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, September 27, 2005

Cheap And Cute! Nuff Said!

Hold on for the ride my friends. Do you see those shoes? Do you know how much I love them? Do you know the kind of tears I will cry if I don't get them? Well guess what? They cost 42 dollars.

Welcome to

Before you protest! Yup, I know it's geared toward teens. But I am so not in my teens. I'm in my late twenties, fighting 30 like a lip-glossed Sisyphus on the hopeless quest to push a rock up a hill only to get nipped in the ass when it rolls back on down. Um...where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Sift through the teen stuff. Push it aside. Find the gems.

The last time we spoke about clothes, I showed you my fave splurge website, with all its gorgeous luxury. But my guilty pleasure? Yeah, it's Delia's. When I get endless compliments on my perfect cotton slouchy bag with the yellow bow? Do I just say thank you and smile coyly, knowing in my heart how much I spent on it? No! I shout out: Thanks! I got it for seventeen dollars and sixty-five cents!! Bwah hah hah hah!!!

But my best find so far (one that's no longer available, alas) is my beloved black eyelet ballet flats. Like Audrey Hepburn wishes she had. They are perfect with jeans, and I swoon a little each time I slip 'em on. And ooh, I just swooned again thinking of them.

So, am I telling you to slog through the junk all on your own without any help from La Real Girl? Please. Have you been reading this site long enough to be familiar with my obscene love of lists? If not, then today is your lucky day.

Here are Real Girl's faves of the fall season at! (And yes, I know some of you with malls have actual Delia's stores. I am jealous of you right now. A Delia's store may be the one thing NYC doesn't have. That, and Dairy Queen. Which is particularly heartbreaking because they still show Dairy Queen ads for New Jersey and Connecticut, and so I am left drooling over a cheesecake sundae thingie that's on my TV but that I CAN'T HAVE....Moving on.)

Here's Listy McListypants!

The Sweater Boot: I don't quite know why I want this boot so much. They probably can't get wet, they must be impossible to clean...and yet I can so picture them all slouchy with a cute mini skirt or over jeans...
The Perfect Tank: Ignore the skull and crossbones and check out the solid version. Long enough to avoid the dreaded lift-up-my-hands-and-oops!-there's-my-tummy syndrome. So key, that.
The Grandma Bag: This just looks like a perfect flea market find to me. Comfy.
The Peasanty Skirt: Pair it with your own Non-AC/DC shirt and how cute would it be?
The Tweedy Cap: For the 60s British Mod Girl in us all.
The Charm Bracelet: Have you seen one more charming?
The Mini Vest: It's a vest! It's wee! Awwww.
The Peephole Top: So basic and wearable, yet a little sexy too.
The Girlie Coat: This? Might be the cutest coat ever. I want. Waaaaaaaaant. (Is it warm? Probably not!)
The Belted Pea: If you want a more sophisticated coat, this would be an adorable option.

So there you go. Real Girl's Delia's picks of the season. Things to consider: Shipping is free with orders over $75, but be sure to look for the code for that and type it in at checkout. Returns? Not free. That is annoying and the biggest drawback of catalog shopping, but in my mind still worth it given these prices. Also? Beware any pants that mention flare. For some reason, Delia's does not want the bottoms of these trousers to ever get near your ankles. Flare means bell bottoms.

But what about you? What are your favorite online shopping sites? Have you found any other Delia's options we need to know about? Do you want to crow about your favorite bargain places? Anything at all?

You know I love ya!
Real Girl

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Can Eye Have A Drum Roll Please

Holy Oh My God, Batman! Why did I chose to write tonight’s post directly after the season premiere of Lost!? Shake. Shiver. Shrug it off.

Moving on.

Real Girl Confession number gajagillion: I like pretty things. Like ribbons and eyelet and lace. Like color. Soft, rich, deep, charming, gorgeous, just exactly right color. Like my beloved, ever changing Body Shop Shimmer Cubes.

