What's Coming Up, Also, I'm Really Tired

Real life has this annoying habit of interfering with my beauty/blogging groove. And I have so many great things to share with you all, so I wanted to give you a little teaser of all the stuff I'm working on when I'm not slaving away at work.

Here are the things I'm working on and will be up very, very soon:

  • I've found a fantastic exfoliating mask from Jan Marini that doesn't dry out skin and I'm loving it.
  • A complete hair removal guide for the summer is in the works. I had hoped to have it up Memorial Day weekend, but I'm lame like that. It's coming soon, though. Expect to get it all, from shaving to waxing to epilators. Nothing is spared in this guide.
  • I had eyelash extentions put on. How did I do with them? Find out soon. Hint: I loved them, but had a few issues.
  • Estee Lauder has a new skin care line called Re-Nutriv, which I wrote about before, but I took it for a test run - see if it's worth the hype.
  • I ordered decants of lots of different fragrances and have strong opinions about all of them. Lots and lots of say.
So that's a little taste. Plus I have new giveaways and some guest posting coming up. Stay tuned! I haven't forgotten about you!

Photo by jpockele on Flickr

Blue Absinthe Candle by Delirium & Co: Absolutely Lovely

I'm a candle fanatic, but I actually don't have very many. Probably because I'm so terribly picky and I don't like the way many of them smell. But I think I've found my new favorite (sorry, Eau de New York candle by Bond No. 9!): Blue Absinthe by Delirium & Co. It's a brew of absinthe, vetiver, blonde woods, basil, and rosemary. It's part of the Blue Period, which Delirium & Co. describes as "invoking a time of long ago European splendor, capturing the essence of royalty and sophistication, a time when men were brave, suave and chivalrous."

Right up my alley. And doesn't it look gorgeous on my bar? Find them for $38 (8 oz.) at Delirium & Co.

Get It For Summer: Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Shimmer Body Lotion

I'm not a fan of Midnight Cowboy eyeshadow - although I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay. But Midnight Cowboy eyeshadow has huge flecks of glitter that fall all over your face and irritate your contacts. It's tricky to work with and usually makes a big mess. So I didn't have high hopes for a lotion named after my eyeshadow nemesis: Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Shimmer Lotion. I figured it would have huge flakes of glitter that would look obnoxious on anyone over the age of 22.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong. It's a light lotion with just a touch of shimmer to add some highlight to your skin. It looks especially lovely with a tank top or halter at an outdoor party with the sun shining. No obnoxious glitter here - anyone can feel comfortable wearing it at any time.

One of the best things about it is the scent. At Sephora yesterday, there were three of us who were playing with it. I thought it had a touch of coconut scent, another person thought it was vanilla, and Anna thought it was milk and honey. Turns out Anna was right - the website says it has a milk and honey scent, although I didn't get that at all. I got more of a summer smell, which I loved. So perhaps it smells like whatever you want it to smell like! I'm interested in what others think about the scent.

$28 for a nice large 7 oz. tube, which should last you all summer. Available at UrbanDecay.com, Sephora, and Ulta.

Do You Know the Difference Between All the Eyeliners?

With the multitude of different eyeliners out there, it’s hard to tell which one will work the best for your look. The popular MAC cosmetics line has six different kinds, and those are just the pencil liners! Let’s break it down into basic categories and sort through the terms.

Pencil liners come in two basic forms, with variations on each: soft and hard. A hard pencil gives you a straight solid line with little to no smudging and is excellent for lining hard to reach areas such as the waterline of both the lower and upper lids. These liners are designed to give you a clean precise line similar to liquid liner, but can be difficult to use or tug on gentle eye skin. Soft pencils generally have some form of emollient, such as wax, to ease the application process. These pencils are designed to give you a medium-thick line which is easily smudged for a more smokey look. Sometimes they wear off quickly, which can be a problem.

Liquid liner is all about intensity. It gives a very precise line, anywhere from thin to thick, and can be especially useful for the cat-eye look. There are many types of liquid liners on the market, from matte black to sparkly glitter. Many people find these liners a bit intimidating to use, especially at first, as the application process can be tricky. But practice and a good technique can get even the shaky-handed a great look.

Powder liners are fairly new on the scene, and are often found in mineral makeup lines, although many people have been using eye shadow as powder liners for years. Applied with an angle brush, these have amazing versatility; you can create a soft wash of liner or go for a more hard-edged look. These are generally not appropriate for wear on the waterline, as the powder could irritate the eye.

Soft pencils can offer versatility, while liquid and hard pencils are good for dramatic precise looks. Powder liners, such as L’Oreal’s new Bare Naturale are excellent for those who want a natural look. The truly savvy beauty junkie will probably have several of each kind in her makeup stash!

Photo by dreamglow on Flickr.

My New Fragrance Love: Carnal Flower by Fredric Malle

I recently ordered a decant of Fredric Malle's Carnal Flower from The Perfumed Court on the basis of the review in the book Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin (which I will review in greater detail later). It was a very smart move, as I'm in love with it.

I love heady, sexy florals in the summertime, especially if they have a tinge of beach to them, such as a coconut note. I'm not a fan of straight up coconut or pineapple pina colada scents. I want something mysterious and complicated. Carnal Flower fits that bill perfectly.

The perfumer who created it, Domonique Ropion, uses the highest concentration of tuberose available on the market. Other notes include bergamot, melon, ylang ylang, salycilates, jasmine, tuberose absolute, orange blossom absolute, coconut, and white musk. I read somewhere that Juicy Fruit gum was an inspiration to this scent, but don't be fooled - it's not sweet. The opening notes to me are quite green, which then gives way to a beautiful tuberose. The musk shows up in the drydown and makes it deeper and adds complexity. The coconut just throws a small beach note in there. It's not very noticeable - almost an unconscious association.

If you're a fan of white florals that go beyond sweetness, then give this a try. Especially if you like glamourous, complicated fragrances that are beyond the mainstream - Carnal Flower fits the bill perfectly.

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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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