I’ve mentioned in one of my posts that I will share with you the list of makeup books that have inspired me on my makeup artist path. Some of them are quite old, because I was fascinated by them when I was in high school. At the time, if I wasn’t browsing make-up books, I was reading and “analyzing” all kind of fashion magazines and trying to sketch the looks on paper. My favorites were Vogue and Elle Italia. I started buying them when I was 15 and I remember that I couldn’t wait until the next issue was out and went to buy them in Italy. I was so excited to look at all those photography masterpieces with breathtaking top models of the 90’s. However, at that time I had no idea that one day my path will lead in make-up, even though I was curious all the time about everything concerned with beauty. Even today I still like to browse through all those old magazines and books and compare how we used to wear makeup in the past.
One of my passions are also books, not just beauty books, but I love to read different types of book. Today, I will share with you a small part of my book shelves – my favorite beauty books.


1. Kevyn Aucoin: Making faces and Face Forward  

make-up books

I have bought the first book “accidentally” many years ago. At that time I didn’t know who Kevyn Aucoin was. I felt in love with his book immediately, not just because of so many amazing makeovers, but also because every step is illustrated with hand sketches and is well explained. Later, when I was searching more about him, I realized why his books have such a positive energy. He was special as a person and was an incredible artist who was tuned in to each person’s face. So his books deserve a special place in my make-up book section. For me, when I look and listen to his videos is much more inspiring his simple personality and joy – his spirit – than just the make-up technique in itself.

Make-up book


2. Freundin: Umetnost ličenja (The art of makeup)

On the second place of my chart there is a makeup book from the very popular Freundin series of german manuals from the 90’s. It is in my slovenian language and was my first makeup book that I bought in the 1993. At that time there were no other make-up books and this one was “my makeup bible” for a long time 🙂 I remember I was trying on myself different techniques and colors inspired from it. Very 90’s and with lots of nice memories 🙂 At that time, I was strict about the “perfect” make-up process made step-by-step, without skipping a tool. Very funny to me now as I look back!

Make-up book


3. Richard Corson: Fashions in makeup

The n.3 book on my top list is a near 600 pages heavy book published in the 1972. I found this precious book in Milano while browsing in a fantastic old book store. I grabbed it immediately and surprisingly it was really good priced (ok, second hand, but in very good condition). This book is a real source of inspiration and knowledge, because it describes the beauty rituals and fashion from ancient to modern times. There aren’t many pictures in it, but there is a lot of useful knowledge; from bottles, jars and other tools from Egypt until the first modern lipstick,… I have a lot of other books about costume history from the University times, but I always search for good history makeup books that are quite hard to find. If you have any suggestion, you’re welcome to share with me 🙂


4. Robert Jones: Makeup makeovers and Rae Morris: Express makeup

I’ve put on n.4 two books, because I’m a big fan of any kind of makeovers. I was very curious about the Robert Jones books. I have 2 of them, but I prefer this one, because the others are just a copy of the first with almost the same pictures and informations. I like this book because of many pictures with makeup transformations that are made not just on models, but also on everyday people. Which I really like. I think that a makeup artist should first learn and work with “normal” people. It’s great to create looks on models and play with different images, but for me nothing beats the happiness of a “usual-everyday woman” makeover. When she feels great about herself after showing her how to look gorgeous in a few minutes with the right tools.
I have purchased the second book (Rae Morris) a few months ago, because whichever makeup book I buy now, is just about my curiosity 🙂 This book is also about makeovers. As opposite to the Robert Jones book, I perceive this one more fashion oriented, which I like very much, too. I’d recommend this book to everyone who is starting to work in fashion makeup or just to anyone who loves creating fashion looks. I also like the editorial mood of the entire book with beautiful photos. Moreover, inside there is also a helpful color chart of matching eyeshadows to different eye colors that may help many women.

Make-up book

Make-up book

Make-up book


5. Gretchen Davis, Mindy Hall: The makeup artist handbook

Among practical makeup manuals, this one was for me the most useful. However, it is not a book that really inspires me, but it’s more about informations and techniques. In general, I think that can be very useful for many aspiring makeup artist in film or theatre, because it has a lot of explanation regarding hair/wigs, prothesis,…and less about beauty in general. For me the most interesting chapter was about lighting and colors. Those fields aren’t mentioned in makeup books and a makeup artist has to learn this on their own while working with photographers. This book gave me some useful data while I was writing my diploma work: “The art of transforming the face-makeup in fashion photography”.

Make-up book

I have many other makeup books, but those that I’ve listed somehow helped me in many ways and are more special to me.

Do you have your favorite makeup/beauty book?

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