Beauty Books Worth Reading

Sarah and I are both avid readers, but beauty books and books on the subject of beauty are still new to me (I can’t speak for her!). I’ve got a handful that I can strongly recommend without hesitation, and then I’ve got a “to read” list (which is much longer…maybe another post).

I’d like to thank my local library (aka the branch across the street from me) for getting me into beauty books. It helped that they have a largely visible beauty section. Outside of reading Saga this last year, I think I took out most of the books they have there on beauty.

Here are the favourites:

The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho

This book is spectacular if you love either anything skincare, or anything Korean. The premise of the book is, of course, Korean Skincare, skincare first as a beauty philosophy (I love this), and a little mashup of how Korean culture plays into beauty alongside the skin first philosophy. It’s also got a great guide to Seoul to finish off the book, in case you’re inclined to visit after reading all about the culture of skin love.

She does talk about some of her favourite Korean make-up brands alongside her favourite skincare brands. She also notes that quite a few of the Korean make-up brands do not have a wide variety of foundation colours, but that they’re working on it considering their expansion into the world market.

Also, if you think you’ll be bored, you absolutely will not. The book is chock full of adorable illustrations, anecdotes, and useful information that will change your perspective on skincare. Charlotte Cho is actually a certified esthetician who knows her skin info like nobody’s business. If only she could have written my current course materials on skin. It would have been way less boring.

The Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

Think of this book as a make-up for dummies, without the condescending tone, and a good variation from beginner to pro. It’s beautifully organized, and a great handbook for any level of make-up enthusiast.

This book is a compilation for everything you wanted to know about make-up, skincare (although I defer to Charlotte Cho in the skincare department), and everything in between. She actually has a whole section in the book about Middle Eastern skin (okay, and the skin of other major ethnicities, but I feel like everyone glosses over the Middle East when it comes to skin care and make-up) and how we complain about the purple circles under our eyes (yup, real problems). and how to correct it. AMAZING.

I do have one teeeeeensy (okay, it’s very large) criticism: her page on Diverse Beauty depicts different ethnicities, but they all look uh, part white or totally white. The image that comes to mind when I think of someone African-American or Middle Eastern it’s uhh…well it’s not the image in her book. Anyone else think the Middle Eastern girl looks like a female version of the singer from Franz Ferdinand? It’s reminiscent of how ethnic Barbies are made using the Caucasian features mould – they come out with darker skin, but still have Caucasian features. I hope in future editions Bobbi Brown can find images of women that are actually diverse-looking. I believe we can point this out as a blatant example of colourism. Ouch.

bobbi brown
Maybe get different models, Bobbi?

Make It Up by Marie Rayma

This book is excellent if you’re a fan of make-up, are a bit of a minimalist, and love DIY. It’s a lot more recipe-based than fun for reading in your spare time, so I suggest picking this one up if you’re committed to actually making the recipes in her book, or gifting it to an avid DIYer.

Very handy: she has a list of places to purchase the ingredients to make the recipes (oxides, micas, oils, etc.) at the end of the book. It can get quite pricey to do the DIY for fun (take it from me; I make and sell natural personal care products. If I were giving them away it would suck my paycheques up so fast), so this is also a great book if you’re looking to make one-off gifts, or actually intend to start up your own small batch handmade cosmetic line.

She’s also Canadian!

What kinds of books do you read to learn about beauty? Let us know in the comments!

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