photog offers up beauty tips

I have a new beauty book to add to my lineup - which now stretches from one side of my desk to the other. With all these pros sharing their beauty tips and secrets with us, you'd think we'd all look like Miss America by now!

We don't, of course. But if we pick and choose carefully, we all can find pointers that help us look a little better groomed, dress with a bit more flair, and feel a tad more self-confident.

But back to my new book: "Nigel Barker's Beauty Equation: Revealing a Better and More Beautiful You" (Abrams Image, $19.95).

Yes, that Nigel Barker - fashion photographer and judge for 14 seasons on the super-popular (among fashionistas, at least) TV reality show, "America's Next Top Model."

Barker shares his formula for revealing your inner beauty, enhancing outer beauty and feeling great about yourself. There are chapters on allure, confidence, compassion, spontaneity, radiance, health, honesty, charm, energy and humor. Along with plenty of tips on fashion, style, hair and makeup.

What sets this beauty book apart, and makes it a lot of fun, is it's written by a photographer. He asks us to arm ourselves with our own cameras, then he guides us through a series of self-portrait challenges.

Clueless when it comes to cameras? No problem. Barker includes a kind of "Photography 101" guide at the end of the book - what camera to use, how to set it, hold it, point and shoot it.

It's a lively read with, naturally, lots of great photos.

Also in my "IN" box:

"Design Your Own Tees: Techniques and Inspiration to Stitch, Stamp, Stencil and Silk-screen Your Very Own T-shirts" by Jennifer Cooke (St. Martins Griffin, $21.99): Author sells her designs at craft fairs, in her Etsy shop and to stores worldwide. Book has simple techniques and design sources for making printed or embellished T-shirts.

"P.S. I Made This..." by Erica Domesek (Abrams Image, $18.95): Part designer DIY, part fashion and lifestyle inspiration guide, the book is born of the author's website of the same name. It features more than 25 projects inspired by iconic fashion looks and runway trends - from Lucite bangles to faux-fur vests to tuxedo pants, scarves and studded high-heel shoes