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


Beauty Defined

The findings at the beauty survey from ALLURE.COM was an interesting read. It seems we are strongly opinionated about beauty, women AND men. Everyone has their own definition thus the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Let's see the what the poll findings were for:

Curves: Mixed feelings on this one. Although most women want narrower hips (85%), many agree that a curvier body is more appealing (73%).

Workout: How many of us are battling the bulge? Our tummies are the target -- we want it toned and flat! Enough said!

Aging: The thought of aging gracefully is so yesteryear. These days, the market is flooded with anti-aging products and many people are open to a little nip/tuck. The pressure of aging is greater than it's ever been for both sexes.

Confidence: I think it's the best accessory. Studies show that brown girls wear it well. Supposedly, when asked about personal attractiveness, African American women were three times more likely as Caucasian women to rate themselves at the hot end of the spectrum. Really?

For more findings on the Allure American beauty survey, click here.

(photos and article from


The Backless Bra

The season calls for showing a little skin. One shoulder shirts, strapless dresses, and halter tops call for the perfect bra. I've found a solution for you. Forget those pasties that offer coverage but no support. The NORDSTROM Intimates 'Super Boost Backless Underwire Bra solidifies sexiness with a boost in cup size and offers a customized fit. Silicone adhesive tabs securely adhere to skin with comfort. And with a gentle hand-wash, the bra lasts -- can be worn up to 50 times. Available in nude or black/$42 at NORDSTROM.


Carol's Daughters Meet & Greet -- 34th St/NYC

CAROL'S DAUGHTER'S is celebrating the Monoi Repairing Collection launch in NYC.

Monoi is a special Tahitian flower. The oil from the flower is used to prevent hair damage, lessen breakage, snaps and splits. The shampoo, conditioner and hair mask penetrate distressed weak hair without stripping it. Products were fomulated for every hair type.

The premiere takes place on Tuesday, May 24th at Sephora/34th Street. From 9pm on, the first 250 people who purchase the Monoi Repairing Gift Set will receive a wristband that guarantees one photo with the new "spokesbeauties," Solange Knowles, Selita Ebanks and Cassie. The trio represent multiple ethnicities -- Solange is African-American and French Creole; Selita is Jamaican, Irish and Indian and Cassie is African-American and Filipina. Their hair textures vary as well, from straight to naturally curly.

Meet & Greet:
Location: Sephora @ 130 West 34th Street/NYC 10001
Phone: 212-629-9135

Please Note:
Space is limited (arrive early).
One photo per person.
B.Y.O.C. (Bring Your Own Camera)

The Monoi Collection is exclusive to Sephora and


Pirates of the Caribbean 4: OPI Collection

A mani/pedi inspired by a pirate movie? Leave it to OPI to create a collection worthy of the beauties of the sea -- mermaids! Six of the seven creamy colors are soft and pretty just like mermaids.

Skull & Glossbones -- a khaki gray

Sparrow Me the Drama -- a pastel pink

Steady as She Rose -- a deep rosy pink

Planks-A-Lot -- a lusty lavender

Stranger Tide -- an unchartered sea of sage

Mermaid's Tears -- a mystical green

The seventh shade has a distinctive edge much like a true mermaid -- Silver Shatter -- a crackled two-textured silvery finish.

OPI always seems to nail it (pun intended)...$8.50 at local drugstores and Ulta.


Kardashian Colloboration with OPI

Confirmed on Twitter, the KARDASHIANs are creating a nail polish collection with Nicole by OPI. Today, Khloe, Kim and Kourtney shot an ad campaign although they have not announced a launch date. I have to admit, their manicures are always trendy on their shows...they keep my obsession with dark nail lacquers alive.

I'm certain this line will be just as successful as the other OPI celebrity collections from Katy Perry, GLEE, Justin Beiber and Serena Williams. We have to wait and see...

(image: Getty)

Bliss Thanks You

Take advantage of a special thank you from -- $20 off $50 or more (excludes LaMer, SK2, Sisley and Skinceuticals) until May 31, 2011. Use the code: THANKS.

Enjoy your "spa-tacular moment."


NUANCE: Salma Hayek's New Cosmetic Line

Actress, wife and mother, Salma Hayek adds another notch to her belt: entrepreneur. She's teamed with CVS to launch her new beauty brand, NUANCE by Salma Hayek. The 100 piece product range includes color cosmetics , hair care and anti-aging skincare. It will be sold exclusively through 7,000 CVS stores and online in August. Hayek was very involved in the creative process for the last three years -- she went to the labs to revise formulas and visited suppliers to work on packaging. The line was inspired by her grandmother, a cosmetologist who studied at Vichy Labs in Paris. "She had glowing skin well into her 90's but never developed wrinkles" -- a result of Native American and Mayan remedies (read: secret ingredients). More info from WWD.

Salma wanted to create a product line with an affordable price point...something for the everyday woman. Items are priced between $7.99 to $19.99.

Spring Trend: Diane von Furstenberg Maxi Dresses

The maxi dress is perfect for Spring weather. The basic shape is universally flattering on most body types. They are comfortable, effortless ensembles that pair easily with flats and statement jewelry.

For luxe fabrics and quality, you can't go wrong with pieces by DIANE VON FURSTENBERG. I particularly like the draped neckline on the coral belted silk and cotton 'Tadd' Maxi Dress/DVF $298 at Nordstrom.

The 'Tadd' Silk Maxi is similar in silk with a tiny leopard print pattern. Has a drawstring waist for a comfortable fit and a removable silk lining/DVF $385 at Nordstrom.

I also adore the 'Printed Jersey Grecian Maxi' in bold color with a deep v-neck and horizontal braided straps in Vicose and silk/DVF $325 available at Bloomingdales.

