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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Staying in Line

Have you guessed by now that Real Girl’s beauty philosophy has more to do with looking natural than overly done up? Don’t get me wrong! I love a great smoky eye, or a really powerful mouth…I just usually prefer that they’re not done together. But even so, sometimes a bold eye and bold lips look great together. It’s all about context, about what works for you. There needn’t be rules. Just looking fabulous.

What I mean by “looking natural” is more…not giving up your secrets. Which I used to be really good at! Until I started a beauty blog in order to give them all away. It’s hilarious now when Real Girl sees her readers in “real” life. They stare at her cheeks. They squint at her eyebrows. The game is up, folks. Y’all know it takes some good product to look like I’m not wearing product.

So, here goes another secret, open for all the world to see. Get ready to stare at Real Girl’s lips, people. Sure, it makes me feel like I constantly have dirt on my face, a sudden new mole the size of Africa, or some kind of monster break-out. Because otherwise, why would you be staring at me like that? But then I remember. Oh yeah. I wrote about lip liner, didn’t I? And now you’re just sneaking a peek at the awesome technique. Okay! But still. Just keep in mind. You know, if you happen to remember. You’re freaking me out.

Lips! How have we not discussed lips in so long! You already know about my favorite night-time lip balm, and my favorite shimmery colored lip balm (although I’m still jonesing for that Burt’s Bees in nutmeg…). But we’ve mentioned nothing about shape. About defining the line of the lip. About giving your lipstick some boundaries. About finding the perfect lip liner to make it look like you’re not wearing lip liner.

I should tell you, I am not a fan of the sharpener. First, it’s an extra step to take—and who wants to waste valuable beautifying time spinning a lip liner in a sharpener, throwing out the shavings, cleaning the sharpener…I mean, how bored are you right now? Second—and more importantly—it’s a waste of product. Have you ever sharpened a liner and not seen that precious color getting thrown in the trash? Hate it! Third—most importantly—I don’t like the look of a sharpened lip liner. The point is too thin, and too hard to blend in with the lip color. You might need to use your finger, or a sponge. And Real Girl says—why bother?

Because there’s this beauteous thing—the automatic sharpener. You twist your lip liner, and more comes out! But what’s best? It doesn’t come out super sharp. There’s a wee bit of bluntness going on there, which softens the lip line, and allows the color to overlap enough to avoid the dreaded Obvious Lip Line. I’m hoping I don’t need to tell you that your liner color should match lipstick color. I don’t, right? Because you’ve made it out of the 80s? Right? I’m just going to assume here…so don’t let Real Girl down.

Clinique makes a good automatic Quickliner But I love my drugstore one just as much—or even more! L’Oreal Crayon Petite Automatic Lip Liner rocks my world. I’ve been using it for so many years, I’ve seen at least three repackagings, and one or two color changes. For the past few years, my addiction has been to the Nudes, which looks absolutely nothing like the color in the link. (And makes me think Walgreens supports the colorblind by giving them jobs.) The actual color is a browner version of the “Barely pinks” on the Walgreens page, a pinky-plummy-browny color that goes with every single one of my lipsticks. Partially because the color is just too fabulous for words. And partially because of the way I apply it. Because even if your liner isn’t a perfect match for your lipstick, you can fake it without winding up with the evil Obvious Lip Line.

Here’s what you do. You can either line lips first, and then apply your lipstick—making sure to allow for some overlap. Or. And this is what Real Girl does. You can put your lipstick on first, remaining as true to your natural line as possible, and then you can use your lip pencil to better define the boundaries of your lip. Don’t press down too firmly, and make sure the liner picks up some of the lipstick. I’ve given this tip to lots of ladies already, and it always works. Lipstick first, liner second. Real Girl’s secret to the ultimate natural lip.

But I’m not the only one with secrets! Does anyone out there have her own favorite liner? Or an argument in favor of the sharpener? Application methods? Vital lip-related information? Please share!! We can all pout and pucker together, like the divine starlets we already are.

I remain your,
Real Girl