Saturday, 16 January 2016

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup - Lisa Eldridge

One of the books for the makeup-obsessed that I am sure sold very well this holiday season is Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge. It was released in October, so really it was targeting the shopper who has a makeup lover in their life that they had no clue what to get.

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.


  1. What are the chances of significant others picking up this book and reading it, I wonder?

    1. Sadly, probably not very good, at least without much prodding.


Collection Inventory: Red Lip Products

Kicking off my collection inventory project with the most ridiculous category of makeup I own: red lipsticks. I have a lot, as determined by...