Saturday's Cocktails: Bookworm Sour

I've been reading a lot lately. Just staying in, reading, and hanging out at home. It's nice! But I still need my cocktails. So this week, I've chosen the Bookworm Sour for my cocktail of the week. I'll have a few friends over this evening and make up a batch of these. Here is the recipe:

1-1/4 oz 10 Cane rum
1/2 oz Navan Vanilla liqueur
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1 dash Fee Brother's American Beauty Grenadine

Shake and strain into a tumbler

Doesn't it sound delicious? I know. And I think you need to use these cocktail glasses, because they are lovely.

Need Therapy After Trying On Jeans?

Shop indiDenim.com Today For Custom Fit Jeans!
I know I do. Seriously, inbetween the horrid lights in the dressing room, the crazy vanity sizing, and the predominance of "low rise" jeans, I usually dread jeans shopping, and I love to shop. But then I discovered indiDenim.com. You can literally design your own jeans, from the rise to the distressing on the hem. Choose from different leg styles (even capri, although I don't recommend it), back pocket styles, and washes.

And this isn't just for the ladies, it's for the men too. Because doesn't everyone deserve to have a great pair of jeans? I'm thinking this would be a great holiday present if you are certain you know someone's style. But first, I must get myself a pair.

Fall Makeup Tips from L'Oreal and Allure

L'Oréal Paris and Allure have partnered to bring the runway to reality by recreating the hottest makeup looks seen on the 2008 New York fall fashion runways. From soft, romantic makeup to hints of metallic highlights to bold color, the runways showcased beauty at its best, inspired by the latest in fashion.

Collier Strong, celebrity makeup artist and consultant to L'Oréal Paris, suggests these top makeup trends to update your look for fall:
Fall Romance
Romance is in the air this season with soft, smoky eyes and delicate, pale cheeks. Collier recommends achieving this look by using Bare Naturale Mascara in Black and Bare Naturale Eyeliner in Defining Onyx, two new products that bring attention to the eyes without overpowering the look. Add definition and a sweet kiss of color to cheekbones with a soft pink or peach powder, sweeping upwards.
Shine On
Metallic makeup, especially gold, rocked the runway. To recreate the look at home, Try HIP High Intensity Metallic Shadow in Gilded, a shadow duo of rich gold and dark brown with golden flecks to add shimmer to the eyelids for a metallic effect. "Apply a soft wash of golden color for day, and then deepen the shadow and add more definition to the eyes to transition the look to night. Pair with a neutral face and finish off with a soft, glossy lip," says Collier. Try Bare Naturale Gentle Lip Conditioner in Soft Peach.
Bright Eyes
Eyes made a bold statement on the fall runways. Choose eye makeup that is vibrant and colorful. "Bright shadows in blues and purples paired with nude, natural glossy lips achieve a bold and powerful look that's right on trend," says Collier. Choose a shadow that's richer and more vibrant than your normal shade to easily select a bold shade that would work on you.

Beauty Bytes: Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Shopping Guide

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Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Shopping Guide

Make October 2008 prettier, pinker and more powerful! Shop pink products and support a great cause!


What can you do to help in the fight against breast cancer? Something simple. Shop today from this collection of exclusive pink products -- because for every one of these products sold, a donation will be made to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Who knew that looking good could make you feel so incredibly good too?

Browse guide

Beauty Bytes: Kiss My Face Start Up Exfoliating Face Wash

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Kiss My Face Start Up Exfoliating Face Wash

Guest review by TotalBeauty.com editor Kristen Oldham-Giordani


The zesty lemon-lime-scented wash gently removes dead skin (and makeup) with natural fruit acids.

See review

Project Runway: Kenley Knocks Off Alexander McQueen?




























So, what do you think? Did Kenley knock off the silhouette from Alexander McQueen's most recent runway show? Style.com has a great slideshow of his 2009 Spring collection.

Voting is in the Air at Bliss

And I'm not talking about the election here in the United States. Because we don't talk about that around this blog! But 40,000 people voted in Bliss' "eau-lection" and selected Blood Orange + White Pepper as the best fragrance at the store.

And it is heavenly. I smelled it myself today, and had to hold myself back from buying everything in the line. I do love Bliss, and think that their scrubs are the best. ever.

The scent also comes in a body butter and a shower gel.

Plum Mascara? Is it the 80's? No. This is So Much Better.

Benefit Cosmetics LLC
I'm not going to lie - I love colored mascara. I have a teal colored mascara that I got from Chanel this summer that just makes my eyes pop, especially when I wear it with the matching quad shadows. And I'm a fan of Bad Gal mascara as well - it's delightfully thick, doesn't smear all over the place, and the brush is fab.

But who would have thought plum? I certainly wouldn't have, but it looks fabulous with neutrals, if you're a neutral kind of girl. It's not garish or obvious, just subtle enough to make your eyes that much more noticeable.

Benefit is doing free shipping with any $50 purchase, too. So be sure to head over there and see some of their fun new products.

