bag is hand weaved by one artisan from the beginning till the end, it is like knitting, so only one person can work on a bag at a time. It takes about one day to make one bag and therefore, quantities are very limited.
This Capri bag is made of lamb skin. The longer you use this bag, the softer and shiner the leather is going to get as time goes by. It will feel almost like butter; soft and velvety.
You will find a circle saying “BV” on the inside of this bag, which specify that this is an outlet store exclusive style.
Also another important thing about BV bag is that they are all made seamless. So there are only a few of the bag that have seams and are assembled with a few pieces of weaved leather. BV calls it a “weave” in English, but in Italian it’s called “intrecciato”.
Bottega Veneta in English means workshop in Veneta. They go by special romantic names of the bags color every season. They call black Nero which is one of the classic Bottege Veneta colors. Ebano or brown, is also a signature color that represents Bottega Veneta. Also the difference between the outlet exclusive and store version is that, the lining inside each bag is made of canvas, whereas the store version is all made in pig suede.
To differentiate between an authentic and imitation BV bag: each full piece of leather is soaked in dye and then air dried before it is place in a machine that cuts the leather into strips.
Each strip is called fatuche. The artisan will weave the fatuche into the bandina. So if you pay attention, you will be able to distinguish the fatuche and bandina, and you will be able to see the colors are clearly dyed through. Many imitation BV bags have the color sprayed on the surface of the leather, but the inside of the leather is still in original skin color.
The second way to tell the difference of a real bag is the proportion. I have seen some really well made imitation bags but they are always missing a little bit here and there. Third way is the hardware. This is really important to know that BV make their own hardware and they do not outsource . Therefore, you will know the bag is an imitation if the hardware is named YKK. Fourth, there is always a serial number inside the bag on the suede lining. Nevertheless, even the bag from the outlet store with the special logo is extremely nice and an authentic Bottega Veneta bag. If you are in the Southern California area, you should check out their store at the Cabazon Outlets. Here is my video featuring Cabazon.
January ushers in a brand new year, and with every New Year comes a brand new set of resolutions. Looking back through the years, how often have you kept your New Years Resolutions? I decided long ago to stop publically announcing my New Year’s resolutions; I find it’s much less embarrassing to simply go with the flow. However, I would love to hear your New Year’s resolutions, so please share.
Just when I thought the Christmas gifts had come to an end, my January Birchbox appeared in the mailbox. When I opened the box the first thing I saw was a pair men’s underwear by Tommy John! What a great surprise! Here are the items including in the January Birchbox:
A liquid sand exfoliating facial cleanser / a full size sells for $24. What is it: A gentle exfoliator that cleanses and sloughs away dead skin from a healthier complexion. How to use: Use every other day, massage a quarter size dollop into wet face before rinsing thoroughly. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: I like the sandy feeling on the skin, it defiantly gives you a clean feeling. The product has a very light scent, which is plus, as most men do not want a strong fragrance in their skin care, just not manly enough.
Notting Hill/Full size sells for $70 – $85. What is it: A standout fragrance that pairs notes of bergamot and sage with the woodsy scent of amber. How to use: Sprits each wrist once and dab on your neck. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: I love the earthly scent, it is deep and rich, perfect for a first date! Wear fragrances like an outfit, because everyday you will experience different weather conditions and surroundings. I found wearing a rich and deep scent gives me more confident. Try it and let me know!
Dry Deodorant Wipes, a six (6) pack sells for $16. What is it: Innovative wipes that purge clothing of persistent odors, from smoke to post – workout. How to use: Slide fingers onto the sleeve, than swipe across clothing and hair to eradicate odor. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: two words Korean BBQ !!! It’s perfect to use after BBQ , we all know what your cloths will smell like after eating that stuff.
The Sasquatch Soap Company
Gold moss Bar Soap, a full size sells for $6. What it is: Hydrating soap made with natural oils to help you wash –but not smell – like a mountain man. How to use: Use your hands or washcloth to work up a rich lather, wash and then rinse. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: I am confused, because I can’t tell if this is for face or body? After I tried it on my hands, it made my hands feel squeaky clean, but a little dry, so I would not use this product on my face.
Sport Truck 360 sells separately for $31. What is it: performance trunks that flex with you body and wick away moisture for daylong comfort also enhance your workday or workout. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: what a surprise, underwear in this month’s Birchbox. Great deal, the truck give a good support when you workout, but I wouldn’t wear this daily, I am just not a truck guy!
I am so happy to announce that episode number 4 of my Skin Care Essentials series has been uploaded to YouTube. This episode is all about skin moisturizers and choosing the right moisturizer for your particular skin condition. Make sure that you watch all the way to the end where I will give you some great tips on applying your moisturizer.
Since I started my YouTube journey, I have been inspired and impressed with Michelle Phan’s success, her expertise in the industry, and her amazing presence on YouTube. I wanted to see if her products were as amazing as her ability to sell them on YouTube, so I purchased the following items during her black Friday sale (which was an amazing value).
