New York, New York, USA
May 27
The Beheld
I write The Beheld (, a blog examining our concepts of beauty, using interviews with women whose professions and passions lend them a keen insight into personal appearance; analysis of news, business, economics, and culture; beauty experiments; and personal essays.


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I went to a wedding last weekend, and though it wasn’t a black-tie affair, it was a nighttime event at a beautiful historic estate, so I wanted to go beyond my normal look. I wound up wearing a lovely pink sheath dress, which called for heels higher than I normally wear,/…

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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 5, 2011 3:23AM

Why Do We Love the Lipstick Index So Much?

When I first heard of the lipstick index—a term coined by Estee Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder to illustrate how purchases of small luxuries (lipstick) rise in recessions, serving as compensation for consumers suddenly unable to buy larger luxuries (mink?)—I was all giddy that women’s purchasin… Read full post »
DECEMBER 2, 2011 3:12AM

Beauty Blogosphere 12.2.11

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

Indian Woman With Red Bindi, Ginette Fine Art (no word as to whether model was great with child)

From Head...
O Calcutta!:
The Indian Institute of Technology is proposing distribution of nutrient-rich cosmetics to pregnant… Read full post »
DECEMBER 1, 2011 1:02AM

On Trust

I cleaned out my bathroom cabinets last weekend, prompting yesterday’s post with the absurd list of products I’ve been hanging onto even though I haven’t touched them in months—or years. (Okay, a decade in some cases. Did I ever look good in glitter eye pencil?) The impetus came from this stuRead full post »

I’ve Got About Half an Application Left of This And Have Already Moved On To the New Bottle But Hey I Should Keep This One Too Just In Case
• Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer
• Prescriptives Traceless Skin Responsive Tint (three bottles)
• Up & Up (Target brand!) Facial Scrub
• Maybel/…

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When I was 16, I failed my driver’s license test. The details are fuzzy, but it involved a collision with a curb, and a generous interpretation of LEFT TURN YIELD RIGHT OF WAY TO ONCOMING TRAFFIC. The instructor had me turn back immediately. I didn’t have a chance to parallel park…

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NOVEMBER 25, 2011 10:09AM

Beauty Blogosphere 11.25.11

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head...

I get so emotional:
Groundbreaking study reveals that emotion is a primary force behind women's cosmetics purchases. In other news, hunger is a primary force behind the consumption of food, and cold weather i…

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NOVEMBER 23, 2011 3:49AM

On Gratitude

Gruesome or awesome? You decide.

When I started reading about the harassment some female bloggers have hurled at them, my first reaction was confusion. I’ve seen trolls be rough on bloggers, but the vitriol people were reporting seemed above and beyond anything I’d seen. Once I remembered that har/…

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Alexa and I decided who gets to play Pete Townshend by consensus vote. We are, after all, feminists. 

When I wrote about Generation X and how the grunge ethos gave women my age a bit of a reprieve from an uncompromising beauty standard, I was attempting to compare my experience with that/… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 18, 2011 3:16AM

Beauty Blogosphere 11.18.11

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head...
The haircut of the future: QR code haircuts on British football players' heads being used as ad space. Basically, we are all going to be cyborgs.

...To Toe...
Oh, bother. Absolutely nothing of note happened be/…

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NOVEMBER 16, 2011 3:24AM

Thoughts on a Word: Ugly

Ugly is a fright. Ugly is unpleasant, ugly makes you want to look away, ugly is what we worry we are but know we aren’t. One can have a case of the uglies, make an ugly face, or feel beaten with the ugly stick. You can be an ugly duckling, an/…

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NOVEMBER 15, 2011 10:36AM


Women Smiling While Washing Face (idea unabashedly stolen from The Hairpin)

In reading through the varied collection stemming from Franca's no-makeup blog roundup at Oranges & Apples last week, I'm struck by the number of reasons women give for wearing or not wearing makeup. "It's pure laziness, r… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 14, 2011 3:23AM

