I’ve been dying to blog about these three books but it’s taken me a while to read through them. They’re all pick up-put down books that don’t need to be read in one solid sitting, but if you’re a beauty buff or feel you’ve lost your way with style (yes, that’s me) then one or other – or all – are perfect for passing some me-time moments.
Starting at the top with Alyson Walsh’s book, Know Your Style aimed at older women: I love the format of this book with expert advice elicited by Alyson to steer the fashion bewildered in the right direction. It’s Alyson’s second book – her first – if you haven’t read it, is Style Forever. Alyson talks to the sleek and the stylish and gives tips on how those issues that have the majority of us baffled, such as how to wear clash patterns without looking like it’s a mistake and what shoes to wear with jumpsuits. Alyson hasn’t headed to the obvious sources for tips – Amy de la Haye, for example, is a curator, dress historian, author and professor at the London College of Fashion, while Sarah-James Adam is an antique jewellery designer (and mysteriously, a ‘traveller’). Between them all, you’ll soon be wearing Superga, whipping a silk scarf into a stylishly insouciant arrangement and finally wearing the pyjama suit without feeling that you’ve left your hot-water bottle somewhere. It’s on Amazon for £7.33 HERE and in bookshops for £12.99.
Author, Louise Young, has over 30 years of experience in the beauty industry, working in TV, film and fashion, so if anyone can whisk up a replica Rita Hayworth hairstyle or precision Clara Bow lips, it’s her. Her book, Timeless, A Century of Iconic Looks, covers key hair and make up looks from the 1890’s to the 1990’s with plenty of pictorial references and some gorgeous vintage make up shots. Hair expertise comes from Loulia Sheppard – hair stylist to Keira Knightly and Selma Hayek (to name just a couple) and film work including The King’s Speech and Anna Karenina.
The instructions are detailed and clear if you do want to recreate styles, and if you love experimenting with beauty, everything is there to help you. It feels almost like a book for make up artist, stage, film or hair students – it’s that level of detail from a clear and in-depth knowledge base. I love that Louise has got pictures of Ponds eyeshadows (1960’s) and Yardley’s Londonderry Hair Conditioner – you almost never see these. If you’re interested in the social and historical stories that beauty can tell, you will like this. You won’t find Instagram rainbow lips or a tin tipped nose anywhere… #whew. It’s £6.99 on Amazon HERE.
Elements, The Art of Make-Up by Yasmin Heinz is next level beautiful – a tome of glossy paged beauty pictures that you can pick up time and time again to marvel at the detail and skill. The first run of this book came out last week and sold out straight away, so you’ll need to be quick of the mark for the second. Yasmin’s career is rather spectacular – she’s worked with Chanel, Dior, Sonia Rykiel, Elle, Harpers and Vogue and that’s before the celebrity roster that reads like the world’s best cast list.
I can imagine snuggling up by the fire with a glass of something lovely one evening and just gazing at the colour work, the artistry and the imagination. It’s quite incredible. But, no words, so if you’re look for stories, there aren’t any! It’s £45 HERE.
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