Saturday, June 04, 2011

I love trolling the new book cart when it comes fresh from Circulation. Brand new, never-been-checked-out books---it's enough to make a librarian drool. The other day I found The Look Book, and being a makeup junkie, I immediately seized upon it. Often books that promise to teach beauty techniques fall short and, at least for me, end up being little more than coffee-table art books. The Look Book is both beautiful to look at and actually very useful.

It's broken down into five sections: Lips, Eyes, Brows, Skin&Face, and Hair. Within each section, the author features different iconic looks of celebrities past and present, along with a picture of the celebrity and step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the desired result. The instructions are easy to follow and also tell the reader what skin type or hair type the look works best on. Several work best "on anyone." This is followed by "Tools Needed" and "Time It Takes," both of which are very accurate. The best part is the "How to Do It" step, which includes drawings demonstrating the technique. Arrows indicate which direction to sweep a cosmetic brush or roll a curler. The author also includes "Pro Tips."

I'm delighted. I think this is the best beauty book I've encountered in some time because it's so useful. I've already made my lips over like Lauren Bacall and my hair like a combination of Bettie Page and Anna Wintour, then done my cheeks like Debbie Harry. I was hoping my face would morph into Lauren Bacall's at the end of the process. Sadly, I still looked exactly like me, but I loved my lipstick. Don't know who Lauren Bacall was? The author includes information about each icon beside the picture, listing "Essential Lauren" or "Essential Madonna," etc. The Essential lists the star's movies or other achievements. The other text explains the success, drama or appeal of the icon's look. Not only is this a fun tool for changing your style, it's part pop culture history as well.

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