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, December 26, 2009

holiday looks: the bold and the beautiful

Going to a New Year's party? Be fashionably late and make a bold entrance. Marie Gaglioti, Expert Makeup artist and creator of Dieci Colori cosmetic line, says the hottest looks this year will be bold and defined. Think red lips, smoky eyes and shimmery skin. Here's how to get them...

“Red lips are hot for the holiday season along with dark eye liner,” says Gaglioti. “Line your lips with a deep red liner and then smear the pencil color across your lips. Next apply a smooth red lipstick over your lips and pat a drop of clear gloss in the center to add volume and shine.” Try Dieci Colori Lip Shaper Pencil in Red ($14), Dieci Colori Lip Satin VII ($20) and Lip Polisher VIII ($18).

“Create luminous skin first by starting with a vitamin enriched moisturizer," says Gaglioti, "then apply a creamy shimmer stick to highlight your bone structure. Apply across your cheek bones and above your brows and a touch on your nose and chin. Add shimmering mineral eye shadow in silver, gold or bronze and polish your lips with the glossiest lip gloss in metallic shades or nudes and tans.” Try Dieci Colori Cheek Polish I ($25).

To create an alluring smoky eye, Gaglioti explains, “Apply a dark shadow to your lids and soften the edges with a neutral shade, then fade to a hint of ivory as a highlighter under the brow. Use a dark cake-eyeliner or gel liner to enhance the eye shape, add a lot of black mascara, then line under and in the eyes with black pencil.” Try Dieci Colori Eye Smudge III ($16) and Dieci Colori Eye Definer in Black ($18).

Go to to see the complete color collection.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

holiday gift guide: give soap & paper factory

If you're staying with friends or relatives for the holiday and need to bring holiday gifts and a hostess gift as well, you're in luck. The Soap & Paper Factory comes to the rescue with three new fragrant collections for your family and their homes. Choose sensual jasmine, calming geranium and exotic gardenia as the base scent for any of these great gifts: Solid Perfume ($18)--conveniently packaged in these travel-size containers; Luxurious Body Scrub ($36)--leave skin soft and glistening; Shea Butter Soap ($9)--nourishing and natural; Aromatic Room Diffuser ($32)--beautiful scents in beautiful diffusers; Pure Soy Candle ($28)--a clean burning candle warms up any room. All available at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

holiday gift guide: give goldfaden

This time of the year can take its toll. One morning I woke up at the crack of dawn (thanks to my two-year-old daughter) and was out late for a holiday party that night. By the time I got home, my skin felt the effects. I broke open my Goldfaden Red Tea Anti-Aging Starter Kit in search of healthier, younger looking skin. First, I exfoliated with a dab of the daily scrub. The pure ruby crystals felt a bit rough on my skin, but they were working to get rid of dead cells and renew my outer layer so the rest of the products could work more effectively. The daily cleanser, designed to clean skin thoroughly, felt a little soapy and I didn't love the scent. My favorite part of the routine was the Pure Power antioxidant complex, a gentle serum that creates a protective antioxidant barrier on the skin. It made my skin feel super soft. Ideal for layering under moisturizer, I followed up with the 3-in-1 Daily Moisturizer designed to hydrate, prevent and repair skin. The perfect finale as it left my skin feeling smooth and refreshed. I definitely recommend these products (if you have sensitive skin, you may want to use the scrub every few days to be safe). It's not too late to buy some last-minute holiday gifts so pick up a couple of kits at

Monday, December 21, 2009

holiday gift guide: give girlie

I love getting fragrance as a gift. I always remember the person who gifted it, the circumstances and the way I felt when I first worw it. New to market--and just in time for the 2009 holiday season--is girlie by Debra Rodman. The fashion designer and founder of the yoga-inspired label Yogini, created this tough and tender, sweet and sexy, carefree and coquettish scent to celebrate the eternal feminine state of being girlie. The details... Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Clove Buds. Heart Notes: Turkish Rose, Egyptian Jasmine and Chinese Magnolia. Base Notes: Oud, Benjoin, Labdanum, Myrrh, Amber Musk, Vanilla. Blended together, they make up a zesty blend of rare floral and woody tones. The best part: Half of all sales from this perfume will be donated to benefit the children who are atetnding the Man-Rod Academy in Lamu, Kenya which Debra founded. girlie is available exclusively at