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How to Look Pretty Not Plastered by Emily Rose

23 Sep

“A step-by-step make-up guide to looking great!”

Makeup is something that so many ladies adore. I, myself, work as a makeup artist so I am of course one of them, but I often find that ladies come to me and say that they love makeup but are clueless regarding how to apply it. Makeup guides such as Emily Rose’s can be brilliant and helpful, but unfortunately I did not find this one to be so.

So a la mode?

The concept of the book is fantastic. Sometimes people may assume that applying lots of makeup is guaranteed to give a glam effect, but actually artful application can work wonders with the smallest amounts of product. The title did make me laugh and her message is promising. Helpful, too, are Emily’s sections about skincare. Chapters such as ‘Aloe Vera – Nature’s Gift’ and ‘Top Tips for Winter Skin’ are useful to women of all descriptions and in maintaining good skin makeup will, naturally, look a lot nicer when applied.

Uh-oh a la mode?

Experience stated does not seem to represent the quality of makeup ability demonstrated in the slightest. On page 91, a model is shown with a blue eyeliner on. Quite clearly her false eyelash is peeling off the corner her left eye. How this picture has made it into a published book is a question I would love to ask the editor? It seems unfair to capitalise on an industry that people are so willing to buy into and not even give value for money. Anyone, be it a first time user or a makeup artist extraordinaire, would be able to identify that a false lash should not be sat in this way. A positive and a negative of this book is that real women have been used to demonstrate makeup looks. This is brilliant in the sense that a diverse variety of face shapes and features will enable every reader to see how makeup should look in relation to their own face. It is not, however, an excuse for models to have unkempt eyebrows or undone nails. Call me old fashioned but if I am investing in a beauty book, I expect to see standards of grooming in all areas of production.

Considering that Emily Rose counts artists such as Tinie Tempah and Kissy Sell Out among her past clients, I was underwhelmed. One thing I really must emphasise is that although my standards of review are perhaps higher when considering my personal experience of makeup I am not judging this book from the perspective of someone in the know – I genuinely don’t feel that it would be useful to a beginner or anyone else. There are, however, lots of brilliant makeup books that would be so take a look at my recommendations below.

A la Mode Appraisal: 0/10 – Sorry to be blunt, I just don’t feel that this book would be worth investing in.

How to Look Pretty not Plastered is published by How to Books and is available for £14.99.

If you want to learn about makeup, you may find Express Yourself by NARS to be more useful or Express Makeup by Rae Morris. 

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True Whit by Whitney Port

23 Sep


Deisnging a life of Style, Beauty and Fun with Sheryl Berk

 

Welcome to the world of Whitney Port. She was part of two of MTV’s most successful reality TV shows, The Hills and The City, and has since become a style icon through launching her very own fashion line Whitney Eve. In her first book, Whitney aims to use her life experience to enlighten young ladies who are starting to find their feet in the real world. “What I wanted to create was a guidebook, so to speak, to starting out in your twenties. It’s your time to shine, to dig deep and discover who you are.”

 

So a la mode?

 

Whitney goes down to every little detail when offering advice on how to get your life in order. Using specific family recipes and detailing things such as what her personal fitness regime consists of make it lots easier for us to dabble in her routine and see how it works. She also gives tips on how we can channel her eclectic style, from encouraging shopping in charity shops to identifying specific hair types and using that information to explain how each hair type can be styled to emulate her own locks. Every base is covered, from how to deal with a difficult co-worker to how to impress on a first date.

 

Uh-oh a la mode?

 

One thing that did disappoint me as an avid fan of The Hills and The City was that lots of her personal experiences draw from things we’ve already seen on the show. I was hoping that in purchasing the book I’d hear a different side of the story than what I’d already watched, but advice seemed based on things we already knew – e.g. relationship advice based on her relationship with Jay or work advice based on her time with Olivia. Maybe next time if Whitney could give us a little spoiler of all the things we had missed then the read would be a little juicier!

