Whether you’re a nerd like me or love a good coffee table book, beauty books can teach so much and in most cases look absolutely beautiful while doing it.
I think I’ve got a pretty good mix of all-around beauty, specific techniques, and even a little bit of history so if you’re interested in the pretty pages I keep on my nightstand, check out all my favorites after the jump.
Charlotte Knight’s The Ciaté Book of Nail Style – I really can’t believe how often I flip through this little book of tricks from a former nail tech (and the founder of Ciaté). It has been so tremendously helpful in improving my personal manicuring skills. With tips on basic nail care, shaping, tricks to improve your technique, and tutorials for some pretty fancy finger work, this book covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about caring for, styling, and painting your nails. That it’s from the CEO of one of my all-time favorite nail polish brands certainly doesn’t hurt.
Lauren Conrad Beauty – This was actually my first beauty book purchase ever, and while I think I’ve sort of “moved on” from the basics covered here, it’s a great option for those who are curious or just getting started. A great option for the teen set or curious beginners of any age, it covers everything from skincare and ingredients to avoid [in your products] to makeup application and techniques with a full-page spread dedicated to each step of the process.
Lisa Eldridge’s Face Paint – This is definitely the “looker” of the bunch, written by a world-renowned makeup artist, YouTuber, and the new creative director for Lancôme. Lisa’s approach to the history of makeup is an absolutely gorgeous hardcover masterpiece, full of beautiful photos and vintage ads. It starts in Ancient Egypt and covers just about anything you’d want to know about makeup from there to here. It’s a stunning coffee table book for any makeup nerd, history buff, or fashionable party host and I’m even thinking of getting a copy for my grandma. This is one I can get lost in for hours, there is so much amazing information in a beautiful layout with seemingly endless photos of vintage makeup, beauty advertisements, and icons from across the ages.
Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces – This is probably the most “classic” book of my little library, and the most professional. Aucoin was a serious heavyweight in the makeup industry and one of the first to help develop and launch a product line designed for all skin tones. The step by step pictorials are beautifully drawn with an enormous variety of looks for a wide range of skin tones. This book is actually quite unique to my collection in that it really focuses on application and technique from a professional makeup artist perspective. I think it’s a great option for anyone (professional or not) looking to step up their game.
“It may not seem like it, but it was a powerful moment. Before, there were makeup lines for white women and others for black women. But he worked to design makeup for all skin tones. The idea was to empower a woman by revealing her natural beauty, and not to cover her up with layers of product.” – Linda Wells, former editor of Allure magazine
Dita Von Teese’s Your Beauty Mark – This was an unbelievable holiday gift from a close friend who apparently knows me way too well, because Dita’s latest release is a must-read for anyone who loves her style or is just fascinated by it. It’s a mix of memoir and routine with beautiful full-page spreads and step by step photos for everything bathtime to styling your hair. Dita loves herself (as she should, and you should too) and proudly flaunts her figure throughout these pages, so maybe skip this one for more conservative friends.
Fleur de Force’s The Glam Guide – This one is a bit of a mixed bag, not just focused on beauty and makeup, but the first book from my favorite Internet Human, Fleur de Force, has loads of tips, tricks, and how-to’s for the budding beauty blogger. She talks about being a self-starter, how to set up proper lighting, and even shares some healthy recipes for being your best self. I think the target market for this one is a bit younger [than I am], but I’d still recommend it to beginners of any age, beauty bloggers, and anyone curious for a peek into the life of a career YouTuber.
Stacy London’s The Truth About Style – Anybody that’s ever gotten a glimpse of my Pinterest boards will know I still regard Stacy London as one of the best personal stylists out there. She has such an eye for choosing the right shapes to suit yours and I’ve learned so much from watching her over the years. For fans of What Not To Wear, and anyone that could use a little guidance in the wardrobe department, this is a great way to turn to Stacy’s guidance without turning on the TV. She covers a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes, but the two that most stood out [to me] were great resources for the petite girls like me (that means short, not a reflection on the size you wear) and some great tips for those recovering or in remission from breast cancer looking to gain back some confidence. I think this book is suitable for all ages and sizes, even the fashion pros are bound to learn something here.