Pajama of the Day: Cupcakes!!

I'll admit it: I have a fascination with cupcakes. Perhaps it's just portion control on my part, keeping me from eating the entire cake. Or maybe it's because they are just so cute, with their little frosting toppers. Or maybe I can blame Magnolia Bakery for getting me addicted. Either way, I love them.

Made of 100% cotton, the tunic has five buttons and the boxers are elastic waistband with a button fly. Not sure why one needs button fly boxers to sleep in, but whatever! Sizing runs a bit small, and they have small through large. Go a size up.

$90 at Amazon.com.

Saturday's Cocktails: Caribbean Martini

There isn't anything in this martini that I don't like, and I give it bonus points for it's complete simplicity. Enjoy!

Caribbean Martini

1 1/2 ounce Stoli Vanil
3/4 ounce Malibu rum
splash pineapple juice

Shake all ingredients in cocktail shaker and pour.

Gorgeous cocktail shaker photo is from Barware.com.

Total Beauty Web Tour

Let's take a look at some of the hot beauty topics around the intertubes, shall we?

Enter Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog's Manic Monday Double Giveaway now! One reader will win a $140 at-home spa kit from Sothys, and another reader will win a $50 gift certificate to the swanky restaurant on New York's East Side - Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club.

Lipstick Addict makes a review on 4 brands of mascara. Go and check it out!

HomeSpaGoddess shares her thoughts on the new L'Oreal Double Extend Mascara.

Boutique Flair tells you how to enhance your inner glow with positive affirmations. When you keep your inside beautiful and fabulous, your outside will reflect that.

Meet Thevaki Thambirajah on A Mom in Red High Heels. Thevaki is the mom and brains behind Thevi Cosmetics, a unique line targeting Ethnic women.

Viva Woman finds out if organic facial cotton are better for our skin?

Are you a Juicy Couture girl at any cost? Beauty Junkies Unite debuts the new accessory line, Juicy Loves Sephora, and has an opinion too!

The Makeup Divas reviews Mac Suite Array Pearlglide Eye Liners.

Beauty Anonymous
brings you Chanel limited-edition Levres Douceur lip palette.

Beauty411 shines the spotlight on the sophisticated Laura Mercier Black Tie Holiday Collection!

CaliforniaCosmetics explores the line between fashion and function with anew fragrance Wode by Boudicca. Are you game?

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings has found a great night cream from Bioelements that will not only keep your skin looking great, but will control oil, too! Read about it here!

Beauty Blogging Junkie takes NonSociety's Meghan Asha on a beauty tour of Duane Reade. Click here to see the video.

Marta Walsh interviews Jessica Simpson's Hair Stylist Ken Paves-by Talking Makeup.

Glossypink
dishes on her clear skin secret weapon.

The Beauty Alchemist checks outClarins Extra Firming Tightening Lift Serum

Bare Budget Beauty is giving away one Karmin Titanium Hair Straightener Iron, valued at $100! Enter now for your chance to win it!

Check out the newest member of the Beauty 365 team, A-Fad, and her sparkling review of Anastasia's Brow Enhancing Serum.

The girls over at Beauty in Real Life are having another giveaway with Sothys Skincare. Click here for the details.

Indian Girl reviews her new favorite lipsticks from Urban Decay's Fall 2008 Collection

Neon Bible givesSally Hansen Lip Inflation a test drive.

Do you struggle with acne, dark circles, hyperpigmentation and rednesss? Then head on over to Spoiled Pretty to find out about a miracle product that conceals while it heals

Private Sale at Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue Sale - Spring 2008

I just got an email that Saks is having a private sale now through November 12. You can save up to 40% on fall's best designer selections. It's a great opportunity to get some fantastic pieces for a drastically reduced price.

I love these types of sales because I can stock up on basics that will last. My own personal philosophy is that I like to spend more money on things that will last and are high quality. I use H&M and other "fast fashion" for my seasonal trend items.

Happy shopping!

Pajama of the Day: Sushi Lovers

Who doesn't like sushi? Well, I don't really, but I think these jammies are just super cute. And I think they would be perfect paired with a pot of hot tea and a bowl of steamed rice.

Made of 100% cotton poplin, the pants have an elastic waist for maximum comfort. Sizes S-XL.

$89.99 at OnlyPajamas.com.

PFB Vanish Skin Treatment: Taming the Ingrown Hair Problem

Fighting with ingrown hairs is an ongoing problem for many people, after all, most of us don't stop shaving because it's winter. And it's not just women with this problem, either. Many men suffer from ingrown hairs due to shaving.

