YOU are the beholder, and YOU are in charge of your beauty. And that, in a nutshell, sums up The Beauty Prescription, as prescribed by two life-long friends, Debra Luftman and Eva Ritvo. Luftman, a dermatologists, and Ritvo, a psychiatrist, have spent their lives helping the women of Southern California look and feel like a million dollars, and they have kindly shared their philosophy with the less glamourous climates.
In terms of actual techniques and regimes, the pretty duo don’t put forth anything too radical. Well, nothing radical: Take your makeup off every night, floss your teeth, eat your veggies, and please, please, please, get your heinie off the couch and do something. We’ve all heard this before.
Luftman and Ritvo deliver a useful idea in their idea of The Beauty-Brain Loop. As they point out, our looks and our minds fit nicely on two different sides of the same coin. When you look great, you feel great. When you look crappy, you feel the same. Chickens, eggs, etc. We’ve had inklings of this tangle before, but the authors spell it out for us in concise, clear language that leaves no doubts. Four parts of the loop feed into and affect each other with no end in sight. I give you the the Cliff’s Notes version for your beauty edification:
1. Inner Beauty: Mental wellness , stress management, and self-esteem.
2. Health: Exercise, nutrition, and medical wellbeing.
3. Outer Beauty: Appearance
4. Enviroment: This one takes a little more explaining. The people in your life respond to your personality, your looks, and your energy. You get what you give. And this brings the loop back to . . . Inner Beauty.
The good doctors take us through each leg of the loop in detail, sometimes referring us to experts, as with makeup, and sometimes giving us helpful pointers, and always reminding us that beauty is above all, governed by the mind. And they made me laugh. A lot. I probably should have mentioned that sooner. So there you have you have it: Read, laugh, look better. (The Beauty Prescription, by Debra Luftman, M.D. and Eva Ritvo, M.D., $24.95 at Amazon.com)