Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Makeup Manual Review

Ok, so I'm finally getting to my review of Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual. I meant to post this much sooner but I went out of town with family and I've been getting organized for my new semester. Anyway, I'm going to give you my thoughts and an overview of this beauty book!

Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro was, of course, written by Bobbi Brown and published by Springboard Press. The first edition was released this past December 2008 and contains 221 pages. The book retails for about $32.00 new.

Onto the fun stuff! The Makeup Manual is divided into two parts: Basics and Artistry. Basics begins with Bobbi Brown's own personal philosophy on beauty, explaining her work as a makeup artist and how her skills progressed over time. Perhaps one of my most favorite sections of the book can be found in Chapter 2: Equipment. Here, coupled with beautiful photographs, Brown describes own to set up your perfect makeup kit for home, evening, work etc. The next section of this chapter has a tool guide with just about every makeup brush you could imagine and its description/uses. This section is essential for those of us who walk into a beauty store surrounded by intriguing brushes without a clue of their purpose!

The next chapters of the Part I: Basics each focus on Skin, Face, Lips, and Eyes. Brown's nutritional advice is nice but seems unnecessary as its elementary information. However, I felt her section on Moisturizers & Sun Protection as well as the Skincare Glossary were fascinating and informative. Who knew Vitamin E acts as a mild sunscreen (see pg. 45 of Makeup Manual)?

The chapter Face explains how to choose and apply corrector, concealer and foundation. Most of us with a solid makeup background probably have a good grasp on these concepts. However, we can all use visual refreshers, provided by Brown's up close pictures. Brown also explains how to work with diverse and unique skin conditions (think multi-toned skin and birth marks) as well as how to apply bronzer and blush. I think her explanation of blush was absolutely flawless and I love her descriptions of the different blush formulas (from powder to chubby pencils).

The Lips chapter was a bit a shorter than I expected. Brown reveals a guide for selecting lip color by using the natural color of your lips. This is very helpful to those who want to stay in the natural, fresh look. Again, there is a wonderful glossary defining the formulas of lip products.

If you buy Makeup Manual for one reason, buy it for the Eyes chapter. Brown covers everything from eyebrow shaping to creating glam eyes to using false eyelashes. The pictures of excellent as with the rest of the book. I love how she captures each step. I would have like to see a few more images of her blending techniques.

Part I of Makeup Manual ends with the 10 Step Guide for Perfect Makeup, tips for ageless beauty, and bridal makeup techniques. These sections are all great reference tools.

In Part II, Brown explains how to become a beauty professional. She reveals the essential equipment for every artist's kit (15+ shades of foundation in various formulas!) as well as various career options in the beauty industry. My favorite part of this section were the magazine photographs. Brown really shows off her wild and creative side we usually don't get to see with her line's focus on natural beauty. The artistry section is interesting for anyone bitten by the beauty bug, even if you don't want to go pro. It's always fun to learn and explore. Brown gives advice on makeup for photographs and reveals a fascinating time line of the history of makeup.

(Picture credit: Chris Trotman/ Getty Images North America)

I've owned two of Bobbi Brown's other beauty books (Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty from my jr. high years and Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution) and Makeup Manual is by far the best. I'd say Makeup Manual is geared toward those at the intermediate level- those comfortable with everyday makeup, but looking to fine-tune their knowledge and techniques. It's interesting and somewhat unexpected that Brown would combine this style with a section on makeup artistry. I'd be more likely to expect to see a section on expanding your techniques rather than one on going pro. However, I'd definitely recommend this book to all beauty bugs and product junkies. It's a beautiful reference and enlightening read.

Over all rating:
(1 being the worst, 5 being the best)
Content: 4 out of 5
Images/Style: 5 out of 5
2.5 out of 5 (Check out, for a better deal)

List of chapters in Makeup Manual
I. Basics
Chapter 1: Makeup Artistry
Chapter 2: Equipment
Chapter 3: Skin
Chapter 4: Face
Chapter 5: Lips
Chapter 6: Eyes
Chapter 7: Ten Step Guide to Perfect Makeup
Chapter 8: Special Makeup Applications
II. Artistry
Chapter 9: Artistry
Chapter 10: Essential Equipment for the Professional
Chapter 11: Advanced Makeup Applications
Chapter 12: Memorable Makeup Moments & Legends

If you're interested in other beauty books, I highly recommend checking out Kevyn Aucoin's Making Faces.

Please note that Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro is copywright 2008 of Bobbi Brown Evolution, LLC. Photographs are by Henry Leutwryler. I am merely a consumer expressing my ideas and thoughts and in no way represent or claim to represent Bobbi Brown Evolution, LLC.

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