Saturday, May 21, 2011

Making Faces - Face Forward reviews and comparison

I know I haven't posted in a while. But today I thought I would do a kinda of review/comparison deal on two books I (not sooo)recently got. They are both by renowned makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin. If you don't know who he is please see here.

His work was really the reason I stopped looking at makeup as just makeup and began to see it as an art form that is not only used as a means to make one look better but to transform ones appearance entirely (not always for the sole purpose of vanity).

Making Faces
I would say this one is the more helpful of the two if you're just getting started. It provides more of an instructional approach than Face Forward. The problem with makeup is it's not really something you can learn to do better from a book, so I don't suggest you purchase it with hopes of greatly improving your technique.

It starts with brief, kind of, introduction pages on techniques for foundation, concealer, powder, contouring, brows ect. Then it progresses into larger sections on how to apply these techniques to your eyes (which have an interesting chart on "eye shadow shapes"), lashes, lips and so fourth.

It then goes on into the looks with names like "softness", "colorful", "glamorous" each, of course, accompanied by beautiful photos of his celebrity friends as models for the looks, and drawn step by steps.

It then wraps up with a large make over section that starts with regular women and men showing before and afters with the drawn step by steps and then mixed in are celebrities being transformed into other stars. Probably, what both books are most known for.

This book doesn't name names in the title of the look, unlike Face Forward. The names of the stars they're being made over to look like are briefly mentioned in the description of the look, but they seem like they are playing coy about it and passing it off as an "inspired by" look, sometimes mentioning multiple celebrities, rather than just calling it a transformation. However, just by looking at the pictures the goal result is pretty obvious.

Some of my favorite transformations from Making Faces: For fun, I put together some side by sides of the makeovers, so you can see just how amazing this mans work was.

Demi Moore as The Vamp (Clara Bow)
Demi: Right

Isabella Rossellini as The Diva (Barbara Streistand)
Isabella: Left

Courtney Love as The Starlet (Jean Harlow)
Courtney: Left

Face Forward
This book is not all too unlike Making Faces but instead of the small sectioned introductions to each product it jumps right in to an intro on tools and product basics before going into section by section pages on shape and structure of various facial features. Showing the true versatility of looks through small changes in makeup. This part of the book it much more in depth and detailed, a great counterpart to Making Faces, which is well suited to beginners. 

It then goes into the wonderful makeovers that, again, start with regular women and men before getting into some really beautiful transformations. This section takes up a good chunk of the book and is well worth it just for the pictures. It starts with characters and historical figures before getting into stars as other stars.

Some will point out that the instruction part on these makeovers is vague at best, but as I said, makeup really isn't something you can learn very well just from a book anyway. Everyone's faces are different so even if it were all laid out in great detail it would still be pretty inevitable that your result would not be the same anyway.

Some of my favorites from this one.

Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis
Susan : Left
Winona Ryder as Elziabeth Taylor
Winona: Left
Gena Rowlands and Ava Gardner
Gena: Right

Gweneth Paltrow as Faye Dunaway
Gweneth: Left

Gina Gershon as Sophia Loren
Gina: Left

Calista Flockhart as Audrey Hepburn
Calista: Left
Liza Minelli as Marilyn Monroe
Liza: Right
Martha Stewart as Veronica Lake
Martha: Left
Also scattered throughout the books are interesting tidbits about Mr. Aucoin. For instance: His first painful experience plucking his eyelash on account of some ill gotten advice from a classmate about plucking eyebrows. Very fun to read! I'm really glad I bought these books, even if these were just picture books it would still be totally worth it! I can't vouch too much for the instructional part on the transformations, since I haven't used any of these looks on myself (hey there's an idea!) but I have applied some of the general techniques into my daily routine and it has proven to be beneficial. 


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  2. Thanks for following :D I think almost everyone following this blog found it through rioche lol.

    I need more galpals too. It must be so nice to live in Hawaii!

  3. Great post!! Trying to decide which book to get.

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