I don’t typically see exclamation points in the headlines of my stories, but in this case it couldn’t be more fitting. The subject of this mini-profile for New York Post Alexa - beauty-blogger-turned-half-billionaire Huda Kattan - is a force to be reckoned with. Feisty + fun and more than ready to become the next Estée Lauder. We should all have an ounce of this woman’s energy. Vroom vroom.
Writing the super-duper voice-y copy for this fantastic new direct-to-consumer fashion venture is pretty much my dream gig. Sometimes the stars just align between client + contractor.
So far, I’ve only written two reviews for the beauteous website Insider’s Guide to Spas, but both have been so, so, so much fun. First I went to the banging SPA at JW Marriott in Marco Island, Florida. And more recently, I nipped off to The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina to visit the Estuary Spa. (Among other outings. Holy moly that city is drop-dead gorgeous. Swoon.) I’m posting both reviews below, and if you’re smart, you’ll be booking your own trips to these chic, relaxing + family-friendly spots, STAT.
Nearly 40 pages of single-spaced interview transcripts informed this opus on clean skincare for The Wall Street Journal. I’m a little dogged that way. The net-net: Cleansers, toners + miracle cremes devoid of super-scary chemicals are getting more powerful and pleasure-to-use luxurious with each passing day. This, my friends, is seriously good news.
When I pitched this piece to Town & Country, it was out of frustration that my new doc wouldn't re-up my Rx for Xanax, an anti-anxiety benzo I'd relied on - albeit very sparingly - for decades. My alterna-plan? To medicate with essential oils. Little did I know that, during the course of reporting + writing, I'd live thru a Hubby heart scare, a trip to the ER after I nearly severed a finger trying to pry the rollerball lid off a teensy weensy bottle of "calming" lavender, and a wee weather hiccup called Hurricane Irma. Whoa.
Becoming a Docent at The Dali Museum is one of the smartest moves I've ever made. It has given me so much in return for my volunteer hours, including the chance to learn - and speak - about other artists besides iconoclastic ol' Salvador. With the recent Elsa Schiaparelli show, I dove in deep, giving a lecture on her life, work and the resurrection of her maison, as well as leading several VIP private tours. I didn't know much about "Skap" before embarking on all this, but I sure do now. She was fascinating - and wildly, hugely talented. Cut from a different cloth, for sure.
I don't toss the phrase "industry legend" around very much, but I'm a happy camper when I come in contact with one - especially when they also happen to be hilarious and bursting with joie de vivre. Though I'd watched Marcia Kilgore launch one incredible brand after another over the past few decades (Bliss! FitFlop! Soap & Glory!), I hadn't had a proper chat with her in eons. This piece for The Wall Street Journal, timed to get the word out about her latest venture - the genius-y Beauty Pie - was an opportunity to do just that. Believe me, it was as much fun as it looks.
Dapper and charming attorney Bruce Denson is my down-the-street neighbor, and not long after I landed in St. Pete, I wrote about a great substance-recovery non-profit he runs - Paddle Addict - for a local publication called The Northeast Journal. (Here's a link to that piece.) When he later told he'd been kicking around an idea for a book that both riffed on his popular "What Not to Wear to Court" Instagram and wove-in a lot of his very sound thoughts on professionalism, life-balance and always putting your best foot forward, I couldn't wait to help him shape + mold. Et voila - a book that every working human, not just newbie lawyers, can benefit from.
My shiny new toy, this blog's sole purpose is to help me find the cure for my frizz. JK. It's not (just) me I'm finding the cure for frizz for, it's for every. last. woman. in Florida whose locks puff up like a giant beach ball whenever the humidity starts rocketing skyward. With my business partner, we're aiming to solve a very specific set of beauty + wellness woes generated by living in the Sunshine State - from melting makeup and tan lines to loathsome bug bites. If that sounds kooky, trust that it really + truly isn't.
Because we women don't already have enough body parts to be paranoid about, I now present, via NY Post Alexa, all the ways you're destroying your neck by checking your phone every half a nano-second. If you literally can't stop scrolling your Instagram feed, at least deploy one of these schmancy cremes before beddy-bye.
I wear a few hats, and here's an example of one that's pretty far afield from my (beloved! cherished!) daily hamster wheel of cranking out editorial + commercial beauty copy. As a Docent for the world-renowned Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, I was asked to build a presentation around our exhibition "Horst: Photographs - Fashion and Surrealism." I opted to hone-in on image-makers I felt had been strongly influenced by Horst, as well as seminal stylists + creative directors who have seriously moved the needle. Though there was a wannabe-hurricane raging on the night of my lecture - and we weren't able to capture it for posterity on video due to a power outage - at least I still have my trusty PowerPoint.
My mission: To play Christy Consumer during the most recent round of New York Fashion Week Shows and report on the new "see now, buy now" phenom. Basically I had to weld myself to my computer, watch live-streaming for a slew of presentations, order the merch, return the merch + then write about the experiences - good, bad and meh. That was hard work, friends. And it was worth it.
For every TennisChannel addict who silently screams at the telly when Day Glo takes center stage at a Grand Slam, this Wall Street Journal dive into the crisp, clean world of Wimbledon whites is a breath of fresh air. And in a major coup, I got Chris Evert to walk us through the chic 70s look above. Tretorns, baby. Tretorns.
