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.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Real Girl's New Year Resolutions...

Ohhhhhhhh God it's here. That time of year when you make all sorts of promises. You know, the kind where you swear to improve yourself. I'll read a BOOK A DAY! I'll go to the gym TWELVE times a week! I'll make ALL MY CLOTHES and then people will think I am the MOST CREATIVE, TALENTED, ACCOMPLISHED PERSON EVER! And I will also then be RICHER.

Right. So if I were doing the real New Year's resolution thing, I would promise myself to lift weights. Why? It's great for bone density! I'll prepare for my future and fight off osteoporosis! Plus, hey, ripped arms! So, right. Weightligting three times a week. Or two. Two minimum.

Except I know right now it's not going to happen. So not. Real Girl is not going to lift weights. Why?

They're heavy.

So, fine. Use less weight, you say? Sure! That could work!...Except it won't. Real Girl is not going to lift weights. why?

It's boring.

So why linger on what's not gonna happen? Let's move on! To a "Real" resolution I'll actually strive like an Olympic athelete to keep! haven't yet guessed what Real Girl's New Year's resolution is? It's to try a whole new list of products, of course. A whole new list of yummy, shiny, glimmering products that promise to make everything better. See? Self-improvement galore.

The Grand List, culled from SIXTY-FIVE notebook pages of beauty products, has been separated in categories of skin care, hair care, and make-up—including both reasonably priced items and special splurges. Of course, anyone who has experience with any of the listed products will get a gold star if they share their thoughts. And anyone else who wants to recommend their favorite product for Real Girl to try in 2005 (and why) will be much loved and revered.

By the way, please keep in mind that Real Girl's daily facial moisturizer has started to make her (gasp in horror!) break out a little. So, I'm looking for a new one...but more to come on that another time. (#1 New Years Resolution being: Find new perfect facial moisturizer).

Yon-ka Phyto-Contour Eye Cream
Earth Therapeutics Hydrogel Under-Eye Recovery Patch
Sephora Coffee & Cream Morning Body Scrub
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle, Anti-Blemish Cream
Olay Daily Facials
Olay Deep-Cleansing Face Wash
Ohm by Olay beauty Bar
Guinot Longue Vie Levres Vital Lip Care
Guinot Instant Eye Mask
Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer
Fresh Sugar Lip Balm
Olay Total Effects Eye Cream
Philosophy Gingerbread Man Scrub
MD Lift and Lighten Eye Cream
Duwop I Gels
Nivea Visage Multiple Results Anti-Aging Treatment
Benefit Eyecon
Archipelago Botanicals Sugar Cane & Coconut Scrub
Dr. Mary Lupo AHA Renewal Gel
Clinique Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer
Clinique Moisture Surge Extra Thirsty Skin Relief (Thanks, La Femme Nikita, for the recommendation!)
Biore Self-Heating Mask
Calgon Moisture-Rich Body Wash
Calgon Warm Marine Salt Scrub
Collective Wellbeing products (supposedly found at Whole Foods. And who doesn’t love Whole Foods?)
Mode De Vie Vanilla Lip Balm
Peter Thomas Roth Complexion Correction Pads (in Max or Gentle)
Dove Aromatherapy Massage Body Wash

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Pure Strength Oil Therapy
Paul Brown Hawaii Shine Amplifier
John Frieda Ocean Waves Sea Spray Texturizing Styler
L’oreal Vive Smooth Intense Masque
Sebastian Potion #9
Redken Outshine Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk
John Sahag Revitalizing Drops
LA Looks Curl Defining Spray
Rusk Thickr Hair System
Redken Fresh Curls Curl Boost
Tigi Catwalk Fashionista Color Safe Shampoo
Kerastase Bain Satin 2
Kerastase Serum Nutrisculpt
Artec Textureline shine & frizz repair
Garnier Fructis 3 Minute Deep Conditioner
Physique Volumizing Conditioner
Charles Worthington Big Hair conditioner
Clinique Healthy Shine Serum
Leonor Greyl Condition Naturelle Spray
Bain de terre recovery complex

