Sun Avoidance

While I live within walking distance of the beach, I am a bit paranoid about exposing my skin to the sun - and with good reason! I don't think I actually used a sunscreen until I was in my late 20's. Did they even have sunscreen in the 80's? I remember tan amplifiers and Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Oil. Being from a family of mostly Native Americans, sunscreen just wasn't thought of at all.

Now I know better, and don't leave my house without at least 35 SPF on my face, body, hands, everywhere. I'm a bit obsessive. But despite my sunblock mania, I am always looking to bronze up my skin (which is so ironic considering elsewhere in the world women want to whiten their skin, but that's another post for another time) so that it looks like I have been lounging in the sun somewhere tropical instead of slaving away in my office with no windows. And while I've used just about every self-tanner on my body, I've tried very few on my face. I think I figured with my constant exfoliation (twice a day, three times on the weekend; salicylic acid is my friend, y'all!) it wouldn't do much good to do a self-bronzer on the face. Instead I just relied on my Cargo bronzer powder and called it good.

Enter Clarins' Liquid Bronze Self Tanning. I picked this up as part of a raffle prize at Macy's, which was kind of cool. Anyone who bought a bathing suit that day was signed up to win a beach bag full of Clarins products, some flip flops, a towel, and some sunglasses. I happened to be the lucky winner, and am only just now digging into it. Actually, I wanted to use the bag for something, so I had to pull all the products out. ANYWAY. This stuff is AMAZING. Yes, it deserves all capital letters, it's that good.

You can apply this in the morning, after doing your washing ritual, but before your serum/moisturizer/etc. This light lotion goes on with a cotton ball, giving you a super light application. It soaks in immediately, and you don't have to wait to apply the rest of your regimen. You know how you have to apply your body tanner and let it dry? How many of you have succumbed to using a hairdryer to get it to dry faster because you're running late? Just me? Whatevs. This stuff dries immediately, helping you to actually make it to work on time. And there is no hint of orange when the tan develops - just a natural bronze that evens out the skin tone on your face wonderfully. Best of all, you can build it up: apply it once a day until you get the bronze you want. It works faster than a gradual tanner, but not so fast that you're overwhelmed with the bronzey goodness all in one day.

I've finally found my facial bronzer. And it only took me half of the summer to do it!

September - Cry For You

I keep hearing this song at work, and it has really grown on me. I'm not sure about the video, though!

Grab it at September - September - Cry for You

Let's Talk About Cargo's Melt-Proof Makeup Collection

Summer in Virginia Beach isn't subtle. It runs in, slaps everyone in the room, settles in your favorite chair, then proceeds to overstay its welcome by about two months. It's not just hot - it's steamy. Humidity is way up there most days, with condensation on windows being a common occurrence. Or maybe that's just my A/C too high. The point is, it's sticky, hot, uncomfortable, and humidity is almost always above 90%.

When Cargo released it's Melt-Proof collection, I was thrilled. My Cargo Bronzer is a go-to, and I use it every single day. The whole idea of a set of makeup that wouldn't slide right off my oily face on a hot and humid day was extremely appealing - it rarely happens. The set includes Bronzer powder, Better-Than-Waterproof Mascara, and a 3-in-1 Eye-Cheek-Lip Palette.

The mascara is very waterproof, and probably excellent for poolside. However, we all know that I like a lot of volume, and this mascara didn't deliver it for me. That being said, I'm sure most people would find that this mascara does an excellent job - it has great coverage, and it's waterproofing abilities can't be denied. I adore the 3-in-1 Eye-Cheek-Lip Palette. The cheek is a cream blush which goes on smoothly with a finger. The eye part was also creamy, and lasted all day, including a walk to the beach, a BBQ, and a few too many mojitos. The lip was also long-lasting, but it was not a stain. Rather, I would consider it a long lasting creamy lipstick. All the colors blend well together and are easily applied. The colors are sheer and are neutral enough to work well with just about any skin tone.

Which brings us to the Bronzer. Ladies, this is some seriously dark powder! I was so used to my Cargo Bronzer in Light that I just didn't think as I reached for my bronzer brush and started applying it all over my face. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked at the end result of my wanton application: I looked like I had the most mismatched foundation in the history of makeup. After further experimentation, I was able to learn to use a light hand, and figured out how to use it sparingly enough that I didn't look like I was dying to be in Miami Beach. I would caution anyone with fair skin to be careful with this powder - it's dark, and goes on a bit heavy. But again, it does what it claims: it stays on for a long, long time through crazy conditions (see above).

Final word? Purchase only after a good testing.