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

It's Beauty Event Time at Nordie's Again!

Nordstrom does this to me all the time. I was visiting today to purchase perfume for a girlfriend who is having a birthday this weekend, and what do I find? Yes, my friends, temptation. With any $100 purchase you can receive a croc embossed train case filled with the following items:

  • Fekkai Glossing™ Shampoo and Cream Packettes (0.3 oz. each)
  • Clarins Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum (0.1 oz.)
  • Lancôme Absolue Ultimate ßx Serum (0.33 oz.)
  • Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream (0.24 oz.)
  • BVLGARI Jasmin Noir Eau de Parfum Natural Spray (0.05 oz.)
  • Origins Checks and Balances™ Frothy Face Wash (0.24 oz.)
  • Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream (0.17 oz.)
  • Kinerase® Clear Skin Regulating Mask (0.24 oz.)
  • Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer (0.5 oz.)
  • Too Faced Lash Injection Extreme Thickening & Lengthening Mascara (0.17 oz.)
  • Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (1 oz.)
  • MARC JACOBS Daisy Eau de Toilette Spray (0.04 oz.)
  • Bare Escentuals® Paraben-Free Mineral Veil (0.2 oz.)
  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist 'Cashmere Silk' Packette (0.03 oz.)
  • Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfum Spray (0.05 oz.)
Good in store and online, while supplies last. Find out more at Nordstrom.com.

Oh, what did I end up getting her? Well, I brought her with me so she could pick out her signature scent. I really thought it would be Tom Ford's White Patchouli (she's kind of a patchouli girl), but she ended up loving (and I did too - I mean LOVE) Bvlgari's Jasmine Noir, which is a sample in the case above! More about that later, though...

Beauty Bytes: Maybelline Intense XXL Volume & Length Microfiber Mascara

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Maybelline New York Intense XXL Volume & Length Waterproof Microfiber Mascara

Guest review by TotalBeauty.com editor Charli Schuler


This dual-wanded mascara has fat brushes and contains the unpopular white primer, but it's the only one I've tried that delivers a false-lash look and passes the surf test.

See review

How To Wear It Thursday: Charlotte Russe Dress



Sometimes we have to shop what we have. We can't always be running off to big cities when we live in the 'burbs, so we turn to the local mall. One of the largest stores in my local mall is Charlotte Russe, and I've never done much shopping there. However, I've put together a little set around an adorable dress that I ran across. Everything in the set besides the design elements are available at Charlotte Russe, and I don't imagine any of them are expensive. Click on the photo above to shop. Good style doesn't have to be expensive.

Beauty Bytes: Quiz: Ideal Breast Cancer Detection Plan

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Quiz: Your Ideal Breast Cancer Early Detection Plan

Answer these questions to access your risk and find out what precautions you should be taking


According to the National Cancer Institute it is estimated that 182,460 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and 40,480 of those women will die. In order to be part of the two and a half million women who survive, you need to know how at risk of breast cancer you are and take all necessary steps to make sure that if you do get breast cancer you catch it and treat it early. This quiz is your first step in the right direction.

Take the quiz

A New Favorite: Clean and Clear Soft In-Shower Facial

It's probably just me, but I have a hard time waking up in the morning. Even though I make sure to have my espresso within 10 minutes of opening my eyes, I still love to have an extra something in my shower to help me move myself along and hopefully make it where I need to go on time. So much the better if that something helps my skin! And with Clean & Clear Soft In-Shower Facial, I get both skin-softening benefits and a tingling wake-me-up.

Clean & Clear Soft In-Shower Facial is an alpha-hydroxy acid facial cleaner, and it contains glycolic acid, which is beneficial for treating and preventing wrinkles. You apply it while standing in a steamy shower, leave it for one minute, and rinse it off. It gives you a nice tingle, thanks to the menthol in the formulation, and also gently exfoliates your face leaving it nice and clean. Get out and add your toner/moisturizer/serums as normal.

I find that Clean & Clear Soft In-Shower Facial is a great way to add an anti-aging formulation to my routine. They recommend using 2-3 times a week in addition to your regular cleansers. It's easy to use, doesn't require scrubbing, and works very well. The price is certainly right too. I'm always impressed with the Clean and Clear products I use, even if they are geared towards the teen crowd. Creating a product with glycolic acid is perfect for those of us who have problematic skin and need a touch of anti-aging too. Recommended for normal and oily skin, and retails for about $7.99 at most major retailers and drugstores.

There is a complete Soft line from Clean and Clear, from cleansers to moisturizers. Check out the slideshow below.




Beauty Bytes: Top Picks for Shampoo

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Readers' Picks for Best Hair Shampoo

TotalBeauty.com members of all hair types -- dry, curly, thin, you name it -- share their top product reviews


If you're still searching for a shampoo that won't make your hair feel dry, brittle and unhealthy, rest assured there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Check out this list of users' favorites, from higher-end brands like Pureology and Aveda to more affordable brands like Herbal Essences. We bet you'll find a formula that works so well you'll never want to stop using it.

