Immaculate Complexion

The Immaculate Complexion

by Edie Bloom

An audio file of this program is available in mp3 format; click to listen.

I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is The Immaculate Complexion by Edie Bloom.

I’ll give you a second to giggle at the title of this book.

Before I get into it, I should let you know that Edie Bloom is actually two women — the writing team of Robin Strober and Michelle Meyers. They both did some time at Estée Lauder, so they were in a good position to take notes.

The Immaculate Complexion follows the progress of Marnie Mann, reluctant temp, vintage clothing lover, eater of actual food, as she rises, falls and rises in the cutthroat cosmetic industry. As she quickly learns, the women working at her brand new job — Levigne Cosmetics, the biggest in the world — are mostly size zero sharks who operate on a mixture of diet coke and venom. That would make them snakes. Anyway, she’s a fish out of water. Okay, I’m stopping.

I have to make a comparison to Ugly Betty — with the kind hearted, competent underling tormented and abused by her stylish, fashion obsessed coworkers. Here, though, Marnie isn’t lured by Prada bags and Jimmy Choos: at Levigne Cosmetics the apple in the garden is the backroom Botox operation that all the girls, and lots of the boys, dip into. Is that, you know, like, safe?

Will Marnie hang onto her soul in the face of all those free samples? Will she come to love and accept the furrow in her brow? And will she ever tell her boyfriend the cheese salesman that she’s lactose intolerant?

I talked with Robin and Michelle about products, socialite sisters, and doing the cheese research.

The book is The Immaculate Complexion by Edie Bloom. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.

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