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Beauty: The New Basics

Beauty: The New Basics

by Rona Berg, Anja Kroenke (Illustrator), Debra Jaffe (Photographer)

Big, ebullient, brimming over with know-how and passion, Beauty by Rona Berg is the only beauty book you'll ever need-a one-size-fits-all, 500-page guide of information, anecdotes and attitude. Illustrated throughout in two-color and featuring a 96-page full-color section, Beauty is filled with step-by-step how-tos, professional techniques, brand and


Big, ebullient, brimming over with know-how and passion, Beauty by Rona Berg is the only beauty book you'll ever need-a one-size-fits-all, 500-page guide of information, anecdotes and attitude. Illustrated throughout in two-color and featuring a 96-page full-color section, Beauty is filled with step-by-step how-tos, professional techniques, brand and product comparisons, and inside tips gleaned from a pro's pro who's covered the world of beauty for The New York Times Magazine, Elle magazine and other national publications.

The book tackles all three major categories-The Face, Hair, The Body. The emphasis is on simplicity and a healthy, natural approach, and the range cuts across all ethnicities and ages. There are five minute skin regimes, facials, makeup tricks and health tips. How to reduce stress in the bath and pamper yourself with an easy home spa. The long and short of hair care-including what to do on bad hair days. Remedies for beauty emergencies (eyes puffy from fatigue? do what the models do and use a dab of Preparation H). Plus make-overs, recipes, historical lore, stories, time-lines, and an extensive glossary and list of resources. It's a knock-out.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Freshly presented and jam-packed with useful information, this essential beauty reference is impossible to put down. In addition to instructions and product recommendations for all the basics of hair, makeup, and skin care, the book also features little-known tips for everything from trimming your own bangs to why you should never use foundation or blush on your lips.

While author Rona Berg doesn't shy away from naming names, listing plenty of options for the best products in each price range, the book is not entirely about buying products. Readers will find ample make-it-yourself recipes for face masks, bath soaks, and more, as well as important warnings about ingredients or treatments to avoid and easy at-home remedies (like using half a lemon to moisturize elbows, heels, and knees). And the overall focus of the book is teaching readers to make the choices and learn the techniques that will leave them looking and feeling beautiful. Drawings and full-color photos illustrate the techniques or styles being discussed, and the use of charts and boxes to highlight information makes Beauty just as much fun to flip through as it is to read. By viewing beauty practices and rituals in their historical context, the book also manages to give readers an occasional history lesson and add a slightly intellectual spin to what is commonly perceived as a frivolous pursuit.

Beauty: The New Basics is for every woman, whether she's an adolescent who needs to learn the fundamentals of applying makeup or a more mature reader looking for secrets about aging gracefully and beautifully. No matter how laid-back or rigorous your beauty routine, chances are you'll find a slew of valuable gems in this fantastic book (did you know that the best mascara is actually that drugstore brand you've been using since high school?). So read on and be beautiful! (Karen Burns)

Working Mother
Chock-full of illustrative makeovers, essential info including the lowdown on products.
Town & Country
It's never too late to teach a beauty editor new tricks - and I picked up a few from these excellent primers...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
New looks for the new century come courtesy of Rona Berg, former beauty editor of the New York Times Magazine and Elle. In Beauty: The New Basics she demystifies the subject with thorough discussions and recommendations. The emphasis is on beauty from within and making the most of one's own attributes. Her models are real women at various stages of maturity, and she doesn't shy away from discussing aging early on. In each section Berg evaluates products on the market, offers advice on inexpensive alternatives and includes her own "Rona's Remedies." She encourages comparison shopping, experimentation and having fun in the process. A glossary and appendixes on cosmetic surgery, sources, spas and salons and a reading list enhance this friendly, supportive guide. ( Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Beauty: The New Basics provides an all-body beauty guide for women, from bad hair day remedies to general tips for hair, face, and body. 'Before' and 'after' makeover pictures and insights on how make-up can be applied for different results accompanies chapters which focus on all aspects of beauty. If only one beauty book were chosen for a collection, Beauty: The New Basics should be the item of choice.

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.46(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.85(d)

Read an Excerpt


What is beauty? Does anyone really know? We search for it and make art to try to capture its essence. We share in the pleasure of it, and when it seems absent from our daily lives, we long for it. We thrive on it-and are often willing to suffer for it. Beauty is personal and political. It is elusive and eternal. It is many things: strength, confidence, passion, grace-a sense of style, a turn of

head, a state of mind. In truth, no one can say exactly what beauty is, but one thing is certain: Every woman wants it.

As a fashion editor and beauty writer for the past 15 years, I've investigated and reported on the stuff that beauty's made of; and as a woman, I've consumed it. I've attended hundreds of product launches, press conferences, and industry debuts. Truckloads of products have crossed my desk. Not only have I sampled virtually every hair mask, cleanser, powder, and detoxifying body treatment in existence, I've analyzed each one.

