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, December 9, 2010

expert advice: interview with Steve Anderson, pro makeup artist

Ever wonder what it's like to be a professional makeup artist? Makeup guru Steve Anderson shares his insider view, courtesy of

Q: Is working on a film set how you imagined it would be?
A: I have spent 25 years on Film and Television sets, and yes it has been what I imagined it would be, but every now and then I will be surprised with a new twist or event. All sets are NOT created equal.

Q: Any activities or special projects you partook in while in school that helped you get ahead?
A: That was a long time ago, but what helped me was to treat each project as equally important and give it my best efforts.

Q: Are they any other exciting projects on tap for the near future?
A: There are several films coming out in the near future that I had the pleasure to work on. “Conviction” with Hillary Swank, Sam Rockwell, and Mini Driver, brilliantly directed by Tony Goldwyn, where Makeup Artist Vivian Baker and I helped to create a very character driven true story that takes place over a forty-year period. “Stone” with Robert De Niro, and Edward Norton (I was his Mr. Norton's Personal Makeup Artist on this film). ‘Here After” Directed by Clint Eastwood, and I completed the film “One for the Money” starring Katherine Heigl and Jason O’Mara. This is a film based on the popular “Stephanie Plums” novels.

Q: What advice can you give to makeup artists aspiring to be in your shoes?
A: It is a very hard, competitive and fickle business... you really want to take this profession seriously. There are a huge amount of makeup artists out there now, and those ranks are swelling every day as new "Makeup Artists" are graduating from so many makeup artist schools. To rise above the throng, first know your craft as completely as possible, updating your skills as often as you can. Keep a professional attitude and a sense of integrity. In that I mean, act ethically with your dealings with producers, actors and other makeup artists. And mostly, love what you do. Have a passion for the craft and the work itself.

Q: What's the most useful beauty advice you were ever told?
A: Stay current, but use what works well, both with materials, and techniques... And never approach an actor without a box of tissues on you.

Steven Anderson has spent 25 years as a Journeyman Makeup Artist working on many well-known film and television sets.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Get Set to Smooch: Enter Nivea's Kiss the One You Love Contest

Whether you're planning on giving your Aunt Esther a kiss as you walk in the door of her holiday celebration or snooching under the mistletoe with that special someone, Nivea's got you covered. The brand's A Kiss of Moisture Hydrating Lip Care SPF 4 promises uber-smooth lips with every application. But now there's another reason to keep your lips feeling soft and smooth.

Nivea introduces its Kiss the One You Love Contest on Facebook, a viral campaign that aims to bring together couples that may otherwise be kept apart this holiday season, to share their love stories for a chance to win the opportunity to spend New Year’s Eve together in Times Square. Facebook users can vote for their favorite couple and ultimately decide which two winning couples will be flown to New York City and prepare to be kissed when the clock strikes midnight. Two winning couples will experience one of the most important kisses of the year in Times Square during the world’s most exciting New Year’s Eve celebration.

Now through December 23rd, couples can log onto and share their stories of love and how they have been kept apart this holiday season on a personal profile page, complete with a (optional) photo and personal URL. The couple’s entry will also be viewable on the main contest page where consumers can view and vote on their favorite love stories.

Added features of NIVEA’s Kiss the One You Love Contest application include easy sharing capabilities featuring visuals of the couple so they can rally their friends and family to vote by forwarding their profile as well as posting contest details on personal walls and link to Twitter to capture votes. Voting will come to a close on December 23, 2010 at 11:59 PM and the winning couples will be announced on December 28th via Facebook. To upload your story and vote for your favorite couple, visit

As the official sponsor of the Times Square Alliance New Year’s Eve Celebration for the third consecutive year, NIVEA will unite thousands of people in Times Square for one of the most memorable kisses as the clock strikes midnight. Throughout the evening, the NIVEA Kiss Platform will feature memorable moments to entertain the crowd. NIVEA will paint Times Square blue and white creating the signature “sea of blue” featuring New Year’s Eve accessories and NIVEA Lip Care products to protect the lips of revelers in Times Square as they prepare to be kissed on New Year’s Eve.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for this exciting event on Facebook today at and beat the long distance relationship blues.