Archive | September, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts by Vice

23 Sep

400 New Jokes from the Funniest Magazine Column to Ever Exist in the History of the Universe

You know those jokes that you know you shouldn’t laugh at but you can’t help yourself? Well, those are the kind of jokes that Vice Magazine specialises in. In every issue they run a column called Do’s and Don’ts in which they take photographs of unsuspecting people and write funny captions underneath. Apparently, “the first thing most people do when they pick up a copy of Vice is turn to the Do’s and Don’ts” and “they’ve become one of our most popular reads”.

So a la mode?

In just a few short words, Vice manage to completely take a photograph out of context and give it a hilarious new meaning. It’s really easy to flick through and you don’t need any prior knowledge of the magazine to totally understand the beauty of the column in just a few small page turns. This column is difficult to explain; it’s one of those you have to see. An example: a girl with lots of makeup on in rollerblades captioned with “she spent so long getting ready, she rolled over the line that separates ‘made up’ from ‘in drag’”. Most of the captions have some kind of joke about a person’s clothes, something that the Vice team say has “enduring possibilities”.

Uh-oh a la mode?

A few of the jokes go that smidge too far where you actually feel so bad for the poor, unknowing victim who will be amazed to see themselves in the Vice column!

A la Mode Appraisal: 9/10

Do’s and Don’ts is published by Canongate and will definitely tickle your coffee table for a reasonable £9.99. It’s quite thick and there are lots of captions per double page spread.

If you liked this, you may also like The World According to Vice by Vice.


How to Look Pretty Not Plastered by Emily Rose

23 Sep

“A step-by-step make-up guide to looking great!”

Makeup is something that so many ladies adore. I, myself, work as a makeup artist so I am of course one of them, but I often find that ladies come to me and say that they love makeup but are clueless regarding how to apply it. Makeup guides such as Emily Rose’s can be brilliant and helpful, but unfortunately I did not find this one to be so.

So a la mode?

The concept of the book is fantastic. Sometimes people may assume that applying lots of makeup is guaranteed to give a glam effect, but actually artful application can work wonders with the smallest amounts of product. The title did make me laugh and her message is promising. Helpful, too, are Emily’s sections about skincare. Chapters such as ‘Aloe Vera – Nature’s Gift’ and ‘Top Tips for Winter Skin’ are useful to women of all descriptions and in maintaining good skin makeup will, naturally, look a lot nicer when applied.

Uh-oh a la mode?

Experience stated does not seem to represent the quality of makeup ability demonstrated in the slightest. On page 91, a model is shown with a blue eyeliner on. Quite clearly her false eyelash is peeling off the corner her left eye. How this picture has made it into a published book is a question I would love to ask the editor? It seems unfair to capitalise on an industry that people are so willing to buy into and not even give value for money. Anyone, be it a first time user or a makeup artist extraordinaire, would be able to identify that a false lash should not be sat in this way. A positive and a negative of this book is that real women have been used to demonstrate makeup looks. This is brilliant in the sense that a diverse variety of face shapes and features will enable every reader to see how makeup should look in relation to their own face. It is not, however, an excuse for models to have unkempt eyebrows or undone nails. Call me old fashioned but if I am investing in a beauty book, I expect to see standards of grooming in all areas of production.

Considering that Emily Rose counts artists such as Tinie Tempah and Kissy Sell Out among her past clients, I was underwhelmed. One thing I really must emphasise is that although my standards of review are perhaps higher when considering my personal experience of makeup I am not judging this book from the perspective of someone in the know – I genuinely don’t feel that it would be useful to a beginner or anyone else. There are, however, lots of brilliant makeup books that would be so take a look at my recommendations below.

A la Mode Appraisal: 0/10 – Sorry to be blunt, I just don’t feel that this book would be worth investing in.

How to Look Pretty not Plastered is published by How to Books and is available for £14.99.

If you want to learn about makeup, you may find Express Yourself by NARS to be more useful or Express Makeup by Rae Morris. 

True Whit by Whitney Port

23 Sep

Deisnging a life of Style, Beauty and Fun with Sheryl Berk


Welcome to the world of Whitney Port. She was part of two of MTV’s most successful reality TV shows, The Hills and The City, and has since become a style icon through launching her very own fashion line Whitney Eve. In her first book, Whitney aims to use her life experience to enlighten young ladies who are starting to find their feet in the real world. “What I wanted to create was a guidebook, so to speak, to starting out in your twenties. It’s your time to shine, to dig deep and discover who you are.”


So a la mode?


Whitney goes down to every little detail when offering advice on how to get your life in order. Using specific family recipes and detailing things such as what her personal fitness regime consists of make it lots easier for us to dabble in her routine and see how it works. She also gives tips on how we can channel her eclectic style, from encouraging shopping in charity shops to identifying specific hair types and using that information to explain how each hair type can be styled to emulate her own locks. Every base is covered, from how to deal with a difficult co-worker to how to impress on a first date.


Uh-oh a la mode?


One thing that did disappoint me as an avid fan of The Hills and The City was that lots of her personal experiences draw from things we’ve already seen on the show. I was hoping that in purchasing the book I’d hear a different side of the story than what I’d already watched, but advice seemed based on things we already knew – e.g. relationship advice based on her relationship with Jay or work advice based on her time with Olivia. Maybe next time if Whitney could give us a little spoiler of all the things we had missed then the read would be a little juicier!


All in all a brilliant guide for a young girl – I’d especially recommend it to anyone who has just moved away from home, for example a University student or a new graduate.


A la Mode Appraisal: 8/10 – more secrets next time please, Whitney!


True Whit is published by Aurum Press and will help every young lady in her search for herself at a very reasonable £14.99.


If you liked this book, you may also like Style by Lauren Conrad.