Total Beauty Web Tour

It's that time of week again where we take a look at all the great posts out there in the beauty blogosphere.

Viva Woman invites you to check out her updated tips on sunscreen protection and application this summer.

Advice Sister Alison at The Advice Sisters Guide to Life, Success and Happiness Blog discovers a luxe, multi-tasking face treatment by Chanel :a luxe, multi-tasking face treatment by Chanel called HYDRAMAX + ACTIVE TEINTE Active Moisture Tinted Lotion SPF 15. It's truly a Skin Saving Wonder and it's Advice Sisters Product of the Week!

Tink at Casual Lavish explores the nail polish watercoloring technique.

The Muse reviews Bourjois Paris Hi-Tech Rouge before it even hits US shores!

If you never try anything else Beauty's Spot recommends (which would be incredibly foolish) you must try this Honey Heel Balm by Farmhouse Fresh. It will change your feet!

Beauty Anonymous thinks Anna Sui Fall 2008 Makeup Collection is adorable.

Summer skin got you down? Beauty411 reviews a new product from REN that will jumpstart your skin and leave it looking like you just had a facial!

Beauty in Real Life has great summer makeup tips from a celebrity makeup artist.

Jeanne at Periodic Style wants to get buff this summer...

Talking Makeup: How To Give Your Skin A Natural Glow by Celebrity Nutritionist Oz Garcia.

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings shares a new product to help control those fly-aways!

The Jet Set Girls try out L'Oreal's latest self tanner.

Joy from the Makeup Junkie dishes on her night out with Cover Girl!

Discover which skincare line is loved by celebrity moms and A Mom in Red High Heels alike!

Toya from The Life of A Ladybug proves brown girls can and should wear orange in her Electro FOTD!

Product Review: L'Oreal Sublime Bronze

Total Beauty asked me recently to review L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Any Angle Self-Tanning Spray, and I was happy to do it, only I was sure that I had already talked about it on this blog. I'm shocked to find out that I haven't, only a quick mention of the lotion formulation last year.

This spray has been my go-to tanning product for quite some time. I use this spray in combination with the lotion for one reason only: the any-angle spray ability. When L'Oreal says that it can spray from any angle, they mean it. I am able to get excellent matching coverage on my back from this spray, even when I use the lotion everywhere else.

Another reason why this product is always in my cabinet is the price point. At $9.99 a bottle, it is an excellent value.

While I know others say they see results quickly, I never have. I usually exfoliate and tan the night before and wake up the next morning with tan expectations. I've never been disappointed with Sublime Bronze - I have a nice brown color, never an orange oompa-loompa glow. Usually I use this product about two to three times a week, depending on how often I exfoliate. Remember that the more you exfoliate, the more you take off your self-tanner.

Now, about that smell. I know, most self-tanning products do have a pretty horrific smell. Sublime Bronze isn't that bad, although there is a noticeable smell. On me, I tend to notice it more as the color develops, which is another reason I do it the night before, because then I can wake up and take a quick shower to get rid of any lingering smell.

This will continue to be one of my go-to tanners.

Here are a few other options from the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze tanning family.

Will You Be a Recessionista? has a great little article up about being a Recessionista. That's the girl who doesn't let something like a recession get in her way when it comes to her wardrobe. Instead of hitting the high-end stores, you'll find her at Kohl's, Payless, or Target snapping up diffusion lines and trendy outfits. It really made me start thinking about how I am spending my own money these days. I am far less likely to spend as much on clothing and even beauty products as I did last year at this time, and most of that is probably related to the recession that we are in/coming into/whatever.

I do think there is something to this, and you will probably see more of the diffusion lines not only in clothing, but in beauty as well (check out this WWD article on Target's new beauty diffusion lines). What do you think? Will you be reducing the amount of money you spend on such "extras" as your beauty products? How about your wardrobe?

I Made You a Muxtape!

I've been working on a playlist that is filled with nothing but songs about summer. What do you think? Do you have anything you would add?

