Tag Archives: glamour

Audrey Hepburn

Book Review: How To Be Adored by Caroline Cox

March 8, 2013

How To Be Adored by Caroline Cox

As a book that touts being “A Girl’s Guide To Hollywood Glamour,” How To Be Adored by Carol Cox is a book geared towards helping you achieve that glitzy va va voom.

It is an entertaining read, filled with numerous anecdotal tidbits of hollywood celebrities (past and present) and lots of great beauty tips.

The book begins by tackling the question of glamour. What is glamour? It’s not about having the prettiest face. According to the book, glamour is a certain kind of magical magnetism. It must originate first from belief in your own attractiveness. And is then bolstered by the right combination of artifice… such as “make-up, hair design and all the frills and furbelows of fashion.”

The focus then shifts to how to dress best for your body shape. The shapes are categorized as Ballerinas like Audrey Hepburn, Hourglasses like Marilyn Monroe, “Balconies” like Elizabeth Hurly (big busted and slender-hipped), “Pocket Rockets” like Kylie Minogue (short but well-proportioned) and “Adorably Big and Beautiful” like Mae West. There are tips on figuring out your body shape and how to emphasize your best assets.

The rest of the book goes on to focus on fashion, make-up, hair care, as well as advice on developing an “adorable personality,” modifying your voice to bring out its charm, advice on relationships, how to descend a staircase movie-star-style as well as a list of hotels around the world where you can pose and have your photo taken.

Ok, to be honest, there was a lot of stuff in this book that I found rather silly.

Especially when it came to the do’s and don’ts. Like DON’T swig out of a bottle or a can. You should always drink from a glass with an olive. Or, DON’T date footballers because they will make you look cheap. I mean, who’s laying down these rules? If someone offers me a bottle of Brooklyn Lager I’m definitely going to drink out of it. And what if your footballer boyfriend happens to be a genuinely awesome person?

But anyway, there were some tips that can ring true for anyone and any time.

For example, I pretty much agreed with everything in the “How To Have An Adorable Personality” section.  Who can argue with advice like: Be good at listening. Don’t laugh at others’ mistakes. Be relaxed. And just be nice.

There were also some really interesting makeup and hair care tips. I pored over the sections about how Marilyn Monroe did her makeup, how to achieve Marlene Dietrich’s well-defined cheekbones and how Beyoncé gets her diva glow.

As for haircare, there are tips on how to color your hair if you want to go platinum blonde like Jean Harlow or Gwen Stefani. Or if you want to get highlights like Penelope Cruz without that obviously highlighted streaked look. There are also simple tips on maintaining the quality of your hair and why Mason Pearson brushes are the best hairbrushes in the world.

Unfortunately, there was very little that was said about skincare. The only part dedicated to skincare is a brief explanation of how Audrey Hepburn washed her face with hot water and a solid black cleansing bar fashioned from concentrated minerals. Personally, I don’t advice the use of hot water on your face, or the use of just any old bar of soap.

Despite being so small, the book does a great job of touching on a various range of topics. I especially enjoyed the stories and examples based on hollywood movie stars, especially the old time movie stars like Audrey Hepburn. There are some sections that I think could have been skipped (like the hotels section). I would have preferred it if the author had dedicated more time instead to elaborate on the makeup and hair sections, which I really enjoyed.

Overall, “How To Be Adored” by Caroline Cox is entertaining enough and filled with enough beauty tips and tricks to make it worth your while.


How To Be Adored by Caroline Cox

Glamour Secrets by Marilyn Monroe

Sophia Loren

Audrey Hepburn

The Book: How To Be Adored by Caroline Cox. 2009 Quadrille Publishing Ltd.
Find It: W.H. Smith bookstore in Paris. Or Amazon.com.

Antique Jewelry

Playing With Paperself Lashes

January 23, 2013

Hey, remember when I found these Paperself Lashes during the Beyond Beauty Expo In September? I was practically gushing because of how cool they are, plus the fact that I got to try them on for free.

Paperself Lashes are made from black paper and cut in very intricate styles.

There are a lot of fun, glitzy and funky fake eyelashes out there but I especially like these because they’re not TOO in-your-face-crazy. You can cut them so that from a few feet away, they are easily mistaken for very long, voluminous lashes.

Also noteworthy is the fact that these were the lashes used on Effie Trinket and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Recently, Paperself has come out with two new designs: Polka Dot Pop and Antique Jewelry which you can order on their online store: paperselfstore.com

This is what the Antique Jewelry design looks like:

Antique Jewelry

Paperself Lashes

Also, here’s a tutorial video showing how to play around with Paperself Lashes:

What do you think? Would you try them on?

Book Review: 101 Things To Do Before You Diet by Mimi Spencer

September 24, 2012

“101 Things To Do Before You Diet” has somehow been translated to “Being Beautiful Begins In Your Head” in the french version of the book.

