September 3, 2010

Book review: Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces

Kevyn Aucoin was certainly one of the most talented makeup artist the world ever knew, and although he died in 2002 at the young age of 40, his work is still very contemporary and a major influence for today's makeup artists and brands.
You might not be aware of that, but Kevyn Aucoyn was the first makeup artist to develop foundations with yellow undertones while he was working for Revlon in the early eighties. Previous to that, there were pink foundations and black foundations, all in-between skintones were left out. He was the one who put the skintone at the centre of makeup products development.

Kevyn Aucoin also worked with the most beautiful women of his time: Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Rider, just to name a few. He did countless shootings for the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and other major media.

In 1999, he published Making Faces.
This book is an interesting mix of "ordinary people", who were Aucoin's friends and family, and of stars. It is also a mix of everyday looks and of stunning transformations, like Courtney Love transformed into Marilyn. That's a good way of explaining how to create classic, timeless looks.
The photographs are beautiful and every look is explained in detail. The products are referred to in terms of texture and color, not brands, so that you can find something in your collection that will fit without feeling like you have to go buy a ton of new things.

Smokey eye technique applied on Julia Roberts.

Get this book if... well, just get it! You'll be able to look at beautiful pictures of beautiful people, both famous and anonymous, and you'll get some inspiration from these.
Also, the explanations on how to get the look will guide you through recreating them.

Don't get it if... you're looking for a beginner's makeup manual. This isn't where you're going to learn very basic techniques with very detailed explanations, I find the looks breakdowns are illustrated in a way that requires a bit of experience to be understandable. However as I said, it's a gorgeous coffee table book that you should get for the gorgeous pictures.


  1. I didnt' know about the yellow undertone foundation. I would have been in a terrible shape cause I have such yellow undertone, pink undertone founations look horrible on me. Interesting facts. Great post. I do love his cream blushes

  2. @ Ansa: I havent tried the KA makeup range since it's not available here. Isn't it incredible that they would only make pink foundations 30 years ago, while only 10% of women do really have pink undertones?

  3. I started school this fall not know my futer in the beauty industery was going to be.But our teacher showed a vido on Kevyn Aucoin and i was so inspired by the beauty and passion of his work.I know now what my calling is to become a great makeup artis. Thank you Kevyn Aucoin


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