Tag Archives: yoshiko

JUARA Girl Tami gets Hitched! And on Looking Back – Metta Murdaya

10 May
Tami the Bride & Bridesmaids Metta, Jill & Yoshiko

JUARA Girls: Tami the Bride, with Maid of Honor Metta, and Bridesmaids Jill & Yoshiko. Woohoo!!

On April 23, 2011, JUARA Girl Tami married Louis-Simon Ferland, an extraordinary and handsome French-Canadian gentleman who considers himself one of the luckiest guys in the world. Well he should – he’s with our JUARA Girl Tami. And she, by the way, is just as ecstatic. I recall back in 2004 when we first started working in our tiny apartments on this idea called “JUARA” and our journey began. 2004 we were all in our late 20’s, single, hunched over double boilers with skincare formulations and researching Indonesian beauty treatments by day, going out together as friends in the evening, chatting about our latest obsession (a.k.a. JUARA), and of course, the male species.  It was only less than 7 years ago, but it feels like a decade.

We launched our first 5 products in 2005, followed by a series of team bonding trips to Puerto Rico, work trips to Indonesia, and late-night drives to QVC and other work related locations… let’s just say we have spent a LOT of time with each other. I’ve spent the night in the back of a car in a parking lot in Las Vegas with Jill due to an unfortunate scheduling mishap, and missed flights going over presentations with Yoshiko…while waiting at the boarding gate. We’ve moved offices about 4 times together, lifted more boxes than I can ever count, tied ribbons till we couldn’t feel our fingers, debated over spreadsheets, bonded over disappointments,  commiserated over breakups,  rejoiced over engagements and births, and survived global separation when Tami moved to London to be with her beau. Where many partners could have buckled under all the work stress, we were committed to our relationship to each other and continued to make it stronger. Before someone coined the term “The JUARA Girls” for us, believe me, we didn’t create it, we used to be referred to as the ‘Sex and the City’ girls, but even more – as legal business partners, we are technically in bed with each other too in many other ways than the literal.

What a lot of people don’t know is how much JUARA is infused with our personal lives. In trainings, we talk about how the Candlenut Body Creme is inspired by an ancient body scrub made from candlenuts, or how the oil is so gentle it can be used on babies to aid with cradle cap. But I remember making the scrub from fresh candlenuts and all of us crammed in a tiny NY bathtub one afternoon, experimenting with it – adult women giggling like girls. Or in creating our JUARA signature packaging, we talk about the inspiration being the Indonesian batik (wax dye-resist technique) patterns on fabric, but we don’t always mention how we got the idea:  Tami and I were in Bali wracking our brains for what our packaging should be when I woke up at 2:30 in the morning after a long day with a jolt. Like a good friend, I shook her awake immediately screaming “EUREKA, I GOT IT! BATIK AROUND BOTTLES! WE HAVE TO GET UP AND DRAW!!!… YES, NOW!!!” So Tami being a trooper got up and we drew through the night. We emailed the preliminary designs to Jill and Yoshiko in the US in the AM, and with everyone’s input and ideas, JUARA’s packaging concept was born. So jump 7 years later and where are we now? Yoshiko is happily married with the cutest daughter, Asami, (We don’t test on animals, only on Asami, JUST KIDDING!) and I’m on her hubby’s football team. Jill is happy, I won’t say anything to jinx it, let’s just say, 🙂 And Tami just got married. We have a few products in the pipeline, products absolutely relevant to our own skin’s needs today, and are excited to be launching them soon… To us, looking at JUARA is not just looking at the product of a labor of love and an awesome skin solution, but also a nice walk down memory lane.

We’ve come a long way, and plan to go a long way more. Congratulations, Tami, and here’s to all you women who have your own story to tell!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: JUARA partners with CEW Foundation’s Cancer & Careers

1 Oct

When I was in my 20s, I would barely notice as October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month come and go.  When you are young and blessed with good health, you feel invincible, especially if your peers close to you are healthy too.  Then, a former class mate of mine from grad school fell ill suddenly with breast cancer.  She was in her early 30s, a normal healthy mother to 2 adorable little kids… no family history of breast cancer or any other known risk factors what-so-ever.  Fortunately treatment was successful and she remains cancer-free so far, but that’s when it hit me that breast cancer, as well as many other common forms of cancer, is quite random:  Any woman, young or old, risk factors or not, can get it.  That’s why it is so important for all of us help raise awareness and help in the fight against breast cancer.  As entrepreneurs we believe in self-empowerment and in taking charge of our destiny.  The notion of empowerment is key in the fight against breast cancer as well, so we are very excited to announce that JUARA has partnered with CEW Cancer and Careers.

