As much fun as it is to scroll through Instagram or catch up on your favourite blogs (hopefully this one!), nothing can replace that warm, fuzzy feeling of curling up with a great book.
If you're like me and love anything to with beauty, style or health, then I've got some reading recommendations for you!
Here are 13 recent additions to my library, including:
- A look at the most fascinating celebrity routines
- A super-practical resource for solving your skin issues
- One of the most useful books EVER on personal style
- The ultimate health and nutrition guide!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did...
If you're a beauty voyeur who likes hearing about other people's skin, hair and makeup routines, then you will love Skin Deep by Bee Shapiro. The author writes a column by the same name in The New York Times, and shares 40 of those interviews here, along with 10 new ones.
Her subjects include celebs, entrepreneurs and beauty experts, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Bobbi Brown, Jen Atkin, Kylie Jenner and Zoë Kravitz, to name a few. There are also expert tips from Rose-Marie Swift, Patrick Ta, Dr. Dennis Gross and more.
Just make sure you read it with a pen and paper handy, as you're bound to discover tons of new products to add to your wish list!
Skin Cleanse isn't so much a "cleanse," but a resource that can help you pinpoint the cause of of your skin issues. The author, Adina Grigore, is the founder of S.W. Basics (which has the shortest ingredients lists on the market!), and cured her own sensitive skin by eliminating topical and dietary triggers.
The chapter on toxic ingredients and will open your eyes (if I haven't already), and there are some great DIY recipes for safer products. However, she considers the inside to be as important as the outside, so there's also advice on foods to avoid and how to nourish your skin from within.
I have a different opinion a few things (such as dairy, which I explain here), but overall the tips are really solid!
How to Heal Your Metabolism
If there's one book that will TRULY improve your health, it's How to Heal Your Metabolism by Kate Deering. Kate is a holistic health coach who offers a completely different perspective than the mainstream on what foods, supplements and exercise are actually healthy, versus harmful.
It's all about healing a broken metabolism—which is incredibly common, and the root cause of most health and skin problems. (Either that, or a lack of nutrients to support it.) Rather than accepting poor health as inevitable "aging," you will learn how to turn things around with proper nutrition, rest and the right mental attitude.
All of the information in here is scientifically sound, based on the work of experts like Dr. Broda Barnes, Dr. Gilbert Ling, Dr. Hans Selye and Dr. Ray Peat. I love that she presents it in an easy-to-understand, non-judgemental format, like you're talking to a friend!
Love Style Life
Love Style Life is the creation of Garance Doré, a French photographer and illustrator best known for her eponymous blog (now called Atelier Doré). This is the rare book that combines stunning photography and illustrations, useful fashion and beauty tips, and candid storytelling in the author's charming, self-deprecating style.
Some of the highlights include Garance's wardrobe and makeup essentials, her lessons learned in love and relationships, and a detailed look at her unconventional journey to career success.
It's positive; it's inspiring; it's so much more than your typical style book!
The Cool Factor
The Cool Factor is one of the most helpful books about personal style that I've ever read (and I own a lot of them!). Andrea Linett was the creative director at Lucky, and before that, worked at Sassy—so she definitely knows a thing or two about looking "cool!"
The headline on the back says "Cool, Demystified," and that's exactly what she does inside. You will learn which staple items should form the foundation of your wardrobe; how to layer strategically; and how to express yourself through imaginative combinations and accessories.
I really appreciate that she demonstrates her philosophy on regular women in their 30s and 40s, not teenage models! If you're looking for real-world tricks for everyday dressing, this book is for you.
Goop Clean Beauty
Goop Clean Beauty is a collection of tips, recommendations and recipes from the editors of Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website, Goop. (Don't worry, there's no mention of jade eggs or vaginal steaming, although colonics do get some praise!)
The book is divided into two sections: Part One is about detoxing, with an emphasis on gut health, "clean" eating, sleep and yoga. Part Two dives into all things beauty, with tips for healthy hair and every skin issue, from aging to acne to sensitivity. There's also an amazing chapter at the back with hair and makeup inspiration.
While I'm skeptical about detoxes (and I think Kate Deering's book is more sound when it comes to nutrition), the advice here is more practical than you'd think. Ultimately, the message is to be more aware of what you're putting on and in your body—and I couldn't agree more!
Whether you are just getting into beauty or you love picking up new tips, Pretty Honest is full of smart, no-nonsense advice for all ages. Sali Hughes is one of the world's most respected beauty journalists, known for her popular Guardian column and "In the Bathroom With" series on YouTube.
Rather than inspiration, this book tackles beauty conundrums like how to pick a foundation, how to get Botox and how to choose the right makeup shades. There's also guidance on mature skin, teenage skin, bridal beauty and beauty in illness.
I may not agree with all of her "rules," but there's a lot of wisdom in here—and I love that Sali dispels the notion that you can't be a feminist if you care about how you look!
