10 Books to Inspire Who's in Love With The Beauty World

Holidays are coming and with it, a lot of spare time to focus on things we love, such as reading and beauty – put them together and you can have the best of both worlds. This list is for you who wants to discover more about this exciting and significant universe but also to reflect on how beauty becomes part of our cultural and social practices.

Have fun!

1. Make-up Manual by Lisa Potter-Dixon

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Almost the bible of makeup, this book from Lisa Potter-Dixon, Benefit’s Head Makeup and Trend Artist (and, must add, eyebrows queen), comes to solve any beauty dilemma. Going through every part of a makeup look, this book starts discussing skin care - explaining skin types and giving homemade face masks recipes – passing on to brows, sculpting, eyes, lips... Yes! Everything you need to know to create an incredible look. This book’s high point is that Lisa gives us a whole introduction to understand the beauty world.

2. Dia de Beauté: um guia de maquiagem para a vida real by Vic Ceridono

(Dia de Beauté: a makeup guide for the real life)

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Vic Ceridono is a beauty journalist, youtuber and the owner of Dia de Beauté, considered one of the world’s most influential beauty blogs by WGSN company. Her book, as her blog content, shows the beauty world in a practical and realistic way, with easy and approachable tips that can make anyone fall in love with makeup. With more than 130 photos and illustrations, her advices goes from basic everyday looks to expert tips that can inspire you to create new looks. After all, according to Vic, nothing is as fun as makeup!

3. Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro by Bobbi Brown

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So, an expert is an expert, right? And Bobbi Brown has over thirty years’ experience in the beauty industry. Mastering every trick from how to find the perfect colour and apply foundation to the perfect contouring techniques, on this book, she gives us the best never-seen-before tricks for basic and artistry makeup. The book also have a tool guide, explaining every brush use (what for and how to use), which is a very important part for who’s just beginning to enter this world, but it is also a very good step-by-step guide to every different beauty product.

4. Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge

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Lisa Eldridge is a very famous british makeup artist with an amazing presence on web (if you love beauty, you should follow her YouTube channel!) and this book is one of the most incredible when it comes to makeup history. Unlike the others, this one does not have any tutorials. Lisa’s book scours the past to try to understand how did makeup work as a global social practice since the Egyptian and Classical times all the way to Hollywood and commercial makeup as we know it today. It is a very important book to understand makeup as more than something we do on daily bases, but as an art form and part of women history.

5. Beauty by Lauren Conrad

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As a style icon, Lauren Conrad has spent her whole celebrity life sharing lots of great beauty and fashion looks, but on this book, she decided to share secrets she has learned with professionals she has worked with. As the name states itself, this book doesn’t talk only about makeup, but every advice related to the beauty world, such as skin and hair care to wellness and makeup techniques. Not only for fans, this book is a great guide to inspire you!

6. Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

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The fragrances world is infinite and choosing your own signature scent can be a hard work. So Luca Turin, a renowned scientist, and Tania Sanchez, a perfume critic, decided to join forces to clarify this multimillionaire industry. Explaining everything you need to know about fragrances, Luca and Tania struggle to make perfumery craft to be taken seriously.

7. O livro dos cachos: Aprenda a amar e cuidar do seu cabelo como ele é by Sabrinah Giampá

(The curly hair book: learn how to love and take care of your hair the way it is)

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Not only about face and smells the beauty world survives, and this brazilian book shows how hair is an important part of accepting who we are. “O livro dos cachos” (“The curly hair book”) discusses the straight hair supremacy and how it lead Brazil to be one of the countries that spends more money on straightening treatments. The journalist and hair stylist, Sabrinah Giampá, unmasks taboos and teaches how to take care of (and love) your hair respecting its own nature. And not only for girls who have curly hair, this book is a great lecture to understand different cultures and ethnicities.

8. Survival of the Prettiest: the science of beauty by Nancy Etcoff

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To understand beauty as a symptomatic part of humans as social beings, this brilliant book by the psychologist Nancy Etcoff argues that beauty is more than a cultural construction, but it’s part of our human nature, it’s in our biology. Bringing up original reflections about scientific revolutions and media influences on what we classify as “beautiful”, Nancy demonstrates that looking for beauty is interior to us, humans, and the more we understand this desire, the easier will be to work in our own interests. Although it was launched in 1999, this lecture is still important to comprehend the beauty industry and its effects.

9. The beauty myth by Naomi Wolf

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Reflecting about the progress of women’s movement, alongside the gain of rights since the first feminist wave, Naomi Wolf shows a different kind of social control: the search for physical perfection traps the modern women on the work, culture, religion, violence and hunger scopes. A great reading to understand modern movements, such as Ask Her More, that gained space on 2015’s red carpets, and to deepen on feminist discussions, this book is an all-time classic, but with a dense reading, so get prepared before you start it.

10. A beleza impossível: mulher, mídia e consumo by Rachel Moreno

(The impossible beauty: woman, media and consumption)

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At last, another brazilian suggestion, the psychologist Rachel Moreno discuss the media impacts over the creation of beauty standards – including the appropriation of symbols from the feminist movement to maintain the control over the cultural production about what we should see as beautiful. This very good essay is a meaningful, but effortless reading, bringing data and strong arguments to understand how we absorb a commodified beauty that is and will always be unattainable.

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