Shade Play (concealer color mixing palette – medium)
The Life Palette (party life) with free travel compact
The Life Palette (night life) with free travel compact
In addition to the above products that I purchased, they included samples of products that I was allowed to select myself. Sending along samples that I was able to choose myself is very cool. I selected to receive samples of the EM Great Cover UP and the EM Everything CC.
The Life Palette contains twenty four (24) eye shadows, four (4) blushes, and eight (8) lip colors. The colors are very natural and easy to use. Under the color palette is a step-by-step chart that they call “recipes” for various looks. If you are a beginner in the make-up world, I would suggest that you follow these instruction first and then develop your unique look from that point. All of the colors can be removed and organized into a travel compact which was included in the Life Palette purchase. Please look at my YouTube video for New Years Eve Party Make-Up ideas in which I used the EM Life Palette and the Shade Play concealer.
Overall, I love the concept behind the EM Life Palette, and found it very easy to use. If you are purchasing this make-up for the first time, I would suggest that you purchase the Life Palette and then build your collection of EM Cosmetics based on your needs.
The Birchbox for December is dedicated to the “Man Of The Year”. Who is the “Man Of The Year” in your life? How did he impact you as person and make your life wonderful. I love this concept. With all the hustle and bustle in our daily lives, it can be easy to take for granted what we have, no matter how much or little. Especially at this time of year, but truly all year round, we should be thankful for what we have in life and be kind to those around us. Let’s see what is in the Birchbox for December … Cheers everyone!
Amercian Crew – Alternator /Full Size $15
What is it: A user – friendly styler that features medium hold and shine, along with all day pliability. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: You can use this product with wet or dry hair, feel a little like hair spray, but in a wet form.
2. Dr. Brandt – Microdermabrasion/Full Size $78
What is it: An at home alternative to pricey procedure that erases dead cells for soft, health skin. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: Men should exfoliate the face once a week to avoid in grown hairs, diminish the appearance of lines, acne marks and skin discolorations. This product is formulated with pharmaceutical grade crystals, and smells very fresh. I like it!
3. GO247 – Lip Balm / $4
What is it: Invigorating balm that soothes cracked lips with refreshing burst of menthol. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: it smell very waxy and thick … I feel the menthol, but can’t stand the waxy smell.
4. Lucky Tiger – Liquid Cream Shave / Full Size $18.50
What is it : Luxe cream that goes from liquid to lather on contact, softening hair for a superior shave. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: I recommend using a shaving brush, as the brushes will generate a rich lather, softens and lifts the beard for the best shaving experience.
5. Grey Area – Fake Roly / $40
What is it: Unique statement piece that mimics the classic silhouette and style of a Rolex Submariner watch. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: This is defiantly for the younger generation, its cool and edgy.
6. La Fresh – Travel Lite Shoe Shine Wipes / $2.49 for pack of 3
What is it: Quick and powerful shoe shine wipes, in a handy portable package. Mr. Jan’s thoughts: LOVE IT! A white cloth to polish your shoes with no dry time.
Remember men’s subscription is $20 / month. I recommend you try it … It’s like Christmas every month.
I had a great interview today with Camille Clark, Beauty Editor of Genlux Magazine. We met at the Nordstroms Store in the Americana shopping plaza in Glendale, CA. Please check out their amazing website at www.genluxmagazine.com .
Every Monday evening for the last several years I play Pinochle … yep, that’s right Pinochle! Most of the time, our card games are held in Long Beach, CA (that’s where most of the card club members live), and so I find myself in that part of Southern California often. Last Monday evening, December 9th, 2013 was no exception, however I desperately needed to pick-up a few Christmas gifts for a dinner that I was attending on Wednesday. I remembered seeing this cute little women’s clothing store on Atlantic Ave., so I decided to stop by and see if they had what I needed.
The store is absolutely adorable and the staff extremely helpful, especially Kristen who helped me find my gifts. They have a large collection of women’s clothing, hand bags, and jewelry at very reasonable prices. In addition, they carry some wonderful candles and interesting perfumes. The store is located at 3803-B Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, California, 90807. You can also contact them at (562) 426-1777. Here are a few pictures from my visit. Please check out their website at www.cloverlongbeach.com.
I got together with my dear friend and couture stylist, Arianna Sinclair on the set of the Photography Workshop Series to chat about high fashion styling. Arianna has been involved in the fashion community for years and recently served as one of the Directors for International Fashion Week here in Los Angeles. Check out my video below and see what really goes on behind the scenes of a high fashion photo shoot.
In this episode of Mr. Jan All In One, I interview Kevin Michael Schmitz, fashion photographer and founder of the Photography Workshop Series on the set of a fashion photo shoot in Rancho Palos Verdes Estates near Los Angeles, CA. Kevin talks about the Photography Workshop Series and the incredible benefits the workshop provides to aspiring photographers.