Beauty On A Dime

Beauty On A Dime

by Megan McIntire

Hello Kitty’s (Cheap!) Beauty Invasion

Hello Kitty Oil Absorbing Sheets.jpg

Why do we bother with beauty? We want to feel pretty, sometimes cute. Maybe we want to feel exotic, even international. And if you’re anything like me, you imagine inspiring a legion of followers into mass hysteria while applying your morning lip gloss. So it’s no wonder that Hello Kitty is invading the beauty market, because she’s had all of that going for her since 1976.

The adorable Japanese cartoon now has her own limited edition package of Clean and Clear’s best selling oil-absorbing sheets. I managed to swipe a sample at a recent press event, and it’s quickly become my new handbag must-have. The sheets still grab excess oil without smudging any makeup, and are now covered in pink polka dots and a Hello Kitty animation. There’s never been a cute way to wipe gunk off your face until now. The limited edition product won’t hit shelves until February, but are definitely worth the wait.


An edgier, but equally fabulous, Hello Kitty is available now at Sephora. The line of makeup and accessories designed for the glam anime lover includes brush sets, holiday palettes, and perfumes. My personal favorite: a 5-piece brush set that comes inside of a graffiti Hello Kitty brush holder. It’s street art meets Russian Matryoshka dolls, and it’s only $25.

The line also includes cheapies like $8 nail art stickers and $10 shimmer polish for this season’s eccentric manicure trend.

Fix Your Skin Care Sins


Sin-Care’s Smoker’s Secret, Party Girl and Sugar Hit Serums

It’s day two of Cosmoprof and I’ve been roaming the floor, talking to brands to find out what’s new and hot for 2012.

Yesterday I was all about nails, but today the big news was in skin. I found tons of interesting lines, all promising to make skin look radiant, young and refreshed.

Amidst all the doctor brands and organic offerings, I found a cool indie brand from Australia that I’m in love with. It’s called Sin-Care, and it takes a very unique approach to skin care.

Instead of formulating products based on your age or your skin type, Sin-Care wants to know what your sin type is, i.e. what is your biggest beauty sin? The brand is based around lifestyle aging–the things you do to your skin that cause it to age prematurely.

Each of the nine serums addresses a specific sin: Smoking, sun damage, excess sugar, stress, lack of sleep, excessive exercise, neglect, partying and pollution. They are meant to be used before your moisturizer, and can be layered if you have more than one sin you want to treat.

I think this is an interesting approach to skin care. Most products on the market will tell you what they address (fine lines, age spots, dullness, etc.), but oftentimes most of us have multiple issues we need to fix. For instance, someone who smokes has issues with dullness, free radical damage and wrinkles causes be the repetitive motions associated with smoking. One product might not take care of all of those concerns.

So what’s your skin care sin?

A Cool Way To Moisturize This Summer


We all have beauty sins we’re guilty of: Going to sleep with makeup on, popping pimples, tanning, over-plucking brows, etc. My biggest beauty sin is that I don’t use body lotion. I know, pretty tame comparatively right?

In the long run though, this beauty bad habit is going to cause me some serious grief; skin that’s not properly hydrated tends to look older quicker because your skin needs lots of moisture in order to keep up healthy cell function. This translates to dullness, wrinkles, flakes and an overall blah appearance.

My major issue with lotions is that not only are they one more step to add to my already extensive skin care regimen, but that they also feel greasy and slick on my skin, a problem that is exacerbated during the sweaty months of summer.

I’ve tried my share of body lotions over the years, all with different, amazing claims, so I was skeptical when Nivea’s Express Hydration Freshening Gel lotion landed on my desk. It claims to provide lightweight, cooling moisture that won’t feel oily or greasy on the skin. It has a quick-absorbing formula that’s infused with mint to instantly cool skin off.

“Yeah sure,” I thought to myself. I’ve been down this “quick-absorbing road before, and it usually leads to lotions that sit on my skin when applied, and only disappear because they instantly absorb into my clothes. But, being the intrepid beauty reporter I am, I decided to give this lotion a shot despite my skepticism.

Boy am I glad I did. The super-light formula is literally a gel consistency, and the minute I put it on my legs it disappeared, leaving behind silky, soft-to-the-touch skin. The added bonus of the mint means it feels so refreshing, especially right after a hot shower.

I’ve been using the lotion for the past few weeks and my skin not only looks and feels healthier, but I haven’t felt like I’m taking a ton of extra time to moisturize. Because I don’t have to rub it the lotion into my skin like a madwoman in order to get it to absorb, it’s literally a quick, two-minute process. Best of all, it’s only $6.99 a bottle, making it much more affordable and effective than half the unused lotions scattered all over my bathroom.

