Beauty Reads | LipsSoFacto

Beauty Reads

0 Posted by - July 29, 2013 - Makeup, Makeup Black Book
I read beauty blogs and websites just about everyday, but there’s a different kind of satisfaction to be had from physical reading material – and no, a Kindle won’t do. The occasional flip through a magazine is great, but what about a meaty tome dedicated to beauty? Now we’re talking. Here’s what to check out next time you fancy some beauty swotting.

No More Dirty Looks 
Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt
Despite several things demanding the attention of my eyeballs lately, I’ve sped through No More Dirty Looks and it’s quite the eye opener. Written in a well-balanced, colloquial, not-too-scaremonger-y style, Spunt and O’Connor break down the myth and science of cosmetic safety with input from dermatologists, oncologists and a PhD worth of clinical studies. Easily ‘searchable’ by ingredient or area (hair, nails, skin, tanning – they’ve covered the lot), the chapters come fully loaded with a selection of cleaner product suggestions. My edition was published in 2010, so I can see this dating fairly rapidly but I recommend the NMDL Blog and I’m sure they’ll have a dedicated database fairly soon.
Some of the questionable ingredients are just that, questionable, and not decisively linked to any problems but the girls provide the info and leave you to make your own decisions about how far to take cleaner cosmetics. Luckily, for us Europeans, many of the nasties mentioned are either banned or heavily restricted – but it’s still great food for thought.
Make Up Your Mind: Express Yourself 
François Nars
Ostensibly a resource for makeup artists, or anyone more adept with a blending brush than myself, this highly visual book is packed with before and afters on a range of skin tones and textures. The products used (all NARS, of course) are ‘written’ onto acetate overlay, making it feel delightfully like one of those multi-layered, multi-textured books I had as a kid. Broken down by age ranges, François explains the loose ‘phases’ of makeup and how to find what works, alongside plenty of encouragement to embrace even the ‘most surprising colour’.
Interestingly François, on makeup for teens and twenties, states ‘I don’t necessarily advocate colour cosmetics for those under the age of 15 or 16 (I think a made-up face is seductive, and that quality is inappropriate in a young girl).’ High five, Monsieur Nars. High five.
Pretty Powerful*
Bobbi Brown
Launched around International Women’s Day, Pretty Powerful is packed with anecdotes about confidence and the ‘other side’ of beauty. Focusing first and foremost on what women do rather than what they look like, from boxers and designers to mums and actresses, it’s the sort of thing you’d want to place in the hands of every young girl in the land, before the Daily Mail ‘Sidebar of Shame’ creeps in with a merry march of insecurities.
This is a neutral-lovers dream as the focus is on emphasising natural features, and where bolder colour is used it’s judicious enough to be easily recreated at home. There’s a good mix of visual before and afters, stories about the ladies featured, skincare tips, quick makeup lessons and face charts with step-by-step guides.
Lauren Conrad
Having carved out one of the most impressive post-reality-TV career niches, ‘L.C.’ released Lauren Conrad Beauty last year, following Lauren Conrad Style. Taking a holistic approach to beauty, therefore getting a huge thumbs up from me, the book covers fitness, nutrition and stress management; alongside the usual hair, makeup and nails in a style which will be familiar if you read The Beauty Department. It’s a little saccharine in places, those embarrassing story preambles sound a bit too thought out, but it’s a handy reference point for just about anything beauty and a really nice option for those just getting into makeup.
*PR Sample


  • Rebekah July 29, 2013 - 2:58 pm Reply

    need to get my hands on the Lauren Conrad book!x

  • Samantha July 29, 2013 - 3:01 pm Reply

    Ah! The NARS one looks amazing :) will definitely have to keep my eyes peeled for that one.

    Sam xx

  • Harriet Manson July 29, 2013 - 3:05 pm Reply

    Quite like the look of the LC book – but then I’ve just ordered Kris Jenner’s autobiography, so might be on a bit of a reality-tv themed splurge!

    Not beauty-related but I bought Victoria Beckham ‘That Extra Half an Inch’ years ago when it came out and thought that was a brilliant read actually! X

  • Isabella July 29, 2013 - 3:09 pm Reply

    Oh, I like the sound of the Lauren Conrad book. I have stumbled upon her mentioned books on tumblr, but I never thought it’d be “worth a read”. Sounds like it would, though. I guess I have to check my next library soon :) Thanks for the wonderful reviews, I really like them! Maybe you could a similar post about your latest fiction reads or a yt video?

  • Simoneg July 29, 2013 - 3:26 pm Reply

    Ooh lovely Meg, love the opening shot. Makes me want a cup of tea!

  • Sarah Libros July 29, 2013 - 3:48 pm Reply

    I agree, there is a certain charm in reading a book that you just can’t get my reading off a screen.

  • Eloise Allan July 29, 2013 - 3:52 pm Reply

    Ah i have the Lauren Conrad book and other beauty books, I love reading them you pick up new techniques!

    Eloise |

  • Maddy Cane July 29, 2013 - 4:13 pm Reply

    You’ve made me want to read all of these now haha! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD

  • thisgirlloveschic July 29, 2013 - 4:40 pm Reply

    love a good beauty read!!!


  • Annie July 29, 2013 - 4:51 pm Reply

    I would like to get me some beauty books :)

    Annie |

  • Arianne July 29, 2013 - 4:59 pm Reply

    I have the first two and I’m a huge fan! No More Dirty Looks is what got me re-thinking about my skin + bath and body routine, and now my stuff is mostly clean. :) I agree with you on the tone they took to write the book. I like how they don’t guilt-trip you to get into clean cosmetics.

