Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Parent Bloggers Network: Beauty Confidential

When Parent Bloggers Network said they needed bloggers to review the book Beauty Confidential by Nadine Haobsh, you better believe I jumped at the chance! Usually I join in on book reviews because I’m a total bibliophile but this book I knew I really needed to read.

When it comes to fashion and makeup I’m about as low maintenance as a person could get. I hardly ever wear makeup because to be honest, I’m not very good at choosing colors or putting it on. My sister works in hair and makeup but me? Yeah, so not happening! While I might be low maintenance it’s only because I’ve never been very good at doing my makeup. I even had a makeup artiste try to teach me about 5 years ago and I’m afraid none of that knowledge stuck.

Up until three years ago I was able to pride myself on “natural beauty”. If I didn’t wear makeup it was no big deal but when a sudden hit by cancer came all that went down the drain. After my second surgery I was left with a very big and very ugly U-shaped scar taking up most of my neck and leaving me feeling immensely ugly. So ugly that I felt makeup was no longer needed because even it couldn’t help stop the stares I get and make people focus on my face again.

Recently though I’ve come to terms with my scar and while I can’t hide it I can do something about the rest of me. I’m 32 years old and have no wrinkles or gray hairs so I’m already better off than many of my compadres (even my sister has a few wrinkles and gray hairs at 30. Is it evil that I laugh every time I think about that?). All I have to do is feel better about my appearance and that is all that matters- feeling good for me.

So the offer to review Beauty Confidential came along at a perfect time and the moment I got it I started to read it from cover to cover. I’ll be honest and say that usually I would lose interest in a beauty book before even getting halfway because they are most times pretty boring but not this one Nadine Haobsh has written. Nadine (or “Jolie in NYC" as she is known the internet over) has something the other books don’t and that’s a very witty and funny sense of humor. She jokes throughout the whole book and really tries to let you know that she’s just as human as the rest of us. Heck, she even reveals her own flaws in the book and makes sure you can relate to her as a person first and beauty expert second.

When the book says “The no preaching, no lies, advice-you’ll-actually-use guide to looking your best”, well it’s truly how Nadine tries to come across. She doesn’t pull any punches yet she doesn’t make herself sound better than anyone else like in most beauty books I’ve read. This is a gal I could sit down for lunch with and probably end up laughing hysterically at her stories. She’s one funny chic!

Ms. Haobsh was a beauty editor for Ladie’s Home Journal until they found out that as “Jolie In NYC” she was exposing secrets of the beauty industry to everyday women just like you and me on her blog. The horror of it all right? Well this led to her being “let go” by said magazine as well as having Seventeen rescind an offer they had on the table. Ouch.

While at the time I’m sure it sucked, she can sure thumb her nose now can’t she? With a successful blog and what I see as a successful book as well added to her resume, those same magazines may soon be banging on her door again. Hopefully she’ll tell them to "bite her" though. Why? It’s the sassy thing to do and she hits me as a sassy kinda gal.

In Nadine’s book she talks about beauty blunders we all make, how to fix several of them, step-by-step instructions on many things like home waxing and make-up selection, and even a product price guide at the end of every chapter so you know the price range you’re looking at if YOU want to have the products. While some of the products she lists are expensive to your average stay at home mom (like moi), she does also list several that are more in our price range as well thus proving that you don’t have to be a beauty editor to look good. We ALL can do it.

Reading this book gave me something that all the beauty magazines I’ve tried reading couldn’t- a guide essentially for dummies also known as the "beauty product challenged" like myself. With her straight foreword advice and tips I found it much easier to get the look I want without all the tears and cringing. Who knew beauty was such a pain in the ass! Thanks to Nadine though it’s only a mild irritation in my life now and I’m actually wearing makeup again.

Since my friends are very much like me (stay at home moms, no time for beauty, feeling frumpy), I will definitely recommend this book to them and even tell my sister to read it and see what she thinks. Heck, after seeing some of the orange eyeshadow sister dear has worn maybe it will help even her! So I will recommend it to them but bitches better not even ask to borrow it! It’s mine and Beauty Confidential is staying close to mama for a long while to come!