Beauty and style guides land on my desk virtually every day and generally get stacked in a dusty pile. Sure, some of them include a useful tip or two...but rarely enough to warrant purchasing. I can, however, wholeheartedly recommend the new "How Not to Look Old" - and not just because I advised author Charla Krupp on which Twin Cities salons to spotlight in the city-by-city beauty guide at the back of the book. (The mere fact that she includes cities between NY and LA is a triumph.)
Krupp, a veteran beauty editor and frequent style expert on the Today show, has managed to stay real after years in the fashion biz. She's more concerned about spider veins and hair loss and disguising a less-than-taut tummy than the next runway collection or miracle cream. "Aging sucks," she writes. "The question is, what are we going to do about it?" Her book is honest, humorous and packed with useful tips on everything from managing wrinkles to wearing the right shapewear.
One of the big lightening rods seems to be Krupp's advice on hosiery. "For some reason," she told me this week, "women didn't know not to wear nude hose!" Krupp is a fan of fishnets and opaques. For dressy occasions, she says to go with bare legs (spray-on tanner helps) or consider nude fishnets. If your dress happens to be black, very sheer black stockings could work.
Beyond the seemingly endless hosiery debates, Krupp stirred up a bit of controversy on my radio show, "Shop Girls" a few weeks ago when she advised women over 40 not to go gray. A flurry of calls followed from women reluctant to commit to hair color for the rest of their lives. Sure, maintenance is a bitch, but Krupp is goal oriented: lightening your hair takes 10 years off your appearance. Yes, we'll save your spot while you call the salon.
Which one? Well, for those Minneapolis beauty listings at the back of Krupp's book - what pressure! - I suggested Jon English, Denny Kemp, Root Salon, Brian Graham Salon and Juut at Gaviidae, especially master stylist Woody Theis, who got up early to style Krupp's hair when she was in town recently. (It's blond.)