This is a large book. The format is just one complete recipe after another; there is no other text. The recipes are given in terms of percentage of ingredient by weight. This is extremely useful, even for beginners just getting started with diy formulating. You get the idea of how ingredients are used just by reading the recipes--but you will definitely need some resource (the web is great) to figure out what each of the ingredients does. This is especially important for those recipes (and there are many) that use proprietary names for common ingredients or blends thereof. A diy recipe often includes more generalized names like 'emulsifying wax'; a recipe in this book might say something like that, but not necessarily. But once you get the hang of looking up these alternate names, you can figure out what you can substitute for those ingredients. By this means you can really learn a lot and begin to take your own formulations to the next level.
Complete but very concise instructions are provided, in terms of which ingredients go in which phase, what the temperatures need to be, and how the phases are to be mixed. Unlike the usual diy recipes which tend to have two, and rarely three, phases, some of these recipes include 4 or 5 phases. I'm probably giving myself away as a relative beginner by saying this, but that was an eye-opener for me, and I started to see my own original creations in a completely new light because of it. Some of the novel experiments I was trying just weren't coming together when I tried to squeeze everything into two phases; but many more achievements become possible when you are open to the idea of maybe 6 or 7 phases!
Brand names and product names are not usually provided; instead, the source of the recipe is provided, and that is usually a corporation name, which is not necessarily something the consumer knows. In other words, if you are looking for the recipe for Johnson and Johnson's Baby Shampoo, you won't find exactly that wording, necessarily. But you will find a recipe for SOME product that is a baby shampoo.
It's not clear how or why the recipes are collected. I have a couple of the other volumes as well as this one. It looks like the editor just collects as many recipes (in all divisions of cosmetics) as he can get in some time frame, puts them in a volume, and publishes them. So the volumes are organized by time. Thus, you really can't tell before examining a copy, whether it will contain formulations that you are interested in. For example, you might want to create your own waterproof blue mascara based on the formula for Maybelline's Black Stilleto, but you have no idea ahead of time whether that particular formula will appear in a particular volume.
So all in all, good as a learning tool and occasional reference. I got out of it exactly what I needed. But unless you have access to endless ingredients, don't expect to just open the book and be able to create any of the recipes on the spot.