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, October 27, 2009

curls for a cure: Ouidad

For years now Ouidad, the curl guru, has helped bring life to the curls of many women. Today she is giving life to women everywhere--no matter what their hair status. In 2002, Ouidad was diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease that took her mother’s life, and was fortunate enough to make a full recovery. This season marks the 5th anniversary of her charity, Curls for a Cure. Ouidad matches dollar-for-dollar any donations made to Curls for a Cure ALL YEAR ROUND to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She hopes to raise a quarter of a million dollars and has almost reached her goal. The great news is that you don't have to make a purchase to contribute. Just make a contribution on Ouidad's website or add a donation to your shopping cart when purchasing any of Ouidad's amazing products. Try the innovative Double Detangler, a wide tooth comb designed to work its way through tangles while maintaining the wave pattern, a must for creating natural looking curls. Or treat your hair with the Climate Control Gel ($22), an alcohol-free formula that protects hair from humidity by absorbing moisture from the air to hydrate hair and prevent frizz. To learn more and donate now, visit

expert advice: Skyy Hadley, As "U" Wish Nail Spa

Last week was my birthday and I actually made some time for myself to get a massage, workout and go out with friends--things I don't get to do too often with two small kids. But as a birthday gift to myself, I promised to make more time for ME! I plan to start by following these simple pampering tips from Skyy Hadley, the owner of As “U” Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Meals for the Heels Mask: Take one cup of regular oatmeal and 1/2 cup of regular milk and heat up over the stove, stir until cooked. Add sugar to thicken the mixture, and then let it cool off a bit. When the mix is thickened, apply to your feet. Leave the mask on for about 5 - 10 minutes. The oatmeal soothes dry, itchy or irritated skin, while the milk acts as an exfoliant to help get rid of dry and dead skin cells. Finish off with pure shea butter as a moisturizer and you’re all set.

Light Cucumber Shell Mask: Just combine 2 cucumbers, 2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice, to exfoliate, and 2 tablespoons of deeply moisturizing Olive Oil in a blender until pureed. Heat up the mixture and split it between two Ziploc bags. Place each foot in a bag and rub the mixture all over feet. Leave on for 5-10 minutes then rinse with warm water. You’ll have super soft feet that are just dying to be rubbed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

treatment for a cure: space nk

To recognize 15 years of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, a charitable initiative of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Space NK is donating 20% of its spa services during the month of October plus 15% of your second facial if you book this month to the cause. To be honest, while I'm familiar with the amazing collection of products the store carries, I didn't even realize they had a spa. The treatment menu is definitely inviting: An Eve Lom Facial (1.5 hours; $250), a Natural Bisse Age-Defying Diamond Facial (1.5 hours; $200) and an Eye Brow Shaping session ($35--probably the only one I can afford!) Check out the website,, for more details or visit the Space NK Soho store to book your appointment.