Beauty Books: Iman

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book: Iman: The Beauty of Color: The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color. Talk about a mouthful. $19.95USD; $14.96 from Amazon.

What they say about it: (Taken from Amazon.com)

Now in paperback-the beauty event of the year! Iman’s full-color guide to makeup for women of every skin tone.

The first beauty and make-up book to address skin tones from across the spectrum-including Latina, black, Asian, Indian, Native American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern, as well as multiple ethnicities-The Beauty of Color features:

- Skin care basics with specialized beauty regimens for skin of color
- Makeup 101-what you really need for every skin tone
- How to create ten amazing make-up looks with easy step-by-step instructions and photos
- Famous beauties, including Salma Hayek, Tyra Banks, Eva Mendes, Venus and Serena Williams, Eve, Rosario Dawson, Padma Lakshmi, Jade Jagger, Alicia Keys, and Kimora Lee Simmons
- Remarkable real-life makeovers for women of every age.

What I liked: The outlook of the book, that being that women are beautiful. But really: what else would you expect from a beauty book? Below I’ve posted photos of the intro (please don’t sue my ass off). I think it’s absolutely wonderful, and because it’s from a model’s point of view, there’s insight there that not everyone would be able to include.
I also liked the following makeovers - finally, an Asian model that’s effing gorgeous, and an “older” makeover with a woman who’s still “got it”!
Unlike with other books, there’s a chapter on fun shadow looks, all which could easily be toned down to be more wearable. I’ve included one just so you can get the feel of it – there are great diagrams and easy to follow instructions, opposite a photo of that look on a model.

There were great tips on applying different products, as well as what they’re for. My favourite description? The one for a lip stain!And the last thing I liked – this photo. It looks like so much fun!


What I wasn’t crazy about: The second and third pages. What do you get once you open the book? A full-ego assault by a bunch of Iman covers. We get it. You’re a supermodel. Please stop telling us.

This makeover of Vanessa Williams! There were a ton of great celebrity-of-colour makeovers, but this one fell short. Why? The photoshopping. Check the image below, one of their “behind the scenes” images. S
he’s like, ten shades darker! Why would they feel the need to lighten up a gorgeous woman so much?!

The Verdict? There were a couple things in this book that I didn’t like, but aside from that, I thought it was great! This would be the perfect gift for a teenager of color who’s uncomfortable in her own skin – a wonderful reminder that “Caucasian” and “beautiful” are not synonymous.

For those of us who already are comfortable with our ethnicities, it’s still a good book, but as with many others… I wouldn’t buy it. I’d buy it far before picking up the Sephora one, or Bobbi’s Makeup Manual, but with all the information we have at our fingertips on the web, I doubt I’d re-read this.

So if you are interested, here’s how to decide if you should buy it: pick it up in the bookstore, flip to the part with instructions for eye looks, and if you really like them, buy this! If not, rent it from the library, because it is worth reading once.

Beauty Books: Sephora

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The book? Sephora: The Ultimate Guide to Makeup, Skin, and Hair from the Beauty Authority. (Written by Melissa Schweiger) $27.95 is the listed price, according to Amazon.com. There’s a “look inside” of the first few pages there, if you’re interested!Just out of curiosity, before we begin, here are the products on the front cover. (The back cover is a photo of bunch of Sephora brushes.) Hey, do you remember playing I Spy when you were little? I do… I’m sure I still have some I Spy books tucked away in a box of my childhood books somewhere in the basement! I remember having a couple that I just adored.

I spy… a LORAC lipstick in their Lotsa Lips Plumping Lipstick formula. Maybe in Feelin or Smoochin?
Some slant-tipped tweezers – Tweezerman, maybe?
Mascara, of course! I can’t tell exactly what it is (I’m not psychic, just awesome.) but let’s figure this one out by deduction: it’s a thin, traditional wand, with sprialed bristles that are fairly dense, and a non-pointy end.

So: it could be Lancome Définicils or Kevyn Aucoin’s The Volume. Why those two? Well, they meet the criteria listed above. So did a bunch of others, but do you really think they’d use a $10 Sephora mascara for a photoshoot, or a mascara with a two-star rating? No. I don’t think so either.

And lastly, a MUFE Aqua Eyes liner! This looks like Turquoise 7L.

What they say about it: (taken from Amazon.com)

Ever wonder what it’s like to have your own personal team of beauty experts, advising you on how to look and feel knockout-gorgeous every day? Or have you ever questioned what exactly goes on inside the creative minds of beauty industry heavy-hitters? Step into the pages of Sephora, where the top beauty authorities give you access to their private domains. Spend the day with Vincent Longo backstage at fashion week, create red carpet—worthy hair with celebrity hair stylist Oscar Blandi, master the smoky eye with Hollywood’s hottest makeup artists, and take a tour of Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s kitchen with his refrigerator full of skin-perfecting foods.

