Can You Really Get Rid of Stretch Marks?

I'm always envious of people who have a child (or four) and can calmly claim that they have no stretch marks. None. I am not one of those people. My days of wearing revealing swimsuits are long past. They ended somewhere around the time I entered my seventh month of pregnancy with my first child.

I've heard so many "stretch mark prevention" tips that I could probably throw up a little in my mouth if I heard one more. Seriously, I don't care how much cocoa butter/shea butter/Palmers/belly butter/whatever you slather on your tummy - if you're going to get them, you're going to get them. Supposedly, they are genetic. Thanks, mom!

It's important to remember that stretch marks are literally scars, and can be treated as such. So while there may not be any magical cure or treatment to prevent them or get rid of them once you have them, I'm sure there is a way to minimize their appearance. Laser skin resurfacing comes to mind, and perhaps some day that will be high on my list of priorities. Until then, I came across a fantastic review of several products over at Total Beauty that discusses this very thing.

So, if your stretch marks are bothering you, and you can't afford the laser, maybe try a few of these. You never know - they might help you out.

Shopping Continued: My New Swimsuit

I was due for a new swimsuit. Living within walking distance of the beach and having two small children, I spend a fair amount of time every summer at the beach and need several suits to take me through an average week. Macys was running a 20% off sale yesterday, and I saw this cute thing that was just beckoning me to come find it. I ended up picking up the matching black and white polkadot coverup as well.

But the best part of my shopping experience yesterday? Getting a phone call that I had won the raffle the swim department was hosting! I have no idea what I actually won - I have to go pick it up today. But I never win anything, so it was quite exciting! I will definitely post pictures of my prize!

New Sandals for Me

I've really been wanting to get on board with the gladiator trend. I had visions of wearing maxidresses and gladiator sandals all summer. But the truth of the matter is, I haven't found a single pair of gladiator sandals that I think actually look flattering on my feet. I haven't found many maxidresses, either, but that's a different post.

So, yesterday, while scouting Macy's (another of my all time fav stores) I came across these Nine West sandals. Very on trend without being obnoxious about it. And comfortable, too! So you'll be seeing these little bits of goodness on my feet all summer long.

Total Beauty Web Tour

Is your Reader empty? Then you need some new material. Check out what my fellow Total Beauty bloggers are talking about this week.

The Muse shares her review of Etude House's new Peach Spring Collection direct from Korea!

The Beauty of Life no longer has to suffer from lash envy with the
Dior Black Lash Kit.

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings has a new favorite lipgloss.

Beauty Anonymous reviews on ck Calvin Klein's Eyeshadow and Crème Lipstick!

It may have been Jeanne's birthday at Periodic Style, but she's the one giving away a package of limited edition goodies...

Toya from The Life of A Ladybug got sucked in by Darac Beauty's Sifted Blur Powder and TorQuam brush! She doesn't want you to get sucked in, too!

Looking for a new pressed powder? Find out which brand debuted it's pressed mineral powder at the Spring/Summer 2008 New York Fashion Week. A Mom in Red High Heels takes it with her to cut the shine!

The girls over at Beauty in Real Life are having another giveaway. Click here to get the details and enter the contest.

Don't know why you should be rocking the sunscreen every day? Beauty411 reminds us that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

Beauty's Spot loves the Blueberry Soy Sugar Scrub by Eminence Organics.

Kitiya from Mischo Beauty loves REN’s Mayblossom and Konjac Balancing Moisturiser and tells you why!

Tea Posy Blooming Tea Set

Tea Posy Blooming Tea Set

I think these make gorgeous pots of tea. If Mom is a tea lover, then she will adore this set. Makes up to 60 pots of tea in a beautiful glass pot.

bubble necklace, recycled crafts, typewriter key jewelry

bubble necklace, recycled crafts, typewriter key jewelry

I just love this handmade gift, and mom will too. You certainly won't see anyone else wearing this gorgeous piece of art. Mom will be the envy of the carpool! (via Darlene)

Why Aren't You Using Pretty Social?

Pretty Social is like a women's magazine for the web, but with social interaction! No, it's not that. It's like Digg but for chicks! No, that makes it sound too superficial, and there are some great articles on there. How about I let Pretty Social explain themselves? They do a much better job!

PrettySocial is a social news site for women. Think of it as a women's magazine updated for the web: distributed, collaborative, and no publishing cycles.

We recognize that no single source has a monopoly on good stories, ideas, or expertise, and that good articles are often not as widely read as they should be. So we decided to provide a place for women to discover and share content, and to discuss issues that matter to them. The latest fashion microtrends. Ways to stay pretty and healthy. And just a sprinkling of celebrity gossip.

So if you're surfing the web and looking for some interesting reading, go browse. And be sure to vote for all of Daily Dose of Coffee's articles!!

10 Highligher and Bronzer Duo by Benefit

I'm convinced that I would buy one of everything that Benefit sells. I have bought just about every kit and compact and absolutely love them. I bought this at the end of last summer and kind of forgot about it, sitting at the bottom of my makeup bag. However, I recently pulled it out and promptly remembered why I love it so!

10 is fantastic as a summertime-glow-blush. I apply it after an all over bronzer, and I use it on my cheekbones. It really requires no thought - just swipe the (included) brush over the product, half with the light pink and half with the bronze. Turn the brush so that the highlighter is on top and apply right on the cheekbones. This is buildable color, but I think you'll find the effect will happen without an overload of color. It's very subtle, but glowing.

This is a perfect blush for when you've gotten your (fake) tan on, you've applied some bronzing mist (more on that later), and you're using sheer shimmers on your eyes (like Chanel's new summer colors). It gives you an excellent sculpted look without being overly difficult to use.