Why beloved? Come with me on the journey. You’re at the makeup counter, or you’re at the drugstore. You’re looking for the perfect eye shadow. That mixture of glamour and wearability that so few eye shadows hit exactly right. Ooh! There it is!! That one color your lids just have to have. Eureka! Except…hey. What’s this? What’s that other, much less cool color, some taupe or sickly beige or weird blue-green. You mean I’ve got to get those other pewy colors in order to get my favorite one? Man. That sucks.

But not with shimmer cubes. Love me some shimmer cubes. Love. Adore. Hug. First of all, every color is a winner. They’re divinely rich shades with just the right amount of shimmer. It’s that shimmer that makes you look dewy without the greasy shine. It’s that shimmer that sparks up your whole eye and says yes, I am gorgeous. You may trail after me, but clean up your own drool please.

Why ever-changing? Here’s the thing about the Body Shop. They’re big into seasonal items. The first four colors of shimmer cubes I bought two years ago no longer exist. But you know what? There are new colors now and I totally want them. And what’s more? Them cubey suckers are deep. There’s enough product there to potentially last a lifetime. My shimmer cubes from two years ago show no sign of running out any time soon.

(A total aside. Remember how obscenely bereft I was over the discontinuation of my favorite blushy bronzer—a cousin of the shimmer cube—the Shimmer Wave? Good news folks. Fabulous heaps of good news. My Precious is back! Backy back back! Swoony yay. Yaaaay.)

But we’re on the cubes here. Must focus on shimmery eye goodness. Wanna see more colors? Because they are all so fab that I want to just let my credit card out of its little cozy and let it do what it’s best at. Buying me pretty things!

You’ve already seen the new autumn colors above, a scrumptious mix that’ll make any eye smoke like hell. Make sure you dab that lightest color in the inner corner of your eyes and just under the brow bone for luscious highlights. Great, now who’s drooling?

Next comes a warmer palette, probably better used separately than together. That silver could look great swiped on the bottom lid—just a tad for an icy effect. And the warm rose will make any cold day feel sunny.

Finally, we reach out to the earth tones, in all their browny tawny goodness, to send our eyes on safari. To smoke them up more softly than black can. To give us earthly nirvana.

Looking at these colors just sends chills through me. And many thanks to Ahe for putting eye shadow on the brain.

What about you guys? Will you share your eye shadowy goodness with us all?

Or do you just want to find out who won the first splendiferous Real Girl Beauty Contest. Let’s recap. Real Girl said: Ooh! Write me a poem about your favorite product. You said: Ooh! We not only look pretty but we write real good too. Kudos to each and every one of you who entered. You are special. And man, it was hard to choose a winner! It came down to a final three, all of whom were delightfully fab and it’s so hard to publish only two! But those were the rules, and who wants to break the rules? There will be more contests in the future. It’s just too fun.

But first, our runner up! She’s getting married on Saturday! And I’ll be there! What really got me, besides the slamming rhymes, were the mentions of ingredients. Mmmm, ingredients…So here’s our bride-to-be…Liz!

We all know from Real Girl's rants
the awesome powers of antioxidants.
Whether we get them from blueberry shakes
or carrot juice and sweet potato cakes,
they help our systems, our skin, our hair,
and they're in my fav product, about which I'll share.

Optimum Antioxidant Facial Mask!
It nourishes well and takes dryness to task.
It has SilyMarin, from artichoke hearts,
As well as liposome, to absorb in all parts.
I have to admit, that what I like when I preen,
is its silky texture and silvery sheen.

It's not too expensive, but I'm not good at splurging
(especially when my wallet's been purging)
I think when the wedding is, at last, fin
I might buy my mask as a treat for my skin.
But meanwhile, if you want something new
I think the artichoke hearts will work well for you.

Are you feeling like slathering artichoke hearts all over your face too? And you thought they were just good for salads…

And now…drum roll please!! Our sample package winner! And look—she spells things all British-like and so must be extra charming! Here’s the beauty from Léonie, one of our Londoners!

