Friday, December 08, 2006

What's In My Shower

Happy Friday!

Christina from the fabulous Bon Bons in the Bath recently asked me if I would disclose what I use in my bathroom and specifically my shower on a day-to-day basis. Hey, why not?!

If you are at all curious to see what some of my fav shower products are, just pop over to read What's In Her Shower.

Other bloggers that are also sharing their shower secrets this week are eBeautyDaily, Blogdorf Goodman, The Beauty Newsletter, The Beauty Addict and The Makeup Girl. This is a very interesting feature so do not miss it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Top Women in Focus - Maureen Kelly

Today is the last day of Top Women in Focus and I hope that you have enjoyed learning more about these successful business women - I know I have. To close the series Maureen Kelly is our woman "in focus".
Maureen Kelly is the CEO & creator of tarte. Maureen started her company in 1999 from a one bedroom apartment in New York and now it is one of the most well known cosmetics companies in North America.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
I’ve always had a love for makeup. When I was probably no older than 5 years old, I decided to "make up" my younger sister’s Holly Hobby doll. I snuck some of my mom's makeup and turned Holly into a real tarte (haha). Years later when I was in junior high, I was still very much into makeup. I’d have makeovers with both of my sisters and my best friend.

Where did the idea for tarte cosmetics come from?
To be honest, I was really frustrated that makeup lines were so focused on makeup artists rather than real women like me. While I might be a beauty junkie, I’m no beauty expert. I was never able to recreate the look I received at the makeup counter because they used an excessive amount of brushes and all different products to achieve it. It’s hard to believe, but I literally spend 5 minutes doing my makeup in the morning and I wanted to create a line that would cater to women like me.

What was the first product that tarte produced?
When I started the line, I wanted to focus on one product and put everything behind it. That product was our cheek stain: a water-based push up gel stick that’s perfect for all skin types. In fact, our cheek stain still remains to be our best-selling product!

When did you first realize that tarte was a success?
It would definitely have to be the first time I saw tarte in Henri Bendel being sold! Just walking into the store and seeing people buying our cheek stain made me so proud! As far as success goes, I think reading about us in magazines, hearing celebrities use our products or reading the blogs our customers write about our brand brings a smile to my face.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
We really listen to our customers. We represent the real women, and steer clear of the trend to cater to the makeup artist. It’s really important that the everyday woman is able to re-create the look she gets at the makeup counter when she gets home. Our products are easy-to-use, but still chic and luxurious.

What is your favorite tarte product?
Do I have to pick just one?! I’d have to say tickled cheek stain—I wear it every day! Another favorite of mine is Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara (along with picture perfect our eyelash curler). I’m also addicted to our rise & shine plumping lip stain in pink! And my favorite eyeshadow palette of all time is little black dress…I could go on and on!

What beauty staples do you use daily?
I’m constantly experimenting with all beauty products—from makeup and skincare products to the latest haircare and teeth whitening products! Right now, I’m obsessed with L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, Aquaphor (for me and my little one, Sully), Mario Badescu Olive Eye Cream, Calypso Mimosa perfume, Prive daily shampoo and conditioner, GoSmile tooth whitening on-the-go and nail polishes from the lippmann collection.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
That’s a tough one! Right now, I have a newborn and in 10 years, I hope to have more children. Family will always be a major part of my life. As for the business, we’ll never stop creating the easy-to-use products women know us for, but moving forward I could see us experimenting more in the world of skincare and perfume.

Who are you influenced by?
I’d have to say that so many of the women in my life inspire me and have influenced the way I live. My mom raised 5 kids on a very small income and always managed to look stylish and focus on what’s important in life-family and friends. My older sister Veronica juggles a full time job and 3 kids and still manages to bake cookies and be a class mother. My grandmother who raised 4 kids alone after her husband passed away and always managed to volunteer. It never fails to amaze me how much one woman is capable of.

What makes you smile?
There are so many things—my baby boy Sully, my husband, my family and friends! I also love to watch women's reactions to trying tarte—it doesn't matter if it's as simple as a new shade of lipgloss or a completely made up face-their whole attitude changes. To me makeup is like magic, and I love to help women feel good about themselves. That makes me smile. Oh yea, and the beach!

