What I'm Wearing Lately: Limited Edition MAC Asphalt Flower



This fragrance was part of MAC's F/W Trend/Fashion Week. I'd love to say that it reminds me of New York during Fashion Week, but I was so sick that I wasn't smelling much of anything. Besides, my New York fragrance will always be Tom Ford's Black Orchid.

But we're not discussing Black Orchid, we're discussing Asphalt Flower, which is a very unique fragrance on it's own. MAC describes it as containing glossy violet and iris petals, vanilla, and patchouli with top notes of violet, ylang-ylang, mid notes of iris, heliotrope and a finale of olibanium, patchouli, and MAC signature vanilla.

The top is sweet and floral, there isn't any denying it. The violets reach out and slap you in the face. But it doesn't last, and it morphs into a very sultry fragrance, with the ylang-ylang making an appearance. The lasting power is fairly good, although the bottle is so small that carrying it with you isn't a problem.

Asphalt Flower is still available on MAC's website for $20.

For the Men Fridays: Billy Jealousy's Ultimate Travel Kit


Introductory Travel Kit ($36 value)

My husband travels a lot - both professionally and as a vagabond motocross racer. One thing he always has is a full travel bag full of things that I've picked up for him specifically for travel. I'm always replacing them and making him report back on how much he liked something, or what product he's using now. Believe me, he's never owned so many skin care products until he met me. Of course, he's never had such great skin, either. I take full credit.

So I was excited to see a complete travel set from Billy Jealousy: Introductory Travel Kit ($36 value) exclusively at one of my favorite stores, Ulta. You've got a nice little assortment of goodies in this kit, including:

  • White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser: contains essential moisturizing agents to provide necessary hydration while cleansing skin. The white, foaming formula cleanses without stripping the skin of essential oils. SLS-free, Paraben free, no fragrance added. 
  • LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser: Less penetrating than a scrub and more powerful than a face wash, this gentle cleanser removes dead skin cells, dirt and all round grime. Colorant –free, SLS-free.
  • Hydroplane Super-Slick Shave Cream: A rich, technologically advanced cream that keeps you looking sharp and feeling cool. This shaving cream cools, heals and conditions the skin with its micro-silicon beads, while natural citrus oils condition, moisturize and purify skin.
  • Fuzzy Logic Hair Strengthening Shampoo:  This shampoo contains two DHT blockers (DHT causes hair loss) Menthyl Lactate and Peppermint Oil creating strong, healthy and thick hair. The powerful shampoo also contains Cocamide MEA, which is a coconut-derived cleanser and moisturizer as well as Panthenol, a provitamin conditioner.
  • Cashmere Coat Hair Strengthening Conditioner: This hair strengthening conditioner is infused with peppermint as well as DHT blockers to restore strength, volume and hydration to keep your hair lookin’ healthy.
  • ILLICIT Pearlized Body Wash: Created after the huge success of the ILLICIT Eau de Parfum, this body wash is infused with citrus bergamot, tea, ivy, ginger and sandalwood. The hemp seed oil softens and sooths the skin while Cocamide MEA, a natural derivative of coconut oil cleans and moisturizes and Vitamin E conditions.
Grab this if you've got a wandering man in your life. Wrap it up and throw it under the tree, or stuff in a stocking. He'll be impressed that there is something else out there for dudes that isn't Axe or Ivory soap.

Available at ULTA Beauty for $24.00

Live the Life of a Parisenne: A New Fragrance by YSL



I was sent the new YSL Parisenne by Total Beauty for a review, but you know, it's darn near impossible to review a fragrance. What works on my skin may not work on yours, and I may declare something "unwearable" but love it on you. So take anything I say about any fragrance with a grain of salt.

The first thing I noticed about Parisenne was the floral notes. Not surprising, since in the commercial you see Kate Moss rolling around with a bunch of roses looking far sexier than I ever will in my lifetime! But let's get to the description provided by YSL: the top notes include a vinyl accord, cranberry, and blackberry. The heart notes are damask rose and violet, and the base notes are patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, and musk. YSL describes it like this: "A grand floral with a woody structure, luminous even in its mystery, Parisenne is the perfume of ultra femininity, warmed by the touch of the man who embraced her."

Nice.

What keeps me going back to it is the hidden temptation of the violet. I've always loved violet fragrances, although I find most of them unwearable. While I've never been a fan of large florals myself, this one is intriguing. I find myself searching for that violet. Occasionally I get a sniff of it, and it keeps me coming back for more.

It's not my typical fragrance - I prefer more complicated and esoteric fragrances. But I've enjoyed my time with Parisenne.

The eau de parfum is $39 for 1 oz/1.6 oz. for $65/$85 for 3.0 oz. Be sure to visit the ExperienceParisienne.com website by YSL Beaute for cool pictures and more information about the scent.