A contest. Fabulous. Great,
I thought
I'll give that one a whirl.
See if I can think of something
To impress the wise Real Girl.

So I sat and chewed my virtual pen
And had a little think
What had a special place both in my heart
And by my bathroom sink?

I supposed I could write a sonnet
About my lipgloss. Or a song
About shampoo.
I could effuse about my hand cream
In a short but sweet hailku.

But then, in an epiphany
That flashed before my eyes,
I knew the most important thing to me
Of course! To moisturise.

I think sometimes that without it
(Although at this you may well scoff)
My facial skin would crumble, peel
And crack
Then fall right off.

If there's one that works the very best
To maintain my glowing dimple,
It has no colour, perfume, it's pure as snow
And is called, quite aptly,

It's small and unassuming
A cheap-ish moisturiser,
But I could tell you it's all fancy and costs the earth
And you'd all be none the wiser.

So this, in the end, is a simple rhyme
And it might not win the prizes.
But I wanted to show the importance to me
Of being a girl who moisturises.

Congratulations, Léonie! Email Real Girl your address and your samples will be on their way!

So! Poetry and eye shadow. And you thought you just came here to look at something pink.

What gorgeous shade of eye adornment have I missed, my sweets?

With love,
From one Real Girl to another.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Coming Soon!!

Update, Tues 9/20: Oooh! We have a winner and a runner up!! Wow, that was a hard contest to judge...So Wednesday night we'll chat about eye shadow and give away the prize! Weee!

Stay tuned for Real Girl's favorite eye shadow!!

Needless to say, I'm busy reading a plethora of delightful, fun, and beautilicious poems (take that, Emily Dickinson with your reclusive pastiness).

Until the winner and runner up are published, here's Real Mom's entry to tide you over. Also?? Dear Real Mom's in desperate need of a new volumizing shampoo that doesn't dry out her baby fine tresses--so any and all suggestions are welcome, my friends.

Here's the first poem, with all its lippy goodness.

My lips used to be horribly flaky,
Extremely dry and very caky.
I tried the obvious, Chap Stick,
But it didn't do the trick.
Got a bonus sample from Clinique;
"All About Lips" my interest did pique.
I smoothed it on, so white and milky,
And soon my lips felt soft and silky.
Moisturizes AND exfoliates,
If I were single, it'd get me dates.

And I remain your,
Real Girl

(And she remains my,
Real Mom xx)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Favorite Beauty Tips!

First of all, I beseach you, my dearies, don't be intimidated by the contest. It's fun! Just slap together a couple of lines, any length at all. You've got 'til Friday! You'll make Real Girl smile and you might get some yummy samples!

Ok. So. The most common email I get, besides--what's [insert product here] like?--is this: "Real Girl," y'all ask. "Besides the products you use, what tips can you tell us so that we're getting the most out of our beauty routine?"

Erm...well. Ok. So. Tips. See, I think all the little tips and secrets I have are all common knowledge. I've gotten them from magazines mostly, and though I swear by them all, I never thought they'd be that interesting. SO. Here's where it gets good. If I show you mine, will you show me yours? It's a tipathon! Tippity Tiptip Land! Let's all share our little must-do's of our beauty regimens. Me first!

1. This is my fave! It totally works! After applying lip balm or lipstick, dab a dot of clear or gold gloss (or if you're white-pale, clear or peach/beige) on the inner center of your bottom lip. It will totally add the illusion of volume and it will be sexy as hell.

2. After you apply your anti-aging and sunscreen products on your face, wipe the extra on your neck. Because who wants to be Waddle Duck Wrinkle Neck? Also, don't forget your lips, including the outer outline. Who wants those feathery lines that leech out your lipstick?

3. Another Real Girl Must: The inner eye corner brightening trick. For day, dab concealer on the inner corners of your eyes to instantly illuminate your whole face. For night, use white eye shadow or a light-refracting product.

4. This seems so common sense...but I always put clear nail polish over my mani or pedi the day after and then every other day after that to make it last.

