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.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

lash bash

Just because summer's over, doesn't mean you can ditch your waterproof mascara. There are still plenty of things to shed a tear over (a breakup!), sentimental movies to sniffle at and a rain storm here or there. So if you don't want to go for eyelash extensions, you need to find the best mascara for you. Sexy Curves Waterproof Mascara ($7.49) from Rimmel. The 100% waterproof formula stays in place until you want to take it off and features the Aquatrap System, a wash-off resistant emulsion with Linseed Oil to promote lash health. The best thing about this lash mascara: The Triple Plump Brush boasts an hourglass shape that reminds me of a caterpillar--thick portions interspersed with thinner portions to evenly distribute the formula and curl and declump lashes. Plus, the case is really lightweight so you can throw it in your purse without feeling a weight on your shoulder. After just one application, your eyelashes will look revitalized, making it a decent volume mascara as well as a waterproof option. Great for everyday or special occasions, it will make your lashes come alive. For more info, go to

expert advice: get lush lashes, from CA dermatologist Lorrie Klein

We apply eyebrow pencil to make our brows look fuller but what can we do for sparse lashes? You know, the kind you can barely see in the mirror? Sure, there are different types of mascara designed to lengthen and volumize. But if you want a more permanent solution, check out the Latisse procedure from Dr. Lorrie Klein, Laguna Niguel, CA dermatologist and contributor. It scored 90% on Real Self's Worth It Index.

Here, Dr. Klein shares her experiences with the treatment. Read on, then bat away!

Prettyisprettydoes: What is the Latisse procedure? How is it done?
Lorrie Klein: "
Latisse is a prescription product that's applied topically to the eyelid, along the eyelashes, to enhance eyelash growth. It is used once daily for three to four months until the desired length or fullness is achieved, and can then be used every other day for maintenance."

PIPD: Who are the best candidates? Is there anyone who shouldn't try it?
LK: "
The best candidates are people with thin, short and/or sparse eyelashes who desire longer, thicker, fuller lashes. People with a known sensitivity to bimatoprost should not use it."

PIPD: What are the pros and cons of the treatment?
LK: "The pros: You can easily use it at home in about 30 seconds a day. In my experience, it works on everyone. It gives women longer, thicker lashes. The cons: It must be applied daily and then at least three times a week during maintenance or lashes eventually will go back to their original state. It can be costly for some, although if used with a different, finer, reusable brush, one vial can last up to six months once on maintenance.

PIPD: What are the side effects of the drug?
"Some have skin irritation. The eyes can also get irritated, but if used carefully it should only be getting into the eye minimally. Other side effects have never been proven to occur from Latisse, to my knowledge."

PIPD: How long do the results last?
"Indefinitely, as long as it is used at least three times per week. If use is discontinued, lashes return to their pre-treated state in several weeks."

PIPD: Does this mean you don't have to use mascara ever again?
"If you are using mascara to lengthen, darken or thicken your lashes and you can achieve that with Latisse, then you won’t need mascara. But while everyone has lash lengthening, and many have thickening, not everyone has darkening. Mine, for example, are light brown and don’t show unless I wear mascara, even though they are very long now."

PIPD: Is there a memorable patient's reaction or story about someone who underwent the procedure that you could share?
"I have had several patients whose lashes got so long, the goggles we put over their eyes to protect them during laser treatments wouldn’t stay on. The lashes were literally pushing the goggles off their eyes!"

For more info on Latisse or Dr. Lorrie Klein, go to

Sunday, September 19, 2010

fashion week: behind the scenes with fashion photog Dimitrios Kambouris

New York City native Dimitrios Kambouris is a self-taught photographer and has been repeatedly commissioned by publications and PR agencies to cover movie premieres, store openings, film festivals, concerts, runway and fashion events, among others. His photo of Madonna graced one of New York Magazine’s most notable covers of the 2009. This past week, he spent hours photographing celebs, models, designers and other notables--as well as some incredible clothes--at NY Fashion Week. Here, he shares his experiences with prettyisprettydoes...

PIPD: How did you get into the biz?

DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS: "I worked in a camera store/one-hour photo lab while a student at Bryant High School in Astoria, Queens. I got hands advice from professional photographers, such as Dan Lecca, when they dropped off film."

PIPD: What do you love most about being a fashion photog?

DK: "I like going to events and parties. I go to document people having fun, wearing dresses, and that moment in their lives."

PIPD: What do you like least?

DK: "Long days."

PIPD: Name some of the people you photographed who were the most meaningful?

DK: Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta

PIPD: What should the average person do to take a red carpet worthy photo?

DK: "Look great with a beautiful dress. Don’t wear black. Magazines love color."

PIPD: What are the biggest mistakes the average person makes when they are photographed?

DK: "Holding water bottles and invitations. And chewing gum."

Learn more about Dimitrios and see his amazing fashion week pics at