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PERSONAL GROOMING is one of those subjects that drives collection development librarians crazy. The basics--hair styling, skin care, and makeup--remain the same, but the skills and trends behind them are changing constantly. Looks originate on the runways of Paris and Milan before crossing over to New York City and Los Angeles, where they are highlighted in magazines. By the time the rest of the country has picked up on these innovations, they are already somewhat out-of-date.
While libraries can never be as au courant as Vogue, they can still provide reliable information on timeless beauty basics, from applying eyeliner to setting a chignon to getting Botox injections (a Hollywood craze that is turning into a norm). This article reflects that philosophy, concentrating on how-to books for small and large libraries.
Those in dire financial straits might want to limit their purchases to one or two overviews and men's and women's general interest magazines (e.g., GQ, Details, Essence, and Redbook), which regularly run articles on ski. n, hair, and makeup styles for a variety of ethnic groups. In addition to those items, large libraries can look into acquiring more specialized materials such as rifles that address the psychology of beauty and its meaning in today's society.
Publishers are now beginning to recognize that beauty is not just one look or skin color and that ethnic women require care regimens tailored to their own particular needs. (For example, women of color tend to have hair that is very fragile and easily damaged, while their skin is less prone to wrinkling than Caucasian skin.) As this bibliography shows, publications for African American women are increasing (especially in hair care), but those for Asian women and Latinas are still few and far between. Men have it even worse, even though men's magazines have been encouraging their readers to care about their appearance for 20-some years.
Just as it has with the fashion industry, the cult of celebrity has infiltrated the beauty biz. Your patrons, then, will most likely ask for books with brand names. Makeup artists such as Bobbi Brown, Sonia Kashuk, and the late Kevyn Aucoin have launched makeup lines and, in some cases, published best-selling application guides.
Hairstylists like Frederik Fekkai and skin gurus Nicholas Perricone and Howard Murad have also jumped on the franchise bandwagon. For more information on emerging stars and trends, check out the "editor's picks" on web sites of cosmetic companies, makeup emporiums (sephora.com in particular), and women's magazines.
The amount of time between a trend's creation in Milan to its application in the Midwest has been vastly reduced with the increasing popularity of the Internet. This makes determining a book's shelf life more difficult. But as long as your collection centers on basic topics, you can get away with weeding your collection every five years. Remember: even the basics need updating, as new tools and techniques to brush, blend, and scrub are invented.
It is interesting to note that many of these books are produced in the spiral-bound format, giving readers a hands-free approach to following the directions and illustrations. Starred [*] items are essential for all collections.
--*Begoun, Paula. Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me: An …