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, December 11, 2006

Body And Gift Goodness

If you're like Real Girl, you pride yourself on giving original, thoughtful, and luxurious gifts without cracking the bank wide open.

Well, here you go. Maryam's Soap Nook has some of the loveliest handmade products Real Girl has ever used! More than anything, these are products for a fragrance-lover. The soaps, lotions, and scrubs all radiate warm and inviting scents that can't help but bring a smile to one's face. Maryam's product website is extensive and browse-worthy, so you may want to set aside some time to check out all the product categories. But here are some of Real Girl's favorites:

Luxury Body Mist: I tested the Sugar and Spice fragrance, which is just lovely, and I do believe quite universal. Think vanilla with an exotic twinge (although I suspect the vanilla I smell may actually be almond). The 2-ounce sized version ($5) doesn't feel too small, and along with another item, say maybe a couple bars of soap, would make a thoughtful, inexpensive, and unique gift for the girl who has everything. (And how do we all know so many of those!?)

Which brings me to the soaps. There are so many to browse through! My favorite so far has been the Jasmine Green Tea, found under the Spa Handmade Soap category. (And it's green! So holiday-ish!). This soap looks like a glycerine, but feels so much silkier to the touch. I usually don't respond well to florals, but the heady Jasmine scent makes my shower feel that much more tropical and luxurious.

Though I haven't tried them, I imagine the Cream Handmade Soaps must feel even more nourishing in these drying winter months, and I've got my eye on the Almond Hazelnut Honey Cream (yes, please!). If you look through each soap category, I'm sure you'll find beautifully presented products with lush scents and that truly pleasant feeling of just enough aromatic oils but not too much to clog pores.

My next favorite product was the Whipped Shea Monoi Body Butter, which does feel nice and rich, as some girls prefer in a winter moisturizer, and carries its scent for ages. The only snag for Real Girl was the glitter in this body butter, which she kept picking off her hands and arms after application. Maryam assures me, however, that the body butter comes without glitter, so I recommend you specially request yours be glitter-free. The scents sound so gorgeous! Pomegranate and Wild Berries! Coconut and Cream! Tahitian Petals! Butter Cream Frosting!! And that lovely Sugar and Spice! (To name just a few.)

Finally, I'd also recommend the exfoliants. The Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Glow Scrub has, again, impressive scent choices and softening oils. And the Exfoliating Bath and Shower Gel offers the same silky application as the bar soaps in liquid form. The jojoba beads add a touch of gentle exfoliation, but I'd think of this more as a regular shower gel than a truly exfoliating one.

Maryam has available a truly extraordinary VIP Gift Bag for $65, which could be given to someone you LOVE SO MUCH AND OH MY GOD THEY ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU. But ordering several soaps, body mists, and other sundries and making your own sweet little gift packages for people would fit well with the homemade, personal aspect of these products' presentation. Maryam also has available a gift package that holds 2 eight ounce bottles (shea butter and/or salt glow scrub), 1 2 oz body mist and 1 soap.

I've found Maryam Diaab to be very cooperative with all sorts of questions, so don't hesitate to contact her for more information. Tell her Real Girl sent you!

(And honeys, feel free to treat yourself to a bit of a gift here too--especially if you know which fragrances you enjoy. Find your favorite fragrances, and you'll be enjoying them for hours. Are you as much of a scent junkie as I am? If you are, this is a great product line for you!)

(And thanks so much for your patience, friends. I hate to disappoint, but it's been a rough month.)

So what's your favorite type of scent? Please share!

With love from your,

Real Girl xx

P.S. Stay tuned, Makeup Junkies. Real Girl's next gift idea is all about cosmetics!