5. You're all exfoliating before shaving your legs, right? (Thee who don't wax, that is.) It will get rid of all the dead skin cells to give you a much closer shave.

6. After applying lip balm from a tin, I love to rub the extra balm into my cuticles. Why wipe it off on a tissue? Tissues don't have lips or cuticles.

7. We went over this one recently: After applying self-tanner, both wash your hands and exfoliate too. Mmmm. Word of the day? Exfoliate. Love it.

8. Ooh! How to wear eye shadow without looking like you're wearing eye shadow. My fave look for day: Using your finger, smudge some brown or bronze eye shadow into your outer eye crease until it looks like a shadow (hee no pun intended). You've just opened up your whole eye! You know, as opposed to just half of it.

9. You don't need a special cleanser for your makeup brushes. In fact, the best product to use is your facial cleanser; that way you're making sure there are no irritating ingredients on your brushes.

10. This tip I got from my beloved hair stylist, Julie: Mixing a teaspoon of baking soda in your shampoo once in a while will completely rid your hair of product build-up! Not that I usually rave about product-free hair, but...Yay!

11. This one's for all you out of towners, the many Real Girl readers in different countries (love you!). Often I get wails of pain from folks without Sephoras or access to some products we take for granted here in the states. Especially in New York! Forget about Sally Struthers's children for a minute. There are people without entire skin care brands out there. And 40 cents a day, the price of a cup of coffee in 1984, ain't gonna get it to them. So. Here's something that will!, which is owned by, will ship to 30 countries worldwide! Yee!

Ok, girls (and guys? Didn't think so.)
What are your fabulous tips! I can't wait to hear!! And try!! Whee!!
Real Girl

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Real In Real Girl

Saaaadly I do not have the time tonight for my Real Girl tip post (coming Wednesday night! Promise!) So instead, I will indulge another of your email requests (most recently asked by Bethany. Hi Bethany!) to post another pic.

In honor of this weekend, when Real Boy and I attend our final Mets game of the season, I submit here Exhibit A: How to be a Real Girl at a ball game.

Pink hat? Check.
Flirty yet age-appropriate pigtails? Check.
Flawless, makeup free complexion? HAHAHAHAHAHA.


I've got it all on, babes. The Clinique Quick Corrector concealer, the Brow Zings, the Body Shop Shimmer Waves, and the Aveda Lip Tint--all my Must Haves I've talked about at length in the past ten months.

I love looking fresh faced. As long as "fresh" means "really made up, even though you can't see it. Psych!"

More beauty talk soon. Enough of me, me, me, me. Bo-ring.
But I remain your,
Real Girl xx

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks my boobies look ferociously lopsided here? It's the shirt.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Contest! Conditioner! Can You Take It? Course!

First things first. Oh God, oh God, my heart and everything else goes out to New Orleans and all the victims of Katrina. And their friends and relatives too. Truly, it’s unthinkable how much so many people have gone through. But as I've said before, it's when there's nothing but despair and trauma all over TV and the news that I think entertainment is most necessesary to ease our minds for just a moment. Doesn't mean we're forgetting the thousands of people with flat nothing who need our help and prayers. Really, really doesn’t.

But now on to the show.

And by “show,” I mean the First Ever “Real Girl Beauty” Contest, in which you, the beauties, will be emailing me, the Real Girl (not that y’all aren’t real girls. But if you aren’t, that’s fine too) your ultra creative entries on this subject:

A poem—of any kind. Haiku? Sonnet? Limerick? Free verse? ABBA? ABAB? Etc?—all about your favorite beauty product. Bonus points, of course, for ingeniously including why you love said product.

(Note: This type of contest is what Real Mom lives for. She has, in fact, won honorable mention or some such thingie in some haiku contest about some product that I’ll probably be scolded for forgetting. So, one rule here. If you’re my friend in “real” life? Go ahead and enter. If we’re related? Maybe not so much. But Real Mom, if I love your entry, I’ll publish it anyway. Because I’m a fabulous daughter who makes you think of hearts and rainbows.)

