As an artist, it is often easy to get stuck in a rut – especially after a pandemic spent indoors. During these times we require a surge of external inspiration. Here are five books to inspire makeup artists and remind you of why you first fell in love with face painting and play. 

NARS Express Makeup 

Published by Rizzoli in 2011, this book was a revolutionary instruction manual on makeup for today’s women. It features women of all colours and ages and is essentially an encyclopedia of many different looks from casual to editorial to the runway. Nars combines his expertise in makeup and photography to create a makeover manual that transforms the application of makeup into the ultimate form of self-expression. The book celebrates Nars’s unrivalled vision as a makeup artist, providing visual and textual narratives of his cosmetic process, inspiring readers to recreate his lessons on their own, and featuring examples of the newest, freshest looks and colour palettes popular today.

Kevyn Aucoin a Beautiful Life: The Success, Struggles, and Beauty Secrets of a Legendary Makeup Artist

Now a classic staple, this book was published in 2003, a year after the artist’s tragic passing. There has never been a more influential and beloved makeup artist than Kevyn Aucoin. The supermodel’s MUA of choice, Kevyn kept detailed diaries of every assignment he received and filled each entry with polaroids, names and places. A BEAUTIFUL LIFE showcases the most exciting of these pages and brings the behind-the-scenes world of fashion, celebrity and music to life for the reader. And of course it contains a ‘greatest hits’ of Kevyn’s favourite celebrity makeup tips, some revealed for the first time ever. 

Validated: The Makeup of Val Garland

Published in 2018, the book follows career highlights and the inspiration behind the iconic MUA’s most memorable looks. In addition to the glossy photos you’ll be tempted to rip out and frame, there are insider tips, never-before-seen snaps from behind the scenes, and stories about Garland’s (sometimes bumpy) journey to the top.

PROMakeup Design Book

An interactive read, ProMakeup Design Book follows on from the success of Lan Nguyen–Grealis’s first book, Art & Makeup, and invites the reader to use their artistic flair and get hands-on with practical application. Hundreds of stunning photographs provide how–to inspiration and advice for creating key looks for magazine editorials, celebrities, fashion shows and advertising campaigns.

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off by Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan was the world’s first online beauty guru after posting her makeup tutorial onto YouTube in 2007. From creating a gorgeous smoky eye to understanding contouring to developing an online persona, Michelle has the advice to help you transform every facet of your life. Mak2e Up is packed with Michelle’s trademark beauty and style tutorials, stories and pictures from her own life, and advice on the topics she is asked about most, including etiquette, career, entrepreneurship, and creativity. 

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