Book Review: Get Positively Beautiful

Published late last year, Get Positively Beautiful is the second book from TLC's What Not To Wear resident makeup artist, Carmindy. While The 5-Minute Face had the easily understandable mission of providing a how-to manual for today's busy woman, I found Get Positively Beautiful to be a bit unfocused and thin on new ideas.
At the onset, Carmindy describes her intent in this second book as wanting to dispel the "flaw focus" of most beauty writing and advertising. She feels that the endless articles about making small eyes look bigger or thin lips look fuller helps no one and only reinforces all-too-plentiful insecurities. She argues that all this negativity takes attention away from where it should be -- on the beautiful, unique features that each woman naturally possesses. Instead, she proposes using a "feature focus" by choosing which features of your face are most beautiful to you and using makeup to accentuate them. All of which I completely agree with. But then she goes a bit crazy with this PMA (positive mental attitude) and recommends that you stand in front of your mirror and say slightly wacky things ("mirror mantras") every day. Examples include: My skin is creamy and dreamy. What beautiful cheekbones I have! My eyes look so sparkling and cheerful. I can't imagine myself ever doing this, but I see her point that it is better than lamenting my thin lips every time I look in a mirror.

The rest of the book is devoted to detailing how to accentuate each feature focus: eyes, skin, cheeks, lips, etc. There is also a chapter on various beauty tools and their uses followed by a chapter on streamlining your makeup bag which I thought was quite good. The book finishes out with before and after photos of women of various ages, ethnicities and focus features. Peppered throughout are Q&A's with questions from Carmindy's fans and her answers to them.

Overall, this was a fun book to flip through, but it failed to really grab my attention at any point. The makeovers were probably the best part, but only because it is always fun to see people "made over," and not because she added anything to the standard format. I love Carmindy, but at times her rah-rah cheerleading was a bit overwhelming. It's not that I think she is being insincere, it just isn't a style that I respond to. The photography in this book is lovely but fairly uninspired and there were a strangely large number of typos and grammatical errors. Of her two books, I think that The 5-Minute Face is the stronger and would recommend that one if anyone asked me. The two books don't really differ that much in content, so if you have read or own one of them, there is no pressing need for the other. Carmindy is a beautiful woman and an excellent makeup artist, but I think that if she is considering any additional books, it would be good to offer something new.



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