E.L.F. Cosmetics
MAC Iridescent Loose Powder
MAC Bronzing Powder in Golden
Almay Whipped Gloss
Rimmel All-Over Pencil in Strength, for which I cannot find a link but is only $3.97!
Shiseido Fluid Foundation
Clinique Almost Lipstick
Jane Lucky Star Pure Sparkling Lip Color in Starlet Rose
Lancome Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss
Nars Blush in Orgasm
Nars the Multiple in South Beach
Urban Decay Good Karma Wonder Brush
Revlon Colorstay Always on Nail Enamel
Revlon Colorstay Natural Concealer
Revlon Moisturous Lip Color SPF 17
Stila Eyeshadow in “Dahlia” (for the perfect smoky eye)
OPI Nail Envy
L’Oreal Volume Perfect Lip Color
L’Oreal Colour Juice Lip Gloss
Sonia Kashuk Products at Target (especially the brushes!)
Neutrogena Shimmer Sheers
Avon Beyond Color Plumping Lip Color
or Avon Beyond Color Plumping Lip Conditioner
Avon My Lip Miracle Lip Color
Too Faced Lip Injection
YSL Touche Eclat
Wink Double Trouble Gloss & Liner
Chanel Glossimer Lip Gloss
Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (I’m really excited about this one, which I want in “Nutmeg!!”)
Almay Kinetin Concealer
Philosophy The Present Clear Powder
and Philosophy The Present Clear Skin Perfector
Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle
Maybelline Expert Eyes 100% Oil Free Eye Make-Up Remover
Cutex Essential Care Strengthening Nail Treatment

There it is! Has anyone had experiences with any of these gazillions of products? Or is there something I missed?

And is Real Girl actually going to try each and every one of these yummy goodies in 2005? Erm…no. Not unless Real Girl gets some God-like, benevolent, money-bags sponsor. But I’ll try as many as possible! And certainly a whole lot more than the number of weights these weak-ass arms will be lifting…

Oh, and Happy New Year, blah blah. Peace, health, happiness, glossy lips, and bouncy hair be with you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Debut of Real Girl's "What Not to Do."

Sometimes it takes a make-up blunder to teach the world a thing or two. As you will see in future "What not to do" segments, these faux pas can be subtle or blatant. But for the first, I've chosen something in between--what might be called an "unfortunate choice" rather than a "nuclear disaster."

In honor of last week's Apprentice finale, I present to you fallen Apprentice candidate Jennifer Crisafulli, aka "Jenn C."

If Jenn C. were my make-up artist, you know what I'd have to say to her? All together now: "You're fi-yud."

First lesson to be learned from Jenn C.: Unless you're a mime, your face should not be three shades paler than your body. (Although, she seems to be wordlessly mimicking a call girl, so if she is in fact a mime, I apologize.) Get thee to a make-up counter quick, Jenn C., and this time try the foundation on your face before you buy it. Some people sample shades on the inside of their wrist, which is said to be most like the facial tone. Real Girl doesn't buy it. Remember always that your face rests on your neck--and if one is a different shade than the other, you will look like you're wearing a mask. Great for Japanese theater, not so great for being photographed on a red carpet.

Also, Jenn C., are you trying to channel the essence of 1959 Barbie?

Because if that's your goal, then I've got to respect that. But look. Even Barbie's eyebrows make it to the outside corners of her eyes. I know you're using pencil instead of Brow Zings, but even so...just try and extend that outside browline a quarter inch more, and I promise you you'll look less like the person in front of you has made you permanently surprised.

