Good Reads: The Best in Beauty Books for 2013 and Beyond

Is the beauty-lover on your gift list a bookworm too? Here’s a handful of old and new coffee-table-sized releases that are must-reads for anyone looking to work in the beauty business, or any obsessive looking to brush up on their notable industry names. Chock-full of high-impact images, inspiring success stories and how-tos, these good books are gifts sure to have your loved-ones singing your praises ‘til next Holiday. And if your gift list is all checked off, add one of these to your own to-read list for the New Year. You’ll be getting 2014 off to a gorgeous start.

Hair. It can make or break the best of days. Some stylists believe if your hair is perfectly in place, you don’t need a stitch of makeup. Internationally-renowned hairstylist and a creative consultant for Bumble and Bumble, Laurent Philippon, would probably agree: the hair artist lifts the secretive veil on the industry’s best coiffs in his book Hair: Fashion and Fantasy. From tribal fashions to today’s new creations, each chapter explores braids, curls, loose hair, mohawks, chignons, colored hair, wigs, and crops – bringing you tales from fashion’s greats and archival photos. It’s a book that the hair obsessive in your life will certainly ooh and ahh over.

Natural-beauty has been the mantra of makeup artist icon Bobbi Brown for her entire career: she’s the type of artist that zigs while everyone else zags. When artists were creating electric-bright looks in the ‘80s she was busy creating barely-there palettes to help women highlight the beauty they already had. “A strong brow, bedroom eyes, a bump on the nose – these are features that inspire me.” Here, here Bobbi. If you love makeup and love makeovers, Pretty Powerful is sure to excite and delight with before-and-after images of real women, celebrities, and athletes and interviews with them on what makes them feel truly beautiful. Brown also shares her trade secret tips and techniques for creating perfect skin, eyes, and lips.

Makeup artist and NARS brand founder Francois Nars has launched his 10-year project in the making: Faery Lands: Tahiti. The 288-page book is filled with gorgeous black-and-white and color imagery captured around his island (yes, his island) Motu Tané, off the coast of Bora Bora. Nars highlights the culture and the people of this region with assiduous attention to detail. A photography-focused departure from makeup, this book is the first published collection of his personal images. If you’re shopping for the jet-setter in your life, this one is a must-buy.


There are names in beauty that continue to define the industry: the late Kevin Aucoin is one of them. Considered a makeup artist’s makeup artist, Aucoin was on the speed-dial of top celebrities of the 90s – his makeup heyday day. Gwyneth Paltrow, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner and many others relied on him to help perfect and create their very glamorous public image. Revered by top editors and fellow beautifiers then and to date, Making Faces tells the story of success in the beauty business through the inspirational eyes of Aucoin and his affable humor. It’s a part of every good makeup follower’s library of beauty reads.

Nail-art obsessed? Grab hold of this manicure manual, now in its second edition. Author Sharmadean Reid, trend consultant and nail obsessive was tired of lackluster nail jobs at her local salons. To fix this, she opened her own. Wah Nails opened its doors to East London’s trendiest and was declared the spot in London where you could have “whatever you wanted on your fingertips.” Her personality, affinity for wow-factor nail art and the salon became a cult following almost instantly with the stylish set. The New York Times has called it the “first hipster nail bar … a fixture at London Fashion Week’s off-schedule shows.” In her 96-page book, The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art, Reid shares 25 of her most popular nail art designs from basic newsprint to more elaborate graphic looks – bringing the best in DIY nails to you.

 — Glynnis Mapp, Stylesight Beauty Editor

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