Stylish Guide to Collecting an Art Form

The Bakelite Jewelry Book, by Corinne A. Davidov and Ginny Redington Dawes (Abbeville Press: $35).

This is a celebration of the cheeky plastic costume jewelry manufactured primarily from 1933 to 1941. Like the jewelry itself, the book is direct, colorful and stylish--occasionally elegant and occasionally silly.

The authors, both of whom are serious Bakelite collectors, have managed to convey their delight and appreciation for this funky art form in both their words and photo choices.

They have assembled an impressive history of Bakelite jewelry as well as numerous examples of both common and rare pieces. They have also included a useful price guide for beginning collectors.


Heads-Up Advice on Care of the Skin

Smart Face: A Dermatologist’s Guide to Saving Your Money and Saving Your Skin, by Thomas Goodman MD and Stephanie Young (Prentice Hall Press: $9.95).

For those perlexed by all the emerging terms and claims describing today’s “advanced” skin-care products and treatment routines, this book provides considerable help in making informed consumer choices.

It’s particularly useful in that it provides extensive information in areas usually treated only superficially in the mass media. An entire chapter is devoted to the subject of sun damage and sun protection, for instance. And the chapter on moisturizing not only gives the standard information on what moisturizers can and cannot accomplish, it also describes the functions of the new, so-called “super moisturizers,” which contain such ingredients as hyaluronic acid.

In addition, the authors (a Memphis dermatologist and a free-lance writer based in New York City) have included a lengthy, though incomplete, list of popular cosmetic products, with comments on their ingredients, price, skin-type suitability and unique properties.