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, June 09, 2005

Thanks Blonde Neighbor, I Know I'm Pale...

So guess what? Gaining back three pounds? Really easy. Easy peasy. Gaining four pounds? Even easier. Piece of cake. Er...several pieces of cake...Not to mention that this weekend at the Mets game (with big fan, Real Boy) I discovered a new weakness: The corn dog. Corn bread and hot dog. Who knew you were such a treat?

Also? You guys rock. And not in a Lite FM kind of way. I mean like heavy metal, head-banging, skin-tight jeans kind of rock. Without the over-processed hair.

So in honor of your rockaliciousness, I'm resurrecting an old beloved Real Girl Beauty tradition: The List. Here goes!

(Did I mention how much y'all rock?)

Summer approaches swiftly. With the sun, the beach, the frolicking in the park…and, for Real Girl at least, the heaps of facial sunscreen. Of course it’s the only way to fight wrinkles hard core! But it’s also the only way to stay as pale as friggin’ paper (and my dears, adjust that paper color to all shades as appropriate). Now, without make-up, Real Girl looks sickly pale. In fact, when my neighbor once saw me make-up free on my way to the gym, she even asked if I was feeling alright. Yes, I’m feeling alright, Perky Blonde Neighbor. I just don’t put on my favorite blushy bronzer to get all sweaty and out of breath at step class. Scandalous, I know.

But, my friends, I digress. The other day, while preparing for an evening out, I felt like looking tan. Why? Because everyone else recently spent Memorial Day weekend off at the Hamptons or Shelter Island or Nantucket or wherever Eastern city folk go when blessed with an extra day of weekend. Meanwhile, Real Girl was just trying to stay sane. And pale. Did I mention the pale? So, fine. Self-tanner, you say. Go wild. And I will admit—I have looked into the self-tanner option. I’ve got multiple self-tanners in my beauty notebook waiting to be tested. Except, I’m kind of scared of self-tanner. Know what I mean? It’s just permanent enough for all your self-tanner boo-boos to be exposed to the world. That orange tone? The streaks? The red hands? (And yes, I know—exfoliate first, wash your hands like mad, etc., etc. Still, I will look like a freak. I am sure.)

Which brings me to the other day. Feeling like a tan. Without the wrinkles—because hello, obvious reasons. But I remembered my favorite product from last summer—the moisturizer that both protected me with SPF and gave me some color, all with the option of washing or blotting off whatever I didn’t like. That product is….tinted moisturizer!! And, more specifically, Benfit’s You Rebel

Here’s the thing: Benefit only has one color of tinted moisturizer. It works with my yellow-based skin tone (but beware you blue-toned lasses), however it’s at least a full shade darker than my skin. Great for looking tan. But perhaps not for you. Only one color! Hate that about Benefit. But it has SPF so you can wear it during the day without having to use a separate moisturizer/sunscreen! Love that!

But wait, there's more! Tinted moisturizer is a great alternative to self-tanner, yes, but it’s also a great alternative to foundation! There will have to be a Real Girl Beauty foundation entry sometime in the near future (with, bien sur, a fabu List!), but for now, let’s talk about the TM. The tinted moisturizer. My new summer best buddy. This stuff works great to even out skin tone. If you’re using foundation to hide serious skin flaws, the TM option may not be for you. But if you’re just interested in improving the all-around tone of your skin without having to delve into something really make-upy, then an SPF tinted moisturizer might just be your key to euphoria.

So let’s say Benefit’s You Rebel, in its one yellowish, darkish color, isn’t for you. Here’s a list of other tinted moisturizers with SPF protection that just might float your boat to fabulous skin. I present the latest Real Girl Beauty Listarama!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20: This is the gold standard of tinted moisturizer, beloved by every single beauty magazine. However, beware! The sunscreen ingredients in this product are not the very best…
Biotherm Aquasource: A very reliable brand and product.
Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15: Lordy, I love me some Stila.
Hard Candy Hint Tint: Not just for teeny boppers!
MD SkinCare Tinted Moisturizer: Another of those dermatologist lines, this one including antioxidants vitamin E and C, but also a bit pricey.
Cover Girl SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer: Gotta have the drugstore option! This looks good for oily skin, too.
Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer: Oddly masculine packaging, but offers some nice shades.
MAC Select Tint SPF 15: I know people who swear by MAC.

So that’s my list of the top tinted moisturizers—to be used either as a substitute for foundation or alternative to self-tanner. And it makes a brief appearance in my novel! Which, by the way, now has a publication month exactly one year from now, June 2006. Oh, the waiting…

But what about y’all? Have you tried La Tinted Moisturizer? Any secrets for looking sun-kissed without baking your skin? Just feel like chatting? You know I love to hear you!

Much love,
Real Girl