I've covered the industry from a few unusual perspectives: scribbling

notes as I lay half-naked on massage tables or in scented aromatherapy baths. Backstage at fashion shows in Paris, Milan, and New York, where I watched the bare-faced, ponytailed Kate Moss and Christy Turlington arrive in jeans and T-shirts, and emerge, hours later, like painted butterflies. I've soaked up tricks and tips from the pros, and I've absorbed everyone's behind-the-scenes beauty

secrets. I share the best of them in this book: how Bobbi Brown gives

Moss's skin such a dewy glow (baby oil), how FrTdTric Fekkai adds

volume to Claudia Schiffer's hair (StiffStuff), what makes Naomi

Campbell's lashes look so long (Maybelline Great Lash). I've interviewed cosmetic chemists, industry executives, top dermatologists, leading plastic surgeons, and aestheticians, and seen that there's a lot of good products out there-and plenty of brilliant spin.

Like many women, you've probably left a cosmetics counter dazed, dizzy, and suddenly $150 poorer. You got home and wondered: What is all this? And so I've cut through the hype to create a book that's jam-packed with everything you'll need to become not only an informed consumer but an expert on how to attain head-to-toe beauty through gentle, healthy means. You'll learn about ingredients so you can decode a cosmetics label and enough about skin cells, hair follicles, and oil glands so you understand the effect of products on your body. We all want to know whether status brands like Chanel and EstTe Lauder are really better than cheaper, mass-market brands like Revlon and Maybelline, or

whether Avon's inexpensive alpha-hydroxy acids measure up to

Elizabeth Arden's pricier ones. What do makeup artists and hairstylists know that we don't? In the real world, women need simple, straightforward, real information, and the kinds of shortcuts, tips, and techniques that you'll find in this book. The less intimidated you are, the more fun you'll have exploring the realm of beauty.

As most mothers know, almost as soon as little girls are old enough to look in the mirror, they get together with friends and style their hair, paint their nails, and rub fire-engine-red Crayolas on their lips. Hopefully this book will bring back some of that liberating sense of play you felt when you first experimented with makeup as a child. Applying makeup can be immensely satisfying once you have the confidence to play in your paint box. The right stuff and the attitude behind its use can transform you into a more confident, more beautiful version of yourself. Unlike most authors of beauty books, I am not a makeup artist, aesthetician, or hairstylist. I have no products to sell, though I do

recommend what I believe to be the best across a broad spectrum, from blush to body scrubs and for all skin colors and types. I've evaluated products on overall quality, healthfulness of ingredients, effectiveness, and sensory appeal.

When Elle magazine premiered in 1985, I found myself editing the hottest fashion and beauty magazine launch in history, at a time when standards of beauty were radically changing in America. In the 1970s, leggy blondes like Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley were the main models. But changing demographics over the next decades helped African American, Latin, and Asian models transform traditional Western standards of what is beautiful. Images of full-figured women in magazines broke through a barrier for women of all sizes. Now, every woman can see a gorgeous reflection of herself-and this book reflects that, too.

It's been a long struggle. I'm reminded of a striking photo by Horst, the renowned fashion photographer. Electric Beauty depicts a woman with a heat

mask on her face, an electric nail buffer in her hand, her legs in a bucket of suds, and her body encircled by cords. She is bound, gagged, and about to be

electrocuted by her own beauty regimen. I'd like to believe that Horst's view of the lengths women go for beauty is passT, and if this book accomplishes one thing, I hope it will help women realize that cosmetics exist to empower-not enslave them.

These days, most women prefer to seek out beauty by less risky,

gentler, more pleasurable means. We want to reveal, not conceal, our

natural beauty and let our true selves shine through. After all,

beauty begins in the brain, and what makes us truly beautiful is born

well below the surface: a gleam in our eye, an ear-to-ear grin, a

bounce in our step. But sometimes a little powder or a little paint

doesn't hurt-just a little, of course. So dig in, play around, and,

most of all, enjoy.

Five of Rona's Top Ten Trade Secrets:

- Dab a spot of vanilla eyeshadow under the arch of your brow - it will open up the eyes and make you look less tired.

- Put a bit of toothpaste on a pimple to dry it up overnight.

- Buy brushes in an art supply store and use them instead of the one that comes with blush.

- Looking tired and droopy for a big night out? Do what models do. Apply Preparation H under the eyes and on wrinkles. It'll decrease puffiness and smooth lines (temporarily).

- Dry brush your body regularly before you bathe or shower, and you'll never need moisturizer again.

Meet the Author

Rona Berg is the former beauty editor for the New York Times Magazine. She was Editorial Director of Elle magazine and writes for numerous national publications, including Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Mirabella, Self, and Mademoiselle. Ms. Berg lives in New York City.

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