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Customer Review

on 22 August 2002
Face Forward is his most recent publication, after "The Art Of make up" and "Making Faces". He has a huge celebrity following and you can see why. His work is dramatic but subtle at the same time; he works with each individuals face and some of the transformations are breathtaking. He dosent do the "lets do our best to be subtle and let blemishes show through", no he gives everyone the full whack, and they look amazing. And why not? Face Forward is split into two halves, the first is dealing with some basics, such as shading and contouring, basic make up brushes and cosmetics which are handy. He does not name specific brands, there is no plugging in this book, he tells you that cheap can be and often is as good as expensive. The first section he shows women and one man (his partner!)with what make up suits them, and like I said some of these transformations are amazing. He chooses women he meets on the street, they are not all young and model like, they are a mix of black, white, asian, old, young etc. The looks he creates are not done with trendy colours only, they are the kind of looks you can imagine doing on yourself.
The second half consists of dramatic make overs on celebrity friends such as Tina Turner, Calista Flockhart, Winona Ryder and so on. They are transformed into other superstars, Audrey Hepburn, Cleopatra and so on. These pictures are fab for inspiration, if your going to a party, yes you could try and replicate them fully, but personally, I can imagine plucking the lips from one image, the eyes from another. Thats one of the best things about this book; it is not a step by step guide, because they never work perfectly; rather it inspires you to create your own looks.
Also on the plus side is the beautiful photography; Sharon Stone as a angel in particular, but you can see the thought and work that has gone into creating this book. it isn't over burdened with text, which I think is a no no, after all if your writing a make up book, it should be full of images! Also Aucoin really adds the personal touch by placing photographs of his travels and adventures. He mentions a lot of his own personal thoughts into the book, mainly about the superficialness of the beauty and fashion industry and prejudices plcaed on himself and others. He recognises the irony of him working in the beauty industry, and by using models of different ages and races, he is trying to open new outlets for minorities.
Sadly, Kevin Aucoin died in May this year at the age of 40, which is a shame because I think he would've written many more brilliant books and probably created a spanking range of cosmetics too. He does have another two books out however, so I suggest other beauty addicties purchase them now!
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