Friday, 8 May 2015

Review: The Glam Guide by Fleur de Force


I recently finished reading Fleur de Force's book The Glam Guide and I thought I'd do a quick review of it here on my blog. I bought it a few weeks ago on a trip to the UK - it wasn't exactly at the top of my absolutely-must-buy list but I've been kind of intrigued about it since it came out (incidentally, on my birthday) so I thought I'd get it and have a read. Although I have to admit I'm slightly sceptical about all these YouTuber books that have been coming out lately, I've been watching Fleur's YouTube channel for years and in my opinion she does a great job of giving actually useful beauty advice and tips so I was really hoping that would come across in the book.

First things first, I really like the cover and whole aesthetic effect of the book. I remember Fleur showing the original cover in a video, which wasn't nearly as nice and didn't really have much of her personality in it. The final version, however, is really lovely: I love the shiny gold lettering, the little stars, the pastel watercolour effect and the way the pictures don't overcrowd the space. Inside it's much the same story, there's a nice mixture of photos and illustrations and it's all quite minimalist with clean lines. As a whole I think it works really well.

The actual content itself is divided up into seven sections: beauty | hair | fashion | travel | health and fitness | life, love, dreams and everything in between | YouTube and blogging. Each section starts with an introduction and ends with '10 quick tips', which I suppose is a way of including the things that didn't really fit anywhere else. I thought I'd review each section individually, as I think some are a lot better than others.

This is easily the most detailed and comprehensive section, which is only natural as Fleur is primarily a beauty blogger/vlogger. It's kept deliberately quite basic and general and she makes the point several times that make-up is individual and it's all about finding what works for you etc, but at the same time there are a lot of useful tips and advice, especially if you're still relatively new to make-up like me. I especially liked the sections on which brush to use, how to choose a concealer and when to use blush, bronzer and highlighter, as I feel most beauty bloggers/vloggers assume their readers/viewers know those kind of things already. There's also quite a lot on skincare, and a scarily scientific bit on which ingredients to avoid when buying products. I found that while useful, a lot of the advice was stuff I'd heard before on her YouTube channel, but admittedly condensed into one easy to read and compact section.

This is the smallest section, as I suppose in comparison to beauty there's only a limited amount to say unless you're actually a hairdresser. But there's still some useful info on dyeing and growing your hair, and I might actually try some of the 'quick  and easy hairstyles' one day.

I really enjoyed this section, perhaps because Fleur doesn't talk about fashion all that much on her channel so most of her own personal advice was new to me. Again, it's generic, but there are some sound tips and advice, especially when it comes to handbags, shoes and accessorising. Having just acquired my first designer handbag, I found the 'Handbag 101' pages really interesting! I also enjoyed the bit on 'How to Make High Street Look High End'.

Maybe I've been doing it wrong, but I had no idea there was so much (or indeed anything) to say on travel! For something which is really just a method of getting from A to B, Fleur has a lot of advice including how to pack, how to travel in style, how to beat jet lag, in-flight beauty etc. To me most of this section seemed like fairly obvious logic, but maybe I've just become a pro traveller without realising it...

Heath and Fitness
I'm got to admit, I skimmed over this section because I am one of the least fitness-orientated people ever. However, I did like the look of some of the recipes (most of which were veggie, yay) and the bit on juices vs. smoothies with the advantages of each was quite interesting. As with most fitness things, there seemed to be a lot of contradictory advice and things to remember, so I just flicked through those pages and tried not to get confused.

Life, Love, Dreams and Everything in Between
In my opinion this was kind of a pointless section. Fleur explains in the introduction why she felt the need to include a kind of miscellaneous section and she does touch on some key areas, but in all honesty its done so fleetingly it wasn't even worth it in my opinion. Her self-confidence advice is standard and I was disappointed not to see more of her own personal advice rather than the generic tips and tricks, while the body image bit (SO important!) was ridiculously brief. I mean, the tips are things like 'take a closer look at nature's imperfections' and 'admire successful women', just to give you an example. The 'first date etiquette' pages seem superficial, but I suppose it's an example of her own experiences and an attempt to not be too generic - it's a tricky balance to strike but I feel like she misses it here. I actually really enjoyed the 'reading your dreams' bit, but that's because it's probably something I'd happily sit and google for hours on end, not because Fleur included anything particularly ground-breaking.

YouTube and Blogging
As a blogger I was really interested to read this section, but most of it is actually geared towards YouTube, which was a shame, although if you are a budding YouTuber it would probably be quite useful. Personally the advice was nothing I'd not read or heard before, but it was still nice to hear it directly from Fleur.

There's not a whole lot of criticise about The Glam Guide (unless you had really high expectations, in which case you might be disappointed), but neither is there much to really rave about. It's essentially the contents of Fleur's channel condensed into a pretty book, with some nice photos and a couple of personal touches. I think the people who would most enjoy this book are the hardcore fans who support her in everything she does and people who have never heard of Fleur and haven't necessarily heard her advice, but for anyone in between it doesn't pack much of a punch. But maybe I'm sounding too critical, because I honestly did enjoy it on the whole.



  1. Her book sounds a lot like Tanya's book, to be honest! Both have the different sections and the top ten tips at the end of each section. Then again, what can you expect from two YouTubers - they are going to have the same type of videos after all!

    I enjoyed reading your review!

    Aoife :)

    1. Yeah I think it's a mistake to have high expectations for YouTuber books as they're all going to be more or less the same (i.e. generic) in the end. I actually also own Tanya's book, so when I get round to reading it I may well review it or do a comparison with Fleur's. And thanks! :)