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A childhood interest for art and design grew into a passion for all things beauty. Currently, I’m still smitten.


Sonia Kashuk Target 2011 Spring Collection Limited Edition

Getting ready for sandal season? The SONIA KASHUK Spring Collection for nails includes three new shades and a best seller.

This quad of opaque creamy colors guarantees high shine. The perfect pop of color for Spring is Tutti Fruitti -- a bright coral that launched before. This traditional topper is pretty on everyone. Jammin is another spring staple -- a vibrant hot pink. They've introduced Violetta -- a medium dusty violet and Fatigued is a khaki green with a slight silvery/blue shimmer. I think it's my favorite from the collection (reminds me of Essie/Sew Psyched.) Available at Target for a limited time, you can pick up your fav at $4.99 while supplies last.

For more on the full Spring launch that includes color cosmetics and tools, click here.


Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm

When you think of NEUTROGENA, you think of skincare products. They have some of the best facial cleansers to combat blackheads and acne. I recently read that they are now fighting dry chapped lips. Relatively new to the market, NEUTROGENA Revitalizing Lip Balm (SPF 20) claims to instantly moisturize your lips in one week (a plus during this season of transition). It's a sheer tinted balm with sunscreen to protect your delicate lips from damaging sun rays. With six shades to choose from at $8 a pop, smoother lips are available at a drugstore near you.


M.A.C. Primed for Perfection Collection

M.A.C. COSMETICS has a new found focus on perfecting the skin. With the introduction of Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye, you get a lightweight, quick fix for puffy, tired eyes and a long-term solution for bags and dark shadowy circles. The formula adds instant luminosity and moisture to the delicate tissues surrounding the eye/$30. It is recommended to apply before concealer.

Launching with it is the Prep + Prime Highlighter. (They remind me of YSL's Touche Eclat Radiant Touch and Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener) Three shades provide a sheer wash of color to add light, brighten and perfect.
  • Light Boost/yellow cream
  • Bright Forecast/ peachy coral
  • Radiant Rose/shell pink
Each can be worn on bare moisturized skin or over your favorite concealer or foundation. The click pen offers precise application/$23.00.

The new four-piece Primed for Perfection Collection launches April 7. Visit or your local M.A.C. counter.


Celebrity Slim Downs

Whether the drive comes from within or from being a national spokesperson for a diet program, celebs are shedding pounds very QUICKLY. We are closing out National Nutrition Month soon so I'm wondering if these are safe healthy alternatives to weight loss. Or could it be the pressure to conform to Hollywood's standards? I read somewhere that a size 8 is considered "fat" in Hollywood. Really??? But everybody is not meant to be a size 2. Sometimes it looks great and sometimes it looks disproportionated. Celebrities may be experiencing the unexpected. Their size becomes the focus instead of their talent. JENNIFER HUDSON, recently interviewed on OPRAH, said "Don't look at me...Listen to me." She prefers us to get caught up in her song instead of what size her jeans are. Young mogul, RAVEN SYMONE feels her success and talent lie in the shadows of her smaller size. Most recently, JORDIN SPARKS came down a few dress sizes. Will the media put her on display too? (Read more about this here.)

MO'NIQUE swears "skinny girls are evil" but she has shed some pounds citing health benefits. She insists she will never be truly thin because she loves the way she is. It just makes me think, is losing weight a matter of better health and confidence or about conforming to someone's standard of beauty. Share your thoughts here please....would love to hear from you.

(Story inspired by


Idealist from Estee Lauder

ESTEE LAUDER announced plans to launch a new skincare line. Idealist targets a multicultural demographic with products that work on all skin types. Marketing strategy is simple -- "Every Woman Can Be Beautiful" -- a strong advertising campaign featuring Joan Smalls, Constance Jablonski and Liu Wen. Three flawless beauties sure to capture our attention.

