If you don't think that hair is one of the most memorable things about a person, you should really take a look at Whose Hair? ($9) by Christina Christoforou. The book is a fun guessing game that dares you to name the highly recognizable hairstyles of luminaries from Abraham Lincoln to Andy Warhol. I was shocked by just how many I could recognize, and after going through the entire book, I think I can say without a doubt that having a unique hairstyle makes you at least a little more memorable. Can you guess who these styles from the book belong to?
Beauty lovers will be most interested in chapter one, "Do It Beautifully," which covers how you can select ingredients to make your own skin care, sunscreen, nail products, deodorant, and even toothpaste. For oily or combination skin, make your own aloe toner by mixing up 12 ounces of pure organic aloe vera juice and two ounces distilled water. It can be as easy as that. There are also tutorials on how to do your own facials and make your own remedies, such as acne gel and hand sanitizer. Find out more about the book when you keep reading.
Scott Barnes is known for giving Jennifer Lopez her distinctive look, and he's worked with just about every celebrity you can imagine (read my interview with him here). He's particularly known for his incredible ability to make skin luminous and seemingly perfect, so I was pretty excited when I heard he was publishing his own book, About Face ($18). To find out whether the book lived up to expectations, just read more/
Among makeup artists, Scott Barnes's work is instantly recognizable: fresh, glowing women who exude confidence and usually sport a fierce (faux) tan. He's the man behind Jennifer Lopez's iconic look, the creator of Body Bling, and he's worked on everybody in the biz. Now, in a new book called About Face, Scott reveals his techniques and creates beautiful looks for women of all skin tones, textures, and ages.
To find out what the maestro had to say about getting a great look, just keep reading.
Lymphatic drainage massage tutorials, correct lipstick application, a seven-minute workout, an explanation of the body's glandular systems, even Kegels — author Helen Noble's new book Being Simply Beautiful packs a lot of info into its slender 128 pages. Noble, the founder of luxe skincare line Belacrema and a big believer in natural beauty and traditional medicines, seems to have put her entire life philosophy into this book, and a lot of it's very useful. This is one woman's approach to beauty, and it reads like a knowledgeable friend who really wants to help you, even if her ideas are sometimes a little kooky.
As a reader, I was inclined to cherry-pick the bits of most use to me, because although Noble's explanations are elegant and accessible, there's a profusion of "hippie mom" talk that I, ever the cynic, would have been happy to skip over. Overall, if you're looking for a real woman's perspective on natural beauty, and especially if you don't mind a heaping dose of Chinese traditional medicine lite, Being Simply Beautiful (which comes out in stores Dec. 1) is a good one to pick up.
My childhood is remembered in small snippets, some of which continue to shape me today. One of those moments involved a 12-year-old Bella and her mom, who said, "You'd be so pretty if you didn't have your father's nose." (Guess who grew up to find microscopic imperfections with her schnoz.)
My mom probably wouldn't have said that if she'd read You'd Be So Pretty If . . ., a book on body image written by Dara Chadwick. Although its target audience is the mommy brigade, there's plenty in here if you're not a parent — or if, um, you have lingering issues with the way your parents approached your appearance. Chadwick examines the complex dynamics between mothers and their daughters, encouraging women to help girls develop self-esteem and avoid body-image problems. It's not an appropriate Mother's Day gift — that is, unless you're the queen of passive aggression — but it's worth checking out if you're a mom, an aunt, a big sister, or just someone who wants to learn how to be a little kinder to herself.
The green movement is growing quickly, and a new book aims to help shoppers track down fair-trade, organically grown, and earth-friendly fashion and beauty. Style, Naturally is a surprisingly hefty tome (printed on recycled paper, naturally) covering clothes, accessories, and beauty products. Author Summer Rayne Oakes is a model and green activist, and her passion for planet-friendly style is contagious.
The book explains why sustainable products are a wise choice not only for the planet, but also for your own personal health. (In the beauty section, you'll probably be freaked out by a long list of harmful chemicals found in most beauty products.) Along with profiles of eco-style pioneers, the pages are filled with photos of green fashion and beauty — kind of like a treehuggin' version of Lucky. That's actually the only part of the book I'm not crazy about; especially in the beauty section, I want to know why a certain product is worth buying, not just see a pretty picture of it. The book also does little to dispel the myth that buying eco-friendly products is only for the financially well-off. (Most people can't afford $50 pairs of hemp knickers and $62 bath oil.) But if you're interested in learning why shopping sustainably makes sense, and you'd like a little eye candy, this book is worth picking up.
When it comes to beauty, I'll admit that I can always learn more about having a healthy complexion. So when I heard of a book that Japanese women consider to be their go-to guide to skin care, I took notice. Esthetician Chizu Saeki's The Japanese Skincare Revolution ($14) has recently been translated to English, and it draws upon her 45 years of beauty industry experience.
Focusing on a simple, cost-effective approach, the majority of this short read centers on positive thinking (quit zeroing in on those spots and fine lines) and ideas for tweaking products you already have. The most important tool for beauty? Your hands, says Saeki.
What separates this book from others is her fun ideas: a DIY lotion mask made with cotton pads, a honey lip treatment, a shower cap steam pack (scary looking, but effective), and a water bottle face massage that I'm dying to try. Interactive and engaging, Saeki also includes surveys to help you determine what type of skin you have and tests to determine elasticity, moisture levels, and symmetry of the face (my right side is the "slacker" side). We all know we don't need to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks, and I'm all for Saeki's feel-good message. It's like having an older, sage relative dishing advice. "Take in beauty with all your senses," she says. And now I'm off to practice my facial exercise routine by reciting the five Japanese vowels: ah-ay-ee-oh-oo.
You are what you eat, right? That's what nutritionist Lisa Drayer will have you believing (and then some) in her new book, The Beauty Diet: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious ($15.61).
A registered dietitian, Bayer devotes the majority of this read discussing the nutritional value of foods, naming 10 of the best for a beautiful appearance. (Psst. One of them is chocolate.) She also spills the beans (literally) on what you should eat to provide the best nutrients for hair, nails, skin, teeth, and eyes. And if you tend to get purpley under your peepers, like me, say no to extra salt. Capiche?
While some advice is common sense (get adequate rest, exercise, let go of tension), I found this book to be a great reminder of what it takes to stay healthy — while looking good in the process, of course.
See what other goodies you'll find, along with my opinion, when you read more