Two Necklace Giveaway at Flyaway Jewelry

It is apparently giveaway season, and I keep finding lots to share with you.

Flyaway jewelry is having a giveaway of several necklaces on their blog, and they are absolutely lovely. Good luck!

L'Oreal HiP High Intensity Pigments Color Presso is a Decent Gloss in Weird Packaging.

I think this is a pretty ingenious product - the ability to take two colors to blend on the lips, or just the ability to carry them together is pretty sweet.

However, it looks much cooler than it actually is. It took me near five minutes just to figure out how to open the cap, and another two minutes to figure out how to get the product out. There is a trick to it - you can't just apply it and go at first.

The gloss is nicely pigmented, but after using it, I wasn't really sure what the benefit was of having two lipglosses to blend. It get it with heavier lip color, but it almost seems like overkill with the gloss. However, the gloss itself is nicely pigmented, and not sticky at all. I was a little put off by the smell, which reminded me of an overly sweet vanilla cupcake.

Chapstick Shimmer: Nice Shine, Good Moisturizers, but No SPF

Don't get me wrong, I do love me some Chapstick. In fact, I'm pretty certain that there is a tube of it in my nightstand drawer, my bathroom, and my purse. I'm pretty passionate about not having chapped lips. But as well as it has always worked, it seemed a bit dry, hard to apply if your lips were already chapped and it wasn't slightly warmed, and flavorless.

But now Chapstick has gotten in the beauty game with a release of some new Chapstick Shimmers. These are much more moist, give your lips a slight bit of shimmer, and have nice scents and just a small touch of flavor. I'm not a huge fan of the berry scents they have available - Botanical Berry and Blended Fruit Sherbert are sitting on my desk almost unused, but the Tropical flavor is right up my alley. Pina Colada scented, this is perfect for all your summer lip balm needs.

The downside? No SPF, which is fail on Chapstick's part, so keep that in mind when you're choosing your balm for the day. I personally use mine at night before bed, when I don't need the SPF protection.

Lancome Declares Indigo for Fall and I'm in Love

Gorgeous, just gorgeous. It's the beginning of summer, yet I'm already just lemming over this Lancome collection. Just look at those smokey blue eyes! I'm dying.

Lancome artistic director Aaron De May has created another amazing collection by choosing shades that he felt captures the glamour of Paris: indigo blue, bright red and luxurious gold. And while I'm all about that eye makeup, have you seen this nail polish?

I know. I can't wait to try it. If you can't wait for the collection to be released in August, check out what is available for pre-order from the Nordstrom beauty exclusives:
Makeup brushes that are cobalt blue. I'm in heaven. The set includes the Mineral Powder Foundation brush, Foundation Brush #2, Blender Brush #4, and Dual Ended Brush(Lining and Shadow) #18, and a makeup case. This is a limited edition and exclusive to Nordstrom and is a $124 value. I got my invitation from my local Nordstrom SA, so I'll be heading down there early to grab mine. How about you? Will you pick up any of this collection?

Win an Amazing Getaway from Tory Burch

You can enter everyday for a better chance to win - and wow! What a prize. The winner will receive round trip airfare to Los Cabos, Mexico; four nights at the One&Only Palmilla; dinner at Jean George’s Market and One&Only’s Aqua; two luxurious spa massages; and a $1,200 Tory Burch wardrobe.

I don't know about you all, but a trip to Cabo is right up my alley right about now. I haven't been there since my honeymoon 14 years ago, and it was absolutely gorgeous.

On second thought, maybe you shouldn't bother entering, since I'll be entering every day and will most certainly win. KIDDING! You should totally enter. And take me when you win.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Website to Launch Soon: Sign Up to Win!

Not only is Shu Uemura launching their Art of Hair website, they are also giving away a year's worth of professional products just for signing up to be notified when the site goes live!

To enter, just fill out your complete profile, and that's it. A winner will be drawn on July 6, and will be notified via email.

Good luck!

Don’t Even Bat an Eye: The lashes that almost, but didn’t, give me a wink.

My girls and I are always looking for ways to look fabulous. We want ways to accentuate the attributes we love and hide the ones we don't. That being said, I had a wedding to go to a few weeks ago and decided to embark on the journey into the world of Revlon Fantasy Lengths Self Adhesive Eyelashes. I chose the length named "Intensifying", thinking this would be perfect for a semi-formal evening wedding. I am immediately confused by the plastic eyelash applicator. Now, I am not well-versed in the ways of eyelash enhancement, so I opened up my directions and got myself ready. Directions: check. Weird plastic device that claims to be "an applicator": check. Lash Stand with lashes in place: check. You might be wondering where the glue is? Ah ha! No glue needed, which was my initial attraction to these lashes in particular. Seriously, ladies, we all know how complicated things can get with lash glue. You normally need someone else helping and the situation almost always ends with someone throwing their arms in the air, screaming, "I'm DONE." So you can imagine my sheer excitement with these "self-adhesive" beauties sitting on my countertop, just waiting for me to "simply place them on my lash line." The first thing I notice is the silky feel of the lashes. It’s hard to find lashes that feel natural and soft as opposed to thick and manufactured. I measure them against my own lashes and they seem to be a good length, too. I'm fine up until the part where I cannot get the lashes off of my fingertips. They are adhering faster and faster! All the while, I'm trying to "wiggle and press the lashes into the base of my natural lash line".

