Beauty Pop is the age old story of a high school which has an all male beauty club... that is popular school wide. Clearly a work of fiction, Beauty Pop covers a fairly interesting topic that is more fun than plausible. The story mostly revolves around the makeovers and competitions that the aforementioned beauty club (Called the Scissors Project, or SP) perform, at least in the early chapters. As it goes along you begin caring about the characters more, and while there is an obvious male lead, I found myself wondering who the female lead, Kiri Koshiba, might actually end up with. One thing I like about the story is that there is closure. By the end of the 10 volume story, you know who she chooses.
One of the major appeals of the story is the makeovers themselves. Often, the results are left at a cliffhanger, where you really wonder what change will be made, if it is plausible, and if it actually will look good. This is a fairly light read, but as the story progresses, sabotage, relationships, and conflict carry the story to be more than just a series of before and after images.
The art in Beauty Pop isn't the most beautiful I've seen, but it is by no means hard to look at. The art is mainly noticable in character designs and the makeover sequences. Attention to detail is needed when it comes to a makeover manga with the character design, and I feel that this manga does so nicely. The chibis are very cute, as they should be.
The characters aren't anything too cutting edge. There's a temperamental lead male, introverted brainiac, hyperactive sugar addict, and a shy best friend. I've heard others compare the cast to Ouran High School Host Club. Where the cast stands out, I find, is with the lead, Kiri. She's a girl with a talent who is humble about it, to the point of not being open about it, using an adrogynous disguise and alias for doing her early makeovers. She wants to ignore her talent, basically, and only puts it to use for people who are miserable over their appearance, and have been turned away by the Scissors Project.
Another highlight in the character department is named Seki. He covers the tall, spikey haired, closed eyes, masseuse role. He is overly apologetic and against making a fuss, but I found him quite enjoyable. He makes his debut a few volumes in, and I could have seen more of him.
With the characters there is a pretty good variety, and all bases are covered. They're fun, and all are fairly prominenly used in the story, besides the 'makeover of the chapter' characters. There is an attempt at depth with some of the characters, and it mostly works for the very main characters.
Beauty Pop is something I would suggest for readers looking for something lighthearted and fairly inoffensive (unless you don't like the use of the word 'nappy'). A younger reader who enjoys shoujo would also like this, and it wouldn't be bad as an introduction to manga. It isn't laugh out loud funny, but it is endearing and charming. The uniqueness for this manga is in the concept, as opposed to the actual plotlines. Still, it doesn't feel like a rip off to me, as the concept lends itself for some story arcs that wouldn't be possible in another manga.