I bought this copy for myself post-Christmas.
Anyway, Lisa Eldridge is a very popular Youtube makeup guru, artist, creative director for Lancome (right now) and various other makeup-y things. I confess that I, after spending considerable amount of time in beauty communities, still only have the haziest idea of who Lisa Eldridge is, likely because I don't watch Youtube makeup gurus. I don't enjoy watching Youtube videos in general, because the short video form doesn't appeal to me and a combination of age, introduction of internet in my house, and when Youtube became really big all culminated in a total lack of interest.
However, I've heard a lot of good things about her tutorials and work, and I feel like if I watched Youtube gurus, I'd like her. With that in mind, and a couple of reviews, I decided to order it when I was looking for our book club books at the beginning of January. I like makeup, I like history, and these days, I like reading anything that is not a pile of abstracts for health sciences articles.
Face Paint is a great overview of the history of makeup and the development of the industry as we know it today. Because of the wideness of scope, there isn't a ton of detail about things that I might have liked to read more about (the rise of Instagram brands, for example) but I appreciated the journey through time of the development of makeup, different ingredients, and different beauty icons.
The tone of the book is very even - I like how balanced the coverage of different brands and the origins of different products were. It's a very factual, easy-to-understand book, with lots of both fun, editorial style of makeup photography and product photos through the times. There's also a wonderful representation of styles of makeup over time.
In short, Face Paint is a primer for makeup history, as it intertwines with a number of other issues over time (health, feminism, science, social issues). It's interesting but not heavy reading, and it's written in a straight-forward manner. It's divided into two sections, "The Ancient Palette" and "The Business of Beauty," both of which are further divided into easy-to-digest chunks. It's not overly long, rambling (unlike me), and it's full of interesting facts. Mainly about lead, but lead was a main ingredient for face makeup for a disturbingly long time, from the shoes of a 21st century person who knows what lead will do to you. Liz said she'd recommend the book to partners of makeup lovers, and I agree.
It also looks great on my coffee table. And now that I have a coffee table, these things are important.
Always keep a roll of wild cherry LifeSavers within reach, kids.