Clothing and cosmetics always are welcome holiday gifts, but how about a book that gives some insight into how to make the greatest use of the clothing and cosmetics already owned?
There have always been a number of "how-to" books produced each season, but with the success of the Way Bandy, Beverly and Vidal Sassoon and John Molloy books in past years, many more such books have appeared in bookstores this year.
Among the better ones in the assortment:
"lisanne: A Young Model " by Betsy Cameron (Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., $10.95). Young teen-agers will be absorbed by this story of 14-year-old photographic model Lisanne Falk whom they will recognize as a Seventeen magazine cover girl, as well as a model for Wrangler, Revlon and Chanel.
From her start with Ford Modeling agency after submitting a 99-cent supermarket photo, Lisanne discusses what modeling assignments are like, from the role of the agency to the stylish, photographer, client as well as the preliminary "cattle calls" and "gosees."
In a refreshing-yet-professional way she passes along worthy information about what it is like to be a model, coping with makeup and hair problems and dealing with school work as a student in a public school on Long Island.
Both parents and teens with some interest in modeling should read Eileen Ford's sound words on young models, which is the book's foreward.
"Glamour's Success Book ," by Barbara Coffey and the editors of Glamour (Simon and Schuster, $9.95), is a worthy successor to other success-dressing publications, and far better than most. Not tied to any specific formulas, it provides lots of worthy information on how to buy what is best for your figure, basic wardrobe suggestions, getting the most use of the clothes you own, telling quality in a garment, and even insight into how to organize your closet.
"The Black Woman's Beauty Book " by Le Verne Powlis (Doubleday $12.95), gives in-depth consideration of hair care for black women as well as styling, skin treatment, cosmetic surgery and make-overs. Powlis is beauty and health editor at Brides magazine.
"The Make-Up Center Book ," Caryl Wendkos-LaTorre (St. Martin's Press, $12.95). The Make-Up Center in New York is a favorite place for aspiring models to learn about makeup or simply do it better. And the same goes for other women, too. The instruction is clearly stated and well-charted for the woman who is willing to take the time to do the very best with her looks.
"How To Be a Top Model ," Naomi Sims (Doubleday and Co., $12.95. Naomi Sims became the top black model long before black models were among the top models in the world. In fact, long before black models appeared with any regularity in most fashion slicks or on fashion runways as they do today.
Information for the book is drawn both from Sims' own experiences and from her interviews with lots of models. She includes very specific guidelines on modeling, from how to land the first job, to what to do when the modeling career is over. For herself Sims is writing books (including a very successful one three years ago, "All About Health and Beauty for the Black Woman "), is founder and president of a wig company and has recently introduced a fragrance -- "Naomi."
"The Aida Grey Beauty Book ," by Aida Grey (Lippincott, $15). Aida Grey is one of the real pros in the beauty business; few argue with that. And she has a list of clients that includes Suzanne Pleshette, Nancy Reagan, Jacqueline Bisset, Beverly Sills, Peter Fonda and Margot Fontevn. Her book will be tendious for those who are not serious about skin care because her discussions are thorough. Not for the person who wants an instant beauty lift, but for women who want to understand about their skin and work out ways to improve their looks. She discusses in detail cleansing the skin, sunbathing, and probes problems areas that many books overlook.
"Dressing for Glamour ," Bod Mackie, (A & W Publishers, $14.95). Don't count on Bob Mackie offering you a regimen which will turn you out as a Cher, Carol Burnette, Ann-Margaret or any one of the other stars he dresses. The book includes what he does for them (and many more) but basically addressed his ideas on what works best for the average woman, according to size, age and the specific occasion. And don't look for any intimate details on any of his clients. He's discreet about them personally, as he is on the making of their clothes.