In Sephora: The Ultimate Guide to Makeup, Skin, and Hair from the Beauty Authority, fashion and beauty journalist and former Sephora beauty editor Melissa Schweiger personally introduces the people behind some of your favorite brands and fills this gorgeous book with the beauty secrets usually reserved for insiders. Each photo-packed page brims with words of wisdom and expert advice from the creators of and authorities on more than two hundred classic and emerging beauty brands sold at Sephora, including LORAC, Smashbox, Too Faced, Dr. Perricone, Frédéric Fekkai, and many, many more.

Each chapter is designed to mimic a Sephora store’s “try everything” vibe while revealing the finest beauty tips and tricks for getting creative with cosmetics. From an A-to-Z glossary of terms and ingredients and a shopping guide to the best products, to detailed explanations of how to properly use cosmetic tools, Sephora is the complete beauty package that no woman will want to be without.

What’s in it:

What Is Beauty is a great chaper with quotes from the founders of the lines Sephora carries, on what they think beauty is. They’re largely predictable, but I thought it was a great way to start the book!

Try This at Home was a disappointment – I thought the directions and photos could have been a lot more clear.

Meet the Masters was my favourite chapter!! It’s full of a-day-in-the-life-of and stash stuff.

Secret Ingredients, one of the last chapters, was useless in my opinion. If I want to know what’s in my moisturizer, I google or wiki it. I mean, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I find the ingredient sections of cosmetic books useless drivel.

(I did find this error in Secret Ingredients, though! The images on some pages cut off the text.)

And some random bits from the book. I’ll work on the assumption that Sephora won’t sue me… or even know. Who pays attention to small beauty blogs nowadays? We’re rampant. Slightly more common than leaves of grass, slightly less common than socialites tailspinning on coke.

The “Try It” section seemed like a great idea, but I thought the photos could have been more detailed. The text instructions were descent, but nothing special!

Of course, seeing as this is a Sephora book, there are pages upon pages of product advertisments, essentially. I’m glad that they tell you what kind of products to look into, but why would I, as a consumer, want to pay for a glorified catologue?!

My second favourite part was the beauty diary (day in the life of) of Gilbert Soliz, a Sephora employee.

My favourite-favourite? The stash of Cristina Bartolucci, founder of DuWop. She covered a lot of her favourite products, and I was glad to see they weren’t all DuWop! Each product had a great description under the heading as to why she loved them.

And lastly… check out this quote :P I adore Jerrod Blandino (Too Faced), and his section only enforced my adoration of him! The quintessential gay guy, I would kill to spend a day with him, slowly learning his craft by aggresive osmosis of ideas :PReally, Jerrod? You want to “make love to it, as fast as [you] can”? Priceless =D

The final verdict?
This would be a nice coffee table book, or even a nice gift for someone who loves makeup but doesn’t want a book that’s too hard to follow. It focuses on products, beauty, and the industry, and not so much learning new skills – and remember, take it all with a grain of salt! Sephora chose to sell this book to you. This book was made to make you want to buy.

Despite all it’s good points, though, and because of the fact that half of it is basically just catalogue, there is no way I’d pay full price for this. Rent it from your library, like I did, buy it used, or split the cost with some friends. It’s not really a read-again, so if five of you paid about $5 each and passed it on once you were done in it, it would be worth it.

Everyone’s a critic

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book: Model Student: A Tale of Co-Eds and Covergirls, by Robin HazelwoodSummary (edited down a LOT):

“It’s the late 1980s… every girl in America dreams of becoming the next Cindy, Claudia, or Naomi, and seventeen-year-old Emily Woods is no different. She looks different, though – striking enough to start a career… but Emily is more than just a small-town beauty with stars in her eyes: She’s been accepted to Columbia University, and she’s not about to let couture and klieg lights get in the way of an Ivy League education.

Thus begins Emily’s double life… Before long, the seamier side of the fashion industry-cocaine and cads, collagen and implants, fad diets and eating disorders-becomes close up and personal. All of a sudden, Emily realizes how far she’s strayed from her dream of having it all. With sliding grades that threaten her future at Columbia andspotty bookings that put her career as a model in question, Emily is finally forced to make a choice between style and substance.”

How I found it: through Candy Covered Books, through a recommendation for that site by Daneen over at spoiled pretty.

Well?: Surprisingly, I loved it. Though it fell flat at parts and took a good chapter or two to get into, it was a ton better than I expected from a dated book written by an ex-model. But it hands over a raw-feeling view of the modelling industry from the eyes of an 18-year-old model who you grow to love; you’re right there yelling at her when she makes stupid decisions and grinning in encouragement when she bites back. It darkens substantially as you read on, and this works well to keep you interested – I started reading and finished this (400 page novel) in all of two days!

Ages: I don’t know. I’m U18 and it was fine for me, but I’m not your average Jane Doe. I’d say 18 and up to be safe, so don’t go recommending this to your 12-year-old niece! Most of it’s pretty clean, but some of it’s pretty gritty.

Rating: 3.5/5
I loved it, but it is understandably written for a very specific audience. The sweet old grandma down the street isn’t going to love this, and neither is your mother!

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