Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beauty, Blogging, and Books

For the past couple of years, reading has transformed from pleasure to task. I've never been a book worm, but a complex plot, intricate literary talent, and sneaky surprises along the way always have me on my toes. But, now, I'm reading pages upon pages on the Mexican American War, great lengths of Vergil's Aeneid, and flimsy pages about entropy that jolt my snooze button more than cliffhanger attitude.

I hear that voice in your head--because it's in mine, too: boring. But, I've been determined to make more time for pleasure reading--the like that doesn't include a highlighter in hand (except I've become such a nerd, I feel naked without one).
Nevertheless, one of my un-beauty-related goals was to read more. And I can now righteously pat myself on the back because I've been doing just that, delving into books on my two favorite topics: blogging and beauty.

The former binding is Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho, revealing a true behind-the-scenes peek in blogging with precision and laughs. Consider her your mom, leading the way through the world and teaching you valuable lessons along the way. From basic (like debriefing the types of blogs) to 'finding a blog/life balance,' Cho's creation has become an indispensable resource--for now and certainly for the future as this blog grows.
She has enlightened me on The Pomodoro Technique (which has cut my homework time in half), how to overcome 'blogger's block,' how to create a media kit, protecting your work, and how to write a compelling bio; and I'm sure she'll give you the push to create your own virtual niche or disclose the secrets to turning your hobby into a full time job. Nevertheless, Cho doesn't hesitate to remind the reader how blogging is mostly about passion; everyone has 'something unique to say...'

On the most science-y end of the spectrum is The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Sceince of Smell by Luca Turin. Turin, first, reveals the savvy behind perfume: controversiality on how the nose actually works, the career stepping stones of a perfumer, a peek inside the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l'Aromatique Alimentaire (or 'Perfume School'), and scintillating descriptions of the world's best scents.
The book is separated into two parts: the prose and the science. The first half had me enamored--who doesn't want to hear the scandals of the perfume industry--but, indeed, the rest gets educational and turns from romantic to chemistry really fast. Reading about hydroxide and ester bonds isn't exactly how I'd like to spend my evenings before I hit the snooze button (especially after already mentally taxing homework). But, any perfume fiends or intellectual seekers, plunge in.

My current read and delve is No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan O'Conner and Alexandra Spunt. This journalist duo reveals the nasty side to your cosmetics whilst boasting enough ethos to spur a stash overhaul. Yet, they in no way shun you're current conventional standings and delineate the gradual path to a completely clean routine.
Indeed, the ingredient breakdown and compound complications are revealed, but are seemingly juxtaposed with what that actually means for your body, the 'ugly factor,' and the level of harm. Also, these girls understand the mind of a beauty blogger; at the end of each chapter (each devoted to a beauty category--i.e. hair, skin, makeup, etc.) there remains a tale of product recommendations, and then, in the epilogue, a list of their favorite beauty destinations and brands.

So, I've finally rediscovered the power and placidity of a cracking opus (best enjoyed under a fluffy, cloud-like duvet and a warm, seeping cup of green tea). Just don't tell my YouTube feed I've been cheating on it....


  1. I've been hearing soo much about the No More Dirty Looks book, it's definitely on my buy list once I'm back home. Great list!

  2. I read the No More Dirty Looks book a few weeks ago and it was such an eye-opener to me. I enjoyed that they actually explained why certain ingredients and chemicals are toxic and not just saying 'Don't use this, use THIS instead'. I also read Blog , Inc. by Joy Cho and I really enjoyed that one as well. I'm currently making my way through Blogging For Creatives by Robin Houghton which has been very informative and helpful and maybe inspired me to start a blog of my own (derp). I definitely going to read up about The Pomodoro Technique as I procrastinate on my studies more than I care to admit (damn you online shopping, just kidding I love you).

  3. I love Blogging Inc, it is such a great book! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD

  4. I've looked into the pomodoro technique before too. I did find it quite helpful and I think I'll have to go back to it and give it a try again.
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  5. The Secret of Scent sounds like my kind of book. I need something for those train journeys. NMDL is an amazing read. I go back to it often. :)


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