What keeps you going every day?
My family and friends—they’re all so supportive! Not to mention our customers!! I love hearing new ideas from them and how our new product was exactly what they needed. That’s a great feeling! Also, I love the challenge of owning my own business. That definitely keeps me going.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
As any working mom knows, it’s tough! It’s all about prioritizing and scheduling the time right. I love my job, but I do need time for myself sometimes, too. I always try to give myself time to exercise in the morning before I tackle the day’s work.

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
I’m constantly speaking with our makeup artists in the field—they are on the frontline with our customer and they see what’s literally out there all of the time. Not to mention, everyone in the office is always reading the latest in the media—whether it’s a blog or magazine article. It’s all about current events and gauging the next big thing.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
I think the best advice is to do what you love—life’s just too short! As far as the beauty industry goes, do your homework! Internships, apprenticeships, makeup counter positions… are definitely a good start. When you are ready to launch a company think about your customer—define who it is and then meet their needs! After that it’s all about research, research, research!!

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?

I think blogs play a major role in the beauty industry. They are an un-biased medium that gives you the honest truth. Several show different looks, explain how to use a product and give reasons why they might’ve not liked a product but you could. That said we’ve created our own online community on our website, “tarte talk.” It allows our customers to blog and gives them a chance to interact with us. We link to other blogs that we feel give good reviews.

Thank you to Maureen for taking the time to answer my questions. I would also like to thank Sarah Bancroft, Trish Lucarino and Jennifer Massaro for taking part in this series.

I'd love to hear what you all thought about this series and if it is something you'd like to see more of. Who would you like to see interviewed? Email me your feedback.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Top Women in Focus - Jennifer Massaro

It's day three of Top Women in Focus and I am happy to say that today Jennifer Massaro is our woman "in focus".

Jennifer Massaro is an account executive with Janine Gordon Associates, an agency in NY that handles brand marketing and corporate public relations.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
When I was little I wanted to be an actress. I always had a flare for drama.

Why did you get into Public Relations?
I enjoy interacting with people and I get to do that on a daily basis, whether it is with my client or beauty editors. I could never see myself sitting behind a desk crunching numbers all day.

How long have you worked for Janine Gordon Associates, LLC
I’m one of the newest additions to this firm; I just came on about four months.

What education should you have if you are interested in becoming an account executive for a Public Relations firm?
A college education is a must, as well as an understanding of people. You may excel in college but if you lack people skills you will never succeed.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to enter into Public Relations?
Make sure to join a company where your passion and creativity are nurtured. Those are two important aspects of this field and it is essential to have a work environment where that can be fostered.

Why should companies use a PR firm rather than have in-house marketing staff?
Many companies hire an outside agency because it gives them a “fresh” pair of eyes to their company. I wouldn’t necessarily say that companies should always use an outside firm. It definitely just depends on the nature of the company.

What clients do you look after?
My primary client is mineral makeup industry leader, Bare Escentuals.

What makes you successful?
I think it’s extremely important to remember to have fun and keep everything in perspective. It is very easy to get caught up in this industry and take yourself too seriously.

What are your favorite beauty products?
Two products I can’t live without, mascara and blush. Even if I’m in a rush, I never leave the house without these two things on.

What beauty products do you use everyday?
Bare Escentuals SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Tan
i.d. Brushless Magic Wand Mascara (only one word for this mascara, AMAZING)
i.d. bareMinerals Blush in Dusk

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like to be settled down, have a family and to still be leading a successful career.

Who are you influenced by?
Strong, independent women that make a name for themselves but can remain humble amidst all their success.

What makes you smile?
My nephew always makes me smile. Unfortunately, I don’t have the opportunity to see him as much as I would like, but whenever I receive pictures of him I can’t help but smile.

What keeps you going every day?
Knowing that I am fulfilling a dream – I am so lucky to be living in the best city (NYC) doing what I love.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
Fortunately, I don’t work long, crazy hours and I am at a firm that cares about my quality of life so I haven’t had to “juggle.”

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
My nose is always in a magazine or reading beauty Web sites to see what the consumers are raving about. It’s extremely important in my field to know what the trends are and where they are headed.

What magazines are currently sitting on your desk?
Oh, gosh… what magazines AREN’T sitting on my desk? If you can think of it, it’s probably here.

