Mukhalat Sheikha Lubna: Scent of a Beautiful Woman

'Mukhalat Sheikha Lubna' loosely translates to Scent of Sheikha Lubna. But it might as well be called scent of the most kick-ass powerful woman in the middle east. Her perfume is described as floral, energetic and powerful . I venture to say that this is the first perfume from a female politician that people actually want to buy. Can you imagine coveting Eau de Margret Thatcher? Yeah, me either. Upon reading this Portfolio article on her I had an immediate hunch that there is a beauty icon lurking underneath that veil. I was right.

This brilliant woman went from Cal State Alum to computer scientist to middle eastern economic linchpin in a very short time. She is only 50. She is the first female minister in the United Arab Emirates and she is the Minister of Finance and Foreign Trade. No small task in a strategically placed, oil saturated, 36 year old country. Part of the reason she is my new hero is not only that she is trail blazing for women everywhere and out witting all of her peers but clearly, she reveres and respects that certain part of being a woman where your beauty is about your relationship with yourself, and your presentation is about what makes you feel sexy rather than what your audience wants to see. “You know it’s a very feminine fragrance and I’m not a feminist. I like being a lady. I don’t like this business of women marching. A woman should be beautiful, eloquent, smart and hard-working but, above all, feminine.” Can I get an amen?

She had me at 'eloquent' but her sound bites are so charming I'll share just one more from the Portfolio article, "My proudest achievement is that I am a bridge. Women are following my example. I am changing the mind-set of young girls, saying, 'It’s okay. Look, I'm here. I'm on the other side, and you can breeze through. Not bad for a geek with a perfume." And her perfume, which launched in summer 2007, benefits an organization called Friends of Cancer Patients. This woman has a brilliant, sweet plan and I hope to cover a forthcoming makeup line as well.

Since it's launch, Mukhalat Sheikha Lubna has only been available at Saks in Dubai. I know I have readers in Dubai so I am counting on you. Please comment and let me know how I can get my hands on this 'Mukhalat'.

Total Beauty Web Tour!

The Muse gives you the lowdown on Stila Kitten Silk Eyeshadow Wash and Stila Kitten Silk Shimmer Gloss!

Beauty Anonymous is loving the
Foot Relief Cream and Body Exfoliator from Belli!

Jennifer over at Beauty in Real Life shares her love for a multi-tasking moisturizer from Stila.

If you're looking for longer, fuller lashes, Monique at Beauty Girl Musings has the product for you!

Jeanne at Periodic Style needs your help and wants to know: how do you organize your beauty products?

Toya at "The Life of A Ladybug" continues in her search for the best "Bronzers for Brown Girls!" In this edition, the Sephora Bronzing Essentials Kit!

Kitiya from Mischo Beauty shares a lesson on serums in her “Mischo Beauty School: Serums 101” post!

It's time to update your summer makeup and Beauty411 shares the details on the new Bobbi Brown Bronzed Pink Collection. You won't be able to resist!

A Mom in Red High Heels discovers the "Mother of Makeup". Find out the details!

Daily Dose of Coffee figures out what grownups wear to the beach.

Susie Ellis of Spa Finder lists the best Spas in Manhattan

I love Susie's blog because she follows the pulse of the Spa industry closely. So when I found this video of her I had to share it with you. Also, she has some great info for those of you in New York City.

Spa Magazine is giving away 2 free spa trips in return for a 3 minute survey!

Spa Magazine wants the skinny on your favorite spas. I entered. It took about 3 minutes. Let me know if you win!

IQ Derma hears you!

Some Beauty's Spot readers commented on the pricey penny it takes to obtain cellulite-wrangling product iQ Derma Firmaceuticals Body Gel. Apparently iQ Derma is listening to Beauty's Spot readers because they just sent me an email to let you know that they want you to try it for free. Seriously.

"We offer a 30-day free trial of Firmaceuticals Body Gel and our Nutritional Supplements. So, this gives your readers the opportunity to try the item for 30-days. They don’t like the item they can return the gel & supplements and won’t be billed. If they like the item, they can receive a fresh supply every 60 days."

Wow 30 days of smooth teen-ager like thighs? I'm so there. Thanks iQ Derma!

Jurlique: Brand to love!

Remember when I told you how I loved Jurlique's hand lotion so much that I decided to slather my whole body in it and marinade in the ensuing physical joy which results from soaking in organic, earth-friendly herbs and flowers? Well today, upon learning about their new Biodynamic Beauty Range, my brief but passionate physical tryst with Jurlique turned into a mature, adult (but still passionate) love affair.

During an informational webinar Jurlique CEO Eli Halliwell, explained their newest product line.
As a brief side note/holla to my midwestern friends... biodynamic farming is kind of old news to me because I went to college in the hedonistic hippy heaven other wise known as Madison, Wisconsin. I'd venture to say everyone there either is or has worked on an organic/biodynamic farm or knows someone who is currently doing so. It is also old news to Jurlique as they have been using biodynamic farming methods to produce their produtcs for 20 years. According to Eli and Google, however, the desire for biodynamic food and beauty products is exploding far far beyond the reaches of various Midwestern college-town utopias. I learned a lot from Mr. Halliwell today and here are some tidbits worth sharing.

1) Jurlique is the number one skin care line in Australia. Hands down, in Oz, big bad "chem" companies take a back seat. As demand for their organic, biodynamic product is growing so is their world-wide presence. They now have 15 stand alone stores in Japan and 11 in the United States. (I personally play with their products at Whole Foods.)

