Books to Read

Over the past few years I have amassed a small collection of well-loved makeup books that I have enjoyed reading, learning from, and being inspired by. They’re not all books about how to do your makeup better, or how to take better care of your skin. However, these makeup books are all inspiring in different ways especially in your path to becoming a makeup artist for pornstars:

PRETTY HONEST BY SALI HUGHES

Sali Hughes’s clear, practical advice is a highlight of this book; the fact that the tome is a delight to hold and look at is an added bonus. Hughes’s tips have helped me perfect my day-to-day face and encouraged me to spend my money wisely on low-cost hero products and a few higher-quality products that are worth the outlay.

Sali Hughes’s clear, practical advice is a highlight of this book; the fact that the tome is a delight to hold and look at is an added bonus. Hughes’s tips have helped me perfect my day-to-day face and encouraged me to spend my money wisely on low-cost hero products and a few higher-quality products that are worth the outlay.

TEENAGE BEAUTY BY BOBBI BROWN

This was the first beauty book I ever owned, purchased for my sister and me by our mum. It isn’t the most adventurous of books, but it contains good, solid, and practical advice aimed at encouraging young people to enjoy makeup, take care of their skin, be creative, and wear as much or as little make-up as they want. The youth club I work in recently had a pampering evening with our young people and this book was still a hit, 15 years on.

FACE PAINT: THE STORY OF MAKEUP BY LISA ELDRIDGE

I particularly love the beautiful pictures of older products and packaging that can be found in the pages of these books. Eldridge’s easy to follow YouTube videos, in which she shows you how to create a wide range of different looks, are a justifiable hit. But this book, where she indulges her epic beauty product nerdery and explores the historical and social significance of makeup, is a beautiful joy to read.

EASY ON THE EYES: EYE MAKE-UP LOOKS IN 5, 15 AND 30 MINUTES BY LISA POTTER-DIXON

This is a great book with practical and accessible advice for creating effective eye makeup for both everyday and fancy nights out. This has helped me loads as I try to explore more creative uses of the eleventy million eyeshadows I own.

PRETTY ICONIC BY SALI HUGHES

This is a love letter to makeup and beauty products that is both nerdy and moving. Hughes perfectly captures the link between the touch, feel and scent of these products and our own memories. So many of them are instantly familiar to me from the shelves of my grandmothers, my mother, sister, and me, while others were new favourites I didn’t know I wanted to discover. I devoured this book and I think you will love it too.

FACE BY SAM AND NIC CHAPMAN

The sister duo who are the team behind Pixiwoos created this great makeup manual that links directly with the looks they create in the videos. I really like the Chapman sisters’ approach to makeup: they demystify the processes and techniques, and, like Sali Hughes above, have a really affordable approach to the brands they recommend. This would be a great gift for makeup-loving friends of all ages.

ART AND MAKEUP BY LAN NGUYEN-GREALIS

I’m not suggesting that these looks are the most practical for day-to-day, but the skill and vision of Nguyen-Grealis’s creations entranced me. This book highlights some incredible looks and then unpicks the work done and techniques used in creating them. Gorgeous!