August 3, 2010

Book review: François Nars - Makeup Your Mind

Makeup Your Mind by François Nars is a very well-known and appreciated book in the beauty world. The only reason I didn't get it earlier was that I was having a hard time finding it - since it was written over 10 years ago, I guess it needs to be re-edited sometimes.

This is a very particular book. Along with detailed explanations from François Nars on his vision of beauty, the way he works, the things that inspire him... you find mostly pictures. They're always close-up of faces, like the one on the book cover, and they're always the "before" and "after" pictures of the model. Between the 2 pictures, there's a transparent sheet on which the products used are mentioned, as well as the area where they were applied. This way you can watch the "after" picture either on its own or with these explanations on top.
The models are beautiful women with very different features: cool toned, warm toned, Caucasian, Asian, women of Color, with or without freckles... so there's a variety of looks suitable for all of us.

The book is divided into different themes, such as Eyes, Lips, Neutrals, Brights... It covers pretty much everything. At the end of each chapter, you find a summary of how the products were used on the models, which makes it easier to try and recreate the looks. Although all products used are obviously by Nars, the colors are always described, this way you can find dupes in what you already own. Unfortunately, as the book isn't really recent, some of the products used back then no longer exist (like the Gel Fraîcheur for example) so these descriptions also help you finding substitutes for those.

This is one of the best and most interesting makeup books I've ever read/seen. I spent several evenings browsing through it and felt that it gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas.
If you are totally new to make up, you might find it complicated to recreate most of these looks, but you can still enjoy watching the pictures and observing how the looks were done. However I think this is not the book to get to learn basics from scratch.
If you have practiced a bit already, this will give you ideas and will help you with color choice and placement. You can of course mix the different things illustrated - it's all about being creative and having fun.

This is also a lovely coffee table book, as the pictures are so beautiful, so you might want to get it only to look at it.


  1. What a very severe looking model. Very off-putting.

  2. @jaljen: never judge a book by its cover!

  3. Although I never plucked my eyebrows as drastically as the model on the book cover, I remember in the mid-late 90s wearing them much thinner than now. Thank God they grew back!!! BTW: on the recommendation you made in one of your recent posts about the Bobbi Brown book, I did order it from Amazon and it is quite useful. Thanks!

  4. @ Fabulous Fabs: oh I'm glad you enjoy it! These really are my 2 favorite makeup books, I must say, but I have another review coming for another good one!


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