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, July 7, 2009

beauty score

This past weekend, Serena Williams took the Wimbledon Women's Tennis title in London and announced the launch of her new luxe beauty line with MISSION skincare. On July 23rd and 24th, she'll appear on HSN to give you a preview of her Mission Skincare Active Beauty Line: featuring Serena Williams. The products offer proven solutions for the active lifestyle of today's woman. The Oxygen-Active Daily Facial Cleanser ($39.99), with a unique self-foaming, oxygenating technology, cleans skin, removes makeup, nourishes and renews in only 90 seconds. Also try the gently exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub in Honey Sugar ($29.99), the Restorative Body Butter in Honey Sugar ($24.99) designed to protect and hydrate skin, the Lip Balmer SPF 15 in Pomegranate ($3.99) with broad spectrum sun protection, moisturizing cocoa butter and soybean oil to nourish and hydrate, and the Lip Balmer SPF 15 in Pink Lemonade ($3.99) designed to moisturize lips for up to eight hours. Check out the products on or win a chance to meet Serena herself! From July 8th to July 21st, the tennis star turned beauty guru is hosting a contest to see what you can do in 90 seconds. Enter at for the chance to meet her and win two VIP tickers to one of her upcoming tournaments among other prizes.

to be tan and taut

There is a God--and he oversaw the creation of celluFIGHT ($40), a natural, anti-cellulite self-tanner with proven results. I mean, what more could you want from a summer beauty product? You get a golden glow and tighter/smoother looking skin. Just smooth it all over your body like a daily body lotion, using circular motions in problem areas (like waist, hips, thighs and buttocks), and you should see results in eight weeks time. (Try it now and you'll see results just in time for Labor Day!) I've only been using it for one week and I can already see some dimpled spots beginning to look, well, less dimpled. The product's skinTIGHT complex firms and tones skin while improving elasticity, plant and bio-nutrient extracts boost cellular metabolism shedding excess fat tissue, and caffeine from green tea extract stimulates blood flow creating a smoother effect. I made sure to wash my hands well after applying and wait 5-10 minutes before getting dressed to make sure the lotion is dry. I can't wait to see what the next seven weeks bring! For more great summer beauty from tarte, try multiplEYE ($65), a natural lash enhancer with HydroPeptide designed to give the appearance of longer, thicker lashes; and eyeQUATIC ($35) featuring three mermaid-inspired lock & roll creaseless cream and powder shadow duos, a deluxe lights, camera, splashes! waterproof mascara and a colorful, chic headscarf. Available at,,, Henri Bendel and boutiques nationwide.

Monday, July 6, 2009

to the rescue

Fresh air, sunshine and cool blue water are some of the signs of summer. Dry, brittle hair is another. Chlorine, salt water and the scorching sun are just a few of the culprits...but thankfully, Cutler has come to the rescue with a complete line of shampoos, conditioners and treatment products to help hair feel a little less ravaged. They're packed with good-for-you ingredients like deep penetrating and conditioning pro-vitamin B and panthenol, jojoba protein to protect against moisture loss, vitamins A, C and E which offer antioxidant properties and UVA and UVB protection from the sun. I tried the Extra Gentle Shampoo ($16) which smelled subtly like fruit and flowers and gently washed away the remnants of a hot and sticky day. It also rehydrates color-treated or damaged hair. Then I treated my hair to the Intensive Conditioner ($17), complete with moisturizing, conditioning and reparative properties that are gentle enough for color-treated hair or hair that's been at the beach too long. Another favorite is the Protectant Treatment Spray ($21). It's designed to add a layer of protection between your hair and the heat of the blow dryer, but also moisturizes, detangles and helps hold your style. They all come in cool blue and green striped bottles that conjure up images of a tranquil Caribbean ocean and look great in your shower. Try any of these, or some of the other Cutler styling products, at ULTA stores,,, and