Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: The Ultimate Sales Letter

The Ultimate Sales Letter, written by Dan S. Kennedy.

I read this in my continuing attempt to educate myself in “all things business”! Love it! It’s straightforward, has lots of examples from real companies and has several free perks (such as resources that usually cost around $1000!!). For obvious reasons it aims more at people who have a product to sell, but it seems as though the basic principles are transferable to those of us with services (make-up application) to sell too.

This (3rd) edition of the book was published back in 2006 but there is a newer edition on Amazon right now for £8.99 with the following blurb…

“In this new edition of his top-selling book, author Dan Kennedy explains why some sales letters work and most don’t. And he shows how to write copy that any business can use. Among other things, he provides:

  • Completely updated text and examples
  • Great headline formulas
  • New exercises to spark creativity
  • The best way to use graphics

Kennedy is the most successful, highly paid direct-response copywriter in the country. In this book, he shares his step-by-step formula so everyone can write letters that will nail the sale.”

I’m thinking that I may not need actual “sales letters” in the beginning (?) but there is so much information, even in this older edition that you could take into account when creating your website, developing some advertising strategies and perhaps when writing thankyou letters to previous clients (in hopes that they will refer you to others or use your service again themselves!). Perhaps a sales letter would be invaluable when creating resumes and sending out portfolios to potential clients ?!

A fascinating read and I think it’s definitely a resource that will end up on my shelf in the “references” section for years to come :-).

I’d be interrested to hear from anyone who’s read the new edition! Looking forward to finding out what perks and freebies he’s thrown in this one ;-).
Below I’ve included a link through to the 2006 edition and the 2011 edition in both hardcopy form (proper books!;-)) and for the kindle. It’s good to have options. :-)


Book Review:Makeup is Art

Hurray for husbands! Mine bought me a fantastic Christmas present in the form of “Makeup is Art”, a book designed to help teach professional makeup techniques and show you how to be creative and original! It’s written by a host of people and the Creative Directors are Jana Ririnui and Lan Nguyen from AOFM (Academy of Freelance Makeup).

I haven’t read the whole thing yet, only flicked through a couple of times, so I guess this isn’t really a true review, but I had to let you all know about it as it looks incredible! It starts off the same as any other makeup artistry book, telling us how important skincare is and moving onto primers etc. but then the images turn into Art! You get beautiful clean beauty shots, taken through recent eras and trends and then comes the really fun stuff. There’s glitter, colours galore, and some great body art (you should see all the bling!!;-) ).

At the back of the book is a Q & A section with questions such as “How does a new Makeup Artist get an agent?”, “What is the best way to build my kit?” and “How does a new Makeup Artist build up their portfolio?”. There’s a few pages that are dedicated to brushes and exactly what each one is typically used for (useful when you have a set of 23 and haven’t used some because you’re not totally sure what the hell they are for, haha!).

I honestly could go on for ages, but I’ll stop myself here. The front cover gives you an idea of what you’re getting!

Book Review: The Complete Makeup and Beauty Book

Written by Leigh Tiselli, published 2007

At first I thought this book looked a little out dated, but then I changed my mind! It’s well set out and easy to follow, written in plain English with odd words and statements explained, and full of useful information and imitatable looks.
This book starts off where all good beauty books start…skin care! The basics are introduced and explained, from drinking plenty of water to using sun screen, and then onto serums and exfoliators. There’s a section which explains the main causes of certain skin problems and what type of skin you may have.

Then it heads to How We Age, Age Prevention and a generalisation of what to expect as you age. Make-up tools are explained along with techniques and tips on using your tools and why it’s important to keep your brushes and other tools clean.

Items such as Foundation, Concealer and Eyeshadows are each given their own sections where once again techniques and tips are given including a 7 stage process to the perfect base.

Once the tools have been covered, each area of the face then has a section dedicated to it. The Eyes section has 10 worded pages alone (that’s not including the pages with photos!)!

The back of the book has the Looks section where you are shown some different types of looks including Basic, Smokey Eye, Mature and Shimmer Eyes. Each look is either timeless or easily adaptable to current trends. They are easy to understand and copy so it’s a nice little section.

All in all, a good read!

Book Review: How Not To Look Old, by Charla Krupp

I found a nice post about this book at www.flourishover50.com/2010/02/how-not-to-look-old/ written by a women in her 50′s (the age group this book is aimed at) and I thought it might be nice for you to read something written by someone from the targeted audience.

Being in my late twenties doesn’t stop me wondering about how I’ll fair as the years fly by. Will my skin stand the test of time? Is my lifestyle healthy enough to keep me glowing in old age? Who knows? All we can do is try our best, look after ourselves the best we can and listen to advice from those in the know!

This book was clearly written for all the mature women out there and is aimed at actually making changes to your wardrobe, cosmetics and the way you view yourself. It suggests that there is no better time than now to make yourself into the woman you always hoped you’d be – stylish, confident and fashion savvy- and knocking years off of your appearence.

For all intense purposes this a very blunt, straight to the point book and I don’t nessessarily have the same views on some topics, but a good read non the less for women in their 50′s and over who feel a change in style is on the cards.

Book Review: Juliet Cohen, Vogue Make-up

Being approximately five and a half inches square this doesn’t look like much. However, there’s rather a lot of information in this little book :-)

It starts off with a general run down of the history of make-up starting with the Egyptians and the legendary Cleopatra, through the arsenic based face powders of the Elizabethans, the escapism of the 1940′s and glamour of the 1950′s, into thoughts about where cosmetics will lead to in the future.After this, it goes into different areas of skincare and tools of the trade then into chapters dedicated to Foundation, Lips, Eyes and Cheeks.