Thoughts From a Mall

  • Gap is just way too twee for me lately. I know there was a time that I shopped there for everything, yet now I can't find anything that works.
  • Sephora still rocks my world; I can't believe that we have one. Hope my friend loves the $50 gift card that comes in a compact and envelope.
  • Everyone was walking around looking like they just walked off the beach. It was raining. Does no one dress anymore?
  • Old Navy's Neon Lights collection must have bombed, since they were practically giving the stuff away in the clearance section. Sequins in summer? Not so much.
  • I find it delightful that Macy's has a huge iPod vending machine.
  • Why does everyone stand in line at the center court Starbucks when they can walk a bit and go to the one inside Barnes & Noble with no line? Is it a "see and be seen" thing?
  • I am still madly in love with Nine West. When did I become such a huge fan?
  • Victoria's Secret Pink line just creeps me out. But if you can get past all that nastiness at the front, there is actually some gorgeous stuff towards the back of the store.

Metro Station - Shake It

Need your 80's sound fix? I can't seem to get this song out of my head lately.

Grab it at Metro Station - Metro Station - Shake It

Make Up For Ever Lash Fibers

I'm addicted to mascara. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that: what I'm really addicted to are making my lashes look so big and fat that they could be mistaken for false ones. Although I wear false ones often, I'm always on the lookout for something that will just blow me away when it comes to mascara.

Make Up For Ever's Lash Fibers ($20, only at Sephora) are awesome. I picked this up the other day when I was at Sephora for the grand opening, and just had the chance to play around with it today. I love this stuff. Two coats of this plus two coats of DiorShow, and I am ready to roll. It plumps up my lashes beautifully and I will probably never use mascara without it, I love it so much.

But I have a secret for my budget beauty divas: you can get the exact same thing with L'Oreal's Volume Shocking 2 Step Mascara. Yes, it's true. Just like L'Oreal's product, Lash Fibers is just a base to use underneath any mascara you choose. For about $13.50, you can get both the base and a mascara from the drugstore. If memory serves, it's actually a great mascara, but the comb (versus a brush) is a little awkward to use and requires some practice.

So now you got two reviews in one post! It's your lucky day!

Product Review: Dentaburst Freshening Teeth Cleaner

Do I have to say that having clean teeth and fresh breath is pretty important to me? I go through a lot of gum, mints, and even invest in freshening lip glosses, so I was excited to try out DentaBurst Freshening Teeth Cleaner.

These come in a handy pack of six to a box that fit well into a makeup bag or purse. You open up the foil package and pull out the product. Slip it on your figer and use the bluish-green side to literally rub your teeth. Not only will you remove surface plaque, but the minty fresh flavor will sweeten your breath.

Frankly, I love them. I love the way they make my breath smell great and help remove any yuck that might be leftover from lunch. This is important. No one wants to walk around with lunch or dinner in their teeth. This has replaced my usual gum, and I use about one or two a day.

You can pick up DentaBurst Freshening Teeth Cleaner at Target, CVS, Rite Aid, and Amazon.

Sephora at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach

Oh, happy day. On Wednesday, Sephora opened their new store at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach. It was nice and crowded, and I managed to score two handfuls of great Dr. Brandt stuff which I will be writing about soon! The SA's were great and everyone was buying up all the great stuff.

Here is what I ended up getting:

It was fun! So if you live in the area, get yourself on over there.

Total Beauty Web Tour

A couple of days late, but here we are! A roundup of what the fab beauty bloggers from Total Beauty are blogging about this week.
Beauty's Spot visits another Anastasia Brow Studio at Nordstroms. Check out the results

Viva woman reviews the different types of concealers and finds out which works best.

Alison of the AdviceSisters Guide to Life, Success & Happiness Blog finds that UnWrinkle Powder by Peter Thomas Roth has true star power: "Get Smart, style."

Come aboard The Makeup Divas and set sail for the Mac Naughty Nauticals review!

A Mom in Red High Heels has found another multi-tasking super starin the world of cosmetics. Find out what it is!

Beauty Tyrant finds comfort in a multi-tasking blush. Can Global Goddess' Chai Cheek Colorreally do the trick?

Fabulous Over Forty reviews another Sonia Kashuk product. See if you should have it in your makeup bag!

Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog provides The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of growth factors in wrinkle creams.

Beauty Blogging Junkie test-drives Kate Hudson's and David Babaii's collaboration, David Babaii for WildAid Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner.

Beauty411 shares her new summer fragrance. Check it out!

Beauty Anonymous brings you Paul & Joe Fall 2008 Makeup Collection.

Jeanne of Periodic Style poses a tough question: lip gloss or nail polish?

Another one in The Life of A Ladybug's Bronzers for Brown Girls series: MAC Bronzer in Refined Deeper Bronze and Loose Iridescent Powder in Golden Bronze!

The Jet Set Girls preview this fall's Hottest Nail Color.

How to lightenyour eyebrows by Talking Makeup.

The girls over at Beauty in Real Life are having another giveaway! This time it's a basketful of Olay products valued at over $300!

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings shares her first, but not to be her last, experience with Smashbox Cosmetics.

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.