5 Beauty Books in 5 Weeks: Dita Von Teese, Kevyn Aucoin, Lisa Eldridge, Scott Barnes

5 beauty books I’ve read in 5 weeks by Dita Von Teese, Kevyn Aucoin, Lisa Eldridge, Scott Barnes

Hello darlings ❤️ A few months ago I’ve received a wonderful gift – Your Beauty Mark book by Dita Von Teese. After reading this amazing book I got into beauty books overall and read 4 more books. In this post I’d like to review all of them:
About Face: Amazing Transformations Using the Secrets of the Top Celebrity Makeup Artist by Scott Barnes
Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin
Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin
Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge
Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccenstric Glamour by Dita Von Teese

Which was the best one and which – not so impressive?

My expectations were high for all of these books – they are all written by beauty experts! I have to start on a sour note, but then there will be only good ones!

About Face: Amazing Transformations Using the Secrets of the Top Celebrity Makeup Artist by Scott Barnes

There’s a lot of buzz around Scott Barnes because he’s the makeup artist behind the iconic JLo’s glow and appeared on a lot of media outlets. Needless to say, my expectations were really high for this book and I it was the most underwhelming and disappointing reading experience ever. The author often skips detailed explanatins for every step of transformations, the interviews with models include a lot of flattery towards the autor himself, while the ‘after’ pictures are airbrushed to the point of blurry.

What I find the most misleading about this book is its title because it’s not actually about face. For every model, the author includes a full-blown interview, including questions about childhood, hobbies, and what SPF they wear. I see that he tried to take a more personal approach to every model, however it doesn’t do anything for me instead of distracting me from the actual topic of the book. I don’t care about these people and their personal stories – it’s not why I bought the book. There are some useful tips in the book, but in the end it comes down to ‘blend, blend, blend’. If this book is for MUAs, then why does Scott recommend saliva as ‘the fastest (and cheapest) makeup corrector on the market’ (p.78)? 😲 And if it’s for people who want to learn how to do their own makeup, it’s not very informative – the techniques aren’t detailed enough in pictures. All in all, his signature makeup he does on models may look good on camera and on stage, but for events or every day it’s just too heavy. On models with darker skintones the yellow color corrector under the eyes is painfully obvious. Besides, the book includes a lot of makeup and beauty cliches (e.g. ‘don’t wear red lipstick every day’ and ‘wear red only in the evening, to black tie events, if you’re a redhead (?), and with minimal makeup on the eyes’ – – wait wut?). There’s not even one mention about men and queer people, as if they aren’t included in the makeup world. Ahhh… what a letdown.

Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin

If love of a makeup artist to makeup could be encapsulated in a book, this would be that very book. In Making Faces, there are personal stories here and there, but (unlike About Face) they are 100% relevant, inpsiring, and very interesting. This book is at the same time very charming and educating, even though it was published in 1999. It doesn’t feel outdated at all. Kevyn Aucoin somehow captures the natural beauty of every model in the book and works in harmony with it, which results in unique looks. I found it especially helpful that every texture, every product, and every tool are described in detail in this book. It’s got a bit of everything – makeup history, explanation of techniques, step-by-step guides, and stunning pictures. I found myself returning to this book over and over, just to get a feeling of beauty and art that it exudes. I absolutely love it and would recommend to anyone who’s into beauty and makeup.

Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin

I have a confession to make. My entire mission in life is to help women take over the world. Not by force (the route many men have taken since the beginning of time), but with compassion, perseverence, and love.

Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin

While Making Faces is all about the basics, this book focuses on transformations, start to finish. It includes everyday looks with tips as well as celebrities transformations, such as Susan Sarandon into Bette Davis, Winona Ryder into Elizabeth Taylor, Gwyneth Palthrow into James Dean, and Martha Stewart into Veronica Lake. The everyday makeup shown by models include step-by-step pictures and descriptions of the steps, while celebrity transormations – only descriptions and drawn illustrations. I can’t complain, although this book is a bit more of a coffee table book than a book to learn from than Making Faces. Still awesome nonetheless!