This book is full of advice and tips from big names in cosmetics and make-up artistry such as Bobbi Brown, Kevyn Aucoin and Ruby Hammer (of Ruby and Millie Cosmetics!). You can learn about your face shape and skin type, which tools are basic necessities and which products have multiple uses eg “Improvise. Lipstick will double up as eyeshadow and a natural lip liner as an eyeliner”.

The context of Vogue Make-up is mostly on providing you with information and tips so that you are better prepared to go out and buy the right type of skin care products for your needs and colours for your complexion, saving you from making expensive mistakes and buying the wrong products. There’s emphasis on being who you are and working with what you have, but also tips on creating the illusion of a smaller nose or poutier lips.

This is a good afternoons read and definately warrents a place on the bookshelf so that you can go back to it time and again for the tips and advice. It’s a good book for anyone who has no understanding of cosmetics or a basic understanding and who wants to learn why certains things work for you and others don’t.

I enjoyed it!

Book Review: Bobbie Brown Make-up Manual

SAM_0013Published 2008 by Springboard Press

I have to say, I really like this book. It’s a great introduction to the world of make-up application!

Bobbie Brown Make-up Manual takes you chapter by chapter from where to shop for products, what make-up termonology really means,  her ten steps to perfect make-up and right into the business of professional make-up artistry. Each section has enough detail to teach you something new, leaving you enough room to use your own imagination and creativity when it comes to actually creating a look.

There are sections dedicated to areas from “Essential Tools” and “Make-up for teens” to “False Eyelashes Application” and  “Bridal Make-up” which give advice, tips and “Do’s and Don’ts”. Everything is written clearly with simple step-by-step guides and appropriate images.

At the back of the book there’s a “Who’s who in Make-up” with information about the likes of Helena Rubenstein, Coco Chanel, Kevyn Aucoin and Shu Uemura, which was a really good read for me as it taught me more about names I’d heard but didn’t nessessarily know anything about.

The “Resource Guide” is filled with American agencies and stores so not particularly useful to us make-up artist starting out in the UK. BUT. If you’re aiming high then America will probably be on your list of places to go, so these lists my be worth something to you in the future!

All in all an interesting read and great for those of us who are just starting out in the make-up world, or for those of you who simply want to up your make-up skills.

Available at Amazon:

Book Review – Lauren Luke, Look Like A Star

Published 2009 by Hodder & Stoughton

I, like many, enjoy watching Lauren’s make-up vidoes on You Tube, and this book is exactly what you would expect a make-up book by Lauren to be. It’s colourful, simply written and FUN!

Reading through each colourful, post-it covered page I definately got the feeling that this book is aimed at the younger people among us. With it’s scrapbook styling and “hand drawn” patterns the STYLE of the book is more appropriate for your teenage daughter opposed to your elderly aunty. The pages are very busy, with images of make-up, jewellery, butterflies and shoes. However, once you’ve pulled your eyes away from the pretty pictures, the instructions are straight forward and easy for ANYONE to copy, which is the whole point!

There are tips and tricks, product lists and photos. Lauren even dons a few wigs to help you get a feel for the looks (loving the Lady Gaga wig by the way!).

This book is clear and concise and great for anybody who wants to see their favourite starlets make-up become something totally wearable and, most importantly, DO-able!

Available at Amazon :

Here is one of her videos:

Book Review – Jemma Kidd, Make-up Masterclass

Jemma Kidd, Make-up Masterclass

Published 2009 by Jacqui Small

On the cover page there’s a tag-line saying “Beauty bible of professional techniques and wearable looks”. I would have to say that, in my opinion, if this isn’t THE make-up bible then it certainly comes close!

Jemma starts off with a section telling the reader about herself, her make-up career history and why she wanted to write a book which could help people become their most beautiful. Good stuff. Then it gets better!

The book starts with the basics on skin types and skin care, then onto skin tone and colour charts, into looking “10 years younger”, the make-up kit and then kit maintenance. Jemma doesn’t skip a beat as she moves you into the “Masterclass” and shows you how to create different look for many occasions.

One thing I love about this book is that there is an entire section dedicated to each type of application and stage of make-up, which means that you can concentrate on each aspect of make-up individually, as you need to, without getting distracted by other tips for seperate problems. For example, there is a 23 page section solely dedicated to the eyes!

A great book for learning from and for using as a reference  when creating your own looks. I would definately recommend it to anyone who loves experimenting with different types of make-up and to anyone that wants to learn those extra little tips in make-up application.

Available at Amazon:

Book Review – Bobbi Brown, Living Beauty

Bobbi Brown, Living Beauty

Published in 2007

This was specificlly written with the mature woman in mind, starting off with quotes from a selection of women who Bobbi finds inspirational, for both their outer and inner beauty.

There is more than just make-up. Bobbie talks about everything from rejuvinating facials, to non-surgical face lifts and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). There are a few mixed messages as it talks about natural beauty and then tells us about Botox, but each to their own!

There are plenty of make-overs using mature women, with some nice before and after photos (although I do think there may be too many photos instead of more in depth explanations). There are short explanations about how the looks were achieved and advice on what mistakes to avoid. Everything is written simply, nicely explained and even includes a few tips from the women receiving the make-overs and comments on how they felt before and after their treatments.

I do have to say that I easily read this book in an evening so it’s definately only “light reading” material and a lot of it I’ve seen before, but there are still bits in here to inspire you, with plenty of handy hints. I would say this is a book for beginners and although it is aimed at older women it is still a good book for all ages as, lets face it, none of us are getting any younger so we may as well arm ourselves with great skin care routines, fab make-up advice and all the HRT we can handle!

Available at Amazon from £3.09 :