When I do finally get the lashes to stay in place, I can only manage to get the center to stick. The ends are no longer adhesive due to my earlier battle with fingers. Fabulous. I try with all of my might to re-adhere them but it's a no-go. The lashes will stick no more. They soundly get dumped in the trash, along with their stupid plastic applicator. Now, it does come with an extra adhesive strip that you press onto the lashes for multiple wearings, but truly, that's only if the lashes survive the first wear. Point of the story is this, ladies: Although some products might promise to be "all-in-one", a product that will cut out all of those "useless" steps for you while making you look better than the red carpet, they might be lying. Yeah, I said it. They might just be trying to sell you something. Go figure. They retail anywhere from $5.99-$8.99, which is comprable to the lashes that come with their own bottle of glue. It basically comes down to personal preference. For me, I don't mind the extra steps, as long as I know they work. And provide a fabulous wink for my night out.

Ultimate Hair Removal Guide Pt. 1: Shaving

While I love summer, I often think that the time I save by reducing my daily makeup is more than made up for the amount of time I spend worrying about the various hair removal duties I absolutely must perform. Unless you're willing to sweat it out in some jeans in 90+ degree weather (and I'm not, sorry), there is no hiding those legs. And since we often find ourselves at the beach or pool, we have a whole other issue to deal with, don't we?

Shaving is without a doubt the most popular hair removal technique there is. It became popular in the 1940s when stockings were becoming a thing of the past due to the war, and while stockings and pantyhose come and go in fashion, removing the hair on your legs hasn't.

The difference between manual razors and electric razors

There are a wide variety of razors out there to choose from, but your first choice is going to be the type of razor you choose. Most women use manual razors, but there are some excellent electric razors on the market these days as well, some that can be used in wet or dry situations. If you are looking for the closest possible shave, try a manual razor first. Electric razors are quick and easy but are not known for giving you the closest possible shave. However, if convenience is more important, try an electric.

Electric razors come in all shapes and sizes, wet and dry, dry only, and just about everything in between. When using an electric razor, I generally prefer a dry razor, as water makes the skin swell slightly, making it harder to get a close shave.

Manual razors are also widely varied, from disposable cartridges to disposable razors. You can choose from a single blade or choose a razor head with five blades - all depending on what you need. If you suffer from ingrown hairs, consider a single blade. If ingrown hairs don't trouble you, you'll find the multiple blade razor heads to be excellent.

So, disposable or reusable?

Purely a matter of personal choice. However, my personal experience has led me to the conclusion that I have far less irritation when I use a resusable razor. Also, while disposable razors seem cheap in the short term, you are actually paying more. Plus, it's far more ecologically friendly to use one of the "systems" (i.e. razor that you purchase cartridge heads for). Disposable razors create far more waste. That being said, I will still occasionally take a disposable along on travel.

Okay, I've picked my razor. Now what?

Put down that bar of soap right now. And promise yourself that you'll never use soap to shave again. It's drying on your skin, and it isn't doing you any favors. Soap doesn't have any slip - ingredients to help your razor guide smoothly across your skin to reduce irritation and nicks. Good shaving creams and gels include additives to increase slip and protect your skin.

Okay. I'm ready to shave. Any tips?

Of course. The closest shave occurs when you shave against the hair growth. On the legs, this usually means starting at the ankle and pulling the razor up. After each swipe with the razor, rinse the blade to remove debris. No need to press hard on the razor - that will just cause irritation. If you need extra skin protection, consider putting a drop of olive oil on your razor blade before each swipe. It's time consuming, but can help prevent ingrown hairs due to lack of the aforementioned slip.

Do you have any product recommendations?

Don't I always? Here is my list:

  • Razor systems: Gillette Venus Spa Breeze: this has a good shave cream built right into the head. Good if you don't like a million products cluttering up your shower. Also available as a disposable.
  • Disposable razors: Preserve Recyclable Razor can be used either as a system or as a disposable, and it's completely recyclable.
  • Electric razors: Panasonic Close Curves is wet or dry, although I prefer to use it dry before the shower. For bikini line and ladybits, the Ultimate Personal Shaver system is ideal and darn near perfect. Look for an indepth review on this soon.
  • Shaving cream: Ambrosia by Lush Cosmetics is hands down the best shaving cream I have ever used. If you suffer at all from ingrown hairs or razor burn, you owe it to yourself to try Serious Shave Cream by Glytone.
  • Ingrown hair prevention and treatment: Bikini Kitty's Everyday Magic Spray is an exfoliating spray that will both prevent and help treat ingrown hair. Used with a soft bristle brush, you can't go wrong with this amazing system. Tend Skin liquid is also an excellent product, as well as the GiGi No Bump Treatment RX found at Sallys.

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About Me

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites and 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 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.