Seven Days of Mascara: Maybelline New York Pulse Perfection

It's been said, mostly by me, that vibrating things are a girls best friend. And there are lots of things that vibrate these days, from an Apple iPhone app to mascara. I'll leave the thoughts on various vibrating items to others, and just focus on what I know best: mascara.

I consider myself a mascara expert. I've played with just about every mascara out there, and have very strong opinions about them all. I believe that a woman should have gallons on before she leaves the house, that volumizing mascaras are the best, and waterproof mascara is truly a gift from the gods. I've written before on choosing the best mascara for you, and that's why I'm bringing you Seven Days of Mascara this week. I've been trying out some new brands and want to share my finds, good and bad.

Back to vibrations. Maybelline New York is the first mass brand to introduce a vibrating wand. Unlike others on the prestige market, Maybelline has you push a button when applying the product. I'm assuming this is to make sure the life of the battery lasts as long as the product. If there is any other reason, I'm unaware of it.

So what do I think of it? I think it's Lash Stiletto with a vibrating wand. I really don't know if the vibration brings anything to the table. I mean, it's a great idea, but I personally didn't see any difference at all in the eye with Pulse Perfection and the eye with Lash Stiletto. It's a great basic mascara, the cheapest one on the market if you're into the vibrating thing, and great for length. If you're like me, though, and want some major volume, you'll probably be disappointed.

One saving grace: I discovered that if I used Pulse Perfection (or Lash Stiletto) as a base for my volumizing mascara, it looked fantastic. Just FYI - there is a use for everything!

Special props to my girl @eccentricpuzzle on Twitter who suggested that I put my own twist on the vibrating mascara phenomenon. I see she's from Missouri, too. Us Missouri girls are crazy, let me tell you!

Now, do share in the comments your favorite vibrating thing! If it's not mascara, what is it? Nosy girlfriends are just dying to know!
Edited to add this photo of me sporting it.

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming


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Ten Minutes in Heaven: Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash

I can remember singing the Caress jingle as a kid. "Before you dress, Caress." What can I say? I was a child of the 80's, when it was hip and cool to watch tv and be able to sing all, or at least most all, commercial jingles. I recently had the fantastic privilege of trying the Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash and Beauty Bar with burnt brown sugar and karite butter. I have to admit. I was a skeptic at first. I am a bar-of-soap kinda girl. I have always loved a bar of Oil of Olay or Dove, eventhough they might be old-school and boring products that were revolutionary in their time of creation but sadly are commonly replaced by these new body washes and shower gels. Poor old bar of soap.

I must describe my first experience with this wash to you because it was that amazing. It had been a long day. I had just put my girls to bed and managed to distract my husband long enough to take a hot shower with no interruptions. Yes, I did. I enjoy my showers to be almost scalding, simply because it seems to melt away the stress from the day (Or sometimes leave angry red marks all over because I might've been a tad over-zealous with the rising temp.) Regardless, private hot showers are my zen. They are my favorite, and sometimes only, way to recieve a moment with no noise but water and no smells but my soap. Insert C.E.G.E.B.W. and the rush of emotion begins!

At first, I'm hungry. Ha! Serious, though. It smells like brown sugar and butter GOODNESS. So good, in fact, I made a quick run to 7-11 to cure my sweet tooth. Since this wash never makes any promises of hunger cravings, I attribute my "Snickers Moment" to low blood sugar. It happens. SO...we left our beautiful seductress (Because I am) in the steaming, hot shower, tonguing the shower wall in hopes of catching some of the brown sugar bubbles sliding down. Okay, not really. But I was enjoying my discovery of body wash bliss. The brown sugar granules are small enough that they don't sandpaper 3 layers of skin off but large enough that you feel a smooth difference when you step out of the shower. Like I said before, I've never been a fan of body wash or shower gel. I am a softie for a good ol' bar of soap. But this wash, I could and will use again. My biggest turn off is how slimy and thick most washes I've used have felt. This one, not so much. Thick enough you feel like you're lathering it up, but no sticky or filmy leftovers. I got out of the shower hungry, smooth and smelling of baked goods!

