Banner Day in Beauty: L'Oreal Bare Natural Mineral-Enriched Eyeliner

Girls, it was a banner day in beauty here at the SPOT. First we finally tried out this lovely new earth-friendly eyeliner from L'Oreal, then we got the most lovely sponsor for a beauty event we are planning, and then at dinner my eyeliner actually turned heads. Kid you not.

L'Oreal's new Bare Naturale Eyeliner is super easy to apply, precise, and gentle on the most sensitive eyelids (mine puff up at the slightest mention of chemicals.) It didn't smudge on this the hottest southern summer day, and came off easily with my lovely Tammy Fender Cleanser-turned-eye-makeup-remover.

All three shades (Onyx, Slate, & Cocoa) are preservative, talc and fragrance free. These easily wielded wands are also made of 100% natural Gmelina wood. I've scoured the Internet and this pencil is sold out everywhere. Run to your local drugstore girls, run!

Put Some Juara in Your Jamu

Girls! All I wanted to do tonight was tell you about my new fave soap set from Juara. Then I stumbled upon this amazing video that elaborates on the awesomeness of the Indonesian Botanical phenomenon that is Juara.

Now that we've watched, and adored the video let's talk soap.

This adorable set of three gifts soaps comes with detachable quotation cards (below), and three superbly aromatic candlenut soaps. My love for Juara's candlenut line goes back a long way and this exotic soap set is the perfect introduction to the fabulousness of Indonesian skincare. With Candlenut oil, Rice Bran Oil, Shea Butter and Juara's signature scent, this is the perfect gift for you summer beach house hostesses.

Right now you can also enter the code "Earrings" at checkout and with a purchase of $50 you get a FAB pair of Earrings Free!!!! Enjoy!


Stunningly Beautiful Home Fragrance by Casa Di Francesca

This unique fragrance collection was inspired by Francesca, a true Renaissance woman, and one of the few women to tour Europe via the Grand Tour in the late 1600's. With Francesca's story as muse, Designer, Katie Borghese created Casa di Francesca, inspired by both the storied Italian lineage of her family, the Borghese's, and Katie's love of art and travel. Being a woman of Italian heritage who also loves art, designers and travel I couldn't help but hope this home fragrance would be everything it's rich history allowed for. And it is. Fantastic. The Wild Strawberry is currently blowing my mind and redefining the love I have for my own apartment home.

With a stunningly beautiful array of Italian-made diffuser fragrances, glass blown vases , and hand crafted accessories, Casa di Francesca makes otherworldly dreaminess a very reasonably priced element of home decor. Both the clear glass vases and the artful Murano Glass Diffuser Set, inspired by one of Francesca's most unforgettable memories - her trip to the beautiful island of Murano, house inspiring palletable scents. Reminiscent of the great glass artworks of Italy and famous throughout the world for the brilliance and ingenuity of its hand blown glass, the enchanting Murano vessels are simply beautiful. Enjoy!

To Die For: Limited Edition Sensuous Pendant from Estee Lauder

In an age when young women regularly exchange portly portions of their paycheck for the signature scent of a celeb du jour, finding an evocative fragrance housed within an enchanting keepsake is a difficult, if not impossible, task.

$120 may seem like a lot to pay for a pendant necklace filled with solid perfume, but is it a lot to pay for perfection? With a violet colored jewel clasp this locket, filled with visable concentric circles of exotic complementary notes, could be easily mistaken for a family heirloom found in my grandmother's vanity.

In celebration of the first anniversary of the launch of Sensuous, a scent that “every woman wears her way,” Estée Lauder unveils this, my favorite Touch-On Solid Perfume. This fragrance redefines the traditional fragrance structure of Top, Middle and Base notes. Instead, a Warm core is surrounded by Feminine, Luminous notes.

Molten Woods


Ghost Lily


Black Pepper
Mandarin Orange Pulp

Sensuous Touch-On Solid Perfume
0.09 oz / 2.6 g $120.00 (available July 2009)
Delicate, yet provocative, the Touch-On Solid Perfume is traditionally one of the most sensual ways to wear fragrance. Applied directly to the pulse points, the unique, creamy texture responds to the most seductive parts of the body: the décolletage, wrists, behind the ears and the backs of the knees. Enjoy!

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Me & Beyonce

The night before she sang a stunning tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET awards, Beyonce's big red tour bus rolled into Greensboro and I was lucky enough to meet this prolific siren of screen and (musical) stage. To say that she is a legend, to say that she is beautiful, is not enough. Odd as it may seem, her show changed my perspective, even, my life. We are, in fact, the same age. We both adore L'Oreal. She on the one hand has never apologized for who she is, or how she was made. While I, on the other, have spent veritable ages scrutinizing my large nose and impenetrable love handles which are perched atop a pair of oddly large hips.

