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.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

feeling blu?

Blu Mediterraneo's BERGAMOTTO DI CALABRIA from Aqua di Parma will cure your winter blues with a dose of the dazzling, sun-filled, tranquil Mediterranean. Its uplifting fragrance is designed to stimulate sensations of intense, sparkling vitality.
My first spritz brought me back to more carefree days of travel, lounging on beaches and unwinding before endless ocean views.

Named after Bergamotto di Calabria, a small juicy fragrant gift of nature enclosed in a bright shiny rind which, as it ripens, changes from deep green to golden yellow, the fragrance's fresh, tangy-green sparkling notes blend with sweet, floral nuances. The green, sparkling top notes of bergamot are highlighted by fresh citron, also from Calabria. Bergamot, cedar wood and red ginger make up its heart notes. Warm base notes include the unusual combination of vetiver, Benzoin and musk. The result: An uplifting, luxurious scent.

Try the refreshing Eau de Toilette spray ($70/60 ml and $106/120 ml) or the exhilarating. luminous Body Cream ($67/200 ml) that offers the same crisp scent. The entire Blu Mediterraneo collection is available at fine speciality stores including Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, select Nordstrom stores and Saks Fifth Avenue. Online, Acqua di Parma is sold on, and

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

scrub, slough, smooth

A good body scrub is the key to maintaining soft, smooth skin during the winter. Thankfully, LA-based Stark Waxing Studio delivers--with its Stark Body Scrub ($24). Finely ground walnut shells slough off dead skin cells and the gentle lather releases the invigorating scent of fresh chamomile, lemon verbena and peppermint. For extra smoothing, use the Stark Exfoliation Mitt ($9) daily to promote smoother, healthier skin and prevent and release ingrown hairs. Tip: Exfoliate skin dry then repeat once in the shower. The net-like surface is gentle on skin but rough enough to make a difference in your skin's texture. Finish with Stark Soothing Oil ($23) made from apricot seed oil which nourishes and softens skin, organic lavender oil, an anti-inflammatory, and organic peppermint oil which relieves irritation. Massage into dry elbows, knees, heels and anywhere your skin needs a little smoothing. It really heals and it smells great too. This three-step routine is easy to follow and can really save your skin this season. Check out these products and others at