10 Books every makeup artist should read

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With so many YouTube channels, Instagram feeds and Facebook groups screaming for our attention every day, it’s nice to be able to grab a coffee (or a wine) and sit back to read a book.

Here’s our pick for 10 books every aspiring makeup artist should read.

1 & 2: Making Faces & Face Forward | Kevyn Aucoin

Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces & Face Forward booksAlthough this gorgeous book was written 20 years ago the techniques and applications in this book are still useful and relevant today.

Any aspiring makeup artist should have this book on their must-read list to learn the fundamentals of beauty.

This book is full of detailed step by step instructions, 200 sumptuous pictures, and with Aucoin’s personality coming through in his commentary this is a book I find myself reading again and again.

Find them on www.amazon.com

3: Face Paint: The Story of Makeup | Lisa Aldridge

Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge bookLisa Eldridge is one of the few makeup artists that I follow on Youtube – I could listen to her soothing voice all day, and she is wonderful at explaining the techniques she uses, as well as the history behind it.

This is not a how-to book for budding makeup artists, but rather a recounting of the impact that makeup has had throughout history, and the book is full of gorgeous pictures from times past.

Purchase at www.booktopia.com.au


4: Makeup Artist Bootcamp | Becca Gilmartin

Makeup Artist Bootcamp by Becca Gilmartin booksBecca Gilmartin is one of Australia’s favourite makeup artists and trainers.  She runs her Makeup Artist Bootcamps all around Australia, which covers so much more than just how to paint body art – it’s a full course covering techniques, mindset, career goal setting and much, much more.

If you can’t get to Bootcamp in person (and we recommend that you do) the recently released Makeup Artist Bootcamp books are essential reading.    Covering the in-person Bootcamp framework in a self-paced course, the book and accompanying workbook will help train your creativity, accuracy, and confidence.

You can purchase these books at http://www.thegreenbrushproject.com/-s-h-o-p-/


5: Assisting Rules | DeShawn Hatcher

Assisting Rules by DeShawn Hatcher bookAssisting Rules is the definitive guide on how to be a perfect assistant to a Head Makeup Artist or Hairstylist.

It is written for new and established artists and covers everything from how to research artists you’d love to assist, how to contact them through to etiquette and portfolio building.

I read this entire book in one sitting – the writing is laid back, and informal and it felt like having a discussion with an old friend (or maybe it felt like that because I am so used to hearing her gorgeous voice on YouTube).

This book should be mandatory reading at all makeup schools.  Tips in this book will help any new artist with professional conduct, whether they are assisting or not.

You can buy this book at http://assistingrules.com/


6 & 7: Designing Your Face & Styling your Face | Way Bandy

Designing Your Face and Styling Your Face by Way Bandy booksDesigning your Face (1977), and Bandy’s second book Styling your Face (1981), are classic books which at first glance might seem outdated.  It’s hard for hand drawn illustrations to compete with the full-colour gloriousness of modern books, but when you read (and often re-read) the evocative and in-depth instructions you can get a true feel for his brilliance.

Elizabeth Taylor said, “He works like an artist. He mixes colors in the palm of his hand like a painter with a palette” and this is the kind of brilliance that comes through in his writing.

49 years ago Bandy understood that products and brands would change, and so rather than recommending specific products he used descriptions such as “transparent red-colored fluid”.

These books can be hard to come by, but do pop up on sites such as www.abebooks.com and www.amazon.com


8: Makeup Masterclass | Rae Morris

Makeup Masterclass by Rae Morris booksMakeup Masterclass is the lastest offering from Australian makeup artist Rae Morris.  With over  400 pages of gorgeous pictures, customised colour charts, and step-by-step tutorials.

There is also an iPad version of the book, which includes all of the information in the printed book, as well as instructional videos, and an iPhone pocket companion.

You can purchase these books at https://raemorris.com/product-category/books/

9: Fine Beauty | Sam Fine

Fine Beauty by Sam Fine bookSam Fine is one of the most sought after makeup artists in the world and is THE makeup artist for women of colour.

In Fine Beauty, Sam Fine shares his beauty secrets, offers tips and shows examples of phenomenal makeovers with step by step instructions.

This book is a must have for all makeup artists as it demonstrates tips for one area that is most often glaringly overlooked in traditional makeup education – how to apply makeup on African American women.

Purchase at www.amazon.com


10: Makeup Manual | Bobbi Brown

Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown bookThis book is the opposite of pretty much everything that we are currently seeing on YouTube and Instagram, right now.  Bobbi Brown is known for her natural makeup styles – a skill that all new makeup artists should strive to learn.

Her books do not have the visual impact of the Aucoin books, nor the depth of Eldridge’s book, but it’s worthy of a spot in this top 10

You can buy these from www.booktopia.com.au


Have we missed your favourite book? If there’s a book you think should make the list we’d love to hear all about it.  Leave a comment below.


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  1. DeShawn Hatcher

    I am so honored to be on your list and appreciate you taking the time to write this review. DeShawn

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