I asked my husband if he had seen that I was using a new body wash and he said, "Yeah. I used it. Smells really good." So C.E.G.E.B.W. has also gotten a strong thumbs-up from a dude, which in my book, counts twice. I decided to use the beauty bar just for hands at my sink. My hands have been silky and moisturized for the past week. The bar leaves a light scent of sweet on your hands, one that lingers throughout the day. I was extremely impressed and excited about these two new products. The body wash (18 oz) retails for $4.49 which is incredibly reasonable. The beauty bar comes in a pack of two, $2.99; pack of four, $4.49; pack of six, 6.49; and a pack of eight, $7.99. Check 'em out at CaressYourStyle.com. These products have my seal of approval and have made a future user out of me. Will I give up my old school bar for a wash? Probably not. But I'll be using the wash more frequently now, whenever I get those 10 minutes of freedom, or maybe when I'm craving something sweet.

Today Only! Free 10 Day Sample of Estee Lauder's New Advanced Night Repair

Listen carefully, I have a bit of inside information. Ready?

For 4 synchronized hours – from 5:00pm – 9:00pm (all local times) TONIGHT, July 23, 2009 – Estée Lauder Beauty Advisors will be distributing 250,000 10-day samples of NEW Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex at ALL Estée Lauder department and specialty store counters nationwide – one per customer while supplies last. They are calling it "America's Night to Repair."

So get yourself off to an Estee Lauder counter and grab yours while they last. I was able to try a preview sample, and believe me, you'll want to give it a shot.

Go visit the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair website for more information.

Haulin': Shopping the Nordstrom Semi Annual Sale

Oh, YEAH. I hit it hard. And it was so much fun!

Let me start with Smashbox, because they don't get much love around these parts, and they really should. My SA from the Smashbox counter sent me a note two weeks ago letting me know about the "After Hours" collection that was exclusive to the sale. I am so glad I got the heads up, because I would have missed this gem. Included in the brown travel bag is the most gorgeous lip gloss I have ever seen. Seriously, it's called Velvet Rope, and it's a full size shimmery wine color. Love it. The next best thing is the eyeliner palette. It has 10 different beautiful cream eyeliners that are just begging to be used. Also included is the blush/powder combo called Candlelit. The packaging is superb - on the top is the blush, easily accessible. Unscrew the top and underneath you find a little powder puff on top of some nicely pigmented-but-not-too-much loose powder. You also get a full sized Lash DNA mascara, which has a super crazy wand that I can't wait to play with. Not to be outdone, a dual brush perfect for eye makeup is in there as well. All of this goodness for $59.

Across the way, Lancome was offering a gift with purchase, which solidified my desire to pick up the Declaring Indigo brush set. Not that I would have avoided it either way, but you know. More stuff! In the cute (indigo, natch) bag was Bi-Facil, the most wonderful eye makeup remover ever; Creme Radiance for cleansing; Renergie Microlift R.A.R.E, a lifting serum; Definicils mascara in black; Color Fever Lipstick in Pink to the Club, and an eye quad with the following colors: Positive, Gaze, Garnet Sensation, and Guest List. All this for $52.

So, you all can pretty much guess what I'll be talking about soon, can't you? However, I highly recommend you hit up your local Nordstrom and see what they have - I didn't even get through the entire cosmetics department. I had to run off and try to find some shoes (unfortunately, they were sold out throughout the Nordstrom system - I guess everyone wanted the same pair I did!). Oh, and if you're lemming for the Graphic Garden quad from MAC, better get yourself there sooner rather than later. They were all sold out, and apparently are running low online as well. Good luck with that one - it looks lovely.

Underarm Therapy 101: Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth


I have never been kind to my underarms. It can even be said that I've been TORTUROUS to my underarms. (Hello, Bic-with-no-moisturizing-strip, DRY-SHAVING and then covering the hairless patch of raw skin with a painful and not-so-effective-but-least-of-all-moisturizing deodorant.) Don't get me wrong. I was never out to punish them, but I've never had any feeling of a loving nature towards them either. Let's face it. I'm Italian so I have dark and thick hair that I can feel growing in the minute after I've shaved, screaming the whole way, "Muahahahahaha! You can't beat us! We will always make your underarms seem as if they have a five o'clock shadow! Surrender to a bitter life of constant worrying, "Can people see that? Shit. Am I showing already?? Why did I even shave??"

