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 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