What's On Your Nails? My For Audrey Manicure

Isn't this a gorgeous and unique shade? I'm absolutely loving it - it's so unusual and gets a lot of compliments. Plus, it's Tiffany blue. I mean, it doesn't get any better than that.

It's China Glaze: For Audrey. One of my new favorites.

Recession Beauty: Hair Glossing At Home

Since I'm just lounging around in my pajamas today, I figured it would be a great time to do one of those things that I've been meaning to get to for awhile. You know what I mean - you pick something up as a project thinking, "Oh, I'll be able to do that really soon!" and then forget about it because you just get busy/lazy/whatever. That's what happened when I picked up Clairol Professional Radiance Clear Gloss at Sally Beauty recently.

I can't resist Sally's when they are having a sale. And they are always having a sale. Plus, throw your discount card on there (you absolutely need one - it's $5 and they give you a $5 coupon to offset the cost) and you've got yourself quite a deal.

At any rate, even if you don't like coloring your own hair, this is for you. If you purchase the clear gloss, you don't have to worry about color at all. It's just clear shine and glossiness for your hair. Apply it with a color bottle or brush if you have one (and really, the bottle costs about $1 at Sallys - use your discount card!), and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. After that you'll have shiny glossy hair with very little effort. It also helps condition and smooth hair as well.

I applied heat when I did my treatment, and I don't know if it made a difference or not. I have a bonnet hair dryer, so slapping a plastic cap on my wet hair and putting the dryer on isn't any big deal, but I've heard of people using hot towels or even sitting in the sun with excellent results. In my experience, color and treatments seem to do better when they are hit with a bit of heat.

The large bottle runs $14.29, and will give you four treatments. You will also need the developer in the same line which is always found right next to the various color selections.

Quite a bargain versus going to your salon for a glossing treatment!

MAC's Girl About Town Lipstick: My New Love and a New Dazzleglass

If you see me out and about this spring, chances are you are going to see me wearing this lipstick: it's MAC's Girl About Town. I paired it with their Magenta lip liner, and the two were made for each other.

I regret to say that I'm not sure if this is part of a collection or not - I simply saw it and knew that I needed to be wearing it. Since it was in with the regular lipsticks, I doubt it. But really, if you're down with the fuschia craze, this color is for you.

One of the current collections that I did purchase something from was Double Dazzle. I passed on the mascara (especially since the SA didn't have anything glowing to say about it), but I did buy Love Alert out of the collection. And guess what? It pairs beautifully with Girl About Town:Isn't it lovely? The glimmer particles don't really show up, but trust me, they are most certainly there. In fact, the Dazzle Glass line really reminds me of Chanel's Glossamer, with the benefit of being quite cheaper! Here is Love Alert on plain lips:
And it was more pigmented of the collection, so don't expect a lot of color there, but it really comes through with the glitter.

Grab all of them at MAC online or your local counter.

Product Review: Nivea Touch of Happiness Body Wash

I actually received a sample of this in my Shecky's bag and forgot to mention it because I used it in the hotel room the next morning!

I don't get overly excited about body washes, and I think most of them are similar with the exception of the scent. Overall, I think this is a good one - Nivea never disappoints - with a creamy texture and a lovely orange blossom scent.

I will mention that I didn't use lotion afterwards, and I didn't miss it, so it must have done an excellent job moisturizing my skin, since I almost always need it.

Nivea Touch of Happiness retails for about $5.99 at most major retailers, although you can grab a free sample over at the Walmart website.

How to Wear White Jeans

How to Wear White Jeans

This is not an easy trend to carry off, especially if you are anything but a size 0. However, women of every size can do this - with a few suggestions.

First and foremost, wear a long tunic shirt. A larger behind doesn't look good in white jeans, and there is no reason why the general public needs to be subjected to that. Tunics are popular right now, and are easily found - the one above (which I really like, by the way) can be found at the ever-present Buckle shop.

Try a contrasting pair of shoes - I like black. It sets off the jeans in a good way. I picked flat sandals for the daytime, and a sharp strappy pair of heels for night. And don't forget the accessories!

Marina Cosmetics Creates Gorgeous Summer Shades for Your LIps

Gorgeous browns, neturals and bronzes are always popular for summer. I know I tend to go towards shimmering neutrals with a touch of blue in them on my eyes, peachier blushes, and always neutral, shimmery lips. I guess I'm wanting to match that mythical tan that I never have, but those shades always scream "summer!" to me.

