The Weekend Post #95: Best Beauty Books

If you’re a regular scroller on VDM you know by now that I’m partial to a good beauty read. I rarely manage to switch my brain to mute when it comes to the cosmetics world and that does include when I’m snuggled up, head on pillow about 20 minutes prior to deep slumber. In fact it’s perhaps the time at which it is most active given the current wad of makeup-filled pages that are overcrowding my bedside table. There’s barely room for my lamp. So this weekend I thought I’d mull over and share the best of my beauty reads.

Makeup Your Mind Express Yourself by Francois Nars – one of my favourites from my beauty library. It’s a simple concept; on the left a barefaced model, on the right, a model who has been NARS-ed up, with a clear face chart sheet in-between detailing what has been used and where. Genius.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown – ah shucks, I just love this book. From base to black liner – this book is a bevy of beauty tips straight from Bobbi’s studio, along with a plethora of pictured step-by-steps. There isn’t a makeup step left unturned by the time you get to the last page. See my latest ode to it here with my must-read pages handily noted down for you.

The Diary of a Nose by Jean-Claude Ellena – I’ve given a nod to this book before here and after completing it I conclude that it’s the perfect ‘tube book’; great for nipping in and out of and with the ability to transport you to another place out of that sardine packed carriage. It’s a year-long look into the daily pennings of Jean-Claude, a ‘parfumer exclusif‘ for Hermès, filled with his inspirations, formula notes and the processes that go in to his vials of work.

Makeup: The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris – well isn’t this a beautiful book? It may be a few years old now, but the looks are timeless. These pages are a goldmine for makeup tips and Rae’s beauty nuggets: from applying lipgloss without things looking too glossy to the most comprehensive how-to of contouring and highlighting I’ve ever set eyes on. And there’s a ‘Get the Look’ featuring Miranda Kerr – sold.

The Secret of Scent by Luca Turin – my current read. A little bit sciencey, a little bit history based and a whole load of info on perfume. I’m still on the ‘musk’ section but the book covers everything there is to know about perfume according the the contents and so far I’ve picked up some fun facts like, ‘musk was originally derived from deer derriere’ – who knew? 

Lauren Conrad: Beauty by Lauren Conrad – L.C is the owner of arguably the best hair in the world. Agreed? So when she put pen to paper on the subject of all things beauty, with all my Laguna Beach/The Hills viewing years in me I couldn’t not pick this up. It’s a little fluffy in places and she doesn’t name any actual products nor specific brands that she loves (boo!), but there are some nice how-tos. Her trademark bun step-by-step and nail art looks are worth flicking to.

Six reads and there’s something for everyone; just a makeup magpie mindset is required. Time to make space on your bedside table…


  • Kirsty

    What a fab post! I have wanted to buy a couple of beauty books- that’s me sorted!

  • Shrutilaya

    I love the new layout! 🙂 The Bobbi Brown book has been sitting in my Shopping Cart for aggeesss, I guess its time to press “Checkout”.

  • I need the first two!!

    xx glamdevils

  • Hannah

    I second that, the layout looks chic! As I’m writing this, I’ve actually got the LC (yes, we’re that close) beauty book on my lap.


  • Marina

    Nice new layout of your website, but what’s with black V? It gives your website sad gothic look, you should put V in pink or something, like lipstick..

  • Hattie Constance

    They all look fab but especially the Bobbi Brown and Nars books, wish I’d picked one up at IMATS! x

  • Great post! I have been wanting the Bobbie Brown book!

    P.s love the new layout of your blog!


  • Alice Porter

    I love both of the books by Lauren Conrad, she really does have amazing hair! I need to get my hands on that Nars book, that looks so good!


  • Rose

    I have the rae morris book and I like it but some of the photography isn’t very flattering – it makes them look very yellow and sweaty

  • I absolutely love beauty books too – one of the first ones I bought was Bobbi Brown’s Beauty Rules, which I have almost destroyed with my love! I will definitely have to give the ones you suggested a go!

