Review: Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge


To start off the Project Year I am going to talk about the books I used for research, and Face Paint was definitely a huge help. But what is this book about?

Makeup, as we know it, has only been commercially available in the last 100 years, but applying decoration to the face and body may be one of the oldest global social practices. In Face Paint, Lisa Eldridge reveals the entire history of the art form, from Egyptian and Classical times up through the Victorian age and golden era of Hollywood, and also surveys the cutting-edge makeup science of today and tomorrow. Face Paint explores the practical and idiosyncratic reasons behind makeup’s use, the actual materials employed over generations, and the glamorous icons that people emulate and how they achieved their effects. An engaging history of style, it is also a social history of women and the ways in which we can understand their lives through the prism and impact of makeup.

Oh my God this book is beautiful. Not only the pictures but the writing style is beautiful, the format is beautiful, everything about it is beautiful.

The entire history of makeup is explained in it, from the prehistoric ages up to now and I thought I knew a lot, but damn, I was wrong. Not only the products itself get their time to shine, but the pigments, the people who created it and people who changed the world of makeup forever. The book is HUGE, honestly, and quite heavy, it’s not a great book to read in the bath or in your bed. It’s got beautiful colour pictures in it. Most pictures take up the entire page or double pages, which makes reading the book a real experience.

Now, I was slightly worried that this book would be extremely Europe-centric, which it still is, but POC are NOT forgotten in this book! They are underrepresented in this book, yes, but are definitely acknowledged in word and pictures.

My favourite thing about this book, though, is that Lisa Eldrige KNOWS her stuff. She knows what she’s talking about and makes the history of makeup really interesting. I learned so much from this book and this is surely one of my favourite books I ever read.
I think that everyone, makeup artists and makeup fans alike, would learn something with this book, and if you have any interest in makeup, you should really read this book!

You can buy this beauty here.



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