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?
Blogs are extremely influential. It is where we can hear the voice of the consumers. It gives a forum for everyone to speak their mind, whether good or bad.
Thank you to Jennifer for taking part in this series. Join Lipstick, Powder 'n Paint tomorrow as we are honored to have Maureen Kelly from Tarte Cosmetics as our Top Woman in Focus.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Top Women in Focus - Trish Lucarino

Welcome to day two of Top Women in Focus. This series looks at four extremely successful women that each play a key role in todays beauty industry. Today, Trish Lucarino is "in focus"...

Trish Lucarino is the president and founder of Principessa. With gorgeously fragrant beauty products and pink signature packaging, they are a hit around the world.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
A princess? No, seriously I didn’t really know what I wanted to be for the longest time. It wasn’t until I came up with the idea for Principessa that I felt I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. It is so much fun and never feels like work.

Where did the idea for Principessa come from?

I have always been a huge beauty product junkie in search of the best products. I thought it would be fun to create them myself. But, it wasn’t until I thought of the name that the whole idea came together. My husband is Italian and he called me Principessa plus my girlfriend, sister in law and I had started a Principessa club. We would all go on trips together and go to spas pampering ourselves. The name just seemed so perfect for a line of indulgent beauty products.

What was the first product that Principessa produced?
We started with 6 products initially after doing a lot of research we came up with Bacio Me Lip Balm, Cattiva Diva Silky Hand Cream, Fresh Fiore Shower Cream, Dolce Dreams Whipped Body Lotion, Bella Booty Creamy Body Scrub, Bambina Bubbles Spa Cream Bath and our Bellezza Box Beauty Tool Kit with mini versions of all the products. All the names are half Italian and half English and we had so much fun coming up with all of them!

How did you develop your wonderful signature scent?
This was crucial for us as I am so sensitive to most fragrances and don’t like a lot of stuff on the market. My hubby and I traveled to Italy and I dragged him into every beauty boutique and apothecary and bought everything that appealed to us. Then we came home and worked with a perfumery here to develop our two signature scents. I was so picky and it was imperative that they were fresh, clean and not obnoxious or overpowering. We are thrilled with the response to the scents and apparently a lot of people feel the same way I do about them.

When did you first realize that Principessa was a success?
Honestly, I am not sure I do yet. We are still quite small but there have been wonderful points along the way such as being asked to be in the goodie bags for the Golden Globes our first week in business and getting an e-mail from Terri Hatcher saying she adored the products. But one of my favorite things is when we get phone calls or e-mails from customers who take the time to tell you how much they love the products or that they got accosted in the street by someone who HAD to know what scent they are wearing. It really makes you feel good and that you are doing something right.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
We call it the 3 P’s. Packaging, performance and perfume. We wanted the packaging to be uber feminine and so pretty (I found so many high end spa quality products to be very generic and non gender specific), then the scent had to be perfect and intriguing with the performance of the products to be amazing. I just found so many times you love the packaging but hate the scent, or if it smells good maybe it doesn’t work well or it’s greasy. I just thought “is it too much to ask for something that works and smells as good as it looks?”

What is your favorite Principessa product?
That is so hard as it changes all the time and I love them all but I think our lip balm is incredible and the best on the market. It’s super moisturizing without being greasy or sticky. I was always searching for the perfect lip balm and I finally found it.

What beauty staples do you use daily?
I use the Fresh Fiore or the Bellissima Bar in the shower everyday depending on how much time I have and the Bacio Me, Bianco Breeze and Cattiva Diva are essential. The other products don’t get used everyday I’m afraid and are more luxury items for the weekend etc. I should moisturize every day and I don’t always have the time but every time I use the Dolce Dreams I’m amazed at how easily it absorbs and makes my skin silky soft and smelling like heaven. The other day I was at Yoga class and I couldn’t stop smelling my arm! Water is also another critical beauty staple and while I don’t always drink enough I am trying hard to practice what I preach.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, still doing the same thing with a more fully developed line up of products. I think Principessa has endless potential and we have so many ideas. Can you imagine a Principessa Spa?

Who are you influenced by?
Our customers! They’re the best.

