From the Bookshelf: Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm a big reader and obviously I love all things beauty-related, so the combination of the two is a win-win for me. There are tons of cosmetic related books on the market today (check the Beauty and Grooming section of your Barnes and Noble) but I've honestly never felt they were necessary. At the rate at which I read online beauty sources, it didn't make sense to buy a book when everything I needed to know was online--hello, downfall of print media.

But about a year ago, this Bobbi Brown book caught my attention and after flipping through it in the store, I knew it was coming home with me. Bobbi (can I call her Bobbi?) has a few other makeup books out like the ever-popular Makeup Manual and Living Beauty. As you might have guessed, the first one is all about the application and usage of makeup, and the second is geared more towards lifestyle.

But Beauty Rules is like a mash-up of the two, only directed more towards younger girls. The lines underneath the book's title read, "Fabulous looks, beauty essentials, and life lessons for loving your teens and twenties." While it certainly has those things, I really think this book would be suitable for anyone new to the makeup world, or just seeking a natural look. As much as I love the NARS look books and Kevyn Aucoin's Making Faces, those techniques and applications are entirely beyond me, though the pictures are great to look at for inspiration.

Beauty Rules covers everything--from body hair removal to sun protection, and one of my favorites, nutrition. Bobbi's section on eating and exercising right is really spot-on--that it's all about moderation and making healthy choices instead of limiting yourself or doing anything extreme. But what I love best about her book, a quality which is a bit similar to some of Carmindy's works, is that it's all about working with what you've got and being proud of it! She's big on self-love and acceptance, in a Lady Gaga kind of way. You won't find anything on how to contour your nose to make it look smaller--Bobbi says take that organ and embrace it. Instead, you'll see pages devoted towards hiding minor flaws and accentuating your finest features. Best of all, she uses real girls of all different ethnicities instead of professional models. That way, there's a terrific element of reality, and you also learn how to adapt these looks to different skin tones, eye shapes and so on.

Again, the makeup looks featured here are very natural--eyeshadow is rarely used on these girls outside of the "Party Time" chapter. Black liner is honestly about as dramatic as it gets. If you prefer a more "done" look or more intense makeup application, you probably won't get much (makeup wise) out of this.

Bottom line: This is a terrific, feel-good about yourself beauty book that is primarily directed towards younger girls, but is completely suitable for beginners of all ages. In fact, the 12-year-old I babysit for borrowed it and told me she and her makeup minimalist mother really learned a lot from reading it.

Truthfully, knowing what I know now about cosmetics, I probably wouldn't purchase this book today, but reading it gave me a great foundation to start from. Maybe I'll take a look at Makeup Manual next?

I'm not sure how many people want to know about beauty books, so please let me know if you want more of these posts or for this to be the last one of its kind.

And while we're on the subject of books, I'm thinking about reading The Help. As a huge Emma Stone fan, I'm dying to see the movie, but I have a rule against seeing the film adaptation of a book before reading it. If you've read it, I'd love to know what you think!

Massive eyebrow threading post coming up soon--I'm really excited about it!

Have a great week!

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