One of the eight major islands that make up the State of Hawaii, Oahu is home to about 900,000 people, or 75 percent of the resident population of the state. El Hub’s parents live in the smallish town of Kaneohe, which is located on the eastern side of the island.
When you’re talking about Hawaii, you’re not talking about a large area. Each of the islands is small by Mainland standards. For the locals, driving from one end of Oahu to the other represents a HUGE trip. For them it is, but in reality the farthest distance one could drive in a straight line without plowing into the sea is never more than 44 miles (71 km).
Many visitors to Oahu arrive expecting a deserted, quiet tropical island with beaches as far as the eye can see, and some leave the island disappointed after their trip because Oahu bustles with activity (and shopping!). While it does have the snowy white beaches, mountain hikes, secluded waterfalls, beautiful flowers and warm climate that come with life in the tropics, it’s also home to almost a million people, ethnically diverse and busy with their own lives.
The people are what make Hawaii so special. It’s one of the most racially diverse yet ethnically integrated places in America and is the only state in the union in which people of Polynesian and Asian descent outnumber all other demographic groups.
- Aloha Sun Botanicals – I *love* this line, especially the Maui Mists essential oil body sprays. I think they smell heavenly, and at $13 they’re a steal.
- Island Essence – The cute labels on the packaging feature vintage-inspired images of Hawaiian hotties.
- Maui Babe Browning Lotion – I’ve never used this to tan because I was brown when the stork delivered me, but I have heard from other girls that this stuff creates a lovely, rich tan.
- Hawaiian Bath and Body – These handcrafted soaps and body product are made on the North Shore of Oahu (Hawaii’s surf capital). I love the North Shore for its natural beauty and because it’s also where El Hub and I got hitched.
- Maleana Wedding Cosmetics – Dorys Foltin, a makeup artist on Oahu, created this line of fabulous makeup. Dorys did my wedding makeup two years ago and used her products on me to create a natural look with gold eyes, pink cheeks and pink lips. If you or anyone you know decides to get hitched on Oahu, book Dorys because she’s super nice and has major makeup game.
A few of my favorite Hawaiian beauty brands
Some of the most heavily represented groups in Hawaii are Hawaiians, Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Puerto Ricans. El Hub’s great grandparents came to Hawaii from Portugal in the early 1900s to work in the sugar cane and pineapple fields alongside other people who’d emigrated from their home countries.
Over the years of people living in such close proximity to each other, cultures blended, families joined and the Hawaii of today emerged, a Hawaii in which people of mixed Hawaiian-Chinese-Filipino-Portuguese descent eat sushi for dinner, listen to country music and shop at Wal-Mart on weekends.
Over the next week you’ll see a lot of really strange and interesting pictures on this blog, pictures of Oahu, one of my favorite places in the world. I hope you like it, too.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,