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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sensory Product Overload? So Not Possible.

OK! So last week, I get this divine email from Liz (thank you, Liz!!!) basically saying: Sephora grand opening! Union Square! Party and samples! Run, you fool sitting on your loveseat. RUN, I tell you. (By the way, Real Girl lives a block away from Union Square. There is now a Sephora in her BACK YARD. I used to have to walk seven whole blocks to reach one.)

(Warning: This post will require LOTS OF CAPITALS. We’re talking about FREE BEAUTY PRODUCTS and SERVICES here. If that doesn't warrant caps, than what the hell does???)

So…I ran. I expected to find the new Sephora store packed with gals eagerly pawing up free goods like they were Tom Cruise and that free Pout lipstick was Katie Holmes. Only, you know, with actual true love involved.

BUT NO. There was no store opening in sight. Instead, there was an OUTSIDE EXTRAVAGANZA in the park that included cotton candy, slushies, live music, and a gagillion pristine white tents filled with people offering FREE BEAUTY SERVICES. Sound like Shangri-la? It was! Except for….the lines….Oh. My. God. The lines. You’d think we were starving Soviets awaiting the last scraps of bread in sight. But no. We were beauty-starved New Yorkers awaiting the latest paraffin hand treatment from Bliss spa. Facials. Makeovers. Brow shaping. Hair styling. I nearly passed the fuck out.

I picked up a bagful of goodies, perfumes, makeup, skin care. All of which you will see reviewed on the pinkness that is Real Girl Beauty in the coming weeks. But why wait? Let’s start now and get that beauty ball rolling.

First, the disappointment. I had such high hopes for the gorgeous silver tube I found in my sample gift bag. The one from my beloved Stila, whose packaging never disappoints and whose products usually don’t either (except for the overpricing compared to comparable brands). I mean, you know how excited I get about mascara. So—Stila! Mascara! What’s to lose? (I also enjoy the bit of trivia that the makeup artist who created Stila is married to Anthony Edwards, aka Adorable Dr. Green from ER.)

Sigh. I can find no redeeming quality about Stila’s Major Lash Mascara, which should be renamed CrappyAss Lash Mascara. 1) It uncurled my lashes after I expertly curled them with the best ever Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler so my lashes looked flat and unsexy. 2) It does not thicken. At all. Sparse looking lashes there, Stila. 3) As for lengthening? Eh. I personally didn’t notice anything to write home—or here—about. For realsies, this is one of the few products I’ve ever found that I deem unusable. Actually unusable. Stila, you used to be one of my favorites. You have disappointed Real Girl.

But I would hate to leave off on such a sour note, my lovelies. And so I introduce one of the best smelling products I HAVE EVER FOUND. Y’all know I like those dessert scents like vanilla, cake, cookies, butterscotch….and chocolate. I’m telling you. For Really Real. Philosophy’s Double Rich Hot Cocoa body wash smells EXACTLY like the best cup of hot chocolate you’ve ever drank. Oh, I SO SWOONED when I smelled it. It’s an instant pick me up when you’re craving chocolate in the shower. Or for when you don’t even realize that you’re craving chocolate in the shower, but you so totally are.

Of course rarely is a product free from constructive criticism. I do wish the scent lingered on my skin more strongly after washing, and I don’t recommend using the product as a shampoo even though the bottle says you should. The lather and texture of it on my hair didn’t feel quite right, and again—there was little scent memory (you know, that dreamy after effect of smelling like your favorite product at least until you get to work).

Still, to smell that whiff of pure chocolate every morning…without a single shred of calorie guilt…well, that’s just priceless

So, what about y’all? Got any Stila products to redeem my severe disappointment? Feel like crowing about your favorite Philosophy products? Your favorite scented products? Anything at all?

Love ya!
Real Girl

Wait! P.S.!!! You think I’m fanatically pushy about sunscreen? Take a look at this excerpt from July’s W Magazine describing the routine of “Manhattan dermatologist Amy B. Lewis”:

“She coats her face with a green-tea antioxidant cream every morning, followed by a thick layer of SPF 60 sunscreen. She’s had her Toyota armored with UV-Shield, a window treatment that blocks the sun’s ultraviolet light. She wears wraparound sunglasses and wide-brim hats, attempts to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest, and admonishes patients at her Upper East Side practice to do the same.”

Holy Crap. Now I know why I don’t live on the Upper East Side.