As someone passionate about beauty for as long as I can remember, I’ve always scoured the best beauty books to help me perfect my craft.
After years of trial and error and many mistakes along the way, I’ve put together a list of the best beauty books of all time.
From the classics to the modern must-reads, this list has it all.
Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced beauty enthusiast, these books will help you perfect your makeup, hair, and skincare routine.
So, let’s dive in to see our picks!
1. Skincare Decoded: The Practical Guide to Beautiful Skin – Victoria Fu & Gloria Lu
What’s the secret to beautiful skin? Microbiomes? Korean ice water?
No matter your level of experience, skincare chemists Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu will explain everything you need to know about your skincare routine, even if you’re just starting out.
From what ingredients you should look out for to the only four products you really need, they’ve got it all for you. A great read packed with fun facts, pictures, and humor.
2. The Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health, and Home – Jan Berry
The best guide to homemade beauty products that use local, natural ingredients is this book.
With 151 recipes in this book, Jan Berry shows you how to make your own body care and household products that can replace toxic or synthetic products.
You’ll learn how to make
- Cucumber mint soap
- Triple sunshine body butter
- Honey, rose and oat face cleanser
Recipes made easy to follow with stunning photographs, this book makes going green a breeze.
3. Natural Beauty Skin Care: 110 Organic Formulas for a Radiant You! – Deborah Burnes
If you want to use homemade and eco-friendly skincare products instead of toxic ones marketed as ‘ all natural’, then read on.
Besides the simple recipes, Deborah Burnes tells you what each ingredient does and where to get it. Using these, you can make natural beauty treats like Honey and Chia Seed cleanser and Argan Oil shampoo.
An excellent DIY beauty book, beautifully written and organized.
4. Beauty: The Invisible Embrace – John O’Donohue
Music, love, imperfection, death, and desire are some of the ways O’Donohue explores how beauty manifests itself in our lives. Celebrate your intimacy with beauty, he says.
By drawing on the philosophers of beauty like Plato and Aquinas, O’Donohue quotes poets across cultures and centuries. As he sees it, beauty inspires passion and creativity, especially in these uncertain times.
The beauty philosophy fan will enjoy this book.
5. Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals – Milady
If you’re an esthetics student, this book will give you a better understanding of the fundamentals.
A lot of the book focuses on basics like skincare history, anatomy, and physiology, so you get a general understanding.
You’ll then get a chance to learn hands-on skills like facial treatments, hair removals, and how to use salon technology.
A true classic in esthetics, so make sure you check it out.
6. DIY Beauty – Ina De Clercq
From Sephora’s face scrubs to The Body Shop’s body butter, you can make some of the world’s most popular beauty products yourself with this book.
Ina De Clercq’s eczema made her look for allergy-friendly, all-natural products. Then, she created inexpensive imitation recipes for popular products like Burt’s Bees lip balm and e.l.f. acne treatments.
You’ll love this book if you love DIY and want to customize your favorite skincare products.
7. Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour – Dita Von Tees
Probably the best person to speak about glamour is Dita Von Teese, a fashion icon and burlesque superheroine.
She talks about every aspect of beauty in the book, from coiffed hair to pedicured toes. Her advice includes changing your signature fragrance over time, customizing your baths, and getting enough beauty sleep.
An excellent beauty book, Laden features hundreds of photos, step-by-step instructions, and authoritative advice.
8. French Chic Beauty: The French Beauty Bible – Veronique Blanchard
The best French beauty book, The Insider Secrets of Veronique Blanchard, gives you access to ‘insider secrets’ she picked up growing up in France.
What you’ll most take away from this book is how to form a beauty regime. Inspired by her mother’s lifestyle, Blanchard teaches you how to:
- Make your inner beauty shine
- Plan your own beauty routine
- Get gorgeous hair and skin
- Stay on top of your nails
- Maintain a chic wardrobe
An engaging, short read that’s straight to the point.
9. The Beauty Industry Survival Guide: A Salon Professional’s Handbook – Tina Alberino
Tired of generic beauty business advice? Tina Alberino is here to give you the lowdown on the beauty business, plus hard lessons you’ll learn along the way.
