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, November 5, 2010

throw in the towel

It's November so, chances are, your golden glow has long faded. Yet it's at this time of the year--with the holiday season just around the corner--that you need to look your best. (The last thing you want is Aunt Sadie saying "If you look like that, you'll be single forever!" and Cousin Arthur thinking you're still wearing your ghost costume from Halloween!) The solution: If you can't afford a vacation in the tropics, try self-tanning. Stop grumbling--not all self-tanners involve orange-stained hands, a chemical scent and an artificial-looking end result. TanTowel takes self-tanning to a whole new level. It looks like a hand-wipe packet but it's actually self-tanner in a towelette. Just tear open the packet, remove the towelette and swipe all over your face and body (available in half body or full body size--box of TanTowel Classics, $21 each; box of TanTowel Plus, $25.25 each). My favorite part: There's an X-foliator towelette too ($21 per box) that you can use before you self-tan to keep your skin buffed and smooth. This is the easiest exfoliator I've ever used! One side of the towelette exfoliates while the other side buffs and smooths your skin--use it in or out of the shower and you don't even have to rinse it off! But getting back to the self-tanner. It's easy to use, dries quickly and doesn't leave streaks or spots. I used the Classic version for a subtle dose of color but you can try the Plus towelette for a deeper, darker tan. My friends commented on the fact that I look rested and refreshed but couldn't exactly pinpoint why! TanTowel also has an Express Self-Tan Kit ($30), On the Glow Body daily moisturizer ($17), On the Glow Face Moisturizer ($8.50), On the Glow Face Tinted Moisturizer ($19), Moisture Mist ($21), Tanning Mist ($21), SPF Mist 30+ ($21), Bronzer ($26) and Lip Gloss ($15). For more info, go to

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

time to detox

Just as the weather starts to change (finally!) and we enter the frenzied schedule of pre-holiday planning, I usually feel the need to refresh, recharge and, well, detox. EmerginC's Scientific Organics line is the perfect antidote. Thanks to an ingredient called Kombucha, a fermented tea known for its medicinal uses, the products are designed to hydrate, balance, minimize fine lines, protect from the sun, balance irregular skin tones, soothe skin ailments and provide antioxidants. The Kombucha Cleanser ($34) feels clean and moisturizing on my skin. The Phytocell Cream ($85) is super-hydrating and leaves my skin with a subtle glow. But the Phytocell Detox Mask ($50) is my favorite. The clay-based formula removes impurities, nourishes, tones and improves the texture of the skin. And it feels great. Lightweight and quick-drying, the mask is easy to apply (just smooth on with fingertips) and simple to remove (let dry for 10-15 minutes and rinse). My face felt smooth and radiant after two uses (one to three times a week is recommended). Learn more about Scientific Organics products at