From October through December 2010. JUARA will be donating 10% of their proceeds from sales of the Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask on JUARA’s online boutique www.juaraskincare.com to Cancer and Careers.

JUARA’s Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask is a wet clay mask that strengthens skin’s defenses and brightens skin with a unique Turmeric complex that acts as a powerful antioxidant and is clinically proven to be effective. Over time skin will become brighter, stronger, and healthier.   We chose this mask for Breast Cancer Awareness Month because Turmeric is such a key ingredient in Indonesian herbal medicine to maintain health and well-being.

Cancer and Careers’ mission is to empower and educate people with cancer to thrive in their workplace by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. To learn more visit www.cancerandcareers.org.


Treating adult acne the natural way – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

23 Sep

When you are past your teens and still or again battling break-outs, you are in good company. One in five women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffers from adult acne. Adult acne is not different from teenage acne in that the same key factors are involved: Hormonal activity which has an effect on our oil glands, blocked pores, acne bacteria and inflammation. What makes adult acne tricky is that the skin of a person in his/ her 30s or 40s is different from teenage skin. Some people suffering from adult acne may not have oily skin, their skin might be more sensitive, and they are likely concerned about fighting skin aging.

One way to fight adult acne is with over-the-counter medicated products, but there are also a number of natural remedies that can effectively prevent and treat break-outs. Whether your skin is too sensitive to chemical acne-fighting agents or you are simply interested in alternative options, here are some tips and product recommendations for how to fight adult acne the natural way.

Nature’s solutions
A number of natural and botanical-based ingredients help with the causes and symptons of acne, including:

Naturally antibacterial and antiseptic: Willow bark, tea tree oil, ginger, green, white and black tea extracts.

Reduces redness and inflammation: green, white and black tea extracts, aloe

Exfoliates and free blocked pores: Manuka Honey, alpha hydroxyl acids from milk (lactic acid), fruit (fruit acid), apple (malic acid) and sugar (glycolic acid)

Reduces excess oil production: Avocutine, derived from avocados as well as pumpkin seed oil curbs sebum production in the pores.

Cleansers: Keep it gentle
Contrary to a stubborn myth, acne is NOT caused by dirty skin, so stay away from harsh cleansers that strip skin. In fact, dehydration can prompt your skin to produce even more oil and at the same time exacerbate the appearance of roughness, lines and wrinkles. Here are some good options:

Avene Cleanance Soapless Cleanser, 6.76 oz, $17: Contains Pumpkin Seed Oil to reduce excess sebum.

ARCONA Raspberry Acne Bar, 4 oz, $38: Contains lactic acid and fruit enzymes to exfoliate and free pores.

Toner/ Treatment: Look for multi-taskers
Be good to your skin by targeting breakouts as well as aging and other skin issues. If you use a toner, stay away from alcohol-based formulations that unnecessarily strip and dehydrate skin. Here are some good options:

Juara Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, 4.75 oz, $27: Contains green, white and black tea extract to combat acne bacteria and well as provide antioxidant benefits and reduce redness.

Boscia Willow Bark Breakout Treatment, 0.5 oz, $25: Contains natural antibacterial willow bark as well as Vitamin C and E for antioxidant protection.

Hydrate and fight aging
It’s tempting to not moisturize when you see pimples, but it’s important to keep skin hydrated, no matter what your skin type, even if you have break-outs. If you are concerned oiliness, choose an oil-free moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, which draws vital hydration to the skin without adding oil, while plumping lines and making skin supple.

Juara Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer, 2 oz, $48: Anti-aging & oil-control benefits in one. Contains fermented sweet black tea to reduce signs of aging, ginger to purify, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and avocutin to reduce excess sebum.

Astara Blue Flame Oil-Free Moisturizer, 2 oz, $42: Hydrates with hyaluronic acid and totara tree essence to purify, while soothing with aloe.