Her performance, her persona, her rockin' 10 piece all female band showed me more about beauty than I've learned in two years of beauty blogging. Watching the spectacle of music, dance, acrobatics, and theatre that intersect on Beyonce's stage, one gets the feeling that she is more than an excellent dancer, a talented vocalist and one of the most beautiful women ever made. She is, it seems, a channel. Unlike many of us who bury our talents where no one can see, criticize, or steal them, Beyonce is brave enough to lay each and every one of her gifts (not to mention emotions) before the world.

My friend Julia tells me that as a little girl, B used to sing until she couldn't sing any more to the patrons (including Ms. All about the Pretty herself) in her mother's Houston hair salon. B was born with it.

B also happens to be entirely kind and somewhat daunted by the prospect of people's reactions to her. Poor girl tried to have a normal conversation with four fully grown women who could barely speak after seeing her performance. We all settled for hugs, handshakes and one professionally taken photo. I learned on this sweaty southern summer night that beauty, in its truest form, is divinely given and decidedly unapologetic.

Thanks to Beyonce and her incredibly hard working team (including the aMAzing all-female band and hot HOT dancers) for what was one of the best nights of my life.


The Lanesborough: Classic London Luxury, Contemporary Costs

The Lanesborough, London's centrally located luxury hotel, is offering some seriously sumptuous summer (spa) savings. My travels in the UK are, sadly, limited to a long layover in Heathrow airport. For those of you lucky enough to be hopping across the pond in July or August (and arriving on a Friday or Saturday) rates are set at £255/night (normally £435) with a minimum two night stay.

Your two nights in a Deluxe Single, Executive Single or Deluxe Double room includes: 24-hour butler service; Sony VAIO laptop in-room; mobile phones for use inside the hotel; pressing service tea and coffee served daily with wake-up calls; a bowl of fresh fruit and assorted sweets; and mineral water.

Their Spa Studio is also offering a complimentary back massage upon purchase of La Prairie or Comfort Zone facials. (Facial prices start at £85.) Enjoy!


Practically Perfect in Every Way: Jane Iredale Eye Gloss

Last week's schedule nearly killed me. This week, in thinking about what I could do differently, I decided to have more fun - even amidst the overwhelming pile of (too much!) work, prodigal pet projects, and blessed family visits. Not once last week did I allow myself the 30 seconds (in total) it takes to apply my favorite eyeshadow. Aptly titled "Eye Gloss," due to its easy application and enchanting appeal, this eye-makeup-made-easy shadow will permanently dominate the real estate market in your makeup bag for a long time to come.

Even for the makeup challenged this unique eye gloss from Mineral Makeup maverick, Jane Iredale, is simple as mud to apply. Simply sweep the self contained applicator over the crease of the eye and smear over the lid as you would smooth a gloss over lips. Elegant, glamorous, and earth friendly. Enjoy!

The Same Questions I Ask Everyone....With Tammy Fender

Girls, Tammy Fender is taking skin care up a notch or ten. Her perspicacious perspective on beauty and skincare is informed by twenty years of aesthetic expertise and passionate research. If you don't frequent Southern Florida, please (I beg you) acquaint yourself with her organic skincare line. The Lavender & Fo-ti Formula No. c-129 cleansing milk is the best cleanser I have ever, ever encountered. In fact now that my bottle is mostly empty I have re-filled it with water and use the diluted solution as a powerful organic makeup remover. Without further ado, here is the legendary Tammy Fender.

What is your first memory of beauty products?
My memories of beauty products begin with my grandmother and her love for crèmes and oils. To this day, I continue to embrace applying my oils and crèmes as a sacred moment, beginning and ending each day.

At what age did you start wearing makeup?
I can’t recall a specific age, but I love wearing make-up for evening and special occasions. I think the key is finding a balance between your natural radiance and the way makeup can highlight your best features….for me it is a little mascara and lipstick.

If you could apply only one product for the next month what would it be?
My quintessential Serum is an all-in-one for me because it offers pure protection and nutrition in its most concentrated form, feeding the cells with vital energy and nutrients while it moisturizers, replenishes and restores – I use it several times a day as a serum, moisturizer (face, hands, elbows), applied to my lips, around my eyes and to the ends of my hair for health and shine.

If you could give one product to all women in the world what would it be?
As I would want for myself, I would share the Quintessential Serum, a best-selling cult favorite.

If you could ban one harmful ingredient from all beauty products what would it be?

What is your favorite skincare ingredient?
Bulgarian Rose…it is considered one of the most valuable essences of all, requiring more than 7,000 petals to produce a single drop, and has been recognized by the earliest healers for its curative and beautifying attributes. Having the highest frequency of all the essential oils on the planet, Bulgarian Rose is the most powerful cell rejuvenator, bringing balance, harmony, health and beauty.

What is the last product you created?
My newest product creation is the first in my Professional Treatment Series, the Skin Tone Lightening System. This 2-part system utilizes potent botanical brighteners and powerful natural ingredients to treat and correct hyper-pigmented and uneven complexions. This system is the first of its kind drawing on botanically based ingredients to provide professional caliber results at home.

