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Book Review: Makeup by Liz Kelsh


Ahhh makeup books – how I love thou 😀 <3 There’s something special about makeup books. Not only can you flick through the pages, touch the photographs, soak up the scent of the ink (oh yes!) but they are also primarily written by industry super weights. They are a gold mine of information you can’t usually find anywhere else. Liz Kelsh is a makeup artist who originally hails from Ireland. She has now settled in Aus, after a long career working on fashion shows, magazine editorials and celebrities from all over the world. You can also now find her working for Max Factor as their head makeup artist in Australia. I picked up this book a little bit by chance. I was browsing Dymocks (a bookstore here in Aus) and saw a pile of her books near the entrance. I picked it up immediately because usually bookstores here in Aus don’t have a huge selection of makeup books and I hadn’t seen this one before (it was released in 2014). It was on sale from $39.99 reduced to $15 after the xmas period. Not only is that a bargain in anyones books (excuse the pun!) but her her aesthetic is was caught my eye. Her looks are amazing ‘light’. Whether the eyes or the lips are more heavily ‘decorated’, the looks always look fresh and refined. This is quite different to say someone like Scott Barnes (who’s books I also have and will review if you are interested!) who I feel embodies that American aesthetic; makeup is heavier and more noticeably transformative. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is just that embodiment of say, ‘old school glamour’ introduced into everyday routines, which for the most part, for Australian lasses I think can be a little to much. It takes a lot of skill, but also a lot of products and technique to look good (think JLO and Kim K). Liz Kelsh often works with Jennifer Hawkins, who often sports that ‘natural, no makeup look’ which we know has been refined in some way (yet we can’t put our finger on what it is or how it was done) or a glamorous night time look which also looks effortless and never over done. I think that sums up Liz’s aesthetic very well also.



Liz’s looks are much more simple. The book isn’t super ‘information heavy’, i.e. the skincare section of the book is very simple and only touches base on the most important parts of a routine (which for Liz is cleansing – removing makeup well – and moisturising). The information included however, is on point and most importantly, useful. The book starts off with examining basics (skincare, tools, face and eye makeup).  The eye makeup section also details different eyeliner looks and I this is explained really well. There is information on how to draw a basic flick, how to take the eyeliner up a step, making it more dramatic and what shapes/guidelines to follow. I really like how she mentions that really, to keep our makeup fresh we only need two new makeup products each season. Since Youtube and Instagram makes everyone feel like we need a bazillion products to stay ‘on top’, really, that is gibberish as most of those products are badly chosen and don’t get used. Another great point made in the book, is that the editorial makeup we see on runways and in magazines is primarily a work of art, which is impossible to replicate on a daily basis. Now that Instagram and blogs are so heavily retouched also, this is a very important point to make.


The how-to looks are my favourite in the book as even beginners and those more experienced will find something for themselves. The how-to looks are divided into two sections, “Classic Looks” and “Get the Look’. The photography throughout the book is beautiful, but the how-to looks are especially clear and gorgeous! A face chart is also included as well as easy to follow instructions. Products are chosen selectively and anyone can recreate the looks. One of my other favourite tips in the book is to match your blush tone to the lipstick you are wearing. This way, your makeup will look unified and seamless. Pink lips go with pink blush, blue-based lipstick with pink or berry toned blush and orange lipstick works best with orange toned blushes.



Some of my favourite how-to looks from the book! 

There are transformations in the book (‘makeovers’ in other words) but these target specific problems/difficulties an individual might have with makeup. ‘Troubleshooting’ advice is given throughout the book, in case one phase of your makeup is proving to be more difficult than expected. Liz also takes us through some of her favourite ‘editorial looks’ which again, are beautiful, though I would have liked to see more examples of the products she used. There’s a very short section (one page) on body makeup which does follow on from the editorial makeup looks, where the body is just as important as the face in some shots.


This is a must have book if you love makeup – especially so, if you love clean, simple but striking makeup looks. If you live in Aus, I recommend picking it up from a bookstore near you! On it looks like the book is being released in Europe January 14. I’d love to see even more of Liz’s work and hopefully more books in future 😀


The back of a book is also stunning!

I’ll try over the next couple of weeks to recreate some of the looks from the book on myself 😛 That should be interesting and fun! Have you picked up a makeup book recently?

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

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