Wouldn't it be nice to just not have the problem anymore? I know. Until they come up with something that eliminates it alltogether, I keep searching for things that will keep the problem on the minimal side. PFB Vanish is one of those products that just might help.

I've talked about ingrown hairs before, and one of my suggestions was products that contain salicylic acid. PFB Vanish has both salicylic acid and glycolic acid, both excellent ingredients to help keep that surface layer of skin cells from trapping the hair under the skin.

PFB Vanish, $19.95 at Folica.com.

For the Men Fridays: Bliss Wild Beard Stuff Set

The Bliss Wild Beard Stuff Set includes two of the mens bestsellers of the Bliss line: 'homme' improvement thermal shaving cream and 'homme' improvement post-shave repair lotion at a special price of $32. Not bad for such a great combo of products!

'homme' improvement thermal shaving cream is unique in the fact that it is a self-heating lotion that offers a friction-free glide for shaving. It also boasts essential oils that supposedly boost beta-endorphins.

'homme' improvement post-shave repair lotion soothes just-shaved skin and help prevent ingrown hairs. It also boasts the essential oils that may help boost beta-endorphins.

The Bliss Wild Beard Stuff Set is available for $32 at Bliss.com.

Pajama of the Day: Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson makes some of the best intimates, I swear! While I see her cute chemise sets all the time in Nordstrom, I rarely see a flannel set of hers, so I was thrilled to find these.

These have a gorgeous rosebud theme, which is just so Betsey. She does love her roses. Pants are drawstring waist and ankle length. Sizes S through L.

$69 at Amazon.com.

CHI Flat Irons on Sale at Folica.com

You all know that my CHI is essential to my very existence. With my crazy hair, I require much power to get it to behave the way I want it to.

If you don't have a CHI, now would be the absolute best time to get one! Folica.com is having a huge CHI sale, and the best part is they are also doing free shipping for any order over $50. If you can snag a CHI for 60% off, you're getting a ridiculous deal. If you already have one, it would make a great gift for the beauty-obsessed in your life, too. I'm going to grab one for a friend who still uses a Conair flatiron.

Just click on the graphic below to get going!

[*Save up uo 60% on CHI Hair Products*]

Great Deal on Freeze 24/7

You all know I'm a huge fan of Freeze 24/7. They are offering a great deal this season. Hop on over and spend $100 to get a free Freeze and Go. I paid $65 at Bath and Body Works earlier this year, so that's quite a gift with purchase!

No Frizz Coming Exclusively to QVC November 8

Is it just me, or can you find some really cool things on QVC lately? I mean, you can flip it on when you're channel surfing and watch an entire show dedicated to Sephora. Far cry from the early days of home shopping, no?

This time, QVC is getting an exclusive premiere of the new line No Frizz by Living Proof on Saturday, November 8 from 7 to 8 PM.

This sleekly-packaged new line is different from other anti-frizz products due to an ingredient called PolyfluoroEster. This is a molecule that creates an extremely thin barrier on hair and eliminates the main causes of frizz. Humidity is prevented from penetrating the hair shaft and friction between hair fibers is reduced for the most effective anti-frizz action.

Since I'm the frizz queen of the universe (really, I am. I just appointed myself.), you can bet I'll be trying this one out ASAP.

Product Review: Clinique Lash Power Mascara

It seems like everyone is coming out with the "tubes" technology mascara, where the formulation creates tubes on each lash, making it longer and fuller. The only problem with these types of products is how difficult it is to get off.

Lash Power Mascara by Clinique isn't any different. It does an average job at giving your lashes volume and length, but removal is a messy job at best. My waterproof eye makeup remover didn't do much, and I finally had to splash water on my face and let the tubes fall off that way, creating a big mess. Black flakes all over my face, washcloth, and even sink. Yuck!

So while the volumizing and lengthing properties of this product is good, I wouldn't repurchase it simply due to how difficult it is to actually get off.


Lash Power Mascara, $14 at Saks Fifth Avenue and other department stores.

Beauty Bytes: Why Are My Nails So Weak?

TotalBeauty.com content:

Q: Why Are My Nails So Weak?

Find out the answer to this reader question, then ask TotalBeauty.com editors and experts to solve your biggest beauty problems


This question comes from a member who posted on our message boards: Q: "I've always had strong and long nails, until now. They keep breaking and have become very fragile. I would like to know if anybody has any advice about what products will REALLY strengthen my nails." -- TotalBeauty.com member annabella

View answer

How to Wear It Thursdays: My New Target Leggings


My Target Leggings by retrodiva

I recently grabbed two pairs of cable leggings from Target. I absolutely love them, and I couldn't stop talking about how they were leggings! That were sweaters! Sweater leggings! Almost as good as pants!