2) Biodynamic means organic and then some. Jurlique ingredients are grown on their own hand tended, hand-harvested farms. They are self-sustaining, harvested and irrigated according to the cycles of the moon, employ companion planting methods, and ancient crop rotation practices. If your skin care is made with this much TLC and earth-lovin' it seems impossible that your skin could do anything but glow with youthful radiance.

3) Jurlique's new Biodynamic Beauty Range has been tested and proven to get equal or better results as it's chem-packed competitors. Unlike most of the other products though, you will not find any Parabens, Mineral Oils, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Synthetic Emulsifiers, Artificial Colors or Fragrances in any Jurlique product. The new line includes a serum (if you only get one product get this one because it has the most bang for the buck), Eye Cream (I'm currently testing this one), Night Lotion, and Refining treatment. If you are a dedicated beauty junkie check out their ingredient glossary. So amazing!

And lastly I'll just say to hear a successful, intelligent, accomplished CEO talk about the importance of earth friendly products and his disdain for the words anti-aging when really we are just trying to enhance our natural beauty and that of the earth....well it was just reassuring that such men (and such a product line for that matter) actually exist.

Sneak Peak of the New Urban Apothecary Website!

Urban Apothecary just sent out an email previewing their new website which will launch in the next few days and it looks AMAZING. The links at the top including, Makeup, Skincare, Tips+Trends, Buzz, and About Us, are all live!

Product Rave: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Gloss

I love anything that makes my lips feel yummy. Lip balm, lip stick, lip plumper, lip gloss. But I am not the type to run to the bathroom often enough to keep up with it. Generally if I walk through the door of my office in the morning with insanely bright red lips they will be nude colored with in the hour. Bananas, granola bars, and the very occasional decaf coffee all seem to obliterate the color in a matter of minutes. What I love about the infallible gloss though is that the pigment stays. The yummy, gooey gloss is still no match for my breakfast and decaf but no matter what I pass over my lips, hours later the pigment is still there which I love.

I am currently loving the infallible lip gloss in color number 125 - Bloom. The L'Oreal site recommends the infallible never fail lip colour compact for customers who love the lip gloss. The compact was in fact voted Allure's Best Long Wearing Lipstick last fall. Lucky for you there is just such a compact (in Apricot) in the swag bag that is up for grabs!

IQ Derma Firmaceuticals: a cellulite cream that works!

I have been biting my tongue because I really really really hated the idea of writing about cellulite creams - or more specifically my personal experience with cellulite creams. Until now all I could have really said would have been something like, 'I have cellulite. Creams don't work.' Not exactly riveting stuff and certainly not worth offering up my body image as a topic of conversation.

Perhaps my hesitation on this subject matter comes from the completely terrifying times piece about a certain, now infamous, blogger and her over-sharing. Either way until now, I have somewhat shamelessly attempted to bring you the best products and services (and talk about them the way we women talk about such things.) I have mentioned my permanent Pillsbury-dough-boy-belly, back pimples, nostril waxing, stretch marks, bikini waxing mishaps, hair troubles, neti potting, and numerous other potentially embarrassing subjects. And for some reason completely unknown to me none of that subject matter bothered me. Not even a little bit.

When I started receiving cellulite creams to test, my thinking was a little different and went something like this: Thank god none of these are working because there is nothing on God's green earth that is going to get me to write about cellulite. Women should love their bodies regardless of cellulite quantities and men should too. So should I for that matter and clearly I'm not there yet so I'm leaving the whole subject off the table. Forever.

Then one day, mostly because I ran out of my usual leg lotion, I tried iQ Derma's Firming Body Gel. Three days later I was going through the pre-poolside, junk in the trunk, check-in. Everything in my body was prepared for the normal quick-check, wince, and turn-back-around-STAT routine. Then it happened. Mid-wince I stopped short, my pivot failed, and I fell into the mirror stunned at what I saw. I involuntarily said out loud - "What the F* is that?"

Are those my legs? Less cottage cheesy - more shinny apple skin -like. Couldn't be...the iQ Derma??? Absolute joy overcame me. Am I going to love even my thighs during this pool season? Too good to be true. Then I realized this miraculous product would mean I'd have to write about my cellulite. On Beauty's Spot. On the Internet. Where anyone and everyone can read about it.

But it's cellulite cream (well a gel really) and it works. How can I call myself a beauty editor and not share this fabulous thigh and mind altering product? It's like having proof of the Loch Ness monster and keeping it to myself out of some awfully warped sense of pride. So I have to share. Cellulite, less than ideal body image and all. iq derma's firming body gel really truly works to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It's not going to give you Heidi Klum thighs but, if your thighs react like mine, the results will be visible and attractive and astounding.

Beauty Fortuity: from product purgatory to serendipitous cosmetic cure

Maybe it's because I went to Montessori School. Maybe it's because I'm just defiant by nature. But my belligerence is finally paying off. If not for me in a life enhancing way, then for you in a product recycling kind of way. I have hinted before at my tendency to use products for purposes other than those they were intended for. In the beauty industry this is a major no-no. Scientists and researchers are paid lots and lots of money to test the precise percentages of cellulite reduced, or lashes extended, or wrinkles reduced.