My New Addiction: John Frieda's Luxurious Volume All Out Hold Hairspray

Luxurious Volume All Out Hold Hairspray

Remember when I talked about how much I loved my Elnett? Well, I've pushed Elnett to the side for my
Luxurious Volume All Out Hold Hairspray
. If you like big hair as much as I do, then you are going to want to give this a try.

First of all, it's honest-to-goodness aerosol spray, which I think is most important for a good hairspray. I grew up in the age of Aqua Net in the white and pink can, so I'm down with the aerosol spray hold.
Luxurious Volume All Out Hold Hairspray
 does all that Aqua Net used to do while not being Aqua Net. You can still run your fingers through your hair, but on my hair, it holds that root lift that seems to be so elusive. I like to tease the crown of my hair, and if you don't give it a good spray, it will fall throughout the day. This hairspray does a good job of lifting at the root and holding it there without the constant touchups throughout the day.

Not everyone is going to love it, but if you have big hair that needs a lift, give it a whirl.  I'm sure you'll be impressed.

Too Faced Shines the Light on the Lash Situation



You might think that this is just another mascara like all the others packaged in a super cute bottle that has a light on it. But you'd be wrong - this does have super awesome packaging that includes two blue LED's to illuminate all your lashes, but that's not what makes this mascara so unique.

Too Faced has added liquid crystalline particles to Too Faced LashLight mascara that act like microscopic mirrors. These actually help bounce light off and around lashes, which can make the eyes look brighter. It also delivers thickness, length, and conditioning with ingredients like Helicone, red algae, pantheol, and vitamins C and E.

Too Faced LashLight mascara retails for $25.

Whish Introduces the Pampering Shaving Ritual



Whish doesn't want you to think of shaving as a dreaded chore. Instead, you should think of it as a pampering ritual in six easy steps.

Step 1: Cleanse the legs with Three Step Body Wash. This unique aloe-based formula is designed to moisturize, cleanse, and soothe, rejuvinating dull skin.

Step 2: Exfoliate: The Three Whishes Sugar Scrub is so mild you can use it BEFORE shaving. This is important because its exfoliating and moisturizing properties perfectly prepare the legs for an ideal shave. Oh, and don’t expect the runny, greasy mess typically associated with sugar scrubs, Three Whishes has no preservatives and holds its consistency for up to a year.

Step 3: Shave Crave shaving cream is the ultimate in luxury shaving for women. This cream is rich, moisturizing and provides the smoothest shave possible without nicks or cuts. It’s also the only prestige women’s shaving crème that is chemical free.

Step 4: If you have super fast growing hair, then Shave Savour Hair Inhibiting Gel is for you. While we think you’ll now love and look forward to shaving, our gel was shown in a clinical study to reduce hair growth by 26% in 28 days. It’s also such an intensive light moisturizer that it’s perfect to apply after a day in the sun. For pure, decadent moisturizing use the triple anti-oxidant Three Whishes Body Butter. This rich lotion restores lost collagen, firms’ legs, and seals in essential anti-oxidants.

Step 5: The bane of any great shave is unsightly bumps. Banish them forever with Flawless Ingrown Hair Serum. Clinically proven natural ingredients prevent bumps and ingrown hair. It also restores the suppleness of your skin and weakens hair follicles, inhibiting future growth. Unlike drugstore products, there are no chemicals and foul smelling alcohol overtones.

Step 6: Relax and enjoy checking out how sexy your gams are now that you’ve perfected the Whish Pampering Shaving Ritual. Who knew shaving could ever be such a fun indulgence?

Parissa Has Great Tips for Beautiful Brows



In this day and age, we're all trying to cut costs, and one easy thing to do at home is your brows, even if you're not a fan of tweezing.

Parissa Mini Wax Strips for Eyebrow Design are an excellent way to maintain those brows without tweezing. They recently sent me some tips and tricks on getting the perfect eyebrow look.

To start, you'll need to determine your shape symmetry - the beginning, arch, and end of your brows. Your face shape can help you determine this. If you have a round, square, or diamond shaped face, you'll want softly angled brows. Oval or long shaped faces should have a high angle arch, and triangular or heart shaped faces will look better with rounded brows.

To prep for brow grooming, Parissa suggests the following:

  • do not clean skin before tweezing
  • start at the bottom of the brow
  • press on in the direction of hair growth, zip off in the opposite direction
  • remove the strip fast for better results
  • hair should be at least 1/8th of an inch before waxing
  • brush eyebrows up with an eyebrow brush, toothbrush, or clean mascara wand
  • slightly trim unruly hair extending beyond edge of the eyebrow
Parissa Mini Wax Strips are available at Target, Duane Reade, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Ulta, and at Parissa.com for about $6.99.

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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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