10 Makeup Books for the makeup fanatic

If you’re obsessed with makeup, you may still find yourself craving new techniques or solutions to makeup and skin issues. So what do you do? Well, most of us grab our phone and Google. We scan some articles to obtain information, but how often do we actually slow down and delve into makeup? Truly throw ourselves into the depths of makeup history, status, technique, imagery, and application?

Sometimes it’s necessary to ditch Google and really slow down and digest the immense power of makeup. To do so, physical pages are best. If you’re passionate about anything makeup, you must consider one or more of these 10 makeup books for the makeup fanatic.

The Make-up Manual: Your Beauty guide for brows, eyes, skin, lips and more
Lisa Potter-Dixon (2019)

Why it’s great: Featuring visually appealing images that help aid in makeup application, Dixon focuses on understanding your skin and then understanding how to apply makeup to different parts of the face. This is a great manual for the beginner, but also someone well versed in makeup. Not only does it discuss makeup products, but it offers an easy reference if you simply want to learn about eye makeup or lipstick. This book also offers information about the wide variety of a particular kind of makeup like mascara or lipstick.

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup
Lisa Eldridge (2015)

Why it’s great: Written by one of the most respected women in the industry, Eldridge offers an intriguing history all about makeup’s origin and social purpose. It features gorgeous images and discusses how makeup has only been available for a hundred years, but details how faces been “decorated” throughout history. Eldridge describes the power of makeup regarding social status and even how the formula of makeup has changed and developed over time. This is a must-have for any makeup aficionado wanting to slow down and appreciate the adaptation of makeup.

Make it up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care
Marie Rayma (2016)

Why it’s great: This book offers truly unique instruction to anyone interested in actually creating makeup themselves. Rayma delves into chemicals and materials commonly used in makeup available today and why many of these components are aggravating or hazardous to the skin. If you’ve been interested in knowing more about what your skin is absorbing and how to avoid chemicals, this book is a necessity. Offering a wide range of recipes, this book also suggests where and how to purchase ingredients with ease.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro
Bobbi Brown (2011)

Brown’s manual offers relevant information for both the makeup beginner as well as those trying to break into the industry. This manual boasts everything imaginable concerning the purchase and application of makeup even going beyond the face and offering advice about other body parts. While this manual has helpful photos and drawings for instruction, it also offers makeup techniques for onscreen, offscreen, magazines, and special occasions. This is a perfect text for anyone interested in the makeup artist industry.

Robert Jones’ Makeup Masterclass: A Complete Course in Makeup for All Levels, Beginner to Advanced
Robert Jones (2017)

Jones offers a practical guide for both beginners and pros while including before and after photos for better understanding of application and skin tone. Jones helps identify facial shape and details how to highlight flaws like under eye circles and uneven skin tone. Every chapter also contains helpful questions and answers and the table of contents offers easy navigation. Jones also discusses makeup types, consistencies, tools, and tricks of the trade boasting a holistic and practical approach to makeup application.

Color Theory for the Makeup Artist: Understanding Color and Light for Beauty and Special Effects
Katie Middleton (2018)

Not only does Middleton have over thirty years of professional makeup experience, but she also has a background in art making her book a unique study of makeup in relationship to color. Middleton discusses the power of color applied directly to the face, but also how the face can be manipulated with color and light by television, computers, and even phones. Middleton believes that understanding color theory offers a leg up in makeup artistry and instructs how all color can be created by simply using 4 primary colors.

Making Faces
Kevin Aucoin (1999)

This exclusive text features hundreds of pages displaying sketches and photos of makeup, application technique, and looks both classic and modern. In his easy to follow format, Aucoin discusses makeup types and techniques while also helping the reader assess facial structure and how to enhance individual qualities. Aucoin does this with an intimate voice describing not only his makeup experience, but his personal life as well. This combination highlights his passion for the trade and his credibility as one of the most well known artists in the world.

Face with a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty Makeup
Chris Scott (2013)

Scott presents practicality in this guide for everyday makeup that is aimed at providing ease and confidence through his breakthrough application technique. After years of experience, Scott mastered an application process that can be utilized for any face in any lifestyle. Throughout his life, he’s investigated “universal truths” about makeup and believes his technique “always reveals the person before the makeup.” Typical makeup is often applied like a mask whereas Scott strives to put the focus on the person rather than the makeup. This is a great text for everyday beauty.

Jemma Kidd Make-Up Secrets: Solutions to Every Woman’s Beauty Issues and Make-Up Dilemmas
Jemma kidd (2013)

Owning a successful cosmetics company as well as a training academy for makeup artists, Kidd knows her stuff. Her book is organized in two natural sections: Part I focuses on makeup types and products currently available on the market while Part II details ways to overcome common skin flaws including age and environmental issues like exposure to sun and cold weather. Kidd believes in using products sparingly and also instructs how to achieve both modern and classic looks that stand the test of time.

Makeup is Art: Professional Techniques for Creating Original Looks
The Academy of Freelance Makeup (2013)

Rather than highlighting makeup basics, this book delves into specialized makeup art and even SPX. Offering advice on how best to prepare skin with insight on exfoliants, masks, primers, etc. this text then guides makeup artists in everything from body art, advertising, and even underwater technique. This book is claimed as a must-have for any new makeup artist breaking into the industry. While it’s not aimed at makeup beginners, it offers stunning pictures and an interesting glimpse into the power makeup has to transform.

Slowing down to read an actual book will not only offer relaxation and knowledge, but it just might lead you to gain some amazing insight on makeup, especially if makeup is something you absolutely love! Each one of these books boasts a 4-5 star review on Amazon and will enhance your already existing makeup library, or help you start the perfect makeup books collection for quick and easy access.

Joy-Lee Founder and writer of wevaluebeauty.com


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of wevaluebeauty.com. As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!