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, May 24, 2005

For the Pore Whores...Awwww Yeah.

By popular demand, here comes a review of the 2nd of 3 Paula’s Choice products I’ve been sampling: Paula’s Choice 1% Beta Hydroxy Acid Gel.

Why? Because no one loves a dirty pore.

We’ve already talked about the effects of exfoliating, which lifts off that dead layer of skin you’ve got hanging around just waiting to set up shop in your precious poresies. But only Beta Hydroxy Acid—aka salicylic acid—can break through oil and lift out all those impurities. So let’s get to the point. Want clearer pores? Use salicylic acid. Want it to actually work? Go beyond the wash-scrub option and let the BHA do its stuff. I’ve been using my salicylic acid gel for about three weeks, and I can really say I’ve seen a difference. My skin overall looks more vibrant and glowy (but not more shiny), and my pores have never looked better. Don’t expect miracles—it’s not like my pores have suddenly vanished. I still see them. I say hi to them. I ask them to stay pink and as wee as possible. But this product helps, no doubt, in overall complexion quality.

Now let’s play a game of “if your skin is…” I’ll start! My skin is combination, with dryness around nose and chin and shininess at the forehead and cheeks (though not too bad). I don’t actually have blackheads, but there are some kinda gray heads around my nostrils. (Mmm. Lovely mental picture there.) Overall, I’d say I veer toward what cosmetics companies usually consider “normal.” So I chose a mild salicylic acid concentration in a gel rather than a lotion. But what’s your skin like, my dearie?

--If super blackhead prone and super oily: Try 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid: The liquid’s like a toner, and the 2% concentration will fight that dirt out of your poresies.

--Somewhat cloggy, combination, a wee bit shiny: Join me in my appreciation of La 1% BHA Gel

--On the dry side but still cloggy: 1% Beta Hydroxy Acid Lotion (I’ll probably need this in winter.)

--On the dry side and noticeably blackheady: 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Lotion

For sensitive skin, definitely stick to the lower concentrations, and I might go for the lotion, actually. The gel could be on the drying side for la sensitive skin.

Don’t be scared to call for samples. I found the Paula’s choice folks to be very helpful in that department. Can't hurt to try.

All I can say is I love my new more illuminated-looking skin. Real Boy noticed the difference too! Although I confess my recent lack of sleep has ruined the effect a bit. I miss sleep. I miss glowy skin. And I thought my undereye bags were bad before...You know Kimora Lee Simmons’s famous gigantic Louis Vuitton luggage? Right. That collection ain’t got nothing on my eye bags. I’m thinking of having little LVs tattooed on my DAMN HUGE SAGGY PUFFS.


Love from one Real Girl
to another.

Any questions? Complexion improvers to recommend? Skin care stories to share? You know I wanna hear ya!


Sunday, May 22, 2005


Where have you gone, Sir Time? Here I spend all this beauty-directed energy fighting you, striving to halt your eager ravages on my face. And then you go and slap me upside the head by ABANDONING ME COMPLETELY.

As y'all know, I've started a new career. Picture being a weather man on your first day of weather manning ever, and they stick you in the middle of a blizzard in the Arctic. I have had literally almost no free time this week, save three hours for Lost and Alias. So I apologize for the lack of recent Real Girl entries. I also apologize to my television and Real Cat, who both must be feeling quite neglected...

But I'm been hearing rumbles that you want to know about this pore-clearing gel I've been sampling...And I've also been trying out a new eye cream that might have merit. So you let me know. When I do my Real Girl post this week, should we talk about the pores or the eyes? I leave it up to you, my dears.

And I remain your (exhausted beyond belief),
Real Girl

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"Anti"oxidants? Try "Diebitch"oxidants.

Ah! Real Girl has been working night and day on her book revisions before starting her new career...But how could I resist a break to discuss those precious darlings, sweet sweet antioxidants? Awww yeah.

But this one is a toughie.

You know that guy who’s perfect on paper? The one you want to like soooo badly, because hello, he's soooo perfect? He’s got the fab job, gorgeous house, good looks, kind heart…but then you go on your first date—and, well, the chemistry’s just not there?

Yeah. Apparently, that works for products too.

Damn it.

God, Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate has everything on paper. A healthy, face-saving slew of antioxidants. You’ve heard my antiox spiel before—let’s fight those free friggin’ radicals. Briefly, free radicals are oxygen molecules that are missing an electron. So they start taking electrons from healthy molecules, which—thanks, stupid free radicals—are then missing electrons and need to take them from other healthy molecules. So the chain continues. And you get friggin’ wrinkles. See why we hate the free radicals so much? With big bushels of blazing, crazy hate? Stupid mother crapping assholes.

Right, then.

I’ve mentioned my favorite antioxidant product before, and I still love it. Because it feels so good. Cooling, calming, just like silky water kissing my face. However. With most antioxidant products, you face one crucial challenge: you can’t be sure what the concentration of antiox goodies actually is. Perhaps there are enough ingredients there to kill the Evil Ones. But…perhaps not. Also? Damn, those bitches be expensive.

Which brings us to the Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate. Man, those are some impressive ingredients. Vitamin C to increase skin’s ability to neutralize free rads. Vitamin E—one of the strongest ingredients to protect your precious cells. Vitamin A, both antioxidant and retinoid. Lycopene and Lutein, vegetable antioxidants that work best when extracted, as they are here. See what I mean? This product is PERFECT ON PAPER.

And then…you go on the first date. Truly, I just don’t understand this product. On her website, Paula goes on about the silky, non-greasy feel. What am I missing? To me, this product felt kind of…odd. Not quite, but almost a little…slimy. It doesn’t spread easily. You’re supposed to only use a few drops, but I don’t see how that little will get over your whole face. Should I be using a cotton ball? Should I be tapping at my face more? I figured the tapping is the best option, and that worked okay. Perhaps I just need more practice? Still, I don’t know about this just a few drops thing…

But don’t judge yet! The product does achieve a silky, soft, smooth finish after it dries, and it’s entirely workable under makeup and/or moisturizer. And lordy the price. The price is like a gift from heaven. Antioxidant products tend to be expensive—especially those with more than one antioxidant. This product has no less than five powerful antioxidants. It has everything your skin will need (besides sunscreen, people!) to fight those free radicals. And it’s under $20!!! But truly the best thing about this product is that it will—from what I can tell—actually work.

And you know what? We’re not talking about the perfect guy. We’re talking about your face. I, for one, want the solace of knowing that my products are working for me. That the concentration of ingredients is enough to make a difference. Because at the end of the day, if the guy ain't right, he can go. The odd texture and imperfect-feeling application? Well, that I can live with.

But what are your favorite antioxidant products? Any questions about ingredients? Got anything to say at all, my lovelies?

I remain your,

Real Girl

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Lip Smacking Good

Here's a Real Girl Beauty quickie! I just found this site,, and I'm already in love. Not that I've actually tried it...but any lip balm selection that can be sorted by flavor deserves some kind of extra credit.

Personally, I'm a dessert-scent gal, and I can't wait to try some of the Dairy Queen flavors, like Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Ice Cream. Yes, it's probably just flavored chapstick. But still. Hello drool.

Has anyone tried any of these lip balms? Have you got some great-tasting products to recommend? Any thoughts at all?

Clearly, I've got to go out now and get me an ice cream cone. Mmmmm.

Your Real Girl