At first glance, you might mistake Hello Glow for a cookbook, because everything looks good enough to eat! Written by Stephanie Gerber, who runs the blog by the same name, it features more than 150 DIY beauty recipes for your face, hair and body.
You'll find (almost) everything you need in your own kitchen. Some of the recipes include: Foaming Honey Cleanser, Cucumber-Peppermint Face Mist, Raspberry-Basil Body Polish and Nourishing Peach Scalp Scrub. It doesn't get more natural than this.
With beautiful photography and background notes on each ingredient (from botanical AHAs to natural inflammation-fighters), this book proves that homemade products aren't just for hippies!
Unlike most trendy diets, Deep Nutrition is about eating the way your ancestors did for optimal health and beauty. The author, Catherine Shanahan, is a physician, biochemist, and the nutrition consultant for the Los Angeles Lakers—so pro athletes have put her theories to the test!
She came up with her approach after examining populations around the world to identify which habits produced the healthiest people. There's a lot to cover—almost 500 pages—but it's worth it for the information on fats alone. I appreciate that she advocates for fresh, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods... just know that she's very pro-meat and anti-carbs. (This book has a more balanced approach.)
But it's more than a mere diet plan—the main reason to read it is to learn how the introduction of industrial foods has negatively impacted our genetics. The section on facial symmetry is especially fascinating!
The Curated Closet
If there's a gap between how you'd like to dress and what you find yourself actually wearing, The Curated Closet will help you take charge of your wardrobe. Anuschka Rees was one of the first "minimalist bloggers" (her site used to be called Into Mind), and she approaches personal style from a uniquely analytical perspective.
So there's more to her method than simply building a capsule wardrobe (although you'll learn how to do that, too). Through activities and infographics, she teaches you how to define your style, shop more strategically and choose better, higher-quality pieces.
Whether or not you go through all the exercises, it's well worth the read to get a better sense of your aesthetic and to figure out what's missing from your closet.
The Little Book of Skin Care
Even if you're already well-versed in sheet masks, double cleansing and snail mucin, The Little Book of Skin Care is a fun immersion into all things K-beauty. Charlotte Cho, a licensed esthetician and the founder of Soko Glam, is best known for popularizing the 10-step Korean skincare routine in the West.
Her book is both a memoir—she lived in Korea for five years—and a how-to guide, with tips on how to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the Korean way. There are also "skin stories" from people like supermodel Soo Joo Park and actress Yeon-seo Oh, along with a travel guide (if you ever find yourself in Seoul).
I think anyone interested in skincare would enjoy this read—and if Charlotte's own complexion is any indication, her advice really works!
Beauty from the Inside Out
As you may recall from my interview earlier this year, Bobbi Brown is taking a holistic approach to beauty these days. Her ninth and latest book, Beauty from the Inside Out, does have makeup tips, yes, but it's really focused on wellness and confidence.
She addresses the inside first, with nutrition advice, recipes, workouts and relaxation tips. Then she moves to the outside, covering skincare, beauty treatments and of course, makeup basics. There are also interviews with inspiring women like Hannah Bronfman, Maye Musk and Elle Macpherson.
It's nothing in-depth, and again, I wouldn't take the nutrition stuff too seriously, but it does offer a good general overview in a beautifully photographed package. And it's wonderful that she is spreading the message that beauty comes from within.
Eat Pretty Every Day
As much as I dislike the concept of there being a "pretty" way to eat (?!), Jolene Hart's Eat Pretty Every Day is an adorable little book full of self-care inspiration. A former magazine editor, the author overcame her struggles with acne and eczema by switching to a natural lifestyle, which led to a new career as a certified health coach.
Her idea is that you can transform your health and appearance by making small, incremental changes—hence there are 365 ideas, one for each day of the year. They cover everything from mantras on gratitude and giving more hugs, to tips on reducing household pesticides, choosing safer lipstick and dry brushing. She does advocate for a mostly plant-based, almost vegan diet... so I'd just keep in mind that this book is more trustworthy with respect to nutrition.
That said, if you'd like to make some healthier swaps, but don't have time to do a complete overhaul right now, this would be an excellent way to get started.
I hope you enjoyed these mini book reviews, and discovered a few new titles to add to your wish list!
If I had to narrow down my recommendations to just three MUST-READS, I'd suggest How to Heal Your Metabolism (for health), The Cool Factor (for style) and Skin Cleanse (for beauty and skincare). They may just change your life!
Have you read any of these books yet?
1. Skin Deep • 2. Skin Cleanse • 3. How to Heal Your Metabolism • 4. Love Style Life • 5. The Cool Factor • 6. Goop Clean Beauty • 7. Pretty Honest • 8. Hello Glow • 9. Deep Nutrition • 10. The Curated Closet • 11. The Little Book of Skin Care • 12. Beauty from the Inside Out • 13. Eat Pretty Every Day