I had the opportunity to try some absolutely gorgeous lipsticks and lipglosses from Marina Cosmetics, all of them inspired by the colors of the seashore. The lip gloss above is called Manila Mango, and is my absolute favorite. It's a heavily pigmented gloss, which is super hard to find, and it goes on without being gummy or sticky.

That could be because of the ingredients. Marina Cosmetics uses all natural ingredients from the sea. Two marine-based ingredients are at the heart of every formulation: Antileukine 6 (derived from golden seaweed) and nutrient-rich sea kelp. Anteleukine 6 is Ecocert certified and offers the best in lip-defense, acting to boost hydration, promote firmness and smoothness, and aid in decreasing wrinkle depth. In addition, it also helps to stimulate collagen synthesis, block inflammation, and prevent damage due to sun exposure. Organic sea kelp, which is high in silicon, offers vitamins and minerals to the lips, while helping to restore firmness and tone, prevent wrinkles, and promote softer, smoother, younger looking lips. Other ingredients include Buriti Oil, certified organic Jojoba oil, certified organic sunflower oil, as well as vitamin C and E.

Marina Cosmetics are available online. Lipsticks retail at $20.00 and lip glosses retail for $22.00. I can't recommend them enough - they are gorgeous shades, last a long time, feel fantastic on the lips, and are eco-friendly.

Free Sample Alert: Caress Evenly Gorgeous

As part of the new Skinwear Collection, Caress is offering up a free sample of their Evenly Gorgeous body wash.

From the website:

New Caress Evenly Gorgeous™ Exfoliating Body Wash and Beauty Bar have burnt brown sugar and karite butter that gently exfoliate and lusciously moisturize, revealing sensually smooth skin that’s even toned and polished to perfection. They’re must-haves to achieve any look that shows off your smooth, sexy shoulders.


At that hair! That is all.

Origins Friends and Family Discount

Now through May 5, get 25% off your purchase both online and in retail stores! Happy shopping!

Product Review: Max Factor Vivid Impact Lip Color

I had the opportunity to try out the Max Factor Vivid Impact lip color recently, and now I must rave.

I've gotten a bit disenchanted with drugstore brand lipsticks recently, because it seems as if I am forever layering it and trying to get the level of pigmentation that I am used to with my MAC lipsticks. While it may not be fair to compare lower end brands with MAC, I'm always looking for a bargain, and in the Max Factor Vivid Impact I think I've found it.

I tried #28, Rose Rage. It's a nice mauve, nothing terribly special, and not really something that I would have picked out myself. However, that being said, I've discovered that it makes a really great everyday lipstick, one that works perfect with a nude or natural face. Putting it on is very easy - it glides right on and provides lots of moisture. In fact, it feels similar to one of my favorite lip balms that I'm putting on all the time! I'm not used to lipstick that gives that much hydration, so that is a bonus. Plus, the color is beautiful, pigmented, and lasts for quite some time. While I wouldn't classify this lipstick as long-wearing, I figure if I'm going to be putting lip balm on all the time, it wouldn't hurt to put a nice color on instead.

Here is a quick photo of me rocking the Rose Rage:

While I can't find any Max Factor products in my area, I'm told that you can find it at Ulta and CVS. They retail for about $9, which is well worth it.

Know Someone Getting Married? NARS Bridal Palette

I'm not a bride, but I'd reconsider it if it would enable me to get my hands on this little piece of prettiness. Ladies, run out and get this for your girl who is getting married - she will thank you for it.

Available exclusively on NARS online, the palette includes Edie, Nepal, Night Fever (my favorite!), and Ondine for eyes. The cheek colors are Orgasm (of course) and Albatross, another gorgeous, soft color. Lip colors are Mitzi, Baby Doll, Sexual Healing, and Roman Holiday (another of my favorites).

These are non-returnable, and retail for $65.00 only at NARS Cosmetics online.

Everyone's Favorite Paul Mitchell Releases Two New Styling Products

I am all about the hair lately, am I not? I can't help it - when I get bored with mine, I just want to explore everything out there and get something new.

Paul Mitchell has developed two new heat products: Express Ion Dry v 2, a high-speed, lightweight styling tool that minimizes drying time, which is always a good thing. Paired with their Super Skinny line, your hair will dry faster than anything. Infrared heat protects from damage while super-charged negative ions break up water molecules and infuse them into the hair, restoring moisture and sealing the cuticle for shiny, static-free results.