THE PRODUCT: Each contain breakthrough formulas to reduce the look of uneven skin tone, dark circles and more. Product includes the Even Skintone Illuminator with rice bran extract (smooths skin), Vitamin E, licorice (lightens hyperpigmentation) and gentian (natural toner). The Cooling Eye Illuminator has caffeine (reduces puffiness), magnolia extract (improves elasticity) and sea algae (firms skin). This one will be exclusive to Bloomingdales next month. The applicator provides a cooling sensation -- via a ceramic tip -- the industry's first.

Look for availibility nationally at ESTEE LAUDER counters in June/$58. Click here to sign up for emails to be among the first to hear when this duo arrives in stores.


I'm Wearing Falsies!

It's been busy! Strep throat (not me, my favorite girl), clients, meetings, and "acting" as a wedding planner, I've been M-I-A for a few days. Hope you missed me!!!

On to the beauty booty...Yesterday I wore falsies for the first time! But it's not what you think...I tried Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara (thanks Gena)! Lately, I've been wearing L'Oreal's Voluminous Million Lashes but I'm always open to suggestions.

I've read rave reviews about this mascara, was impressed with the claims and the price point. Well, I opened it to find a goopy mess all over the spoon shaped brush . The product was unevenly distributed on the brush too. BUT with each stroke, my lashes plumped up and appeared longer. Gaps disappeared. Lashes separated. The unique brush mimics the natural curve of your eyelashes and the Kera-fiber formula added volume and length. I only applied one coat using the longer side of the brush because I was in a rush. I don't think it gave me the appearance of falsies but it's a nice mascara overall. While I was not happy about cleaning up the tube, I face a dilemma...Do I want to deal with cleanup each and every day or do I stand by my staple? I think I'll try it again tomorrow and decide. If I like it, it may be one to add to my kit.

Share your findings with Maybelline Falsies Mascara /$5.00 at Target!


The Burberry Trench & More

Whether you're a slave to fashion or a gal who sticks to classics, the trench coat should be a part of your closet couture. You'll be chic with just about anything you pair it with...jeans and wellies, wrap dress and heels or leggings with ballet slippers.

Picks I've come across:

The Burberry Metallic Button Waist Trench Coat is a luxury buy. Belted cuffs, detachable lower section affixed with Burberry engraved buttons/$1,495 at Wishing (and hoping and praying and dreaming) for this one too!

The Tahari Eve Asymmetrical Ruffle Trench Coat has the perfect touch of femininity. The wide split lapel collar, ruffled trim down the front, and tie belt are perfect accents to the light subtle sheen/$148 at Nordstrom stores.

Saving the best deal for last. This Tommy Hilfiger Trench works overtime since you can rock it three ways. With princess seams, this belted coat is flattering to just about every figure. Remove the sleeves to reveal a dress or layer it to revamp an outfit! Strip it down even more and you've got a funky bolero jacket. Talk about versatility. Coming soon to Macy's/$160 (call 800-622-9748 for inquiries).

Revlon Heavenly Metal Collection

Browsing at CVS, this (fairly new) REVLON launch caught my eye. Ok, it was really Halle's hair (real talk)!

The REVLON HEAVENLY METAL COLLECTION consists of three Smoky Eye Crayons, six ColorStay Overtime Lip Glosses, three baked shadows and three nail polishes.

I fell in love with the Bronze Smoke Smoky Eye Crayon (right). It's the perfect shade for a dramatic smoky eye. What I'll probably do is pair it with Gilded, use it as liner and smudge it in for a softer look.

I'm not big on foil finish nail lacquers. But "Gold Coin" is rather pretty (mid pix). It's a soft dirty gold with a tinge of green which makes it edgier than the standard gold polishes I've seen. I see a DIY mani that will include this shade. Can't wait to share!
Have you tried any products from HEAVENLY METAL?


All Black Everything

What do you think of when you hear the word?
Words that come to my mind?
Strong. Elite. Sexy. Fashionable. Sophistication.

When it comes to men's fashion and accessories, black is a must have staple.

