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 29, 2009

luscious locks

Throughout my years in the beauty biz, I've been introduced to lots of products--some basic, some innovative, some invigorating, some calming, some essential and some luxurious. And while I've rushed to try most of them, there were a handful I saved for "special occasions." Terax is one of those brands. I remember getting my first tube of Terax Crema and wanting to make it last for way more than it was intended to. And now--years later--when I try it again, I have the same reaction. I started with the Miele hydrating shampoo for normal to dry hair (6.7 oz; $20). It has honey and elder for moisture and shine as well as wheat protein and vitamins for strength and vitality. It also lathers up rich and creamy and rinses out thoroughly. I followed up with the one-and-only Terax Crema. The luxurious conditioner is scented with rice flower, shea, bergamot and juniper--definitely soothing to the senses. Designed to moisturize hair and restore split ends, breakage and dryness, it leaves my hair silky, shiny and super-soft (I can't stop running my hands through it!) Thankfully, it comes in a 2 oz. tube ($9), a 6.7 oz. tube ($22) and a very rewarding 16.9 oz. ($48) pump bottle--definitely worth the investment! For more great Terax Hair Care products, check out ULTA, or

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

love your skin

In the dead of winter, it's hard to find products that soothe your skin. For me, it was always a challenge to find a gentle cleanser that still gets the job done. That's why I was ecstatic when I came across an innovative collection of products from Ole (pronounced ooh-la) Henriksen. Owner and founder of Ole Henriksen Face/Body day spas in Los Angeles, London and other major cities, Henriksen used his degree in cosmetic chemistry to create a skincare line designed to nurture, soothe, comfort, smooth and transform (Renee Zellweger, Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba and Julia Stiles are all fans). I have to admit, he did have to win me over though. The first product I tried was the On The Go Cleanser (7 oz; $21) for normal/combination skin. While I loved the fresh, citrusy scent (thanks to a healthy dose of vitamin C), I thought it left my skin feeling dry. But I didn't give up. Next I tried the Apricot Cleansing Lotion (7 oz; $21), a rich, creamy, comforting cleanser for dry/sensitive skin--and I was hooked. The lightweight lotion felt super-soft and emollients like avocado, sesame and apricot oil left my skin feeling smooth and clean. I followed it with the Nurture Me ($40) soothing cream for sensitive skin or rosacea. The scent conjured up memories of St. Joseph's Baby Aspirin, probably because it's packed with vitamins, so it's obviously good for you. By now an avid OH fan, I have also fallen for the New Beginning Scrub ($24), a smoothing and oxygenating exfoliant with tea tree oil as well as the Sheer Transformation ($45) silky restorative cream which also targets uneven skin tone. I haven't tried the new African Red Tea products ( yet but they're next on my list. Stay tuned...

Monday, January 26, 2009

brows that wow

Personally, I've always relied on my local salon to get my brows into shape, but I decided it was time to look into some do-it-yourself options. So I asked New York City-based brow expert Ramy Gafni about the secrets to getting brows that wow... "Start with a precisely balanced, angled tweezer with a rounded tip," says Gafni. "It will grab the tiniest hairs without breaking them and will be gentle on the delicate skin around the eyes." Try the Ramy Tweezer by Tweezerman ( Then start shaping. "The biggest mistakes women make are tweezing their brows too thin or putting the arch in the wrong place," says Gafni, who suggests having brows shaped professionally and following the line for as long as you can. Next, invest in a curved safety scissors to trim excess length and a small double-ended brush to set hairs in place and apply brow filler. Brush on Eye LIFT Brows ($38) before applying moisturizer or makeup for instant firming and a brow 'lift.' Fill in your brows with Miracle Brow ($24) or the Perfect Brow Wand. "To use Miracle Brow, dip the angled end of the brush into each shade and apply where needed. Then use the blending brush to remove excess. The Perfect Brow wand is a double-ended pen--brush on the neutral brow filler that works on every hair color, then blend in the universally flattering highlighter along the underside of your brows using your finger to emphasize your arch and give brows a visual lift." Want more info? Check out the complete line of Ramy Beauty Therapy products at