What beauty-related books have you learned the most from?


What beauty-related books have you learned the most from? (e.g. books by Kevyn Aucoin, Bobbi Brown, Carmindy, Paula Begoun, etc.)

Kevyn Aucoin – it’s just no contest.

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I loved Bobbi Brown books for when I was younger. I think they are perfect for simple fresh makeup appropriate for teens. I still have mine and I am saving them for my little sister!

Kevyn Aucoin was not just makeup artist. He was an artist. I was in my 20’s when I looked at his first book. He transformed models to look like famous actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor. I wish he could had done my makeup. RIP.

Jemma Kidd’s “Make-Up Masterclass”, although the language is very simplistic (which I personally find annoying at times), I guess that’s actually an asset of this particular publication, as it makes it accessible to a larger group of potential readers.
I’ve never had any other make-up books, so I’m wondering – are the Kevyn Aucoin ones worth it? What about Rae Morris? Love her work, but is her “Ultimate Guide” any good?
Tbh, I wish Lisa Eldridge came up with something. I love her tutorials.

If you know lots about makeup and applying makeup then I don’t think Rae Morris’ books are must-haves. I managed to find a couple of her books for $10 at Aldi so I grabbed them. Ultimate Guide is nice to have but not necessary. I was going to say that I wish Lisa Eldridge would write a book but I think something would be lost. It is her presence on screen and seeing her apply products that make her tutorials so good.

Paula Begoun — I love having the knowledge of the ingredients, and this way, I can gauge whether a product would work well for me or not.

Christine, which book by Kevyn Aucoin would you recommend? I was considering buying one of them, but still hesitating between Face Forward and Making Faces

Definitely Paula Begoun’s The Original Beauty Bible, particularly her debunking of beauty myths and skin care advice. Also her book Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter… (pre-website) was great. There were products considered to be icons and others raved about by editors that I had tried and found to be awful. Often her reviews of these products described the mediocre formulations and how over-hyped they were. I didn’t always agree with everything she wrote (particularly with makeup colours and application) but I think everyone should read TOBB.

Rae Morris’ books are pretty good, although once you have one you don’t need the rest. I’ve only just bought Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces but a quick flick through got me very excited!

My thoughts exactly regarding Paula Begoun. I wish her books were around when I was in high school. It wasn’t until I read her books that I found skincare that didn’t aggravate my acne-prone skin or cause an allergic reaction. The memories of my trial-and-error days make me cringe!! The ingredient listings alone are worth their weight in gold IMO.

I’ve heard raves about Kevyn Aucoin’s for years but never picked one up. Maybe I’ll treat myself this Christmas. 😉

Agreed. TOBB was the first place that properly described that your skin could be in several states at once (dry/flaking, oily, acne-covered and sensitive) and how to deal with it properly.

Every woman regardless of if they’re a woman of color or not should pick up Sam Fines “Fine Beauty” and Iman’s “Beauty of Color”

Christine, if you ever get the chance, would you consider doing a little overview of the books that you’ve found useful? Nothing necessarily too in-depth, but I’d love to know which of Aucoin’s books you’d recommend and so on. If you have time!

Kevyn Aucoin for sure. I also like the NARS books, but they are a little more how-to. Kevyn’s books did give instructions, but more than that you could just take inspiration for the pictures and run with it. I remember the first book I got, I sat in Starbucks and read it for hours waiting for my friend to get out of work (she was a barista). It was like the most amazing thing to me.

I’m one of the only people I know who DOESN’T like the Kevin Aucoin books. I didn’t care for them in the 90’s and I don’t like them today. They’re enjoyable to look at (like a coffee table book) but I never felt like I learned anything from them. They’re a great example of 90’s era makeup though… I LOVE to hunt down older makeup books for the retro factor and those definitely hit the 90’s on the head for me. VERY Glamour Shots! 😉

Jemma Kidd’s Make-Up Masterclass is one of my favorite books because it doesn’t have a ton of personality, it’s just a nice – easy to read – reference book. I like books like that: Organized and easy to learn from.

Even though the old Color Me Beautiful book by Carole Jackson doesn’t really cover makeup THAT much, it’s also one of my favorites.

I agree with you on the Kevyn Aucoin books. They are pretty to flip through, but I would pick Mrs Morris’ books over them anyday! Please note that I own and have read the books of both these artists.
I greatly enjoy the book “Best in beauty” by Mr. Riku Campo, it covers everything the word “beauty” contains and also many interesting mu looks.

When I first starting getting really into beauty and makeup I read Trish Mcevoy’s The Power of Makeup and I loved it…a lot of basic stuff and i think it’s a must read for beginners.

kevin aucoin is excellent. i also really get a lot out of Make Up Your Mind: Express Yourself by nars. it is really an awesome book. it features a before and after picture of all sorts of people. the before is one page and the after is on the facing page. there is then a clear, transparency page that overlays the after page that shows the makeup that was used and the placement.

As much as I loved Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin, it really is just a display of his incredible talent rather than anytihng I actually learned from.

Makeup Makeovers by Robert Jones was so helpful to me – not only does he go over the fundamental basics in selecting colour and finishes in a variety of cosmetics, he also covers face and eye shapes and how to balance out features in a way that is easy to understand and apply in real life.

I think his books (there was on one wedding makeup too) have been out for well over a decade now but they were extremely helpful when I first started getting immersed in makeup – I don’t agree with completely everything in his books but I do really like his philosophy on women and beauty.

Kevyn’s books are what made me fall in love with makeup in the first place. I used to pour over them in the bookstore, before I was old enough to buy makeup. Lately, I’ve been returning to Iman’s book, I love her attitude and approach.

“How to look Expensive” by Glamour beauty editor Andrea Lustig. It talked about hair, skincare and makeup and how ordinary people could afford movie star looks. She lists a bunch of products for every budget plus she cuts through what is really worth splurging on to look “expensive” and what’s not. She also ask people from the beauty biz for their best advice and it’s all written on her book.

If you can find old Way Bandy books (out-of-print but maybe available used) to get makeup application ideas, they are very interesting, especially to see how he made his own kinds of products and/or combined simple things for non-commercial skincare. I really loved the way he mixed color products to make a variety of types of makeup looks. Kevyn Aucoin was truly amazing and creative in the way that he could use cosmetic products to make someone look like a totally different person. For me, Bobbi Brown’s books were very comprehensive in that they used many different types of women/girls and tried to show how each individual could look beautiful in their own way. For the “mature” woman, I really like Lois Joy Johnson’s and Sandy Linter’s book, The Makeup Wakeup, although I’ll bet some of these strategies could also apply to younger ladies! As for Rae Morris, I’m not sure that I think that her makeup applications on older women are as flattering. They are, however, kind of “out there,” which strikes against timid makeup applications on older women. It’s kind of a makeup philosophy, i.e., why should older (mature? sophisticated? a certain age?) women not enjoy using glamorous makeup? And as for creative color, you need to check out Linda Mason’s books and website, she is also a painter who sometimes uses cosmetics in a painterly way for some interesting effects. Ok, if you’re still reading this, you can probably figure out that I’ve loved makeup and its application since I was around 12, and now . . . I’m 64, and still loving colored eyeliners along with other colorful makeup products!

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