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, March 7, 2009

do the wave

Leave it to Sally Hershberger, queen of runway-ready hair and stylist to some of the most notable manes in Hollywood (think Renee Zellweger, Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan, among others), to come up with an innovative product line designed to let your hair do what it does best--shine! I grew up having my sisters lust over my naturally straight hair while they continuously tried to will away their waves. Later in life, when I developed waves of my own, I found myself with less time to style. I definitely needed a boost. To enhance my often wimpy waves, I tried the Wavy Hair Shampoo ($9.50; designed to moisturize, texturize and create voluptuous curves), the Wavy Hair Conditioner ($9.50; with African Baobab Tree extract to detangle and moisturize hair, plus quaternized honey to hydrate, enhance waves and control frizz), and the Wave Spray ($12.50; to boost body and dimension of waves). When my hair dried, my waves were definitely defined and cascaded past my shoulders in a casual, frizz-free style. Also worth a shot: Sally's secret weapon--otherwise known as Shagg Spray ($12.50)--apply it to dry hair to create a soft, sexy, super-tousled look. But while my newly rippled look definitely turned a few heads, I have to admit what first attracted me to the bottles was the simple Sally Hershberger handwritten font. It made the package look fresh and clean--just like my hairstyle! Get info or purchase products at any of the three Sally Hershberger salons (in downtown NYC, uptown NYC and LA), at Walgreen's nationwide or at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

glimmer with shimmer

What girl doesn't want to get flowers? Excluding one unfortunate friend who's allergic to "the great outdoors," no one I know. That's why you'll flip for Laura Mercier's new Shimmer Bloc Gilded Garden ($38), a limited edition baked illuminating powder. The concept? Baked technology--makeup that's baked under high temperatures to create luxurious pigments with subtle shimmer and long-term staying power. The pigments combine to give the face and body a youthful glow without leaving it looking frosty or metallic. This ethereal effect is caused by light-reflecting properties that give skin a healthy glow and brighten eyes, cheeks and body with natural color and light. Plus, it's oil-free and ideal for all skin types. The best part? Four shades of shimmer powder in a floral motif are set in a sleek, black compact that looks great on any vanity or when pulled out of a makeup bag for a quick touchup. Some women are just in the know when it comes to makeup and Mercier is one of them. She founded Laura Mercier Cosmetics in 1996 with a classic, current palette and has evolved the brand to include skin care, bath and body, and fragrance lines. This is one item to spring for this season; it'll brighten up your daily makeup routine and ensure things are coming up roses, even in these doomed economic times. Pick yours at

boost your roots

Growing up, my hair was always flat. Whether I set it in curlers, tried to work my magic with a blow-dryer or attempted to style it with a curling iron, it would usually return to its inevitably flat state soon after. So since then I've always searched for ways to give my hair natural-looking volume. That's why I decided to try TRESemme's new 24 Hour Body line, designed to help create voluminous style that lasts all day. The collection consists of Healthy Shampoo and Conditioner, Foaming Mousse, Sculpting Spray Gel, Root Boosting Spray, Finishing Spray and Weightless Creme (suggested retail price: $4.49 each). To start at the root of the problem, I opted for the Root Boosting Spray, formulated with TRESemme's exclusive Volume Control Complex. This blend of polymers blocks humidity and allows hair to hold its style and volume all day long. After shampooing and conditioning as usual, I spritzed it directly on my roots and blow-dried it to style. (TIP: For best results, blow-dry hair with a vent brush, lifting at the roots for maximum lift). My hair was fuller and more voluminous at the scalp, which is usually the flattest part. I completed the look with the Finishing Spray to set the volume and leave hair sleek and shiny. In addition to a superb, professional formula and a just-stepped-out-of-the-salon scent, the 24 Hour Body line has brilliantly designed packaging. Most products are applied via an actuator, instead of a basic pump or spray, to ensure product placement directly where you want it--in this case, at the roots. Plus, the sleek, plastic bottles are actually shaped like a body so you can grasp the middle (or "waist area") easily and maintain your grip as you style. Go to for expert advice and styling tips, or head to a local retailer near you to make your purchase.