Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...and those of us holding the mascara wand.

After two decades of covering the beauty industry, I've come to learn what makes it so alluring. Finding the perfect shade of makeup to match your skin tone, adding a swipe of eyeliner to give your tired eyes a lift, discovering an innovative new product line, or indulging in a totally luxurious spa treatment. My experiences have been documented in magazines, newspapers and websites worldwide. I've tested newly formulated products in the lab, explored hair removal options, shopped for lipstick, added shine to my hair and succumbed to massage marathons--all in the name of beauty. I've written press releases, hosted makeover events and co-authored a Do-It-Yourself Beauty book (Alloy). On this blog, I write about products and services that I come across every day as well as those that have been provided by publicists or the companies that make them. Either way, I write what I think. I hope to share some of my insights--and bring you the latest, greatest beauty news right here. Join me in the quest to find all things pretty.

Friday, April 3, 2009

recessionista beauty: lip shtick

I've tried lip colors that add shine, look matte, even plump things up. But this one takes the cake--or rather makes you skip it! Huge Lips, Skinny Hips ($20) is the first lip gloss made with Hoodia, a natural appetite suppressant, and plump-prompting vitamin B3, so you can color and plump your lips while keeping extra pounds off your hips.It comes in five beautiful hues or a clear gloss, all inspired by the creator's favorite things. "It's the perfect secret weapon for surviving cocktail parties without succumbing to all the hors d'oeuvres," says founder Karen Robinovitz. Some of the product's other lip-conditioning ingredients include natural lipids that bind water to the skin, meadow foam to moisturize and lemon peel oil for instant cooling. Choose from Red Sole (a sultry red inspired by Christian Laboutin's famous red heels), Love Your Thighs (a floral coral), Worship Kate (a pink glitter tribute to Kate Moss), Lychee Martini (a frothy pink--my favorite!), No Panty Lines (shiny clear) and Kitty Poledancer (the perfect nude and a nod to Robinovitz's love of dancing. Do your lips--and your hips--a favor and pick one up later this month at Scoop or Space N.K.

recessionista beauty: stay hydrated

Talk about a sticky situation: You're fresh out of the shower and you smooth on an all-over body lotion. After rubbing it in, your skin feels a bit sticky. And if it feels that way now, you're probably not looking forward to moisturizing once the weather heats up. Leave it to Vaseline to introduce Aloe Fresh, a breakthrough line of light lotions that leave skin feeling smooth, not sticky. And the incredibly low prices guarantee that once you buy them, you won't find yourself in a financially sticky situation either. My favorite is actually a gel format: Aloe Fresh Moisturizing Gel (6.8 oz.; $5.49). It's made with 100% natural aloe vera--as if you broke open an aloe vera leaf and squeezed some out yourself. It glides on smoothly and instantly hydrates and revives your skin, replenishing its natural balance. For those who prefer a creamier texture, try Aloe Fresh Hydrating Lotion (24.5 oz., $5.49; 10 oz., $2.99), a fast-absorbing formula, or Aloe Fresh Protecting Lotion SPF15 (20.3 oz., $5.49), a lightweight lotion that hydrates skin and protects it from the sun. Who would have thought there was so much more to this highly-acclaimed brand than the traditional goopy stuff. For more info, check out

Thursday, April 2, 2009

recessionista beauty: bon voyage

Going somewhere? Put this on your packing list--the Bon Voyage Anti-Aging Travel Set from Lierac Paris ($28). Dry cabin air on an airplane, free radicals and pollutants can all wreak havoc on your skin. These travel essentials--in airplane-approved size bottles--are designed to combat slackening and restore the resilience of younger looking skin. What's in the collection? Eau de Soin Demaquillante Cleansing Water for Face and Eyes to eliminate impurities while protecting sensitive skin. The non-rinse formula (pretty convenient if you're on a plane, right?) has lily and chamomile extracts plus softening and anti-inflammatory properties, and is designed to clean and smooth skin. Other treats: Coherence 21-Day Intense Lift Serum, a featherweight serum that provides intensive action against skin slackening, Coherence Day Cream with highly firming, moisturizing, protecting and energizing benefits, and Coherence Night Cream with relaxing and repairing skin enhancing benefits (makes skin feel firmer, smoother and look well-rested). The best part: You don't have to be taking a vacation to try it. Just go to and place your order.

recessionista beauty: make waves

Attention curly-heads: Wouldn't it be great if you could roll out of bed with perfectly-defined waves on any given day? Think about how much time you could save styling and restyling your waves in an attempt to get them under control. The creators of Garnier Fructis feel your pain. So they're introducing Wonder Waves shampoo, conditioner and stylers designed to give you the waves you want--plus the body and bounce to show them off. Wonder Waves Fortifying Shampoo ($3.99) comes in a lightweight formula that cleanses and gently nourishes waves. Wonder Waves Fortifying Cream Conditioner ($3.99) provides all-day conditioning, wave retention, manageability and definition. Both the shampoo and conditioner are formulated with lightweight, pre-styling ingredients. But great waves don't stop there. Continue making waves with Wonder Waves stylers, lightweight formulas that boast trademark fruit micro-waxes. (I'm not really sure what they are but, hey, if they're going to whip my waves into shape, I'm all for them). The Wave Defining Mousse ($3.99) promises definition and bounce and the Wave Enhancing Spray ($3.99) refreshes waves, controls frizz and leaves hair naturally tousled. Use on wet or dry hair, then style as usual. Get the waves you crave at mass market retailers nationwide or go to for more info.

recessionista beauty: dream on

I want to look like Christy Turlington, Adriana Lima or Kristin Davis. Dream on, you say? I no longer have to. These A-list celebrities always look gorgeous, thanks to a new crop of airbrush and spray makeup products, like Maybelline New York's Dream Collection of foundations, bronzers and blushes. Inspired by the brand's Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation feels as yummy as it sounds. I tried the Procelain Ivory shade: The convenient pump dispensed just the right amount of product which I smoothed on my face then blended in using my fingers. Liquid Mousse is a perfect name for it: It felt extremely lightweight while I was putting it on, then like next to nothing once it was absorbed. It cushions and smooths for virtually poreless skin and a beautiful, airbrushed finish. Available in 12 shades to suit any skin tone, you can get your flawless face for only $9.79. In this economy, maybe it is a Dream come true... For more info or to make a purchase, go to

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

what's all the hoopla?

I love trying "the latest thing" but some products have been around for years and in my book they're still classified as guaranteed stand-bys (Herbal Essence shampoos, Kiehl's moisturizing creams and Nat Robbins eyeliners, to name a few). One of my all-time favorites: Hoola bronzing powder by Benefit (.4 oz.; $28), winner of the 2008 Best Bronzer award from Sephora. This soft, natural-looking bronzer gives you a healthy glow. Dust it lightly across cheeks, chin and forehead to look like you've just returned from a tropical vacation, any time of the year. You can invest in one of Benefit's innovative brushes (try the fantail to apply bronzer all over or the slant brush to contour your cheekbones, jaw line and nose) or use the one that comes with the product. It's easy to handle and has a wide surface area so you can apply bronzer across your face in just a few light swipes. Extra bonus: you get a good amount in the package so it lasts a while, plus the adorably illustrated box looks super cute on your dresser. Get some now at