Product Review: Urban Decay Brow Box

I really do think that well groomed brows can really make or break your look, as far as makeup goes. So obviously it's important to pluck or wax as needed. But for your everyday grooming, the Urban Decay Brow Box gives you everything you need.
Included are two shades of powder that you use the included angle brush to apply. I find that using a combination of both gives the best result. Underneath is a tray of wax that you apply after the powder. The wax sets the brows in place so that they stay put. I've always been a fan of the wax - it makes the brows look so defined.
Also included is a small pair of tweezers that I find incredibly difficult to work with, but if you have a tweezer emergency, I suppose they might come in handy.
My only recommendation is to use the eyebrow brush for your powder and get a separate brush for the wax. Otherwise, you run the risk of the whole thing turning into a gloopy mess. I found a great eyebrow brush from Bare Escentuals for only $12.
Like everything Urban Decay, the box is designed well and looks sharp. The purple foil on top looks great. Color sets include Beige Betty, Honey Pot, Brown Sugar, and Gingersnap. Girls of all colors will find something that works for them.
The Urban Decay Brow Box is available in all the usual places for about $28.

Maroon 5 Ft. Rihanna

I've loved this song since downloaded this album last year. But look at Rihanna's makeup in this video. Perfection. I swear, no one can carry off red lipstick like she can.

All the Beauty Headlines That You Need

Daneen over at Spoiled Pretty just turned me on to a great site: While I'm especially fond of their beauty section (seriously, all the cool kids are there), they have feeds for just about every subject you can think of. Since I'm a bit of a foodie, I love Go check it out! It's really quite amazing.

Firefox 3 Available for Download

Are you a Firefox user? You really should be. Mozilla is trying to break a world record for most downloaded software in one day, and you can get Firefox 3 (the newest version - just released today) at

Go be a part of download history, and get a great browser in the process!

Essie's Bermuda Shorts

So I decided to go with the least neon out of the Essie Neon Collection that I got last week, because I'm a chicken. But do not worry - I'll be putting all of them on my neglected nails over the course of the next few weeks, even that neon yellow that just completely freaks me out.

Overall, I really like it. I only needed two coats to get great coverage, but I think that a good top coat will really make that color pop. It's a bit too matte without it.

Listen: Give It 2 Me

I'm just totally loving this song right now. I think I need to break down and buy the whole album instead of piecing it out through iTunes.

Madonna - Hard Candy (Deluxe Version) - Give It 2 Me

Product Review: Urban Decay Big Fatty in Indigo

They say when you're old enough to have seen a trend come around more than once, you should skip it. I think that's true for things like jelly shoes, but there wasn't any way I was going to pass up this season's crop of brightly colored mascaras. I remember back in the 80's having all sorts of colored mascaras, even yellow! I've always been pretty creative in my makeup, obviously. But while I still love color, I don't need to be in everyone's face about it, and I don't need to try and look 16, either. That's why I love Urban Decay Big Fatty Colored Mascara. It's fun without being obnoxious, and it's colorful without being obvious.

I tried out indigo, which I love. It's a dark purple-y blue that looks fantastic both with blue eyeshadows and plum eyeshadows. It has the same formulation as the regular Big Fatty, which gives nice plump eyelashes without a clumpathon. I like to apply a base coat of my regular mascara (whatever I'm wearing that day, as long as it's black) then the next two coats of my indigo mascara.

It's a lot of fun, a great way to modernize your look, and there is no fear of looking 16. Enjoy it now, though, because this trend won't last any longer than it did back in the 80s - I give it two seasons at the most.

Hilarious Haiku for Prada

Daddy Likey has a fabulous contest going on. Write some high fashion haiku, win a Prada wallet. She's looking for such masterpieces as these:

O Marc, you could turn
a trashbag into couture!
I think you did once.

Sequins and feathers
and neon silk--so crazy
it must be McQueen!

Karl Lagerfeld,
You scare the shit out of me.
Please take off the gloves.

I can't even take it. Absolutely brilliant. Go there now and contribute your best. Good luck!

Something Similar: NARS Orgasm and OPI Peach-a-Boo

I was going through my fingernail polish collection today and realized that I had a lot of dupes. I tend to lean towards similar colors - I realized I had a lot of fuschias. But the similarity of these two polishes that came out this season was pretty striking. Here we have OPI Peach a Boo in the smaller bottle and NARS NARS Orgasm (sold only in a set with lip gloss).