To shop DVF trends and vintage pieces, go to


Spring Cleaning -- When Good Makeup Goes Bad

By now we've all done a little Spring cleaning around the house. But have you taken a look inside your cosmetic bag? If not, it's time!

Makeup doesn't last forever. Water based products breed bacteria fastest but powders last the longest. So, if the nail polish has separated, the foundation is gooey, and the mascara is funky, then it's time to be tossed! Here are some guidelines to ensure you won't suffer any rashes or reactions to makeup gone bad:

Mascara: 3 months
Pencil Eyeliner/Lip Liner: Up to 12 months +
Liquid Concealer & Foundation: 9 to 12 months
Stick Concealer & Foundation: Up to 12 months +
Lipstick/Lip Gloss: 12 months +
Powders (Eye Shadow, Blush, Pressed): 18 months +
Creams (Eye Shadows/Blush): 12 months
Primer: Up to 12 months
Nail Polish: 18 months +

Skincare Products*
Cleanser: 12 months
Exfoliators: Up to 9 months
Moisturizers: Up to 12 months
Anti-Aging Treatments: 9 months +
Sunscreen -- 12 months

*NOTE: Any product that dries out or changes textures should be discarded.

Makeup Brushes: Up to 3 years. Washing regularly with mild detergent prevents shedding. Use a brush cleaner or Dawn Dish Washing Liquid (per celebrity makeup artist, Sam Fine). Replace as needed.
Blending Sponges: Wash at least once per week. Replace every month.

Always store makeup in a cool dry place and carry in pretty cases like the ones showcased at

ANTHONY Logistics Starter Kit for Men

Exfoliate, cleanse, and soothe skin with ANTHONY Logistics formulated especially for men. Prep skin with these five essential grooming products found in the travel friendly Clean Start Kit. Great for smooth shaves and blackhead removal with a fresh scent.

  • Glycolic Facial Cleanser (contains aloe, glycolic acid and vitamins to prime skin for shaving).

  • Facial Scrub (gently cleanses and removes dead skin).

  • Shave Cream (naturally raises hairs to combat ingrowns).

  • After Shave Balm (aloe and apricot kernel oil prevent razor burn).

  • Lip Balm (instantly soothes dry chapped lips with shea butter, avocado, sesame, and grape seed oils).

Also available online and in stores at Sephora /$40. For skin issues like ingrown hairs, razor burn, acne and more, click here.


Bridesmaids Movie Contest...It's Vegas Baby!

URBAN DECAY has teamed with UNIVERSAL PICTURES for the ultimate trip to Vegas to promote the recently released "Bridesmaids" movie. It's the perfect toolkit for any bride or perfect thank you for putting up with Bridezilla!

The Urban Bride Kit provides what every bridal party needs:

Razor Sharp Ultra-Definition Finishing Powder perfects skin and suits all skin tones...looks flawless in any light!

Eyeshadow Primer Potion for shadow looks that are crease-proof and last from the ceremony to the end of the reception.

Supercurl Curling Mascara adds volume and length with polymers to hold the curl.

Lip Junkie Lip Gloss is a non-sticky sheer nude for come-hither shine.

All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray prevents makeup from melting for 16 hours. Your look is sure to last 'til the last dance.

Marshmallow Sparkling Lickable Body Powder adds a little sparkle to shoulders, decolletage and wherever you please...Keeps the party going after the guests are gone.

And, it all comes in a pretty keepsake box and each product is travel friendly. Available at or$42 Enter to win a weekend trip for two to Vegas here. Contest ends 5/31/2011.


Sofia Vergara: The New Face of COVERGIRL

Guess who will be the new face of COVERGIRL's ad campaign come January 2012? The hot "Modern Family" star, Sofia Vergara has partnered with the beauty brand adding to the diverse lineup of spokesmodels.

Selected as one of PEOPLE's "Most Beautiful" this year, she told she's "always wanted to be a CoverGirl" and is happy to represent Latin women in her new role. Claiming to love makeup, her favorite products from the line include LashBlast Volume Mascara and Lip Perfection Lipstick. Both are available at Target for $5.95. Sofia is so excited about this gig, she even tweeted about it -- "So happy to be the new @CoverGirl." Take a sneak peek at one of the photos from the shoot here.


Ginger + Liz Family & Friends Event

Treat your tootsies to a fab pedicure with shades from GINGER + LIZ Colour Collection. Your feet ARE the accessory with these pretty colors for Spring. Try "I'm So Over Him" (purple hue) or "Keep Me Interested" (tangerine orange). Know a prom princess? Get her a bottle of "Chase Me" (Caribbean blue). TEEN VOGUE lists it as THE color to compliment any party dress.

And even better, you can save 10% off your entire order. GINGER + LIZ Colour Collection is hosting a Family & Friends Event until 5/6/11. Key in the code: MAYFLOWERS at checkout to receive your discount.

To order your toxin free polish, click here. To learn more about the brand's philosophy, click here. For locations, click here.


Win The Optimum Care Mother/Daughter Spa Giveaway

Are you looking for a gift for your mother? Get her something you both can enjoy...a weekend of luxurious pampering.

SOFTSHEEN CARSON and HEART & SOUL Magazine are hosting a national contest for one mother/daughter duo to win a special spa package in Miami.

Grand prize includes:

* Spa & Wellness Weekend
* round trip airfare
* hotel accommodations for two
* makeup and hair consultation with celebrity hair stylist Johnny Wright and
* an appearance on Lifetime TV's "The Balancing Act"

For details, go to The contest runs until May 15, 2011 so pack your bags! You could really win !

And what's more, if you're the first to post what Spring hair style you're rocking right here on the BLACKswan Beauty blog, you can win an Optimum Care Salon Collection hair care package sponsored by SOFTSHEEN CARSON.

Let's go bellas!