For the record, I'm not a huge leggings girl, but these really just take over with outfits that I should be wearing heavy tights with. I have lots of sweater dresses, as well as knit dresses that I like to do the tights with, and I'm hoping these will give me just a bit more warmth on those cold days.

Of course, I've also paired it with some of my beauty choices, because you just can't leave that out. My makeup is just as much a part of my outfit as my accessories, so I tend to give it just as much thought. With a gray knit dress and bright accessories, I thought varying shades of plum would work the best.

While I would wear the black flats, I wouldn't hesitate to pair this with boots, either. I'd probably stay away from slouchy boots as well as booties, and go with traditional heeled boots in either black or gray.

Pajama of the Day: Shoes!

Do you love shoes? Yes you do, of course you do. So do I. That is why they are making an appearance on my pajama list.

This is a two piece set by Munki Munki and includes a long sleeve t-shirt with cotton poplin pants. Machine washable and available in sizes S-XL.

$54.99 at OnlyPajamas.com.

Over at Beautiful! Fabulous!: Getting Out the Door in Five Minutes

My weekly post is up over at Beautiful! Fabulous!, and I'd love it if you'd go check it out. It's about getting your makeup on and done with in five minutes or less. Trust me, this is an issue that is near and dear to my own little heart. Comments always appreciated!

Holiday Collections: Clarins Chic and Glam Black Palette

The Chic and Glam Black Palette is a lovely way to take everything you need right along with you.

I am so much more likely to carry a palette like this around since it has everything already in it, negating the need for me to carry around several different products. It's also a fab way to get yourself through airport security without any problems.

Each palette comes with three eyeshadows (to build that smokey eye), two lip glosses, one mascara, one compact powder plus accessories such as a sponge, eye brush, lip brush and mirror.

And the accompanying black bag is gorgeous, and still small enough to fit into that clutch that you'll be carrying around for the holiday party circuit.

Chic and Glam Black Palette, $40 at Clarins.com.

Beauty Bytes: Top 22 Facial Cleansers

TotalBeauty.com content:

Readers' Top 22 Facial Cleansers

Is the No. 1 wash from Clinique? Neutrogena? Nope! Read on to find out


A cleanser is a cleanser, right? Don't they all do the same job? Hardly. Our readers gave us their two cents about which cleansers made their faces squeaky clean -- without leaving their skin feeling like the Sahara. What product was ranked No. 1 by TotalBeauty.com members? Read on to find out.

See cleansers

Pajama of the Day: Cocktail Umbrella

These are obviously right up my alley. Any drink that includes a 70's style cocktail umbrella is the drink for me, so clearly these pajamas are tailor made for me as well.

Set of t-shirt and drawstring pants are made of 100% cotton, so comfort is a given. While these might be more of a summer pajama, I like to keep a pair of like these around when I'm starting to get tired of the cold and am wishing for a few boat drinks. Throw a cardigan on over the shirt, and you'll be good.

Sizes S through XL are available, and the price is certainly right.

$19.99 at Overstock.com.

Favorite Things: Bliss Steep Clean Moisture Lotion

I've talked at great length about my breakout prone skin, so I won't belabor the point any longer. Suffice it to say, it's hard to find moisturizers that actually moisturize without causing breakouts.

Enter Steep Clean Moisture Lotionicon. This product is an absolute necessity for those of us with aging skin that is still prone to breakouts. Formulated with retinol, vitamins, and something called "SmartSponge" technology, this light and effective moisturizer has a hidden side effect: it actually helps absorb oil produced throughout the day!

Using this has eliminated my need for a mattifier, combining two products into one. I can get awfully shiny just a few hours after my makeup is applied, and I've noticed that I get an additional few hours of a shine-free face.

This is my holy grail moisturizer, and I use it every morning, combined with a few other Bliss products that you will hear about soon.

Like most Bliss products, expect to spend a pretty penny for it. However, it really works, one bottle will last you at least six months, if not more, and I love it. Love it.


Steep Clean Moisture Lotion, $48, available at Bliss.com.

Beauty Bytes: How Healthy Is Your Hair?

TotalBeauty.com content:

Quiz: How Healthy Is Your Hair?

Find out if it's Pantene-commercial worthy or if it should join Amy Winehouse in rehab


Flatirons, highlights and sunshine, oh my! So many things can cause damage to your hair without you even knowing it. Think your hair is healthy? The answer might surprise you. Take this quiz to find out the real health of your hair and get tips on how to nurse it back to a shiny, soft state.

