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.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


If you’ve seen the commercials for Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, you’ve seen a smiling model appearing decidedly unnatural. She looks more like Princess Or Ange of Planet Faketania. This? Is a shame. Though I’m not sure Jergens is hurting much, because I looked for this product for ages, and all the local drug stores were sold out. Why? Quite frankly, because this is one of the most exciting, results-providing products I’ve come across in a very long time. Real Girl is in lurve.

Generally, I sample a product for at least two weeks before I rant or rave about it to you lovely people. But after only a week of Jergening my heart out, I can’t hold it in any longer. Witness, in fact, this real life conversation with Real Boy, which took place after just three applications:

Real Boy to Real Girl: “Hey, you’re tan.”
Real Girl to Real Boy (to paraphrase): “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?”

No one knows better than Real Boy how little I’ve been outdoors this summer. New York’s just been so awfully humid, and I haven’t even had one beach day. And yet the other day at the gym? For the first time in months, I was not the palest girl in step class. My friends, I look tan. Not Long-Island, Stay-in-the-Sun-All-Day tan, but with—and here I praise heartily a product that lives up to its promise—a definite natural glow. There’s no orange tint in sight and definitely no frightening self-tanner streaks. My precious little tan grew over about 3-5 applications, and I love it! I just stare at my arms all day! My legs no longer reflect light off passing puddles! I am glowy and fabulous! I am natural looking! I am tan woman, hear me squeeeee!

OK. Now to the parsing of the product. Pay attention! This is crucial! I’ve learned through experience!

1) Exfoliate your knees and elbows before using. I definitely noticed a build up of color around my rough elbow skin. Both exfoliating and lightly pre-moisturizing that area helped.
2) If you’ve achieved the color you want, don’t worry about skipping a day. I’m applying about every other day now, and I still love my color.
3) Don’t forget tops of feet (but avoid rough heels!) and backs of hands.
4) IMPORTANT: Don’t just wash your palms after use. Also exfoliate them with a rough product, like my ever-lovin’ St. Ives apricot scrub. One of my biggest self-tanner fears was walking around with red hands. I’m happy to say my palms look completely normal.
5) Try to wait at least fifteen minutes before putting on clothes or sitting on a sofa.

If I think of any more do’s and don’ts, I’ll add to the list. But for now, just know that this is a must-have product for the pale. (As for the not-so-pale? If you’ve used this product, I’d love to know your results. Does it work for you too?) Let’s spend a minute, here, on which option you should choose: Fair or Medium.

I chose Medium, and I’m endlessly happy I did. If you’re not the palest of the pale, I’d recommend this option. I’m usually the second palest in foundation, and I have yellow undertones. The only people who I’d recommend use the fair skin option are those with very pale skin and blue undertones. Think Claire from the recently departed Six Feet Under. Not that she’s told me she’s looking for a new self-tanner, but—you know—if she did, I’d say choose Jergen’s for Fair Skin.

I love it! I recommend it highly! I can overlook the annoying extra lotiony smell! I don’t tan easily, folks. Jergen’s Natural Glow? I’m sleeping with you under my pillow. You’re my precious. My preccccciousssssss.

Have you tried this product too? And if you did, at what degree of paleness did you start and what results did you see? Do you have another self-tanner to recommend? Anything at all, my dearies? Can’t wait to hear you!

With love,
From one Real Girl to another.