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Lookin’ good

Beauty and makeup how-to books are abundant and ever-popular—makeup artist turned beauty mogul Kevyn Aucoin’s New York Times bestseller Making Faces (Little, Brown, 1997) and his later Face Forward (Little, Brown, 2000) set the bar high. Erika Stalder (with celebrity stylists Christopher Fulton and Cameron Cohen) smartly cashes in on the genre for a young audience with The Look Book: 50 Iconic Beauties and How to Achieve Their Signature Styles (Zest Books, May).

Each spread of The Look Book focuses on a signature look paired with its celebrity innovator, organized into chapters by features of the face. The examples are accompanied by background information on the icon and a discussion of her style, a famous quotation, and her best-known accomplishments, though some of the subjects (silent-movie star Mary Pickford with her “ringlet curls,” for example) may elicit the occasional “who?!” While Aucoin’s books include ordinary women as models in addition to the world-famous, The Look Book sticks with famous faces. Using average teens alongside, let’s say, Brooke Shields to demonstrate “natural, full brows,” would have made these unique styles more relatable and appealing to the intended audience. Regardless, the accompanying instructions are concise, thorough, easy to follow, and include important details such as who each look “works best on,” the “tools needed,” and “time it takes” to create the look. At the heart of the The Look Book are the messages that individuality and an adventurous approach are the keys to iconic beauty, and that having fun with your appearance is what’s most important—sentiments sure to inspire and excite aspiring makeup artists and divas-in-training. Get a sneak peek with Zest’s how-to videos here.

Katrina Hedeen About Katrina Hedeen

Katrina Hedeen is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide and manager of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards.

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