Smooth Skin For Robert Pattinson

Robert_Pattinson_Dove_skin_care_body_wash.jpg (Blog Post)

Photo: © Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Last night, I had the extreme honor of attending the world premiere of the new movie Water For Elephants. As a fan of the book, I was stoked to see if the film version lived up to my expectations. But, more importantly, I was determined to catch sight of stars Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in the flesh. Little did I know what was in store for me!

I was invited to the premiere as a guest of Dove, who was an official sponsor of the film. When I got the invite, I had a minor freakout–the dress I had picked out showed a lot of decolleté and my skin was in no shape to be bared.

Fortunately, the fine folks at Dove sent me their new VisibleCare Body Wash collection to help get my skin looking its absolute best for my date with R.Patz. The creamy washes feature the brand’s highest concentration of nourishing and moisturizing ingredients, which was great because I ended up running late and had no time to lotion up!

When I arrived at the theater, I hurried to my seat, waiting for the movie to begin. Just as the lights began to dim, I see a tall, lanky, embarassed-looking girl dash to a seat three rows ahead of me: Kristen Stewart! Sure enough, a few second later, who but Pattinson himself should amble to the seat next to her, with Reese just a few steps behind him.

The movie was spectacular, but I had a hard time concentrating on it with all that hotness mere rows away from me. Let me just say now that it’s very hard to pay attention to what’s going on in a movie when you can just look up and see the stars of the movie right there in the theater.

When the lights came up and people started to filter out, I stayed patiently in my seat waiting for my moment. As soon as Rob, Kristen and Reese started to file out, I was up in a flash and on their heels. I got one last glimpse of that gorgeous head of hair dashing down the stairs before R.Patz was gone from my life. Le sigh.

There’s a line in the movie where Rob, who plays a vet, comments to the elephant that her skin looks dry and they need to do something about it. “After all,” he says, “the first thing you notice about a lady is her skin.” Truer words were never spoken, and I can only hope my soft and silky skin sent the right message that night.

AXE Excite Body Wash And Deodorant

There’s been a boom in the male grooming industry as of late, and we have to say that men definitely get better commercials for their products. AXE’s “Clean your balls” commercials? We’ll take thinly veiled euphemisms over women looking like they’re experiencing the rapture from a shampoo any day! We took AXE’s new Excite collection straight to our resident Daily Dude to have him give the products a test drive. Here’s what he had to say:

AXE_Excite2 (Blog Post)

I’m definitely an AXE man. It’s safe to assume all guys by now have tried some sort of AXE product, or at the very least are familiar with the brand. They are one of the few brands that try to tackle the entire male hygiene department; one can make an entire male bathroom (Ed. note: Oh, boys! He means “toilette,” but we’re not sure he knows that word.) out of AXE products, which is what I did with the new Excite line.

Admittedly I was not always an AXE Man—I dabbled in many different companies but AXE sold me on a single product: the body detailer. This product solved the male loofah problem, and for that I have always kept a keen eye out for their products.

From the new Excite line I got the Body Wash, Body Spray, Gel and Solid Deodorant, and here is my review of each one:

Body Wash: 7/10
This stuff was pretty good, but lets be honest with each other guys: soap is soap. Every body wash no matter what the brand contains some type of Laurel Sulfate, which is the stuff that gets you clean. (Ed. note: Except sulfate-free lines, which do exist.) It all comes down to the proprietary scents offered by these companies now, and Excite has jumped onto my go-to list. It has a great scent characterized by what I can only describe as a light coconut. After using the product, it didn’t waft around me like taking a bath in cologne but if I were to put my arm close to my nose it was surprisingly still there—even hours later. Great stuff.

Deodorant: 9/10
I’m a gel deodorant wearer—always have been—and the biggest problem with gel deodorant is the ‘wet’ and ‘swishy’ feeling you get after applying it. AXE did a great job with the Excite deodorant, it smells just as good as the body wash but it does not leave you with that ‘wet’ feeling under your arms. On Day Two of my test, I had even forgot I had put it on a moment earlier and went to do it again, only to stop myself when I caught a whiff of that great coconut smell. The Excite gel deodorant has taken the place of my regular deodorant, which belongs to AXE’s biggest competitor.

Body Spray: 6/10
Guys, you killed body spray forever—it will never be what it could have been. Every time I smell body spray, I think back to high school gym and the terrible mixture of 10 different body sprays and profuse sweat that destroyed locker rooms everywhere. You cannot mask dirt and sweat with a spray; you need a shower. Having said that I was reluctant to try it out, but one morning instead of grabbing my go-to work scents, I lightly covered myself in the Excite body spray. It worked out pretty well; I constantly get compliments on my colognes and was worried this would ruin my reputation. It didn’t. In fact, as odd as it might sound, a girl I see pretty regularly asked if she could smell me. She even recognized that I was wearing an AXE branded scent, which I don’t like. Mystery is key to a good male scent. If you like wearing body sprays, give this one a go when you need to replace your current one.