Trust me when I tell you that getting full-on metal braces for the second time is zero fun. But at least I have tons of company on the adult-ortho front. (Cases in point: The three other mamas in my tot's school currently sporting teeth bling.) This piece for Town & Country unearths the physiological stuff that happens to our choppers as we...ahem...age, and lays out the options for straightening up.
The anti-aging, "hope in a jar" equivalent of contouring makeup, new sculpting potions are being crafted at warp speed. The big idea? A 3-D, perfect-from-every-angle effect. Slather on one of the high-tech numbers in this NY Post Alexa story, and take the surgeon off speed-dial.
Lizard skin. Not exactly the lewk I'm after. But how to stop the runaway sun-damage train now that I'm logging countless hours on the tennis court? By seeking (and maybe even listening to) the advice of the country's top derms. Bonus: I nabbed Vika's beauty tips. Thwack!
Bridal is the Olympics of beauty - the one time in a woman's life when she'll stop at almost nothing to look like a fairytale princess, tiara and "triple Spanx" included.
Want a fresh start? Don't eat for three days. In this cheery tale for Town & Country TRAVEL, I trace my trek to the rustic-chic Deer Lake Lodge, just outside Houston. Think Christian Bale in "The Machinist," with yoga and eyeball-mapping. (And colonics, grrr times a billion.)
I was assigned this story for Harper's Bazaar right around the time I was trying to have a baby. Conveniently, acupuncture was just beginning to "trend" as a modality for infertility (as well as zapping lines and wrinkles). It's awesome when my work lets me explore a topic that perfectly dovetails with my real life.
Such a fun task! One of my corporate clients - Milani Cosmetics - asked me to take their existing single-page ad format (left-hand visual, right-hand copy) and use it as a template for a cheeky series of mock layouts for a press presentation to magazine Beauty Directors. As a three-peat BD myself, I know how those broads think. They need the makeup meat - the raison d'être, the USP - and they don't want to have to wade through a lot of mumbo jumbo hocus pocus to get there.
Following the birth of my daughter in 2006, Momover sprang into life as an online column on Cookiemag.com, the formerly kick-ass website of the formerly kick-ass Cookie magazine. It then morphed into a book (a beauty + wellness guide for new mamas) and then a happy, riffy little self-improvement blog. After spending a lot of time, and a fair amount of dough, on a redesign, I decided to shutter it to focus on other obsessions. RIP, Momover.
In this K-Beauty peek-a-roo for The Wall Street Journal, I dive into the deeper meaning (and skin-rejuvenating effects!) of a slimy substance called mucin. That and the elaborate regimens Korean gals deploy to look like a million bucks. If French women never get fat, our Seoul sisters never get a line or wrinkle.
Textbook definition of a nail-biter: Interviewing the hottie-actress du jour over a slurpy plate of pasta at the noisiest Italian joint in NYC - on a packed-to-the-rafters Saturday, no less. Will your little voice recorder thingy pick up a dang word over all that racket? Will she ever stop talking about homemade pies and hiring Michael Buble to sing at her birthday party? Find out in this W sitdown with Miss Blake, prettiest nerd on the planet.
At the risk of stating the obvious, Sam McKnight is a genius - the hairdressers' hairdresser. (Visual proof here...) This BEAUTY INC profile is a chatty walkthrough of his career to date: The countless high-profile sittings, all those top-tier catwalk shows, that time he slicked-back Lady Di's locks for the CFDA Awards and gave the fashion crowd a collective heart attack. Chills.
I kinda like Champs and Double-Stufs, so if I'm not careful, I can easily get a little soft and squishy. That's why I'm so glad my day job lets me forage for sound, data-driven strategies (like these) for getting back on track.
Diving into reams of research and talking to experts is one of the very best parts of what I do for a living. This wellness-y piece for InStyle was the result of an almost psychotic amount of sleuthing. Cartwheels!
This right here is an example of zeitgeist-capturing: I started to notice that none of the newer fashion brands had anything close to a normal moniker. It was all "Creatures of the Wind" this, and "Helmet of the Will" that. I had so much fun writing this story. And btw, the nutty-name phenom is still going strong. As I type this, "Elder Statesman" is having a maje moment.
Why include a tiny sliver of a story in a "Showcase"? I can think of at least three good reasons: 1) The image is gorge and I'm all about beautiful still-life pics. 2) It's built around little niche-y scents, the unsung heroes in a world full of blockbuster mega perfumes. 3) I wrote about Napoleon Bonaparte in the opening graph. It's always a good day when Francophile moi gets to reference Napoleon.
Obsessed with Mark Wahlberg? Chat up his gorge wife, Rhea Durham, about what it's like to hang out 24/7 with Mr. Muscles and their (four!) adorable tot-lets. Spoiler alert: They're a strictish, hands-on mother-father act.
For a host of reasons we don't need to get into here, the studio shoot for this story was...challenging. But the premise - new, bridally takes on classic French manis - was sound, the photog and hand model were lovely, and the end result? Parfait. Yay!
Fun factoid: I used my then 6-month-old tot-lette as the stunt infant in this stunning Cookie story. The big idea: Rather than default to the standard "mom chop" post-delivery, why not grow your hair down to the tippity top of your skinny jeans? It's actually easier to take care of. No one ever tells you that in Lamaze class.