The Essence Total Makeover: Body, Beauty, Spirit

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9780609603659: The Essence Total Makeover: Body, Beauty, Spirit

The millions of sisters who read Essence have always known that looking and feeling good go hand in hand. True beauty is much more than perfect makeup and a great hairstyle. It's about maximizing your potential--spiritually, mentally, and physically. Here, from the publisher of the premier lifestyle magazine for African-American women, and with an inspiring introduction by Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief of Essence, is a step-by-step guide on how to make the most of your assets. The Essence Total Makeover offers practical advice covering all the beauty bases, from skin, hair, and health to physical, spiritual, and mental fitness. Every chapter provides useful, in-depth guidance to being your best. You will learn how to:
care for your face, cleanse and moisturize your skin, make face masks at home, and moisturize your face to bring out your skin's natural glow;
treat your hair with love, assess its condition, and decide which styles are best for you;
nurture your body from head to toe, with everything from recipes for at-home manicures to expert advice on beginning a fitness program;
incorporate healthy eating into your active lifestyle;
get your life in balance by seeing what works and what can work better;
tap into your soul power and find peace in a world filled with challenges.

Illustrated throughout with stunning full-color photos, The Essence Total Makeover is an indispensable companion for women on the go and on the job, at home and away. Featuring advice from experts around the nation, and with a liberal sprinkling of celebrity beauty secrets, The Essence Total Makeover is the essential guide to inner and outer beauty for every woman of color.

Essence is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women. Celebrating its thirtieth anniversary in 2000, it has a circulation of over 1 million and a readership of 7.5 million. Its editor-in-chief is Susan L. Taylor.

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About the Author:

PATRICIA MIGNON HINDS, writer, editor, and educator, is the director of Essence Books. She is the editor of Essence: 25 Years Celebrating Black Women, and the author of nine children's books. She lives in New York City.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Foreword
by Patricia Mignon Hinds

My life has been a quest to learn and grow, in knowledge and in spirit. And there's always room to develop, learn more, and be better. For most of my life, I didn't comprehend the full meaning of taking care of myself. I had always automatically gravitated toward healthful activities and practices, such as sports and exercise, a more natural approach to makeup, and a do-it-at-home-between-touchups less-stress hairdo. But it all caught up to me when my life became so frenzied I stopped playing tennis, and didn't spend quite as much time maintaining my natural bronze. Then I began to value what it takes for everything to run in sync, to work in balance and in harmony. It made me appreciate my mother on a deeper level.

Seemingly effortlessly, my mother always stayed in shape, monitored her eating habits, kept every hair impeccably in place, maintained flawless skin and makeup, and kept an upbeat attitude. I am now more astounded than ever -- wondering how she kept it all together. Growing up, I didn't fully appreciate what efforts it took for my mother to look so good, or what it took for her to take care of herself -- as well as my sister Gail and me. Now I recognize, it's not that easy! My mother Gloria is my inspirational touchstone -- and I want my life to reflect her loving attention, strength, and positive outlook. I know I should think green salad instead of glazed doughnut when those hips start feeling or looking out of control, make sure those elbows have some lotion on them, and keep my mind and spirit in the right direction. It's about keeping the right mindset and planning to live under an overriding philosophy. So even when I go astray, I will get back on track before too long. It all boils down to some basics -- be good to yourself and others, eat right and exercise, and plan for some pampering.

Pampering is about feeling good, taking care, and loving. We all deserve our share, and we shouldn't deprive or neglect ourselves. We must make time to allow ourselves to relax, enjoy, and enhance our lives. Through some simple acts and attention, we can add a spring to our steps, a spark to our souls, find a renewed sense of peaceful serenity. It's amazing what a little fragrance from a jasmine candle will do while soaking in a warm, relaxing bath, or how much more energy we have and fit we feel after just a half-hour of swimming, or how peaceful yet strong we feel after quiet moments of prayer. The value of taking care and honoring ourselves is priceless.

I embraced this project with the passion and excitement that I'd want to feel for anything I have lived and breathed during its creation -- to make it the best -- with meaning, substance, and beauty. This beauty isn't about makeup, but about radiating on the outside a reflection of what's inside. It's about inner as well as outer beauty. The Essence Total Makeover is developed with that in mind -- putting together all the pieces that it takes to be our best. As this book emerged from its cocoon, it's come to embrace, reflect, and celebrate all we are as unique originals. It's about optimal health, happiness, and wholeness -- all we can be to take ourselves to a higher level. It evolved to be both a learning experience and to reflect my pursuit of how I try (with varying degrees of success) to live my life.

I have always been especially interested in keeping informed -- from today's news and technology to ancient Egyptian history. And that's not a stretch when I realize how it all comes together -- learning that many generations ago, our African ancestors tapped nature's resources for some of the same healing and beautifying sources that now have emerged as "breakthroughs." Like Egyptian kohl being used as eye shadow or liner. Or clay, as well as plants like aloe vera, being utilized by various African peoples -- like the Yoruba and Ashanti -- for healing and aesthetic aids. Or the Bororo people of West Africa and people of Kau in the Sudan, two groups of many who use natural colors found in ocher, ground shells, and ash. Or water being revered for its therapeutic, cleansing, and spiritual benefits among many cultures around the world. Some of their wisdom has been tapped to make this book both current and timeless.

Let's look at all the opportunities and possibilities there are for us. When the hair, skin, body, or spirit seems to be breaking down -- and we all know what that means -- let's think makeover time. When we conceive makeover, let's imagine rebirth or rejuvenation in those areas where we can use a little cleansing, fresh approaches, a new breath of life. Let's remember what we can do to become empowered and enlightened. Let's look at some of the steps we can take on our journeys to looking, feeling, and being our greatest and most powerful.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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