Summer Fragrance Redux

So much for my idea of having one signature scent for the summer. I should have known that it wasn't going to work out.

A quick trip up to Tyson's Galleria put me right in front of Saks. So, naturally, I headed over to the Bond counter to smell the new Union Square (very floral, not for me). However, the lovely SA suggested that I try Fire Island after I explained what I was looking out for this season.

Oh my. It was love at first smell. Bond says that it is the captured scent of bronzing bodies. I don't know about all of that, but the listed notes are cardamom, neroli, white musk, tuberose, and patchouli. Other sites list ozone as well, although I'm not sure I smell it. It could just be too faint for me.

I've also seen it mentioned as both a men's fragrance and a unisex fragrance, so I might get the husband to try it out as well, although I don't think he will like it at all. I personally love it, and now I'm going to spend the summer torn between my Monyette Paris and Fire Island.

Nic's Sticks by OPI

I was a little surprised to run into the new Nic's Sticks by OPI at Target the other day. Who knows how they got their hands on them, but I was excited to try them out, so I picked up two of them: Catch Ya Later and Carpool Mama. Catch Ya Later is a super light peachy pink, almost transparent. Carpool Mama looks to be pretty close to true red, although I haven't tried it yet.

Using Nic's Sticks is super easy. Give it a good shake, take off the cap, then prime the pen by clicking the stick two or three times. After that, you're good to go. Polish comes out nice and even, with no globbing at my cuticles. I'm not sure globbing is a word, but it works here.

I really want to love the idea behind this product - nail polish that I can stick in my purse and use whenever I need to. I have a serious problem with chipping nails, and busting out the bottle and brush isn't always an option. However, I found the brush on this pen to be rather big, and it didn't give the smooth results that I'm used to with OPI. I wasn't overly thrilled with the color of Catch Ya Later, but that's my fault. I should know by now that I'm not a peachy pink transparent kind of girl. That's just not going to be something that I'm ever going to like on my nails. I need color!

So, tonight, I'm taking off Catch Ya Later and trying Carpool Mama. And perhaps I'll grow to love the brush the more I use it.

Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

At some point or another, we've all had these problems. Staying up too late, too many martinis, pulling an all-nighter can all give us those unsightly under-eye problems. However, many of us have some form of these all the time. I've noticed that this is something that many people ask about, especially in regard to the miracle product that they can try that will get rid of them.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that chronic dark circles and puffiness are usually due to factors that are far more complex than just getting some extra sleep. Let's look at a few of the common culprits:

  1. Lifestyle issues: chronic lack of sleep, overeating, overconsumption of salty foods, too much caffeine, stress. All of these contribute to an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol which does quite a number on your body, including those dark circles under your eyes.
  2. Allergies: one of the most common contributors. Most people don't even realize they are dealing with an environmental allergen such as dust, dust mites, pet dander, indoor molds, and (yuck) cockroach droppings.
  3. Sun exposure: yes, it can even cause under eye problems, along with everything else. Not only can it cause sun spots, it can damage the skin under your eyes, which isn't helping anything.
  4. Aging: Not much you can do about this one - we all get older. But the fat pad beneath our eyes thins out, causing that area to appear dark and sunken.
Never fear. There are some things you can do for each of these to help combat the puffiness and dark circles. Let's take each one seperately:
  1. Lifestyle issues: try and get at least 8 hours of sleep. I know it's hard, but it's called "beauty sleep" for a reason. Not only does it prevent those dark circles, but the body heals during sleep as well. Loosen up on the coffee (can you believe I'm saying this? but it's true), because caffeine can increase water retention, causing puffiness. Same goes for salt. Take a good multivitamin and take care of yourself!
  2. Allergies: treat the allergens. It's entirely possible you don't even realize you have allergies until you get rid of them. Wrap your pillow in a hypoallergenic barrier, try an over the counter antihistimine (or talk to your doctor about your options), and most importantly: use allergy eye drops. Two drops in each eye before bed and in the morning will reduce symptoms.
  3. Sun exposure: always, always, always use a good sunscreen on your entire face (and any other body part exposed to the sun). Many moisturizers and foundations have SPF in them, check them out!
  4. Aging: age gracefully, as there isn't anything else to be done about this one!
Now, there are plenty of options to cosmetically treat those dark circles too, from creams and serums to concealers. Here are a few that I think might have promise:
  • Orbital Eye Rejuvenator by Borba. Contains skin brighteners to diminish dark circles, as well as ingredients to diminish signs of aging.
  • Kinerase Under Eye Rescue. Advanced peptide formula helps with dark circles and puffiness.
  • eyecon by Benefit. Orange fruit extract helps stimulate microcirculation to alleviate dark circles.
  • Depuffing Action Eye Gel by Benefit. Contains hydrolyzed soy flour to firm and lift plus red raspberry and chamomile to soothe and nourish.
  • All About Eyes by Clinique. Diminishes the appearance of eye puff, darkness, and fine lines.
  • Opti-mologist Eye Cream with Light Diffusers by Cosmedicine. Reduces puffiness and dark circles; camouflages with light diffusing crystals.
  • Lighten and Brighten Eye Treatment by Murad. Clinical studies have shown that this product lightens undereye circles by 59% and puffiness by 50% (according to Sephora's site).
Those should be a few to get you started. But before you try all of that, try Naphcon-A Allergy Relief Eye Drops. I can speak from experience that these might be all the fancy product you need!

Ink by China Glaze

I love the beautiful colors found in tattoos. Of course, I'm partial to them, having two tattoos myself. When I heard about the Ink collection from China Glaze, I was excited to see them in action. Then today, All Lacqured Up posted a beautiful first look that you simply must see. I knew I'd have to post about them.

I'm thinking that the colors I'm most excited to try are Blue Sparrow, Flying Dragon, Sacred Heart and maybe Shocking Pink.

Now I just need to find a place near me that sells them. That's going to be pretty difficult, I'm sure.

Total Beauty

About Me

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites and She is also known as @retrodiva on Twitter. She specializes in drinking large amounts of espresso, shopping, and enjoying social media. In all of her free time she writes for twice a week, and does various other freelance gigs involving writing, designing, and generally being awesome. While she believes that success is indeed a job in New York, she currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, two children, and two cats and has hung on to her day job.