One more thought, Jenn C. You've got such dark brown eyes, that your thick black eyeliner makes them, too, look black. Which is fine. But you might try a less severe alternative: Dip a shadow lining brush (stiff angled head) into a pot of dark brown eyeshadow, then press it against the area right where your lashes begin (keep that line thin, Jenn C. Thin! Think...the hair texture The Donald thinks he's hiding). Above that, on your lid, brush on a lighter, but still warm shade of brown, and above that, add an even lighter, almost taupe or beige shade. Be sure to smudge a bit of the darkest shadow into the edge of the lid crease to open up the eye. The brown tones will accentuate the deep warmth of your eyes, which is now being eclipsed.

So, hopefully Real Girl has given Jenn C. some tips for the next time she hits the red carpet. (Ha! I so just made myself laugh). Ok, for the next time she hits...Taco Bell, or the dry cleaners, or...Unemployment.

Real Girl

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?

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Mascara Chronicles: Part I

Do you know how many mascaras Real Girl tried on this past Saturday afternoon? Eleven. That's right. Eleven mascaras. In five and a half hours. By the end of the day, the skin around my eyes was so abused by makeup remover, I could actually hear it screaming for help. ("Not the cotton ball again! Noooo!") I am still recovering, with the help of frozen chamomile tea bags. Because, by the way, those feel sooo good over your eyes. But you know what? It was worth it. I now have the perfect mascara in my happy little hands. However, Real Mom and I learned something this weekend--something I should have already known. As Real Mom said, "And I thought mascara was just mascara!" But no. Different occasions warrant different lash-building products. One for day, and one for night. One for elegance, and one for drama. Only a couple of the mascaras I tried offered nothing of merit, and so I have catalogued each one's different strengths and weaknesses for you, focusing on length, volume, clumping, texture, and price, in chronological order of what I tried on. With 11 products to report on, I've got to break it up into two parts. But I assure you, the saga will be worth it. At the end, you'll see the #1 glory mascara that's now nestled snugly in my make up essentials bag. It is not, by the way, the mascara pictured above, but was found by way of that mascara with the help of the divine Leslie, who looks like a young, blonde Annette Bening and is the most helpful salesperson ever. You will see why. But I've gotten ahead of myself...

The mission: Empirical research of 4 pages worth of beauty products (some of which you'll see in the future because YAY they're mine now!). The method: Scientific and controlled investigation (Read: No, I do not want to try that other product when I have asked about this one here. I'm talking to you, Saks Prescriptives Counter Lady With all the Mean Faces.) The preparation: No makeup whatsoever except for Brow Zings (of course!) and Aveda lip tint (duh!). The tools: Eye makeup remover, Baggie of cotton balls, Eyelash curler, and Little mirror for when the counter’s is in use. In other words, Real Girl was prepared. (Which, I’m sorry, begs commentary on the Boy Scout’s motto “Be Prepared.” Put ten guys in a room, and when you ask for what you need, not one will be prepared. Put ten girls in the room, however, and you will not only get what you need, but also instructions on how to use it and suggestions where to get it on sale.) The place: Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th Streets, home to Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendels, and Bergdorf Goodman. And at this time of year, every tourist in the entire world. No, really, every one. I know it’s Rockefeller Center, and yes isn't the tree beautiful. But work with me please--it’s called a side-walk, not a side-just-stand-there.

But why am I dawdling? There's so much ground to cover! So we're walking through the doors of Saks Fifth Avenue now. In other words, we've begun.

1. Clinique High Impact Mascara: Promises length and volume. This is a pretty darn good mascara, but it definitely lenthens more than it volumizes. Also appreciated were the low clumpng quotient, fairly smooth texture, and great value at $13.50. This product made the final three before it was fired and had to leave the island.

2. MAC Zoom Lash: Promises volume, length, curl, and water resistance. This product offered more volume than the Clinique above, but fell short in the length department. Still, clumping was no problem at all, and the texture was nice and silky, resulting in a beautiful, elegant lash. And at $9.50, the price was not to be beat! I am seriously thinking of buying this for my daytime mascara. But ye with short lashes beware.

