Review: Bobby Brown Makeup Manual

Last wednesday I reviewed the Jemma Kidd Makeup MASTERCLASS. This week the focus is on the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual. I got this book quite a while ago when it was first released and I love this book. There is no part of this manual that disappoints me. I will start with few words From Bobbi Brown herself:

When I first strted working as a freelnce makeup artist, it was almost impossible to find books dedicated to makeup artistry. This situation has improved over the years, but there is still a noticeable lack of good and accessible resources on makeup artistry. After scouring countless bookstores in search of the perfect makeup reference, I finally decided to write my own guide. My vision for this book is simple. I wanted it to be filled with complete step-by-step lessons, industry tips, and beautiful pictures. I wanted this book to serve as a complete reference guide for everyone who wants to know about beauty and makeup.

Quote taken from the Foreward on page 4 of the Bobbi Brown Manual

Front and Back Cover of Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

So I learned my lesson with the last review, don’t get too excited by the Foreward this time, even if it feels like it is speaking directly and personally to me. (IT SO TOTALLY IS!!!) I already know that I love this book. This and the Rae Morris manual are my ‘go to’ books if I need to check on something. Anyway, back on point.

Once of the main problems I often have with manuals and so called instructional books is the order in which the information appears. The Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual is in perfect order. It is common sense to start at the beginning with th basics but so many books don’t do this. I will give you a quick run down of the Chapter Titles:

Part 1

  1. Makeup Artistry
  2. Equipment
  3. Skin
  4. Face
  5. Lips
  6. Eyes
  7. Ten-Step Guide to Perfect Makeup
  8. Special Makeup Applications

Part 2

  1. Artistry
  2. Essential Equipment for the proffessional
  3. Advanced Makeup Applications
  4. Memorable Makeup Moments and Legends
    1. Resource Guide
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Photo Credits

Each chapter has between 2 and 6 subchapters which contain incredibly useful information. For example the Equipment section is broken down into for subchapters of Makeup Kits, Essential Tools, Shopping for Supplies and Care and Maintenance of Tools and Makeup. For me it makes sense to start an instructional book with the tools. You always read the required toold before you strt trying to assemble the flat pack kit from hell, so why should makeup be any different?

Firstly the different types of makeup kits are tackled. The section provides you with 6 different personal makeup kits as well as a break down of what they should contain. For example, and Evening Bag Kit and what you should crry in your purse. The Essential Tools section gives a great understanding of different types of brushes, why the size of a brush matters, natural vs synthetic brushes, brush quality as well as other non brush tools. Everything is laid out in a way that is easy to view, page space is maximized and the pictures are great quality.

I love the addition of how to shop for makeup, complete with a description of different types of stores you can purchase makeup in. This may seem like a pointless section but for the complete beginner this is an extremely helpful page. I remember having no idea which damn drugstore stocked MAC when I was 15 and the discovery of makeup counters blew my teenage mind.

As with all makeup instructionals, an expiration date list is included. However this list doesn’t just stick to makeup. Eye creams, sunscreens and other such beauty products are also featured, which is important because many women/men will forget that these need replacing.

One of the other things really love about this book is the Skin section. Everyone knows the phrase ‘You re what you eat’ and this book breaks it down for you. There is nutritional advice and suggested foods for the highest vitamin intake for example Vitamin A promotes growth and renewal to Egg Yolks and Dairy are a good source of this. Again everything is laid out in an easy to read and eye catching manner with some lovely visual aids. Advice in this section covers everything from food, exercise, sleep, sun exposure, smoking, alchohol, stress and more.

Knowing all this about nutrition is good but knowing this and knowing about how your skin is structured is even better. The book talks you through how your skin is structured, the different layers, how they work, what they are for but it doesn’t sound like a boring old Biology book. You don’t need to be fully fledged Biologist to understand how to keep your skin looking gorgeous but an understanding of how it works will defintely help you. The chapter continues on through cleansing, toning, washing, moisturizing and sun cre. Each paragraph is as or more informative than the last and each page is carefully laid out in the most effective way. Bullet points are clear and concise nd the images cannot be faulted.

One of the reasons I often find myself going back to this book is the Skincre Glossary. Terms like Oxidants, Peptides and Retinoids are thrown around in ‘science’ style adverts all the time to confuse the buyer and convince them that their product is the best. The Glossary here helps you understand the words and makes sure you re less likely to get sucked into the false science selling techniques.

An example of the step by step tutorials , information and layout of the book.

Although you can tell that the images in the book have been edited, when it comes to the tutorials you can see a noticable difference with the before and after shots. Each tutorial also covers a wide range of skin tones, not just pale and tanned, but Black Skin, Latin Skin, Middle Eastern Skin, Asian Skin, Multi Ethnic Skin and side by side comparisions of how to match foundation to your skin. The colour matching tutorial in itself is invaluble information. Many makeup manuals only cater to one particulat ethnicity but the Bobbi Brown manual caters for all.

The manual also covers every single type of makeup form liquid to powders, minerals to creams. I simply cannot fault the information contained in these chapters at all. Each product has at least 2 pages devoted to it s well as 1 full page glossy picture.

The pictures in this book are not used as a space filler. Each picture is used to support the text. The photographs show not only beautiful and creative makeup but makeup that is achievable. Each tutorial is informtive and well illustrated. Throughout the book there are useful tips placed strategically on relevant pages.


Collect deluxe samples from makeup counters – they are perfect for travel.

Part 2 of the book deals with the proffessional side of makeup. The tools used, how to make it, what it is like working with in the industry and some beautiful pictures. Even if you have no intention of being proffessional this section is incredibly useful. The photographs provide amazing inspiration and the advice could be applied to other bussiness practices. Being nice for example will get you further in many industries, not just the makeup one.

If there is ny book to spend money on it is this one. It is a fantastic read, full of invaluable information and peppered with brilliant images.

I still have a load more books to write about, some that I have covered before and some that I have not, so if you are enjoying this look into my bookcase then why not leave me a message below!



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