Now I need to do an actual side by side fingernail comparison, because I have nothing else to do. You know.

Product Review: L'Oreal Skin Genesis Daily Treatment Serum Concentrate

I'm turning 36 this September. September 11, as a matter of fact. I'm fortunate to not have many fine lines or wrinkles, but that is probably due to genetics, not my faithful use of anti-aging products. Truthfully, I only started using a basic moisturizer about three years ago. My skin has always been very oily, blemish-prone, and altogether difficult. I've spent more of my time trying to prevent breakouts and treat the problems that I have instead of looking to the future and using sunscreen, using anti-aging products, and moisturizing well.

It has only been recently that I have become aware of the importance of anti-aging. I don't want to see any fine lines or wrinkles, who does? So I have developed a newfound interest in what is out there for that type of skin care. Ladies, there is a LOT out there. I had no idea! Of course we all want to have beautiful skin, but the number of choices is simply overwhelming!

I'm sure many of you know my fondness for drugstore products. I have long since held the opinion that you can find almost anything you need at a more than reasonable price. So I was excited to try out L'Oreal's upcoming Skin Genesis line.

But first, a bit of background. Skin Genesis is a technology-advanced, cell-strengthing system for stronger, tighter, more even skin, according to L'Oreal. Formulated with patented Pro-Xylane™, an exclusive L’Oréal molecule that strengthens skin and reignites cell activity layer by layer, and hyaluronic acid, skin’s natural hydrator. The creation of patented Pro-Xylane was the result of seven years of focused research on the function of skin’s glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), chains of sugar molecules found in the skin’s layers that hold together skin structures and create the ideal environment for skin’s natural functions. Realizing that GAGS get damaged and decrease in number with age and UV exposure, L’Oréal Research and Development worked to find a molecule that could stimulate GAG synthesis. The solution came in the form of xylose – derived from the beech wood plant, xylose is small enough to penetrate the skin’s layers and is also found naturally in skin. With that discovery, the Pro-Xylane molecule was born.

How do you like all that PR speak? I know. It's awesome.

Basically, here is what you need to know: it effectively penetrates the surface layers of the skin to optimize skin hydration. The dehydrated spheres of hyaluronic acid (naturally found in both the skin’s epidermis and dermis - it provides moisture to the skin, making it soft, smooth and elastic) inflate when in contact with water. This essentially means that when these bad boys plump up, it plumps up your skin, filling in fine lines and wrinkles. Make sense?

But how does it work? I know, you want the good stuff. I've been using Loreal Skin Genesis Multi Layer Cell Strengthening Daily Treatment Serum for over a week now, and I am very impressed with the product. I use it after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizing, and I use it twice a day, in the morning and the evening. I've noticed that my skin seems much smoother and softer, and while I don't really have anything other than "smile lines" around my eyes (which will never go away, I'm sure), I haven't noticed anything new crop up, and that is all I am looking for in a product like this: superior moisturizing and no new lines. So in my mind, it's well worth the expenditure. Besides, it could be an investment towards the future, as long as I keep wearing that sunscreen!

Look for a review of the accompanying moisturizing lotion coming soon.

L'Oreal's entire Skin Genesis line is available at most mass retailers, and the Loreal Skin Genesis Multi Layer Cell Strengthening Daily Treatment Serum Concentrate retails for approximately $19.99.

Spa Sweepstakes at Total Beauty

Once again, Total Beauty is giving away a fantastic prize. Each time you submit a beauty product review, you will be entered in the sweepstakes to win the grand prize: one lucky winner will receive an all-inclusive spa trip to the serene Ceiba del Mar Beach & Spa Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

How does that sound? Yeah, I could use it too. You can write up to five reviews a day and get entered five times in said day. Plus, as a bonus, Total Beauty is doing some instant giveaways throughout the sweepstakes period. So writing one review might net you two prizes!

Good luck! And do comment and let us know if you win anything!

Lazy Sunday Music: Estelle

I'm just loving all these neo-soul singers out of the UK! What are they feeding them over there? Regardless, it's such a refreshing change from our typical pop singers, don't you think? And while I think Kanye might be a touch crazy, he does add a certain something to any song he's featured on.

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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.