By Clarissa Cruz
Updated December 13, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Don’t let the lovely pink packaging fool you. Written by a veteran fashion-magazine journalist, Color Stories is a warts-and-all account of the less comely side of the makeup business. Framing her book around the nine-month cycle used to develop each season’s slate of hot colors, Gavenas takes us from product meetings at Estee Lauder to backstage at the Donna Karan runway show to Neutrogena’s fawning, Daniel Boulud-catered lunches for fashion editors. Smartly written and delightfully catty, Color exposes the wrinkles behind the beauty industry’s airbrushed visage.

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