Benefit's 10. $28.00

I've Been Tagged

And lazy about getting this post up! The beautiful Jennifer over at Beauty in Real Life tagged me long ago, and it has taken me this long to figure out what my quirks are! Just kidding. I have a lot of quirks, and I had to narrow them down.

So, here are the rules: 1. Link the person who tagged you. 2. Mention the rules in your blog. 3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours. 4. Tag 6 random bloggers by linking them at the end of your post. 5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged. 6. Once your post is up, notify the person who tagged you.

Okay, on to the good stuff!

1. I'm severely addicted to coffee. Yes, I know what with the blog name and all, but it's a really bad addiction. And to boot, I'm kind of a snob about my coffee choices (and no, Starbucks isn't my favorite, but it's quite good). But if I don't have my three cups in the morning, I end up with a wicked headache that lasts all day.

2. I'm a horrific housekeeper. I just didn't get that gene. My mother is fantastic - her house always looks great, but not museum quality. Just lived in but nice. My house always looks like a tornado went through, unless it was the day for my housekeeper to come in. Yes, I employ a housekeeper, and the expense is worth it for my marriage. ;)

3. I love to travel. I'm a wanderlust to the extreme. My parents worked for the airlines, and growing up we were able to travel for free anywhere, and I grew used to it. Big shock when I got out of college and married and unable to use those benefits anymore! But I've been fortunate enough to travel to Moscow, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Spain, Greece, plus a whole lot more. Nothing makes me happier than a weekend somewhere that isn't home - even if I'm on my own.

4. I know just about every pop song from the 80's. Seriously. My husband is always trying to find some obscure song on XM that I don't know the title/musician/lyrics to. My head is a repository of useless 80's lyrics that I can spout at any given time. I also have a fondness for old school rap and Jay Z. It's not uncommon to see me rapping "99 Problems" when I'm at work. I have impressed many people with my ability to recite "Ice Ice Baby" on command.

5. I got my first tattoo at 35, and my second two months later. I just wanted to make sure I didn't outgrow the idea of having one, nor did I ever want to claim that it was a young person's decision. One is in a place that most people don't see, and the second is on my calf.

6. I am a complete maniac about washing my face every night before bed. I cannot stand the feeling of makeup on my face when I'm going to bed, and no matter what is going on, I will find three minutes to go and take everything off. I don't moisturize like I should, but you can be sure that my face will be clean, clean, clean. I'm also addicted to exfoliators.

So, those are my quirks! Now I challenge The Makeup Girl, Jamie at Bionic Beauty, Makeup Loves Me, Musings of a Muse, Capitol Hill Barbie, and Lauren at Ask Fashion Kitty. Can't wait to see what they come up with!

Ti Amo Necklace

Ti Amo Necklace I love you, you're mine . A contemporary pendant, simply beautiful and timeless.

What a lovely Mother's Day gift! A phrase from Puccini's romantic opera, "Ti amo, sei mia"
"I love you,- you're mine now." A most romantic gift for that special woman in your life who also happens to be a mom. This pendant is unobtrusive, contemporary, and something that she will treasure for years to come. (via bella8)

Review: Neutrogena Summer Glow Daily Moisturizer

Since I've been using a gradual tanner for my body, I figured it was high time to find one for my face. The problem? I have "problem" skin. It's feisty and prone to breakouts should it find anything distasteful in any of my products. This isn't normally a problem, but when it comes to self-tanners, my face simply revolts. It's not having any of them.

Enter my drugstore find, Neutrogena Summer Glow Face Daily Moisturizer, SPF 15 . I've had excellent luck with Neutrogena in the past, in fact, it is my preferred facial cleanser on a daily basis. I completely credit their Oil-Free Acne Wash for taming my problem skin.

This is a nice, gradual tanner - you won't see anything right away, and the results are very subtle. I find that it is excellent to use in conjunction with a gradual tanner (like my complete favorite,LOreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer Medium Skin Tones, another drugstore find), not so much with a tanning product. Either way, you will find that this moisturizer won't irritate your skin, cause breakouts, or otherwise encourage problems. The scent is lovely, almost floral, with no lingering yuckiness that you often get with sunless tanning products. Dries well with no greasiness, and the best part is that it offers sunblock protection. I usually rely on my moisturizers to do this for me, rather than my makeup, which can change day to day.

Overall, I found this product to be well worth the price, and something that I will be reaching for well after summer's end.

Be Eco-fabulous

I hope everyone enjoyed our "green" week! It was a great way to learn about some new companies who are committed to a eco-fabulous philosophy. Remember, it's not just about Earth Day, but about being green all year long!

On a seperate and unrelated note, I hope you like the design! I promise to stop messing with it, so perhaps you'll see a more consistent look around here.

Look for some great Mother's Day gift ideas coming up soon, plus some reviews and other fun stuff!

Chantecaille - Limited Edition Protect Paradise Eye Compact

Chantecaille - Limited Edition Protect Paradise Eye Compact

Chantecaille brings awareness to the urgent situation of our ocean by focusing on overfishing, the destruction of our marine habitats, and promoting the establishment of protected zones on the eastern coast of the United States. Five percent of proceeds from Protected Paradise sales will be donated to the Pew Institute for Ocean Science to fund research on fish sustainability and marine preserves.

* Rich and enduring formula can be blended to adjust the color
* Smaller aqua-hued fish ideal for lining the eyes
* Base color is a wearable medium gray tone with a sheer marine green overlay
* Larger rose gold-hued fish is ideal for highlighting; blends brilliantly with the gray base
* Micronized pigments and a high concentration of real pearl impart shimmering pure color
* Galvanized nickel compact includes both a liner and basic brush
* Paraben-free
* Non-comedogenic
* No animal testing or animal-derived ingredients
* Made in Italy

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.