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.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

expert advice: Face Stockholm keeps skin hydrated

I'm the first to admit my skin craves moisture in the winter. So I was excited to try Face Stockholm's Moisturizing Treatment Masque ($38). The lightweight gel went on smoothly and tightened as it dried, feeling like it was hydrating, balancing and smoothing my skin where needed. It has soothing botanicals and rich hydrators like Olive Oil, Witch Hazel, Lavender Extract and Green Tea Extract to moisturize dull, dehydrated skin. The trick is removing the mask when it's dry. The instructions say, "peel from bottom to top," which made me think it would come off easily. Not so. When I started to peel it off, it mostly came off in large pieces but I had to work a little to peel off some smaller spots and then wash off the remnants. It left me wondering whether you could do more damage to your skin using this type of product, from either pulling it off your face or slightly scraping to get off the remaining pieces. Can this kind of product strip away much-needed oil from your skin? I asked a Face Stockholm expert, who assured me I was following the instructions correctly. "That is the appropriate way to take off the Moisturizing Masque. The masque will come off in larger portions, the only damage you should be wary of is around the hairline or eyebrows- no one wants a surprise waxing! But actually it works by sealing in moisture and once dry, the only thing that is removed as it’s peeled away is the scale layer/dead skin. So it is actually exfoliating and moisturizing simultaneously. The skin's oils are not stripped away, that would only happen with a highly acidic or alcohol based product." Whew...relief. My skin felt smoother and tighter afterward. For a more regular moisturizing treatment, I prefer the company's Seaweed Cream ($54), a soothing moisturizer with extensive healing ingredients like Algae Extract and Allantoin that also protect skin from the elements. I love the way it makes my skin feels smooth and soft...and safe to use daily. For more info, go to

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