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BeautyMatter Beauty Reads Vol. 5

Published October 1, 2023
Published October 1, 2023
Tom Hermans via Unsplash

As outdoor temperatures drop, the optimal reading season is upon us. From tell-all memoirs to iconic images of one of the original supermodels, BeautyMatter has picked the best titles to curl up on the couch with.

Soap & Soul: A Practical Guide to Minding Your Body, Your Home, and Your Spirit with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
Lisa Bronner

Dr. Bronner’s hero product, an 18-in-1 soap, has been a go-to for those with an interest in green living. Now Bronner presents a how-to guide inspired by exchanges with the company’s customer fan base in a part “Green-It-Yourself guidebook, and part memoir.” Content includes practical tips like how to use the brand’s multipurpose products, how to read ingredient lists, and the chemistry of cleaning, but also a look into Bronner’s own personal journey of exploring green living and the 75-year brand journey of Dr. Bronner’s advocating for natural personal care.

Let It Burn: Illuminate Your Life with Candles and Elegance
Sir Candle Man  

Known under the moniker Sir Candle Man, Kudzi Chikumbu has gained a loyal following for his entertaining and witty reviews of all things home fragrance.Let It Burn is an amalgamation of his findings, including how to shop and care for candles, as well as use scent as a wellness practice. “Scented candles have made my sacred spaces smell beautiful, but they have also made my life beautiful,” he writes. “Candles have given me the power to create any space I want and feed the deep need I have for adding more self-care moments to my routine. I hope that candles can do the same for you, and that this book will show you how.”

The Hormone Shift: Balance Your Body and Thrive Through Midlife and Menopause
Dr. Tasneem Bhatia

Menopause has become an increasing point of discussion in the health and wellness conversation. Dr. Bhatia, a board-certified physician who specializes in women’s health and nutrition, breaks down the effects of shifting hormone levels throughout women's lives and their impacts on physical, emotional, and mental health—in short, teaches readers to identify and learn to speak the “language” of hormones. For those struggling with imbalances, she outlines a customizable Thirty-Day Hormone Reset plan employing Western and Eastern healing modalities.

Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss's Glossier
Marisa Meltzer

Described as a “bombshell exposé” by its publisher (Simon & Schuster), Glossy delves into the millennial empire that dominated the beauty landscape of the 2010s and the founder behind it. The New York Times writer and author of titles such as This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World, Meltzer uses her analytical eye to explore the disruptive vision that made Glossier a smash hit, beginning with Weiss’s start as a Teen Vogue intern on the reality show The Hills all the way through to her brand becoming a $1.9 billion business. Interviewees include not only Weiss, but also former Glossier employees and investors.

Eyeliner: A Cultural History
Zahra Hankir

Lebanese-British journalist Zahra Hankir explores beauty and power around the world and throughout history using the humble eyeliner as her red thread. From drag queens in New York to Nefertiti of ancient Egypt, Hankir explores how various cultures of all ages have expressed themselves through the cultural tool of makeup.

Trinny Woodall

The founder of Trinny London already has an inspiring beauty business triumph to her name. Now Woodall is sharing her tools for empowerment with others in this life, style, beauty, and makeup guide. Whether it’s how to navigate the challenges of life or curate the perfect makeup look, the founder is offering readers an uplifting roadmap to everyday obstacles.

Linda Evangelista by Steven Meisel
Introduction by William Norwich

Less of a read and more of a visual essay, this hefty coffee-table book pays tribute to the iconic supermodel and photographer duo whose working partnership created some of the most memorable images of ’80s and ’90s beauty. From her everchanging hues and haircuts—including a drastic overnight pixie cut by Julien d'Ys—to her love of MAC Cosmetics Spice lipliner, Evangelista was a frontrunner in the supermodel era with chameleon-like shifts in presentations. Meisel’s striking yet timeless imagery has graced countless Vogue covers and lent the campaign imagery for brands like Pat McGrath Labs and Zara Beauty.

The Museum of Scent: Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance
Mandy Aftel

As a pioneer of natural perfumery, Mandy Aftel has immersed herself in the beauty of natural essence for decades, a passion materialized in the one-room museum opened in her backyard in Berkeley, California: the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents. For those unable to make the trek, Aftel has immortalized her historical archive of scent in book form. The title features illustrations of her collection, such as raw materials divided up into different botanical categories with accompanying hand-colored antique woodcuts and olfactory note descriptions, as well as depictions of artifacts. To top it off, readers receive a scratch-and-sniff bookmark to accompany their journey through the title.

Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital
Elise Hu

NPR host-at-large and TED Talks Daily host Hu brings a razor-sharp analysis of the beauty industry and culture of South Korea, a $10 billion industry. Underneath the commercial success lies deeper questions such as the dangers of promoting flawless beauty standards and the costs of beauty work disguised as self-empowerment in an appearance-obsessed society. Hu fuses historical background with hours of personal interviews to create a multifaceted deep dive into K-beauty culture.

The Big 100: The New World of Super-Aging
William J. Kole

With predictions of the world’s centenarian population increasing tenfold by 2050, there is plenty to learn about the aging process, and the impact of this population on politics, healthcare, and more. Citing experts such as anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall, 112-year-old Herlda Senhouse, and longevity expert Dr. Thomas Perls, Kole uncovers the truth about Blue Zones, the racial disparity of longevity, and the future that awaits the super-aging generation.


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