Win It!
We’re offering three readers the chance to win products from AXE’s new Excite line! Simply leave a comment with your favorite scent for your guy, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win! Contest ends April 27, 2011 at 12 P.M. EST. Please read the full rules and regulations.

This post is sponsored by AXE and the product was supplied to Daily Makeover for review. The information included is the honest opinion of our editor. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

The Skin Care Scoop


This Dead Sea mud mask will make your skin
so soft and smooth!

Ciao everyone! Today was my last day here at Cosmoprof Bologna–can’t believe my time in Italy is almost over! I saw so many interesting new skin care launches today. I’m going to have the best complexion ever!

My first amazing skin care find was from an Israeli company called -417 Dead Sea Cosmetics. This anti-aging line features mud taken from -417 meters (or 1368 feet) below the Dead Sea. Two stand-out products for the line included the Recovery Mud Mask and the Instant Wrinkle Filler. The mask is made up completely of Dead Sea mud and is removed from the skin by an included magnet–no need to wash. It leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and soft. The Instant Wrinkle Filler is like spackle for your crow’s feet–smooth it over wrinkles and its collagen and natural silicone formula instantly hides wrinkles. It’s unfortunately not a long term effect–it only lasts until you wipe it off–but it truly does visibly erase those wrinkles.

Estelle & Thild is a beautiful Swedish skin care line that counts everyone’s favorite makeup artist, Carmindy, as a fan. The adorable line uses organic and natural ingredients and features three different formulas–sensitive skin, age prevent and normal skin. The creams feel so luxurious, absorbed quickly and made my skin feel so soft all day long.


The gorgeous fragrance layering set from The Lab Room.

My absolute favorite new brand of the day is a Spanish company called The Lab Room. Started in 2004 by Monica Ceño Elie-Joseph as an extension of her posh salon, the luxe line features candles, perfumes, hair care and skin care products that are very covetable. Superstar stylist Orlando Pito is a fan, so much so that he stocks the products in his New York salon Orlo. I fell in love with a Magnolia and Lime scented body cream that left my skin silky smooth, and with the seven-piece layerable fragrance collection. DIY chic! Currently Orlo is the only US retailer, but you can also buy products on The Lab Room website.

Have A Katy Perry Valentine

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Photo: © Charley Gallay/Getty Images for PCA

As anyone struggling to get “Firework” out of their head can attest to, Katy Perry is the It Girl of the moment. From racking up Grammy nominations and causing controversy on PBS to becoming a newlywed and guest-starring on sitcoms, girlfriend has had quite the year.

Somehow in that packed schedule of hers, she also found the time to pair up with Schick Quattro razors for a truly awesome Valentine’s Day promotion.

Visit the Dare To Be Spontaneous campaign on Schick’s Facebook page and send friends one of four e-cards inspired by Katy’s hit songs. I definitely LOL’ed over the “You make my heart go boom, boom, boom” card.

In addition to these fun cards, the brand is also kicking off a Facebook and Twitter campaign urging users to be spontaneous in order to win some truly awesome prizes, including a chance to see Katy on her upcoming California Dreams tour. Just like the brand on Facebook and follow them and Katy on Twitter to get the scoop and updates on how to enter to win.


Try on Katy Perry’s hairstyles in the Makeover Studio!

DIY Diva: The Strawberry And Sugar Lip Scrub


Photo: © Getty Images

Sugar is a wonderful thing. Not only is it sweet and delicious, it’s also an amazingly effective beauty aid. Check out this tip I learned from the team over at Sally Hansen. It’s a fun new DIY recipe that I just had to share with you guys. This little concoction makes your lips feel unbelievably soft and smooth and, as a bonus, tastes amazing if you just happen to sneak a lick. Easy, sweet and effective; just how I like my at-home treatments!

You’ll need:
2 large strawberries
1tbsp of sugar
1 Q-Tip

Crush the strawberries up until mushy, then mash in the sugar and thoroughly blend them together into a paste. Dab the Q-Tip in the mixture and rub onto lips in a circular motion. Rub off mixture with a tissue lick it off and enjoy the yummy treat.

