Chances are, if you’re into makeup at all you have heard of Lisa Eldridge or without realising it you’re probably familiar with her work. Her client list is a who’s who of celebrity and she is one of the most respected and in demand make-up artists out there. I remember seeing her years ago on ‘Ten Years Younger’ and couldn’t believe how young and fresh she looked. I’m sure some of that is down to genes and skincare, but her style of makeup is very fresh, clean and modern. Any makeup of hers you’ll see gracing magazine covers is designed to enhance the beauty of whoever she is making up. You’ll never see extreme contouring that can look like a stripe of dirt on the face, scary eyebrows or old fashioned shimmery highlight on the brow bone.
I have read her website (http://www.lisaeldridge.com/ ) and watched her You Tube channel for years and she is without doubt my favourite to watch. So I was excited to hear she was bringing out a book all about the history of makeup. The trailer that was produced in advance of it’s release, featuring some of the beautiful imagery convinced me I needed it as soon as it came out! (watch video below)
The first thing to say about this book is just how beautiful it is. It’s absolutely brimming with carefully chosen imagery that complements the story being told. There are stunning pictures of made up faces interspersed with vintage makeup and paintings of makeup throughout history. It’s obvious from the get go that Lisa Eldridge has a genuine love of makeup and the culture and attitudes surrounding it. She has done her research, so as well as being a stunning picture book it makes for very interesting reading. The book examines the orgins of people painting their faces as an art form and how it evolved throughout the ages from the ancient egyptians through the Victorian era and the Hollywood golden era.
As well as the obvious advances in technology that have taken place in modern times, there has also been a monumental shift in societal attitudes towards makeup. The first third of the book is under the umbrella title of ‘The ancient Palette’, Rather than going through the history throughout the ages in order, each chapter uses a different colour to explain how it was used in makeup during the different eras and the impact it had.
The second part of the book is titled ‘ The business of beauty’. This is all about the journey of makeup from something that wasn’t really talked about to it’s portrayal in early magazines and media. How it was viewed at different times throughout history and the influence that print and media has had on changing attitudes surrounding it. She also goes into some detail about the emergence of some of the giant cosmetics companies as well as the improvements in science, technology and advertising. I was surprised by the sheer amount of change that has occurred in the industry over the last 20 years. We all know the part that makeup plays in our lives and the influence the big businesses behind them have on us.
I absolutely loved this book. It’s beautiful and informative and looks fab on my coffee table 🙂 . Well worth a read!