Total Beauty Bytes: Transform Day Makeup to Night -- Fast


Transform Day Makeup to Night -- Fast

Pump up your blah workday look to create an evening-chic look


No need to do a full makeup reboot when you need to go from the office to a swanky dinner. We asked makeup pros how to go from a basic everyday face to a sophisticated night look by adding a few (three, to be exact) new products.

Change your look

Total Beauty Byte: Fall 2008 Makeup, Nail, and Hairstyle Trends


Fall 2008 Makeup, Nail and Hairstyle Trends

How to use products from brands like MAC and Bumble and bumble to replicate the hottest runway looks, from dark lips to sleek updos


This fall, the biggest trend in clothing is texture, from the smoothness of varnish to the multidimensional surface of tweed. Look for the same trends to appear in makeup and hair on celebrities and in magazine ads, giving you plenty of fun new options to try. Pick your favorites here and start experimenting.

Best trends

Oprah Tells Us This Fall's Beauty Must Haves

Usually when Oprah recommends something, it's pretty darn good, and people run right out and snatch all of it up, whatever it might be. So I was intrigued to see her list of beauty "must haves" for this fall, wondering if she and I even came close with our lists. Here is what Oprah loves this fall:

  • MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow Duos: I'm a fan of these. I have about four or five of these little sets, and I use them quite often. Very sparkly and shimmery with dramatic pigments
  • CoverGirl Wetslicks AmazeMint Lipgloss: Another one that I really like. Check out my previous review here.
  • Lisa Hoffman Variations Fragrance Collection: I have not yet experienced this one, but now I'm eager to give it a sniff.
  • True Blue Suddenly Sauna: These are disposable booties and mitts that you put water into, and they heat up. Find them at Bath and Body Works.
  • Liquid eyeliner, such as Cover Girl's Line Exact Liquid Liner, Prestige Hi Definition Fluid Eyeliner, and Avon Perfectly Portable Liquid Eye Liner: I love liquid eyeliner. Can't live without it. Check my review of Cover Girl's version here.
  • Olay Definity Color Capture Daily Moisturizer: I haven't tried this one, in fact, I haven't even seen it. But tinted moisturizers are great for days when you aren't interested in a full face of makeup.
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Gold Ultra Lift & Strengthening Eye Capsules: Haven't tried this one either, but it sounds intriguing!
  • John Frieda Luxurious Volume Full Splendor Shampoo and Conditioner: I don't need any more volume in my crazy hair, but I'm a fan of just about every John Frieda product.
  • Gold Nail Polish, such as Chanel's Gold Fiction or budget gorgeousness Creative Nail Design Nail Polish in Crowned: gold is big this fall, and we're still seeing metallics everywhere. Chanel's polish is to die for, but you can find gold polish in most major lines.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Swirl Gloss: I admit that I'm not an Estee Lauder fan, and haven't tried most of their products. But Oprah says it's good, so I'd better give it a shot.
  • Givenchy's entire Fall Collection: Wow, the whole thing? Yes, indeed. Super cute packaging, too.
  • Retro fragrances such as Guerlain Mitsouko, Chanel No. 22, Givenchy L'Interdit: I love it when fragrances last long enough to come back around, don't you? All of these are fab.
  • Avon Pro to Go Lipstick: this has been talked about quite a bit, but I've never tried it. I hear really good things about it, though.
  • Small hand santizers, such as CVS Pharmacy's Hand Sanitizing Spray Pen: I'm all for smaller hand sanitizers. I haven't tried this one, though, because we don't have a CVS here. Soon, but not quite yet.
  • "Green" shampoos: Jonathan Product Green Rootine, David Babaii for Wild Aid, and Tela Beauty Organics: I'm kind of sheepish to admit that I haven't tried any of the green shampoos at all.
  • Labello Lip Glosses: Recently brought to the United States by the parent company Nivea and rebranded Nivea Lip Balm: I haven't tried these yet, and haven't even seen them here.
  • Sunscreen with Mexoryl, such as La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen: Mexoryl was recently approved here by the FDA, and I have yet to test it out.
  • Tiny flat irons, such as Warren-Tricomi Mini, T3 Pro Mini Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Straightening Iron, Metropolis L-Ion Mini Wireless Flat Iron: I haven't tried the tiny irons, I'm still using my Chi.
You can read more about Oprah's favorites at Oprah.com.

