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.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

mario badescu at ulta

One more reason to love Ulta stores: They now carry the renowned Mario Badescu skin care collection--in 282 of their stores nationwide. That means you have even more access to more than 200 amazing Mario Badescu products--including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, masks, scrubs, eye creams, night creams, serums, body washes and acne treatment products like the celebrity cult favorite, pink Drying Lotion (as well as my personal favorite: Mario Badescu Super Rich Olive Body Lotion!) Ulta, the one-stop-shopping spot for prestige, mass and salon products is giving Sephora a run for its money and now carries a slew of exclusive beauty brands, in addtion to Mario Badescu. Go to or call (800) BADESCU for more info or to place your order or to see the store's complete product selection.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

double duty

Just as my staple bottle of moisturizer with SPF was nearing its final days, I was sent a bottle of Biore SkinPreservation Dual Fusion Moisturizer + SPF 30 to try out. The short story: It hydrates and defends--it says so right on the package. But it's pretty unique. My first impression was that I love the packaging: It fits right into my hand and a specially designed squeeze pump on the side of the bottle dispenses just the right amount of product and leaves no mess. Featuring Biore's Botanamide technology, a ceramide-based technology with botanicals and natural antioxidants, it offers non-greasy moisture to improve dryness, fine lines and uneven skin tone as well as SPF 30 for broad spectrum protection. So if you can't decide whether you need to hydrate or protect, you don't have to choose. I love the silky feel and the fresh, clean scent as I smooth it all over my face. My biggest gripe: At 1.7 fl. oz., I'm sure I will go through the bottle pretty quickly. Thankfully, it's only $14.99 at select food, drug or mass merchant stores. For more info, go to

i'm addicted!

So you're up with the trends but don't really know how to translate them? Beauty Addicts' Motivate Collection is a fool-proof answer. The company's assortment of compacts for eyes, cheeks and lips matches the colors for you--so there's no guesswork when it comes to making a trend work for you. RelationLIPS ($28) features a quartet of classic, natural shades. Designed to shimmer, shine, and offer sheer or satin coverage, each gloss provides total lip protection. I love the texture and look of the shimmer but smooth it over one of the berry hues and the results are dazzling! The SolutionEYES ($35) eye shadow quad features four blendable shades in sheer matte to subtle shimmer textures. SleekCHEEKS ($28) boasts antioxidant-rich Velveteen Creme, a creme-to-powder texture with a hint of shimmer, and Build-a-Blush, an ultra sheer matte powder that offers flawless coverage. Choose the texture you're most comfortable with and apply. The most unique product, GLIMMERSheers ($28), is designed to highlight and luminize eyes, face and cheeks. It features Glimmer, a soft luminizer (in a cool lavender/silvery/metallic shade), and Sheer, a crystal clear luminizer (it looks like it might feel sticky but goes on smooth and dries quickly). Don't be shy! Use a combination of both to create glowing skin; the effect is subtle but glamorous. Go to to make your purchase.