Makeup is Art: Professional Techniques for Creating Original Looks, by Jana Ririnui & Lan Nguyen – Book Review

Jana Ririnui, Lan Nguyen, Makeup is Art - Professional Techniques for Creating Original Looks - Front Cover, bling, face paint, bling on lips, makeup book, how to makeup, art makeup, 184732620X, 978-1847326201Proper makeup to the intended mood is vital when photographing women, models or glamour.

One engaged in these kinds of photography thus keeps the eye out for styling resources and aides.

So naturally, on seeing the catchy cover photo and title of “Makeup is Art,” by Jana Ririnui and Lan Nguyen, I was intrigued enough to examine further …

The once over will not be enough with this book.

While technically, this is a styling resource with lots of how to instructions for the professional or aspiring Make Up Artist  (MUA), as a photographer, I have found photographs are often the best common language between myself and my stylists.

I see my current options as:

  • Learn lots more about styling, and styling lingo …
    • Probably not going to happen fast enough, or in enough depth to be meaningful
  • Find images that express in picture the language I am trying to convey to my stylists.

The latter is what has been and is currently working best for me.

This can be done on-line:

  • Find some great shots,
  • Make lists of links to them,
  • Share and Discuss.

Discussion is important and not to be under attended.

Stylists often know their business better than we photographers do …. go figure.

… Or, the stylist may be off on a tangent incompatible with your final vision … this too happens …

So, discuss.

For example, when collaborating with Body Paint Stylists, having quite a few books in this genre in my library (see a review here), I will often use one or several books to improve communication and understandings of concepts and directions.

Often, the models and hair stylists will be included into these collaborative discussions …

“We are going to attach a dried banana to your right ear… cool ???”

When everyone is on similar pages, we proceed as a fairly unified team.

In the area of makeup, I have again reached a point of feeling need to improve my language with my make up stylists.

As my game going up a notch, my language too needs must come along.

Picture Dictionaries for makeup works kind of like picture menus in Asian restaurants … point and pray.

A typical conversation begins with something like:

“Can you take the photo on page 12 for the eyes, and add something like this on page 27 on the lips, only in green … ??”

…. then listen.

This kind of thing can and does work fairly well.

At over 220 pages, 10 inches square and about one inch thick, “Makeup is Art” a really cool book with plenty of photos of various kinds of avant garde makeup and face decor.

These many well executed and colorful images make “Makeup is Art” an excellent choice as a coffee table book or as a great Photographer to MUA Picture Dictionary.

I suggest any serious photographer of women either learn to speak makeup, or gather resources of photos and photo books in order to facilitate these conversations.

For me, a book like “Makeup is Art,” accomplishes this task beautifully.

You may buy or peruse one by clicking here.


For a listing of Books Reviewed on, click here.

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