But I would never have found some of my favorite products if I had discarded them upon discovering that in terms of their intended purpose they are total losers. And isn't this the great dream for every woman's product graveyard? That someday you will serendipitously discover that though these products failed at their intended purpose, they are perfectly suited for a function no where near the neighborhood of their actual function (and then all of that beauty money isn't really wasted?) So Beauty's Spot has a new column - Beauty Fortuity!

First up, EO Hair Repair. It does nothing for my hair and smells like toilet bowl cleaner but it's organic and made by one of my favorite lines, EO. They make my favorite body lotion and shampoo. My hair is the litness test for any hair product. Unless a hair product is designed to penetrate hair as tough and thick as Rapunzel's it is not going to work for me. But I kept this adorable purple little bottle in the shower, suspecting all the while that someday those high quality organic ingredients would find their calling. It's been inhabiting the purgatory section of my shower caddy since December when I received it as a birthday gift from one of my favorite people. I had no idea what it's purpose would be until voila, the Schick Quattro arrived and suddenly a girl who hadn't needed shaving cream in years (thanks to the brilliant design of the Schick Intuition) was suddenly at a loss. We have all heard to use conditioner as shaving cream in case of an emergency but it's usually clumpy, clogging up the razor and making my legs feel greasy. Yuck. Suddenly the purple little little bottle which had been shunned like an ill suited Rudolf had found its foggy night. Intensive reconditioning. Essential oils of Wild Lime and Ginger. Mango Seed Butter. My legs drank it up as if it were divine nectar. The consistency is perfectly designed for razors because it slips right through, no clogging and it is super conditioning for the legs with no grease. Enjoy!

Swag Bag Contest Update - Let's do it for the kiddos

I am so excited about all the comments I have gotten recording your clicks from Beauty's Spot to Total! I am definitely throwing in the red clutch to whomever wins. But it occurred to me if total beauty is giving a dollar for every click then we could be raising a lot more money for Healthy Child Healthy World. So click away! Feel free to click as many times as you want and just tell me how many times you clicked.
For example:

"I hate the product of the day. That mascara ran all over and clumped and was terrible. 7 clicks today!"
And I'll give you seven points!

Total Beauty Web Tour!

Kitiya from Mischo Beauty discusses hair texture in her “Mischo Beauty School: Hair Texture 101”post!

Beauty's Spot is giving away a huge swag bag from the LA Beauty Tour!

Beauty Anonymous is very tempted by the Hair Spray from Anna Sui!

Want to win a whopping $824 in products? Then head to The Beauty of Life immediately for a supremely fantastic giveaway!

Joy from Makeup Junkie shares and brings you the latest news on Eyeko's Summer Collection 2008!

A Mom in Red High Heels visits 4 LA Beauty Hot Spots. Find out which is like a piece of Heaven to her!

Beauty411 opens her little black beauty book and reports on her facial at the ARCONA Studio in Santa Monica.

Karen of Periodic Style undergoes a transformation of her own with a Japanese straight perm.

Looking for a new flat iron? Monique at Beauty Girl Musings has tried a new one and thinks you will love it!

Jennifer at Beauty in Real Life has some great tips for de-frying your hair.

Meet Victoria Rowe Talking Makeup's Expert contributor!

Schick Quattro; clearly made by a leg man

I professed my undying love of the Schick Intuition to you back in February. Apparently someone thought to challenge my declaration of the Intuition as the number one women's razor. The quadruple bladed, hot pink and silver grooming device, which actually resembles a man's knife in form and weight, arrived conspicuously in my mailbox four weeks ago. Determined to stay loyal to the intuition, I decided to give this showy little Quattro a run for its money. I didn't shave for a full seven days. Not exaggerating. I honestly don't know what possessed me to run such a dowdy experiment other than sheer defiance. Take that, fancy gimmicky razor...who needs four blades anyway? Really!

But after three weeks of sacrificing my curviest feature's normal routine and using only the Quattro I must tuck my metaphorical tail between my clean-shaven legs and admit it. The Quattro is excellent. In the voice of a parent trying desperately to be fair despite an obviously greater , if irrational, affection for one child, I love them both equally just in different ways. And here is how. The intuition is a woman's razor. Shapely, soft, no extra lathering devise needed. It's a working woman's dream. It gets the job done every day.

The Quattro on the other hand was designed by a man wielding a Kershaw knife in one hand, an oily rag stuffed into the back pocket of his Carhart overalls, and a wicked grin as he describes the irreplaceable sexual value of a woman's glossy gams. (And if this fictional Australian cowboy did in fact invent the Quattro for women I think his description of his motivations would be much more succinct and vulgar.)

To put it bluntly, if you want the hottest smoothest legs ever, this is your razor. Even on day two after a Quattro shave you will still have the hottest smoothest legs ever. (Wink from the cowboy) Unlike the Intuition, you do have to provide your own lubrication. But again this razor is not made for the working woman this razor is made for only one thing. Yee-haw.

L'Oreal Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara

Until Friday whenever my girlfriends asked for my best tips about how to choose a mascara I would say, "Pick the cheapest one, it's the best way to save beauty money because they are all more alike than different." I take back every one of those misguided words. I picked up L'Oreal's Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara on Friday and my eyes have never, ever looked this good. Somehow the rich deep black that is as they say, "black-er than black" makes my eyes sparkle and my lashes stretch like a reaching ballerina awaiting her prince. I used to find that mascaras this black created a dark, ill-defined, raccoon like eye but this pigment is so well defined it has the opposite effect of opening and lightening the entire look. More good news, the best mascara I have ever tried is around $7.