3. MAC Fibre Rich Lash: Promises to lengthen and strenghten with added fibers (sorry, "fibres"). Which it does. But with its sticky texture, this product should be called Clumpy McClumpy Pants. Also, it's the mascara that made the MAC salesman shatter a glass pot of light blue nail polish all over the marble floor at Saks. Which people then stepped in and dragged even further. Real Girl and Real Mom felt so bad for him! We promised to testify that it wasn’t his fault. To which Mr. MAC Man girlishly slapped my arm and said “Oh, honey don’t worry. I’m the manager.” We felt better then.

4. Diorshow Mascara: Promises to make you look like a model. I had such high hopes for this mascara! I'd read great stuff in magazines, and I expected drama galore! But I'm surprised to say the Dior brand made the bottom of my list. Of all the non-waterproof mascaras, this one seemed most determined to paint my cheeks black. And though it did volumize (but not lengthen), the texture was so sticky, it felt almost like tar. Alas, this is not the mascara for Real Girl.

5. Whatever that other Dior mascara was that the salesman insisted I try: Ew. Nothing else. Just Ew.

And ok, Saks Lancome counter? I realize you are out of disposable wands, but no I will not use the wand in the sample. Way to spread infection around, Lancome. Note to Real Girl: Remember to try Lancome mascara at Bendels or Bergdorfs. You hear me? Remember!! Except you're going to forget, aren't you?

Tune in for Part II and find out! Still to come: the ecclectic Bendels and beautiful Bergdorfs. The best salesgirl in the world. A mascara for people who don't like mascara! And, finally, the all-around gold medal winner. Gosh, it's pretty.

With love,
From one Real Girl to another.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Announcementy-Type Thingie

Ok. So in no way does this post mean you shouldn't read and respond to yesterday's post below, which is all-important and time sensitive, and will self-destruct after tomorrow (Saturday).

But it seems many of Real Girl's readers have been frustrated with the comment system here, and the lovely Liz Is Working has suggested an alternate provider of commentliciousness that I will be attempting to switch to in the near future. I'm hoping even you nice powerless-to-post Mac folks will be able to use the new system, but we shall see. So, same URL! Same webpage! Just new commenting system that will let you link to your own exciting pages full of bloggy goodness.

Bad side: All your comments before now go away. Real Girl then cries, her eyes get puffy, and no one wants to look at her ever again. She dies alone in the Asylum for the Tear-Marked And Red-Faced. You know, that big building on the Upper East Side.

Solution: I have copied all your helpful, insightful comments word for word and will repost them when I get the new comment provider!

And yes, if you happen to decide to comment on this announcement, I'll copy that too.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Oh Holy Presents

Joy o joy o joy o joy o joy!

Guess what?

Real Mom is taking her beloved only daughter to the department store of my choice (such a decision. Saks? Bergdorf's? Bloomies? Love Barney's, but the make up's not the bestest) to buy products. Didja hear that? PRODUCTS! And I need so much. Especially under eye concealer! And mascara! And lots of other pretty, shiny, glossy, sparkly, heavenly smelling goodie yum yums!!!

Oh yeah, and it's the holidays and giving giving giving, and I'm getting her something too, blah blah.

But I get to pick out what I want!! And if I say how nice and cool and smart and younger-than-her-years my mommy is, maybe she'll UP THE BUDGET!

Real Girl needs a new mascara, by the way. She used to use Lancome (imagine pointy hat on "o") Definicils because *every* magazine says it's the best. But I kind of found Then I used Benefit's BADgal mascara, which plumped up the volume and looked great! But it was runny when Real Girl's eyes teared up, which happens kind of a lot (Wind, you are mine enemy!), so Badgal for me was just Bad. Then I found Maybelline Lash Expansion--which I got in waterproof because of the whole tearing thing (Laughing, too, why must thee vex me?), and it looked the best ever! Length! Volume! Pop your eye out lashes! But honestly? It does not come off. Not with makeup remover, or soap, or turpentine. Only prying that damn mascara off with a tissue will work, and then, well, there go some of your lashes. So, easy peasy, just buy it in non-waterproof, right? Which I did. And...grrrrr. The nonwaterproof version must be heavier, because it tugs my lashes down when I've just spent so much effort curling them up! Why must that needless frustration enter my life?

