Strange as it may seem now, before the days of YouTube, make-up how-to’s came in book form.
Much like YouTube vids, some books were good and some were not. Some, like the make-up bibles by Rae Morris, Vogue and Kevyn Aucoin were so good, they have stood the test of time and are loved by artists all over the world. Some not so much.
Today, it’s a lot harder to get published with how-to content. It has to be really, REALLY special and usually associated with the name publishers know the public will trust, so when news breaks of a make-up book from a big artist, you know that to compete with the free digital audience, it is going to have to be really, REALLY good.
This commercial need to compete or die for publishers could go a long way to explaining why there hasn’t been a truly great make-up book out for years. Until now.
Enter Gary Cockerill’s make-up masterpiece ‘Simply Glamorous: Make-Up Transformations to Make You Look and Feel Fabulous’.
As celebrity artist to the stars for years, he certainly has the kudos to carry a book off, but is it any good?
Quite simply yes. Huge photos, a lovely balance of aspirational vs real models and truly easy to follow make-up tips make this book so easy to follow.
It’s also a great buy for those of us old enough to prefer not to hit pause and repeat every time we are trying to learn something new, but fresh enough to appeal to a younger audience.
Those of you who remember my Rae Morris review here, will be aware that I loved her book not because of the models and complex tricks. It was the plus 40 feature that sold it for me and Gary’s book is the same.
There are some seriously gorgeous images in here – glittering, shimmering, and fabulous looks on stunning girls. But making someone genetically blessed with perfection really isn’t that difficult. Even I could manage it.
It is Gary’s work on his older models that show where his real talent lies. My favourite picture in this book (actually my favourite picture for a long time anywhere) is the one of Gary’s mum.
I won’t spoil it but suffice it to say if you are a woman in your seventies, do NOT be telling yourself that you cannot rock a red lip, or that you can’t look as glamorous as any twenty year old. DIVA is not the word!
Much the same can be said for Gary’s sister – he transformed her with a beautiful caramel look that lays any preconceptions about the nature of glamour make-up to bed in seconds.
When I asked Gary what he was trying to achieve with Simply Glamorous his answer was simple. He said:
“I honestly believe that all women can be as beautiful as any celebrity, they just need the confidence to believe it, and for me makeup makes that happen.
“A woman sits in my chair and suddenly she is transformed, inside and out.”
This book proves that he is absolutely right. More than anything else this book is pretty. Pretty images, pretty tips, pretty women.
It’s the sort of book that makes you want to be pretty too and with the advice and tutorials included you really feel like you can be.
“Less is definitely NOT less as you age. When you get older your face loses colour, so you need to add it back in with your makeup.”
A great book if you know you have gotten stuck in a bit of a beauty rut (i.e. most of us with kids, jobs or just lives), or want to try a bit more with your make-up but don’t know where to start. Also great for beauty junkies (like me).
An early Christmas wish-list must-have we think!
Simply Glamorous is available through Waterstones and Amazon here