The acids from the fruit combined with the rough grains of the sugar help exfoliate dead skin cells off your lips, leaving them feel smooth, soft and slightly sweet. It’s like strawberry shortcake for your pout!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Julianne Hough Shares Her Get-Glam Secrets

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite get-ready moments is when I’m glamming myself up for a night out with my girls. I find that I tend to be a bit more adventurous with my beauty choices, adopting new hairstyles and intensified makeup instead of my usual day-to-day look. Country singer and Dancing With The Stars veteran Julianne Hough feels the same way: She’s teamed up with Caress to share her secrets to a great night out, from how to get glam to how to make sure you have a blast with your girls. Check out my video interview with her to get the scoop!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

The Best Beauty Sale EVER


There are a few things I look forward to each year: Cheesy summer reality TV (hello Housewives), gift-giving occasions, new commercials with the oh-so-sexy Old Spice guy, and the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

For those of you not familiar with this mind-blowing event, it’s a giant sale that Nordstrom throws every year that lasts for two weeks. Hundreds of highly covetable beauty brands will offer special discounts on their fabulous products and some limited-edition products and sets just for this sale. A sampling of some of the brands this year: Bliss, MAC, Juicy Couture, Bobbi Brown, Kiehl’s, Chanel, Dior, Marc Jacobs and way too many more to name.

Now, not having access to a Nordstrom store here in NYC (I know, a total travesty but one we’re resigned to nonetheless), I have to get my shopping kicks from the retailer online, which makes this sale all the better. It doesn’t officially start until tomorrow (July 16), but I can pre-shop the sale online to my little heart’s content. Right now I’m DYING over the Lippmann Collection All That Jazz Nail Polish Color Trio and the Laura Mercier Portable Beauty Collection. The Laura Mercier in particular is a need-to-own item because it features an absolutely adorable blue bag plus five gotta-have-’em makeup essentials, all for just $65 (a $164 value)!

So what are you waiting for? Get over to the Nordstrom site and get shopping now, before all these awesome beauty steals and deals are gone!

Win It! Beach Bag Must-Haves


An afternoon at the beach is one of the most calming, enjoyable things about summer. The surf, the sand, the cute boys in their swim trunks–what’s not to love? Prepping yourself for the beach though is a whole other story. I usually end up with major stress on the days leading up to my sand and sun getaways because there’s just so much to worry about beauty-wise. You need to keep your skin hydrated, get rid of that pesky body hair and make sure you still look (and smell!) good while you sit surfside. It’s a lot for a girl to worry about!

We want your beach time to be worry-free, so we teamed up with P&G to offer one lucky reader the chance to win an ultimate summer swag bag. Inside a classic, roomy tote you’ll find a plush beach towel plus all the necessary summer beauty essentials from Secret, Olay and Venus.

One of those products is the new Olay Total Effects Moisturizer Plus Cooling Hydration, which I am OBSESSED with. It features all the high-tech anti-aging benefits of the original Total Effects that we all know and love, plus a rapid release formula that instantly cools skin with a minty and vitamin-packed burst of hydration. It feels amazing on sun-scorched skin and is a great way to instantly refresh your face.

Want to win this sweet beach bag? Just tell us in the comments below what you pack in your bag when you’re beach-bound and you’ll be automatically entered to win! Contest ends July 14, 2010 at 12 P.M. EST. Please be sure to read the full rules and regulations.

Congrats to our winner Amanda. Thanks to everyone who entered and told us how they get beach-ready!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

What’s Your Beauty Forecast?


Photo: © iStock Photo

Mother Nature and I are not BFF’s, especially when she decides to unleash all kinds of crazy weather on me. This week alone we’ve had blistering heat, stifling humidity and torrential downpours. This type of schizophrenic weather wreaks havoc on my beauty routine because I never know what products to use on my hair and skin to help combat environmental effects.

Technology to the rescue girls! has launched a new function they call the Beauty Forecast. Major thanks goes out to the lovely Daneen at Spoiled Pretty who turned me on to this amazing application.

Here’s how it works: Simply type in your zip code and the Beauty Forecast will tell you not only what the weather is going to be like, but what possible beauty predicaments might pop up because of it and recommend products to use. If you click on the 5-Day Forecast option, it will plot out your week for you and tell you if you have a high chance for frizz and dry skin–it will even chart your dry skin and frizz threat levels for the next 5 days.

Genius, but it begs the question: Why didn’t someone think of this earlier? I could have been saved some major weather-related beauty trauma in my teens had this been available. Well, it may not have been around then, but you can bet I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this nifty new tool now!

Would you use the Beauty Forecast?

A Sweet Skin Care Treat


Sugar, in all of it’s various incarnations, is one my very favorite things. Give me some sort of dessert dish and I am a happy girl. This love of the saccharine is definitely apparent in my beauty routine as well; my bathroom cabinets are lined with everything from lip scrub to body lotion that prominently feature sugar.