So. Long lashes that need to be curled seek single black mascara to plump, volumize, and maximize length. Too heavy, too runny, too waterproof need not apply.

My (very nice and cool and smart and younger-than-her-years!) Mom and I are going Saturday. If you've got any suggestions, well, hurry up!

With love (for makeup counters in bright sparkly department stores),
Real Girl

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Brow Sugar

For those of you who know Real Girl in her real (lower case!) life, I must ask you a question. Do you realize what her actual eyebrows look like? The sparse, scraggly, barely darkened, slender swoop? Or do you think those lovely brown arches you see are the real deal?

In other words, do you know that my eyebrows are a sham?
They are the work, in fact, of my Benefit Brow Zings.

Allow me a story. Or skip to the end if I bore you. That's fine too.
Let's rewind all the way back to 1997, if you will. Young, fresh Real Girl has just returned to New York after six months of living in London, where--finally!--she has left her teenaged hairstyle behind (thank you, British hairstylist people. Now I know why Vidal Sassoon was created here at your sal-on). Now (meaning then), Real Girl has a fabu new 'do that's flippy at the ends, layered, and entirely appropriate for the dawn of her twenties. She will later realize with the benefit (ha! pun!) of hindsight that she has been given a short version of the "Rachel." That's right. A "Rachel." She did not ask for a Rachel, you supposedly fashion-savvy English hair people who I have just praised, but whatever.

Back in New York, Real Girl cannot trust her trendy new tresses to her childhood hair dresser. Ohhhhh no. She must go to the guy in Chelsea whose phone number is not even listed. Mr. Hear of Me By Word of Mouth or Don't Hear of Me at All. I'll call him Stephen G. Not because I'm hiding his identity, but because that was his name. He was hiding his identity.

Anway, this story has a point, Real Girl promises. Stephen G. took one look at my brows, and his eyes narrowed. He focused on one, then moved to the other. Closer, narrower, as if he were a dermatologist, and I was presenting a mole shaped like Emilio Estevez's tank-top in The Breakfast Club.

Finally his mouth opened. As wide as it could while frowning in disgust. What he said was, "Do you pluck?"

And it hurts me physically to write this (ouch), but I confess. It's the truth. Real Girl did not pluck her eyebrows until she was past the age of 20. (Ouch, ouch ouch.) Stephen G. took out his handy tweezers and took my plucking virginity. There wasn't much to do, just some clean up under what's already a narrow line. But when Mr. G. and I were done plucking, he whipped out his trusty eye shadow palette (the largest I have ever seen, clearly kept on hand for clueless young faint-brows like myself) and filled in my barely there brows with shadow. My eyes looked greener! My forehead looked smaller! Finally, Real Girl was a woman.

Here's the part to skip to, by the way, if you've been bored by the story. From 1997 to 2003, Real Girl continued to line her brows with eye shadow every day. She kept in mind Stephen G.'s warning, the way his face had creased with foreboding: "Never use pencil." (You story skippers are intrigued now, aren't you?) But today, Real Girl knows something that Mr. Word of Mouth Stephen G. did not know. The powder works better when brushed over a wax. And it passes the line into glorious when it's paired with a pigmented wax. Benefit Brow Zings gives you these two wildly compatible products in one little compact.

It also gives you a baby tweezer (actually kind of useless), an angled brush for the wax (for my slender brow at least, it's the perfect width, but boy is it tiny, so get your fingers ready), and another brush for the shadow (also of the wee variety). The product costs $26, but so far, it has lasted me over a year, and I use it every day.

