Real Girl Beauty

For every girl who's imagined herself as Lucky Magazine's "Lucky Girl." Or who's conquered her addiction to the bitchier-than-thou forums. Or who reacts every day to her Daily Candy email with the same: "Who can afford that?" Here are some heartfelt health and beauty tips from one Real Girl to another.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Mascara Chronicles: Part II

You've waited long enough. The time has come. Well, almost come. First I have to dance around my apartment, singing into my perfect mascara like it's a microphone. (Lashy lashy! You're lush but not too flashy! I just wish you cost less cashy! La la la la!)

Up Fifth Avenue go Real Mom and Real Girl, realizing they haven't eaten in a while. So. Find a sandwich? Or keep beauty shopping, or...BOTH? Enter Henri Bendel's. Ask man in front: Do you have a snack bar? No? Crap. Ok, fine. We've got to see if Bendel's has a Lancome counter anyway. Must try on more...

Hang on. What's this you say, lovely sign near the entrance? COOKIE SAMPLES ON FLOOR 2? Cookies!?!? Cue slow motion effect. Witness Real Girl and Real Mom shoving holiday shoppers to the floor, jumping over make-up counters, hurdling up the stairs. Cookies!!! Real Girl: Stuffing face. Real Mom: Mmmm, mmm. Oh, God. Mmmm.

Exit Bendel's.

Here we go into Bergdorf Goodman, palace of beauty peace and prosperity. White, open space. Luxurious pretty smelling bathrooms. If God needed make-up? This is where She'd be shopping. OK! Here we go!!!

6. Prescriptives False Eyelashes Mascara: Hey, this isn't so bad at all. It's lengthening, and thickening, and only a wee bit clumpy. But at $19? I think I can do a bit better on texture. So thank you, very nice blonde Prescriptives saleslady named Leslie who looks like a young Annette Bening, but I'm looking for the *perfect* mascara, not just the pretty darn good mascara.

Leslie leans in, lowering her head. "Have you tried"--and here her voice lowers--"Esalara?"
Real Girl: Huh?
Leslie, a wee bit louder: Have you tried Yves Saint Laurent?
(Leslie doesn't even work for YSL! How can I ignore that!?)
Real Girl: Thanks for the tip! I'll go now!
Leslie: No, no. You stay, make yourself comfortable. I'll go get it for you.

7. YSL Intense Lengthening Mascara: Known to Leslie and the YSL counter folks as their "regular mascara." Hey. Look at that. Nice black color, excellent length, a bit of thickening...Do we have a winner? I think we have a winner! Ok, it's $23.50. But then again, Real Mom's footing the bill...
(Leslie heads off back to YSL counter to procure coveted product.)
(Leslie returns without said coveted product. What's going on? What's going on???)

Leslie: They're out of it!
Real Girl: Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
Leslie: But have you tried this one? It doesn't clump *at all!*
(Real Girl loves Leslie.)

8. Shiseido Curl Recourbant: That's the name that was on the mascara, which is Shiseido's curling mascara, and which seems a tad tough to find online. But here it is at $1.50 less than Shiseido's officially listed price. This is the product for people who do not like to wear mascara. The texture is as silky as you can get, without a single clump. So light. Effortless. A noticeable but comparatively slight oompf to your lashes. Added length and beauty without darkness and thickness. *A very good day mascara.*

Not perfect for you, Real Girl (who wants more blackness and thickness)? Why don't I run and get you a different one.
(Leslie = fairy princess.)

9. Shiseido Advanced Volume Mascara I don't remember much about this mascara except that it wasn't very memorable. So there.

Princess Leslie: And here's this one. YSL says it's their biggest seller. It's volumizing.
(Real Girl will die if uses cotton ball one more time. Applies YSL Volume Mascara over Shiseido Curl Recourbant. Creates clumpy, sticky mess. Ew Ew Ew.)

Real Mom: I really liked that first YSL mascara.
Real Girl: We've got to go back to Saks, don't we?
Lancome Counter: See? I knew you'd forget me.

SAKS: The Sequel.

10. Lancome Amplicils What? You're out of disposable wands? (Blinking innocently). Maybe you up a new sample with no eye cooties on it? This mascara promises to amplify, curl, and separate lashes. It's fine--adds length and volume. But there are a few clumps, and with a newly opened sample, no excuse for that. So.

We are down to three finalists:
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Philosophy False Eyelashes
YSL "Regular" Mascara, which apparently is called "Intense Lengthening."

11. No way. After all that work...Saks is out of the YSL mascara TOO? Real Girl feels tears coming to her eyes. And she's still got on all that clumpy mascara, and the remover has burned a circle around her eyes, and LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

Until YSL Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect, aka Volume Effet Faux Cils--this time not applied over the Shiseido, as before. Wow. Wowwy wow wow! Length! Thickness! Low clumping! IT'S REAL GIRL'S PERFECT MASCARA. Real Mom agrees! Drama! Beauty! BUY IT NOW! Please! So we can finally GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!

My friends, the Odyssey is over. You may be jealous of my lashes now. And, for those interested, a recap:

The perfect mascara is YSL brand, "regular" for elegance and "volume" for drama. Both rock. But unfortunately, they are the most expensive brand I tried on. $23.50.

Also great at a better value: Clinique High Imapct. And at a slightly less better value: Precriptives False Eyelashes. But if you're looking for a lighter, less obvious mascara: Shiseido curl recourbant.

Ta da!
Discuss amongst yourselves, darlings.
I am, in fact, ex-friggin-hausted.

But I remain your,
Real Girl

P.S. Oh, and for all you nice folks who emailed Real Girl about the new comment system: email address and URL are totally optional! You can just fill in your name, and even that can be "Anonymous" if you like.

You know what else? If you click on the question mark, you get SMILEY FACES!

P.P.S. If you need to be told not to buy the brown or--gag!--blue mascaras in the picture above...well, then you're beyond my help, aren't you?