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.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

happy mother's day: give her some space

We all know Space.NK is the place to get high-quality beauty products from innovators and specialists around the world. So it's a natural choice for the place to shop for your mother's day gifts. For beauty finds from the pros, choose from Nars Lip Lacquer ($24) in adorable pots of spring's newest shades, the Jemma Kidd English Rose Palette ($68), handbag-friendly tubes of eye, lips and cheek color, and the Eve Lom Travel Gift Set ($95) featuring her favorite skin care products. Or try Space.NK's own innovative products: Champaca Bath Tablets ($30) for a sensual bath experience, Laughter Solid Perfume ($45) in a sleek silver compact, the Tuberoli Ultimate Experience bath and body set ($75), or--my pick--the Hands Lavender Set ($50--shown here). The mild sugar and coconut-derived hand wash is gentle on your hands and kind to the planet. The hand lotion, enriched with candelilla, rice and jojoba protects hands and leaves them silky smooth. And you can't beat the luxurious lavender scent (also available in bergamot and rose)! Buy any of these Space NK Hands products for your mom at Space NK stores, Space NK at select Bloomingdale's locations and at

happy mother's day: pamper her

Sure, you can opt for your no-fail mother's day gift--a day at her local spa. But while your mom will surely appreciate it, why not try these specialty products from Philip B. that will last more than a few hours? Packed with nourishing proteins and high concentrations of hydrating botanicals, they'll make her mother's day super-luxurious. For the chocoholic, try the limited edition Chocolate Collection Gift Set ($62.50); for the inner Tsarina, go for the Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo ($140); for moms with a green thumb, choose the Cucumber and Blue Orchid Hand & Body Creme ($47.50) and for the gourmet chef, choose the White Truffle Collection Gift Set for hair ($125--shown here) which is my pick for the most luxurious present. It features White Truffle Nourishing & Conditioning Creme, designed to restore lost moisture and give hair shine, body and bounce, and White Truffle Ultra-Rich Moisturizing Shampoo featuring hops and nettle for body, soy proteins for added moisture and extracts of thyme, chamomile, lavender and comfrey to tone, strengthen and restore vitality. To score points with your mom, get these Philip B. goods at salons worldwide or at

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

happy mother's day: give pearls

Nothing says Mother's Day like a beautiful fragrance. Top it off with a luxurious body lotion in a complementary scent, then package it in a beautiful gift box and you've got a present that will make any mom feel special. The Pearls Gift Set ($49.50) by Carol's Daughter features Eau de Toilette (2.5 fl. oz.) and a special Body Creme Deluxe Sample (1 oz.) in a soft, sweet scent. Sparkling with lemon verbena, apricot and peach, Pearls evolves into a floral heart of jasmine, rose and violet and is topped off with warm vanilla and sweet violet. I love the scent, especially for summer, but my favorite part is the keepsake jewelry box it comes in. It'll look great on your mom's vanity all year round. Splurge on your mom at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

happy mother's day: about face

Moms deserve the best Mother Nature has to offer. So Weleda created two specially designed facial care kits featuring travel-size skin care treats. The Weleda Wild Rose Facial Care Kit is designed to work with the natural rhythms of our skin, supporting cell regeneration and improving overall health. Weleda Wild Rose Facial Care Kit ($14.99) is rich in essential fatty acids to help reduce the visible effects of premature aging. The kit features Wild Rose Cleansing Lotion to gently remove dirt and makeup without drying the skin; Wild Rose Facial Toner, to strengthen and purify skin after cleansing; Wild Rose Moisture Cream to protect skin from dryness; and Wild Rose Night Cream to rebuild the outer layer of skin overnight. The Weleda Almond Facial Care Kit ($14.99) has similar products but is specially formulated to gently heal dryness and reduce redness. It even includes a specially formulated Almond Facial Oil to protect and soothe skin everyday (a bonus: it also gently removes eye makeup). No matter which one you choose, the scents are subtle...which my mom will definitely appreciate. Go to for more info or to order.

beauty school

Every so often I have those days when I wish I had a big-time makeup artist living in my medicine cabinet. That way, I could open the door, have her reach out a brush or sponge, and make me look picture perfect. But, of course, that would be ridiculous (especially given the size of medicine cabinets in Manhattan apartments!) If you can relate, I urge you to get to Bloomingdale's on Thursday, May 7th, for a playful day of beauty plus a two-hour makeup lesson from one of the world's leading makeup artists, Trish McEvoy. Her Power of Makeup Master Classes feature new products, makeup tips and application techniques. The cost ($150, redeemable in products) is definitely worth all the expert advice. The place: Bloomingdale's, 1000 third Avenue, New York City. The time: 5:30 PM or 7 PM sessions. The products:

Monday, May 4, 2009

happy mother's day: time to dash!

What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than by spending quality time with your daughter? Dashing Diva and Harlequin Books have the answer--with a special event commemorating Mother's Day and the launch of a new book, 113 Things To Do Before You Turn 13, by Brittany and Terri MacLeod. This beauty extravaganza will take place Tuesday evening, May 5th, from 5-7 PM at the New York Dashing Diva salon (149 Third Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets). Just purchase a mani/pedi treatment for yourself (you deserve it!) and your daughter (13 and under) gets free little diva services and a great goody bag to go home with! Books will be available for purchase. Also, click on and check out the gorgeous Dashing Diva Manhattan Collection Nail Colors in cremes, sheers, shimmers, frosts and nudes, as well as other best-sellers like nail kits, hair removal kits and skin care treatments--all designed to make you look dashing!

happy mother's day: curl girls

Anyone with curly hair knows the drill--go to Ouidad. You may have been battling your curls all your life but you won't know how to truly treat them right unless you enlist this expert's help. The pioneer of the curl movement, Ouidad knows just what it takes to get a curl to look its best--no more unruly mess! Her salons in New York City and Santa Monica (and other Ouidad certified stores across the US) are the destination hot spot for the curl and wave set. If your mom fits the bill, get her a gift certificate for an ultimate curl treatment this Mother's Day. Curl experts will solve her curl questions and tend to her stressed tresses with indulgent treatments. Or try the brand's signature Deep Treatment, a protein and amino acid rich formula that feeds and strengthens hair while rebuilding the inner layer to give curls bounce and shine. An added bonus: Bring mom into the New York or Santa Monica salon between now and May 17th and receive a 30% discount on her services. Or pick up some products for her to try at home: Ouidad Deep Treatment, regularly $42.50, is 30% off till May 15th! Go to to purchase products, find a salon or store near you, or take the curl profiler quiz to determine your individual curl-defining needs.