The Barnes & Noble Review
Princess Mia, Grandmère, and other priceless characters are giving sound advice on being a royal in this hilarious Princess Diaries book from Meg Cabot.
Wondering how to prevent your tiara from falling off? What about keeping your skin squeaky clean? And those nasty military threats from neighboring principalities -- what a hassle! These problems and more are answered in many sidesplitting sections introduced by Princess Mia, from Chez Paolo's Paolo on beauty tips to Tina Hakim Baba's take on "The Mysterious World of Guys" to Prince René's advice on being a sport. Other guest entries include wisdom about etiquette, fashion, and education, and Princess Mia winds up the guide with heartening final opinions on the true qualities of a real princess ("Being a princess is more of an attitude, really, than a way of life.")
With Cabot's Princess Lessons in hand, any girl will be talking the regal talk and walking the royal walk in no time. Princess Mia's sage words will speak to any aristocratic wannabe, while Chesley McLaren's splendidly simple illustrations are the perfect match. A how-to handbook that's most certainly as grand as the crown jewels themselves. Shana Taylor
Read an Excerpt
Princess Lessons: A Princess Diaries Book
A Note from
Her Royal Highness Princess Mia
Real princesses always try to look their best -- but, um, my best is probably totally different from yours. There are lots of different kinds of beauty. Like those models we see on magazine covers? A lot of people might hold them up as, like, the epitome of perfection and all of that, but just remember, in France it's considered beautiful not to shave under your arms.
So you see, beauty is really relative.
Princesses, like people, come in all different shapes and sizes. There is no one look that is right for everyone. Having a healthy body is way more important than having a body that looks good in low-rise jeans. And of course being a nice person is the most important thing of all. Throughout history, princesses have been remembered not for the waist size of their 501s, but for the good deeds they performed while they were on the throne.
There's one thing that looks good on everyone, though: confidence. Have confidence in yourself and your looks, and others will see your outer beauty as well as the inner.
That's what everybody keeps telling me, anyway.
owner and proprietor of Chez Paolo, New York City
I, Paolo, am the one who turned the Principessa Amelia from Ugly Duckling into Swan. You, too, can look like a princess, if you follow Paolo's simple rules.
Beauty is molto importante, but so often overdone! A princess's look is bella, healthy, and well groomed.Fresh is the goal, and mascara, blush, and gloss are the tools that will get you there.
Everyone -- especially I, Paolo -- loves to play with makeup. But remember, a mask works only at Halloween! Do not slather on foundation or eyeshadow unless you want to scare your populace (also, your parents won't like it so much, no?). Natural and bella is the way Paolo urges all you little principessas to go. If you want the dramatic look of black kohl and scarlet lipstick, join your school drama club (I spit on kohl). And do not come crying to Paolo if all the little princes, they run from you in horror. Only if you follow Paolo's way can you be assured molto perfetto!
What every principessa should have in her handbag (besides cab fare, breath mints, emergency tiara, and hairbrush):
3 Lipstick or gloss
3 Pressed powder compact (to get rid of shiny nose)
3 Concealer (for dark circles under eyes due to that late-night romantic tryst, no? Also for blemishes)
3 Eye pencil
What every principessa should have in her bathroom (besides a phone and small television so she can keep abreast of world events even while bathing the royal body):
3Facial cleanser, exfoliator (or use a washcloth, but gently!), and moisturizer
3 Astringent, toner, acne medication, beauty masks
3 Foundation, concealer (for dark circles/blemishes)
3 Eye shadow, liner (no kohl -- Paolo spits on kohl!)
3 Blush (natural color -- unless you want to look like a clown principessa)
3 Manicure set (nail polish, nail file, nail cutter)
3 Hair products (shampoo, conditioner, styling products, etc.)
Paolo's Princess Beauty Regimen
The look for royals? Fresh and clean! To get it, follow the beauty routine I designed for the Principessa Amelia:
- Wash face morning and night with gentle cleanser. Follow with exfoliant, if needed (even royals get blackheads! No joke!), and blemish product or moisturizer.
- Wash hair with gentle shampoo once a day, or every other day. Follow with conditioner. Use a wide-toothed comb to get out tangles. No one wants to see a bald principessa!
- Hair products such as mousse or gel, used sparingly, can help control a mane gone wild or give body to thin hair. Find the product that works best for you by consulting a professional hair stylist, like me, Paolo, or by experimenting at home.
- Bathe or shower daily. Principessas are known for smelling nice, no?
- Deodorant/antiperspirant is a must! Whether you are playing croquet all day, or sitting under the hot lights of a television studio being interviewed by a famous news journalist, a principessa never lets them see her sweat -- I mean, perspire.
- Shave or wax unwanted body hair. The Principessa Amelia insists that this is a personal choice, and that women should not feel that they have to shave just to conform with "the societal mores of their culture." I, Paolo, could not disagree more strongly -- even if you are French.
- Waxing is messy and can cause rashes! It is best left to salon professionals like me, Paolo. Hair removal products like depilatories are expensive, smell bad, and don't remove all the hair. A good razor and lots of shaving cream is the way to go if you choose to be hair-free, as a principessa should be (even French ones).
And please, for Paolo, if you have hair growing from your upper lip or chin, pluck or bleach it (follow the instructions carefully on facial bleach packages). Never shave your face. No principessa should have razor burn over the lip!
- Even nervous nail biters like the Principessa Amelia can have pretty nails! Keep them neatly trimmed and polished with clear gloss (dark polish makes nails look shorter). Pushing back the cuticles also can make bitten nails look longer.
Everyone is coming to Paolo, crying like a baby: "Oh, my hair is curly! Make it straight! Principessas have the straight hair!"
Well, I, Paolo, would like to say something:
Principessas can have curly hair. Principessas can have straight hair. Principessas can have dark hair. Principessas can have blond hair. Principessas may have cornrows, extensions, crew cuts, and dreads. The key to having the hair of a true principessa is:
Princess Lessons: A Princess Diaries Book. Copyright © by Meg Cabot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
A principessa's hair must be clean
A principessa's hair must not be in her eyes
A principessa's hair must not take more than fifteen minutes to style