 

All in all a brilliant guide for a young girl – I’d especially recommend it to anyone who has just moved away from home, for example a University student or a new graduate.

 

A la Mode Appraisal: 8/10 – more secrets next time please, Whitney!

 

True Whit is published by Aurum Press and will help every young lady in her search for herself at a very reasonable £14.99.

 

If you liked this book, you may also like Style by Lauren Conrad.

Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself by François Nars

2 Jul

Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself by François Nars

All makeup artists are besotted with the power of transformation. Every time we take a brush to hand we are embarking upon the task of creating a whole new persona for a client and are responsible for making them feel like a new person, whoever that may be. Now, makeup artist and photographer extraordinaire François Nars, founder of Nars cosmetics, has decided to spill all of his beauty tricks and unveil his artistry secrets.

It is quite poignant to note the fascination between makeup artists and transformation, because Nars himself has actually transformed thisvery book. First  released some years ago as simply Makeup Your Mind, Nars has chosen to makeover his original guide with specific references to Nars products and techniques that will enable the reader to replicate looks exactly. In double page spreads, Nars provides his before and after shots of models that have recieved a pampering from him. In between each two-page spread a cellophane sheet- to be placed over the after shot- annotates the image and details exactly which products have been used. Featuring makeovers on people of all ages, races, skintones and of both sexes, this guide is an unmissable how-to for every makeup requirement.

Striking the perfect balance of theory and practical evidence, Nars begins the book by helping the reader to identify their own makeup needs. He provides information on how to assess their skin, how to prepare their skin for makeup, which tools to use for optimum results and other likewise essentials. He also gives his top ten makeup tips including: “10. Have some fun! It’s only makeup!”

Guarantee to instil a sense of confidence and ability in the reader, Nars proves in this book that all beauty lovers are capable of expressing themselves with makeup and encourages them to do so accordingly. “François Nars is an anti-depressant. There is an innate positivity in his message: adorn, enhance, attract, allure and express!”

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10 – a timeless manual for any makeup artist or lover of Nars.

Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself is published by Rizzoli International Publications and will teach you all of the tricks of the Nars trade for $45.00.

If you liked this, you may also like Express Makeup by Rae Morris.

Express Makeup by Rae Morris

13 Mar

Imagine the scenario…

You are a hairdresser at a beauty pageant and one of the guest judges is Naomi Campbell. The model throws one of her infamous tantrums and her makeup artist storms out, prompting her to bid you “fix my lips”. At the very moment that you reach to apply a little gloss for her, the paparazzi burst into the room and capture you pampering her to perfection. From that day forward, you are an in demand makeup artist extraordinaire. This is the story of author, Rae Morris, a now world renowned makeup artist.

In a sequel to her first book, Makeup: the Ultimate Guide, Rae is attempting to share all of her artistry secrets with an attention to speed; “this book is for the women who are put off by the thought of how long it takes them to do their makeup”. Covering all bases, from helping you to compile an essential makeup kit to making suggestions that tailor it to your eyes, skin and hair, Rae is here to provide a starter guide to maintaining a fast and flawless beauty regime.

My favourite parts of the book were, in fact, two small statements that surprised me the most. Firstly was the recommendation that one invests in good eyebrow pencils because “besides the perfect foundation, your eyebrows are the most important feature on your face”. It seemed so trivial at the time, but since adapting the mantra of using an eyebrow pencil regularly I have really noticed how much varying your brows can completely alter your look. Secondly was the very logical suggestion that women own at least two shades of foundation. Your complexion changes with the seasons, so shouldn’t your foundation? Such a small thing to note but it had genuinely never occurred to me. It is also useful to vary your shade depending on whether you’ll be applying fake tan or not.

A thoroughly enjoyable book with lots of images and step-by-step guides to creating specific makeup looks, I would like to emphasise that this book is not a girlie indulgence… it is a necessity.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Express Makeup is published by Apple Press and will teach you all of the tricks of the trade for a mere £14.99.

If you liked this you may also like The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fabulousness by Bethanie Lunn.