on April 16, 2014
Robinson didn't bring anything new to the table as far as beauty insider "dirt" goes, and although Robinson's book did have some good, basic information about skin care and procedures, once again, there was nothing new. If you're reasonably well-informed, you'll find yourself skimming and skipping over large sections of the book. As for Robinson's brand name product recommendations, they are there more as a token than any sort of meaningful guide. Despite my lukewarm reaction to the book, I'm sure there are some ladies who will find some helpful information and so I was willing to give it two stars. Where I really part ways with Robinson; however, is when it comes to her edicts regarding makeup.
First, a little background: Robinson along with makeup genius Kevyn Aucoin created Ultima II's successful line called The Nakeds. Back in the early 80's, The Nakeds was a refreshing departure from all the bright colors that dominated a woman's makeup arsenal. I loved it and wore many of the beautiful neutral shades for awhile. But that was then and this is now. Today, The Nakeds seems old fashioned and one dimensional because makeup has evolved, but Robinson hasn't. Robinson is, and obviously always has been, a proponent of makeup that is practical, minimal, and neutral. There is nothing wrong with that except she believes ALL women 50+ MUST adhere to HER esthetic if they want to look attractive. That kind of approach simply isn't true and doesn't take into account the individual needs and attributes of women no matter their age. For example, she says all any woman needs to have is one eye palette in shades of brown for dark eyes or shades of gray for light eyes--nothing else; no color whatsoever, no shimmer, no sparkle. Where's the fun? Where's the joie de vivre? Where's individual expression? I'd never advocate a woman my age ringing her eyes with vibrant glittery colors, but I think it is perfectly possible to work a bit of color and a hint of shimmer with our neutrals so that we look fashionable without trying too hard. But then, I'm nudging seventy so maybe I'm just in the throes of a second childhood! LOL Anyway, Robinson takes the same my-way-or-the-highway approach to other color cosmetics as well. You know the "Toss the Gloss" in the title? That refers to her oft repeated edict that no women over fifty should ever wear lipgloss of any kind. Despite all Robinson's talk about celebrating who we are and our unique beauty, she then tells us throughout the book that we must do this or that in accordance with her beauty rules or we risk looking like "crypt-keepers"! Yes, "crypt-keepers". Those are Robinson's words; not mine.
Now, here's the kicker: Robinson puts forth the notion that makeup should not be used to recapture the appearance of youth; rather it should be used to enhance our aging features. OK so far. But, after giving us a bunch of rules that ignore our individuality and which are guaranteed to fade us into neutrality, she herself owns up to having had a face lift! I have absolutely no issue with cosmetic procedures tastefully done, but Robinson seems hypocritical to decry the use of makeup to regain a more youthful appearance, but then embrace cosmetic surgery to do the same thing.
All considered, I wouldn't advise anyone to pay full price for this. Wait until it hits the libraries or buy it used.
on April 26, 2014
Was hoping for more depth. Didn't really tell me anything I hadn't already found apparent. The content could really have been delivered in a small pamphlet (Wear sunscreen. Moisturize. Don't wear glittery makeup. Avoid powdery makeup. Go for a "natural" look. Drugstore brands are often the same as high end products. Don't overdo it on cosmetic procedures.). I frequently found myself just skimming over passages, because they were either repeating things said earlier or were just going on and on about how great we should think we are, or how important the author is.
I thought there might be some actual useful makeup selection and application advice, but I found it all to be too general and not detailed. I read other reviews about how helpful the eye makeup info was (and this is largely what influenced me to read this), but I was sorely disappointed. It was basically the same techniques I've been told since the age of 13, but in less detail. And not even with decent diagrams, god forbid any kind of actual photos to demonstrate.
If you're looking for a cheerleader, maybe this book will help you. But if you are wanting more substance you will likely be let down.
on June 18, 2014
I was highly disappointed in this book. It contains no information that you wouldn't already know if you have read 6 months' worth of More, Oprah and/or Real Simple magazines. The skimpy information was padded with giant illustrations and anecdotes from the author's, as she keeps reminding us, decades in the beauty business.
You could get as much for free by watching a couple Bobbi Brown how-to videos or searching YouTube for makeup after 50.
I read this book in 45 minutes because it contained so little real info. The only thing of value was one page about how to do eye makeup. If I could give this 0 stars I would do so.
If you have never read a beauty magazine in your life, this book may help you. However, if you have never read a beauty magazine, you probably don't care about cosmetics and appearance enough to read this book.
P.S. I got a good laugh when she refers to 70s TV star "Farrah Faucet." Obviously, the book was not EDITED by a 50-plus person!
on August 17, 2014
Don't buy this book, if you want it get it from the local library! Its full of info most women over 55 already know. She starts out with 5 basic cosmetics. giving one the idea that your makeup routine should be basic and simple. However, two chapters later adds 5 more to your routine, with some fairly complex process!Her thoughts on nude and brown neutrals for lipstick could be horrendous for some complexions. Too brown lipstick drains me, makes me look tied and sick. I need a pop of color on my lips.
Also, I never buy cosmetics or skin care products without consulting Beautipedia.com or Paulas Choice. Oddly, most of the authors cosmetic suggestions are rated poorly by Paula so don't waste your money on them. The author states you should not use eyeliner liquid, then states powder can be a disaster, but does not mention eye gel liner at all. She gives her suggestion of 5 eye pencils that all migrate and give raccoon eyes after two hours! If you want good advice on makeup at any age go to beautipedia .com. Paula will not send you in the wrong direction, out of thousands of reviews over 12 years and two giant beauty bibles she has probably got a 95 percent correct rating on makeup, skin care and hair products....no easy task! As another writer mentions, getting a face-lift, and writing a book about (supposedly a simple beauty process for women over 50)are in conflict.
