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.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Giving Us Some Polish!

Firstly, Real Girl's back! The outside commitments that have kept me away lately are mostly over. And ladies? If you saw the heap of products waiting for reviews and testing, you would be drooling along with me! So expect great things from Real Girl Beauty in the next weeks.

But right now? We're talking nails. And if you've paid any attention to fall colors, you've heard the words "Chanel Black Satin" paired with "Impossible to get." It's the celeb color of the season--so much so, that Buffy the Vampire herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar fessed up to stealing a bottle. Girls, if I had it? I'd test it. Although I'm not a fan of trends for their own sake, I like the idea of a dark nail for fall. I've been looking for a color that's so burgundy it's almost black, and the closest I've come so far is Essie's Wicked.

Essie has long been a favorite brand of manicurists, and Wicked was their first color I tested away from the manicure chair. Think more burgundy than black--like Chanel's "Very Vamp" of the '90s--a deep, sultry dark burgundy. The look? Autumn drama. (If you want more black? Essie's Licorice looks like the option for you.) Real Girl recommends you cut your nails on the short side for such a dark color, paired with a comfy sweater and dark wash jeans. That'd be hot. Beware, though--the darker the nail polish, the more obvious the manicure flaws. If you get a chip, it'll show up. So make sure to reapply a top coat every day to maximize the manicure.

Which top coat? We'll get to that!


If you're not a fan of the dark nail? I feel you. And I have no problems with rocking a pink or nude nail for fall. In fact, I've been searching for months to find my perfect pink. I had thought that one of Essie's most popular colors, Mademoiselle, would be the one. It's not my perfect pink, but it's a great option nonetheless. The color is ultra-subtle, almost nude--but it's got a lovely sheer effect and an impressive lasting shine. Without reapplying top coat, my manicure lasted 6 days with no chips. But the beauty of a nude or sheer pink nail? You can get away with a chip here and there.

So what will be my perfect pink? I'm looking for something sheer in the powder-pink family. Essie has a gagillion pinks--almost too many to choose from! Will it be Adore-A-Ball, which is next on my list? Will it be Baby's Breath? How about Delicacy? Or Precious Pink? Honeys, I haven't even scratched the Essie pink surface.

As to the top coat, I have a wee confession to make here. I chose my top coat like some women chose a one-night-stand. I was at the drugstore (although I prefer to call it Le Store De Drug, thank you), and there he was. My top coat. Looking sleek, and promising diamonds. I didn't do one iota of research into this product. It was an impulse buy. But I gotta say--I like it! One of the most important things to look for in a top coat is thinness. The thinner the top coat layer, the less likely you are to get peeling or smudging. And Diamond Shield top coat dries fast and stays lean. I don't yet know if it's the best option out there, but it's certainly serviceable, and I'm sticking to it for now.

But what about you? Have you tried the coveted Chanel black? Do you have a favorite Essie color? A different brand you love? A pink recommendation? Anything at all? Lovvvvies!

From your returned and devoted,
Real Girl

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Is That A Lip Gloss On Your Phone?

Or are you just happy to see me?

This one's just for fun. Just for being a girl with a bag that maybe becomes too deep sometimes to find your lip gloss easily. I might speak from experience. Depending on which of the 10 lip glosses in my purse we're talking about.

Get this. Eight tiny lip glosses. That snap (one at a time) onto your cell phone. To be carried around cutely wherever you go. For FIVE DOLLARS. It's the e.l.f. Hypershine Mini Cell Phone Lip Gloss Charms.

I'll say this right up front: The Five Dollars part is what drew me here most. But I've gone through 3 tiny lip glosses now (5 to go!) in the past month, and I don't see these puppies vanishing from my Motorola Razr anytime soon.

First, how it works. Does your phone have something that looks like this? That's where the charm's string attaches. That cap is where the gloss will snap cozily in. Cute as a button, no?


Now on to the gloss itself. Let's reiterate: 8 little glosses for $5. Next, we'll approach color. If you're looking for a saturated gloss, with lots of tint, then this product isn't for you. The gloss colors are subtle--closer to sheer--but because of that, I can wear all 8. The pinks aren't offensive at all--just nice flushy blushy on the lip. The bronze and the red have probably the deepest tint, but both work well with my yellow-based skin tone. So for Real Girl at least, the colors get a Yay.

Shine: Well, I dunno about hypershine. But with a few coats of gloss from the wand applicator, yes, you get a nice shine. The product doesn't go on thickly enough to give you what I'd call a hypershine, but that's okay with me.

However, this adorable product has one significant drawback: texture. I wish I could tell you the gloss feels light and kissable on the lips, but's pretty sticky. On the plus side, that means it lasts fairly well. But if you're a gloss purist, and only like them free of that sticky feel, then do beware. I tend to stay away from sticky glosses myself. But I'm keeping this one around for a couple of key reasons:

1. Oh My God, gloss is now so much easier to find in a pinch. I have a special purse pocket for my cell phone. But most bag manufacturers haven't yet realized how very many little pockets we need for lip gloss.

2. Fun with colors: I wouldn't normally buy most of this color palette, but the colors are so barely there, touching the lip so nicely, that I do rather like the look of the glosses.

3. Oh, you know this one. Do I really need to say Five Dollars again? (Five Dollars.)

I remain your,
(ever in search of a bargain)
Real Girl

P.S. I promised you something extra, now didn't I? Well, here's the early stages of the Beta version of the Real Girl Beauty boutique! Some of the links have turned into little Amazon logos, which I'll check out tomorrow. I'm also planning on rearranging the order of product categories. And on having a whole separate quick-stop Real Girl Favorites section. Not every single product I've written about is available for the commission program, but I'm getting close to having included every product that is available. Of course I'll keep you updated as she develops! What, I refer to my boutique as a "she?" Why, yes. Yes I do.