Total Beauty Byte: Washington's Best Hairstyles


Washington's Best Hairstyles

See how women like Cindy McCain, Jenna Bush and Michelle Obama are making Capitol Hill more stylish


When most of us think of political hair, we picture hairsprayed-beyond-belief bobs and matronly updos. But newcomers on the political scene (like Sarah Palin) are shaking up that image with softer hair (that actually moves). Check out our picks of the best political hair from now and years past. These women prove that there is plenty of style in Washington, D.C.

See hairstyles

Total Beauty Bytes: Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment


Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment

Guest review by TotalBeauty.com editor Sarah Carrillo


The word "treatment" makes this sound like medicine, and it sort of is; the aloe and shea butter formula work really well to soften dry lips and keep them protected.

See review

More Diamonds: Secret Giveaway

Secret Flawless is giving away 10 one-carat flawless diamonds (worth $15,000 each) and many other great prizes including gift cards, movie tickets and lots of Flawless deodorant. All you have to do is visit your local retailer where Secret is sold and buy specially marked Secret Flawless Invisible Solid or Conditioning Solid, but hurry because the specially marked products will only be in store for a limited time.

Hidden at the bottom of your deodorant, you might find “fake bling” that you turn in for the real thing! (Or you can take the secret code off the back off your packaging and enter that code online to see if you have won!)

For more information, visit http://www.secret.com/Diamonds.do. The Sweepstakes begins on August 31, 2008 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time and ends on June 30, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

For official rules, visit www.secretdiamondgiveaway.com.

Spa Week Offers $50 Spa Treatments in September Plus A Chance to Win a Diamond Ring

Spa Week has returned already to the west coast, and is making it's way to the east coast shortly! If you're not familiar with the Spa Week Spring and Fall Events, with their signature $50 treatments, it is a way to allow people with a minimal amount of expendable income to enjoy a well needed massage or other spa treatment. This simple premise of a discounted treatment has opened up the once elitist spa industry to the masses—morphing the once cost-conscious consumer into a regular spa goer.

Spa Week is slated for September 15th-21st on the West Coast, including Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and October 13th-19th for the balance of the country including New York, New Jersey, Denver, Detroit, Minnesota, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Atlanta, Florida and Toronto, Canada. In total, the fall event will include 22 markets. A list of participating spas will be posted on www.spaweek.org.

Also, Spa Week and WeddingChannel.com has launched an Everything Bridal section on www.spaweek.org where WeddingChannel.com will be an indispensable source of lifestyle content. The alliance of two leading companies in the wedding, health and lifestyle industries will function as a powerhouse of luxury content available to millions worldwide. To commemorate the perfect union between Spa Week and WeddingChannel.com, Spa Week will be giving away a magnificent Eighty-Eight® Cut 2.5 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring. We are reaching out to everyone to help Spa Week make one lucky couple’s dream of the perfect engagement come true. Nominate a couple with a truly captivating love story, and they will automatically be entered to win a brilliant 2.5 carat diamond engagement ring.

Enjoy your spa treatments!

Total Beauty Bytes: Kim Kardashian Hairstyle Photos


Kim Kardashian Hairstyle Photos

The "Dancing With The Stars" contestant shows how to rock long hairstyles and sexy updos


We can't get enough of her on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and now we get to see even more of Kim Kardashian on the upcoming season of "Dancing With The Stars." Why do we like her so much? It could be her antics or her crazy family but really, it's the hair. Whether it's long -- or really long -- she always looks glamorous. Check out the many hairstyles of Kim Kardashian and maybe you'll want to inject a little Hollywood glitz into your look.

See Kim

Taming the Curly Beast: Matrix Sleek Look Shampoo and Conditioner

If something out there claims to help make my curly, nappy hair sleek, you know I'm going to try it. Not that I expect any hair product to magically straighten my hair, but I like to know that I'm helping out my flat iron by putting good product on beforehand.

The Matrix Sleek Look Shampoo/Conditioner duo does a great job at smoothing hair out and helping reduce volume. It's not going to make your hair straight or sleek, really. That part is up to you, but these products give you a great foundation to work with.

If you have naturally straight hair, this might not be the duo for you, but if you have curly hair that you're always working with, these realistically priced products might be what you're looking for.

Our First Giveaway: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

We're excited to be running our very first contest! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you do to keep your skin looking fresh in between now and Sunday, September 14, 2008. Make sure your Google profile or OpenID enables me to grab your email address so I can contact you if you win.

