I don’t really fancy the term “makeup guru” especially when used on YouTube but if I do, I would give that to my favourite YouTuber and celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge anytime. I’ve been following her videos for years and when she released her first book, Face Paint, I made sure to pick one up as soon as possible.
When Lisa Eldridge did her series on vintage makeup and interviewed Madeleine Marsh on her collection vintage makeup, it made me fall in love with her even more. And to think that her first book is on the history of makeup … well, that’s just a no-brainer; I had to get my hands on it!
It’s interesting that for a makeup artist, her first book wouldn’t be on makeup tutorials, tips and tricks, but on the history of makeup. I’m certainly not complaining; give me the history of beauty any time! I can always watch makeup tutorials on YouTube; heck I’m sure a lot of us learn better visually anyway.
The cover of the book is incredibly eye-catching and it matches the title of the book perfectly with all those carefully applied flecks of makeup. In Face Paint, Lisa Eldridge traces the beginning of makeup in ancient and classical times, through the Victorian age and golden era of Hollywood and up to today. It explores the practical and idiosyncratic reasons behind makeup’s uses and the actual materials used over generations.
To be honest, it’s hard for me not to compare Face Paint with Madeleine Marsh’s Compacts and Cosmetics because their topics of research were quite similar and I had only read the latter not too long ago. Nevertheless, Face Paint was very well-researched and written. It’s not just a book filled with pretty pictures. In many ways, Lisa made the book very “Lisa” by also including makeup muses that were inspirational to her. I particularly enjoyed how she incorporated how different cultures use makeup into the book.
The book delved into the history of beauty pioneers in the olden days and the modern world, how certain colours dominated the cosmetics culture, how certain beauty product evolved from the war times to modern day and much more. Each chapter reveals interesting industry stories that I’m just only learning for the first time.
Lisa also showcased some of her beloved vintage makeup that she’s collected over the years and they’re still a delight to behold. It almost made me wish I didn’t chuck all those makeup I held on to years ago because who knows, 20-30 years down the road, what I had would be considered vintage. 😛
All in all, Face Paint is a highly enjoyable read on top of being a very pretty coffee table book. If you’re interested in the history of makeup and how it evolved from ancient times to what it is today, I can’t recommend this book enough.
Face Paint retails at US$29.95. I got mine cheaper from Book Depository so *ahem* you know where to get yours. 😉