Dan Barkin

Join our beauty panel

Staff WriterDecember 29, 2007 

Our fashion writer, Samantha Thompson Smith, is recruiting the next beauty panel, which means she's looking for five people who will spend a year trying out the newest beauty products. Every four to six weeks, the panel's findings then run in the newspaper, and as Samantha puts it, lets our readers "know the real deals from the real stinkers."

So far, she has gotten about 30 applicants, all of them women. She's looking for a few good men, because, increasingly, guys are buying products, like stuff that supposedly works on those bags under your eyes. (Not me, but some guys.) Guys also can recruit their wives and/or girlfriends (presumably not both) to sample women's products.

Samantha says she's looking for people who are "witty, sassy and funny. They really have to love beauty products. They love going to the drugstore."

Here's something that Samantha told me: A lot of those trips to the drugstore are for products that don't work very well. She shared with me some of the e-mail she from panel applicants.

They have shoe boxes filled with cosmetics they can't use. Some products are tough on the skin. They worry about products that fry their hair. They are hunting for the perfect skin moisturizer, the ideal tanning lotion. (I pretty much didn't have a clue of the level of obsessing about this.)

The only requirement for membership on the panel is that you live in the Triangle.

If you're interested, get in touch with Samantha and tell her about yourself -- your age, job, home life and hair and skin-care issues.

You may send e-mail to her at samantha.smith@newsobserver. com or by letter to Samantha Smith, The News & Observer, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, NC 27601.

The Pride of Broughton

As you know if you've been reading the paper, the Broughton High School Marching Band is in California to perform in the Rose Bowl Parade Tuesday.

We have enlisted Catherine Ernst, a junior and trombone player in the band, to blog about the experience at share.triangle.com/broughtonband. Catherine is the daughter of Jan and Jerry Ernst.

The band's own Web site is at www.broughtonband.com. We've been running profiles about band members on 1B, called "Drumroll Profiles." Sunday, we're planning to run a story about the trip, and all the preparations that went into this adventure.

Reporter Peggy Lim and photographer Shawn Rocco are with the band chronicling the experience. Monday, we're planning to run a profile of the longtime band director, Jeffery "JR" Richardson, and Wednesday, we'll run a story describing how the parade went for the band.

One thing's for sure. The band members were tired last night. Most of them left on buses for Charlotte about 2 a.m. Friday so they could catch direct flights just before 8 a.m. I checked in with Peggy at the hotel, which is now swarming with marching bands. She reports that the Broughton band unloaded equipment from a FedEx truck and had a practice scheduled for 6 last night on the top floor of the parking deck next to the hotel.

Your photos

There's a great online gallery of some of the best photos that you have posted at share.triangle.com or sent to us by e-mail. Go to newsobserver.com/news/photos, and you'll see the link.

dan.barkin@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4562

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