Who is the business woman you most admire?
I admire Alice Waters as a pioneer in the organic food movement and her passion for sharing the purest, healthiest and happiest way of life through consuming the living energy of the earth. Her work is simply an expression of her truest being.

Whose beauty do you most admire?
I see beauty in all beings; being open and receptive to all forms of beauty allows me to honor, embrace and learn from the beauty I see in each person.

What was your best Spa experience?
My best experience was the day I came to my spa on my birthday (as a client!) and felt the nurturing and healing experience of holistic treatments from my dearest friends. The energy and happiness was all encompassing.

Besides your own, what is your favorite brand?
I love brands that offer hand-made products because you can really feel the art of their creation and the love and energy that comes through such products.


Practcally Perfect in Every Way

Audrey has little to do with this post but in looking for an image that represents the phrase which Julie Andrews made famous, Audrey is in fact the visual equivalent of "Practcally Perfect in Every Way", no? So here we go....

The word has gotten out at work that I am in fact a beauty blogger. Yesterday in the middle of what I considered a fairly important meeting (with no previous mention of beauty or spas or organics or travel) my superior paused and asked, "But really, do brands pay you for positive reviews?" Girlfriend, ain't no way I'm going to spend my free time writing lies about a product I don't care about. I could be sleeping, exercising, dating, going to see any one of the movies that have come out in the last, say, 2 years, but instead I'm obsessing over beauty and bringing you the best of what it has to offer. In honor of the ultimate in beauty blogging, this week I bring you "Practically Perfect in Every Way". Visit Beauty's SPOT Product page daily for one select product each day which I promise to be practically perfect in every way. Enjoy!


USDA Certified Organic Lip Balms from Softlips.

I couldn't FTC swear by it but I would venture to say at $2.99, these ingenious little lip balms are the least expensive bearing the stately USDA certified organic label. I have one flavor in every important area of my life. Purse, car, desk, writer's loft, next to the couch, and finally in the bathroom. I simply adore them. Enjoy!
  • Softlips® PURE are lovely little lip balms.
  • USDA-certified organic.
  • Pomegranate, Honeydew Peppermint, Acai Berry, Papaya and Chai Tea.
  • Mounted on recyclable packaging that’s printed with vegetable-based ink.
  • Retail price of $2.99.
  • Sold at many drugstores nationwide, including, Target.

Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Invites the Kiddos!

Pretty much since the first day I met her in LA I have adopted @Makeupbag as my blog mentor. She is in Hawaii this summer with her kids so when I heard about Anara's summer spa kid's menu I immediately thought of her and her totally adorable girls.

Teens’ ages 12-16 can enjoy a special facial addressing teen skin care needs, get sun-kissed hair highlights or join a parent for garden facials or pedicures. Kids ages 6-16 can choose from pineapple-coconut mani/pedis, island hair braiding, flower power polishes, Polynesian temporary tattoos, or Hawaiian hair styling with fresh flowers. My little sister is almost eight and she can get down with some temporary tats. She also has a polish collection that puts bliss to shame. I emphatically believe in teaching our little ones about taking care of themselves and respecting their bodies.

As for the brilliant women like @makeupbag who teach us all how to be more effective, more kind, and more creative by simple example, well, I leave that to her for now.

Here's a little more about Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai:

With a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation completed last year, the spa features treatment rooms opening to their own private garden, open-air lava rock showers, sauna and steam rooms, a lap pool, and a well-appointed fitness center open 24/7. The new Lokahi garden spa area offers treatments amidst lush plumeria (frangipani) scented gardens to the sound of waterfalls and wind-blown bamboo. Each private thatched-roof hale (bungalow) features its own lava rock shower and steam grotto. Soothing hydrotherapy can be found in the open-air Vichy treatment room, whirlpools, and lava rock botanical baths. Enjoy!

An Affair to Remember: Henri Bendel and Warren Tricomi

My first internship after college graduation was at the U.N. Kofi Anan was in fact one of the more humble creatures I've ever encountered but that's another story for another blog. Kofi's wife however completely qualifies for beauty blog banter. She is an incredibly smart, lanky, blond, Swede who gave all the interns manicures at Bendels in support of her pet project, UNIFEM. Since that day I have always known that the ancient secrets of beauty are housed deep within the inner sanctum of Bendel's. On July 8th some of the most ingenious men in hair care will also be housed there. The last time I was at Warren Tricomi I met Lauren Conrad and had the best haircut of my life. I highly recommend attending this event.

From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on July 8 Joel Warren and Edward Tricomi will be at Bendels to kick off a week of Warren-Tricomi specials within the hallowed halls of this legendary 5th Ave entrepot. Also up for grabs is a day of beauty (worth $1,200) with this follicularly proficient duo. Enjoy!