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I am a self proclaimed book nerd. My Goodreads sees more action than my Facebook, I follow just as many blogs on literature through twitter as I do actual people, and I am always reading at least two books at any given time. Books are my absolute favorite thing.
It wasn’t until I was 10 that I began to develop another “favorite thing” that actually began cutting into my reading time- makeup, skincare, haircare and all things beauty related. This pesky interest quickly became an obsession. Then when I was around 12, I discovered something during one of my regular perusals of the non-fiction section at a used book store….
GOOD GOD, people write books about beauty?!
Yes. Yes, they do.
Since then, I have really enjoyed being able to combine my 2 favorite things. 🙂

Over the years, I have read, re-read, bought, borrowed, sold, copied, loaned out and misplaced about 50 different books on the subject of beauty.
Here are my top 5 books about makeup, in no particular order, and a few notes on each one:

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Jemma Kidd Makeup Masterclass : Beauty Bible of Professional Techniques and Wearable Looks, By Jemma Kidd
This book is probably the easiest to read and the most universal of all the books I’ve chosen. It is packed with valuable information about everything- the meanings of certain words uses in the beauty industry, skin care and skin tone, makeup brushes 101, proper eyebrow and eyelash maintenance…on and on. You can literally open this thing up on any page and probably learn something in just a few short sentences. The photos are a little over-edited, but hey…it’s a beauty book.

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Making Faces, By Kevyn Aucoin
I have learned all my makeup fundamentals from this one. Aucoin was a master. This was the first makeup book I ever purchased and I still look at it occasionally. With a little help from costumes and lighting, Aucoin has the ability to turn his subjects into someone else entirely- men into women, women into men, contemporary actresses and models into actresses and models from 60 years ago. If you already know a thing or 2 about makeup, it really doesn’t matter because this book is the ultimate eye candy. Especially good if you are interested in Aucoin’s life- his childhood, his passion for makeup artistry and the development of his technique are all covered in this book.

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The Makeup Artist Handbook, By Gretchen Davis
This book is probably the best guide of all for professional makeup artists. It covers a lot of information about special effects makeup and always comes in handy if I’m doing someone up for Halloween. This definitely for the advanced- many basic topics aren’t covered because the author’s assumption that the reader is already knowledgeable regarding these aspects, which doesn’t bother me at all. If you get bored with the super safe, neutral airbrushed faces in a lot of other makeup manuals, this is absolutely the book for you.

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Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual : For Everyone From Beginner to Pro, By Bobbi Brown
“Smoking is BAD. Drinking water is GOOD. Use Bobbi Brown Makeup!” I actually don’t care for the Bobbi Brown line that much, and some info. in the book is a little…obvious, but I really love how in depth the step by step makeup instructions are. The application processes are broken down sentence by sentence, and most of them accompany a small picture to go along with the instruction, which is handy. This is absolutely a good book for beginners. My favorite section is regarding how to build and stock a professional makeup kit.

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Makeup : The Ultimate Guide, By Rae Morris
Of course, this guide covers most of the same things the other ones do, but I like how much of it is devoted to eye makeup looks, and it has probably the best contouring and highlighting section I’ve ever seen. I’ll admit that much of the “facts” offered up in this book are obviously Morris’ opinion and aren’t necessarily true, but the tips are helpful, the photography is absolutely stunning and it has a good makeover section. Not all of the looks are for everyday wear, but still very fun to look at 🙂

Have you read any of these books? What do you think?

Please let me know about your favorites in the comments! I’m always looking for new material 🙂

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