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CD/Books/Movies - Sonia Kashuk - Real Beauty



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rated 4.3(23 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.3
  • 69% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.2
  • Price: $$

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rated 2 of 5 on 8/12/2013 3:28:00 PM More reviews by RosaleeCheyenneMarie

Age: 19-24 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I checked this out from the library along with some other makeup books. I wanted to borrow them from the library first to decide which ones I want to purchase. This is not one that I will be purchasing. It is very, VERY basic. I did not learn anything new from this book. I'm not a makeup amateur but I'm always willing & wanting to learn new tips & techniques. I also didn't appreciate how, especially for a book titled "REAL Beauty," all of the women were literally either models or looked like models, pre-makeup application. Real women don't always wake up flawless. I know that I don't. I think that Sonia is a very talented makeup artist & I like her product line, but this book was just a "miss" in my opinion.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 4/28/2012 10:45:00 AM More reviews by marthaquest

Age: 44-55 Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Knowing this is out of print, I love this book & would buy it again on ebay if I lost it. SK is a genius as using a few products for maximum result, and this book & CD are lovely reminders that you don't need tons of product to look attractive. This is a nice reminder that less is more, and more beautiful also. I'm consistently amazed at the high quality of SK products; don't understand the high end MU frenzy. Flipping through the pages of this book always gives me good ideas & reminds me that beauty comes from within.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/24/2009 7:05:00 PM More reviews by starablaze

Age: Unknown Skin: Other, Other, Neutral Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Beautiful pages & pictures.
Good information & tips.
Even though I knew a lot already, I still learned a few things.
And the DVD was a nice extra :)
(Copyright 2003)

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 8/26/2008 2:38:00 PM More reviews by glossy81

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

it's just okay to me. it didn't teach me anything new.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 1/15/2008 6:26:00 PM More reviews by swirly_whirl85

Age: 19-24 Skin: Sensitive, Tan, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

Sonia gives a decent introduction to the confusing world of makeup and beauty in this book, but doesn't go into any real depth. Like Craxfactor said, all the models already have relatively flawless skin to begin with, even the older ladies. Her section on health, fitness and nutrition was quite short and un-informative...everything is mostly common sense that the average person should know (for example: "exercise gives you mental stability". *insert sarcasm: "RealllY??? wow, I had no idea!!") However, my biggest pet peeve was the lack of representation of ethnic and dark-skintoned models throughout the book. This is unexcusable in this day and age.

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rated 4 of 5 on 10/21/2007 4:01:00 PM More reviews by CraxFactor

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

This is a very basic "user's manual" for makeup application and color selection. The killer app here is the DVD. Sonia is down to earth, upbeat and instructive. She uses her fingers. It's a treat to watch her spend 10 oblivious minutes jabbing cream blush into an increasingly irritated Cindy Crawford's face. The other great part is the models' hair, which is consistently awesome.


There aren't a lot of tricks of the trade here - as others have said, the models are models, and don't really need makeup as much as they need a hamburger. Sonia brags that sometimes she only puts mascara on her clients and it's all they need to really open up the face. Unfortunately if you don't have a star dermatologist, plastic surgeon, waxer, colorist, possibly someone to do a high colonic, etc., you are not going to be able to replicate the "natural" look with your "real" beauty shining through. Even the older ladies she works with have preternaturally good coloring and skin tone. Speaking as someone with bruised-looking eyes, dark circles, veins, rosy cheeks, jaundiced yellow undertones, chapped lips, oily skin, etc. . . eating more fish and exercising will not be enough to make me throw out my concealer. And hearing supermodels and actresses married to wealthy international businessmen define what beauty means to them was just unbearable.


I did like her story about the World Trade Center attack at the end, with her family. It was kind of a crazy reality check after a few hundred pages on lip gloss, etc. But I knew what she meant. All of us felt like emotional refugees after going through the trauma of that attack: walking across the bridge home, trying to call everyone we knew to see if they were still alive, seeing missing person xeroxes in the subway for months afterward. Trying to get on and find meaning in our everyday lives on September 12th. We are blessed to be here. Makeup is frivolous, but it can also be one of the ways we celebrate life and create happiness every day, living it to the fullest. You laugh, but that's how I feel. It makes you appreciate what's really important - being happy in life. Beauty is a powerful force for happiness in the world.

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rated 3 of 5 on 12/28/2006 7:22:00 PM More reviews by prisha

Age: 44-55 Skin: Very Dry, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This was a steal-$2 at a store closing. However, if I'd paid full price, I'd be disappointed. I KNOW I AM IN THE MINORITY HERE. However, I didn't learn anything I didn't know before about makeup application, literally. Beginners or heavy-handed people may certainly learn or be appreciative. My concerns, & I am clearly NOT missing the point: 1)Her models, professional and those simply sitting for the book, were generally quite gorgeous before ANY makeup in the photos. 2) This is QUITE unlike most of us in real life. 3)Most each had several exceptional features (big eyes, great teeth, terrific hair, perfect skin, fab bone structure, etc). 4)Nobody in the book looked ho-hum in their before pix, IMO. 5)I was not personally inspired by seeing how these women could look even better.**I DID ENJOY reading the mini interviews w/ magazine editors, some of the the DVD (though very repetetive), and Sonia's personality in general. 6)Her hair stylist isn't my favorite. I thought Sonia's hair was continually & forcefully butchered-looking (& yes, we have wiry, curly hair in my family), no matter how natural the style was...or how hot & humid it may have been at the photo shoots. 7)The less is more concept is correct to a point, but blanket statements like that are a big problem that can't be applied to everyone. 8)She took sooo long to put on what I thought was everyday makeup, even to illustrate; real-time examples would have been as effective, if not more so. I KNOW I AM IN THE MINORITY; THESE ARE MERELY OPINIONS. I KNOW SHE'S ALSO PROBABLY A SWEETHEART & A GENIUS w/ MAKEUP, A la KEVIN or WAY B.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 3/9/2006 2:59:00 AM More reviews by psychoexgirlfriend

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I just got this on sale at my local supermarket (no idea what it's doing there...) for 10 bucks!

This is a good book for beginners and people who just want a little help with makeup. It's nothing revolutionary (like Kevyn Aucoin's books) but very good at covering the basics. Real makeup that you'd wear everyday.

The best thing about this book is the accompanying dvd. You can read about application all you want, but if you're a visual person like me, this is were you do most of your learning. There was an "ah!" moment for me when she put on the eye makeup.

My biggest qualms about this book are first that there's a complete lack of Asian models. Being that I'm Vietnamese, it's hard to do my eye makeup especially. I wish she got into that more. Of course, this part doesn't really apply to anyone who isn't Asian. Next, I find the "real" beauty prep talk a little condescending and cheesy.

Overall, great book! Worth it for the dvd alone (then again, I only paid ten bucks...)

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/14/2005 9:33:00 AM More reviews by mtait

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I love this book, especially because of the accompanying DVD. Sonia's tips have made such a difference for me. The book is easy to follow and understand, and I like Sonia's attitude toward makeup and beauty.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/4/2005 2:44:00 PM More reviews by AngelZoe

Age: 44-55 Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

One of my favorites of the beauty book genre. Great photos. Real world advice. The CD ROM is a great addition. Very down to earth energy in this book. Love it! I also love that Sonia decided that all women deserve a chance to wear good makeup - not just those with huge budgets. Right on, Sonia! You're my hero!

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