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.

Friday, December 11, 2009

holiday gift guide: give Carol's Daughter

It's one thing to get a beautiful gift. It's even more rewarding to get to meet the creator(s) and talk to them about their creations. If you love Carol’s Daughter, you can stop by one of these friendly get-togethers in your city to chat with Lisa Price, the brand's founder and innovator. Learn the secret Almond Cookie Candle Recipe for Naturally Beautiful Hair, and the inspiration behind her Magical Beauty Collection- a line that celebrates Disney’s first African-American princess, chronicled in “The Princess and the Frog”. Lisa will also share her recipe for her Holiday Potpourri, a budget-friendly solution for a month of endless entertaining. Meet up with Lisa at a store near you: Macy's Arlington, TX (Sunday, December 13th, 2-4PM); Carol's Daughter Westfield Wheaton Mall, MD (Thursday, December 17th, 6-8PM); Carol's Daughter Arlington, VA (Friday, December 18th, 6-8PM);
Macy's Waldorf, MD (Saturday, December 19th, 1-3PM). Go to for more info or for a complete selection of holiday gifts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

holiday gift guide: give Burt's Bees

I asked a good friend what she wanted for Chanukah and she said, "A Burt’s Bees Holiday Gift set." I didn't even know they made them. But a quick click on the company's website proved her right. Being a big Burt's Bees lip fan, I was excited about the Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Purse Packs ($9.99), adorable cloth purses with four lip favorites. Choose from the Classic Purse Pack – featuring four Burt’s Bees® Beeswax Lip Balms – or the Mixed Purse Pack – a grab bag of favorite flavors. Then there's Burt’s Bees Mini Lip Gloss Collection ($14.99), featuring four shades of the Super Shiny Lip Gloss in mini forms, perfect for travel. Burt’s Bees Bee Keeper ($9.99), offers the signature lip balms in a festive reusable tin. Burt’s Bees A Few Favorite Things ($19.99), combines the Beeswax Lip Balm, Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, Milk & Honey Body Lotion and Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. Burt’s Bees Tingling Treats ($19.99) lavishes you in invigorating peppermint oil in the form of lip balms, foot lotion and more. Burt’s Bees Polka-Dot Perfect Mani-Pedi kit ($19.99) contains Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Crème and Coconut Foot Crème, plus a Pomegranate Lip Balm all in one tidy bag. With so much to choose from, I'm not sure which one my friend had in mind so I'll let her choose--but it can't hurt to keep a few on hand for last-minute gift giving. Go to to order.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

holiday gift guide: give Ouidad

The perfect gift for the stylista in your life: Ouidad's Classic Curls Kit. For friends who spend hours and hours trying to create hairstyles for their curly hair but don't have time or cash to get to a professional hair salon, the Classic Curls Kit lets them create brand new hairstyles every time they use it. And since it was developed by Ouidad, the queen of curly hair, herself, it has everything you'll need to do your curls justice this holiday season. What's inside: Ouidad's best sellers at a remarkably discounted price. The Celebrate Classic Curls Kit ($35; a $46 value) includes: Clear & Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo (2.5oz), Balancing Rinse Essential Daily Conditioner (2.5oz), Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (2.5oz), Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing & Refreshing Spray (2.5oz), 12 Minute Deep Treatment Intensive Repair (2.5oz), a wide-tooth detangling comb and Ouidad’s How-to Guide to Effortless Curls. Visit for a complete list of all 2009 holiday kits.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

holiday gift guide: give remington

No one welcomes the inevitable task of blow-drying or straightening their hair. And holiday parties call for lots of both.

Remington adds a little bit of fun to the process with its new Limited Edition holiday hair tools. The company's Cool Style line of straightening irons and blow-dryers are cute, compact and come in festive holiday prints, so they make great stocking stuffers or gifts for yourself.

The blow-dryers boast three heat settings and a cool shot button, are very lightweight and have great air flow. They're an excellent way to blow-dry and straighten thick, wavy hair.

Use the hair straightening iron, a great hair straightening tool, for the ultimate sleek, straight style. It really straightens hair and keeps it looking chic even the next day.

For both hair straightening tools, choose from Remington's four adorable prints: light blue and brown leopard print, pink and white polka dots, brown, mustard and turquoise plaid, or pink, blue, brown and white floral print ($19.99 each).

By-pass your local beauty supply store and head directly to Target or shop

Monday, December 7, 2009

holiday gift guide: give paul mitchell

The holidays are all about lifting people's spirits and giving back to people who need it most. Add meaning to your gift giving traditions with these Paul Mitchell Holiday gift sets--a portion of the proceeds go to Amnesty International and American Forests. I love the clean, salon-like scent of the Extra-Body Daily Shampoo, the lightweight feel of the Thicken Up Styling Liquid and the powerful hold of the Extra Body Finishing Spray. Choose from these hair-perfecting options...

Paul Mitchell Holiday Gift Set Trios ($19.95 each)

Smoothing Gift Set: Super Skinny Daily Shampoo, Super Skinny Daily Treatment, and Super Skinny Serum

Extra-Body Gift Set: Extra-Body Daily Shampoo, Extra-Body Finishing Spray, and Thicken Up

Flexible Style Gift Set: Shampoo One, Super Sculpt, and Fast Drying Sculpting Spray

Firm Style Gift Set: Awapuhi Shampoo, Sculpting Foam, and Freeze and Shine Super Spray

Paul Mitchell Holiday Gift Set Duos ($14.95 each)

Color Care Duo

Moisture Duo

Strength Duo

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Gift Sets

Love in the Present ($21.95)

  • Tea Tree Special Shampoo, Tea Tree Special Conditioner, and Tea Tree Body Bar

Joy in the Present ($21.95)

  • Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo, Lemon Sage Thickening Conditioner, and Lemon Sage Energizing Body Wash

Peace in the Present ($21.95)

  • Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo, Lavender Mint Moisturizing Conditioner, and Lavender Mint Moisturizing Body Wash

Joy for Every Body ($24.95)

  • Tea Tree Lemon Sage Energizing Body Lotion, Lemon Sage Energizing Body Wash, and Lemon Sage Energizing Sugar Scrub

Peace for Every Body ($24.95)

  • Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Body Butter, Lavender Mint Moisturizing Body Wash, and Lavender Mint Moisturizing Sugar Scrub

Call 1.800.321.JPMS or visit to find a salon near you where you can start shopping.