Tuesday, 10 May 2011

My Library: Old Friends I Revisit All The Time

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.
Staring from top left, clockwise:
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 Fran├žois 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!

16 comments:

  1. Need the Aucoin and Nars books! Like now :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Charlie: Yes you do!! You will definitely appreciate them! Thanks xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely post... love mooching around second hand bookshops. Gorgeous image in the Kevyn Aucoin book. x

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Strawberry Blonde: I know right? Me too! My friends think I'm crazy but I honestly spend loads on book and such. That image is one of my favs! Such a gorgeous makeup artist he was! Thanks for the comment! xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like thinking about make-up in a socio-economic context. So I think I'd love the 'In Vogue' book. Beauty and History - that's me sorted! But they all have beautiful visuals. I'll keep a look out for cool books for you Mr S. There is a massive Oxfam in Liverpool that pretty much just sells books. Anything in particular you are looking for? x

    ReplyDelete
  6. @LeanneOCD: You would love that book! If you find it get it for yourself! It's an incredible book! Oh for me, anything. If you happen to see Kevyn Aucoin's Art of Makeup, let me know. It's not pulished anymore and so hard to find. I'm scouring the US to get a copy sent over. I like all books. Am a geek after all! Thank Leanne for the comment! xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. i could sit for hours looking at my books i never tire of them! always thinking what could work and what new creation i could put together - lavly post mr! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Miss Jones: Thanks hon! Me too! Lovely way to spend time and to drum up inspiration indeed! Thank you for the comment! xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a lovely collection. I had a load of fashion books from when I was a teenager, found a gorgous Pucci book full of print designs that was the inspiration of a lot of my school coursework in some obscure bookshop in Yorkshire. It is still one of my favourites.

    I also have boxes and boxes full of old magazine cuttings, about 15 years worth. So interesting to look through the different fashions and makeup looks just from the nineties and noughties. Is strange that I am still drawn to exactly the same things, colours and textures, as I was when I was so much younger. Films and fashion from 1930s, 1940s and 1950s are my favourites though so your Vogue Six Decades of Fashion sounds a real treat. I definitely think of makeup as an art form, just a shame I'm not a natural artsit! x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing your 'secrets'! I love looking at picture and getting inspired by them, and reading up on how to do things. If nothing else it inspires me on my quest to get healthy skin :) Thanks hun xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Lipstick Luvvie: Wow your collection sounds amazing Jen! Esp the pucci one! I agree, things that drew me as a teen still hold a very special place in my heart. Funny isn't it? If you find that Vogue book get it! If not, let me know if you're in London and you can borrow it. Thanks for the comment! xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Computergirl: You're very welcome! I'm the same, maybe I'm not very smart as it's the pictures that usually grab and fascinate me! Lol! Thanks for your lovely comment! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. The Nars book looks perfect - love that it shows you what goes where to create the look, I am enjoying experimenting with colour and some more inspiration would be fab, especially understanding how colours work to create different effects. x

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Debbie: Debz this book would be perfect for you!! Since you love colour so much it's great! I love looking through it just to see odd colour combos and how to use them. As always thanks for the lovely comment! x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post! I love the Kevyn Aucoin books, they are amazing. Have you had a look at Rae Morris' books? Fantastic fantastic stuff xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Simone: Thanks lovely! Yes I have seen her books but personally her aesthetics doesn't do it for me. I have them though. XX

    ReplyDelete