These are the 5 books that I come back to time and time again for inspiration as both a makeup artist and a devout beauty lover. Beauty books are naturally something i’ve come to accumulate over the years, and I love reading these for pleasure as much as I do when I need a little inspiration for my own work.
Nylon Pretty. I love the aesthetic behind Nylon the Magazine, especially their approach to Beauty, think glossier before it existed. Nylon Pretty is an extension of what the magazine offers and takes a look at beauty icons and cult beauty products throughout the ages, including Molly Ringwald from The Breakfast Club, Madonna in the 80’s and Anna Karina in the 60’s. A quick read that is largely image based, this is a lovely little makeup guide that focuses mostly on the past 50-100 years in beauty history.
The Ye Ye Girls (60’s French Pop) If you, like myself love exploring 60’s beauty and style then you have to get The Ye Ye Girls (60’s French pop). Lots of cool girl vibes. With some of the best sixties liner references, this is my go to for sixties makeup looks that are less stereotypical of that era, and a little bit more undone.
Kevyn Aucoin Face Forward. To be fair, you could buy any book by Kevyn Aucoin and be completely blown away by his skill and mastery, but Face Forward would have to be my personal favorite. His transformations of both friends and celebrities is out of this world, especially when he made a male friend off his look like Linda Evangelsta, and he turned Gwynth Paltrow into James Dean…Mind Blowing! Kevyn Aucoin was iconic in his own right, and a true makeup legend. His work throughout the 80’s and 90’s was synonymous with that era, and even now, I love going through my mum’s Vogue Magazine collection and studying his covers from the late 80’s and early 90’s, This book looks at the idea of transformation, while showing you how to recreate the looks step by step.
Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge. A modern day coffee table book that’s incredibly informative and a great reference point for beauty throughout the ages. Everything from Egyptian Makeup, Aristocratic Makeup to modern day icons. Face Paint also focuses on the products themselves and how the technology has evolved throughout history to bring us the products we know and love today. I love Lisa’s work and her commitment to researching products is second to none. This is a great reference book that you can dip in and out of, as opposed to having to read it in order for it to make sense. A must for any aspiring makeup artist.
Sali Hughes Pretty Honest. If you a prefer a more wordy approach to the study of beauty, then Sally Hugh’s Pretty Honest is a wonderful book, with beauty tips, antidotes and a look through the products that have earned hero status in the past 20 years. Sally writes a regular beauty column and is well known for her popular YouTube series ‘in the bathroom with’ which features industry experts like Mary Greenwell, Charlotte Tilbury and Val Garland which is also a must watch for beauty lovers who like to snoop around other beauty insiders’ bathrooms!
So there you have it, a round up of my personal favorites. Let me know the beauty books that make it onto your bookshelf, and don’t forget to check out Full Coverage Podcast for more beauty recommendations and beauty news.