Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual Book Review by ChristineMM
Title: Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro
Author: Bobbi Brown
Publication: Springboard Press (December 1, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0446581349 hardcover book
Full retail price: $32.00
My Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5 = I Love It.
Summary Statement: Clear and Concise, Great Advice and Information
The subtitle of BOBBI BROWN MAKEUP MANUAL indicates it is for the beginner to pro and I’m in the beginner category. All I’m interested in is doing my own makeup well. As a user of Bobbi Brown makeup for over ten years, I wanted to read this book to see what I could improve as formerly I was just applying the makeup as instructed by the BB counter saleswoman instructed me. I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing until I read this book.
The bulk of the book (the first 138 pages) is designed to be used by both individual women for their own makeup and can also be used by professionals. After giving some brief opinions and recommendations on which products or product types to use on various skin types or for different purposes (such as when to use crème blush versus powder blush for example), clear directions for applying the makeup properly are given in brief text along with full step by step directions. Important to note is that all skin colors and different ethnicities are included. Special techniques for Asians are given such as handling eye makeup. I was happily surprised to see special advice given for women with freckles, the advice is to not cover them up completely but to use special makeup effects that allow them to show through. Also covered is how to handle makeup with skin conditions such as rosacea and others.
A section at the beginning gives information about brush selection, the importance of proper brush maintenance, and the reasons to use high quality brushes. Advice on compiling makeup kits is included, specifically, what items to buy and how to organize them for different purposes (travel, everyday use, and so forth).
I was impressed also with the section about eyebrows and eyelashes. Included is information about the benefits of and best ways to shape the eyebrows and when eyebrow makeup should be used. Directions for penciling in eyebrows for women with sparse eyebrows or who are currently undergoing chemotherapy is useful too. The proper way to apply mascara, how to use an eyelash curler and even how to apply false eyelashes correctly is included.
What struck me the most about this book is that it gives just enough information to be thorough but not too much so as to bog down or intimidate the reader. The photographed stepped out directions are done well. It is easy to find the makeup technique or effect you want to achieve to use the book’s directions when needed. When to use various effects is explained, such as daytime makeup and then touching it up for evening. Makeup for weddings and other formal events is also covered.
The last 80 pages are dedicated to professional makeup artists or those striving to become professional makeup artists. Those pages cover a range of topics from special makeup procedures to use on models in dramatic photo shoots to job basics such as career options, marketing oneself and booking work.
A short resources section is included at the end.
I read the book cover to cover and learned some things about makeup and makeup application that I never knew. I finally know how to pick the right shade of lipstick and foundation, and how to bring up the various levels of makeup for a more dramatic effect if desired. Now I will use the book as a reference guide for applying makeup. The book can easily be referenced for step by step directions.
Again from the perspective of an amateur, I loved this book. It breaks down a lot of information into easy to understand manner. I like the makeup style used by Bobbi Brown, of how natural her everyday makeup look is and the fact that Brown seeks to enhance a woman’s unique features rather than putting the makeup first and the women second. Unlike other makeup companies, Brown does not just churn out trendy colors each season and expect women to buy and use them as they are ‘in style’ at the moment. Brown wants women to look their best, to look natural but an “enhanced” natural. Brown’s makeup recommendations for evening and special occasions is elegant and beautiful, the makeup is not overpowering.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.