Sunday, 13 March 2016

On my Fire tablet: A review of Your Beauty Mark by Dita Von Teese...

From burlesque show to fashion runway, magazine cover to Internet video, fashion icon and “burlesque superheroine” (Vanity Fair) Dita Von Teese has undergone more strokes of red lipstick, bursts of hair spray, boxes of blue-black hair dye and pats of powder in a month than a drag queen could dream of in a lifetime. Whether she’s dazzling audiences swirling in a towering martini glass in Swarovski-covered pasties and stilettos or sparking camera flashes on the red carpet, one reality is constant: for this self-styled star, beauty is an art. Now, for the first time in her Technicolor career, Dita divulges the beauty wisdom that keeps her on international best-dressed lists and high-profile fashion show rosters in this illustration and photography-filled opus.
In Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour, Dita and co-writer Rose Apodaca take you through every step of Dita’s glamour arsenal, and includes friends—masters in makeup, hair, medicine, and exercise as well as some of the world’s most eccentric beauties—for authoritative advice. This 400-page book is packed with sound nutrition and exercise guidance, skincare and scent insight, as well as accessible techniques for creating bombshell hairstyles and makeup looks. Among the hundreds of lavish color photographs, instructive step-by-step images and original illustrations by Adele Mildred, this inspiring resource shares the skills, history, and lessons you need to enhance your individual gifts and realize your own beauty mark.

I really enjoyed Dita's writing style as she makes the tips and stories personal; it feels like you are chatting with her over afternoon tea rather then reading a book, with her coming across as friendly and intelligent.  A major plus.

As well as (the illustrated or with photos) step-by-step guides for major aspects of recreating the pin-up glamour look such as Dita's favourite hairstyles and the perfect manicure, there are also other small tips scattered throughout the book in italics for readers to take away; ranging from a recipe for a sweet drink minus loads of sugar and other additives, to making your own powder compact refills. The advise and tips don't just come from Dita either; for example her photographer friends, dermatologist and nutritionist add their advise and tips too. These additional sources really help to stop the advice from becoming a cold, clinical laundry list of what to and what not to do.

As you would hope and expect from a beauty guide, Your Beauty Mark is richly illustrated; as well as the step-by-step guides, there are plenty of professional portraits, magazine portraits, promotional shots, paparazzi snaps, and some personal photos of Dita [including one of her in a 'regular girl' Halloween costume - jeans and a wig of her natural hair colour]. In addition to that the blocks of text are broken up a bit with various tips and what she finds to be inspirational quotes so you can make sure that you have taken the information in fully before moving on.

I imagine that most people who buy Your Beauty Mark will want to use it as a actual what-to-buy guide for achieving Dita's signature style - this is where it loses a star. There are no guides for recreating any of Dita's complete looks which is a shame, as if you're getting ready to go out, to a party  etc, it would have saved a lot time from flicking though the book to find the bit you need. And sure, the book is full of these tidbits (skincare brands, perfume, foundation, lipsticks, hair dye, nail polish, mascara etc), but most of the times these nuggets are just casually mentioned in the main body of writing of whichever chapter we're reading. so yeah, the layout could be a touch more reader friendly.

Also; I found the overabundance of the details a bit dull sometimes [e.g. The different types of hairbrushes on the market], and I found myself skipping a few bits in response. 

Overall; I found Your Beauty Mark enjoyable, but unless you are a huge Dita fan I'd say borrow the book from a library rather then buying it, as the more casual reader probably wouldn't bother rereading it.

Hardback book - £17.00
Kindle edition - £9.99

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