I borrowed the hardcover from the public library.
Andrea Lustig is the beauty editor at Glamour magazine and has years and years of experience and lots and lots of contacts in the biz. In How to Look Expensive, she distills all of that knowledge into one slim volume that's packed with effective, straightforward, and money-saving beauty advice.
Readers who are passionately devoted to beauty blogs and women's magazines may not find a great deal new here, but for those whose interest is more casual, this book is an efficient guide to upgrading your look. The best aspect of this book is that it names specific products and colors from particular brands. For every high-priced item, Andrea also recommends a comparable alternative at a lower price point. She also explains what makes each choice a good one, so if her recommendations don't suit you for some reason, you can easily look for something similar that is available in your area or preferred brand.
Early in the book, she outlines four "luxe personas": Park Avenue Pretty, Hollywood Boho, Glam Globe-Trotter, and Modern Movie Star. Each persona is illustrated with contemporary celebrities (and photographs of them!). From that point forward, every section, be it hair cut, makeup style, or fragrance choice, will have recommendations tailored to the various personas to help you figure out a cohesive style.
At the end of most sections, there is a "Work Your ___ Budget" guide that tells you how to maximize the impact of whatever cash you have to devote to this aspect of your budget. If you have $20 to spend on makeup, she tells you where to put it; if your budget is more like $50 or $100 or more, she has advice for you, too.
Each section also concludes with a comparison of what makes people look like they "Don't Have a Dime" and the contrasting characteristics that make you "Look Like a Million Bucks" to sum up the look you're going for... and the one you're not.
Highly recommended for women who want to upgrade their look without devoting their whole lives or wallets to personal upkeep.
I'm probably going to buy my own copy of this book just because I found it THAT helpful.