What makes you smile?
What doesn’t? I am at a point in my life where I am feeling particularly blessed. La Vita e Bella!! I have so much to be thankful for and try to be grateful all the time and never take any of it for granted. It’s a lot of hard work and doesn’t come easy which is a good thing otherwise you might not appreciate it as much. I have my health, family, friends, husband and the best job in the world. Walking into our pink offices everyday makes me smile!

What keeps you going every day?
Passion! I love Principessa so much and although it can be really stressful some days it’s honestly the most fun and rewarding thing I have ever done.

Why do you like pink so much?
I have always been a huge pink fanatic. It’s so feminine and girly and it’s such a happy color. It wasn’t until I started doing research at the beginning of Principessa and I was looking for “pink facts” that I discovered that the highest level of serotonin is released in the brain when you see the color pink. Our brand new offices are all pink and absolutely no one can walk into them and not smile.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
Hmm, not so much. The first three years of Principessa have been like having a newborn and it has required constant nurturing and attention. We are finally getting to a point where I can have a bit of a life again and I am getting back into exercising. I love yoga and running with my i-pod cranked (sometimes singing at the top of my lungs)

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
Magazines the internet and trade shows are a good resource but we really try to listen to our customers too. They will tell you what is hot and what they want. For example we recently launched our award winning hair and body powder, Bianco Breeze after listening to our customers telling us they wanted us to create this item and we can barely keep the stuff on the shelf.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
I think you have to have endless love and passion for what you are doing because it can be very difficult and trying sometimes. I am not sure I would have the wear withall to withstand some of the stress sometimes if I didn’t absolutely love what I was doing. Also, I know this is a terrible cliché but you really have to trust your instinct and listen to your gut. I have made some big mistakes not trusting mine and vice versa.

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?
I think blogs are so fun, informative and a great way to keep up on all the latest trends. I think blogs along with the internet are becoming increasingly important and I’m not sure what we did before them…

Thank you to Trish for being part of this series and letting us understand the passion you have for your business.

Please visit us on Wedneday for a chance to get to know Jennifer Massaro from Janine Gordon Associates. See you then!



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Monday, December 04, 2006

Top Women in Focus - Sarah Bancroft

This week we take a look at four extremely successful women working in the beauty industry. We have the editor, the business owner, the public relations executive and the CEO. How did they get to where they are today and what makes them successful? Follow this series over the next four days and find out!

Sarah Bancroft is the editor-and-co-founder of Vitamin V, Vancouver’s largest on-line lifestyle magazine, that covers beauty, fashion, culture, travel and dining.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be the person who put the little swirls on top of the chocolates at the candy factory. Obviously I hadn’t considered the hairnet.

Why did you get into journalism?
I was trying to find a way to read Vogue and Vanity Fair and actually be “working.”

What was the first story you ever reported on?
I did a profile of architect Bing Thom for Vancouver magazine when I was an intern there in 1997.

Where did the idea for Vitamin V come from?
We felt there was a need for a daily, online service covering new restaurants, store openings, and culture that was a true style authority and always got there first. Turns out we were right.

When did you first realize that Vitamin V was a success?
Every time we get a letter from a reader saying they discovered something fabulous, went on an amazing trip, or got the very last one of something, I am thrilled. We now get dozens of such letters a day.

What makes you successful?
Integrity and hard work, I think.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully helming a web empire, but not an evil one.

Who are you influenced by?
Self-made female entrepreneurs who don’t take themselves too seriously. Nigella Lawson, not Martha Stewart.

What makes you smile?
My one year old daughter, who points at a picture of Saddam Hussein in the newspaper and says “Daddy!”

What keeps you going every day?
See above.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
In many ways they are one in the same, but that is by design. If you can make a career of your hobby, then you are set.

What education should you have if you are interested in becoming a magazine editor?
Usually a liberals art degree, or maybe fine arts. I did Political Science. An internship is also essential these days to get a foot in the door.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to enter into journalism?
Read widely, be curious, absorb culture, travel lots, and make interesting friends.

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
Everytime I interview a make-up artist I rummage through their kits. You’d be amazed what you find in there. Also, www.style.com is a great cheat sheet for runway trends.

What are your favorite beauty products?
I get sent hundreds of products to test, but these are the ones I keep buying:
L’Occitane Gentle Face Buff
Lancome Flash Bronzer self tanner
Linacare face moisturizer
La Roche Posay sunscreen SPF 60
M.A.C eye pencil in “Powersurge”
L’Artisan Parfumeur perfume in “Chase au Papillions”
And Chanel blush because it smells like roses.

