Erica Metzger

Beauty Coach: Makeup for an Interview

November 19, 2009 at 10:59 am , by

Pat McGrath PortraitI recently had the opportunity to meet Pat McGrath, the legendary makeup artist and global creative design director for P&G beauty. I left the encounter with the thickest, longest lashes I’ve ever sported, a tube of CoverGirl Lash Blast Length to keep up the look — the trick is fan out your inner and outer lashes and run the tip of the wand over the bottom ones — and a list of great tips from Pat to share with you! Here’s some advice that I think is particularly helpful in this economy.

Question: What makeup tricks do you recommend for women who want to get ahead in their careers, whether they are interviewing for a new job or trying to get a promotion?

Answer: In general, I think that professional daytime makeup is best when worn more or less minimal, perhaps allowing one feature to dominate the face such as lipstick or eyeliner. Your complexion should look as makeup-free as possible, and colors used for blusher and eyes should be harmonious to your skin tone and not too garish (neutrals for eyes, and subtle, natural looking blush). Your choice of lipstick allows a bit more freedom, as you can choose a color that subtly enhances the lips or a deeper jewel tone as a chic “accessory” for your look. Professional makeup should always look clean and polished, and complement your most confident self.

Pat recommends:
- CoverGirl Continuous Color Lipstick in Almost Nude or Classic Red.
- Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Nude

What’s your go-to professional makeup look? I’d love to hear from you! And if you’re looking for more office-friendly shades, check out these natural beauty tips.

Beauty Coach: Best Beauty Shopping Websites

November 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm , by


Looking for great a beauty buy or cute gift idea? Here’s a list of my all-time favorite sites:

Best for multi-tasking: and

Stock up on paper towels, dish detergent and essentials from your favorite drugstore brands like Olay, L’Oreal and Aveeno. Then click on its sister site link to browse through department and boutique brands like Smashbox, Fresh and Nars. Shipping is free if you spend $25 and  you can pick three beauty samples with your order.

Best all around:

This is my favorite beauty website for browsing new products, reading reviews or just looking for inspiration. It’s also my go-to for exclusive holiday beauty gifts at amazing value. Definitely check out the fragrance finder to find your next signature scent and sign up for the Beauty Insider program to score free samples.

Best place to splurge:

This is the site for true beauty junkies. SpaceNK founder Nicky Kinnard literally scours the globe for the coolest, most innovative beauty lines so you’ll always find something new, exciting and often pricey. To avoid sticker shock, go straight to the affordable Life bath, body and candle line, which smells amazing and has the cutest packaging. If you’re up for spending a bit more, I recommend the Rococo Gold Leaf Lacquer, a clear top coat with bits of gold tinsel and Light Expert by Terry, a brightening foundation that always makes my skin look super fresh and rosy.

Best hair tools and salon supplies: &

I love Ricky’s assortment of velcro rollers, sectioning clips, bobby pins and brushes. They are staples in my morning routine.

Sally Beauty is my favorite resource for hot tools, wax and nail care. Definitely check out the Ion line. I still can’t get over the great value of the Ion Anti-Frizz Tourmaline Ionic Hair Dryer. I’ve tried all the professional brands and this one still gives me the shinest, silkiest blow-out.

Best beauty bargains: and

Love shopping at  Marshall’s or TJ Maxx? These sites are the beauty equivalent. Selection and quantities will vary, but both offer deep discounts from premium brands. And if you really love a good deal, check out our November story on the pros favorite beauty bargains.

Happy Shopping!

Beauty Coach: 5 Minute Foot Massage

October 15, 2009 at 11:30 am , by

ss_101379395Does anyone actually read the instructions that come with newly purchased creams, cleansers and the like? Confession time: I usually don’t. When the product is pretty straightforward, I just recycle the directions with my junk mail.

Don’t get me wrong, I do follow directions, but they are almost always printed on the back of the bottle and I’ve never been one for filing. If the product is more complicated, i.e. needs to be plugged in or operates on batteries, I will tuck it into my “random documents” folder. It’s crammed with take-out menus, my ricer cooker warranty and dry cleaning receipts, so it may take me a while to actually find it.

footcream_packaging_openThe only set of directions I can truly produce on command is a little card that came with my Orna Foot Cream. The card has illustrated directions on how to massage your ankles, heels, soles, arches, balls and toes in five minutes. (The cream itself is an amazing formula which absorbs quickly, so your feet don’t feel greasy). I keep them both on my nightstand next to my favorite lip balm and hand cream. I recommend doing the massage after a long day of stomping around in heels or boots. Now that boot season is back, that’s just about every night for me. (And just because your sandals are in storage, it’s no excuse to let your toes go! Keep your feet looking great with these easy pedicure tips.)

Have you ever saved any beauty instructions or do you have a favorite tip you learned from a product’s packaging? I’d love to know!

Beauty Coach: Shower Power

October 1, 2009 at 2:02 pm , by

ShowerForTheCureSG16ozI’m a huge fan of Philosophy bath and body products, especially the shower gels. They come in delicious scents (Cinnamon Buns and Strawberry Milkshake, anyone?), have a nice, foamy lather and can even stand in as bubble bath or shampoo. (I’ve personally never washed my hair with shower gel, but I appreciate having the option). Plus, the sets make fabulous gifts. Friends and family always squeal over the charming packaging and ooh and ahh over the yummy fragrances. They feel good, I feel good: It’s a win-win.

