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, January 12, 2012 A pretty great deal

We’ve all been there: We put together a great outfit and find ourselves looking for the perfect accessories to complete the look, at a price we can afford. No easy task…until now. (BAB) is the brainchild of founder Bill Mazhar, whose family business was located in the heart of Manhattan’s wholesale district. “I saw that there were numerous stores with great designs and good prices for accessories but they were only available to big retail shops who had to purchase a large quantity of accessories to even qualify for an order. Luckily, our store allowed both retail and wholesale purchases.” But there was still something missing. Mazhar realized that customers wanted experienced stylists to help them match their favorite accessories and they wanted discounts for purchasing items that matched perfectly together. In addition, they preferred trusted name brands when purchasing their accessories. By combining these factors, he established a new way to purchase jewelry and BAB was born.

BAB has a team of designers that curate jewelry from quality brand names and sells them in a bundled set which we call a ‘Mini Boutique’ at a steep discount. Mini Boutiques are brand name accessories composed of two or more items. is different from other sites because it sells all of its products in bundles prepared by experienced stylists at prices that are heavily discounted. After all, who doesn’t love a bargain? The website provides customers with designer bundles at discounts over 50% off the retail price. Stylists pair up with name brands to offer styling advice and create very trendy mini-boutiques to sell on BAB for unbelievable discounts. Choose from a handful of must-have collections including: BOLD (statement pieces), EDGY (innovative jewelry made of wood, gun-metal, beads and animal prints), BOHEMIAN ( eclectic options) or SOPHISTICATE (a cultured, cosmopolitan look).

Some of our favorite bundles: The Swan Necklace and Bracelet from Elizabeth J’adore. The faux pearl necklace is an edgy alternative to the one your grandmother gave you for your high school graduation and pairs beautifully with the flower white leather bracelet (bundle price, $64). The Luxe Sophisticate features a necklace, bracelet and earrings crafted from a mixed medley of materials, including stunning crystal stones, glitzy rhinestone chains and an ultra-delicate floral motif made from minted gems (bundle price, $144).

The best part: At, you get expert advice on how to wear the items you are purchasing. Let leading industry stylists help you put together a winning accessories look that will take you from work to day to night with ease. Go to to choose your favorite jewels.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

PRETTY GOOD ADVICE: be good to your skin

It’s that time of year again, when we make promises to ourselves that we will diet, exercise, and become more organized! This year, take your resolutions a step further and make a promise to yourself that you will make more of an effort to become “skin healthy.” After all, the skin on your face is your best accessory, not to mention the skin on your body is what holds you altogether. Here, Marina Peredo, MD, founder of Spatique Medical Spa in Smithtown, NY, offers her tried and true skincare tips.

Skin Rx: Make an appointment to see your dermatologist for a full body skin check, once a year (if there is no history of skin cancer.) If you have melanoma, which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, you should see your dermatologist every 3 months, the first year and following years, every 6 months for life. This isn't something you should put off. It can save your life!

Treat It Right: Make an effort to see your esthetician on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and get a microdermabrasion or chemical peel to rid your face of dead skin cells and bring on a new, fresh, glowing looking face, regularly. If you cannot see your esthetician, try a home-made scrub with Honey and Sugar. The Honey smoothes the skin and has antibacterial properties and the sugar exfoliates. Follow-up with an egg white to tighten your skin.

Stock Up on Skincare Essentials: Invest in good skincare products that contain essential vitamins and anti-oxidants that can help reduce the negative effects of free radicals, stress and other elements that can impede healthy skin. Start off with a gentle cleanser for most days and an exfoliating cleanser for a couple of days in between to help get rid of dead skin cells (this will hold you over until you can make it to the medi-spa for your facial!) Then, try a good anti-aging serum that contains vitamins and antioxidants to help with cellular turnover and of course, a daily moisturizer that contains a sunscreen.

Don't Forget the Sunscreen: Sunscreen is needed every day, not only at the beach or vacations. That is why it is important to find a sunscreen that provides protection as well as hydration.

De-Clutter Your Stock: Throw away outdated skincare products. Make-up that hasn't been used in a while and outdated skincare products may be hosting bacteria and can cause breakouts. Open the medicine cabinet and empty your make-up bag. If you haven't touched that skincare product or piece of make-up in a few months it’s time to say goodbye. Your skin will thank you later.

Come Clean: Sleep without make-up. Not removing your make-up is one of the worst don'ts when it comes to your skincare routine. Make-up clogs pores and can leave your complexion looking dull. Wash, tone, and moisturize your skin every night before bed this year.

Personal Tip: *My newest discovery is Macha Tea, a type of Green Tea that has antioxidants that help fight off free radicals. Not only do the free radicals break down collagen that cause wrinkles and sagging skin, Macha can also help to suppress your appetite and give you more energy…helping achieve your weight-loss resolution!

For more info, amazing skincare products and great skincare tips, go to