When it comes to Makeup Books I feel the market is sorely lacking and mainly filled with now out dated books. But there are thankfully a handful of books that are great and current.
So I thought I would review my favourite makeup book today which I believe novices and long time makeup lover can enjoy and gain knowledge from. Also I even feel this would make a nice coffee table type inspiration book for Makeup Artists that look up to Rae Morris' work.
Before I get in to the books content I want to kind of share the books 'spec' if you will as I've come across quite a few sparse books that are more images than writing and are on the thin side. This books contains 256 pages and is broken down in to 14 chapters (which I've detailed below). Each chapter has a thorough introduction (lots to read) and then goes into multiple step-by-step tutorials with amazing photography and writing. The book is around magazine/A4 size and even though paperback has a nice thick cover (no annoying loose sleeve that will become worn over time) with a handy inner page flap.
You can find Rae Morris Makeup: The Ultimate Guide from Amazon for £12.23 - here.
The book starts with a brief introduction and then 14 chapters which are as follows - 1. Essentials, 2. Skin Prepping, 3. Eyebrows, 4. False Eyelashes, 5. Eye Colour Charts, 6. Eyes, 7. Asian Eyes, 8. Over 40s, 9. Contouring, 10. Foundation, 11. Bronzing, 12. Highlighting, 13. Lips & Cheeks, 14. Ten-Minute Makeovers and then finally Rae's Gallery and index.
The Structure of the Book
Each chapter is structured slightly different and with different lengths. But generally there's an introduction to the chapter with do's and don't and then more practical information with good imagery. The introductions I actually feel are where there is the most information and 100% worth reading before looking at each chapter. Along side each tutorial there are tips which are again helpful . I also love the full page images for each look, I find myself studying the image after I've read the tutorial. Also the photography is just beautiful... you just have to look at the image below to see what I mean.
This fills a large portion of the book and rightly so as there's a lot to cover! The chapter starts with quite a good introduction on different eye shapes and tips for smoky eyes covering 4 pages. The next section contains 25 step-by-step tutorials with images (very handy!) and a full A4 image with each finished look. Favourite tutorials here are - burnt copper eyes, antique gold eyes, natural eyes and classic eyes. Next is full chapter on Asian Eyes which was an interesting read for me as it made me understand the importance of application for different eye shapes, also the topic was new to me so everything was new and fresh. This chapter contains 4 more thorough step-by-step tutorial than the previous eye tutorials... I actually wish there had been a few more!
My only criticism would be that a lot of the looks are dramatic and would need to be toned down for every day wear... easy if you have experience in makeup and know how to do so, but for a novice there are no tips and you may feel the looks are irrelevant. Also it would have been nice if the large section was broken down into every day looks and nighttime/special occasion looks to give it more structure.
I found the eye colour chart, false eyelash section and even the asian eyes chapter the most interesting. But I definitely took the most from the chapter on false eyelashes, very thorough.
This was the only chapter than I felt wasn't needed and would have preferred more on lips and cheeks or contouring. Other than the tutorial with Miranda Kerr I didn't find them that appealing. Just a bit of a non-chapter really for me.
The other main highlights of the book for me aside from eyes is the section on contouring, highlighting and bronzing correctly... which could have shown more before and afters, but are still very interesting. Definitely learnt more about contouring and suprisingly bronzing. The other main area of the book is the Over 40's chapter, which again I didn't think would interest me as it isn't applicable, but I actually found it to be an interesting read as it contains tips I've never read before, such as if you are going to spend time on the face to conceal ageing then you should also do the same for the decolletage and apply a soft wash of foundation, specifically mineral foundation (which also generally contains sun screen) to that area to remove redness.
What I've Learnt
I've had this book for a few years now and have actually read it from cover to cover a few times to refresh my memory and to also inspire me not to be lazy with makeup and try other looks outside of my everyday one. The main things I have taken away from this book are the tips on how to choose and apply false eyelashes and how to shape my brows. But I now also always blend eyeshadows with translucent powder, something I never use to do before. I've also learnt to go for a non-waterproof eyeliner on the waterline and even art paint brushes can be used for eyeliner (I now have a few amazing precise brushes that I love thanks to this tip).
Overall this is a pretty great makeup book with a lot to read. Yes, some chapters are lacking a bit but if you want something with lots of text but also great photography you won't be disappointed. If you are a total beginner I would maybe suggest getting Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual (£16.25 - Amazon here) first, as it gives basic application techniques of eyeshadow, foundation, concealer etc, where as this book skips the basics. But if you know all of that and more then this book is a really good read for gaining more knowledge or just inspiration and ideas.
As I mentioned at the start of this post I really don't think there are enough good makeup books but this is certainly one that is current and packed full of information. I'm just crossing my fingers Rae will do another another book in the future or better still Lisa Eldridge... oh, how I'd love that!
This post has probably been too long and in-depth but I hope it's been helpful!
For further makeup book reviews you can find my reviews of Lauren Conrad's Beauty Book here and Jemma's Make-up Secrets here.