With his no-nonsense approach as a veteran cosmetologist, Alberino teaches you practical skills you won’t find in textbooks.
Her advice includes:
- Dealing with cheating salon owners.
- Growing a loyal clientele.
- Making it big even before you finish school.
Among the best beauty business books published, there’s much to learn, entertain, and amaze.
10. The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty – Sunny Subramanian & Chrystle Fiedler
Once you’ve finished the first two chapters of this book, you’ll probably want to switch to DIY beauty products and go vegan.
You’ll learn how to make your own beauty products with simple vegan ingredients and simple equipment.
Here’s how to take care of your skin the right way, make everything from mascara to lipstick with natural ingredients, and choose the right ingredients.
Definitely, one of the best natural beauty books you’ll ever read.
11. Clean: The New Science of Skin – James Hamblin
Your perception of cleanliness and skincare could actually harm your skin. A preventive medicine specialist, Dr. Hamblin, explains why he stopped showering five years ago and only uses soap on his hands.
Together with skincare experts armed with wit and facts, he discusses how the skin works and how cleaning agents function.
It’s one of the best clean beauty books out there, and it’ll change how you look at things.
12. Timeless: Recreate the Classic Makeup and Hairstyles from 100 Years of Beauty – Louise Young & Loulia Shepp
The superstar makeup artist Louise Young and Academy Award nominee hairstylist Loulia Shepp guide you through recreating iconic makeup and hairstyles from decades past.
With clear, concise, and illustrated instructions, you’ll learn how to replicate the disco-fever beauty to the electric colors of the 80s and beyond.
A vintage beauty book you’ll appreciate for its accuracy, practicality, and easy-to-follow instructions.
13. The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin – Anjali Mahto
Anjali Mahto, a UK-based dermatologist, guides you through conflicting information and makes sense of stuff related to skin care.
The book debunks beauty myths and tackles issues around acne and dryness, rosacea, and aging. You’ll learn to choose the best products and routines based on your unique skin type.
In a nutshell, this is your expert guide to great skin.
14. Korean Skincare Bible: The ultimate guide to K-beauty secrets – Sara Jimenez, Lilin Yang & Leah Ganse
It’s the perfect book for someone new to cosmetics or trying to solve troublesome skin problems.
Korean beauty expert writers teach you about their products, the natural ingredients, and the history of Korean beauty.
Discover how to make your own beauty products for healthier, more radiant skin every day.
It’s one of the best Korean beauty books for its straightforward and tried-and-true advice.
15. Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty – Bobbi Brown & Annemarie Iverson
Young girls dealing with the insecurities of their emotionally charged teenage years will get a lot out of this guide.
With Brown’s timeless advice, appreciate your beauty and navigate common teenage skincare problems.
Dealing with zits, embracing braces, and choosing your makeup, Bobbi Brown lays it all out in this must-read teenage beauty book.
16. The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care: 1,000 Essential Definitions of Common Product Ingredients – Deborah Burnes
Next time you’re at a drugstore or a spa boutique, you’ll be able to choose beauty products with confidence—all thanks to Deborah Burnes.
She tells you in this book:
- About the origin, uses, and benefits of 1000 ingredients
- The standard beauty habits and lifestyle hacks for flawless skin
- How to make your own products like cleansers and toners with simple DIY recipes
An incredible reference for any skincare enthusiast.
17. I On Beauty: Living Beautifully and Luxuriously Beyond – Irene Michaels
Irene Michaels teaches you how to care for your skin and hair naturally and safely in this bestselling book.
As she describes her beauty philosophy, Michaels discusses inexpensive and organic treatments you can use at home.
Authentic and perfect for anti-aging product lovers, the 11-chapter book has everything you’ll need to know.
18. The Makeup Manual: Your beauty guide for brows, eyes, skin, lips and more – Lisa Potter-Dixon
You can count on Lisa Potter-Dixon, a London Fashion Week Scene regular, for the perfect red lip or new makeup look.
