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    Top 10 Hair & Makeup Artist Books

    Top 10 Hair & Makeup Artist Books

    TOP 10 Hair & Makeup Books

    There are a huge array of resources available for Hair and Makeup Artists.

    But for me there will never be a YouTube video, App or Kindle that will ever compare to books.

    I have quite a collection which I have acquired over the years  – some of them took me months to save for and others were second-hand treasures I found. And I love every one of them.

    Here are my TOP TEN favourites for you.




    If you want to learn about the history of makeup then this book is definitely for you.

    It’s more challenging to find but keep a look out for a second-hand copy. It covers the history of makeup from ancient civilizations including the Egyptians and Romans and travels through each era right up to the modern day.

    Not only a study of how people have worn makeup through the ages but also why; as well as revealing the changing attitudes of religion and society to women who wear makeup.

    A great book with predominantly black and white images, but brilliantly detailed and a wonderful resource.






    Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin

    This is one of several books by the legendary makeup artist Kevin Aucoin – who is one of my heroes, but sadly no longer with us.

    This book should be compulsory reading for all makeup artists. His work graced the covers of virtually every major magazine, fashion runway and countless music videos and commercials in the 1990s. 

    Face Forward features a host of Hollywood actresses including Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts, to name but a few.

    Kevin Aucoin loved transforming women and he takes you through his techniques, step by step in this gorgeous book.

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    Designing Your Face by Way Bandy

    The iconic Way Bandy was in fact Kevin Aucoin’s idol. He dominated the makeup world in the 70’s and was famous for his exquisite sculpting techniques.

    Written in 1977 the images were hand drawn by Way himself. 

    In an age where we are all used to high resolution imagery they may seem simplistic on first glance.

    But pay attention because there is so much to learn here from the master himself.








    Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual


    A classic from the grand dame of makeup – Bobbi Brown.

    This is the ultimate makeup textbook. With step by step instructions covering everything from skincare basics to bridal makeup this is makeup 101.

    Lavishly illustrated it’s also clear and easy to read.

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    Hairstyles Ancient to Present by Charlotte Fiell


    My ‘snaps’ don’t do this beautiful book justice. It is quite simply stunning.

    This book takes you on a journey of the history of hair and hairdressing from its earliest known beginnings to the modern day.

    For me this is the definitive book. Its a stunning documentation of the history of hair styling through the ages. 

    With over a 1000 illustrations and photographs from every era including 18th century wigs and forties film stars.

    A visual feast for period hair work and both beautiful and inspiring.

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    Although lacking any colour imagery this book is a terrific resource for creating period hair that works perfectly with the hats and headdresses of every era.

    Each historical period is accompanied by pages of hand drawn illustrations and detailed notes. Works as a perfect companion to “Hairstyles – Ancient to Present”.







    A great book on the art of wig making and styling. Filled with images and detailed instructions this book gives you a fantastic training in wig making.

    It is written by American wig specialists and is predominantly geared towards theatre, but it does take you from beginner to professional. 

    Covering everything from styling tools, wig making and measuring, as well as how to make beards and toupees.








    This book guides you by the hand through the history of hair and shows you how to accurately re-create the hairstyles with wigs.

    This volume takes you from Victorian styles to the modern day with artwork of the historic figures who influenced the look of each era.

    It also gives you setting patterns and styling guides to follow to get the most accurate look with your wig work.

    Again more focused on stage but a very useful guide and well worth investing in a copy.

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    I saw this book on Amazon and to be honest when it first arrived I was a bit disappointed because it was very small and slim at only 62 pages long.

    But they say great things come in small packages and this little gem is no exception. A pocket guide to makeup and cosmetics from 1550 -1950.

    Beautifully illustrated and a fast and fabulous journey through the history of makeup.

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    The Movie Stars by Robyn Karney

    This is my wildcard and also one of my all time favourites. 

    Not officially a makeup artist book – it is actually a history of Hollywood’s greatest stars.

    Covering seven decades of cinematic history and 500 legendary stars of the silver screen.

    Exquisitely illustrated with biographies that tell the stories of the studio system and the stars themselves.

    Including Theda Bara, Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Mae West, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe…and many, many more.

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    So that’s my TOP TEN favourites from my collection. (I’m saving the list on special effects for next time.)

    I hope that’s got you excited so you go and discover more that you will love.


    Categorized: Film , Hair , Hair and Makeup