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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2003
The great thing about this goal-oriented, generous book is the fact that Aucoin is not tied to any specific company. So it does not rip off the reader by recommending products that are currently in fashion or on department store stands. Instead, for his myriad styles, Aucoin will merely identify "light flesh-coloured lip pencil", or "liquid black eyeliner". No brand names - yippee! Thus it tremendously increases your awareness of products and the standbys and treats that you'll need in your artillery to achieve the looks you want, whether on yourself or on others.
Also, Aucoin clearly and productively analyses each feature of the face at the beginning. He explains the principles of applying foundation, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipliner, lipstick - even eyebrow pencil (telling you to make a "box" at the inside corner - hello, Ava Gardner!). Very clever, very helpful.
Finally, Aucoin is brilliant in his analysis of brushes, and again, does not plug any particular line. But he does explain what different brushes do, and you can therefore conclude for yourself which of them you'll need. Best is to go to a theatre make-up shop, where you'll get (usually) disinterested advice.
The illustrations and "types" of look are wonderful and really extend one's range and comprehension. As a professional entertainer, I have found this book indispensable for my own make-up, and also incorporate its principles at home for day or innocent make-up, reserving dramatic styles for stage or evenings.
Enjoy! Brush up your brushwork!
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on 26 January 2001
This guy, WOW! I picked up the book for general advice and instead found myself discovering how wonderful makeup can be. Kevyn Aucoin's approach in this book, is to not only show what can be done, but encourage YOU to learn and experiment. This book is a fantastic resource for how to do everything from start to finish and the best bit is he tells you HOW to do it and not lecturing on whether you SHOULD be doing it. He uses his techniques as tools, and places them in front of you and tells you to go forth and try. There are loads of Celebrity and ordinary people makeovers. But the best thing is, he tells how to obtain the LOOK YOU WANT. In this book there are no rules, only incredible possibilities.
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on 10 April 2001
This is a excellent book, both for those interested in cosmetics and those just wondering how to change their look. The book begins with the basics, such as skin care, different types of cosmetics and techniques. There are excellent explanations, and if you've ever wondered which types of products are best for you, this is perfect. Following on from this are pages and pages of celebrity "makeovers." The photos alone are great and illustrate how extremely different looks can be accomplished easily with cosmetics. Accompanying each photo is full instructions on how to achieve that look, what products are needed and what techniques are used.
This book will make you want to run to a mirror and start experimenting!
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on 24 July 2011
Working as a makeup artist I've spoken to hundreds of women who tell me that they buy expensive products and then don't know what to do with them my advice is always the same: Spend as much as you can afford on 1) a good foundation, 2) a flat eyeshadow brush, 3) eyeshadow blending brush, 4) a square flat eyeliner brush and 5) this book. If money is an issue wait for the brush sets to come out in December. If you look after brushes they will last forever - they are the most important part of your kit. Cheaper ones are false economy, a good brush will do the work for you. You'd be surprised what you can do when you have a tiny palette and a good understanding makeup artistry.

I have spent months in the British Library reading every makeup book I could get my hands on... I haven't found any that compare to this. Some of the looks here are becoming dated, but it contains all the principles that you need...

I value this book as highly as I value my £6000 makeup course.

All three books are brilliant. I'd say this is the best for technical advice, `Face Forward' is great once you've mastered the basics, `A Beautiful Life' shows just how loved Kevyn Aucoin was.

Nina-Marie Braisby
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on 22 April 2000
Forget about all those other useless books full of nothing but text and no photos, Making Faces is Full,Full,Full of COLOR photos and helpful words. Enough said, just buy this book if you want the best!
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on 9 January 2012
I hate to be a party-pooper but...

Let's assume for a moment that the name of the author does not awe us. Let's say the name we see outside is "John Something", an unknown, unassuming name. And now, flip through the book with no expectations and no genious-artist in mind...

We can see some very-very basic application techniques for make-up, some very-very basics on choosing various products and some childhood stories. Cute.

Moving on, we have various makeup styles, mostly neutrals (which I happen to love) but still... I feel something is missing. Is it the scetches? Cute but rather impractical. Is it the uniform way of his case-studies? I can barely tell the difference from one look to the other. Yes, different colours are used but tell me in all honesty what is the big difference of eg "Softness",pg 64-65 from "The gamine", pg 128-129 from "The chantreuse", pg 130-131 and so on, that justifies 6 different pages?
Don't get me wrong, the pictures are stunning, the result beautiful, but this is more like a collection of some of his work, given an inspired name each and a childish drawing break-down rather than something actually helpful.

In the middle of the book, the makeover part is amazing! The brilliance of the artist trully shows here. But besides the WOW effect, it left me wanting for something. I guess that if I come accross pretty much the same faces and features I may be able to attempt to reproduce the style. But I do not think I can actually learn something from this book. I am not a makeup artist and this is not a very big help in any way. I already know how to apply eye shadow and lipstick so I would appreciate something more inspired, with more detailed instructions.

Lastly, I find the size of the book rather big. I have some other makeup books that are in a more shelf-friendly size and their pictures do not lack in details. But this is just a pet-peeve and did not affect my rating in any way.

With all that in mind, let's put the name of the actual author to the book... Does it do him any justice? Nah, I would not say so. All his amazingness is in pages 24-25, where he transforms the face of his sister with highlights and contouring. The rest makes for a fun flipping through but not much more.
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on 6 December 2006
This is the kind of book you can just sit down and enjoy. I've read it several times myself and my friends and family are always picking it up when they come over. It is that type of book. Beautiful photographs, clear instructions and drawings, with makeup styles which are still fashionable today, you can read in detail, or just flick through, it is absorbing. (Just leave it on your coffee table - you'll soon discover how popular it is!)

My only small niggle would be that sometimes the makeup instructions don't quite match some of the photos in terms of minor detail - i.e. some of the models are clearly wearing white eyeliner, blusher and mascara on their lower eyelashes yet this is omitted from the makeup instructions.

That said, I love this book. If you're interested in makeup and how it can transform a face this is the book for you.
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on 19 July 2013
Ive recently enrolled in a professional make up course and already have a few of the more popular make up artists books. This has to be one of the best. Very much a 'how to' book, and i have already learnt new things which some of my other books havent covered. The different looks are also all very wearable and achievable and are well described and shown by pictures, step by step throughout. I would definitely recommend it!
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on 4 January 2012
This is an amazing book, it doesn't just tell you the basic side of makeup but it also tells you the artistic side of it as well, it is amazing looking at the before and after or everyday people an how much it brings out your own features, and the before an after of celebrities, where the after is unrecognizable, you learn so much techniques from this book that i ended up purchasing the second one as well, Kevyn Aucoin is brilliant artist, and so sad that he has past away, this and the other books are must buy, they not just for makeup artist who are just learning the trade but for everyday people who want to learn techniques, each look has detailed step by step illustrated guides so you are no doubt able to achieve the same look.
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on 8 August 2010
If you are someone who just wants to pick up some tips on how to apply make-up or if you want to learn about different looks you can try (but are not in the beauty industry) then this will be great for you as Aucoin describes simply how to create looks and doesn't use confusing terms. Also he isn't brand specific and just talks about products in simple terms i.e blusher, powder. This is helpful also if your make-up collection isn't extensive!

For beauty professionals and those that are professional or aspiring make-up artists (like myself), this is a must-have. You can pick up tips and also learn a little bit about Kevyn Aucoin's caree

Overall, something for everyone, I would recommend this book again and again whether you are a young girl looking to find out how to apply make-up or your in the industry and want to learn some new techniques and looks! It was everything I expected and more.
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