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How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank Hardcover – August 7, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“Full of beauty tips, tricks and artists’ secrets, in How to Look Expensive, veteran beauty editor Andrea Lustig helps real women determine exactly what they need to look and feel pretty powerful and make every beauty dollar they spend really count.”
—Bobbi Brown

Andrea has a journalist’s eye in a beauty editor’s body: She knows what’s new, understands what works, and can sniff out hype a mile away.”
—Cindi Leive

“There are too many beauty books on the shelves, so the bar for actually buying one is high. This one leaps it, with room to spare. […] The philosophy behind this book is both wise and doable: Maintenance is important, but you can go overboard.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Perfect highlights, flawless makeup, and glowing skin were once high-maintenance, high-cost endeavors. Not anymore.  Beauty insider Andrea Lustig pulls back the curtain to show us how those in-the-know do it better and less expensively.  This book's not a deal, it's a steal!”
—Jean Chatzky, Financial Editor, NBC Today

"As a seasoned editor and beauty industry expert, Andrea's ultimate style guide uncovers a wealth of behind the scenes beauty secrets that have allowed many of the world's most glamorous and stylish women to always look their absolute best. This approachable, authentic book is chock-full of tips for every woman to look beautiful and chic without breaking the bank."
—Frederic Fekkai

"Busy women everywhere will appreciate Andrea's sense of what works, and her expert ability to highlight the necessities for easy, glamorous beauty.  This book is the perfect go-to for anyone looking to keep their beauty regimen fresh!"
—Giada De Laurentiis

“Andrea distills all the best beauty secrets in this fun, witty read.”
—Tory Burch

"The new beauty book I swear by"


“She promises and delivers on providing beauty advice on hair, cosmetics and clothes that will make you feel like a million bucks without actually spending it.”

The Washington Post

“She reveals the power tools in her arsenal, and provides affordable and D.I.Y. alternatives for her cosmetic weaponry.”

The New York Times

Glamour magazine's "Beauty Sleuth" columnist gives a million dollars worth of practical beauty advice for $25 in How to Look Expensive."

The Florida Times-Union

About the Author

Glamour's "Beauty Sleuth," Andrea Pomerantz Lustig, also contributes reguarly to The New York Times, Allure, and other publications. She was a pioneer editor in chief at and for nine years served as the beauty and fitness director at Cosmopolitan. She lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592407234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592407231
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrea Pomerantz Lustig is known around the offices of Glamour as the "Beauty Sleuth," thanks to the wildly popular beauty advice column and articles she wrote for the magazine for the last decade, as well as her BlackBerry bursting with the hottest beauty pros. She started's beauty blog and is cherished by Glamour readers for her fresh, original beauty tips, ideas, and solutions. Prior to becoming a contributing editor at Glamour, she was pioneer editor in chief at, and before that spent ten years as beauty and fitness director at Cosmopolitan. She regularly appears in the national media, on shows including The Early Show, Good Morning America, Today, Oprah, and Entertainment Tonight. Her beauty tips have appeared in Glamour, the New York Times, Women's Daily, Allure, and bloggers share her tips with their audiences regularly. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she lives in New York City with her husband and three children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

316 of 333 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hesitant to spend the money on this book, assuming it was the same old drivel I've read over and over. I'm not even FINISHED with this book and yet I'm imploring you to buy this. I'm only on like chapter 3 and I'm already saving money. Example: my 20 year old Mason Pearson hairbrush seriously needs to be replaced but they're so expensive. Guess what? I don't NEED a new Mason Pearson hairbrush! She makes plenty of much more affordable suggestions. She DIAGRAMS HAIRCUTS to take to your stylist.
This is not the same old schlock we've all read a million times before, this is shopping guide, an in-depth tutorial, it's everything a woman needs to know to look her best.
I NEVER review books. EVER. But the complete lack of reviews on this invaluable book amaze me. If you care at all how you look you really need to buy this book. This is the best tool in my beauty arsenal.
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151 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Sharkaps on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book, but it seemed like it was rushed towards the end and I was actually surprised it was so short. If you are a novice to advice and beauty, I do think it would be helpful. If not, I'll sum up her points for you:

