Book Review: The 5-Minute Face

Even though it was published in 2007, I just recently picked up The 5 Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman ($15). The book is authored by Carmindy, whom we all know from TLC's What Not To Wear and as the inspiration behind Sally Hansen's Natural Beauty line of cosmetics (I'm a fan of the bronzer). The content of this book makes perfect sense if you've ever watched What Not To Wear. Every woman on that show reports that she doesn't have enough time to do makeup and Carmindy reassures them with "I'm going to give you a quick and easy five minute face that you can do and be out the door!" This always seems to persuade them, or at least, they are too polite to disagree with her.

So the 5 Minute Face is her thing and she decided to write a book about it. I really like her personal philosophy as it aligns with my own view of why I use makeup. Here is how she describes it:

When it comes to using makeup, I believe in using the right products in the right places to highlight your best features, instead of piling on products to re-create your face or hide perceived flaws. I don't believe that women are flawed or that there is any set standard of beauty they MUST meet.

The book covers all the basics of beauty: skin care, brow grooming, use of foundation, selecting colors for your skin tone and age, and special occasion looks. All of these are built upon the foundation that she lays out as the 5 Minute Face. Not to keep your guessing, the 5 Minute Face is essentially this: use foundation or tinted moisturizer to even skin tone, use concealer as needed to spot conceal, dust on a light powder to set, strategic use of highlighter, apply blush, line the lash line, apply mascara and add some color to the lips. She walks through all these steps demonstrating proper application with beautiful full page pictures. She also anticipates trouble spots and suggests solutions. A chapter on "Trends" describes how to take the basic 5 Minute Face into something more.

I found that I really liked this book for several reasons. One is that the color photography is beautiful and the pictures provide as much information as the text. The other thing she does that I really like is provide photographic samples of different makeup colors that she suggests. For example, she puts a pile a rosy pink blush next to a suggestion to use rosy pink blush. This is a nice detail because it shows that she is really attuned to the needs of the makeup novice. Once you are steeped in this stuff, you don't think twice about what a shimmery taupe or a berry red is, but for women not used to the lingo, the visual cue is very helpful. I also like her attention to makeup across the age ranges. Certainly your look should change as you age and as your skin changes and Carmindy provides good guidelines for how to manage those transitions without losing the fun. I also like the tone of the book. It isn't overly optimistic or giddy, but helpful and can-do. She makes the point that makeup isn't something to stress about. It doesn't have to be complicated to be effective as long as you remember that the goal is enhancing the beauty you already have.

This book is geared toward the makeup novice, but old hands will likely find a useful tip or two inside. It's definitely worth checking out, if not for purchase, then from the local library.



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