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.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lovely Lashes, Lovely Price

Girls, when I find a great new mascara, it's like a holiday. Pack your bags! Bring sunscreen!

Ok, so technically, Cover Girl LashExact (and its PR guru) found me, but big yay for that! Because I probably wouldn't have been immediately drawn to it on my own. The hot pinkness of the brush scared the bejeezus out of me. After all, they make mascara in that color, and lordy above I hope I never have to see it. But have no fear! This brush turns out to be one fantastic little mascara companion.

Cover Girl's very excited about this new brush, and Real Girl says she'll jump on board. Its bristles are firm enough to comb your lashes as you apply the mascara--and my trick of holding the wand to the tip of the lashes to enhance curl works just fine.

HERE'S THE THING: Real Girl doesn't quite recommend LashExact as a one coat mascara. But the brush allows you to apply 2 coats without clumping. My technique is to apply one eye, then the other, and then repeat. With two coats, LashExact provides enough length and thickness--the exalted combo!--to send me off on the town happily.

If you're looking for a drugstore mascara, Real Girl thinks this one's super--and an excellent value at $6.99!

But do share your own favorites! It's time to dish mascara, ladies!!


Real Girl

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt

Oh, Ladies.

Once in a (rare!) while, Real Girl finds a product that revolutionizes the way she applies makeup. And you know how I get when I find a new favorite. So let's not waste precious beauty time and start with Real Girl's latest must-have:

Liquif-Eye by Too Faced.

I experimented with liquid eyeliner in high school, but it just wasn't for me. Too much product would get on the brush and goop on my eye, the product felt too thick, and the line looked too severe for my taste. I quickly moved to shadow, oh beloved shadow. Instead of a true liner, I'd use a liner brush to apply at the base of the lashes and call myself pleased.

Hello, I did not know what I was missing. Because since I tried Liquif-Eye? I may never use shadow without it again. Here in this blessed little tube is a brush that's not quite a brush: though it has lovely bend to it, there are no bristles to misplace precious product. Let's call it a solid tip. Simply take this solid tip out of its delightful bottle and coat it in your favorite eye shadow. Then apply (either in one fine line if you've got a steady hand, or in very close together dots) the loveliest, sharpest, most flattering line of eye shadow you can imagine. It's the precision of a liquid liner with the texture of a shadow. Can you tell how in love I am? Can you?

Don't be afraid to experiment! You can use one tone of shadow on the whole lid and then use the Liquif-Eye with a deeper shade at the lashes. Or you can continue with shadow on a liner brush, and then apply the Liquif-Eye over it to keep the smokey effect but also create definition. For the first time, I'm wearing eye shadow on my lower lids--the line is thin enough to give beautiful color without looking too made up. And when you're done? Simply wipe the solid tip thoroughly on paper towel before reinserting into its pretty bottle.

Are we done yet? Not hardly! Because now I need to tell you about Too Faced's shadows. More Real Girl love. These are some of the richest colors I've used. They retain their pigment beautifully and come in fun colors that I'd usually be scared of...and yet they work. The Liquif-Eye Shadow Collection includes 12 fun colors that, judging by how little product you use each time, will last a good while. Beware! These colors are not for the faint of heart. Or the faint of eye, for that matter. Take my word that the colors are richer and heartier than the picture at the top of this page. But I've been surprised by some of them. Layering my usual dark bronze shadow (Liquif-Eyed, of course) under the chartreuse Too Faced "Steel Magnolias" (also Liquif-Eyed) had a superb effect of brightening the eye area without looking too outlandish. Mix and match!

Or if you don't want 12 small patches of color? If you're a true eye shadow afficianado, you've got to check out Too Faced's Eye Shadow Duos. The luscious pigments of these shadows and their silky textures are nearly irresistible. While probably not appropriate for anyone who doesn't like shimmer (and for a few of the colors, sparkle), these shadows are definitely in my top 5 favorites. Everything--from the girly, vintage style packaging, to the adorable names (my favorite duo is called "George & Weezie!"), to the colors themselves just makes them fun to use.

Even better? I've got a whole bag of other Too Faced products yet to test. Let's hope we get more winners!

But what about you guys? What are your favorite shadows? Favorite liners? Secret application tips? Anything at all?

I remain your,

Real Girl