lisa eldridge face paint book review

Synopsis: Make-up, as we know it, has only been commercially available in the last 100 years, but applying decoration to the face and body may be one of the oldest global social practices. Lisa Eldridge, one of the world’s foremost make-up artists–with a very large and loyal public following of her own–has written the first real history of the subject. Face Paint will explore the reasons behind make-up’s use, the actual materials employed and manufactured through the ages, the icons that people emulate, the impact on women’s lives and the present and future of make-up from high profile practitioners artists to cosmetic breakthroughs. Along with the glamorous trappings, this is also about women’s history and the ways in which we can understand their story through the prism of make-up.

Lisa Eldridge has written a book. Go out and buy it.

Yes, that’s all my review.

What do you mean, that’s not enough? This is Lisa Eldridge we’re talking about. One of the most talented, respected, and lovely makeup artists of our times. You’ve all been watching her youtube videos, have you? And you still need more?

Ok then. I guess you wouldn’t read Beautiful With Brains if you weren’t the sceptic kind. We’re all about going behind the hype and testing things here to see if they’re really worth your money and time. So here goes, my full review.

Face Paint is not your usual makeup artist book. You know, one of those filled with gorgeous shots of their works and the little known secrets of their trade (which I love, by the way).

Face Paint is about the history of makeup, from ancient times to our days. Lisa tracks the history of makeup products, such as eyeshadow, blush, and foundation, how they changed throughout history, and the materials used to make them then and now, from deadly lead pastes to safer, but very maligned, modern synthetic pigments.


She also uncovers the origins of our favourites brands, such as Helena Rubinstein and Rimmel, revealing juicy tidbits about their founders and how they revolutionized the beauty world.

Lisa also reveals her beauty muses. Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Brigitte Bardot, Madonna, and all the women whose love for makeup and distinctive style inspire her and her work.

But, worry not. Just because Face Paint is about history, it doesn’t mean it’s boring (although, if you ask me, history is never boring). The book is written Lisa-style, in the accessible and straightforward manner we know and love Lisa for.

Needless to say, pictures abound, and they’re absolutely beautiful. It’s worth getting Face Paint just for them. A feast for the eyes, the book provides the perfect introduction to the history of makeup. Get a copy. You won’t regret it.

Price & Availability

£13.67, Kindle; £16.52, Hardcover at Amazon