My current new favorite sugary delight is from the oh-so-chic (and oh-so-cheap!) line Kings & Queens. Their Queen Elizabeth Sugar Shower Gel and Body Butter are two of the sweetest smelling potions I’ve ever had the pleasure of sniffing. Inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s purported love of sugar, Kings & Queens has fittingly launched this sweet duo, which features pomegranate, lotus, hazelnut and grape, avocado and sunflower oils to pamper your skin.

While you may not be able to throw a four-day festival of sugar like Queen E herself (lucky wench), you can create your a mini-devotion to sweet treats by lavishing your body with the Queen Elizabeth Sugar Shower Gel and Body Butter. Available at Target stores nationwide for $8.99 and $14.99 respectively, they are pampering products that are fit for a queen, yet affordable on a pauper’s budget.

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Brand Obsession: Love & Toast


Sometimes a brand comes along that’s so fabulous, so unique and so amazing, that I just can’t help becoming one of those crazy, obsessive types about it. Such is the case with the quirky bath and body brand Love & Toast. Created by Margot Elena, the same mastermind behind Lollia (another fab brand you should definitely check out), this whimsical line features packaging so gorgeous and fragrances so delish, it will make you squeal like a twelve-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Love & Toast is more than just a pretty face though. The products also preform amazingly. My favorites are the hand creams, which are available in the brand’s six signature scents: Honey Coconut, Gin Blossom, Sugar Grapefruit, Mandarin Tea, Paper Flower and Pomme Poivre. Unlike most hand creams, which can feel slippery and greasy on the skin, these actually sink into your hands instantaneously, leaving behind a silky soft-feel and absolutely zero greasy residue. The creams are 97% natural and made with fab moisturizers like organic olive, hemp and jojoba seed oils, plus shea butter, aloe and vitamin E.

Now all of this is enough to make a girl go a little nutty, but it’s the price of these that really take me over into the psycho-stalker zone. The hand creams retail for $10 while the perfumes go for $36, rollerball mini-fragrances are $8 and lip balms are $10. Best of all, they’re conveniently found at Amazon, one of my go-to online beauty desitnations. Combine that with the great scents, amazing packaging, natural ingredients and the fact that all the products actually work fabulously and you’ve just entered me into the Love & Toast #1 Fan Club.

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

The Secret To Great-Looking Skin


Great-looking skin is the holy grail of the beauty world–you can pretty much pull off any kind of makeup if you’re skin looks amazing. Unfortunately, very few of us are blessed with that perfect canvas of smooth and clear skin, yours truly included. While I work tirelessly to try and keep my skin looking its best, the sad fact is that some days I need more help than your average moisturizer and concealer duo can provide.

Enter L’Oréal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base. The name pretty much says it all for this genius primer–it’s like magic. Smooth some on your skin (a little goes a long way) and it instantly fills lines, smooths out uneven texture and minimizes pores and imperfections. I applied a dab under my eyes and my crows feet-in training instantly smoothed out, leaving my eyes looking fresher and younger. What’s more, it also made my concealer go on that much easier so my overall appearance looked brighter and more awake. Since it was developed in partnership with backstage beauty guru (and my makeup hero) James Kaliardos, I wouldn’t expect anything less than perfection.

I don’t often label something “magical,” but based on how easily my makeup went on and how smooth my skin felt and looked after application, that’s exactly what I’d call this new primer. It just goes to show that just because you don’t have perfect skin doesn’t mean you can’t fake it!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Making Memories At The Olympics

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, as a guest of P&G Beauty, an official sponsor of the Winter Olympic Games. While there I got a chance not only to see two of the events (Ice Dancing and Speed Skating, whoo hoo!), I also got to spend some time at the P&G Family Home, a literal oasis for Team USA and their families.


The Family Room

P&G put a strong emphasis on family with these Olympics (if you’ve been watching NBC’s coverage at all, you’re sure to have seen the beauty brand’s adorable “Thanks, Mom” commercials) and the Family House was the culmination of this. Divided into five levels, it featured themed rooms that catered to all members of the family. On the first floor was a giant “family” room that was stocked with pillows, chairs, laptops and two giant screens so people could watch the various events.

The second floor contained a concierge service that gave updates on everything from the days medal counts, to event procedures to things to do in Vancouver. The third floor was home to a bevy of branded rooms, including the “Man Cave”, aka the Pringles room. Did you know there are over 22 flavors of Pringles? I sampled a good portion of them, including some oddball ones like Cheeseburger and 3-Layer Mexican Nachos. Like I said, a little crazy. The Man Cave also contained video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero to keep the boys (and girls!) entertained.

Also on the third floor was a Tide laundry service that did laundry for the families and the athletes, which turned out to be an unexpected blessing. We heard that the Olympic Village only provided quarter machines, so athletes were spending precious time feeding quarters into a washer and waiting for their laundry. More than a few of them were ecstatic about the Tide service as it freed them to focus on more important things, like competing.


