When I was contacted asking if I wanted to review the books Vintage Hairstyling and Retro Makeup by Lauren Rennells, I was incredibly pleased - I already had (and love) the hair book so I asked to just review the makeup book for my blog. And I was not at all disappointed with it.
First of all, it's incredibly well researched and the amount of work that has gone into it is very apparent. As well as how-tos for different make up looks there is a small section at the beginning on the history (or her-story) of cosmetics and little tidbits in each chapter. I especially loved the 'lesser known fads' as I find past fads and trends so fascinating. I think my favourite was rouge on the earlobes in the 1920s!
The chapters are sorted by decade, which is handy and logical. It covers looks from the 1920s to 1960s, most of them inspired by an actress or icon of the time. But before all of that there are sections on tools you may need and some basics like eyebrow shaping, which are very helpful. (Although the double page spread of all the different kinds of makeup brushes was overwhelming - there are so many! I think I have two that I use regularly. Ha. I should mention that I don't know a whole lot about makeup, but that's why I loved this book so much. I think it's still great, even if you know more than I do, though.)
Of course, there are so many tutorials online - and some people learn better from video - but having so many instructions all in one book is really handy. Plus the photos are very clear, the layout is really nice and all of the other small bits of information make it incredibly worthwhile to have.
There is a brief guide on which red lipstick will best suit your skintone. I don't really pay attention to those things and tend to just wear whatever I feel like in terms of colour but for those who have been puzzled by it or are concerned, it's very helpful. Speaking of colour, each chapter begins with an overview of the decade including which colours were used in makeup. As this is something that I can sometimes forget (I don't know how often I've had to remind myself that navy blue nailpolish was available in the 40s for example) I'm glad I have something I can easily pick up and refer to.
As someone who is often baffled by makeup, this book is a very welcome addition to my collection. I don't wear a lot of makeup on a day to day basis, and I never wear foundation, but I'm looking forward to playing around with some of the different looks in this book! I definitely recommend it, if you can afford it, and I think it's more than worth its price.