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, August 29, 2009

sunscreen you can count on

Just because summer is almost over, doesn't mean you should bag the sunscreen. But who can remember the SPF when you're slipping into sweaters and boots? Cosmedix comes to the rescue with three great products designed to give you all the protection you need whenever you step out into the great outdoors. One of my favorites is Hydrate + Daily Moisturizer SPF 17 ($46). I love the rich, creamy formula that smells a bit like a nourishing clay mask. If you can't get to your local day spa for a treatment, smooth this on and you'll feel hydrated throughout the day. For straight-on sun protection, try Reflect SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen ($44). It's extremely lightweight (you'll barely notice you're wearing it!) and comes in a spray-on bottle that helps you distribute it evenly (the other products come with pump applicators). Plus, it leaves your skin feeling smooth and dewy. For even more protection, try Serious Protection SPF 28 Sunscreen ($42), a thicker formulation that smells slightly citrusy and smooths into skin easily. Try one or rotate them all! If you like the brand, check out the rest of the Cosmedix collection--designed to treat oily skin, hyperpigmentation and photo damage--on

the dark side

Put away your pearly pinks and powdery peaches...the latest lipstick shades for fall are dramatic, vampy, even goth-inspired. Sounds like something you used to stash in your jeans pocket in another life? Maybe so. But thanks to the latest versions from Mattese Elite, the latest versions are chic enough to make their way into your handbag. My favorite, believe it or not, is called Porn Star. This bright pink shade takes me back to the Eighties when the Go-Gos ruled and Cyndi Lauper was a household name. But today's version is more sophisticated... instead of bubblegum pink, think toned-down fuchsia (if there is such a thing). Another favorite, Ecstasy, is a tomato (not fire-engine) red that you could actually get away with wearing when you're 21+. But the best part is the texture: these new lipsticks are ubermoisturizing and leave a sleek wet finish. And they feel as creamy as it gets. Granted, Slippery, Provocative, Deep and the practically-black Bite Me are seriously darker than I would dare to venture but, hey, it's the trend this season so have fun with it. Order yours at, then prepare to pucker up.