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Book review: ‘Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup’

Book review: ‘Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup’
Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing

Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup

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Written by Bésame Cosmetics founder Gabriela Hernandez, “Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup” is a book that goes beyond a love of makeup or a “how-to”. This 230-page hard backed book offers the reader insight into the history of beauty and how beauty is shaped by society.

“Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup” is an easy, yet fascinating read that begins with a historical timeline that dates from 33,000 B.C to 100 A.D. and opens the discussion of how beauty was viewed throughout this period of time. It’s interesting to look at a rather voluptuous fertility sculpture, dating around 25,000 B.C, and realize that the sculpture would be viewed as representative of an obese woman by today’s standards. The timelines throughout the book would definitely appeal to any history buff.

Of course, “Classic Beauty” isn’t just a history lesson. It’s filled with over 430 images, detailing popular color palettes, beauty tools, and expectable standards of beauty for both men and women. How many of you knew that it was the male gender of our species that first wore makeup? Through the use of timelines, the reader learns about the early formulas of cosmetics, its usage, and how little things have changed when it comes to the dangers that humans will endure in their pursuit of beauty.

But, the book is far from a humdrum history lesson. The imagery is absolutely stunning. “Classic Beauty” makes for a must have coffee table book on that basis alone with gorgeous imagery of legendary beauties like Clara Bow, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and modern beauties like Christie Brinkley, Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie.

As the book moves to the 20th Century, beauty enthusiasts are treated to step-by-step cosmetic applications of each time period. The reader is taken through popular styles and color palettes from the 1920’s to 2000’s and a look behind why certain styles were popular in their time, making this book the perfect reference guide. The book actually finishes with a complete guide for easy referencing.

“Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup” by Gabriela Hernandez is a must read for the beauty professional and an ideal read for the beauty enthusiast. A signed copy of “Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup” is available for $49.95 at Bésame Cosmetics and unsigned at major bookstores and Amazon.

This author writes other columns. To view other topics from this author, visit the author’s page. ©2014 Yvonne P. Mazzulo, All rights reserved. Connect with Yvonne on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.