Beauty Without Borders

When I first read of a bomb on October 26 that injured 12 people at a cosmetics store in Peshawar, Pakistan, I didn’t think much of it. Rather, I thought of it as much as I think of any number of bombings one might read about in a day: Awful, I/…

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NOVEMBER 11, 2011 3:06AM

Beauty Blogsophere 11.11.11*

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head...
Thin Mint lips: Girl Scout Cookie Lip Smackers! But what's with this "Coconut Caramel Stripes" flavor? You already yanked the rug out from under me with that "Samoa" jazz. Caramel Delight 4-eva!

...To Toe...
Thi… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 9, 2011 12:35AM

In Defense of the Short-Haired Woman

Salon ran a piece on Monday titled “Are short-haired women less attractive?†Let’s look past the headline (couldn’t it have been “Is short hair less attractive on women?â€): Mary Elizabeth Williams—an intelligent writer whose work I enjoy, and who I think is a little off the mark here—…

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Siobhan O’Connor’s journey into natural beauty began with formaldehyde. Whenever she and her best friend from back home in Montreal, Alexandra Spunt, would travel cross-country to see one other, they’d do “girly thingsâ€â€”including a foray into Brazilian blowouts. Their hair looked great fo… Read full post »
While in the midst of a twentysomething identity crisis, I took a spate of deliberately ugly photographs of myself. I’d been possessed by a sudden fear that not only was I a troglodyte, but that I’d been a troglodyte all along and just hadn’t known it, so I decided to face…

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NOVEMBER 4, 2011 3:12AM

Beauty Blogosphere: 11.4.11

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

Clockwise from top left: eyeshadow app or police brutality?; the tiny tiny woman who lives inside Beyoncé;
fears of a clown; what did ever happen to Baby Jane?

From Head...
All made up: Meet the man responsible for all… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 3, 2011 3:20AM

Photoshop, Values, and the Rabbit Hole

"Feminists do the best Photoshop." —Tina Fey

Reading Rebekah’s “photo philosophy†made me consider my own. For a feminist beauty blog, I’ve barely touched on airbrushing here, and there’s a reason for that: It doesn't really faze me. It’s not that I don’t value what feminist scholars&n
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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 1, 2011 3:07AM

Thoughts on a Word: Handsome

Handsome is a man, a woman, but rarely a child. Handsome is a Hemingway heroine, “built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht.†Handsome is Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and every member of the Handsome Men’s Club. Handsome can be equine, old girl, full of vim and vigor. Handsome is/…

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OCTOBER 31, 2011 3:59AM

My Halloween Martini


If the backlash against sexy Halloween costumes hadn’t already jumped the shark, it officially has now, what with Nicole Richie pleading on her Facebook page, “Girls, can we all pledge that we will not dress slutty for this Halloween? The jig is up.â€

My instinct was to applaud her, but then/…

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OCTOBER 28, 2011 3:35AM

Beauty Blogosphere: 10.28.11

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

And yet I still can't cover a pockmark I got in 1979.

From Head...
Undercover: I've got to agree with BellaSugar: The best concealer commercial ever, starring Zombie Boy in the only time you'll ever see him not…

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This isn’t about an abusive relationship. This is about what happened next.

I decided to leave my boyfriend not because he had ever hurt me, but because I was turning 30. I mean, he had hurt me, but by the time I left him, it had been four years since he’d touched…

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Like any child of the late '70s might be, I was tickled by MAC’s recent choice of Miss Piggy as spokesmodel for the brand. It was the final step in winning over skeptical little moi, I thought: With a history of choosing unlikely models and collaborators—Johnny Weir, Cindy Sherman, hell, Cyndi… Read full post »
“In college I was like, Med school or mortuary school?†says licensed funeral director and embalmer Daniella Marcantoni. With her background as a freelance makeup artist who worked weddings and school dances to pick up cash in high school and college, it’s no wonder she chose the latter. She’… Read full post »