Overly bleached/processed/single processed hair looks bad - natural hair/balayge highlights look good
Split ends/frizziness/unkemptness (come on ladies, you know when your hair looks bad) is bad - blown out hair looks good (points for advising to get a medium barrel round boar bristle brush and to practice at-home blow drying)
Overdone, Kardashian makeup looks cheap - understated makeup looks good (points for blending techniques using the blender egg)
Overdoing peels/teeth bleaching/injections and fillers is bad, a perfect balance is good

Couture head to toe - cheap, mixing with cheaper neutrals is lux.

Basically, if you want to visualize the style advice I'd point you in the direction of Burberry advertisements, and inject your own cheaper version of the components. I think they call that Banana Republic though.

-stars for personal taste of the author trumping your own individual style. I happen to like bright colors.
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191 of 211 people found the following review helpful By B. Foibl on August 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying, I read A LOT of beauty books and this is by far the best compilation of information I've ever seen in one place. What I love about this book:

The author clearly defines what she means by "expensive". I met a woman the other day who was a wonderful person and I enjoyed talking with her, but the entire time I was distracted by her bright bright school bus yellow blond hair. Sometimes our efforts to look beautiful can do more harm than good and it can be hard to know the difference. This book helps you with that and warns repeatedly against the dangers of "over doing it".

It's not a cookie cutter "Here's how you too can look just like me!" type of beauty book. (I HATE those.) There is a break down of different celebrity style categories: Park Avenue Pretty, Hollywood Boho, Glam Globe-Trotter, and Modern Movie Star. You can pick the style or combination that best fits you and there are suggestions for how all of the advice can be applied to the various styles.

The author tells you what it is celebrities do to get a certain look. Most of the time this is not practical for us mere mortals either with time or money. Gweneth Paltrow's beautiful hair color for example (which is what I think the woman mentioned above was shooting for) is a huge investment of both and is therefor not too practical for most of us. If you really want to make the sacrifice to have that hair the book can help you out, but mostly I just liked knowing exactly what celebrities do to look so good because next time I envy something (like Gweneth Paltrow's hair) I don't have to wonder why I can never get mine to look that way. Instead I can say to myself, I can have it if I really want it, but it's not worth it.

There is advice for every budget.
Read more ›
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67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Aisha Jones on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Am I glad I read this book? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone else? Maybe.

The downside of the book:

The book is jam-packed with information, however if I did everything recommended as a nightly routine I would be finished by the time to wake up in the morning. Good thing the book contains a beauty tip for dark circles under your eyes. It seems like there is no one woman that could do all of these things unless she was born on the planet Krypton.

The book only contained a few pages on fashion (insert sad emoticon face here). I also personally felt like the editor and publisher missed a diversity training class as many of the hair and cosmetic recommendations did not consider that people of other races, colors, and nationalities would be interested in recommendations. As an African-American woman, very little of the hair chapter applied to me and I had to disregard a large portion of the makeup color suggestions.

The upside of the book:

You can skip the beauty section in fashion magazines for the next 12 months because she covers everything. In order not to get overwhelmed, you should read through the book slowly and take one action item from each chapter and you can probably transform your overall look.

I must admit that from reading this book, I discovered a new primer I want to buy, an electronic skin brush to lust after, and I found a new way to wear perfume (just spray it in your hair brush).

This book was also written for every economic level and I would suggest going straight to the Work Your Budget section located in each chapter to determine your action steps and to prevent overwhelm.

Anyone who is obsessed with beauty products would love, love, love this book.

On a side note, an alternate title to this book could be "How Not to Look Tacky". Can we all get together and start a fund to distribute a free copy of this book to the cast of Toddlers and Tiaras?
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