Bliss by "Pedi" colada

I started Beauty's Spot with a visit to Bliss San Francisco. So it is now tradition that every time I visit a city lucky enough to claim Bliss as a local spa I make time for a visit. I discovered my latest Bliss gem at their LA outpost which is conveniently tucked into the second floor of the W Hotel. Yes ladies, the "pedi" colada has arrived to disgrace every other single pedicure I have ever gotten - and I'm a pedi-addict. If you haven't noticed, this summer everything is going coconut. If you take no part in the coconut product trend (although I can't imagine why you would make such a silly decision) please please please make one exception and treat yourself to the "pedi"colada. I would almost go so far as to say you have never had a real pedicure until you have had the "pedi"colada. Here is a detailed break down of what makes this pedi so precious.

1) The foot soak is made of coconut milk and pineapple oil. Have you ever had your pretty little paws steeped in coconut milk before? Me either and now I'm convinced this should be a pedi standard. What is hot water compared to coconut milk? Also their grooming is meticulous. Have you ever had a pedicurist who sort of trims your cuticles and kind of ignores your funky pinkie toe? Yeah me too. I hate that and they wouldn't make it a day at bliss.

2) BEST PART: There are three cups of hot coconut oil-based product waiting in a towel heater during your coconut milk soak which are then massaged into every millimeter of skin below your knees. The first hot coconut product is like nothing I have ever seen before. A concoction this brilliant could only be created by an inspired beauty product guru (or the rat from ratatouille). This product looks like the result of mixing ten coconut macaroons and a minimal amount of coconut oil - just enough to be able to massage all of the coconut bits into smooth pliable exfoliates - genius! This chunky oily mixture is followed with two different kinds of smooth hot coconut oil. The second oil is massage in by hand and the third with polished clam shells filled with hot water. The narrow end was used to massage muscles I didn't even know I had in those hard to reach foot places. By the third treatment I was so blissed out that I had to make a conscious effort not to drool on myself. Honest.

3) They leave the coconut oil on your gloriously groomed gams and wrap your feet in hot towels where they allow you to sit and bliss out for more please help me not drool on myself time.

4) Essie color application. This time, for the first time I went with a non-matte product and although at first I was kind of terrified it has worn really well and the purpley-red tone I choose is a fun way to ring in summer pedi season.

Exclusive Beauty's Spot Contest: Swag Bag Giveaway!

Starting today I will be running an exclusive contest for Beauty's Spot readers. I’ll be honest. I got an obscene amount of swag while in LA and there is no good reason for me to keep it all to myself. I spent a good part of the morning deciding what I can part with and what is a suitable reward for all of your hard work. I have come up with a delightful tote bag filled with hundreds of dollars worth of beauty products from Anastasia (I can’t believe I am parting with anything from Anastasia!), L'Oreal, Redpoint, Organic wear, and iQ Derma among others. Below is a picture of everything currently in the prized swag bag. I'll also throw in some lipsticks and if anyone goes all out I'll throw in the cutest little red clutch/makeup bag I have ever seen.

Here is how you can win the swag bag. I am desperate to go to Paris and raise money for Healthy Child Healthy World. As a result of my desperation I'll let you enter as many times a day as you want. For each entry:

- visit Beauty's Spot

- click on any link to total beauty

- Return to Beauty’s spot and post a comment about total beauty's blog of the day, product of the day, or one of their editorial articles at the top of the page. Since we are all spending time on this we might as well dish. What do you like or dislike about the tips, blogs, and articles on total beauty?

Since I have no way to know how many times you are clicking I will assume each new comment correlates to a click from Beauty's Spot to Total You will get a point for each click which you record with a comment. On June 6 the person with the most comments/clicks wins!
Also, don't forget to try and win yourself some more amazing prizes from Total Beauty's own sweepstakes.

3 More Weeks of the "Vue the World Differently" Campaign: It's Time for an Exclusive Swag Bag Giveaway!

There are only three weeks left in the Total Beauty Vue The World Differently Campaign and this means BIG things for Beauty's Spot readers.

1) Every time you visit Beauty's Spot and then click on ANY Total link (see the ones flashing in the right hand column? Yes those count too!) a dollar will be given to Healthy Child Healthy World. For those of you who have been clicking away already the results of your hard work are below. Total Beauty CEO Emrah Kovacoglu is presenting Healthy Child Healthy World with a check for the earnings you have created so far.

2) After you click on Total Beauty you can write any product review (up to 5 daily) to enter yourself in the sweepstakes. Multiple $100 gift certificates are given out each day. Our reader Super Jessica already won one certificate. Also up for grabs are a Saturn Hybrid Vue filled with beauty products, conflict-free diamonds, and numerous eco-spa vacations! What is not to love?

3) An exclusive SWAG BAG give-a-way for one lucky Beauty's Spot reader. See the next post for details!

Kate Somerville Tour: from Goat's Milk Cream and facials to Johnny Depp

Kate Somerville's Skin Health Experts' outpost is located at 8424 Melrose Place in Los Angeles. This adorable boutique is skincare heaven. An expert staff, the most advanced lasers, non-surgical face lifts, the best facials, and an excellent signature skin care line pack this positively pampering, aesthetically pleasing aestheticians' paradise.

