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, February 12, 2010

vday gift guide: chocolate queen

In honor of Valentine's Day, Sweet Jewels Bakery in NYC joins forces with Lipstick Queen's Poppy King to create a limited edition fiery cake ball made of red velvet cake blended with spiced cinnamon frosting, dipped in chocolate, & rolled in coconut flakes with a red hot candy in the center. Inspired by the sheer red FIRED UP LIP GLOSS from Lipstick Queen, this red velvet cupcake is the perfect bite-size sweet and spicy treat. You get a box of five individually foil-wrapped balls in a black box with a beautiful hang tag which can include a handwritten note at your request. Available for a limited time only - from Valentine's Day throughout next week. Go to or to purchase. You can also check out LIPSTICK QUEEN's Fired Up Power Gloss at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

vday beauty: get a sweet makeup look with Josie Maran makeup

Ready for date night? Not so fast. Refresh your makeup regimen with these pretty products from beauty expert Josie Maran. They're perfect for Valentine's Day and beyond...

On eyes: Sweep easy-to-blend, long wearing velvety eye shadow ($20) in Valentine (light pink shimmer) over lids and Chianti (muted red plum shimmer) in the crease for a romantic approach to smoky eyes. Other pretty shades include Sweetheart (cream shimmer), Sweet-Talk (cream nude shimmer) and Beach (ivory beige shimmer). For an edgier effect, try Pewter (silver shimmer) or Embrace (soft copper shimmer) all over the lid. They're all available in a beautiful biodegradable case (made of corn plastic!).

On cheeks: Add a touch of Cream Blush ($22) in Sunset (coral) to give cheeks a pretty flush. It's a lightweight, natural shade that blends flawlessly into your skin and gives you just the right amount of color you need.

On lips: Try Lip Gloss (now $10!) in Authentic (a coral pink shimmer). The non-sticky formula with organic Argan oil gives you natural-looking color with sophisticated shine (no glossy goop to deal with). The brush applicator makes it easy to apply and smooths the product evenly across your lips.

After the party: Come clean with Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes ($6-$12). These natural cleansing cloths are biodegradable (meaning they won’t clog landfills after you throw them away) and they’re made with natural ingredients that will soothe, comfort, and gently cleanse your skin without harsh chemicals or toxins. (Note: They work well with Josie Maran makeup but not as well on my hard core eyeliner from another brand).

Get this look and others at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

vday gift guide: light my fire

My husband knew something was up when I emerged from the bathroom with wafts of raspberry, currant, white peach, fresh greens, and organic vanilla extract trailing behind me. I had decided to take a long, luxurious shower via relaxing candlelight (one of my most favorite things!) and I chose Infusion Organique's new Acai Rain Soy Blend Candle ($42) to transport me to an exotic location, like the Brazilian Rainforest, and it really delivered. It smelled sweet and luxurious at the same time. And if you're thinking of gifting it, the package is a winner. The candle is housed in a thick, square, glass case printed with a beautiful flower so it looks as great as it smells. The candle, along with the complementary Acai Rain Eau de Parfum, are both offered at and

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

expert advice: get this sexy Vday look, from makeup artist Angela Civale for Tarte

This Valentine's Day, it's OK--be a Tarte! Just don't look like one. Makeup Artist Angela Civale makes it easy with these great products from Tarte Cosmetics. On eyes: Go for the sexy, smoky look: Try Eye Couture Day-to-Night Palette ($44). On lashes: Try multiplEYE™ Natural Lash Enhancing Primer ($22) and Mascara ($24). On cheeks: Don't bother with blush. Get a natural flush with Natural Cheek Stain in True Love ($30). On lips: For a romantic pout, Apply Double-Ended Lipgloss, in shades that honor the most famous couples in history: Fred & Ginger, Tarzan & Jane, Odysseus & Penelope ($10 now until Valentine's Day; regular retail price $19). On lips: Get a pout that stays put with new Natural Gel Lip Stains ($24). The mint-infused formula is available in Lust, Enchanted, Amused & Charmed. All products are available at, except for the Lip Stains which are available at Sephora and

Monday, February 8, 2010

expert advice: get this romantic Vday look, from makeup artist Melanie Inglessis

Every girl wants to look her best on the most romantic night of the year--whether she's single or taken. Makeup artist Melanie Inglessis makes it easy with this romantic look using Chantecaille makeup. So simple, you can do it yourself in no time.

“The key to creating a simple and romantic Valentine’s Day look is to keep skin very fresh and natural," says Inglessis. "For oily skin, I suggest Compact Makeup that can be applied over the t-zone and forehead. For skin on the dryer side, a tinted moisturizer like Just Skin would be ideal. Showing your freckles is very cute and beautiful, so if you have them, don't hide them! If you need a little extra coverage, feel free to apply Total Concealer where necessary.

For kissable lips, I highly recommend a lip stain such as Lip Chic in Dahlia, Amaryllis or Zinnia. Choose a raspberry or cherry toned lip stain and apply sparingly in the middle of the lips. This is just enough color and, as it is a stain, there will be no intimidating gloss for your date to encounter!

Along with pretty, clean skin, I like to enhance eyes with some fluttery lashes and a subtle smudge of smoldering liner on the top lash line. Using Kohl Pencil IL in Black, create a rough line as close to the top lash line as possible and smudge it with your index finger. Choose a dark eye shadow color to compliment eye color like Lasting Eyeshadow in Zinc, Smokey Topaz or Obsedian. Apply the shadow over the lash line and feather it upward with a brush, keeping the color below the crease. If your Valentine’s Day date is in the evening, try creating a smokier look and use Faux Cils mascara on top of freshly curled lashes! It is the perfect mascara for a lengthening and separating effect! Now you're for Valentine’s Day!”
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