The cutest room in the house, The Pampers Village!

The Pampers Village was by far one of my favorite rooms in the house. It was an area designated for the little ones and their frazzled parents. Many of the athletes are parents to young children, so having a place for their kids to play and just escape all the insanity was invaluable. I loved all the cute toys and the oversized bench.

Rounding out the third floor offerings was the Crest and Oral-B room. Here they got all high-tech on us, offering a green screen which you could pose in front of and be superimposed into an Olympic-themed scene. I chose to go the Shaun White route and get my snowboard on. I totally look believable, right?


Getting glammed up at the Beauty Lounge

Finally there was the fourth floor, which held one of the fave rooms in the house: The P&G Beauty and Grooming Lounge. It was stocked with all the latest goodies from CoverGirl, Pantene and Olay and featured a friendly group of Vancouver beauty pros who provided everything from leg massages to blowouts to makeup application. I had my hair done by the fabulous Liz, who gave me a super-bouncy curly hairstyle using Pantene’s appropriately named Ice Shine Maximum Hold Hairspray.

All week I heard inspiring stories from athletes and their families about how wonderful the P&G Family Home was. My favorite story came from bronze medal-winning speed skater Chad Hedrick and his family. His gorgeous wife Lynsey was getting her makeup touched up in the Beauty Lounge and told me all about the many special moments her and her family had shared at the Family Home.


Lynsey, Hadley and Chad are all smiles in the Pampers Village.
Photo: © Procter & Gamble

Chad and Lynsey’s 11-month-old daughter Hadley took her first steps in the Pampers Village with her proud parents looking on. “It’s been she and I and Daddy’s off training for the Olympics, so our big concern was whether he was going to be able to see it,” said Lynsey. “It just turned out that he happened to be there and she decided to walk. I think she’s trying to follow in her daddy’s footsteps with wanting to blow everybody away with new things.” That wasn’t the only big news for the Hedrick clan. A few nights later, Lynsey’s younger brother proposed to his girlfriend of four years in the main dining room in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

I asked Lynsey if it was safe to say that the P&G Family Home had provided her and her family with lots of great memories and she was enthusiastic in her response. “It’s incredible. From the laundry to, especially for me, the Pampers room where Hadley can play and be entertained and be happy. There have been so many special memories made at this house for my family. I wish I could go around and hug every person here,” she said.

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Olympics Here I Come!


Tomorrow morning, bright and early I depart for Vancouver and start off a whirlwind trip with P&G Beauty covering the scene at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Would you believe I haven’t packed a thing?

While I’m hoping for my fairy god-stylist to pop in overnight and craft the perfect Olympics-worthy wardrobe for me, the one thing I do have nailed down is my list of beauty essentials. Alongside the typical shampoo, cleanser and makeup staples I always bring with me when I travel, I’ve added the new Nivea Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm to the pile.

I tend to get dry, chapped lips, especially when I venture to new climates, so I want to be sure my pucker is protected from the elements. This beeswax and shea butter infused balm will keep my lips supple and soft throughout my various weekend activities. Best of all, it’s less than $3 so I can afford to stock up.

Stay tuned over the weekend for my firsthand report from Vancouver and be sure to follow me on Twitter to get up to the minute info from the moment I land!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Beauty Secrets Of An Olympian

Growing up as a kid, I wasn’t exactly what you would call athletic. Sure I participated in sports, but I definitely wasn’t the star athlete. More often than not my innate klutziness would cause me to trip over my own feet mid-kick in soccer or beam my best friend in the face with a softball (sorry about that Jenn). So I’ve always had a lot of respect for those people who are, in fact, talented in sports and/or have normal control of their motor skills.

Because of my serious lack of hand-eye coordination, the Olympics have always held a special interest for me–being able to watch incredibly talented athletes compete in their prime is just an amazing thing. I never imagined that I would one day have the opportunity to actually speak face-to-face with an honest-to-goodness Olympian, but that’s exactly what happened a few months back when I sat down with ice dancer and Olympic silver medalist Tanith Belbin.


From left: Olympians Tanith Belbin, Vonetta Flowers and Allison Baver.
Photo: © Procter & Gamble

Tanith is one of four “spokesathletes” for beauty giant Procter & Gamble. The brand is an official sponsor of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Tanith, along with skier Lindsey Vonn, bobsledder Vonetta Flowers and speed skater Allison Baver will appear in a marketing campaign for the brand. I sat down with Tanith at the shoot here in NYC and got her secrets to keeping her skin and hair in tiptop shape in the harsh winter weather. Read on for her winning tips!

With all of the time you log on the ice, your skin and hair must take a beating. How do you keep them looking great in the winter?

