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, June 2, 2009

raise the bar

When's the last time you showered with a bar of soap? Can't remember? Well, put down your fancy cleanser or shower gel and pick up these individually wrapped Molton Brown soaps. Known for its luxurious soaps when it first opened its doors in 1973, Molton Brown has brought back two of its most popular formulas. I tried the Exfoliating Oatmeal and Milk Cleansebar ($22 per set of four) made with ingredients that have been used for centuries to soften and comfort skin. I really liked the creamy lather, designed to soften, smooth and rebalance as it cleans. I'm not sure about the exfoliating properties, though, as the oatmeal specs in the bar make you feel like you're getting smooth but I didn't really feel them. Maybe that's why it works so well! Also in stores is the Ultrapure Milk Cleansebar ($22 per set of four) which contains natural skin conditioners plus Vitamin A and D to improve texture and give skin a glowing appearance. It definitely felt smooth even while rubbing it all over my skin. Try them both or buy one for a friend; they'll make great houseguest gifts this summer! Available at Molton Brown emporia, select department stores and at

give the gift of caring with Curél

I know about dry skin. In fact, I douse myself in ultra-thick moisturizing creams religiously as part of my nighttime beauty regimen. I am constantly trying to soothe and smooth rough elbows, knees, hands and feet. So when Curél came out with limited-edition Continuous Comfort Moisture Lotion for Dry Skin with time-released moisturizers ($8 at drugstores nationwide--it features the iconic Red Cross symbol), I just had to have some. Designed to hydrate and relieve skin for 24 hours, the non-greasy formula absorbs quickly, doesn't clog pores and is dermatologist recommended. Plus, it smells great!

Through its ongoing support of the American Red Cross,
Curél goes beyond skin’s surface to nurture the people who need care the most, donating funds to the organization that helps heal communities in times of crisis. Collaborating for the second time, Cynthia Nixon and Curél are proud to launch the “Share the Gift of Caring” campaign in support of the American Red Cross. Log on to to dedicate a portion of Curél’s donation to someone you love, then encourage them to share the gift of caring by doing the same!

The American Red Cross has donated $250,000 and plans to donate $10,000 more. And you can click on the website to donate $1 of that $10,000 in a friend’s name. Your friend will receive a message from
Curél letting her know that you care, and she will be invited to share the gift of sharing with someone else—creating a chain of donations from the Curél brand on behalf of real people across the United States.

A great gift and an amazing product for a superb cause--plus you get silky, smooth skin in the process!

Monday, June 1, 2009

a healthy diet for your skin

The next time you head for the salad bar, shake some salt on your dinner or pass on the onions, keep this advice from Kimberly Snyder in mind. Not only has she created an innovative product line called Envision to provide cutting edge skin care but she knows how to treat skin from the inside out. Here, she shares five simple tips to great looking skin through healthy eating. Bon appetit!

1. Max out on raw greens. The living enzymes in uncooked greens and vegetables assist digestion, detoxification and rebuilding, thus free up enzymes that can be used on repairing and rebuilding your skin. But these valuable enzymes, proteins and vitamins can be destroyed when they're heated up so you don't get the same benefits when you cook them. Sp pack as many green salads, veggies, sprouts and herbs into your diet as you can. Try my favorite Green Smoothie recipe on
2. Switch to Celtic sea salt. Its sun-dried so its 70 minerals, trace elements, enzymes and marine microorganisms stay intact. Other salts are kiln-dried which allows valuable minerals and other nutrients to evaporate. Normal table salt is the worst of all, as it is composed of irradiated and denatured sodium chloride. It has no nutritional benefit and depletes skin of its natural hydration. 3. Eat more onions! It has a considerable amount of sulfur to cleanse skin and liver, and rebuild connective tissues like collagen. Onions are also a good source of usable quercetin which helps eliminate free radicals, protect and regenerate crucial vitamin E and decrease capillary fragility. 4. Add sea vegetables to your diet. They're 12 times richer in minerals than average vegetables and a good source of iodine which helps regulate metabolism, iron, B6, B12, magnesium, which opens up about 300 different pathways of detoxification. Throw dulse, hijiki and arame in salads or make nori wraps stuffed with salad (all available at your local health food store). 5. Snack on figs. They're an excellent blood purifier. Blood transports nutrients to the cells throughout the body and face, so the cleaner the blood, the more beautiful your skin. Pus, the tiny seeds in figs are packed with nutrients and draw out and dissolve waste, mucus and toxins from the intestinal tract.