The 5 Minute Face by American makeup maven Carmindy shows you that it is possible to achieve a flawless face in five minutes without the need for expensive eyeshadows; it's about using the right products in the right places. (Admittedly, it does take me a little longer because my skin isn't great but it's still shorter than my usual routine!) With tips on how to extend your daily makeup into a glamorous party look and wearing the most flattering shades for your skintone and age, this book is perfect for the everyday woman as Carmindy advises you on what makeup it is actually practical to wear - we all know that six shades of perfectly blended eyeshadow is just not going to happen on a weekday morning. It's actually really nice to rock a more pared-back look from time to time as you see that you don't really need to wear that much to look put-together. She also includes a shopping list at the back with high-end and budget product recommendations for every look in the book which is really handy, especially for Americans who can buy all of the products!
For really in-depth information about choosing and applying makeup, the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual is the one to read. Bobbi takes it back to the beginning with this one as she really goes into detail about how to choose the makeup that's perfect for you. This would actually be great to buy for an aspiring makeup artist as not only does Bobbi give advice on choosing the perfect foundation for your skin type and colouring, she also includes her tricks of the trade of how to break into the industry and the essential tools of a makeup artist's kit. All of the instructions are accompanied by really clear photos showing you the step-by-step process of each look so you can't really go wrong. This one is a bit beefier in terms of information than the one by Carmindy but it really worth reading in my opinion, especially as Bobbi Brown is one of the most illustrious makeup artists in the industry.
Finally onto skincare; I bought skin-savvy Liz Earle's Skin Secrets this year, a book in which she dispenses her knowledge on how to have naturally beautiful skin for your whole life. A bold statement, no? Before I read this book I had very little knowledge of the nitty-gritty details on skincare, from icky ingredients to the effect that eating certain foods has upon your skin - no, a Neutrogena face wash from Boots will not suffice. Liz singles out the chemicals you don't want on your skin and advises what you should be doing to take care of your skin in each stage of your life without it being too complicated. She also explains the importance of having a healthy lifestyle if you want good skin: you can't just rely on a good skincare regime if you want good skin, because you are what you eat and beauty comes from the inside (cringe). This book would be ideal for anyone who is a skincare novice as I was a few months ago who wants to overhaul their skincare routine.
What are your favourite beauty reads?