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, September 5, 2009

the straight and shiny

In the never-ending search for products to keep my naturally wavy hair straight, I couldn't wait to try Redken's straight lissage collection. The three hero products include power tame 16 intense straightening balm for coarse hair ($16), align 12 protective straightening lotion for medium hair ($16) and sheer straight 06 lightweight straightening gel for fine hair ($15). Thinking I fell into the medium category, I tried align 12, only to find it left my hair straight but also greasy and limp. Maybe I used too much or maybe I should have dried my hair longer but it really didn't work for me. So the next day, I tried sheer straight 06 and had better results. The lightweight formula left my hair looking sleek and polished, with no sticky residue. Proteins build internal hair strength and coconut and olive oils help condition and moisturize. Also in the news for Redken is the company's new Real Control Mineral Elixir dazzling smoothing oil for dense/dry/sensitized hair ($17), which launches this month. Ideal for combatting dry, frizzy, static-y hair, it tames flyaways and adds shine while misting hair with a glistening shine spray. You get light conditioning and control with intense frizz-fighting power. Just spray it on dry hair and reapply as needed throughout the day. Or point the aerosol applicator at your hairbrush and run it through your hair whenever you need to smooth things over and add a dose of shine. To locate a Redken salon, or find our more about these Redken products, go to

Thursday, September 3, 2009

keep your cool

I've been so busy lathrering up my son with the Anthony for Little Men Foaming Hair and Body Wash that I forgot about the company's mini bottle of The Cool Fix ($25) I had stashed away in my weekend bag. Just in time for Labor Day--the last official day to wear my swimsuit! As the debut product in a new brand called Shaveworks from Anthony Logistics, this all-in-one gel lotion soothes ingrown hairs, razor burn, irritation, redness and everyday common hair removal concerns. The Cool Fix prommises instant gratification. Yeah, right, I thought. But when I needed it most, I dabbed some on some razor burn and was quickly relieved. The best part: A percentage of all sales will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The second best part: The palm-sized bottle fits inconspicuously inside your beach bag for easy access. Available at Sephora stores nationwide and

just add oil

It sounds and looks like a suntan oil for your body but Moroccanoil is actually an intensive regime for your hair. Salma Hayek, Katy Perry, Renee Zellweger and Debra Messing have all used it so why shouldn't I give it a try? Moroccanoil Treatment ($39) is a weightless finishing, styling and shine product in one, which protects against UV damage and other environmental hazards. The patented Argan Oil-based formula is rich in Vitamins A, E and F (omega 6) as well as phenols and tocopherols to nourish hair and scalp, promote healing and relieve dry, itchy conditions. I smoothed it on my damp hair after a shower and watched it absorb instantly. After blow-drying, I was left with a silky feel (I couldn't stop touching my hair!) and brilliant shine (who wouldn't want that?). All of the products in the collection strengthen and recondition the hair strand while adding lustrous shine and a polished, frizz-free, static-free finish. Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream ($30) promises to eliminate frizz and add definition and shine. And it delivers. Just a drop in the palm of my hand was easily rubbed into my damp hair before styling. When dry, my natural waves were accentuated and stayed put for the rest of the day. Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask ($31)--my favorite--is a deep conditioning treatment that gives hair moisture and protein. The recommended weekly dose does the trick and makes you feel like you're feeding your hair a healthy snack. The new Moroccanoil Gold Glimmer Shine ($24) didn't really do much for me. It's designed to deliver an invisible veil of shine and protect hair from UV rays and free radicals but the scent was a bit too powdery and it made my hair look a bit stringy. Still, I won't give up the weekly mask or the styling cream which helped me go from maniac mom to a semi-sane female in time for my husband's birthday dinner. To find your favorite Moroccanoil formula, go to