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.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Voting time!


(And since there are some worthy sunscreen recommendations in the comments here, I'll give this post a reprieve and let it live on...)


Real Girl's here to serve, lovelies!

Would you rather next hear about a fabulous drugstore facial sunscreen that needs to be with you at the beach and can be used everyday as well?

Or do you want to hear the pros and cons of a highlighting concealer?

Let the voting begin!

P.S. This post will self-destruct after the voting's over, so if you want to give Real Girl a shout out or gush about your fave product, stop on by the previous entry!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Super Scents and Sale--Swell!!

Good lord, folks, there's been lots going on. Including a story about how Major League Baseball invited me to blog with them (!!??!!). Maybe we'll save that for an update, though, because right now, we've got PRODUCT to talk about.

Don't worry, I've got tons of bodytastic posts coming soon. But this one? This one's for your nose. And for your peace of mind. I want to share with you something that just makes me happy. I've been wanting to tell you about this great purchase for a long time!

Now, you'd be hard pressed to find someone less "New Agey" than La Real Girl, but I admit to believing in the power of scent. Not "aromatherapy" so to speak, in that different scents make you feel different things, but rather the idea that a beautiful smelling place can really cheer a person up. Or at least, cheer me up.

For years, Real Girl has been looking for the perfect room spray. Yes, I love a good scented candle, but sometimes you need something faster. Anyone with a pet or a guy around the house will understand what I mean. But my qualifications for a good room spray are steep, indeed. The Perfect Spray must be:
1) Not too expensive. Because, hello? It's room spray. I love you, Votivo, but I'm not quite willing to part with $15 for fancy Glade.
2) Lovely smelling. None of this alcohol-slash-flowers-slash-lemon-pine thing.
3) Potent, but not ovrepowering. Don't sting my nose, mother fluffer.

Ladies (and gentlemen?), I introduce you to Bath and Body Works' White Barn Candle Co. Fragrance Sprays for Home. Which, by the way? Are so on sale it's like they're giving them away. As in, Two for $5 sale!

Buying two? Is a good idea. I've got four, and I won't part with any of them. "Spiced Cider" smells exactly like what it says. "French Vanilla"? A calming, peaceful vanilla. "Cucumer Melon" is sweet and juicy. And I can't go to sleep without spraying "Coconut Lime Verbena" high over my bed. Somehow coconut and lime combine in the most delicious not-too-sweet-or-sour misty goodness.

What I'm still dying to try? "Bartlett Pear." (But will it be too sweet?) "Brown Sugar and Fig." (Oh GOD yes!) "Creamy Caramel." (Can I eat you?) "Creamy nutmeg."(Too spicy?) "Fresh Vanilla." (Oh dip I bet it's fresh, yo.) "Red Delicious" (As in apple? Yes please!) and "Warm Vanilla Sugar." (Moans with pleasure.)

Am I too cool to spray each and every one right there in the store? Please! I will so be spraying and sniffing at the Bath and Body Works store very darn soon to see which two of the above desired fragrances will be joining their scenty sisters chez moi.

A word of caution: The sprays are potent at first spritz. Do not spray at someone's face!! It's best to spray away from any people. (This sounds like common sense, but I thought I'd throw it in just in case!) But once diffused, the scent will be pervasive and lovely. It lasts just long enough in the air, and that little bottle packs surprising duration. My most often spritzed one still seems about half full and I've been using it for ages.

I hope you'll treat yourself to this great summer scentathon. A pretty-smelling room is a cheap way to relax at the end of a long day, and I'm thrilled to pass the tip along--from one Real Girl to another.

But what about you guys? Room scent tips? Bath and Body Works items we should look for in their grand sale? Anything at all??

Much love!!

P.S. Do I keep one of my precious room sprays right near the powder room at all times? Why yes. Yes, I do. My bathroom is infinitely better because of Bath and Body Works!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Fixer Upper

Update: Here's the link to the story of my reading last week. And the foibles and hilarity that ensued...

Wow, talk about busy weeks! I'm going through product-talk withdrawal, folks. But of course I've still been testing, and I've got a whole slew of goodies to bring you in the future! Also, stay tuned for a link to a full retelling, with pictures, of my first reading of Pick Me Up, which seemed doomed from the start--and yet pulled through in the end. Much like a chick lit plot!

Let's start our return to product gabbing with a practical tool. A fixer-upper for those of us (and here I have to holla at myself) who are perpetually ruining our self-manicure or pedicure with a stray dab of polish. Am I the only one with constant shaky-hand?

My old method of manicure clean up was to take a Q-tip, twist the end tight, and douse in nail polish remover. Then I'd rub off all my mistakes around my fingers, toes, and cuticles. The major drawback with this method, however, is that occasionally a stray string of Q-tip cotton would cement itself on my manicure. Not cute.

But with Sephora's Nail Polish Corrector Pen, I'm happy to say that my nail polish blunders are much easier to clean up! And for only $6, you won't have to feel like you're splurging.

The pen has an angled tip with nail polish remover, so you can just edge it over your boo-boos. Make sure you grip the pen pretty far down, near your nail, so you can get the most control. I did find that sometimes the pen took off a wee bit more than I wanted it to at the sides, but with practice and a lower grip, I got the hang of it.

