The World Beauty Book: How We Can All Look and Feel Wonderful Using the Natural Beauty Secrets of Women of Color

Jessica B. Harris, Author HarperOne $14 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-251092-1
Probing traditional ``old ways'' of enhancing one's looks, Harris (The Welcome Table) explicates the beauty secrets of a ``worldwide sisterhood of non-Western women of color.'' Her historical overview cites earliest evidence of cosmetic use (in body painting) in cave paintings found in Algeria and the consistent reference to cosmetics in ancient Egyptian records. Underscoring the spiritual component that has historically informed the pursuit of beauty and stressing the need for patch tests, Harris offers preparations, treatments and rituals designed to enhance a woman's hair, face and body. Recipes include Carioca Hand Cream, made with ripe banana and unsalted butter, and Mayo Conditioner (commercial or homemade mayonnaise) for dry hair. Other chapters touch briefly on jewelry (Malian Scented Waist Beads), remedies for menstrual cramps (from Chinese Ginger Tea to Granny's Not-Quite-Legal Ganja Tea) and sachets and homemade incense. Although specifically aimed at women of color, Harris's exploration of this strand of folk wisdom is likely to intrigue any woman. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
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