  • Valli

    The new layout of your blog is amazing, it looks so sleek and cool, love it xx

  • Daisy

    I know you never reply do your comments, but where where where has the pictures going on your last few posts? Really do not like the new layout and your blog has went down hill 🙁 I followed you from the start and it’s just gotten so repetitive and nothing new

  • Elizabeth Klie

    I’ve had my eye on the Bobbi brown but you can’t read beauty books without reading Kevin auctions books i’m reading making faces but I believe there are two more making faces is amazing even though his choices of applicator may be outdated he was a genius also for info on what goes into make-up a bit of history and specific brand help you can’t beat don’t go to the cosmetics counter without me now in its 9th edition she also wrote the original beauty bible they are al informative and the Kevin auction books are huge with famous faces and looks to recreate with instructions

  • Maquillage Magic

    I have Lauren Conrads book and really want the Bobbi Brown one but reading this has made me want every single one you listed! L xxx

  • Nic Tokyo

    “Best in Beauty” by Riku Campo is a not well-known book but it’s really good. It’s pretty thick and full of information, you might like it 🙂 x

  • Ivy

    All look and sound amazing! I am building my library slowly or lets say, rather very slowly. Recently bought Rae Morris’ at IMATS Sydney and got it signed by her! she was an utter delight to talk to..

  • Parisian To Be

    How near is the closet book store? I really want to pick up the “Makeup: The Ultimate Guide” book, as that one looks dreamy, especially considering it’s got Miranda Kerr in.

    xo Lillian from

  • Missmacbeauty

    I love the Lauren Conrad books! And the Bobbi Brown one has been on my wish list for forever!


  • Love the new theme, looks so professional!

  • abi

    These all sound amazing!

    abi from a little dust


  • Isabelle McWilliam

    Ahh I want them all! Think Santa will be bringing me a few books this christmas!

  • Pink Elephant Blog

    I love beauty books! I like to Bobbi Brown ones a lot 🙂 I’ve just bought the Lauren Conrad one for my niece and she loved it!

  • Bella

    I must check out the Nars. I have the Bobbi Brown, as well as her Pretty Powerful and Living Beauty books, and I love them.
    I preferred your old layout. It had more character, it emphasised the “visiting-a-girlfriend-in-her-boudoir” vibe I used to get from your blog. This way it looks more commercial. But then maybe that’s what you’re going for.
    Seconding another reader below, it would be really cool if you were occasionally to reply to comments.

  • Sarah Hindley

    Need to buy a beauty book! Definitely going to buy one now! But which one?! X

  • Need the Nars book pronto – one for the christmas list x

  • Amber Hunter

    I already have the Bobbi Brown book and absolutely love it! Next up to buy is definitely the Nars one–it looks wonderful for inspiration!


    Lovely Notions

  • I have Rae Morris’s book and I love it! I spend more time reading it and looking at the pictures than I actually do trying to practice what it preaches lol.

    Laura xx

    P.s. I am hosting a Michael Kors watch giveaway on my blog this evening. If you are feeling lucky, check it out 🙂

  • Phoebe

    I love Lauren Conrad’s book. Wish she named her favourites but at least it teaches us the perfect LC cat eye!

  • Leeanne Baldwin

    I really like the look of ‘A Diary Of A Nose’ by Jean Claude Ellena
    Love Lauren Conrad’s book… I have her style book too <3


  • Sylvia

    A great guide. Thanks for the list, I will be sure to check them out.

  • So glad I stumbled across this! Been interested in make-up for a while but had no idea where to start. Thanks for sharing the list!

  • Awesome post. Totally agree with you xx.

  • Anoushka Urban

    I love my Bobbi Brown book 🙂 xxx

  • I’d love to read through the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

  • Charlotte Lucy Philpotts

    I have the ultimate guide to make up book and I love it – this has made me want to drag it off my book shelf again so thank you! x

  • I love all the Bobbi Brown make up and beauty books, the teenage beauty one, helped me out so much when I was younger

  • Amy

    Bobbi Brown is on my Christmas list 🙂

    Amy x
    A Little Boat Sailing

  • I love Makeup: The Ultimate Guide x x

  • Rachel

    Hi Anna, love your blog/channel and this post! If you’re looking for a new beauty read you should check out Amazing Face by Zoe Foster. She’s an established beauty editor, blogger and journalist in Australia (where I’m from!) with her own skincare line, Go-To. I’m a little obsessed (as is the rest of Australia!) so I thought I’d pass it along! Rach 🙂