10 of the Best Beauty Books Ever

by Tangie Silva

With everyone tackling their own beauty concerns at home sans experts, we’ve pulled together some of the top books on the subject. A mixture of new and old, how-tos and memoirs, these are must-haves for any beauty junkie.

1. MAKING FACES by Kevyn Aucoin, $22
It’s quite possibly one of the most notable covers when it comes to beauty how-to books and easily became a NY Times #1 bestseller. Packed with over 200 photos and illustrations, Aucoin shares all of his tips and tricks for basic makeup application and beyond. And make sure to also catch his documentary featuring his own home videos and countless A-list cameos.

2. RED LIPSTICK: An Ode to a Beauty Icon by Rachel Felder, $26
The author’s signature look has always been a red lip so naturally she got around to penning a love letter to her favorite shade. Full of anecdotes, lesser know facts, and a slew of imagery including everything from fashion editorials to fine art; this is your one-stop read for everything red.

3. WAR PAINT by Lindy Woodhead, $37
Bitter rivals in the beauty industry in the 1930s, Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden’s feud is stuff of legend. This book is a dual biography of two powerful women who changed how women viewed cosmetics and salons. Plus, it’s not all about the biz but also each one’s idiosyncrasies and personal lives. It even spawn a Broadway musical starring Patti LuPone!

4. THE SECRET OF CHANEL NO.5 by Tilar J. Mazzeo, $16
Chanel’s creation of one of the world’s most iconic scents was not an easy one. It was after-all known as le monstre! Mazzeo takes the reader on a journey from Coco’s rise in fashion to the creation of No.5 in the 1950s and its lasting allure today. From the flower fields, perfume labs, and corporate offices, you’ll learn about every step taken to make an icon.

5. AN ATLAS OF NATURAL BEAUTY by Victoire de Taillac and Ramdane Touhami, $27
Using the philosophy of L’Officine Universelle Buly – an iconic beauty emporium from the 1800s, the authors have culled together an encyclopedia of recipes and how-to guide for maintaining your own natural beauty. Taillac and Touhami share clays, oils, plant-based powders and more that they’ve collected over countless international travels. As the Buly saying goes, “Nothing is simpler, more enjoyable, more self-evident, or more efficient than taking good, natural care of yourself.”

6. AGELESS BEAUTY THE FRENCH WAY by Clemence von Meuffling, $27
You’re getting advice from three generations of beauty editors! Set up in three age ranges – Jeunesse (15-35), Plénitude (35-55), and Maturité (55+) – von Meuffling weaves personal tips from her family along with industry experts. They’re pulling back the current of Parisian women’s timeless allure.

7. FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE by Jean Godfrey-June, $29
The former Lucky beauty editor takes us on an inside look at the editorial side of the business. A dishy memoir, you’re privy to all those mythical beauty closets, new product launch breakfasts, and even fashion shows in Paris. In addition, she sprinkles her own life lessons like finding the perfect hair cut and must-have lip gloss.

8. SKIN DEEP by Bee Shapiro, $30
Ever wonder how the world’s most photographed faces get so glam? Look no further than NY Times beauty writer, Shaprio who’s included a collection of her columns where A-listers (think Gwyneth, Kylie, Priyanka!) dish on everything from their daily skin routines to what they really put on their hair. It’s a plethora of information you can now steal!

9. EYE CANDY by Linda Mason, $15
We’ve all seen the outrageous lids in magazines and online. But rarely are we able to recreate them flawlessly. Enter makeup artist Mason, who gives a detailed breakdown of 55 different looks. You get a straight-forward list of what you need, diagrams, and step-by-step process towards divine eyes. Prepare to wink!

10. 90 DAYS TO BEAUTIFUL HAIR by Crystal Aguh, $16
Crystal Aguh, MD FAAD is bringing you a highly scientific and all around routine towards your hair care. A board-certified dermatologist and director of both the Hair Loss and Scalp Disease clinic and Ethnic Skin Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; she’s got the cred! In three months, she walks you through ways to overall improve that coif. You’ll learn which shampoo is right for you, minimize damage from styling, and more.

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