Best of

Book Review Tuesdays: Positively Beautiful by Carmindy and another Giveaway!

Get Positively Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Looking and Feeling Gorgeous might be one of my favorite beauty books. Not because it's full of great tips, which is really is, but because it's written in such a female-positive manner. Instead of focusing on correcting flaws, Carmindy encourages you to focus on the great features you already have. This means instead of worrying about your uneven skin tone, you use some super-cool techniques to play up your amazing eyes. Worried about your uneven eyes? Focus on your dewy, youthful skin, and so on.

While at times it can be a touch cheesy, overall, it's a refreshing change from standard beauty books which do tend to focus on the imperfect. Carmindy's "mirror mantras" are somewhat exasperating, but it's easy to overlook when she truly wants women to embrace their own beauty instead of comparing it to the "standard," whatever that may be at the moment.

I'm so excited to share that I have five copies of this book to give away! Simply leave me a comment and you will be automatically entered to win. I'm certain that you will enjoy the tips (and positive self-talk) in this book as much as I do. You have until Saturday, 10/18 to enter, so spread the word! Good luck!

Ask Me: What is the Difference Between Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids?

Have I mentioned how much I love reader mail? No? Well, it makes me happy. And I love questions the best. It makes me break out all my researching skills to come up with a reasonable answer. Here is this week's question:

Q: I read a lot about products that use alpha and/or beta hydroxy acids for my skin. What is the difference between the two and how are they beneficial?

A: Excellent question! The main difference between alpha hydroxy acids (AHA's) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA's) is their ability to dissolve lipids or oils. AHA's are only water soluable and cannot penetrate surface sebum or oil. BHA's are able to penetrate the sebum and are recommended for skin that is prone to breakouts. On the other hand, AHA's are perfect for skin that is sun-damaged without breakout problems.

The most common AHA's are glycolic and lactic acids derived from fruit and milk sugars. Other AHA's are citric and malic acid. They work mainly as exfoliants, removing dead skin cells and may or may not stimulate the skin's production of collagen and elastin. When purchasing a product with AHAs, look for a percentage of 5 to 8%. AHAs can increase sun sensitivity, so be sure to use a good sunscreen during treatment.

There is only one BHA, and that is salicylic acid, which is derived from asprin. BHA products work best with a concentration of 1 to 2%, and most acne treatment products use 2%, which seems to be the magic number for truly problematic skin. BHAs also work as exfoliants, but are able to penetrate through the sebum layer on the skin into the pore to remove buildup there, which is why many blackhead treatment products feature BHAs. Again, it's important to use sunscreen during treatment, as BHAs have been known to increase photosensitivity.

Photo by thebettymae on flickr

Smoky Lashes for a Smoky Eye

If I could have lashes like this every day, I would be thrilled. Perhaps it's just the contrast of the dark lashes and lined eyes with the pale skin. I think it is an amazing look. It's no surprise that this goodness comes from one of my favorite brands, Make Up For Ever.

One of the products used in this look is their new Smoky Lashes. I have not yet been able to get my hands on it, but you know I'm a mascara junkie and will do so this week. Make Up For Ever says that the combination of micronized iron oxide and the unique brush is what sets it apart from other mascaras.

Now I need to figure out the nail/lip combo on here, and my winter look will be set.

What do you think? Is it just another fiber mascara, or do you think this one might be different?

Beauty Bytes: Secrets to Shiny Hair

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Top 23 Secrets to Shiny, Healthy Hair

From Paul Mitchell to Garnier and Neutrogena, readers share product reviews on conditioners they can't live without


If you want soft, shiny, manageable hair, start in the shower by using the perfect conditioner for your hair type. Our readers have bravely tried (nearly) all of them and told us which they deem worthy. Check them out and get one step closer to "Pantene commercial" hair.

See products

HOLIDAY SET YSL Beauty

HOLIDAY SET YSL Beauty

I think I love holiday collections just for the bags they come in. This tuxedo-inspired bag by YSL holds a Touche �clat N� 1, Golden Gloss N� 1, Mini Luxurious Mascara N� 1, and a 1.2ml Elle YSL Eau de Parfum. I wouldn't have a problem carrying this as a clutch to the annual holiday party circuit.


Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Pink)

Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Pink)

I think this would be extremely handy at Fashion Week! Plus, I could take fun video involving local shopping and martini drinking.


Lazy Sunday Music: John Legend ft. Andre 3000: Green Light



Love this song terribly, and not just because my boy Andre 3000 is in it (have you checked out his new fashion line? Thoughts?). I don't really know why I'm so into it, as I've never been a John Legend fan, but count me in among the faithful now. This one burrowed itself into my brain and won't get out.

You can always grab it from John Legend - Green Light (feat. Andre 3000) - Single - Green Light (feat. Andre 3000) or Amazon.

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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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