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, May 16, 2009

get the point

It seems to be a trend--if you're a plastic surgeon, you have to have your own skin care line. Denver-based Plastic Surgeon Christine Rodgers is no exception, thanks to her newly launched skin care collection, En Pointe Skin Solutions--but she brings to the table her first-hand experience as a breast cancer survivor as well as a passionate ballet dancer. In fact, it was the physical and emotional healing benefits she experienced through practicing ballet that inspired the brand name which suggests enduring strength. En Pointe specifically addresses women's skin concerns such as fine lines, skin pigmentation, redness and irritation which Dr. Rodgers believes are the consequences of skin stressors like hormonal, environmental, physical, emotional and medical issues. So I set out to undo some 40+ years of stress I have already endured. After washing my face, I applied the Encore Renewal Serum ($85), designed to brighten, reduce pigmentation and minimize the appearance of age spots. Formulated with Dr. Rodgers' Bio-Energy Complex to smooth, hydrate and promote radiant skin, it smoothed on easily and absorbed quickly. I followed up with the Fouette Firming Moisturizer ($85), designed to deliver intense moisture, stimulate collagen production and protect against free radical damage. It felt thicker than I expected but absorbed just as readily, almost as if it was filling in my not-so-fine lines as I was applying it. I added a couple of dabs of the Pas de Trois Age Delay Eye Solution ($75) in an attempt to reduce puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles around my eyes, offering a more youthful appearance. All of the formulas felt smooth and creamy on my skin and had a subtle clean, natural scent. There's a cleanser, toner, and SPF too, as well as other nourishing treatments. As for the results, only time will tell. I'll have to keep you posted. But in the meantime, check out these innovative and therapeutic products on

Sunday, May 10, 2009

blown away

True story: I was sitting here starting this post about the new Paul Mitchell Express Ion Dry V.2 ($220) when a neighbor from down the hall knocked on my door asking to borrow my blow-dryer since hers had just died on her. I handed it over and she returned a little while later, blow-dryer in hand, with perfect hair and a great dress and shoes, ready for a big night out. "You're a lifesaver," she told me. We've all been subjected to blow-dryers that can't take the heat. Some can be cumbersome, some get too hot and others just don't get the job done. The Express Ion Dry V.2 is a high-speed, lightweight styling tool that minimizes drying time and increases hair health. Far infrared heat protects from damage, super-charged negative ions break up water molecules and infuse them into the hair, restoring moisture and sealing the cuticle for shiny, static-free results. “We took the weight out of the dryer and left a powerful air flow to speed up drying time, add shine and condition just by plugging it in and using it," says Stephanie Kocielski, Artistic Director for Paul Mitchell. "It’s the better air flow that controls those frizzies and stubborn curls. The Express Ion Dry v.2 also gives me the opportunity to send each of my clients home with a salon result that lasts! It’s all about better style in half the time.” Available at professional salons only, call 1.800.321.JPMS or visit to find one near you.