Winter weather or not, because I’m a figure skater, I’m always in the cold and I’m very aware of what those climates can do to your skin and hair. I definitely want to stay hydrated. I try not to wash my hair every day and I use Pantene’s Ice Shine Shampoo and Conditioner–it’s just perfect for me! It gives my hair that glow without weighing it down and gives it that shine and glisten that makes it look really healthy.

Dry skin is my number one problem and since I get up at 5:30 AM to train, I don’t always have time to douse myself in lotion. I’ve started using body washes like Olay’s Body Wash plus Crème Ribbons which have body butter infused into them. I definitely feel like I have that layer of hydration that sort of stays with me. It’s not just the cold climate [that makes my skin dry], it’s also what I do in ice dancing with my partner. It’s a lot of grips, lifts and flips and my skin gets a lot of friction so I like to use something with an almost medicinal level of moisturizers like Olay Quench Advanced Healing Body Lotion.


Tanith gets a touch-up from makeup pro Jake Bailey.
Photo: © Procter & Gamble

I was a figure skater when I was a kid and I vividly remember the sheer amount of makeup we would have to pile on our faces. I used to have to go home and scrub my face raw in order to get it all off. How do you remove all of that makeup and still keep your skin feeling and looking its best?

I’ve obviously tried every kind of makeup remover there is. My skin is sensitive and a lot of those makeup removers make my skin red and irritated, making it hard to put makeup back on the next day. I use Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths because they take everything off really easily and, with all the traveling I do, they’re really convenient because I don’t have to worry about bringing liquids with me.

I try to take good care of my skin, but it’s nearly impossible to keep it perfect when I’m piling on makeup, traveling and dealing with the stress of competition. I just try to be diligent and I always, every time, wash, tone and moisturize. I also exfoliate my skin a couple of times a week.

What is your number one beauty travel tip?

I’ve learned that when I fly I have to take my makeup off. Going up in that altitude, everything just comes right to the surface. No matter what you think or who you’re going to be seen by on the plane, just take your makeup off and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. When you’re flying for so long and changing altitudes and climates and countries, you get really dehydrated so just try to keep moisturized.


The girls work it for the photographer.
Photo: © Procter & Gamble

What’s your one, can’t-live-without-it budget beauty buy?

I always buy mascara. I know that people say that there are certain products that you need to spend the money on, but I think that mascara is the number one thing that I find is best at the drugstores.

CoverGirl has the new LashBlast Length Mascara that I love. The brush has a thousand little bristles and it narrows at the end so it’s very far-reaching and helps you get that little wing at the end of your lashes. I don’t wear a lot of makeup when I train so I find that a bit of mascara and a flushed face are all I need to look fresh at the end of the day.

Now for some even more exciting news: The fine folks at P&G have invited me to head to Vancouver next month to provide you with live coverage of the Olympics! I’ll be on site in Vancouver from February 18 through the 21, bringing you the all the scoop on the medal race and the scene at the Olympic Village. Stay tuned for more info as the Olympics approach!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

The Right (Skin Care) Stuff

One of my (many) New Years Resolutions this year was to stop throwing away money on unnecessary things. I love shopping for beauty goodies but I have a habit of being easily seduced by products based on their descriptions, especially when it comes to skincare items. “Radiant, supple skin?” Yes please. “Enhanced texture and silky smoothness?” Sign me up. It’s not that I’m not a savvy consumer: I check my labels, know my ingredients and research my brands. It’s just that when I’m actually in a store trying to pick out items on my own, I invariably reach for products that entice me and then turn out to be completely unnecessary.

I very nearly had this situation recently at a Dermalogica event I attended. I wandered around the store prior to my appointment, looking over products and zeroing in on ones I thought would be a good pick for my skin. I worry about acne, oil, texture and fine lines so the products that caught my eye all addressed those needs. Once I’d shopped the products in my head, I headed to the counter to get my consultation.


Dermalogica offers a unique (free!!!) service at their flagship stores where you can have your skin evaluated by their trained skin experts in a process they call Face Mapping. Your skin is broken down into 14 specific zones, including your neck, ears, eyes and everything in between. Your skin expert then puts on a scary pair of magnifying spectacles and systematically goes over your skin, highlighting what your issues are in each zone.

My expert, Melissa, pored (ha, get it?) over my skin and told me I was dealing with comedones (otherwise known as blackheads) in zones 12, 7, 3 and 1 (my chin, nose and both sides of my forehead) as well as pronounced dehydration all over. That was news to me, as dry skin wasn’t particularly high on my concerns list. But once Melissa mentioned it, I did suddenly realize that my complexion had been feeling kind of tight and flaky recently.

