The only sort of books I’d ever read (and buy) are beauty books and cookbooks. I absolutely hate reading, as much as I hate chinese food, so I will never buy and can never complete reading a novel, especially fictional ones.
Anyway, here are a few I own and recommend:
The Japanese Skincare Revolution by Chizu Saeki
This book was written by a Japanese woman but it’s in English. It teaches you how to take care of your skin and how to use your own products correctly. I’m sure 90% of people are making mistakes. Eg, they don’t foam up their facial wash (Yes you must!!!) and instead apply it to their face directly after squeezing from the tube, they don’t understand the meaning of lotions, they don’t know how to remove eye makeup correctly, etc.
It’s mainly about anti ageing tricks which fortunately I don’t really need now, but it’s good to know all these in the back of my head in case I commit a sin in future. She placed great emphasis on the importance of serums in skincare routines (and I bet 90% of women here do not think much of serums at all!) and I’m slowly looking for and picking up serums which suit my skin.
The Beauty Diet by Lisa Drayer
I happened to see this in Prologue randomly, one day, and I bought it. I didn’t regret as it really is packed with information about what’s good and what’s not! Being a beauty junkie, magic words like collagen, antioxidant or whitening would always catch my attention. I used to dislike tomatoes and was never fond of the taste (especially true for ketchup) but ever since I leant how lycopene good for whitening and internal sun protection, I slowly acquired the taste of tomatoes and looked out for better tasting ones (NOT ALL TOMATOES ARE EQUAL! Same goes for mascara). There are recipes provided too, but they may not be useful as many ingredients may not be easily found locally.
In summary, the best food (in no order) for beauty would be salmon, dark chocolate, tomatoes, blueberries, yogurt, spinach, kiwi, oysters, sweet potatoes and walnut. So far, I’ve acquired a liking for all the beauty foods listed in this book, with an exception of walnut and sweet potato. Not listed in this book but based on personal expertise, green tea is good too. I guess it’s not so common for western culture to have green tea but it’s a pretty known fact in asia. As of why these are good, you could get details from this book. Eg, salmon is good because of the omega 3 fatty acids. And from there, you could figure out other food with similar properties and they’re just as good! like tuna, flaxseed, avocado, olive oil etc. Although they did not explain why is omega 3 good, but I could tell you. Omega 3 means that it has a double bond on the 3rd link in the long chain so the chain of fatty acids loses the shape it would be in if it didn’t have this double bond. Having a double bond would make it unsaturated (so this is an unsaturated fat!) saturated fats are bad because their structure are so similar it could stack together compactly and that’s bad because it tends to stay in the body longer and is harder to get rid of. Unsaturated fats like omega 3 and omega 6 has the double bond on their respective positions and so it changes in shape, and because the shapes are unstackable , they are not compacted together. There’s also omega 9 but that’s not so commonly heard of. Also, omega 3 and omega 6 is similar to the oils we have in our skin so it can provide us with the kind of oil we need.
Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual
I bought this book when I was taking my Diploma in Makeup Artistry for reference. I am a qualified makeup artist by the way, just that I’m currently not employed as one. However, I found that this book wasn’t very helpful for me, because being a beauty junkie I already knew almost everything. Perhaps this would be useful for those without any background.
This is a book written in traditional Chinese but I found out they have an English version after I bought it. If you get it in Taiwan, it will come with a free product. I got the AMPM hydrator which cost $27.90 in Watsons, when the book cost about $16 only. Anyway, this book is very useful and very comprehensive. In fact, I find it more useful than Chizu Saeki’s because it’s more applicable to me, as it covers not only anti aging but tips for all sorts of skin types.