Thursday, April 25, 2013

Non-fiction Review: 'Vintage Beauty Parlor' by Hannah Wing

Pages: 144
Genre: Non-fiction, Beauty/Fashion
Publisher: Ryland Peters& Small Ltd
Release Date: 01/03/13
I bought it online.

Ever wanted to know how to re-create beautiful vintage styles? Now you can with this stylish and practical guide to vintage hair and make-up featuring iconic looks from every decade from the 1920s - 1980s. With easy-to-follow step-by-step hair and makeup techniques, as well as beautiful and inspiring photographs, this book will help you find a style for any occasion and become the envy of all your friends. 

Vintage Beauty Parlor will help you uncover the secret to the finer details of each look from hair, make-up, clothes, and accessories to jewelry and even perfume. Master the stylish flapper-girl curls and cupid's bow lips of the 1920s; the sassy victory rolls of the 1940s; the perfect 1950s quiff, the glamorous glitter of the 1970s, and the edgy punk styles of the 1980s. Vintage Beauty Parlor has everything you need to become a vintage style icon.

I kind of hoped that 'Vintage Beauty Parlor' would include all of the things that Style Me Vintage missed. I really wanted another beauty book that had all the other stuff I'd seen on Pinterest or Blogger and more. This book drew me in with the cover and the description and I was sure that this was the book to get the authentic vintage look. While I did learn one or two new things I wasn't entirely satisfied.

Firstly, I'd like to focus on what I did like about the book. I really liked the little segments about what was "in" during those eras. There was information about the clothes, the accessories and the colour palette that I did not expect and really appreciated. I liked the colour palette idea because there have been a few vintage books out there that focus on the fashions and materials and I've often felt that the colours were a bit off. Then when I've dressed that way my self I've limited myself to navys, blacks and reds to ensure authenticity. It does get quite boring!

I also really liked that hair and make-up was done on era's rather than to copy celebrities. The 1920s and 1950s were especially well done and I liked that some of the hairstyles and make-up ideas were different to what I had seen elsewhere. I wasn't sure if this meant that they were modern variations on the old style or whether the author had really done her research. Either way it was impressive and I would love to try some of them out one day (when I eventually grow my hair again) or when I do someone else's hair.

While I did appreciate that you didn't need to own too many fancy brushes or clips to manage these styles and that the author included some more modern tools that more people would have I was a little disappointed in the lack of genuine methods. Pin-curling and finger waves didn't even get a mention and even with the increase in technology, I prefer these methods to electronic tools.

I was also a bit appalled at the idea of "vintage" in these books. 70s and 80s looks are questionable vintage. Those eras aren't too far from our own and the authors of these types of books often argue that they are tacky. I honestly wouldn't mind a 70s or 80s look if it was similar to Madonna in her prime or maybe similar to Kate Bush early in her career, but it's all this disco and punk crap. I was not a fan of the sixties look in 'Vintage Beauty Parlor , while it may have been accurate among the weed smokers I was hoping for something more along the lines of what Lana Del Rey has been epitomizing. Barbarella hair, shift dresses and all that.

I also wish (and again this is mostly just a typical beauty book thing) that authors didn't try to create the complete look. Sometimes I wish they used that space to have a few decent tutorials instead. And, some more information about hair-cuts from that era; what works well with that style.

While I'm not about to donate this anytime soon, it's not the most impressive volume I've read getting the vintage look. I'm really happy with the colour palette option because until now there wasn't a whole lot to go on in terms of colour. I think it's worth a look, but I'd recommend getting it out from the library. Overall, I give this 3.5/5 stars.

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1 comment:

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