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge

I love the history of makeup and fashion, and this book is all I could have asked for. The book reveals a lot of facts about how makeup and beauty has come to where it is today. I especially liked the illustrations – old ads, booklets, and magazine pages. The book doesn’t go too deep into describing historical events, but rather uses them as a context for how makeup and beauty was developing. The book is filled with very interesting facts! For instance, did you know that it was Gabrielle Chanel that started the trend for bronzed skin after she accidentally caught too much sun herself? As a result Chanel came up with L-Huile Tan, a tanning oil, in 1929. It was a very interesting read.

Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccenstric Glamour by Dita Von Teese

I’ve dreamt about this book since it came out in 2015 and it exceeded all my expectations, above and beyond. Dita Von Teese is an icon for me (I dedicated a whole post to her) and one of the things I admire the most about her is that she never simply slaps her name on a product to sell it – she invests all the effort and care to make it worthy. This book is absolutely stunning in everything – from very detailed step-by-step descriptions and pictures to the quality of paper and print. I love how Dita included queer icons into this book – it’s amazin because beauty has no bounds, it doesn’t belong only to women, and art is for everyone. Before I read the book, I felt like it would be focused solely on achieving Ditas signature looks, but I was 100% wrong. This book could have been titled ‘The Ultimate Guide To Self-Care’! All the tips there are simple, sensible, and very useful. The writing style completely corresponds with how Dita carries herself and talks – it’s elegant, calm, but at the same time glamorous. Every title in the book is a pun – makes me smile every time! Hands down my favorite beauty book and one of my most valued possessions.

Beauty, glamour, even luxury need not be determined by one’s bank account. True luxury is using the silk robe or teacups every single day

Dita Von Teese, Your Beauty Mark, p.5

Seriously, I’ve nothing to hide. This is no illusion. To call it that is to say that all this is something false, make-believe, something of a betrayal. To live looking any other way would be a lie.

Dita Von Teese, Your Beauty Mark, p.6

Overall, 4 solid ‘wins’ and only one disappointment – I think it’s a pretty good score!

Have you read any of these books or ever wanted to? Which one would be the most interested to read for you? Can’t wait to read your comments ❤️



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Author: Alexandra @YouAndMeAndCupOfCoffee.com

Passionate researcher and writer. Coffee maniac. Pilates enthusiast. Makeup and skincare junkie. Occasionally - movie and book reviewer. Come join me on my quest!

8 thoughts on “5 Beauty Books in 5 Weeks: Dita Von Teese, Kevyn Aucoin, Lisa Eldridge, Scott Barnes”

  1. Now this is something too good for reader like me..I love reading books.. lockdown lead me to many cookery books on Kindle..
    So based on your article I have downloaded sample of 3 books on Kindle..making faces, face paint, your beauty mark…I am so excited to read them..hard copy will not be possible right now..
    What you will suggest kindle edition will be fine or should I wait for lockdown to get over and I can order the hardcover

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have Kevin Aucoin’s books in format of e-books and read them on my laptop, Face Paint – on my Kindle, and Your Beauty Mark I have in a hardcover. If I were you, I’d read the samples first and see if you enjoy them. For instance, Kevin Aucoin’s books have a lot of illustrations that won’t look good on Kindle at all – there’s a lot about using colors, the illustrations are intricate and detailed, etc. Making Faces in hardcover is on my wishlist – it’s very interesting to study the pictures there and even on laptop it’s not the same as a hardcover. Face Paint you can definitely read on Kindle – it’s mainly text and the illustrations aren’t the main focus of the book at all – they kind of just help explain certain points in the book, but it won’t lose its value in any way if read on Kindle. As for Your Beauty Mark, it’s got a lot of amazing photographs and the book itself is quite large, detailed, and long. If you enjoy the sample, then you’ll definitely enjoy reading and re-reading it (it doesn’t disappoint half-way), so maybe hardcover would be a better choice for this one than a Kindle version. By the way, my husband got it for me for around $25 – he was lucky to get it on sale, so if you decide to buy it, I hope you’ll be able to find same awesome deal! The book is extremely well-made and it became one of my most valuable books in my home library. Hope it helps!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment ❤️ It truly makes me happy to know that my post is useful for you in some way and I hope you’ll enjoy these books same as I did! Have an amazing day ahead ☀️


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