The Beauty Book that I Obsessed Over as a Teen


I simply would not even be able to count how many times I flipped through the book Face Forward, cover to cover. It was published in 2001, and I was at the ripe old age of 15. I’m sure I saw it on a bookshelf at my local Barnes and Noble, a place my dad would often take my siblings and me during the freezing cold winters in the midwest. The sun sets early in the evening, and he doesn’t do well sitting around the house for many hours, so a bookstore trip was a very regular activity for him.

I wish I could remember buying this book, but I only remember flipping through it. I was mesmerized by the incredible detail and flawless makeup application. It would only be two short years later that I would start attending beauty school and I’m certain this book played a role in my interest in the beauty industry.

I brought this book up recently when I was talking about how I got started in the beauty industry and thought that I should repurchase it for memory’s sake. I have no idea where my original copy is!

When I flipped through it, I was reminded of the pages that contained visual step by steps of makeup application. I remembered how much I enjoyed seeing the process from start to finish, and how the application of one product changed the entire look. I remember laying on my bed with a friend from beauty school, looking over all the details of the images and talking about how we could recreate these looks thanks to the step-by-step process.

It struck me that one of the first things I did when I started this blog was share step-by-step videos, or photos, of whatever I was trying to demonstrate and teach.

And then I made the connection.

I am sure that my enjoyment and fascination of seeing the process of Kevyn creating makeup looks from this book, whether it be a theatrical transformation or a simple everyday eye, had a lasting impact on my desire to do something similar in my career. I had completely forgotten that there were step-by-steps in this book, and seeing them again earlier this week when my new copy arrived in the mail was sort of a revelation to me.

I’m so glad I was still able to purchase it and have this happy memory of me discovering my passion for the beauty industry thanks to the incredible talent displayed by Kevyn in this book. I have yet to watch the documentary about his life, but it’s on my list to do so soon.


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Comments (8)

  1. Amy C says
    Posted September 1, 2021

    I have both his books from around that same time as well and just loved them. He made it seem both so glamorous and yet effortless and accessible. The makeover on his mom and other normal people as well as celebrities made it something that anyone could be able to achieve. Every so often, I’ll still take them off the shelf and flip through them both to appreciate the beauty and also his legacy as he was a beautiful spirit who passed too soon 🙁

    • Susanna says
      Posted September 3, 2021

      Thank you for mentioning that he passed! Obvs the author had no idea he is no longer with us. That slightly baffled me.

      • Kate says
        Posted September 4, 2021

        If you’re referring to me as the author I just want to share that I, of course, knew he passed.

  2. Melissa says
    Posted September 1, 2021

    I love this so much! I have Making Faces and it did the same for me, really fostered a love for seeing how breaking down a face full of makeup little by little can create stunning transformations.

  3. Kiss The Chef says
    Posted September 1, 2021

    I love that there is still a makeup line he started that has continued on after his passing. Andreea likes some of his products, so they have to be quality…

  4. Michaela says
    Posted September 1, 2021

    I love both of these as well! Would love to see you recreate some of the looks in a video or on stories!

  5. Shawnie says
    Posted September 2, 2021

    Same! I loved this book so much – although I barely use make up. The details, the photos, the familiar faces as models…. the amazing transformations. Such a progressive book for the time. RIP Kevyn!

  6. Jenn says
    Posted September 3, 2021

    I had a similar experience during the same time period with the Making Faces book!! I studied it in awe and practiced on myself and my friends! I remember following a look very closely for a homecoming dance. You just brought back such good memories. xo