Put break-outs on the spot

Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone, 0.27 oz, $15: Multiple natural alpha hydroxyl acids free blocked pores while Coenzyme Q10 helps fade discoloration from past breakouts.

Jurlique Blemish Cream, 0.5 oz, $28: Contains tea tree oil for antibacterial benefits. Plus the slightly tinted formulation helps cover up existing blemishes and redness.

bareMinerals RareMinerals Blemish Therapy, 0.07 oz, $28: A unique powder formulation applied with a makeup brush, that treats break-outs with tea tree oil, helps absorb excess oil and covers redness and blemishes.

Any natural acne products that you swear by? Let us know!

Sun protection for babies: Need-to-know’s for new mothers – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

24 May

We all know that babies have sensitive skin.  As a new mother to a 4-month-old, I make sure I don’t get anything harsh, chemical or overly perfumed near my daughter’s skin.  In fact, my motto so far has been “less is more”.  Now that the sun is getting stronger and temperatures are rising, I slather sunscreen on my own face and body daily, but realized after a recent stroll with my daughter that I didn’t really know much about how to protect my baby skin from the sun.  Here are the most important need-to-know’s:

1)      Keep babies out of the sun whenever possible

Babies have thinner skin and underdeveloped melanin (the body’s own defense against the UV rays) and therefore have to be kept out of the sun whenever possible, especially during peak times 10 AM to 4 PM.  This is even more imperative since babies should not use sunscreen before they are 6 months old.  Plus babies can’t regulate their body temperature the way adults can and can overheat much more easily and quickly – one more reason to keep them out of the sun.

2)      Use protective clothing and umbrellas

Look for clothing and hats with a built-in UPF of 30 or more.  A light, white cotton T-shirt is not enough to shield baby’s skin adequately from UV-rays.  Thicker fabric is more protective, but you also want to make sure that your baby won’t overheat under thick clothing.

3)      Sunscreen before 6 months

Sunscreen, especially chemical sunscreen is a big no-no for babies under 6 months.  However, if there is no way to stay out of the sun, sunscreen can be applied in small doses at 3-4 months, but it has to be baby-appropriate sunscreen (read below).  For example, your baby is mostly covered by clothing and stroller canopy, but the feet are still exposed.  In that case, it makes sense to apply a sunscreen to the exposed areas, as long you also keep an eye out for any skin irritation.  Avoid putting on too much sunscreen on the hands.  Babies will inevitably put their hands in their mouth and rub their eyes. 

4)      Choose the right sunscreen

Sunscreens that are safe for toddlers may not be safe yet for infants.  Look for sunscreens that rely solely on non-chemical sunscreens like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, and if you are not sure, speak to your pediatrician, dermatologist or pharmacist.  Chemical sunscreens may not only irritate baby’s delicate skin, they are also absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin.  This is a problem for babies, since they have so much surface area, i.e. skin, relative to their body mass.  So relative to their weight, babies can absorb a lot more chemicals through their skin than adults can.  I consulted with my pharmacist in Germany to pick the right formula for my 4-month-old daughter.  Initially I was interested in La Roche Posay’s Anthelios  Dermo-Pediatrics SPF50+ but was advised against it.  Even though good for sensitive skin, Mexoryl (which is the sunscreen agent in all Anthelios products), is a chemical sunscreen and therefore not appropriate for baby skin.  My pharmacist recommended Eau Thermale Avene’s Sunscreen SPF50 instead, which literally looks like pure zinc paste on my daughter’s skin.  Another popular sunscreen for babies is “Blue Lizard Australian Sunscream Baby, SPF 30”.

5)      The Vitamin D connection

We all need some sun for the body to make Vitamin D for strong bones and for our immune system, but do babies get enough Vitamin D if they are kept out of the sun?  New research shows that infants that are exclusively breast-fed may not get enough Vitamin D.  This does not mean that you should expose your baby to the sun – the risks outweigh the benefits by far.  But rather, it is recommended to give baby a Vitamin D supplement of 400 I.U.  My pediatrician prescribed Enfamil’s Tri-Vi-Sol Drops with Vitamins A, C & D.  This should be continued until baby is able to drink at least 32 oz of Vitamin-D fortified infant formula per day.  Formula-fed babies seem to get adequate amounts through the fortified formula.