Once she’d thoroughly examined my face, Melissa marked down my issues on my personalized prescription sheet. It showed a face diagram, which she had marked with codes for my issues (c for comedones, dh for dehydration, etc.) so that I knew where the problems were. She then prescribed a regimen of products for me to help combat these issues. I was shocked to find out that almost all of the products recommended were ones I hadn’t picked out on my first trip around the store!

My new regimen included the brand’s famous PreCleanse and UltraCalming Cleanser to get rid of dirt, debris and oil; Daily Resurfacer to exfoliate those pesky dead skin cells that cause dullness; Skin Hydrating Masque to quench my skin’s thirst and keep me hydrated, Skin Smoothing Cream to help heal my texture woes, Solar Defense Booster SPF 30 to protect my skin from UV damage and MultiVitamin Power Firm to get rid of fine lines around the eyes. I’ve been on the products for about two weeks now and am already noticing a difference. Even though none of those products specifically address acne, I’ve noticed my skin is breaking out less. I’m also seeing a subtle change in texture and I’m definitely feeling rehydrated.

Would I have picked this new regimen out all by myself? Probably not. It just goes to show you that you can’t always depend on the labels to know exactly what’s right for you. Even if the store you frequent doesn’t have as in-depth of an evaluation as Dermalogica, you should definitely seek input from the staff. They’re schooled in the products and can usually tell you which ones might be a good fit for your skin. I would still do your homework and research products and brands, but definitely take their advice into account as it can help lead you to a product you may not have known about or might not have chosen on your own. It’s a great way to break the cycle of wasting money on products that turn out to be wrong or ineffective on your skin.

What were your New Years beauty resolutions?

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Super-Sized Stocking Stuffer Giveaway


The holidays are officially here and we know you guys have been busy decking the halls, partying it up and shopping for gifts. There’s just so much to do! Unfortunately that means little or no time to pamper yourself.

We’re firm believers in taking a little “me” time during the holidays, so while you’re busy making sure everyone else has a great holiday, let us take care of you.

We want to make sure your stocking is loaded down with a whole host of pampering goodies, so we’ve teamed up with some of your favorite brands to offer this amazing stocking stuffer giveaway. The winner will receive:

  • Altru Harmony Aromatic Incense and Star Burner
    This inticing incense features the exotic scent of Oriental persimmons that can be beautifully displayed in this gorgeous copper holder.

  • Jouer Lip Loves Moisturizing Mini Lipgloss Set
    Featuring five sheer and shimmery shades of hydrating gloss, this essential set helps enhance your pout as it heals it using nourishing jojoba oil, shea butter, pomegranate seed oil and vitamins A, C & E.

  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye-Enhancing Shadow
    Designed to enhance your natural eye color, this pretty palette contains an array of shimmery shades to color, contour and line the eyes in order to make them pop.

  • Philosophy A Kiss And A Wish
    This fab lip set is the perfect way to get your lips prepped to pucker up. It contains four mini lipgloss, each with its own beautiful color, scent and flavor: Raspberry Sorbet, Candy Cane, Bubbly and Red Licorice.

  • GoSmile Touch Up Ampuoles
    Whiten your teeth in style with this easy-to-use system. It contains 14 portable, single-use whitening ampuoles, housed in a sleek silver case, that help keep teeth pearly white by eliminating food stains and build-up in one easy step. Best of all, it comes in three yummy flavors: Watermelon, Green Apple and Fresh Mint.

  • Mission Skincare World Series Bronx Lip Balmer
    Show your appreciation for America’s favorite pastime with this limited edition lip balm. This athlete-approved lip treatment is chock full of hydrating and nourishing ingredients and is wrapped up in a special sleeve commemorating the Yankees 2009 World Series win.

  • Stila Holiday Lip Glaze Collection
    Spoil your lips with this gorgeous wardrobe of glosses. It contains mini tubes of the brand’s cult favorite glosses, including four new, limited edition shades and four of their best-selling shades.

  • Darphin Youthful Radiance Camellia Mask
    There’s no better way to pamper your skin than with this age-defying mask. It contains natural extracts of camellia, meadowfoam oil and pomegranate extract to smooth wrinkles, firm your skin and maintain your natural radiance over time.

  • Burn Voyage Candle
    They may be small but these chic candles pack a big perfume punch. Each of the gorgeously scented candles is easy to transport, so you can scent any room, anywhere with one of their delicious and unique fragrances.

To enter, just tell us in the comments section below what your best ever beauty gift was and you’ll be entered to win. Contest ends Friday, December 18 at 1 P.M. EST. For full rules and regulations, click here.

Congrats to our winner Michelle. Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their favorite gifts. Here’s hoping you all get something fabulous under the tree this year!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.