What is up for grabs? Glad you asked. One of our very favorite products from one of our very favorite brands: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask. Retailing at $52, this mask is one of my secret tricks to making my skin look fab when I'm not feeling so well, either from a late night or allergies. I'm interested to know everyone else's secrets, because a girl can never have too many tricks up her sleeve when it comes to great looking skin.

Good luck!

Consider Me a Convert: Freeze 24/7

A friend of mine recently wanted to know why I hadn't blogged about Freeze 24 / 7 Freeze and Go Instant Smoother and Brightener. I really didn't have a good answer for her, so I fell back on my standard "I just haven't gotten to it yet!" answer.

Turns out, she heard about it on Rachel Ray's television show, and apparently it was well received. She wanted me to find out where she could get it in our little town. Okay, I can do that. No problem. Surely, between Nordstrom and Sephora I can find it. No. Not our Nordstrom, and not our Sephora. Finally, after sending an email to the company, I found out that it can only be purchased at Bath and Body Works here in Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Great! We have one of those at the mall. Off I go to get it for her.

I bought two, one for her, one for me. I drop it off, and we decide to try it out right then and there with another friend. Once we figured out the supercrazy packaging (very space age, but a bit challenging to figure out the first time) we smoothed it on and stood back to see if it was really a miracle worker.

Guess what? I was AMAZED. It literally smoothed out fine lines right before our eyes, even applying on top of makeup. Which, by the way, is perfectly fine: use either before or after makeup application. Needless to say, she wanted a bottle too, so I gave mine up right there. Sacrifices for beauty, I swear!

While this isn't a budget product ($65 for less than an ounce), a little goes a long, long way, and it's worth it, especially if you're considering Botox.

Lipstick Porn: Urban Decay Lipstick in Jilted

If you have not checked out the Urban Decay Lipstick line by now, what on earth are you waiting for? I picked up my second shade on Monday, and I can't stop talking about it. This one is Jilted, and it's a blue-based fuschia that is so incredibly vibrant even I can't stop looking at my lips when I have it on.

You can't see it very well here, but I love how Urban Decay stamps their company name on the actual lipstick at the bottom. Combined with the dagger packaging, it's just fantastic.

Best of Sephora 2008 Winners Announced

Best of Sephora 2008

Sephora shoppers have voted, and here are the final results. I was surprised at how much mineral makeup made it on the list, I must be the only one who isn't a fan! But I wasn't surprised at most of them: Urban Decay's Primer Potion, DiorShow mascara. What do you think? Are these your favorites?

See more of my Best of Sephora 2008 list at ThisNext.


Happy Birthday to Me: My Gift to Myself from MAXX New York

Isn't she lovely? It's my birthday on September 11, and I always buy myself something nice to celebrate the fact that I made it through another year. I saw her sitting on the shelf at Nordstrom, and I couldn't walk away. It's the MAXX NEW YORK Bridle Medium Bowler.

Now, my love of NYC is well documented here, so my faithful readers will know that anything that is inspired by New York is usually right up my alley. This is my second MAXX New York bag, and they are extremely well made and just gorgeous to look at. And the price is reasonable - I only paid $198 for this medium bowler. Here are the details:

  • Italian degrade patent.
  • Double handle.
  • Quilting detail.
  • Gunmetal hardware.
  • 3 top zip closures which lead to 3 separate compartments.
  • 4 metal feet on bottom to protect from day-to-day dirt.
  • Inside contains 2 side zip pockets, slit pocket, cell phone pocket, and IPOD pocket.
  • Charcoal grey metallic lining.
It was love at first sight. It will make it's debut on Saturday with my black dress and my new stiletto heels.

Total Beauty Bytes: Frizz-Ease Straight Answer Straightening Spray


Frizz-Ease Straight Answer Straightening Spray

Guest review by TotalBeauty.com editor Beth Mayall-Traglia


This product somewhat helps wavy hair stay straight, but doesn't leave it soft or shiny. On the contrary, it leaves a stiff residue like firm-hold hairspray.

See review

"I Am My Own Muse"

Why, yes, Tom. Yes you are. Easy to see how you would choose your own sexy self for your muse.

Photo and quote: NYMag

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About Me

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites RetrodivasBeauty.com and RetrodivasCloset.com. 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 StyleBakeryMom.com 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.
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