by YUNJI CHOAs a self-professed make-up junkie, I have amassed beauty products that can easily open a shop rivaling that of Sephora’s. In my heydays, just about every week I had an appointment scheduled at make-up counters in department stores. I kept going in a hope of finding the latest and the best product that will make me feel, well, glamorous and beautiful as they had promised. Majority of the sales people, or the make-up artists they are referred as, just didnt seem to understand my facial structure and features. What they did for those blond ladies next to me worked fine for them, but not for me. I would go home and see a raccoon-eyed, orange-lipped bozo in the mirror.

When I glanced over Margaret Kimuras book Asian Beauty, my eyes lit up with curiosity and excitement. This is something new in the beauty industry — a book specifically written for Asian women, by a true insider who also happens to be an Asian woman herself! Asian Beauty differs from the rest of the beauty books out there. Margaret Kimura not only demonstrates and teaches how to apply make-up, but also goes in depth about the importance of taking care of our minds and souls.

The tips and advices on how to use proper tools, types of products and play with color are all easy to follow and practice in real life. Each technique or method is explained step by step with photos featuring real life models. There is a part devoted to skin care, which is very helpful. The section titled Role Models features women of all ages, looks, and professions. These women are the true role models for Asian women, not only for their beauty, but also for their success, strength, and inspiration they give us. Lisa Ling writes the foreword and is one of the more familiar women featured with her mother and younger sister.

And what is a beauty book without the section of magical transformation and make-over? Women of many different Asian key features go from the girl-next-door to divas and glam girls under Margaret Kimuras magic touch! This is a realistic make-over that anyone can easily follow. Her emphasis on the inner beauty is all the more real, not surreal, because she shares her struggles of trying to conform to and live up to the beauty standard engraved in our society. Readers can easily relate to her experience and empathize with her.

Asian Beauty is informative, refreshing, and insightful. It will not only help Asian women to bring out their best features, but also embrace our beauty both inside out.