I've been eyeing up this book for ages, and almost bought it a while back (but went up for "Makeup: The Ultimate Guide" by Rae Morris instead), so I was super happy when I discovered it nestled in the shelves of my local library (if you haven't already heard me waxing lyrical about the newly refurbished York library, let me tell you know that it's amazing). Looking around like a crazed woman, I grabbed it (possibly letting the words "my precious" fall from my lips in a golum esq manner) and made a mad dash towards the extremely space age and whizzy self service machines (no seriously, I LOVE this new library...*cough*)
So, does Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual live up to what I hoped it would be? In a word, yes. The tagline of this book is that it's "For everyone from beginner to pro" and I think I'd agree. This book really does cover everything you need to know about make up - from the basics of what different brushes do, how to shop for cosmetics and how to look after your skin, to step by step make up application techniques, to more advanced techniques and a great chapter about getting into the make up industry including kit lists, contacts, hints and tips and even a history of make up (always good for a pub quiz)!
Bobbie goes into a lot of detail about how to apply make up to achieve a flawless, natural looking finish and I found the sections on concealers and correctors really useful, as I tend to shy away from using them. Obviously, I'm not a complete novice, but I never felt too challenged or too patronised by anything in this book, and instead felt inspired to crank it up a notch and really work at getting a more flawless finish when I was doing my make up for a wedding I went to on Saturday.
The downside? Not many really. The one thing I will say is that it doesn't contain much inspiration for more colourful/daring looks but this isn't really Bobbi Brown's style (I mean come on, is the woman whose line started with 10 brown lipsticks really going to be sharing how to pull off the perfect bright green lipstick? I think not). That said, she does have some slightly more fun/editorial looks and also makes reference to other make up artists who do specialise more in this sort of look.
All in all, I'd say that this is an excellent reference tool that pretty much everyone would benefit from owning - whether you're a complete beginner, or an old pro who just wants to remember how to brush up their techniques, or maybe (a bit like me) you're toying around with the idea of becoming a make up artist and want to read a little more about what that entails and how to build up your kit and portfolio, there's something here for you. I know that I plan on getting my own pretty much the minute this has to return to those wonderful library shelves!
Bobbi Brown Make Up Manual: RRP £20