I had never been a heavy sweater before. Insert pregnancies and the beautiful gift of body hair and sweat forming in EVERY crevice was delivered along with my babies. I have had a huge problem finding a deodorant that can last all day with me. I feel and smell fabulous and like "roses" in the morning and if I'm lucky, through lunch. But by afternoon, I am not so fresh and clean anymore, smelling like I've gone out and run in the Sahara for days with no stopping or cleansing. Yeah, it's great. Let's just say I'm so much more lovey with hugs in the morning than I am by mid-afternoon. A mid-torso wave will do just fine. Do not raise them higher than your breasts or everyone will know that...ssshhh....YOU HAVE A BODY ODOR PROBLEM. Phew. That felt good.

I am a long-time fan of Secret powder scent and Dove fresh scent, both clear solids. I normally use one for about 3 months and then switch to the other for 3 and so on, and so forth. I am not totally happy with this process, however. So, I was very excited to try Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth Deodorant in the Wild Rose scent. I was surprised by the scent, one of the first "soft" roses I've smelled in a long time. As I opened the top and breathed in, I was hearing all of it's promises: 24-hour odor and wetness protection (that part reminded me of kitty litter for some reason...Ha!), no white marks, available in two fragrances, available in clinical strength and my FAVORITE..."Conditions and cares for underarm skin with Dove 1/4 translucent moisturizers which makes stubble easier to deal with, keeps underarms smoother for longer and within WEEKS of regular use, hair feels softer, finer and easier to remove for a cleaner, closer shave." At that last one, I about wet my pants. Serious, ladies. I have never heard of a deodorant contributing to the defeat of my long struggle with underarm hair and the getting rid of it. But because I was desperate to find peace, I tried it. I am a consistently EUPHORIC customer with this product. Oh my gosh! I, the hairy italian, do not have to shave my underarms every single day anymore!! I'm not lying. I shave every 2-3 days, which might be normal for some of you, but just think! Use this product and you might be able to get away with a week!! And aren't we all trying to do that every day?? Find ways to get out of hair maintenance? I know I am. I've found the first step. Check it out the Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth website, learn how to do a PitiCure, and fall in love. So although my struggle was long and perilous, I have since found some calm with my hair removal process and am loving my scent all day long!

Marc Jacobs to Release New Fragrance in September: LOLA


Which, clearly, he named after my beautiful cat.

KIDDING.

But really, isn't the bottle to die for? Just gorgeous. But let's get into the notes of this lovely fragrance. The fragrance opens with top notes of delectable bright pink peppercorn, seductive pear d'anjou and succulent ruby red grapefruit. The heart of the fragrance is listed as lavish dischia peony with soft touches of rose and geranium. Base notes linger with smooth vanilla, tonka bean and creamy musk.

The collection includes Eau de Parfum ($65 for 1.7 oz/$85 for 4 oz), Sensual Body Lotion ($45 for 5.1 oz), Silky Shower Gel ($40 for 1 oz), and Luxurious Body Cream ($50 for 4.9 oz).

Available in August exclusively at Bloomingdales, September for select specialty retailers nationwide.

Ashley Greene at Cosmo's Fun Fearless Female Party in LA

If you're looking for some Lancome Declairing Indigo looks, I have one here!

Lancome makeup artist Darais played Ashley's eyes, cheeks and lips. He used Lancôme’s Color Design Liberty Palette in Nude Elegance (NEW from our fall color collection Declaring Indigo) and then applied Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Black Coffee to the upper lash line to make Ashley’s eyes pop. Darais added some color to the cheeks with Lancôme Blush Subtil in Miel Glacé. To create her soft coral colored pout, Darais used Lancôme Color Fever Gloss in Solaire. Long, beautiful lashes are all the rage right now so Darais mixed a few Shu Uemura faux-lashes with Ashley’s natural lashes and then applied Lancôme Ôscillation Powerbooster to condition and strengthen the lashes. To finish the look, he coated Ashley’s lashes with several coats of Lancôme’s NEW mascara Hypnôse Drama.

Photo by Howard Wise/JPI.

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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