I’ll publish the winner and an honorable mention here on the pinkness of RGB.

But the winner? Also gets a prize. A prize so special, I got it for free! (I’m a gal on a budget, folks.) Yeah, Winner, you’re getting samples. Stop gasping in surprise, okay? Oh and even more special? The samples are quite small! (Well, except for the mascara, which is cute but probably has some nice use in it…The lip gloss ain’t bad either…but now I’m just giving it all away.)

Here goes:
1. Clinique Colour Surge Impossibly Glossy lip gloss in Azalea (Lovely texture. Pink color.)
2. Clinique High Impact Mascara (Best if you're looking for length over thickness.)
3. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (By the way? This product has some lovely antioxidants including safflower and grape seed extract, so it can be used as a serum even if you’re not big on foundation!)
4. Kiehl’s Creme With Silk Groom (Many consider this one of the best hair products ever. It’s most appropriate for someone with normal-to-thick hair, but if you’ve got fine hair you can try using just a wee bit.)

So there you go. Free samples that you could probably get yourself. But that will be sent to you by me if you write me a poem about your favorite beauty product. Send me the sucker at by Friday, September 16. As you’ll see in the comments, if you’re out of the US, you may still apply, but you should know that if the shipping costs become ridiculous, I may have to use the cheap slow shipping. God, why am I even doing this contest? To herald the fact that I can only afford a free gift right now? And ghetto shipping?


Which brings me so nicely to….Budget Conditioner!

Now, let me say right here and now that today’s conditioner is actually comparable or better than some more expensive, even Sephora-carried brands I’ve used. I’m pretty sure folks agree with me--because of all the internet searches that bring y'all to Real Girl Beauty? “Garnier Frucis” is the second most popular. (By the way? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the #1 most popular search. I barely believe me. But for real? It’s people searching for images of Jenn C. from last season’s Apprentice. I have no explanation for you there. None. Nada.)

Ok. So you may remember (but probably don’t) my very first Real Girl Beauty entry, inspired by Garnier Fructis Fortifying Cream Conditioner for Fine Hair. (I didn’t even know how to link then. Isn’t that cute?) In the months since, I’ve been experimenting with more members of the Fortifying Cream Conditioner family, and I’m now able to tell you which Garnier conditioner is right for you! Whee!

Garnier Fructis Fortifying Cream Conditioner, Fine Hair (aka the Real Girl Original): What’s great about this conditioner, is that it doesn’t have a lot of the ingredients that weigh down fine hair. What’s not so great? Those ingredients are the detanglers. So, if you’ve got short, very fine hair, this would be your best option.

Fortifying Cream Conditioner, Dry or Damaged Hair: This one puts softness above all else. A comparable product would be Frederic Fekkai (which is $18!). This would be a better option for folks with thicker hair who need some of the baby softness that we fine-haired gals try to fight like a mother.

Fortifying Cream Conditioner, Sleek & Shine: This is Real Girl’s current fave! Somehow it manages to detangle and handle my flyaways without making my hair so soft that it loses all body. Mmmmm. Boddddy.

Fortifying Deep Conditioner, 3 Minute Masque: This product has a lot of the same qualities as the Sleek & Shine above. I use it once in a while so as to avoid the dreaded Product-Stopped-Working Syndrome that’s bound to happen if you use your favorite conditioner every single day. Spiteful syndrome, that.

Join the fun! Got questions? Have you tried a Garnier product you must praise or pan? Have another cheapie conditioner you love? Know of a pricier conditioner we’ve just got to invest in? (Ooh! I’m dying for a Kerastase recommendation…) Tell us! Tell us quickly!!

And! Send me your poems by Sept. 16!

Because clearly, babe, you realize
Life is better when you moisturize.
And your skin retains its youthful sheen
When you’re liberal with that damn sunscreen.
Just remember dearies, there’s no “Can’t”
In the blessed word, “Antioxidant.”

You can do much better.
And I remain your,
Real Girl