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Bobbi Brown Living Beauty Hardcover – February 15, 2007
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On the eve of her 50th birthday, bestselling beauty-book author and cosmetics industry icon Bobbi Brown offers expert makeup tips that can redefine beauty for women in midlife. More than 200 full-color photos illustrate her advice.
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This "you but improved" philosophy rings through in all of her books, including the new Living Beauty. Living Beauty is geared towards a more "experienced" reader, i.e., those in their 40s and older, but I am in my early 30s and still find the book very informative.
As with her other books, Brown's most recent publication takes a holistic approach to beauty, covering not only skin care and makeup, but also fitness, nutrition, menopause issues (including bioidentical hormone replacement a la Suzanne Somers), giving birth in your 40s, cosmetic surgery, age-appropriate clothing and hair. The book also contains advice on aging and beauty from a number of famous sophisticates (Susan Sarandon, Vera Wang, Vanessa williams, Marcia Gay Harden, etc., etc.). There are lovely makeovers throughout with explanations of how they were done - makeovers that are actually doable and wearable (no ultra-smokey eye and nude-invisible lips). My favorite parts of the book are the little tidbits of advice from Bobbi scattered throughout - things she has learned throughout the years - e.g., "Watching Adam Sandler in the movie Click I learned that we shouldn't wish away all those annoying tasks. It's called life and it goes fast enough anyway."
I took off one star from my rating solely because there's a lot of information in here that is included in Bobbi's other books and because its applicability is age-specific (20-somethings need not apply...). But, for those over 40 ladies (or younger Brown fans) who want a little life boost without looking like Ivana Trump, I'd highly recommend adding this book to your library.
There is helpful advice on various non surgical skin procedures. While this information can easily be found for free on the net, it's fun to see the before and after photos. I have to wonder how much of the improvement was due to Bobbi's makeup magic. It might have been better to show three photos rather than two, one of the women without makeup before the procedure, one without makeup AFTER the procedure, and one of the post procedure result with Bobbi's makeup.
The advice about diet, exercise, drinking lots of water and portion control is good but not revelatory. And, sorry Bobbi, "plain 'greek' yogurt with chocolate protein powder" will NEVER make my list of favorite treats. There's a smattering of spritualism, as well as info on teeth bleaching, midlife pregnancy, menopause, and cutting edge hormone replacement therapy. Bobbi also addresses problems such as dry skin and adult acne.
Two minor nitpicks; I don't think that Bobbi pays enough attention to eyebrows. Beautifully shaped, full brows can dramatically improve the appearance of a mature woman. Natural beauty aside, it's a myth that your natural brow shape is always the best for your face. Also, there is no index; the table of contents does not list all points made in each chapter, so you must hunt to review specific information.
I disagree with the editorial reviewer on one point; it was the fact that the "women who get it" were not famous that made this chapter refreshing. They are for the most part simply fabulous looking women who happen to be 40+. Though they share the pages with Bobbi's celebrity clients, NORMAL (albeit successful) women are front and center here. That's what ultimately makes this worth the read.
IMO, Bobbi Brown is one of the two most gifted makeup artists of this generation. Only the late Kevyn Aucoin can compare, and his style was often more dramatic and fantasy based. Bobbi's real life philosophy has helped women of all ages and races look at themselves and makeup in a new way to enhance their own, unique beauty. This book will have you celebrating the arc of life as you move beautifully through your middle years.