My question to my fellow moms:  Which baby sunscreen product and other sun protective items do you recommend?

4 things that actually make life easier when you have a baby – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

23 Mar

Chowing down a sandwich at Bouchon Bakery

As a first-time mother to a baby daughter, Asami, I now comprehend what other people were talking about when they said life as a new parent is tough.  But in addition to the rewarding feeling of seeing your baby smile and grow, I have actually found a few things that are – surprise – much easier now that I have to take care of a baby:

I always have perfectly luscious lips

With my baby daughter, I have to change diapers every couple of hours.  Right before I apply some ointment to my baby’s bottom, I take some Aquaphor Healing Ointment out of the big tub and apply it to my lips.  Voila – Luscious Lips!

No need for annoying upper body strength training

As a bottom-heavy person, I’ve always sacrificed my upper body strength training for doing lower body work outs.  Now I have to lift a 12-pound baby so many times a day, my arms have naturally become more toned and strong.  I don’t have to even have to motivate myself to do an arm work out.  And the weight will naturally get heavier without my having to push myself!

Breastfeeding – the best weight loss program ever

You can eat pretty much whatever you whenever you want in whatever quantities you want and you STILL lose weight!  Need I say more?

Peace of mind – for the most part

Pregnancy and even more so motherhood sweep through your brain and make you forgetful, thus the term new mommy brain.  But along with important names and sales figures, you also forget and frankly stop caring about a lot of petty things that used to clutter your brain.  What is left is peace of mind – for the most part…

Happy Valentine’s President’s Chinese New Year (Rowr!)! – Metta Murdaya

16 Feb

2010: Year of the White Tiger – it’s just the beginning…

So… if this weekend could have a logo, it would be the big white tiger dancing with a cupid around the White House. And how did one spend their holiday weekend with so many options to choose from? My close friends all met for a Chinese New Year party to celebrate well, the Chinese New Year, and the first appearance of Asami, JUARA Girl Yoshiko’s new daughter – born on a recent Jan. 27, 2010. I went to the Berkshires in Massachusettes for a Valentine weekend where I FROZE my feet off, (note I have cold feet all the time – if you read previous articles, you’d know…) but had a beautiful time at  Mt. Greylock Inn Bed & Breakfast and the Mass MoCa museum where my beau and I were pretty impressed by the works of Sol Lewitt. We also hiked near the Clark Museum where Boldini’s impressionist art in particular took my breath away. (How do you DO that with a paintbrush?) While other friends had the day off today to celebrate President’s day, I was at the office catching up work as I’ve had my holiday already. (Oh, but the post office being closed is baadd…. been waiting for my delivery from DSW for nice, warm shoes!!!) Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve had 3 fashion week events and an in-store event at the awesome ABC Home in NYC where JUARA is also carried, and between the clients, press, follow-up, packing/unpacking – it’s been quite the intro to this upcoming year of the White Tiger. Being born in the year of the tiger myself – this triple-holiday weekend following an onslaught of Fashion week heyday (even fashion junkies need beautiful skin!) is supposed to prep me for this upcoming year.

According to my sign on the Chinese calendar, this year is supposed to be…eventful. (I’m also a Wood Tiger, with signs of Dog, Monkey, and Tiger in my luck sign is Fire, at least according to this website (ok, I just looked around.) This is going to be a year of luck, given hard work. Opportunity shall come – along with pitfalls, but supposedly avoidable. But I look at all of this with a grain of salt – all is fun to read, but there’s nothing to substitute, good ol’ honest work and passion about your work. I realize my luck and inspiration comes from the love of running my own business, appreciation of the products we create, and excitement from seeing how it affects people’s lives, complexion, and confidence.

Given that the last year was filled with woeful financial news, stories of stock market doom and gloom (and some doubt it’s really over now,) this year, (or starting this Chinese New Year,) is going to be different. Time to think positively, not just think of resolutions to follow through on, but that the forecast for this year is “Yes, It Will Happen.” I’m thinking positive thoughts and it is happening – new business, new perspective, new opportunities, I hope that the white tiger shall serve me well, but that’s not without challenges I smile to take on. Here’s to a new year of opportunity and success for all! I hope you all stay tuned. 🙂