Here are two very important facts about Brow Zings.
1) I use Brow Zings 02, for blondes. I am not blonde. I just play one in my highlights. But Real Girl is still notably brunette, and this is the perfect, perfect shade for her brows. I am skeptical, then, that it would be the same perfect shade for She With Actual Fair Hair. Make no mistake, the pigmented "02-blonde" wax is brown. You Redheads (01), brunettes (03) and Dark Browns (04) needn't worry, however.

2) There must be finger swiping involved in the Brow Zings process. After Real Girl applies her wax with the teeny angled brush, and then covers it with the stroke of lighter shadow, she may as well be holding up a sign: Obviously Wearing Make-up. No one will be fooled. She must then take her first two fingers on each hand and swipe them over her brows once or twice, wiping away the excess and leaving her with what look like the most natural eyebrows in the world.

Or so she thinks.
Remember--you're supposed to tell Real Girl if you've known all along that this part of her is not...*whispers*...real.

You are also asked to please include your own brow wonder stories. Because your comments make Real Girl so happy, she can feel her forehead actively repelling fine lines.

Real Girl

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Lip Balm Part Deux: For the Love of Tint

Brace yourself. No, really. Grab the back of a chair, or better yet--sit down. There. Ready?

This next product combines the qualities of a lip balm, a lipstick, and a lip gloss. In one tube. In one little, joyous tube. Cue Heavens to part and Angels to sing. Ahhhhh! Hey wait. I see you, Cherub. Get your hands off my lip tint.

This is Real Girl's most staple make-up product. The must-have. The bare minimum. You know how some people have nightmares about being suddenly naked in public? Well, in mine, I'm fully clothed. Except for my lips. They are not moisturized. They have no bronzy shine. The sparkle has vanished.

In short, I'm not wearing my Aveda Lip Tint SPF 15.

Aveda lip tint gives you moisturizer, color, shine, and sparkle all in one. I love lipstick, but sometimes it makes my lips feel so dry. And I love gloss, but how long does it last? Smack, smack the lips a few times and it's time to reapply. With the Aveda, swipe it over your lips once, and you get a sheer, lovely color--with an almost glittery (though not glassy) shine. Swipe it two or three times (as I do) and the color's as bold as some lipsticks. And it lasts! Real Girl wears her lip tint on its own all day long. For night, sometimes I spice it up with an added coat of similarly colored gloss. But it's always in my purse. Twenty-four hours a day. I even have an extra for emergencies.

As to color, remember they go on lighter than they look in the tube. My very favorite is the bronzy "Spice." Soooo hot. "Peony" is a delight as well, for those with light skin and hair--a dusty, pinky rose. Other colors include "Apricot," "Berry," Verbena," Currant," and "Copper."

The price is $11. Certainly more than I've paid for any other lip balm. But that's the thing. It's not just a balm! It's not just a tint! AND it's SPF 15!

No joke. I have been stopped on the street by someone just to be complimented on my Aveda lip tint. It's that good. I have tredged through the snow for miles (ok, seven blocks, but two of them are avenues and very long!) to get to the Aveda store for nothing else but my lip tint. Lip tint, you are so special. I don't say it enough, but it's true: I love you.

But if anyone else has their own favorite lip product that colors while moisturizing...well...What are you waiting for? Do tell!!

With love (and a clear dose of madness),
Real Girl

P.S. Oh, crap. I just found a website called NaturalSkin, and they say it so much better:

Give your lips the shade they've been looking for-sheer, shimmering, conditioning color that protects with naturally-derived sunscreens protecting from UVA and UVB rays, with titanium dioxide (mineral-derived) and oil of wintergreen conditioning-with avocado and mango-and smoothing, with certified organic babassu, jojoba and olive oils with astaxanthin-an anti-oxidant 25 times more powerful than vitamin E a refreshing flavor that blends certified organic orange and spearmint with pomegranate in a 100% recycled carton. Key Ingredients: Alfalfa, Algae, Avocado oil, Babassu oil**, Bilberry*, Blueberry*, Cranberry*, Jojoba oil**, Mango butter, Wintergreen oil.

Now that I know it's organic, I love it eeeeeeeven more.