As someone who advocates cultivating beauty from within, I am always interested in books and articles that will give us some insight towards this endeavor. I am less interested in books about dieting. But just so that we can make it clear, “101 Things To Do Before You Diet,” by Mimi Spencer is not a book about dieting. In fact, it opposes the hopeless practices of yo-yo diets and self-deprivation. Spencer instead gives us a coherent framework on how to adopt a saner attitude towards beauty and our bodies.

Exactly as the title suggests, “101 Things To Do Before You Diet” includes 101 easily digestible beauty tips laid out in 11 chapters. The tips are either a variation or an elaboration of a few themes which are Spencer’s focus. Spencer does not claim that these tips are quick fixes to help transform you overnight. Rather, they are lifestyle changes that can be applied throughout the length of your life. These lifestyle changes include shifting your mentality away from the “cult of thinness” with which our society is obsessed, developing more sagacious nutritional habits, choosing fashion styles which flatter your unique body shape and instilling confidence to believe that yes! You are beautiful as you are.

Tip 11: Eat More, But Eat Better

To give you an idea of what this book is about, here are 11 tips from the book taken at random:

1) Stop reading diet books. Live your life, dance the tango, read Plato and other educational books. But stop reading diet books. And stop comparing yourself to the standard of thinness that’s dictated by society.

2)  Eat more… but eat better. In the end, we know already what foods are good for us: eat more green and purple veggies, opt for slow carbs, avoid processed foods, etc. But if we get sidetracked by a delicious slice of cake, relax–life is meant to be enjoyed.

3) Bodyshapers to give you a bombshell silhouette. Buy yourself some body shaping underpants. These lycra underpants are huge: in size and popularity. But they can really help to bring it all in–flatten the stomach, shape the thighs and lift the butt. This is just one of many other tips on fashion and using “optical illusions” to help flatter your body shape.

4) Eat Fresh Produce, and May The Force Be With You. If you want to feel in top form eat a more varied diet stemming from fresh plants. Eat in season, use fresh herbs generously and think organic.

5) Small indulgences, great satisfaction. Depriving yourself is not a way to live. So when you want to indulge, go for real foods as opposed to fake foods with zero calories. When you indulge, go for the good stuff like red wine, real butter and real chocolate. And keep these small occasional indulgences just that, small and occasional.

6) Never buy clothes for the person that you would like to be, but for the person that you are. I’m sure we’ve all done this at some point. You buy a dress that you think will fit you once you lose ten pounds. In the meantime, you’ve missed out on a dress that could look great on you now as you are.

7) Keep an eye on your portions. Over the years, food portions have dramatically increased. When you see a big plate filled with food, your appetite will increase proportionally. When you see a smaller plate with food, your mind will eventually adjust to the smaller portion. It’s just psychology. And by the way, stop thinking that small portions are small. They are normal portions for human beings.

8) Adopt a hairstyle that goes well with the shape of your face. And not a hair style that you’ve cut out from a magazine. As for coloring your hair, pick a color that complements your skin tone.

9) Stop being sedentary. We humans are not made to spend the majority of our time sitting. So make yourself move! Take the stairs, get off the bus at the stop before your actual stop, ride your bike, play with kids, adopt a dog and walk that dog, or simply just get up from where you are sitting now.

10) Get a handle on your stress. People who are constantly stressed release a stress hormone that makes them gain weight. The idea is to let go of whatever is bothering you and do something that will help you reduce your stress like going for a walk, meditating or taking a bath.

11) Beauty is already inside you. You don’t have to be a celebrity, or incredibly slim or rich to find your own quintessence which makes you a woman like no other. When you feel comfortable in your own skin, in your own age, in your own body and in your own style, you will radiate harmony and grace. When you are at peace with yourself and take care of your body the way that it takes care of you, your body will eventually balance out and find its own natural weight.

So, ok, I didn’t just randomly pick these 11 tips out of the book. They are tips that really resonated with me. Most of them are ideas which I’ve already touched upon in some of the articles I’ve written on Ziba (scroll back to my article on The Beauty of Harmony). And even if they are not necessarily brand new ideas, it’s important to remind ourselves of them from time to time. Because sometimes, we neglect our common sense and get caught up in the silly pressures of society to be impossibly thin and conform to unrealistic standards of beauty. I know what it’s like to live under the weight of a weight obsession. It sucks! I’m done with that nonsense. “101 Things To Do Before You Diet” by Mimi Spencer provides an alternative to a life constrained by rigid diets and calorie-counting.

Overall, “101 Things To Do Before You Diet” is a book that’s both insightful and entertaining. Although it’s not the type of book that kept me reading from front to cover, it should be kept by the coffee table and read and re-read for regular perspective. I enjoyed Spencer’s great sense of humor (read the little section on how NOT to eat, i.e. you have crumbs on your clavicles and on your keyboard, you are eating while putting lipstick on or sitting on the toilet) and as I looked more into her background, I have become even more impressed with her.

In brief, Mimi Spencer is a british fashion journalist and often writes for the Daily Mail. After reading some of her articles, I gathered that she is still actively waging a war against what she calls “The Cult of Thinness.” I look forward to reading more of her books, but in the meantime, you can find her most recent articles on the Daily Mail.

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