THE FOLLOWUP TO BOBBI BROWN’S FIRST BEAUTY GUIDE IS A BOOK TARGETED TO TEENS. IN IT, THE COSMETICS QUEEN COVERS EVERYTHING FROM ZITS TO THE PROM AND EVEN SNEAKS IN SOME ADVICE FOR THOSE POOR SOULS WHOSE PARENTS DON’T LET THEM WEAR MAKEUP.
Byline: Nicole Catanese
NEW YORK — Bobbi Brown, the creator of an essential beauty line, is now the author of an essential teen beauty guide.
Her new book, Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty: Everything You Need to Look Pretty, Natural, Sexy & Awesome, addresses the issues that young teens face and attempts to ease their struggles by providing knowledge from a higher source — a makeup artist. The topics covered range from makeup techniques, hair care, runway secrets and skin care — of course, there is a major emphasis on zits! — to braces, proms, celebrities and mother-daughter relationships.
The $25 hardcover book, which is Brown’s second, went on sale this month at Bobbi Brown counters and selected bookstores. Her first book sold 150,000 copies, and this one could do as well, given how hot the teen market is today.
As a 20-year-old college student, I thought that I would be too old to relate to this book, but I wasn’t. There were numerous times that I laughed out loud or thought in my head, “Oh, I did that!” or “I never knew that!” But it wasn’t merely a trip down memory lane. I actually learned things about cosmetics that I didn’t know and picked up several tips about makeup application. The book even inspired me to take more time to put my makeup on in the morning.
The book is certainly an improvement over the boring beauty advice books I remember reading when I was a teenager. It’s easy to read, as it’s mostly blurbs and lists, and it speaks directly to the reader.
Much of the book addresses self-esteem, but it goes a bit overboard in making all teens sound like they need counseling. However, there is a lot of self-help information for those teens struggling through this awkward period of their lives. One of the chapters, I Hate______(A Like-Yourself Lesson), deals entirely with self-esteem issues. In it, girls discuss what makes them self-conscious and Brown offers advice.
To further drive home her message about self-acceptance, many of the photographs are of “normal” teenagers instead of models. The photography in general is well done, especially the poster-worthy still-life pictures.
In one chapter, Brown discusses various body types, including large, naturally skinny, tall and short. She reassures larger framed girls that “big bones and a meaty frame can be beautiful and sexy.” But one part of the chapter is confusing. A paragraph on society’s distorted image of the perfect body is illustrated with photos of Courteney Cox and Calista Flockhart. Yet, on the opposite page, those two actresses are mentioned as role models for girls who are naturally thin.
Brown also reinforces some stereotypes about female athletes in Chapter 28: The Athletic Look. The subhead reads “Being an athlete doesn’t mean looking like a guy,” and the text notes that “most athletes do like girly stuff too.”
I especially liked Bobbi’s 10 Basic Rules of Teen Beauty, which are basically makeup rules to live by. The funniest for me was Rule Number 9: Avoid a makeup war. “As long as you are still a minor, your parents rule…If you choose to go against the rules, just be smart enough to go for something natural like brown mascara or pink lip gloss. Slipping out of the house in green glitter shadow was never easy for me!”
I couldn’t help but remember how I would evade my mother by putting on my mascara and lipstick as I walked to my intermediate school each morning.
I also liked the information on skin care, and not just because I’m obsessed with my skin. The book provides useful tips on choosing the best products for your skin type and explains what to expect from a visit to the dermatologist. As for acne, Brown explains how to care for zits and cover them up, but she stresses that in most cases, acne is never as bad as it seems.
Brown even provides a recipe for a homemade body scrub made from olive oil, rock salt and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Surprisingly, Brown barely pushes her own line and the products in the still-life shots are free of labels. However, she does advocate buying quality beauty products instead of stuff found in “your local dime store’s $1 bin.”
Overall, I enjoyed the book and have even adopted Brown’s beauty mantra as my own: “Sleep and rest and happiness and healthy living make you your prettiest.” How true.