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Better than beauty,: A guide to charm Unknown Binding – 1938

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 7 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Age Books, Inc (1938)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00088T22G
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
ONCE in a lifetime you may meet that rare person whose face and appearance you forget, but whose charm remains indelible. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "aarii" on 14 Jan 2005
Format: Paperback
Even if the are some parts of the book that do feel outdated , there is a lot of insightful remarks on human nature and on the way human relationships (friendships and aquaintances) work. The book is written in a very pleasent and truly ladylike manner contrary to most of modern "etiquette" books. A worthwile read.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 April 2004
Format: Paperback
This book promises a lot but delivers little - in the most charming way ofcourse. It was originally published in the 30s and it shows, with tips onwashing your hair with soap and what type of hat to wear. But what itlacks in practical, up-to-date advice it makes up for in reassuringguidance that can be universally applied, such as how to be confident insocial situations.
For me it offered an insight into what it means to be 'ladylike' andtaught me not worry so much, as the general message seems to be that ifyou have the best intentions it doesn't really matter what you do.
There are attractive illustrations throughout and the book is split intosmall sections that are easy to read, with an index at the back to makereference simple.
It is a small, pretty book with novelty and even historical value, ratherthan a self-help type book that relates closely to your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KH on 27 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was surprised that even though this book was first published in 1938, the advice contained within it is, on the whole, surprisingly modern. It is strange that a book called 'Better than Beauty' would lead on two chapters to do with beautifying yourself with makeup, clothes and weightloss tips, but the reason given for this is that it is easier to be charming if you are comfortable and not worrying that you look okay. There are some good tips on how to act in and cope with different social situations that would be perfectly acceptable today - (this is in no way a prudish book from the dark ages)! Sure, some of the fashion tips serve more as historical comment than the way a modern woman would like to dress (there are several pages on which colours go together, such as dark brown being paired with copper, dusky pink, beige or yellow, which was very popular in the 1930's, but less so now), and we are lucky now to have ready made deoderants and skin products. But the overall advice of presenting the best version of yourself is very current.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 81 reviews
187 of 189 people found the following review helpful
Refreshingly modern (surprisingly!) 15 Oct 2007
By Kate Minola - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this as research for a novel. That being said, there are only a few things that are dated in this book in my opinion-- things like how to make liquid shampoo and rinse it out if you don't have access to unlimited running water, how to use deodorant with dress shields, a balanced diet should include salt, and much advice on how to choose hats. I expected as much. I expected quite a lot more batting eyes and staying mousy-quiet to catch a man, to be honest, considering the time period.

Herein lies the surprise: the emphasis in this book is on how to be a classy individualist without being a stuffy bore. The authors carefully take into account that all women aren't the same, and shouldn't be. They even admit it might be advantageous for a working woman to swear in the office to get things done. What a couple of saucy dames these women are!

The first section encourages women to come up with a personal and practical style without sucking out the fun. They ignore the rules in fashion magazines (which appear to be the same rules in fashion mags today) and present everything you might need to know head-to-toe with simple rules.

For example, the placement and angle of your rouge is not as important as making sure it blends in gradually with your natural color. The only rule for hair is "Does it look like it would be pleasant to touch?" And my favorite, "If being on a diet makes you jumpy and irritable, it probably isn't worth your effort. Everyone prefers a few extra pounds to a shrewish disposition." Bravo!

Similarly, the second part, about charming others, uses this simple rule for etiquette: "The only bad manners are those which are unkind or which contribute to another person's discomfort." There. Emily Post in one line. In addition, remember the simple thank you, treat the waiter as someone helping you, not a robot. Don't let your date drive drunk.

The authors spend a lot of time warning the reader to shy away from conversations involving complaints, what they ate at breakfast, how much sleep they lost, needless tangents and lists of pointless encyclopedic facts. Why? Because they are boring. Need proof? When was the last time you paid attention to a stranger's non-political blog? I rest my case.

Instead they promote a) having fun and laughing and b) reading constantly to to fill yourself with topics of conversation that don't involve gossip. Here's the kicker, they discard the old rule that you shouldn't talk religion, media or politics in company and actually encourage women to watch out for propaganda and to "Read several newspapers with different points of view and get into a violent argument on the obvious coloring of the news." What?!!

In short, many young women would find they'd get and keep the attention of real, live people in the real, live world by emulating the attitudes of Helen Valentine and Alice Thompson FAR better than by posting glam pics on Myspace and complaining about how boys they like are constantly blowing them off "liek there OpInIoNs dont matR".

Someone send this to Paris and Britney, please?
166 of 174 people found the following review helpful
Real Charm Never Goes Out of Style 17 Aug 2004
By April Blake - Published on
Format: Paperback
The first half of this book is absolutely antiquated in its beauty and fashion tips, but these are the shallower aspects of charm and are expected to be more or less ephemeral. If you pay attention to the title, Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm, it's clear that the authors did not set out to be the once and forever final word on beauty and fashion. Also, if you can get past the advice that changing one's undies every other day is acceptable, you'll still find a lot of timeless advice on how to choose clothes, makeup and hairstyles that flatter you.

You'll find real wisdom in Part 2 of this book, however. This is the portion of the Guide to Charm that speaks to the aspects of culture that transcend clothing, makeup and hair styles. This is where you're going to find advice on how to ACT to get along better. The authors highlight the importance of putting yourself in the place of the people you interact with: treat them the way you want to be treated. Sound familiar? Some of you will still find this advice dated, and that's fine. This book is not for you then. But for those of you who know you can get contemporary fashion and beauty advice elsewhere, but want a friendly reminder on how to be charming on the inside, not artificial, pick up this book and go straight to Part 2. You'll find that real charm never goes out of style.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A charming read from the past 30 April 2003
By Gwen Chabot Muir - Published on
Format: Paperback
At a young age I found a beauty and lifestyles manual from the 1930s/1940s in my local public library. Sadly that title is no longer in the stacks. "Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm" is a wonderful substitute. To the modern eye, the advice on fashion and exercise may seem out of date. But some basic facts will never change. A well groomed lady is always a welcome creature.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Old fashioned but never out of style 26 Jun 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is such a sweet book and very interesting. It is old fashioned of course but the advice contained is as relevant as ever. Advice such as don't try and be a performer and remain interested in other people without focusing on eclipsing them is never going to go out of style. The essence of charm, according to this book, is really to mind your manners but also be yourself and be considerate of others. A lot of the beauty advice as well is still relevant too. A lovely read for a Sunday afternoon.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Great book 30 July 2003
By here now - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was originally published in 1938 and then again in 2002, but 90%-95% of this book's knowledge can still be applied today, proving that class never goes out of style. It is a fun read that reminds you of this fact with nice real life examples. You can obviously tell when some info may not apply. But most of the info is basic manner/etiquette type stuff.
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