All that said I did garner a gem from her book, I was using Nars (orgasm) blush in a powder form and have decided to try to go to cream or stick blush.
on October 10, 2014
I absolutely loved this book! I am a budget-conscious beauty lover with a lot of allergies and a lot of other priorities other than spending a ton of money on the beauty industry's ever-changing trends. Yes, I am under 40 but the tips, tricks, and explanations offered in the book are for the conscious spender who wants to look classic, timeless and do so with smart spending habits. The author is an industry insider who keeps things witty, fresh, and frank throughout the books pages. Some reviews found the information shared a re-hash of the obvious, but considering how much the beauty and cosmetics industry is raking in, apparently things are not as obvious as one would think. In the book, the author talks about the luxury brands, the designer brands, celebrity endorsements, and drugstore deals that can keep any woman looking and feeling her best-without breaking the bank. As a younger woman, I can appreciate learning the truth and saving my hard earned cash. Some of the beauty advice may not be best tailored to women of color or women with more unique skin situations-as I myself fit both of these categories-but I still found this book very insightful and worth a read. Now the price has gone back up, as I bought it when it was only $1.99 and thought it was a good read. If you think the price is a bit much, then go check it browse it somewhere else to ensure you think its a good fit for you.
I remember when I was just out of college, I went for an interview at a small newspaper, where I was to meet the female editor. The secretary walked me into her office, where she was standing with her back to the door, talking on the phone. I sat down and waited: the woman had a nice figure, and absolutely gorgeous long blonde hair, feathered, frosted, and clearly well cared for. She hung up the phone, turned to greet me, and it was all I could do to keep from gasping: she was clearly a woman in her 50s, with a ton of garish makeup on, and not to a good effect. The makeup was overdone, highlighted every wrinkle (and probably some that weren't there.) The face didn't match the hair or figure or clothes.
I've always been on the conservative side with makeup, simply because that's what worked for me. But I never forgot that woman, and the shock of how she looked. Reading 'Toss the Gloss,' I was pretty certain Andrea Q. Robinson may have had a similar experience, but hers was at the beauty counter at Bloomingdales.
The funny thing, though, after flipping through this book, I'm more offended at this advice than I am by women who wear too much of the wrong kind of makeup. You know how you grew up, reading fashion magazines, and being told to be yourself, to be unique, to be an individual? Well, now that you're old, throw that all away! Now you'd better conform to her Robinson's edicts (and make no mistake: they ARE edicts), or you're going to look like a ridiculous old crone.
Take the title, and the thing with lip gloss. I have always hated lip gloss, but that's because it's sticky, doesn't last, and I have dragging my hair through my lips (wind + lip gloss + long hair = mess.) But to be perfectly honest, I don't get what the big deal is. So WHAT if a woman with a few lip lines wears gloss? It's not going to make her look like a battleax!
This book is larded with such dictums. I couldn't settle in and read the big type (you'll be through the text in an hour) without feeling like I was getting stuck with needles. Do this, don't do that, you MUST! Oh, giveth me a freaking break. Anyone who's read magazines and kept up with beauty and fashion knows the rules, and you can see when things that worked before aren't working as well, so you tweak or change them. Robinson seems more horrified by the idea of aging women making themselves look even worse (cause you know, every woman over 40 wants to be 20) by running after their vanished youth.
Reading this book feels like you're stuck in an anthology of Tennessee Williams plays on his varieties of faded southern belles.
I reached the watershed when I got to the lip section. I may not like gloss, but I love red lipstick, all shades, from bright to inky dark. With my coloring, nude lips makes me look like a corpse (although if I was a teenager, I'd do it anyway, like all kiddies do with trends.) But shock, horror, revolt! According to Dame Robinson, as you'd guess, red lipstick is a major sin, although not apparently as big a crime as lip gloss on old ladies.
Right around this time, you'd probably want to know what Robinson looks like. Well, she's very well preserved. If you read on, you discover she's had a facelift (that's after telling everyone else to go easy on the Botox.) I have nothing against a nip and tuck when the time calls for it, but I do have something major against someone with more commandments than Moses who lays down these laws while beating women up for adding a few fun things to their look to make makeup enjoyable.
Reading Robinson, you get the feeling that if you're over a certain age, all you can do is tread water and hope the neighbors are kind to poor old decrepit you. (That's unless you have access to her plastic surgeon.)
Thinking back to that blonde editor with the way overdone face, yes, that's someone who is a Glamour 'before' for certain. But surely the vast majority of women who've are 40 and beyond aren't imbeciles. They have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. Who's to say a bit of glitter on the eyes or cheeks is going to make them look like fools? Robinson?
I don't know, maybe I'm going to have to write the book that addresses makeup for women who aren't kids anymore, but who have also made peace with that reality, and intend to enjoy their looks and make the most of them. I don't think that that means you need a set of makeup commandments set in stone by someone whose most youthful activity was a facelift!
If you've read any issue of Allure since 1990, you need this book like you need frost pink sparkle gloss (actually, does anyone over the age of 12 need that?) But if you've got a yen for that gloss, think of Robinson, smile, strike a blow for women everyone, and gloss away!