The Express Ion Curl 1.0 is a one inch aluminum curling iron that creates ringlets and waves. The Express Ion Complex heats hair gently and quickly from the inside out for smooth and hydrated curls.

Paul Mitchell's Artistic Director Stephanie Kocielski has three different styles that can be created with the tools:

Short and Sweet: For a polished, sleek look, apply a straightening serum to damp hair. Lift hair ata the root and blast with heat from Express Ion Dry v. 2. Use a large round brush to blow-dry hair under and eliminate unwanted waves.

Curly Cues: Apply a quick-drying styling cream to wet hair and comb through. Attach a diffuser onto Express Ion Dry v. 2 and blow-dry hair to enhance your natural texture and add volume.

Beachy Waves: Spray a firm-hold hairspray all over dry hair. Twist small sections around Express Ion Curl. After each section is curled, loopand twist the hair around fingers for a tousled look.

The Express Ion Dry v. 2 (retails at $220) and the Express Ion Curl (retails at $100) are only available at professional salons. Visit PaulMitchell.com to find out where you can find a salon to purchase them near you.

How Not to Look Old: Review, Giveaway, and some Additional Thoughts

It's no secret that I'm sneaking up on 40. Now, I don't have too many major issues with aging - goodness knows that I don't ever want to see my 20's again. So far my 30's have been great, so I can only assume that it's just going to keep on getting better. But in her book How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better, Charla Krupp kind of bursts my bubble. She points out that in today's world, it does matter what you look like, and how young you look, especially if you are trying to get ahead. And I know that in my theoretical (non-existant) world it really shouldn't matter. Women should play with makeup and fashion because it makes them happy. But in reality, I know she's right, as much as I hate to admit it.

So what does Krupp recommend? She makes it easy for us by breaking it down into 17 suggestions, or perhaps more accurately, rules. Here is the short version:

  • Cut some bangs
  • Lighten your hair
  • Tame those brows
  • Chic up your eyewear
  • Lose the heavy eyeliner
  • Unmask your foundation
  • Manage your wrinkles
  • Put on pink lipstick
  • Whiten your teeth
  • Wear your own nails
  • Unmatch your wardrobe
  • Shorten your skirts
  • Slip into the perfect pair of jeans
  • Follow the "three bling" rule when dressing for evening
  • Learn to love shapewear
  • Show some leg
  • Step into sexy heels
I agree with almost all of these in theory. But I have to say, I'm not willing to give up my gel nails, my dark lipstick in winter, and banish heavy eyeliner. Sometimes these things just work for me. Then again, I haven't hit 40 yet, so maybe I'll tire of them by then. Maybe not.

All in all she has some really helpful ideas, along with some guidance to figure out how high or low maintenance you are. Then she gives suggestions for you based on this idea of maintenance.

I enjoyed reading the book, and am happy to have it in my beauty library. And I'm excited to offer five copies of it to my fabulous readers. Please feel free to pass along this contest to anyone who might be interested, reader of my blog or not! Just enter your information below into the widget, and I will announce the winner May 12, 2009.

Total Beauty Web Tour

Beauty Anonymous brings you Sonia Rykiel Summer 2009 Makeup Collection.

Family portrait in your future? Visit The Beauty Couch for some tips on how to apply makeup for fabulous photos.

Meilily brings you Beauty & Awareness: Check out Meilily's swatches and photos of OPI's Breathe Life lung cancer awareness nail polish!

The Informed Makeup Maven
raves about Nude Vs Red lips, Nailene, The Best Bronzers, Softlips; reviews Jenova mascara and invites you to join her facebook group. Most of all IMM really wants your opinion for a chance to score a Covergirl makeup pack !

Jamie and Mother Blogger of Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog discovered a plethora of earth-friendly products for Earth Week: Tees for Change, Kiss My Face (plus a giveaway), and much more.

Boutique Flair reviews Vichy's popular Noraderm Anti-Imperfection Hydrating Care lotion.

Good news for fans of Stila! Beauty Junkies Unite finds out after a month of bankruptcy rumors, the makeup brand has been sold and should be back in business soon!

Makeup Files is celebrating its first blog anniversary! Come celebrate with us by entering the huge birthday bash beauty giveaway worth over $100 dollars!

GIVEAWAY ALERT! The Anti Hair Slave is giving away the entire Soft & Beautiful StyleProtect Collection all you have to do is leave a comment to be entered.

Looking for the latest giveaway.. Addicted to Lipstick is having a Kiss My Face Giveaway where she's giving away organic lip shines and lip shimmers.