Take the quiz

Book Review Tuesdays: Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, and Everything Glamour

I'll admit it: I watched the entire season of The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo with great interest. While I'm not a huge fan of her personal style (I don't find 70's fashion to really be right for me), I admire how she can really pull it all together. And I love her ideas about accessorizing. It really can be the accessories that pull an outfit together.

Although I enjoyed the series, and would certainly continue watching it if it goes into a second season, I was a bit leery of an entire Rachel Zoe manifesto, also called Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, & Everything Glamour. Turns out, I had no reason to be afraid. While there is some talk about how fabulous her life is, I don't mind it. I love her interviews with famous designers such as Zac Posen, Stella McCartney, Michael Kors, and Roberto Cavalli on all sorts of topics from travel to men's fashion to home decor.

She doesn't touch as much on beauty as she does on fashion, which is probably okay, since she's not really a makeup artist. I think her skill set really lies in style - not necessarily fashion, but style. Putting it all together. You will get plenty of tips on that, plus specifics on such topics as accessories, seasonal dressing, and vintage shopping.

All in all, well worth adding this to your style library, and not just for Rachel fans.

$10.87 at Amazon.com.

Pajama of the Day: Shop Girl


With a print that includes mobile phones, compacts, lipsticks, and little black dresses, this set is right up my alley.

Made of 100% cotton flannel with a velvety finish, these also have pink satin piping trim. Throw them in a cold water wash in your washing machine for easy care. Sizes S-XL.

On sale for $23.98 at OnlyPajamas.com.

Beauty Bytes: Date Night Hairstyles

TotalBeauty.com content:

Pretty Date-Night Hairstyles

Twists, braids, curls and updos -- copy romantic looks seen on Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and others


Good hair equals confidence, which is essential on a date night (or any night out, really) so use these styling tips to feel secure in knowing that your hair looks hot. These hairstyles seen on the cast of "He's Just Not That Into You" (and a few other celebs sporting date-worthy styles) will definitely have any guy so into you -- and if he isn't, well ... that's his problem.

See hairstyles

Ask Me Mondays: Mineral Makeup and Breakouts

Q: I want to try mineral makeup, but I have sensitive acne-prone skin. I've been told that some kinds of mineral makeup can make me break out. What is the deal with that? Is it true?

A: The double whammy of sensitive AND acne-prone skin. It's a difficult combo, and I imagine you have a hard time with a lot of makeup. Mineral makeup has been marketed as a way to reduce breakouts due to it's more "natural" formulation, but that's not always the case.

I went searching around to find out specifically what was causing problems for some people, and I came up with a few answers that might be helpful. It appears that a couple of common ingredients in mineral makeup could be problematic for people with sensitive skin and/or acne-prone skin. The most problematic ingredient for many people is probably bismuth oxychloride, which is a problem since it shows up as the main ingredient in most mineral makeup formulations. It can be an irritant for many people, causing contact dermatitis. It is more likely to cause problems than talc is, due to it's pearlescent qualities, according to Paula Begoun, author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. Her explanation of this can be found in a special report on mineral makeup which I found online. You can download the PDF version here.

Another ingredient that can cause problems is zinc oxide (or titanium dioxide). What is problematic about this ingredient is that it is necessary for sunscreen protection. It actually physically forms a shield on your skin providing SPF protection from the sun. It is the same ingredient used in diaper rash formulas. It needs to be listed as an Active Ingredient on your cosmetic for it to be useful as a sunscreen, so make sure to look for that. However, if you are prone to acne or breakouts, zinc oxide could be a problem as it's known to be comedogenic (cause clogged pores).

Bottom line? Hard to say that it will definitively break you out or not. Your best bet is to obtain samples and try it consistently and see which brand/formulation will work for you. I wish I could give you a recommendation, but I haven't had good luck with any of the mineral formulations that I have tried, for various different reasons.

Pajama of the Day: Asian Dynasty

Oh, I just love the silhouette of these pajamas! Look at the 3/4 flared sleeves! The asian details on the shirt closures! The flared jacket! Gorgeous.

Lots of slits and piping adds interesting detail to the overall look. Drawstring pants are all about comfort, and since they are made of 100% polyester, they require no special care outside of your regular washing machine.

$125 at Saks Fifth Avenueicon.

Beauty Bytes: Hand Cream Showdown

TotalBeauty.com content:

Hand Cream Showdown

Find out which top hand hydrators our testers found desk drawer-worthy


We spend hundreds on youth-enhancing face lotions -- but when's the last time your hands got some love? "Hands show aging more than the face," says Los Angeles-based dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad. Good point. So we had 10 testers review hand creams for two weeks. Which ones offered the best hydration -- and which were just greasy? Find out in the ratings.

View creams

Total Beauty

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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