The 7 Beauty Books Everyone Needs on Their Shelf

Alle Connell
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The 7 Beauty Books Everyone Needs on Their Shelf
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No many how amazing you are at hair and makeup, there’s always more to learn. And while we love blogs and YouTube tutorials, there’s a very special place in our hearts for beauty books. They’re sources of eternal education and inspiration, plus they look amazing on our bookshelves.

So we’ve put together a list of the best beauty books that definitely belong in your life. These are the tomes that inspired us to become beauty editors and that keep us falling in love, over and over again, with all things cosmetic. Whether you’re a makeup novice or an aspiring professional looking to break into the industry, there’s a book here for you. Click through and prepare to hit your favorite bookstore!

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No many how amazing you are at hair and makeup, there's always more to learn. And while we love blogs and YouTube tutorials, there's a very special place in our hearts for beauty books. They're sources of eternal education and inspiration, plus they look amazing on our bookshelves.

So we've put together a list of the best beauty books that definitely belong in your life. These are the tomes that inspired us to become beauty editors and that keep us falling in love, over and over again, with all things cosmetic. Whether you're a makeup novice or an aspiring professional looking to break into the industry, there's a book here for you. Click through and prepare to hit your favorite bookstore!

Face Forward, Kevyn Aucoin ($19).

Kevyn Aucoin is an icon. His flawless technique, clear illustrations and simple explanations demystified the world of makeup and inspired in us a reverence for the art of cosmetic transformation. But beyond that, his kindness shines through in every word. In a world where beauty can often be judgmental or unkind, Kevyn's books are accepting, loving and inspiring. Face Forward provides the best grounding in both the fundamentals of makeup application, as well as more difficult techniques for advanced readers. Some of the advice is a little dated—he loves very matte skin, for example, whereas now 'dewy' is the trend—but this remains our very favorite beauty book.

Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself, Francois Nars ($32).

Francois Nars himself is the master of beauty, and the brand that bears his name is nothing short of revolutionary. We love this book for it's simple yet pretty makeup techniques, gorgeous art direction (the clear plastic overlays are genius) and the fact that a wide range of ages and ethnicities are included. The fact that everyone in this book is just a 'normal' person, rather than a professional model? Genius.

The Beauty of Color, Iman ($21).

It is a sad fact that non-white women are often ignored in the beauty industry, which we think is grade-A garbage. Enter Iman, supermodel and cosmetic maven, who wrote this book geared specifically towards women of color. Iman breaks down color selection, product advice and even skincare tips, wrapping it all up with photos featuring gorgeous women of a variety of ages and ethnicities. Inspiring, informative and beautiful: that's Iman, and this book, all over.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, Bobbi Brown ($16).

If you love a lot of detail and organization, this is the book for you. Bobbi breaks down everything—and we do mean everything—about beauty, from basic nutrition and skincare, all the way to her chosen makeup application techniques. The book is divided into easy-to-refer-to sections by feature (eyes, lips), by event (photo shoot, office, wedding) and even by product (the chapter on Tools is perfect). There's even a section with tips on how to break into the beauty industry if you're an aspiring professional. With amazing illustrations, easy to follow photos and caring advice, this beauty book is truly indispensable.

Asian Faces: The Essential Beauty and Makeup Guide for Asian Women, Taylor Chang-Babaian ($20).

Taylor, a professional makeup artist, wrote this fantastic book specifically for women of Asian descent. Each tutorial is modified for a variety of features (ie, for people with double eyelids and those without) and broken down by city (looks for LA and NYC), event (day, night, costume) and even time period. Suitable for teens and adults alike, the models are wonderfully diverse, the artistry is top notch and the advice is timeless. Margaret Cho agrees that this is a truly amazing book.

Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup, Gabriela Hernandez ($38).

If you're looking for a beautifully illustrated, entertaining history lesson, this is the book for you. Gabriela, CEO of Besame Cosmetics, takes us back through history, looking at the ways that beauty has been culturally determined—and created. Artifacts, portraits and vintage ads accompany detailed historical timelines and profiles of important beauty innovators, broken down decade by decade. But it's not just a history lesson; we love the recreated color palettes for each era and the step-by-step guides to iconic looks of each decade. Though it's not a scholarly work, this book is a must for any beauty (or history) lover.

Beauty, Lauren Conrad ($16).

Who doesn't love LC? Our favorite Laguna Beach star turned CEO shares everything she's learned about beauty, skincare, hair, wellness (and life) in this beginner-friendly book. With step-by-step tutorials that are as beautifully photographed as they are easy to understand, Lauren (alongside makeup artist Amy Nadine and hairstylist Kristin Ess) shares all her secrets for looking and feeling your best.

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