Lauren Snow
November 16th, 2012

Memories are lovely.

Beautiful: Memories are beautiful. I will always remember the day a book changed my life. It was Christmas Day and my sister Toni handed me my present. "Open it!", she said. "What is it?", I asked. "Just open're going to looove it!", she exclaimed. She was right, I did love it! What my little darling of a sister gave me is now considered one of the best makeup books of all time! It was Making Faces by Kevin Aucoin. To this day, I still have my original copy and I revisit it from time to time. Each time I open it, it takes me back to that Christmas memory of pouring over the pages not knowing at the time I would never see makeup the same again!

Gorgeous: Kevyn Aucoin had a simple philosophy about makeup. He believed women should always feel gorgeous and beautiful regardless of size, age or color. He felt that women should reveal their natural beauty without covering it up with layers of product. Aside from being one of the most sought-after celebrity makeup artist of the 90's, he is credited with changing the women wear foundation today. The New Nakeds by Ultima II (owned by Revlon at the time and no longer available) was a groundbreaking foundation line Kevyn helped create with shades available for all skintones. Before then, no other brand had ever created various foundation ranges to meet the needs of all women.

Makeup: Get inspired! Here are my favorite makeup and beauty books I think you'll enjoy!

1. Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful...List price $29.95. Details: This book was just released in Septemeber 2012 and it is already one of my favorites! I love this book because it is filled with inspiring stories and makeup tips from real women. This is not a step-by-step makeup book but more of a book of empowerment all while using makeup!

2. Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces...List price $21.99. Details: This is my all-time favorite makeup book! It's amazing to see how Kevyn takes real people and celebrities and uses the art of makeup to create different looks (the Vamp, the Diva, the Siren). In my opinion, this book is geared toward a reader that is comfortable with makeup and wants to step further into the creative artistry side. There is a great reference page on how to shade and highlight the face. True genius!

3. Scott Barnes Face to Face...List price $24.99. Details: Scott Barnes is a celebrity makeup artist who's clients include Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. The love from his clients is deeply felt throughout the book which speaks volumes about his talent. In my opionion, this book is well put together and offers some great tips from one of the best in the beauty industry!

4. Francois Nars Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself...List price $45.00. Details: I love this book because it shows real women (teachers, artists, students, etc.) of all different colors! This book has a lot of great specific tips and techniques. You'll love the before and after pictures with the clear sheet that goes over to detail product placement. Worth every dollar!

5. Jemma Kidd Make-up Secrets: Solutions to Every Woman's Beauty Issues and Make-Up Dilemmas...List price $24.99. Details: You may have seen Jemma Kidd's makeup line sold at Target. Before she was a makeup artist she was a fashion model. She has just released her second makeup book. Hot off the press, it was released on November 13, 2012. I love that she talks about new wonder products on the market and addresses beauty concerns like skincare and aging. You'll also love that she shows how to achieve iconic looks from Audrey Hepburn to Kate Moss!

Do something lovely: You never know when a gift could change someone's life. This Holiday season wouldn't it be lovely to give a thoughtful gift to inspire, to encourage, and to motivate someone to do what they love? Trust me, it could be a gift they remember forever!

Special thanks to my sister Toni for giving me one of the best Christmas presents ever! How did you know? Maybe it was the hundreds of CoverGirl LipSlicks that I had thrown all over our bathroom counter (my favorite was the one in the yellow tube called Bronze Goddess) or maybe it was the pink Caboodle filled to the max with makeup?  Thank you for noticing and encouraging me do what I love!

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