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Book Review: 101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle by Dawn Del Russo

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Stylist Dawn Del Russo is the owner of luxury boutique Bella Dawn and belladawn.com, the Internet outlet that caters to those with glamorous leanings. Her book is designed to gear up the good looks, not the glitz. After all, anyone can be tacky, but you should know at least 101 things to be gorgeous and appealing. Will 101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle instantly turn you into a glam girl? No, no more than any book can turn you into an instant anything. The information shared, however, has been time-tested and conveniently assembled in one cheerfully illustrated (by Barbara Ann Scarrillo) and breezily written little book.

101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle is a collection of tips, some familiar, that give the reader direction when traveling the road to glamour, that combination of charm and allure that makes us attractive to all. What makes it different from other beauty advice books is that each lesson is presented in one sentence. The author doesn’t tell you why it’s a good idea to stoke up on anti-oxidants, just reminds you to do it. This approach can be very effective; first learn what you need to do and later, if you’re still interested, you can learn why it works. Life is full of lessons like this. Do we really need to know more than “push a button to turn the radio on”? We could learn all about radio waves and technology, but will it add to our enjoyment? Nope, just to our intellectual baggage.

There are a number of hints on make-up, dress, decorating, and healthful eating, but the more valuable advice includes, “Learn how to listen,” “Pick up a book,” “Learn a second language,” and “Visualize your life.” The author encourages her readers to be the best they can be, not to settle for second-best, and, most importantly, be themselves. As someone who has always felt “life is a sing-along,” I appreciate Del Russo’s advice to “Hear the Music. Who said our lives shouldn’t emulate a movie soundtrack?”

The value of good advice increases inversely to the cost of taking that advice. 101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle suggests “Reinvent your wardrobe,” “Smile,” “Sit up straight,” and “Drink water.” All of these cost nothing, but work. Some of the more indulgent suggestions (e.g., getting a weekly mani-pedi) can be done at home or worked around (e.g. buying designer bags and diamond earrings). Of course, the reader is always at liberty to take or discard any advice offered.

Bottom Line: Would I buy it? Sorry, no, I’m already glamorous. Well, I’m not all that, but I wouldn’t buy it for myself. It would make a cute gift for a young woman trying to get her look — and act — together.

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