Sorry, this may seem like cheating on my list. But it's yet another book that I get to put in the "completed" pile and get off my nightstand.
Okay, this isn't so much a novel as a really large beauty magazine. But hey, no ads! The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman provides some interesting tips from Carmindy of TLC's "What Not to Wear".
I love beauty products. Love buying them, love playing with them, and love reading reviews. So I don't necessarily need instructions on how to choose a foundation or what to do with my eyebrows (though this book did make me realize that I need to work on my eyeliner application). But I actually know a lot of women who are somewhat clueless about what products are best for their skin (or, ahem, age). So this book could be helpful for someone who needs some tutoring on products as well as a step-by-step guide for the basics (Carmindy's infamous 5-minute face routine), plus some popular special occasion looks.
My biggest problem with the book, and this was voiced by Amazon reviewers as well, is that there aren't any photos of regular women. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of photos. Many photos of the lovely Carmindy, as well as whichever model she uses to illustrate the technique on. The problem is, we know those women can be made to look gorgeous, because you know, they're models. It would be a lot more helpful to have before and after photos of those techniques used on average women, to see what a difference proper makeup application makes.
I did actually get a few ideas about some new products and tools to try. Though Carmindy also gives plenty of trade tips for quick fixes that don't require a toolbox full of professional cosmetics. There's some color guidance for all skin types and ages. And at the back of the book, she gives a product guide including her favorite high end products, as well as their inexpensive counterparts.