Every age group should read this book – it’s all about beauty and skincare, so you can look your best. From feathers to sequins, it’s got it all.
The ultimate makeup guide, complete with instructors and tips.
19. The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits – Mihaela Noroc
A collection of stunning photos and stories from more than 50 countries comprise this book by Noroc.
From the Amazon rainforests to the bustling markets of India, these portraits feature women. There’s beauty everywhere in this collection, exhibiting the diversity of women.
A great gift for anyone interested in beauty, this book is full of inspirational and motivational stories.
20. Plant-Powered Beauty – Amy Galper & Christina Daigneault
Let it be your go-to book if you’ve always wanted to test out plant-based skincare products.
Making your own beauty products like these is the focus of the book:
- Anti-aging Facial Scrub
- Choc-o-Mint Lip Balm
- Coconut whip makeup remover, among many others.
The best plant-based beauty book on the market, it’s a must-read for anyone looking to replace synthetic chemicals with plant essences.
21. Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45 – Christopher Hopkins
He’s known as the ‘Makeover Guy’ from Oprah, Hopkins offers tips and tricks to help women over 45 look and feel fabulous.
Hopkins talks about everything from
- Taking care of gray hair
- Myths about aging
- The best fashion styles for you
- Second act ground rules
Making long-term changes and sticking with them is your best bet to getting the most out of the book.
With straight talk and a touch of sensitivity, this book will give you the confidence you need after 45.
22. Making Faces – Kevyn Aucoin
For anyone curious about makeup, Kevyn Aucoin’s iconic Making Faces is a great read.
The book has timeless techniques, and Aucoin’s guidelines can be adapted to fit any beauty regimen.
While flipping through the pages of this illuminating makeup guide, you’ll become immersed in the lives of models and celebrities.
23. Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products that Changed the World – Sali Hughes
This 400-plus page book puts together Sali Hughes’ knowledge of the most iconic beauty products from her years as a makeup artist.
From Chanel No 5 to Urban Decay’s Naked Palette, Hughes covers an array of products. Reviewing products herself, she often includes historical or personal anecdotes.
From one of the top beauty writers in Britain, this book is a treasure trove of beauty knowledge.
24. Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside, and Out – Jolene Hart
When it comes to feeling great and looking good all year round, Eat Pretty should be on your reading list.
Certified beauty and nutrition coach Jolene Hart deciphers the latest nutrition and science jargon in a clear and easy-to-read style.
The book is packed with everyday foods and their beauty-boosting benefits according to the seasons.
This lifestyle guide is one of the best beauty books to give as a gift.
25. Babushka’s Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You – Raisa Ruder & Susan Campos
Raisa Ruder, an esthetician to Hollywood stars, shares her beauty recipes inspired by her Ukrainian grandmother to fade wrinkles and plump lips.
You’ll love this book if you don’t want to blow your budget on skincare and beauty products.
Ruder tells you about:
- Skin-saving souffles
- Milk and mint-made foot scrub
- A castor oil serum to thicken and lengthen your lashes, and much more
Modern women have a lot of beauty problems, so this book can be a big help.
What beauty books can do for you…
Beauty books are a treasure trove of information for finding the perfect look, whether it be natural and fresh-faced or bold and dramatic. In these books, you can find step-by-step tutorials for various makeup and skincare routines, along with product recommendations.
Not only do they guide you through the process, but beauty books also offer insight into the science behind certain products and ingredients. You’ll gain an understanding of what works best for your skin type, and how to tailor your routine to suit your needs.
Plus, beauty books are not limited to just makeup and skincare. You can also find reads on haircare, nails, and even fashion! No matter what level you’re at, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to beauty.
From fashion icons to beauty products, these best beauty books will enrich your knowledge of the art of beauty and deepen your understanding of the dos and don’ts.
There’s something for readers of all ages, lifestyles, and experience levels to learn and apply.
Whether it’s how to make your own beauty products, how to stick to a healthy diet, or how to deal with the emotions that accompany beauty problems, these books have it all.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick one of these and read away!