Tuxedo: As a rule, every man should own a tux. It's an expected standard for special events that demands the proper fit. A classic style in a tailored modern silhouette is perfect. Check the two-button jacket with double vented back at J.CREW/$495.00.

Travel Bag: You've made the upgrade from your canvas duffel, I'm sure. A black leather travel bag is a statement piece...shows you like quality. Ensure yours travels well: 45" in all dimensions will get the nod of approval for TSA carry-on regulations.

Personal Accessories: For Apple and Blackberry gadgets, look to the partnership from BENTLEY and Ettinger. Refined precious black leather with contrasting color accents and stitch patterns make these handmade cases stand out. Includes passport holders, luggage labels and portfolios/approx $75 for smartphone case.

For additional luxury goods in black, visit UPTOWN Magazine.
(images from &

Work It Out!

Naturally, I adore the"BLACK SWAN" craze that's taken over. Impacting everywhere, trends are seen on the runway, in makeup, fashion and even in fitness.

I'm excited we can get a total body workout with "ballet" training.

Sculpt and define at Bally Total Fitness with Balletone. Combines classical ballet techniques with modern fitness concepts. Enjoy the benefits of improved muscle tone, posture, and flexibility.

Crunch Fitness offers two dance workouts. Dance and stretch like a prima ballerina to today's hottest music. The Tutu Fresh class teaches basic positions, plies and all.

At Equinox, the Barre Burn class has strength training for your core (read: flat stomach). With promises of tight thighs, lifted booty and mobilizing metabolism, I'm ready for tights and tutus myself.

True, the lithe dancers are graceful and lean, but it doesn't come easy. Ballet is a grueling and exhausting workout. Inspired by a movie, these body training programs are all created to make us look, feel and move better.

For "BLACK SWAN" inspired workouts at home, get the New York City Ballet Workout DVD 1 & 2/$32.50. For additional fitness clubs with ballet workouts, click here. For more info on benefits of the ballet workout, click here.

(inspired by "Get A Ballerina Body"/


Pro Beauty Secrets

Glam experts from the 2011 New York Fashion Week share their secrets on perfecting everyday looks. Your beauty routine just got easier.

  • To increase blood flow and plump fine lines, press moisturizer into your skin (instead of rubbing it in).
  • Look well rested by using eye drops for clear eyes and a refreshed look before putting on makeup.
  • Line the top lid with a thick line to give the illusion of fuller lashes. Try LANCOME Le Crayon Khol Eyeliner in Gris Noir (deep Slate Grey)/$24.50 or MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in Mat Black/$17 at Sephora.
  • I am a fan of full eyebrows -- brush brows upward at a 45-degree angle for an added eye lift (fave tip).
  • Remember to blot lipstick to reduce shine for a supple lip stain.

For additional tips, click here.

Share your beauty secrets here or post comments on my FaceBook page: BLACKswan at Beyond Beauty.

(pix from from


National Nutrition Month

Beauty comes from within.
That's the simple truth. We want to put good things into our bodies for clear skin, healthy hair, bright eyes, a beautiful get the picture. And our food choices impact the way we look.

"Eat Right With Color" is the theme for March 2011 NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH. Make room for veges, fruit, whole grains, lean protein and dairy. Frozen vegetables and fruit smoothies are a simple way to eat what you need every day. Starting your day with oatmeal? Add fruit! Blueberries are antioxidant, rich in beta carotene and fiber, and a good source of vitamins A, C and E. Benefits of bananas? Their full of potassium, reduce depression and stress and even ward off ulcers. All that from breakfast!
I recommend:
  • Snacking on an apple for a natural tooth cleanser. It removes can literally feel the difference.
  • Eating apricots and mangos. They're full of Vitamin C which promote collagen -- reduces wrinkles and protects skin from sun damage.
  • Trying spinach and kale at dinner. These are cancer fighting cruciferous veggies.
For beautiful skin and optimum health, add more color to your diet with suggestions found here.