Almost (but not quite) as important as the physical address, the expert services, the boutique design, and revolutionary products, is the fact that this location was also the former home of Johnny Depp. My lovely tour guide let me in on this little secret somewhere between the narrow twisted hallways of the basement and the circular staircase leading to the reception area at which point I had visions of the Benny & Joon likeness of Johnny Depp coyly popping his head in and out of treatment rooms, giggling and disrupting the deadly serious, non-surgical face lifts of the most important ladies who lunch.

I have been using the Gentle Daily Wash (love it!) and the Goat Milk Cream since Friday and I can already feel and see the changes in my skin. I have to be exceptionally picky about what I put on my face because it reacts to most products with all the drama and over-reaction of a middle schooler. Goat's Milk however was used by ancient Egyptians as a skin care remedy and my face feels soft, looks smooth, and calm. I am an instant results kind of girl so this cleanser/moisturizer combo is quickly climbing the ranks of my skin care favorites.

Check back in the weeks to come for in depth product reviews. For those of you who stalk or BFF your aesthetician in a vain attempt to quench your incorrigible desire for skin care knowledge here is a video of a Kate Somerville esthetician explaining their facials.

Total Beauty Web Tour!

The Daily Cookie loves the Urban Decay Ammo Eye Palette to help her travel light!

Makeup 2 Beauty reviews Stila Kitten Eye Shadow Wash and gives some tips on how to use it.

Jeanne from Periodic Style tells you how to get full salon service at little to no cost -- be a hair model!

Marta from Talking Makeup introduces the Global Chic Collection by IMAN.

Beauty Anonymous shares with you her first impressions of Chanel Summer 2008 Makeup Collection!

Want a review of one of the newest self-tan products out there? Look no further, Canadian Beauty delivers!

The Muse shares a review on Shimmer Shine Liquid Eye Shadow from Bourjois Paris!

A Mom in Red High Heels discusses a busy woman's concern with her morning routine. Find out the time saving, confidence- boosting tips!

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings finds a real organic line worth trying.

The girls at Beauty in Real Life, score their first ever interview with celeb makeup artist and Passport to Beauty author, Shalini Vadhera.

Nars takes Joy from Makeup Junkie to South Beach thanks to The Multiple in South Beach!

Toya does her Mother's Day FOTD with products from the Sally Hansen Natural Beauty line (inspired by Carmindy)!

Meredith at Daily Dose of Coffee continues her self-tanning addiction by reviewing Neutrogena's MicroMist Tanning Spray.

Total Beauty Dishes on the LA Beauty Tour: L'Oreal, Anastasia, Nelson J Salon

It will take me a few weeks to report on all of the products, events, seminars, and celeb stylists here at the Total Beauty Bloggers Summit. Fortunately, the Total Beauty editors have the scoop posted already. By the way, the editorial team at Total Beauty is in fact totally beautiful. Dish with them and check out their blog for more on this amazing trip!

Kristen, beauty editor at Total Beauty, talks with Tammy from A Mom in Red High Heels at the first L'Oreal store ever launched in the United States. Opened at the Beverly Center in 2004, it houses the world's only True Light Pod (patent pending) which has the technology to replicate any lighting environment you may encounter. Going to the darkest club in LA? Chances are they have the club's lighting sequence on file so you can replicate it in the pod, apply your makeup, and head out from there!

(Yes that is Penelope's Cruz's picture behind me in the background.)

Anastasia does sweet eyebrows and not just for Eva Longoria

When I first told you that the eyebrow goddess had syndicated her divine beauty powers to Nordstroms all over the country I never could have dreamed that I would one day meet said Goddess. What is most endearing about this passionate Eastern European beauty is her heartfelt desire to bring beauty to women of all types. Having done Oprah's eyebrows regularly, along with a long long list of other celebs like Eva Longoria, she clearly could be resting on her laurels. Instead she is pushing the eyebrow and makeup industry to places it has never been been before. Her desire for perfection is infectious and her products open the doors to eyebrow beginners while revamping the methods of over-plucked beauty veterans. I only have time to post this one video but there are more pictures, video, and massive Anastasia news on the way. I want to say a special thank you to Total Beauty, Erika Valente, and all the people at Anastasia who made this possible. It was an honest to goodness dream come true for me.

Cocktail Party at Intelligent Beauty's Office Complex

Intelligent Beauty hosted the Total Beauty bloggers cocktail party. Their office has a bar and shadow box dancers!

Me, Kristin Nelson from Total Beauty, Tammy from A Mom in Red High Heels, Paul from Beyond Beauty Basics. Thanks to Erika from Makeup Bag for the picture!

A Mom in Red High Heels and Beauty's Spot on Tour

On the way to meet Anastasia because we rock.

Thanks to Erika from Makeup Bag for the picture.

Warren Tricomi Pictures!

Here is a quick update from LA. I'm too busy to post full articles but I can post these Warren Tricomi pictures. Daniel Martinez is officially a hair genius. He took time out of his busy schedule (house calls to the stars) to give me the most beautiful haircut I have ever had. My hair is normally a disaster - curly in the back, straight in the front, and frizzy all over. But Daniel has transformed my unruly mane into a beautiful work of art, perfectly suited to my face. I'll do a full write up later but just wanted to keep you, well, posted.
If I ever meet a man who does for me what Daniel does for my hair I will ask him to marry me on the spot.

I am the Beauty Product MacGyver

Yesterday I was worried about what to wear. My clothes all looked boring, I annoyed even the TJ Maxx people (and I imagine that's fairly difficult to do), and I had that vague wandering feeling of not being prepared.