One drawback is that the pen's tip is not so easy to clean. I swiped a tissue wet with nail polish remover over it, but since I used dark polish, some of the stain remained. You probably want to keep that tip as clean as possible, but don't rub it with a cotton ball (cotton strings! argh!). If you tissue wipe it with nail polish remover, as I did, you should be good for the future. So far no color from past manicures has tainted the ones after it.

So there you go! A practical and economical post! I've got a couple sunscreens I'm eager to talk about: one drugstore, one department store. Which one do you guys want to hear about first? There are other goodies, too, coming down the line for your producty pleasure.

Ok, girls! Let me hear you talk about nails, make up tools, practical tips, anything at all!

And I remain your,
Real Girl

P.S. How much do you guys rock with your literary support? HARD CORE, baby. Super hard core rocking going on.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Truly Great, Page-Turning Read!!

Wow. I've been wanting to tell you guys about "the novel" for so long, and now that it's in stores (as of today!), I hope you'll run out and grab a copy of PICK ME UP, also available at I was extremely lucky to get a quote from Sophie Kinsella, who says on the front cover, "Clever, witty, and fun!" and on the back, "So funny! Izzy is a great character." Sophie Kinsella, by the way? Nicest woman EVER.

Guys, where do I start? A synopsis? A review? Just me babbling about how much I love the novel? Asking you always generous people to mention the thing on your own fab blogs? Let me just say this first: Real Girl hasn't been working on finding products to save you from laugh lines for nothing. Prepare for laughs. And awwws. And for charatcters you'll wish you could meet in person (if you're anything like me, that is!). You know I don't recommend things half-heartedly. I wrote the book I wanted to read, and I couldn't be happier with it. (Ok, so that was babbling first, wasn't it?)

Here's a SYNOPSIS!

For years, Izzy Duncan has dreamed of becoming New York's hottest art dealer. Now finally, her goal lies just within reach. As the director of the Emerson Bond Gallery, Izzy's expecting a whopping promotion--one she wants so badly, she's almost afraid to hope for it.

Then Emerson Bond drops dead.

Suddenly, Izzy's fabulously huggable boss Freddie, the adorable punk receptionist Kimmy, and devoted, well-meaning Izzy herself might all be out of a job.

The timing couldn't be worse. Izzy's childhood nemesis has a wedding coming up--and there's no getting out of it. And Jamie, Izzy's best guy friend, finds his greatest success as a newspaper columnist by advising all of New York to revive the age-old ritual of the pick-up line--which seems to work for everyone in the city except Izzy.

Izzy's happiness and professional future now lie in the hands of two men: one, the new insufferable star artist, who can't wait for any chance he gets to taunt Izzy mercilessly, but whose show will be her most crucial yet. And the other? The other is the new blood at the Bond Gallery, Avery Devon-the man so gorgeous, she can't even speak to him. The man who, if she's really, really lucky, will teach her all about the art of love...and not just in her dreams.

I know I've told you this before, but I feel so blessed to have the readers here at RGB that I do. I have received one nasty email in over a year and a half of blogging. And you're always so fabulous at reviews and recommendations. Plus, you guys are just supportive. And I love that so much.

Publicizing a novel these days--especially for a first time author--is one of the toughest tasks you can imagine. How do you get the word out when there's so much competition? If you all could help spread the word--either to friends or on blogs or message boards or anything!--I can't tell you how grateful I would be. It would be like you-just-gave-me-a-gift-bag-full-of-free-lip-glosses kind of grateful.

You can find out more information about the novel (and about me, although how interesting could that be?) at (Real Boy did the design--isn't it adorable!? Thanks, Real Boy!). I've also started a blog just for the novel where I'll post updates. And I'm also on Myspace now, where I'm hosting a contest for a free copy of PICK ME UP. It's free to join, please be my friend!

AND, here's the best thing! If you're in the New York Metropolitan area, you can come see me read at the Park Slope, Brooklyn (my home town) Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, June 14th at 7:30 PM. The address is: 267 Seventh Ave. (corner of 6th St.) The F Train stop at 7th Avenue is only three short blocks away. Please make sure to introduce yourself, because I'd love to meet you.

Finally, you lovely people, here's my first review, from Booklist!

Pick Me Up. Rice, Zoe (author). June 2006. 288p. NAL, paperback, $12.95 REVIEW.

Chick-lit takes on the New York art scene in Rice’s enjoyable debut. Gallery director Izzy Duncan is beginning to make her mark at the Emerson Bond Gallery. When the gallery’s eccentric benefactor suddenly dies, Izzy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. She thinks her new boss may just be her Prince Charming, and her ardor overrides her concern over the direction he’s taking the gallery. Meanwhile, she’s working overtime to get back in the good graces of a new artist she inadvertently offended. There’s a Sex in the City vibe to this novel that will attract some readers, and a sentimental side that will appeal to the true romantics. Izzy is entrenched in the glamorous world of artists and celebrities, but her own hopes and problems seem realistic. This book is bound to please young women seeking the same sort of fulfillment in their work and love lives that Izzy is.

But what about you guys? Have you got questions? Shout outs? Anything to tell me at all? Because of all the things you know about me, you certainly know I love to hear ya!

Much love,
Real Girl
(aka Zoe)