On the rare day off, I am usually found scouring beauty halls, bookstores, museums, galleries or charity shops. Why? I have found personally that these amazing places all hold a key to what's important to me as a makeup artist. Visuals! I didn't study makeup and did art instead so makeup has always been more like art to me. Over the years, I have found that a remarkable source of information and visuals came in the form of books. Not just any books but books about beauty, art, costume history, architecture etc. There's no better way for me to understand and grasp why makeup was done the way it was done throughout history than to read about it. It usually is influenced by the politics, financial situation, social events, technology or films etc of that time which dictates how women use and wear their makeup. And understanding all that provides me with the tools and rules to use and break according to my personal preference.
So here are a few of my favourites which I look to in moments of doubt or confusion, or simply when I just want something beautiful to look at for inspiration. I have too many to show so I have brought out the ones that are directly related to beauty. I have more books that talk about art or less obvious topics but are equally relevant when it comes to my career.
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In Vogue: Six Decades of Fashion by Georgina Howell
My favourite book to date! I first saw this in the British Library in 1997 and it took me 5 years to find with the help of a specialist second-hand book dealer. This remarkable book contains pictures, photos and descriptions from 1916 right up to 1975 of the influential women, fashions, makeup and hairstyles covered by Vogue. A fabulous source of information which also explains the socio/economic situations of that era and how it affects and influences fashion and beauty.
Vogue: Stay Young
Another of the Vogue books so popular in the 70s and 80s. This little gem was published in 1981and I found this in a small charity shop in some rural village. And what I love about this are the incredible pictures of early 80s makeup all featured in the issues of Vogue. Great fun and great colour usage!
Makeup Your Mind by François Nars
I love this fun book! This treasure trove of a makeup book has all the most famous supermodels in bare faces on the left side and fully made up on the right. And a cellophane sheet with all the NARS products and where it goes on the face! It's like a kids pop-up book as it tells you how and where the colours all go on a face! Great one for looking at if you ever need to get inspiration on how to use certain colours!
Vogue Guide To Skincare, Haircare And Make-Up by Felicity Clark
Published in 1981, this one of three journals talks about beauty tips and care that were relevant of that time. I have tried looking for the other 2 journals but have yet to come across. One day! Another fabulous little gem that teaches you how to do your hair and makeup with health tips and all sorts of amazing little tips like streaking your hair in lemon juice and vodka!
Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin
The second book by this makeup maestro that I still count as a major influence for my delving into makeup. His first book The Art Of Makeup is in storage in Asia and was given to me by a my fashion design lecturer who noticed that I had a talent in makeup. Kevyn Aucoin is now sadly no longer with us but his legacy of makeup techniques is still very much present in how I work now. Simply amazing!
So if you have time or find yourself in some remote little village charity shop, pop in, you'd be very surprised to find some of the books that people don't want. Let me know if you see an obscure title anywhere and chances are I will definitely want it for my own private collection!Tweet