Today I would be grateful for a clean shirt and my brow powder. Yes my luggage apparently thought Vegas was much more appealing than the Burbank airport and has decided to stay there. They assured me they would have it delivered last night but I guess it's hard to get even luggage to leave Vegas at 10 p.m.

So even though I'll look like a makeup deprived slob for all of my appointments today I managed to find some good news this morning. I am now grateful for every single item in my luggage. What was just yesterday my favorite old pair of worn in DKNY wedges, today is a pair of highly stylish, intensely coveted summer sandals. What yesterday was a pair of cute comfortable heels that didn't live up to the color I really wanted are today intensely coveted, rare size 10 heels that will look so much better than jeans and rainbows at the cocktail party. It's miraculous what a little lost luggage can do for my attitude.

Also, I am the beauty MacGyver. With only a mirrored compact, Eminence Organic Minerals, Nii-kii lip balm, and three teeny YonKa samples I have managed to look decent. Usually I mix a few different shades of the Eminence Minerals (# 1, 2, and 3) depending on how tan I am or what I am trying to cover up. Today I was left with only #3 but I unscrewed the top, poured some minerals into the top of my Organic wear compact and was able to disperse the color since the minerals were now loose powder instead of delivered straight through their usual brush. Also, although it has been years since I have lost luggage I did remember to put my YonKa Gel Nettoyant (two in one makeup remover and face wash) and YonKa Creme 11 and Creme 83 in my purse. I have no mascara, no brow powder, I don't even have dental floss but I've screwed the top back on the minerals, cleaned out the compact case, thrown on some earrings and well today that's all I can do.

Destination Los Angeles: Total Beauty Bloggers Summit and Beauty Tour!

I always knew 27 would be my best year. My dear mentor Marsha, who is in her seventies, likes to remind me there will be many more, even sweeter years ahead. But for me I have just known it. 27 fits me perfectly.

I am waiting for my best friend Gigi to come pick me up and drive me to the airport. I am sitting in my cozy little apartment with light pouring in from windows on three sides. I'm waiting for LA, waiting for LA to change everything, or to just have a really great time.

I have been hinting at this big bad beauty trip to LA but I am superstitious and I have not wanted to spill the beauty beans until the big adventure began. I am going to LA for days and days of spa treatments and beauty tours. Then I will be attending the bloggers summit. I am beyond excited and I am also a little nervous. I am of the Julia Cameron school of writers and thusly believe that if I am not writing, I tend to misdirect the drama that I should be creating on the page, accidentally spilling it all over my life. I proved Julia Cameron's theory correct yesterday at 9 pm in the Durham, North Carolina Tj Maxx. The sales woman was lovely I'm sure, and Tj Maxx is lovely I'm sure (although that lighting can't be good for people). But I was nervous and the shopping hours were being whittled down like an overly zealous boy scout's first home made arrows. Time slipping away, fabulous brightly colored high heels not miraculously materializing, and her "I need two forms of ID" turned a three hour shopping trip into three hours I choose to spend in Tj Maxx for nothing but, well, for nothing.

But the truth is, there is lots and lots of fun to be had. An email from a fellow blogger just reminded me of this. "It's going to be so much fun!" Oh yes, I thought that's why I am going... for fun! I am now at the Nashville airport on my layover and I must say this airport is designed for beauty bloggers. 20 Minutes Nail salons and massage bars (lots of rubs but no buds) abound as does relativity inexpensive wireless.

There is so much to tell you about the LA Trip but it's a little overwhelming all at once so we'll start with tomorrow. I'll start the day by getting my hair cut with the FABULOUS Daniel Martinez at Warren Tricomi. You remember him? He did my now infamous blowout for LA Fashion Week. Then I will trot down Melrose Ave and stop in at the W Hotel to indulge in bliss's new 'pedi' colada. (I know. I am so spoiled.) At the end of the day I will reunite with my fashion week partners in crime and meet the rest of beautiful bloggers at Nelson J Salon where I will get my nails done and dish about all things beauty and blogging and summit.

Friday is a beauty tour too fabulous for words (almost). So here are some words: Anastasia, Kate Somerville, L’Oreal, and Murad. Good words huh? I like those words. I have idolized Anastasia for a while and I can't believe I am going to meet her. (She does Oprah's eyebrows!) More about that later....Thanks to Gigi for the ride and calming my nerves, Terri for the YonKa samples, and Kristy and Greta for the airport pickup. Girlfriends do make the world go 'round.

4711 Perfume from the Soap Opera

This is why I love The Soap Opera. Because I can order 4711 and other highly sought after, rare perfumes from them! Based on a light citrus and herbal formula made by a French émigré friar, this scent was named after the house number assigned to the Mulhens Family perfumery's shop during the 1794 French occupation of Cologne (Koln), Germany. Napoleon used to bathe in a diluted version of this scent. World famous for generations and unchanged for centuries. Perfect for those who want something light, fresh and classic. Recommended for men or women. In glass, and boxed. ($21.50, 2 oz)

Pacifica's Tuscan Blood Orange Soap

I have not used bar soap since I fell in love with the Soap Opera's Magno soap in college. I thought I hated bar soap but it turns out I only like really superior bar soaps. Pacifica's handmade Blood Orange Soap amazed me when I first ordered it from Beauty Gone because the top half of the bar is flooded with pieces of orange rind. Combining this delightful exfoliant with the overwhelmingly pleasant scent makes it irresistible. I have actually been consistently using it for several weeks now.