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings reviews the new Olay Pro X Protocol Starter Kit.

See what Fabulous Over Forty product she is so happy she found in NYC!

Butterflydiary has fallen in love with Amala Organic Beauty, a line she feels can cryogenically freeze her skin's age.

Melissa of The Makeup Divas reviews the new Prescriptives Motor-Eyes Instant Action mascara .

Lipgloss Break has partnered with Noah's Naturals to Giveaway a Selection of Products from their Skincare Line. Enter to Win!

makeup loves me has some news about this next episode of gossip girl! and no, it's not dorota's secret...

Only one week left to enter the giveaway hosted by More than a Pretty Face for all nine shades of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics' newly launched Lip Tar collection. Lip Tar sold out at its launch at The Makeup Show in NYC last month.

The girls over at Beauty in Real Life let you in on Bobbi Brown's new Nautical Collection. Check it out here!! And while you are there don't forget to enter their Pureology Giveaway!!

Beauty Beast reviews both limited edition scents from the new Kohdo Wood fragrance collection by Jo Malone.

Face Candy shows you some makeup brushes that are eco-friendly.

Beauty411 loves Kate Somerville's newest product, ExfoliKate Body Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Check out her review here!

In honor of Earth Week, Spoiled Pretty is hosting a week's worth of green giveaways. Enter to win eco-chic sunglasses...and beauty booty from Cargo PlantLove, John Masters Organics, Samy, Tarte, Zoya, Kaia, and Burt's Bees!

The Shades Of U is GIVING AWAY prizes from Aminogenesis Dermascyne Wrinkle Arrest and Health Dropz Beverage Booster! Enter to win!

Enter Indian Girl's Complete Skin Care Giveaway : Three lucky readers will receive the complete set of products from Biore Skin Preservation Line. Enter Today !

Beauty Blogging Junkie announces Crescent Row, the new adorable perfume collection from Benefit.

Sheckys Girls Night Out DC

I hit up Shecky's Girls Night Out DC yesterday evening, and I had a pretty good time. But the best part of these things is always the goodie bag, am I right? I had a good time wandering through the booths, and the venue was fantastic, but I was hoping for more beauty brands. Instead there was a fair amount of clothing and jewelry, both of which I love, but maybe not in such huge quantities.

At any rate, here is the goodie bag all spread out for your curiosity. Here is what it was made up of:

  • Harlequin Romance & Mystery Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, free copy
  • ROC Daily Microdermabrasion Cleansing Disk
  • Betty Crocker Warm Delights Minis in Molten Chocolate Cake flavor
  • Magnet/picture frame from Skyy, X Rated, and Midori featuring three recipes using each liquor (I sampled two of them at the event - yikes)
  • Phisoderm three step skin care system sample
  • 1 oz. BioCare Labs Body Butter
  • .5 oz. Noxema Soothe and Smooth Maximum Strength Medicated Bikini Creme
  • 4 Colgate Wisp mini-brushes
  • 6.76 oz. Yes to Carrots C a Softer You Hand and Elbow Moisturizing Cream and a $1 off coupon towards purchase
  • 1 oz. Larabar Jocalat chocolate orange organic food bar
  • 3 oz total (2 tubes) Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
  • 5.8 oz (full size) Colgate MaxFresh Spearmint Burst toothpaste
  • One 4-blade disposable razor
  • Kiss nail file
  • 3 Goody StayPut Hold rubber bands for hair
  • 4 Goody Colour Collection rubber bands for hair
  • .5 oz. Alagio Professional Haircare Trend Starter Matte Wax
  • .5 oz. Alagio Professional Haircare Trend Starter Twisting Paste
  • .5 oz. Alagio Professional Haircare Trend Starter Spiking Pomade
  • .35 oz. Redken for Men Mint Clear Shampoo
  • .35 oz. Redken for Men Cool Finish Conditioner
  • .35 oz. Redken for Men Grip Tight firm hold gel
But the very best thing that I got in my bag?

That's right. A full tube of AlkaSelzer's new Wake-Up Call effervescent tablets, designed for "temporary relief of minor aches and pains with fatigue or drowsiness associated with a hangover".

I don't know about anything else in my bag, but I can tell you that these things are the bomb. There were four of us, and we all unanimously concurred that they work, and work quite well. Opinions were mixed on how tasty they were, but all were believers in the effectiveness.

Take that for what it's worth.

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.