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07-22-11 | Posted by

Mother-daughter relationships, in my experience, are tricky at best. How do mothers guide their daughters styling and grooming decisions without eliciting an out of control tantrum about being misunderstood or criticized? In her new book, Bonding Over Beauty, author and beauty expert Erika Katz suggests that a handbook of beauty knowledge and sensitivity to a young girl’s issues can actually help foster confidence, self-esteem and trust.

In addition to outlining valuable beauty information about hair, skin, makeup, hygiene, nutrition and more – applicable to moms as well as their daughters, Ms. Katz says the goal in writing this book also was to promote communication between mothers and daughters. “If you are there for her when wants to tweeze her eyebrows, color her hair, or use tampons, she may come to you later when she has a question about sex, drugs, and alcohol,” Ms. Katz writes.

Milestone issues are tackled such as when is the right time for a young girl to use makeup or shave her legs. A carefully chosen lip gloss in lieu of lipstick can do wonders for satisfying a girl’s glam craving. Ms. Katz takes a realistic approach knowing that a firm “no you can’t dye your hair blue,” will just not work. Instead she constructs compromises and guidelines for mothers to follow. For example, for the daughter who insists on dying her hair, have a stylist but in a natural looking lighter streak rather than a full platinum makeover. If you believe ten years old is too young for your daughter to begin shaving her legs, but she is being taunted in school, perhaps it is time to reconsider.

Each chapter is full of tips, product suggestions, beauty rituals and insights from beauty experts, like John Barrett of the John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Each chapter ends with mother-daughter Bonding Activities. For example, make your own body scrubs or facial masks from a few simple ingredients found in most kitchens (recipes provided); or go to a makeup counter in a department store and have them do your makeup and your daughter’s.

Ms. Katz stresses that girls need to be guided and mothers shouldn’t assume that their daughters already know everything thanks to media and peers. Bonding Over Beauty offers valuable information that will make you daughter’s transition into adulthood smoother and your role as her guide easier.

Bonding Over Beauty ($14.95) by Erika Katz is published by Greenleaf Book Group Press and available at www.amazon.com.

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