Here is what the packaging says and I promise every word, ever image conjured up is genuine.
"Blood orange is said to be an anti-depressant and aphrodisiac. It is symbolic of eternal love and peace. In Italy, where the orange is native, a red streaked sky at sunset is known as a "blood orange sky." The sweet fruit is loved for its absence of bitterness with rich, juicy flavor and bright raspberry and strawberry notes."

"Our beautifully natural soap is handmade using our own biodegradable, vegan, vegetable oil and glycerin soap base, lufa, a blend of orange essential oils and botanical fragrance. No animal testing, animal ingredients or artificial colors.

Alexis LaMontagna Replay

I had to do some research this week on the Goth Glam look and it lead me back to my favorite show from LA Fashion Week. I had so much fun revisiting Alexis LaMontagna's March 2008 show I decided to share the pics and videos I found. Here are some beautiful shots of the looks and the goth glam makeup from her show. Click here to see some amazing video of the runway show.

Total Beauty Web Tour!

Beauty's Spot goes back to her college days to give you her oldest beauty secret, The Soap Opera.

Beauty Anonymous shows you Givenchy Summer 2008 Makeup Collection!

Beauty411 reviews Soaptopia, a bath line that promised to be "100% junk free"! Check it out!

Meredith at Daily Dose of Coffee actually posts a "Face of the Day" (yikes!) and reviews the new LORAC Croc Palette.

The Beauty of Life brings you the highs and lows from the celebs' beauty looks at the Costume Institute Gala.

What makes you feel your most beautiful? Toya at The Life of A Ladybug wants to know!

Kitiya from Mischo Beauty helps you determine if you’re a candidate for microdermabrasion!

Monique from Beauty Girl Musings finds a great natural deep conditioner is cheek stain and has a link to swatches!.

Jeanne at Periodic Style goes platinum -- is it really true about blondes having more fun?

Christine, from Beauty in Real Life, offers up some phenom looks for spring for under $25.

Henna, from, tells you about a fabulous new scent inspired by Andy Warhol!

Let Kiehl's Handle Mother's Day for you!

Tammy at a Mom in Red High Heels would kill me, but I'm really bad about Mother's day. I love my mother very much and we talk once a week fairly faithfully. Luckily for her and for me she's in Isarael this year so I'm off the hook. In attempt to help our my fellow slackers may I suggest some Kiehl's?

There’s only a few days left! Here’s what Kiehl's has for Mother's Day:
Gardenia Hand and Body Lotion ($19.50), Gardenia Liquid Body Cleanser (15.50), and Gardenia Candle ($28) will be a wonderfully fragrant favorite for “just-for-her” pampering. All are available at for a limited time.

If you are lucky enough to live near a Kiehl’s free-standing store remember that any product selection can be customized into a gorgeous gift box.

Spa Magazine's May Newsletter is here!

Whole Foods is Stepping it UP! (Mineral Makeup Breakdown!)

Whole Foods is getting in on the beauty blog action and I must say they have a tremendous amount of organic and natural beauty experience. I'll never forget when the first whole foods came to Baltimore. I was 14 and quite honestly I've never felt comfortable shopping in a normal grocery store since. Now they are guiding us through their enormous beauty store with helpful tips and knowledge!

Enjoy! OMG I just checked out the Video and IT'S BRILLIANT!!!!

Whole FoodsHow to Build the Perfect Spa Basket
Most everyone enjoys the pampering and results of a day at the spa. Not everyone has the things they need to enjoy a similar experience at home any time. So, whether you’re gifting or stocking your own personal spa “toolkit” here’s a how-to walk-through, featuring quality natural products that provide benefits beyond the normal spa ahhhh.

May 5th
Demystifying Aromatherapy
Have you ever wished you could enjoy a spa right in your own home? Listen and discover how easy it is to: create the perfect relaxing—or energizing—bath; make your own professional quality massage oils; and add aromatherapy to your lifestyle. You’ll also learn the benefits of pure essential oils, and what differentiates them from other oils on the market. Tim Blakey has been an aromatherapist and herbalist for 30 years. He travels extensively doing education and sourcing oils from around the world for Aura Cacia and Frontier.

Benefit Cosmetics

I was recently asked to pick my favorite cosmetics company. Like many major life decisions this took me a day to consider. Beautiful packaging, quality products, a website I can waste hours on, and an online beauty school for makeup tips, finally led me to declare my number one: Benefit Cosmetics. (Plus they are based in my favorite city, San Francisco!)

I decided this just yesterday and low and behold, an email arrived in my inbox just now reassuring me that most of my peers agree with me.

Bliss launches thier very own blog!

All of my dreams are coming true and all in the same week. I have lots of exciting news on the way and a beauty tour of the BEST beauty hots spot in LA next week. All this and Bliss launched their very own blog today!

Spas of America: The May newsletter has arrived!

The May newsletter from Spas of America arrived in my inbox today and it, like all spa newsletters, makes me spatically happy. So I have reprinted it below. You can sign up for it yourself here.

The Best Spa & Wellness Experiences in the World
May 2008 ~ Live, Dream, Discover

Spas of America Launches 600th Spa in a Cave Only an hour from San Francisco, Spa Terra is the first spa in the world to be developed entirely underground. Nestled nel cuore della terra (“in the heart of the earth”), the spa features steam grottos, soaking pools, water walls and lavishly appointed private treatment rooms for individuals and couples. Its sumptuous decor reflects the resort’s Mediterranean theme.

