Review: Retro Makeup

Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!

And while you’re doing that, please also vote for Jennifer Pelland for Best Author. She is a science fiction writer (and belly dancer), author of the novel Machine & the short story collection Unwelcome Bodies, and her fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. She’s lost the Nebula award twice (once to Harlan Ellison), so let’s stop that nonsense. Besides, what’s that Lehane guy done lately?

Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look by Lauren Rennells.

I’m very happy with Vintage Hairstyling: Retro Styles with Step-by-Step Techniques, so I was pleased to see Ms. Rennells had a new book. Once again she has produced a book full of fabulous photographs and step by step instructions. Retro Makeup contains information about all the basics of applying makeup, like contouring, grooming brows, and lining lips, and information on the tools of the trade. There’s even a section on the best lipstick colors for your skin tone.

Her scope is the 1920’s through the 1950’s. There’s a great deal of historical information on makeup styles and cosmetics. You’ll learn about tanning, war-time makeup rationing, and why the most popular shade of powder was called “Rachel”. Not only is there a guide to applying false lashes, she shows the appropriate style for each decade. The book is peppered with photos of vintage cosmetic packaging and tools. The beauty fad sidebars are fun — will rouged earlobes ever come back into fashion?

The decade by decade chapters highlight brow and lip shapes as well as hallmark colors. There are only a few “looks” in each chapter, which may be initially disappointing, but it’s really an excuse for experimentation. Makeup is so intensely personal, dependent on skin coloration and face shape. There’s more than enough instruction for the reader to make up her own face in a historically accurate way that flatters her.


Published in: on 20 February 2013 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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