What beauty products do you use everyday?
Dermalogica tinted moisturizer SPF15
Physicians Formula mineral bronzer
Cover FX Concealer
Eminence Organic Sundefence mineral powder in Honey Apple

Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick Compact in Apricot (as blush and eyeshadow)

What magazines are currently sitting on your desk?
FASHION Magazine, which I am also the Western Editor of.

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?
There are so many expensive beauty products out there that don’t do what they say they will, so it’s very important for people to spread the word about what does work in a forum where there are no big beauty advertisers to influence editor’s choices.

A big THANK YOU to Sarah Bancroft for agreeing to be interviewed for this series and do return tomorrow as we will be getting to know Trish Lucarino of Principessa Beauty.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Love for Chanel fragrances

To me Chanel means luxury. I have always been a Chanel fragrance lover and wear nothing else. I don’t know why I am such a truly devoted customer but perhaps it is the fact that I was give a little bottle of No. 5 as my first perfume as a young girl or perhaps it is the way the frangrances make me feel.

Each perfume seems to mean something to me. No. 5 was my fragrance when I was a teenager. Coco was my choice when I was in my 20’s. Allure for my early 30’s and now Allure Sensuelle for my late 30s.

Here are some of the most popular Chanel fragrances...

N°5
N°5 is the greatest and best known perfume in the world. This timeless classic, both contemporary and unusual, remains the absolute benchmark of feminine fragrances, entrancing, elegant and always modern.

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Top notes: Neroli from Grasse (flower of the bitter orange tree), Ylang-Ylang from the Comoros, Aldehydes
Middle notes: Grasse Jasmine, May Rose
Base notes: Sandalwood note, Vetiver from Réunion, Vanilla from Réunion (Bourbon Vanilla)


N°19
Released on 19th August this perfume was created for the 70s woman. She was an active woman, still feminine, but bolder and more prepared to openly express her individuality. This woman was unique and irreplaceable. N°19 is a fragrance to inspire women to take new initiatives.
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Top notes: Neroli from Grasse, Persian Galbanum
Middle notes: Florence iris (orris), May Rose, French Narcissus
Base notes: Virginian Cedarwood, Gaiac wood from Paraguay, Vetiver from Haiti


COCO
Fashion in the 80s was all about appearances, and sometimes just a little showy. There was a renewed demand for more sensuous fragrances, inspired by the Far East. "I do not create fashionable fragrances, I create fragrances for an era" said Jacques Polge.

Coco, was his first feminine fragrance creation and it was a warm and sensual Eau de Parfum, both captivating and voluptuous and a tribute to Coco Chanel.

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Top notes: Tunisian Orange Blossom, Sicilian Mandarin
Middle notes: Damask Rose, Oriental Jasmine, Mimosa from Provence, Ylang-Ylang from the Comoros
Base notes: Tonka Bean from Brazil and Venezuela, Indonesian Patchouli, Somalian Opoponax

ALLURE
Created in 1996, this fifth fragrance for women establishes the importance of the individual. No more top, middle and base notes. ALLURE dispenses with these traditional notions to embrace a multi-faceted approach. There are six of these facets to be exact, which overlap and harmonise with each other, no single facet becoming dominant over the others.

Elegance is universal, but allure is unique to each individual. With this fragrance every woman can express her own allure.

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The six facets
1. Fresh: Citron note
2. Fruity: Sicilian Mandarin
3. Timeless Floral: May Rose, Oriental Jasmine
4. Imaginary Floral: Magnolia accord, Honeysuckle accord, Water lily accord
5. Woody: Haitian Vetiver
6. Oriental: Vanilla from Réunion

Like ALLURE, ALLURE SENSUELLE is constructed as an olfactory diamond around six facets (Fresh, Timeless Floral, Woody, Oriental, Fruity and Sunny Spicy) that develop and meld together to express a different harmony on each woman.
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Such history and beauty. I'll just leave you with a beautiful photo I found of the lady herself Coco Chanel taken in 1937 and a wonderful quote.


“Perfume is the poetry of fashion, its silent and secret mirror.” Jacque Polge, the nose of Chanel

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