Philosophy’s newest body wash, Shower for the Cure, $20, will make you feel good, too. Yes, the delicate floral scent and creamy formula is lovely, but even more noteworthy is that 100% of the net proceeds from each 16 ounce bottle will be donated to the Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

Felicity_Huffman_Headshot-Jack_GuyWant to feel even better? Join Felicity Huffman, Rita Wilson and Lisa Kudrow, and add a line to Philosophy’s “unforgettable” poem, which starts with the phrase “she is…” and represents a woman who has experienced cancer in some way. You can also donate a $1 to WCRF with your poetry submission.

Don’t know any breast cancer survivors? Read about these inspiring women from our October “Life After Breast Cancer” story and dedicate a line to one of them! (That’s what I did.)

Beauty Coach: Red Lips

September 17, 2009 at 11:37 am , by

m_101429699My absolute favorite trend for fall is red lips. I’ve never been a lipstick kind of girl (eye makeup is more my thing), but after editing through dozens of gorgeous red shades for our September makeup story, I had to give it a try. Now, I’m completely hooked and wear red almost every day. If only figuring out my fall wardrobe was this easy!

Here are my favorite tips for wearing red lipstick without red lipstick wearing you.

1. Find a great shade. A hue with blue undertones works well on everyone (a great example is Revlon Cherries in the Snow). My personal favorite shade is M.A.C. Lustre Lipstick in Lady Bug. It’s a classic red with a pretty sheen.

2. Start and end with lip balm. I don’t think I could pull off red without moisturizing my lips first. I always prep with a little balm (I love Nivea’s Kiss of Moisure. I have one in my purse and one on my nightstand) and then apply lipstick. It glides right on. If I want a bolder, more saturated red lip, I will wipe off the balm. Then, after I apply my lipstick, I layer a final swipe of balm over my lips to soften the color.

3. Use a lip brush. I learned this tip from makeup artist Sonia Kashuk a few years ago on a shoot. She told me that a lip brush is such an underrated tool. It helps work the color onto your lips and gives you the most control. Any brand will do (Sonia has an affordable line of makeup brushes at Target). I suggest a retractable lip brush so you don’t mess up your bag.

4. Add color to your cheeks. If you have a fair complexion, you’ll probably need  a little extra blush or bronzer to balance your bold lips. I love this trick from DuWop creative director Cristina Bartolucci: Dab a teeny bit of your red lipstick onto the apples of your cheeks and blend.

Tell me about your favorite shade of red lipstick. If you’re looking for more fresh looks check out our fall makeup story.

Backstage Beauty: Soft Skin Is In

September 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm , by

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Official Skincare Sponsor L.A.M.B. 2010 Spring Fashion PresentationHere’s my beauty take on fashion week. You spend a lot of the time appreciating interesting, yet unrealistic trends. On occasion, you fall hard for a few amazing looks (and immediately try them out the next day). And once in a while, the only appropriate response is to scratch your head and say, “huh?”.

I’m experiencing a combination of all three reactions from Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. show. I love the crisp, winged eyeliner shape that M.A.C. makeup pro Donald Simrock created. (Personally I’ll try it in navy or black, but I appreciate his fun, splashy palette. The rest of the makeup is soft and neutral so it works.)

With all the bare shoulders and exposed necklines, one may argue that smooth, glowing skin counts as another bona fide beauty look for spring. (Here’s where I start scratching my head–isn’t moisturized skin a given?) But then again, don’t you love the idea that applying a great lotion (the L.A.M.B. models used Vaseline Sheer Infusion) can make you feel prettier and on-trend?

Get more advice for gorgeous skin here.

Beauty Coach: Special Occasion Eye Shadow

September 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm , by


Hi all. I’m Erica. Officially, I’m the Ladies’ Home Journal beauty director. Unofficially, I’m a kinda-sorta-sometimes-maybe makeup artist. My resume includes: Doing prom makeup for my friends in high school, providing occasional end-of-the-day touch-ups for co-workers, taping a makeup segment for E! News, and most recently, giving four friends smokey eyes for a black tie wedding.

Here’s the most important lesson I’ve learned so far: Hide your makeup stash immediately upon completing a job. Your clients—or in my case, friends who don’t pay you—will fall madly in love with the best shade or formula in your kit and then will cajole, plead, barter and eventually try to steal it from you. Their most recent object of lust: Stila’s new Smudge Pot in Kitten. (For those of you not familiar with the original Kitten, it is a gorgeous, shimmery, pinky-champagne eye shadow with a cult-like following among beauty fans because it looks great on everyone. My love affair with the shade started years ago after I read that it was Cameron Diaz’s signature shade.) Anyhow, this cream version is even better than the original. You can wear it as a primer, shadow, liner, and highlighter, and it does not move. For the wedding, I blended a thin layer on the lids before creating each smokey eye. My friends basically went mad for it. You will too, just please don’t try to steal mine.

For more great beauty tips and insider picks, check out our gorgeous makeup trends for fall.