Growing up I would always have my head in a book, I devoured page after page. As I grew older my tastes changed I found myself flicking through fashion books, longing for a geeky, or nerdy one about make up. Not a how to guide, but one about the history and how the industry developed. You can imagine my joy when I came across Lisa Eldridge’s video about her new book Facepaint The Story of Makeup, which hit the proverbial nail right on the head. I hit pre-order immediately. Over the last few weeks I’ve been absorbing the book in wonder and awe, like the massive make up nerd I am.
The book is split into two sections – ‘The Ancient Palette’ focusing on the history of Red’s, White’s and Black’s, and ‘The Business of Beauty’ – looking at the history, trends and developments through the eye of the cosmetics industry. Each section contains a wealth of interesting information, which has been meticulously researched, beautiful images and sections focusing on the great beauty icons.
It is written in such a fascinating way with each new sentence or development in the story reeling you in, making you want to learn more. Not only do you learn about the composition of make up through the ages, you get see a social commentary and political commentary on the use of make up, helping you to visualise it through the eyes of the people at the time. Facepaint has the perfect balance of information and imagery, it contains a fountain of knowledge that is easily digestible, making it a pleasurable read.
Facepaint is more than just a make up book. Yes, it looks visually stunning on your coffee table, but it’s also a ‘decorative’ book that would will want to read, over and over again. It has definitely quenched my thirst for a ‘nerdy’ make up book. I know Facepaint isn’t designed to be a how to guide, but the sections focusing on the beauty greats contain enough information for you to be able to copy or take inspiration from the classic looks of the icons.
At the end of the book, there’s a twist of sorts, Eldridge takes a peek into the future of make up and how the technologies behind it are evolving. This snippet of information was fascinating and has made me really excited to see what the beauty brands will come up with next. It’s safe to say we’ve developed rapidly since the pioneers Lauder, Rubinstein, Faktorowicz and Revson started out.
If you know someone who loves their make up, spends hours watching tutorials on Youtube, or enjoys applying make up to their face, go out and buy this book for them! It would make an amazing gift.
Have you got your hands on Facepaint?