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 22, 2005

Why Real Girl Needs A New Eye Cream...Or Does She?

Let’s talk about trust. Because think about it, what’s your beauty regimen like without trust? You trust that your stylist will get your hair just right, that the nail polish color in the bottle will look JUST LIKE THAT when you paint your nails, that your concealer will magically know not to bunch up in your eye creases. But most of all, you grow to trust a brand. You’ve used and liked their products before, so you figure—this is a line for me. This brand gets me. So here’s why Real Girl’s looking for a new eye cream. My current one? I trust that sucker about as much as I’d trust a shoe salesman without feet.

Promises, promises, promises. Nothing frustrates Real Girl more than a product that promises to offer way more than it delivers. But before I get to that, let’s start with the good stuff. You already know how obsessed Real Girl has become with antioxidants. Because those wrinkle-causing free radicals must be stopped. (Here, I would be negligent if I didn’t mention how much more effective SPF protection--the most potent weapon of all--is in the fight against the Evil of the Free Radicals…Just sayin') So right. Antioxidants. Fighting the cellular-level damage of free radicals (it has to do with oxygen molecules stealing electrons. But you want to keep your electrons. They will sing and dance for you). Which brings us to the supreme powers of White Tea.

White tea is the least processed of all teas, and so is said to have three times the antioxidant power of its already antioxidant-rich cousin, green tea. In fact, as soon as I finish the gazillion packets of green tea in my kitchen, I’ll be buying La White Tea to consume as often as possible in liquid form. (IV, please?) But this is no health entry! We’re here to talk about product!! As in eye cream!! As in…Origins A Perfect World for Eyes. The big lure of this product—and one not to be poo-pooed—is that it contains white tea extract: the antioxidant motherload. Ahhhhhhh! Real Girl is suppressing the tear in her eye, lest it dilute her Origins Perfect World. Sneak back up there, tear bitch.

But here’s the catch. Of the 55 ingredients listed, White tea is #25. (Yes, I counted.) It’s all the way down there, in the middle. After all the weird flowery sounding ingredients like Magnolia Grandiflora. (And why is peppermint the second ingredient? Are we brushing our teeth here, Origins?) Naturally, Real Girl was skeptical. Is there enough of my beloved white tea in this concoction to do any good? Would it be effective? This, in fact, was what I asked the pinched-face, blonde Origins lady at the 5th Ave and 23rd Street store. She spat back at me, harshly, “It’s very effective,” before returning her gaze to the cash register, where a whopping zero people were waiting to buy stuff. Pinchy Blonde Girl? I don’t trust you.

But there’s more. Ohhh, there’s more. For a while, lured by the promise of La White Tea, I used A Perfect World White Tea Skin Guardian, a serum to be worn under moisturizer. Like the eye product we’re discussing here, the Skin Guardian has a pump. Which means 1) you can’t control the amount of product that comes out (grrr), and 2) you know there’s always a ton of product left even when it won’t pump the fuck out of the canister. Hate that. Products are not to be wasted! I should mention here that the Skin Guardian is $31, which is relatively reasonable compared to other white tea products, which tend to be super pricey. BUT HERE’S THE THING. The price? It’s an illusion. The size of the bottle? It’s an illusion. Because when I took the wee bottle apart to get at those last drops of serum, I realized that inside the already small case of A Perfect World was another, smaller case. Maybe half the size. And that’s where the product was. When you buy this product, you're buying half of what you think you're buying. Which makes the price a whole lot less of a value.

And which makes me think Origins is SHADY ASS. Real Girl doesn’t trust folks with SHADY ASSES.

Think we’re done? Think again. I bought the Perfect World For Eyes before I found out about the shady assiness. But I bet that this bottle, too, may contain less than it appears to. After I'm done and I take it apart, you better believe I’ll report back. Because one of the HUGE reasons I bought A Perfect World for Eyes was its price ($28.50) in comparison to my old eye cream, the similarly-sized, also antioxidant-rich (vitamins A and C, grapeseed extract, green tea) Dr. Brandt Lineless Eye Cream, which costs about twice as much ($60). But do you see where I’m going here? If the Origins product is in a secret inner container that’s half as large, well…there goes the value.

What’s more? I actually trust the Dr. Brandt. His “origins” I know about. He’s a respected dermatologist. If you’re willing to pay $60 bucks for an eye cream, I would recommend his. Although it’s also a pump, and so sometimes gets that pump build-up clump of product, there’s no secret compartment there. What you see is what you get. And what you don’t see is out there fighting your free radicals.

So we’re done, right? Real Girl has gotten her rant on. You’re sick of me now. Except for No. We’re. Not. Done. Because remember what I said about promises? Origins A Perfect World for Eyes promises to tighten puffy eyes and diminish dark circles. Both of which Real Girl suffers from—and let me tell you, I mean suffers. With the hate and the die you puffy, dark circles, and the die, I said. So did the product live up to its promises? Hell, no. The puffs live on. The circles darken. The hate deepens.

(Big aside here. The only product Real Girl has ever found that actually reduces under eye puffiness is La Prairie Cellular Lipo-Sculpting Eye Gel. Truly, the results were shocking. HOWEVER I do not recommend this product for two reasons. 1) Oh my God the tightness. I felt as if all the water had been drained from my eyeballs. No part of your face should feel like this. Ever. 2) A hundred and twenty-five dollars? Are you for real?)

So, my patient ones, to recap. Real Girl loves white tea. Origins A Perfect World For Eyes has white tea. Maybe enough to work, maybe not. Real Girl does not trust Origins. If you can afford it, Dr. Brandt is a great alternative.

Will we revisit the topic of eye cream sometime in the future?
Does Jessica Simpson need to lay off the fake tanner?

Want to share your own A Perfect World experiences? Any Origins products that might be better? Any eye cream products we need to try? Share whatever the heck is on your mind!

With love,
From one Real Girl to another.