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, January 28, 2011

the new age

To Botox or not to Botox...that is the question. Everyone wants to look younger. But you don't have to invest in plastic surgery or Botox injections to get a youthful look. Gerald Imber, M.D. (, a renowned plastic surgeon, offers some basic tips that will help you begin to slow and reverse the effects of aging.


Don’t Smoke. The result is loss of elasticity, sagging and wrinkles.

Don’t gain or lose weight repeatedly. Skin that does not respond to weight loss by shrinking looks loose, empty and haggard. The older you are or the more weight you need to lose, the more likely this problem will arise. Avoid significant weight gain, lose slowly and, above all, find your optimal weight and maintain it..

Don’t get too thin. Hollow cheeks and thin skin makes an adult look frail, weak and old.

Don’t Run. At least don’t be a long-term, long-distance jogger. The loss of fat padding in the cheeks as well as the constant rising and pounding down which lifts and pulls the facial skin away from the underlying muscles and bones causes the skin to sag. These things have a negative effect on one’s appearance.

Don’t do Facial exercises. They cause wrinkles.

Avoid the Sun. It’s the primary accelerator of loosening and wrinkling of the skin. It causes pigment changes, sunspots and other unsightly eruptions.

Don’t Passively Stretch Skin. When you prop your hand on your cheek or wash and apply products in a downward motion, you are passively stretching your skin.


Cleanse, use anti-oxidants and moisturizers.

Towel off briskly for exfoliation. It helps remove heaped-up dead skin cells and allows healthy young cells to reach the surface. Always go from the down to up direction to avoid stretching the skin downward to help gravity. Be gentle and do not apply much pressure.

Apply skin treatments and serums to clean, dry skin.

Make sure anti-oxidants penetrate the skin.Vitamin C and vitamin E are among the most potent antioxidants for treating the skin, but if they can’t get into the skin, they can’t work their magic. Dr. Imber created Youth Corridor ( Antioxidant Boost Skin Serum with 10% Vitamin C, E and Melatonin to allow a larger dose of antioxidants to penetrate through the keratinized layer of the skin due to melatonin’s lipophillic nature.

Moisturizers with a sun screen are a must to protect from the sun. If a sunscreen is used separately it should be applied before the moisturizer so it can penetrate.

Feel like you can't follow all of these commandments? Don't fret. You might get frown lines. Just do what you can and you'll be looking younger in no time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

get brows that wow

So you're not exactly the artistic type...don't trust yourself with a sharp pair of tweezers... wince at the slightest bit of pain... It's a challenge getting great brows if you suffer any of the above. But brow grooming has just become easier than ever--and the perfect way to get a polished overall look.

I tried Brow Diva's amazing brow products and am totally impressed. The Brow Base ($25) glides smoothly over brows to provide the perfect canvas. Apply with the Duo Brow Brush ($23) in short light strokes to fill in sparse areas where new growth is desired. Use the angled end of the Duo Brow Brush to apply Brow Powder ($25). it enhances your brow shape and gives brows a beautiful, even look. The Ultimate Highlighter ($18) smooths evenly into your brow bone to compliment your overall makeup look. Just dab on with a finger and blend outward. Also, Brow Diva's Brow Mascara ($22) to create the illusion of thicker brows, and Brow Control ($20) to keep unruly hairs in place.

The Deanna Netti-Cahill, “The Brow Diva” and owner of the Brow Diva product line shares some of her best brow secrets so you can get the perfect brows at home without breaking the bank.

Let them Grow! The trick to getting the perfect shape is to start out with a full set of brows. Growing out your brows is almost as hard as growing out your bangs- the urge to prematurely tweeze can be overwhelming. But there is also no need to look like Oscar the Grouch during this awkward phase. Use Brow Diva’s Brow Control, a clear brow gel to keep strays in place and looking tame – and to keep YOU away from the tweezers.

Know your Shape Once you have achieved a full set of brows, you’re ready to tweeze… Carefully! After all, you’ve put a lot of work into growing out your brows. The trick to tweezing like a pro is knowing what shape works best for your face type. Not to thin, not to thick with a clear beginning and an end. Draw an imaginary line from where your nostril meets the bridge of your nose and go straight up. This is where your brow should begin (so many people over wax and over tweeze giving you that deer in headlights look.) End the brow by drawing an imaginary line from your nostril to the outside corner of your eye (even a tad longer). Tweeze the stray hairs in the middle. Start at the beginning, go up to the arch (at a slight incline) and then tweeze your way back down to the end (at a slight decline). Only tweeze the obvious hairs and what you’re left with is the perfect shape for your face!

Learn to Trim Trimming your brows sounds super scary and at some point you were probably told never ever to put scissors to your brows. But it isn’t as hard as you may think and when done correctly makes a world of difference. To start, purchase a pair of high quality scissors. I find mustache scissors are the way to go. Step 1: Using the spooley end of the Brow Diva Duo Brow brush, starting with the inner most part (closest to the nose), brush the hair straight up, hold the hair in place with one hand and with the other hand carefully trim the long hairs with the point of the scissors at a slight angle down. Step 2: For the arched area, brush the hair in the direction of growth, hold the hair in place with one hand and with the other hand trim the longest hairs, always at a slight angle. Think of an inverted "V" and carefully trim out the arch. Step 3: For the outer 1/3 of the brow, brush the hair towards the temple, hold the hair in place with one hand and trim from the end up at a slight angle on the outside of the brow.

Choose the Correct Color I have had clients come to me with the most amazing brows that are not being highlighted to their advantage because they are either not using any brow products at all or they are picking the wrong shade. Repeat after me: Every set of brows will benefit from brow products. I strongly encourage my customers to stay away from pencils and stick with using a brow base and a brow powder. When choosing the hue for you, simply choose a color that is an exact match to your eyebrow hair or a shade lighter, never go darker unless you're going for a Groucho look. Brow Diva offers six different brow bases and brow powders and I have yet to meet a customer whose hair I couldn’t match!