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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

expert advice: makeup artist sandy linter for lancome, part 2

Lancome's Sandy Linter shares her beauty advice, personal regimen and favorite products of the season.

Her advice for beauty phobics: Look at the magazines. Try to identify with a model or actress, someone whose looks speak to you. Go to a professional makeup artist with a picture and tell them you like the feeling of the makeup that you see in the picture. Even if the photo is very natural, a good professional can look at you and suggest products to achieve this look. A good professional can also tell you to find another person to identify with.

Her personal beauty routine: I put my hair back with a headband and apply the Absolue Premium Bx Cleanser on my entire face, cotton ball it off, go over it with Absolue Toner, then apply Platineum Night on my face and neck and rub some on my hands. In the morning, I go over my face with the Absolue Toner, and use Absolue Premium Bx Lotion as my moisturizer (great for any age). When time permits, I use Hydra Intense Masque, and Resurface Microdermabrasion on my body. I also use Absolue Body which has a wonderfully light texture.

Her favorite products for spring: Lancôme has a complete line of products. Skin care is among the best in the world and the makeup is always client friendly. The colors are not aggressive. The color palette is meant to make a woman look approachable, beautiful and fashionable. Even an "edgy” style is made easy to do. All women can use Lancôme. There is a lipstick shade and consistency for everyone. Same with foundation and powder. One of my favorite products for spring is the High Definicils mascara. I fell in love with the new brush and the formula keeps my lashes separated. Also, get every shade of La Laque Fever gloss! I have not tried a color I don't like.
Check out to find more great spring/summer products.

expert advice: makeup artist sandy linter for lancome, part 1

When you want good advice, go to a pro. Makeup artist Sandy Linter has been in the biz for more than 30 years (though you'd never guess her age by looking at her beautiful skin!). Here's how she got started...

In 1974 I did my first Vogue cover. There were only five other makeup artists who did editorial makeup. I worked in a salon called Mr. Kenneth. I charged $15.00 for an application and $30.00 for a lesson. Soon I went with one of the very first makeup and hair agencies, Kramer and Kramer. Before that, my mom was answering the phone taking my bookings. And I had an answering service (everyone had the same service - the Belles). I had nothing to compare the industry to so I thought it was huge. I didn't know that by the mid-1980's I would be competing with thousands of new artists. Hundreds of agencies opened up. I stayed with Kramer and Kramer for at least 10 years, then went to Elizabeth Watson, the wife of Albert Watson, photographer, for at least 13 years, and I have been with Bryan Bantry since 1996. This agency, founded by Bryan Bantry, is also one of the original agencies in New York City.

I was one of the first makeup artists in the city so I was able to do many covers of Vogue and Bazaar, Cosmo, in all countries. Now it is way more difficult to make a name for yourself. One day I was selling makeup in Bloomingdales, then working at a salon, and then doing Vogue covers.

The makeup artist gets selected, these days by the photographer. When I started, the editor choose the makeup artist, or the sittings editor of the magazine. I worked with all the best editors and photographers--Polly Mellen, Grace Coddington and even Anna Wintour. They were some of the best editors who I was privileged to work with on shoots.

Bobbi Brown was the first editorial makeup artist to have her own line. Hundreds have followed. Most, successfully. Bobbi had one Vogue cover under her belt but she had a plan and everyone knows the story of her success.

My career went on working with the legendary Albert Watson for Details, Italian Vogue, German Vogue and doing many ad campaigns. Then Harper’s Bazaar, Beauty Director Kerry Diamond took me on a shoot to Washington D.C. After that shoot she said she had a plan for me. Sometime later I had a contract with Lancôme, Beauty at Every Age.

The business has grown and changed but I always had a place in it. Sometimes my profile is higher than at other times. For instance now it's pretty high. My niche is for the older woman (they certainly did not have a niche for older women when I started).

I remember doing a cover of American Vogue in the heat of summer in Paris 1975. I used to look at polaroids on shoots and I loved them. Now it's all digital, and there isn't that fascinating reaction of the model to the photographer. Not the way I experienced it when I started.

Learn more about Linter at

Sunday, May 17, 2009

feed your skin

You are what you eat--and it shows in your skin. Kimberly Snyder, Beauty and Health expert and founder of Envision Beauty has plenty of tips for changing your diet to achieve healthier looking skin. The best part: She'll share them with you on a newly launched Health Hotline, sponsored by The New York Daily News, a week long resource to some of the city's best diet and nutrition experts, running Monday, May 18th through Friday, May 22nd. Snyder, whose eating for beauty and delicious raw food recipes have been featured on Good Day LA and NBC Philadelphia, shares her insight on Tuesday, May 19th from 9Am to 12 Noon so you can call in and ask for any specific advice you need. Check out tomorrow's NY Daily News or for details.

shape up

Everyone has something to hide--a roll here, a bulge there. For those who need a little help--or a little lift--there's Sculptz Shapewear. Designed for ultimate shaping, comfortable fit and sophisticated style, Sculptz Shapewear provides women with smoother lines and a shapely silhouette without ever squeezing, pinching or binding. Sculptz products flatten the tummy, lift the rear, and slim the hips and thighs, while offering the freedom to move and breathe with ease, making them comfortable to wear everyday--not just for special occasions. I tried the Perfection Tights ($25) and couldn't believe how comfortable they were, thanks to the fact that they're made from really soft, durable microfiber. I really felt svelte wearing them. And now that summer's around the corner, Sculptz offers the same smoothing effect in their Shapely Perfection Shorts ($22). Comfortable and thankfully lightweight for warmer weather, they flatten your tummy, firm your rear and slim your thighs. Plus, they have a pretty lace trim, just in case they accidentally peek out from under your short summer dresses. For more info or to pick up a pair for yourself, go to