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Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor    by Linda Wells order for
by Linda Wells
Order:  USA  Can
Bulfinch, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Linda Wells' 'authoritative beauty bible' is as lovely to look at as it is to learn from. But what else could we expect from an author who has been the editor of Allure magazine for the past fifteen years? Wells understands the feminine yearning for glamour and polish, for looking good and feeling good. In this easy to read, casual coffee table book, she shares with readers 'all the best beauty tricks, tips and secrets that she has learned on the job.'

Wells' writing style is breezy, yet with an underlying charm that made me feel as though I was being guided into the sometimes overwhelming world of beauty rituals by a knowledgeable friend. Never preachy or negative, Wells focuses on providing empowerment to her readers. She acknowledges that there is a beauty ideal in the world today that most of us will never measure up to. And that's okay, she tells us in her Introduction. 'Because when fairy tales fail and perfect beauty is out of reach, allure is at your fingertips.'

The book itself comes across much like Allure magazine does: polished, glossy and full of useful information. It's divided into ten chapters, beginning with Skin Care and Skin Problems, and moving on to Face, Eyes, Lips, Nails, Haircut & Color, Hair Care & Style, Salons and Spas, and finally, Body.

Within each chapter, the information is laid out in magazine format. Large fonts in fun colors and vivid photographs accompany short, media-style columns. Beauty myths are tackled with aplomb and certainty, while top-10 lists such as The 10 Commandments of Skin Care remind us that there's more to having healthy, glowing skin than washing our faces before bed. Tricks of the trade, set apart from the rest of the content by pink-bordered boxes, provide quick and easy tips anyone can follow. For example, if you're stranded somewhere without your concealer, don't despair. 'Check the cap of your favorite foundation bottle,' Wells advises. 'The makeup that has collected there is somewhat thicker and perfect for covering up flaws.'

With advice ranging from the best way to fill your brows in order to avoid looking like Joan Crawford, to how to salvage a torn nail or deal with a bad haircut, Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor is remarkably useful. Any woman would benefit from the tips and tricks Wells offers, no matter how much or how little she already knows about beauty rituals.

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