Crystal Springs Resort, New Jersey The Resorts at Crystal Springs offers two award-winning day spas: Elements Spa and the soon to open Reflections Spa. Elements Spa features beneficial minerals in many of its services, including sodium scrubs, mineral water soaks, mineral muds and mineral-based cosmetics. Reflections Spa is a European-inspired oasis with a water-themed decor. Exclusive features include Personal Cascades, a steam room experience allowing for Zen-like rejuvenation.

Spas of America ~ Spa Specials Plan your escape for a rejuvenating spring spa experience. Each month, Spas of America's Spa Specials brings you an exciting selection of dynamic vacation and spa travel options from some of the best spa and wellness experiences in the world. This month discover spa specials from: Utah's Red Mountain Spa; 100 Fountain Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; Arkansas's Turtle Cove Spa; the Aspira Spa in Wisconsin; and the Heartland Spa in Illinois.

The Totally Green Sweepstakes Spas of America is a proud sponsor of Total Beauty's Totally Green Sweepstakes. Who says you can't change the world? You can. Commit to actions that will truly have a positive effect on the environment. Click on the link to learn more and enter the contest!

Lela Rose and bring you a satchel full of beauty

One of my favorite things about the beauty industry is that when two women meet and work well together their partnership has no bounds and tends to benefit everyone around them. Tina Turnbow is the spokesperson for and a world renowned celebrity makeup artist. Tina has been doing the make up for New York fashion and wedding gown designer Lela Rose and now they bring you this beautifully designed "best of" beauty kit. It is yours free with any $100 purchase at You can see a video of them working together at Fashion Week
Ø ARCONA Cranberry Toner
Ø Alterna Caviar Moisture Shampoo with Seasilk
Ø Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Ø L’OCCITANE Verbena Harvest Shower Gel
Ø L’OCCITANE Verbena Harvest Body Lotion
Ø Vincent Longo La Dolce Vita Lashes
Ø Vincent Longo The Curl Mascara
Ø Freeze 24/7 IceShield Facial Cleanser with Sunscreen SPF 15
Ø Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash
Ø tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy

For those of you curious about fashion here is Lela's Bio:

A native of Texas , Lela Rose graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991. Rose then headed to New York to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design where she graduated in 1993. Her education continued under the tutelage of Christian Francis Roth, as Design Assistant and soon thereafter, with Richard Tyler as Design Assistant and Fabric Buyer. Rose worked with Tyler for three years in Los Angeles and New York .

In 1998, Rose's vision and passion compelled her to create her signature collection, Lela Rose. Through intricately designed and finely detailed separates, dresses and jackets, Rose has established herself as a renowned designer.

“My philosophy of design is about creating beautiful, hand finished clothes that exude a casual luxury and refinement.” -Lela Rose

You can watch Lela and Tina in action together at Fashion Week below.

The Soap Opera: I impart to you my oldest beauty secret.

I have been attempting to keep the Soap Opera to myself. I first fell in love with this divine little Midwestern store 9 years ago as I embarked on the turbulent road of big ten college life. I have been on their mailing list since I said good bye to Madison, Wisconsin in May of 2002, enjoying their online sales and vast beauty product resources. This charming little Midwestern store is in fact a beauty industry beacon - shinning the light on bright new worlds as yet undiscovered by the masses and solidly defending the homeland by storing tried and true beauty industry staples.

When the last Soap Opera email arrived in my inbox offering up these beautifully wrapped Lafco European Kitchen Soaps for Mother's Day, I knew it was time to unwrap my secret.

The resources are too vast and the owners' ability to search out new authentically outstanding products is too keen to keep this to myself any longer. In college I would go there alone for hours on end - inspecting the new Roger & Gallet soaps - pondering the ingredients of the various clay masks - and delighting in the seasonal designs of their homemade soaps.

My college experience was not what one would considered balanced or well-rounded and I often found myself in dramatic, troublesome conundrums. The Soap Opera was my quiet little refuge offering up carrot flavored shower gels and Magno's famously black (but foaming white) Spanish soap to nourish and sustain me in rough waters. Even on the most blustery wind-whipped days I could manage a trip down to this oasis of self-care and beauty-focused inspiration.
Almost all of the tremendous resources cultivated by award-winning owners Chuck Bauer and Chuck Beckwith are gems about which I could write lengthy individual posts. I've known for a few weeks now that the second I sat down at my little silver lap top to actually write, the Soap Opera's secrets would come joyously dancing out of my finger tips like a young child eager to entertain. I imagine this eight year old Soap Opera child jumping up onto your computer screen, displaying all of it's most practiced metaphorical dance moves- "look - an aromatherapy resource center! and a skin care chart! - anyone can have good skin with this chart! - and an ingredient reference guide - and Laurie says I'm the best she's ever seen - so there...!" and breathlessly taking a bow.
So there...completely against my wishes and despite all of my best efforts to squash the idea, you now know about the store where I began my beauty infatuation and I beg you don't let my oldest beauty secret go to waste. Make use their meticulously collected inventory via their online store and study the resources available. And if you ever happen to be in this beautiful city packed with bearded outdoorsmen who run the streets with canoes on their shoulders, and packers fans who glue quarters on the streets just so they can sit in the windows of the local bar to watch young college girls bend down and try to pick them up, stop in this refuge of sensory delight and say hello to Chuck and Chuck for me. (If you are there in the summer the garden is a must-see.)