    I think I’m gonna look into that Lauren Conrad book. Sounds great! I’m a fan of The Beauty Department. Thanks for the reco! :)

  • LIKE-ENCHANTED July 29, 2013 - 5:03 pm Reply

    Beautiful outfit !

    Love, unicorns and glitter on you. <3


  • Heels Forever July 29, 2013 - 5:36 pm Reply

    I have been going through a book buying phase recently, always get into reading in the summer. Don’t own any beauty books though so may have to buy a few! xx

    Heels forever

  • Sophie Brewster July 29, 2013 - 6:10 pm Reply

    I’m quite intrigued by the Make Up Your Mind and Pretty Powerful books for myself – but wouldn’t mind picking up the LC book at a later stage for my niece when she’s a bit older. (Only 11 but loves make-up, continuous dilemma so I only gift nail polish and lip gloss. Haha!)

  • Celina July 29, 2013 - 6:34 pm Reply

    These books look and sound like lovely reads. No More Dirty Looks sounds like something I would love to read because I’m always interested in learning about the ingredients in products, especially the ones that we should avoid.

    Celina | The Celution

  • Katie Allen July 29, 2013 - 8:13 pm Reply

    I definitely need to check out nor more dirty looks as I am wanting to be more knowledgeable about skincare ingredients.

  • Emma Diggins July 29, 2013 - 10:17 pm Reply

    Great post – lovely to read something beauty related that’s not on a screen!

    Emma x

  • Ila July 30, 2013 - 7:31 am Reply

    I love this blog post :) The selection of books is great and I got the feeling you need to have all of them to get a balanced idea of what actually is beauty. I am very tempted by the 1st one though :P (interactive book ohhh yyeeess)

    Ila x

  • yourdailybreak July 31, 2013 - 10:17 am Reply

    Will have to check these out. I have the Rae Morris makeup book and I think it needs a partner on my bookshelf! xo

    Your Daily Break

  • Amy July 31, 2013 - 10:43 am Reply

    The first book you have mentioned sounds really good indeed. I’m finding my interest is growing in this area, what a shame I’ve just done a degree in Geography.

    Amy x
    -A Little Boat Sailing-

  • Katrina August 4, 2013 - 12:17 pm Reply

    Great suggestions! I have read Lauren Conrad’s book and I liked it although I did find it was quite basic and mostly general knowledge for makeup enthusiasts. It would be a really helpful read for beginners though. I’ve just downloaded a sample of a book called Amazing Face by Zoe Foster, who is a former Australian beauty editor and now blogger that I’m looking forward to checking out.

  • Emily Knott August 5, 2013 - 9:19 pm Reply

    I might just have to get this LC book, i remember it coming out but I never got round to buying it!


  • Emma August 6, 2013 - 3:48 pm Reply

    Ooh the nars book sounds amazing, I really want to check that out! X

  • Zoe Bennett August 8, 2013 - 9:34 pm Reply

    Great post! I think I may have to get round to reading Lauren Conrad book :-)
    Zoe x

  • Fernanda August 8, 2013 - 10:04 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing! I really wanna read No More Dirty Looks, as I always find myself wondering “Is this a baddie?” whenreading the ingredients list on skincare and getting confused! I think the LC books are pretty much eye candy, am I wrong? xx

  • Jennifer Monforton August 8, 2013 - 11:46 pm Reply

    Great picks! I’m so interested in the book by Francois NARS- his technique is always so interesting and flawless! :)

  • Rebecca August 10, 2013 - 10:55 am Reply

    I love beauty books. My all time favourite is by Sophia Loren “Women & Beauty” – so elegant!

  • Emily Allen August 10, 2013 - 12:22 pm Reply

    I’ve been wanting to buy the Bobbi Brown and Lauren Conrad book so long, will finally cave after reading this xx Emmi

  • Ainsley August 11, 2013 - 11:02 am Reply

    That tan!!

  • Diana Horsfall August 11, 2013 - 12:58 pm Reply
  • Rinica Warner August 18, 2013 - 9:35 am Reply

    Till the 2nd of September whooooo? So much to get so little time haha glad to hear this sale will still be on come pay day. Great picks! I’ve been wanting to try the Emma Hardie balm for some time now …seems like a great excuse to try it now whilst its that little bit cheaper

  • marta August 27, 2013 - 6:14 am Reply

    oh my, am i happy to land into your space! i found you while researching SLS free shampoos. hooray, thank you for a genuine review! i’m off to try out that Philip Kingsley duo. thank you for the awesome and beautiful photos too. i am a product junkie and am going to enjoy hanging out on this website! we have a lot of commonalities in favorites. i am a Bb haircare fan too! also, i’d love to know how you use coconut oil in your hair, but that video is set to private.. hmm, still such a mystery!

    anyway, i mainly wanted to chime in and tell you that you are going to LOVE the book called The Truth About Style by Stacy London. if you haven’t already, dive into it. it’s genuine, deep and introspective.. and still about fashion and understanding one’s true style and how it originates! i loved it. wishing you well.

  • Jenny W October 20, 2013 - 10:47 pm Reply

    Sighing over the Francois Nars one.

  • agungshafira February 12, 2014 - 2:01 am Reply

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