Beauty Books: Sephora

The book? Sephora: The Ultimate Guide to Makeup, Skin, and Hair from the Beauty Authority. (Written by Melissa Schweiger) $27.95 is the listed price, according to There’s a “look inside” of the first few pages there, if you’re interested!Just out of curiosity, before we begin, here are the products on the front cover. (The back cover is a photo of bunch of Sephora brushes.) Hey, do you remember playing I Spy when you were little? I do… I’m sure I still have some I Spy books tucked away in a box of my childhood books somewhere in the basement! I remember having a couple that I just adored.

I spy… a LORAC lipstick in their Lotsa Lips Plumping Lipstick formula. Maybe in Feelin or Smoochin?
Some slant-tipped tweezers – Tweezerman, maybe?
Mascara, of course! I can’t tell exactly what it is (I’m not psychic, just awesome.) but let’s figure this one out by deduction: it’s a thin, traditional wand, with sprialed bristles that are fairly dense, and a non-pointy end.

So: it could be Lancome Définicils or Kevyn Aucoin’s The Volume. Why those two? Well, they meet the criteria listed above. So did a bunch of others, but do you really think they’d use a $10 Sephora mascara for a photoshoot, or a mascara with a two-star rating? No. I don’t think so either.

And lastly, a MUFE Aqua Eyes liner! This looks like Turquoise 7L.

What they say about it: (taken from

Ever wonder what it’s like to have your own personal team of beauty experts, advising you on how to look and feel knockout-gorgeous every day? Or have you ever questioned what exactly goes on inside the creative minds of beauty industry heavy-hitters? Step into the pages of Sephora, where the top beauty authorities give you access to their private domains. Spend the day with Vincent Longo backstage at fashion week, create red carpet—worthy hair with celebrity hair stylist Oscar Blandi, master the smoky eye with Hollywood’s hottest makeup artists, and take a tour of Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s kitchen with his refrigerator full of skin-perfecting foods.

In Sephora: The Ultimate Guide to Makeup, Skin, and Hair from the Beauty Authority, fashion and beauty journalist and former Sephora beauty editor Melissa Schweiger personally introduces the people behind some of your favorite brands and fills this gorgeous book with the beauty secrets usually reserved for insiders. Each photo-packed page brims with words of wisdom and expert advice from the creators of and authorities on more than two hundred classic and emerging beauty brands sold at Sephora, including LORAC, Smashbox, Too Faced, Dr. Perricone, Frédéric Fekkai, and many, many more.

Each chapter is designed to mimic a Sephora store’s “try everything” vibe while revealing the finest beauty tips and tricks for getting creative with cosmetics. From an A-to-Z glossary of terms and ingredients and a shopping guide to the best products, to detailed explanations of how to properly use cosmetic tools, Sephora is the complete beauty package that no woman will want to be without.

What’s in it:

What Is Beauty is a great chaper with quotes from the founders of the lines Sephora carries, on what they think beauty is. They’re largely predictable, but I thought it was a great way to start the book!

Try This at Home was a disappointment – I thought the directions and photos could have been a lot more clear.

Meet the Masters was my favourite chapter!! It’s full of a-day-in-the-life-of and stash stuff.

Secret Ingredients, one of the last chapters, was useless in my opinion. If I want to know what’s in my moisturizer, I google or wiki it. I mean, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I find the ingredient sections of cosmetic books useless drivel.

(I did find this error in Secret Ingredients, though! The images on some pages cut off the text.)

And some random bits from the book. I’ll work on the assumption that Sephora won’t sue me… or even know. Who pays attention to small beauty blogs nowadays? We’re rampant. Slightly more common than leaves of grass, slightly less common than socialites tailspinning on coke.

The “Try It” section seemed like a great idea, but I thought the photos could have been more detailed. The text instructions were descent, but nothing special!

Of course, seeing as this is a Sephora book, there are pages upon pages of product advertisments, essentially. I’m glad that they tell you what kind of products to look into, but why would I, as a consumer, want to pay for a glorified catologue?!

My second favourite part was the beauty diary (day in the life of) of Gilbert Soliz, a Sephora employee.

My favourite-favourite? The stash of Cristina Bartolucci, founder of DuWop. She covered a lot of her favourite products, and I was glad to see they weren’t all DuWop! Each product had a great description under the heading as to why she loved them.

And lastly… check out this quote :P I adore Jerrod Blandino (Too Faced), and his section only enforced my adoration of him! The quintessential gay guy, I would kill to spend a day with him, slowly learning his craft by aggresive osmosis of ideas :PReally, Jerrod? You want to “make love to it, as fast as [you] can”? Priceless =D

The final verdict?
This would be a nice coffee table book, or even a nice gift for someone who loves makeup but doesn’t want a book that’s too hard to follow. It focuses on products, beauty, and the industry, and not so much learning new skills – and remember, take it all with a grain of salt! Sephora chose to sell this book to you. This book was made to make you want to buy.

Despite all it’s good points, though, and because of the fact that half of it is basically just catalogue, there is no way I’d pay full price for this. Rent it from your library, like I did, buy it used, or split the cost with some friends. It’s not really a read-again, so if five of you paid about $5 each and passed it on once you were done in it, it would be worth it.

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  • Rae

    Kayla: Ooh! If you really like the ones you have, you *must* let me know what they are :) I'll be doing more book reviews over the next few weeks, just so you know!

  • Kayla Green

    I might have to go pick this up. I already have 2 makeup books so I’ll add to my “collection”

  • Kayla Green

    I have Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual and The Beauty of Color. I found them at Chapters and decided to buy them, since I'm going to school for makeup and plan to get a career in it, so it was good reading for me.

  • Rae

    Kayla: I hated the Makeup Manual x.x I just finished reading The Beauty of Color, though, and I liked it…ish :PAnd good luck on the interview, hon!!

  • Arianne

    Oh good. I probably don't need a glorified catalog. But I loooove catalogs. And the fact that they're free!

  • Rae

    Arianne: no, you don't! Hmm… I wonder if Sephora has a catalogue that I can order… =D

  • Audrie

    oooo nice review! I agree, this would be a great coffee table book as opposed to an actual detailed book on how to achieve different makeup looks, for that I would totally go for a Francois Nars book. :)

  • Kayla Green

    Awe really? I enjoyed the books, probably because I'm still new in this whole makeup thing, and any bit of anything that I learn I enjoy.And thanks! (:

  • Rae

    Audrie: I'm partway through a NARS and I looove it ^^

  • Rae

    Kayla: I enjoyed them, but I wouldn't buy them to read over again :PAnd you're welcome!

  • Vanessa M.

    omg! i was going to buy this today!!!! wow! thanks for thereview i guess i had high expectations but meh.. ill pass hows the bobbi brown one?

  • Rae

    Vanessa: no problem :) The BB one was totally useless – if I do find one worth buying, you'll definitely be hearing about it!

  • Malinda

    Love this post! I'm a total make-up book collector I have about 10. The Bobbi Brown book is one of my favs and i found a little gem called Eye Catching Eye Candy by Celeb Make-up Artist Ailbhe Murray online twas a great find. Both books are packed with pro-info easy to follow and not airbrushed to disgusting perfection plus they feature my two fav make-up brands Bobbi Brown and Benefit. Dont thing I'd rush out 2buy the sephora one its tres expensive…………..

    • Thanks! I'm actually not a huge fan of Bobbi's book (now, her makeup is another story!) Have you ever read the Kevyn Aucoin ones? (They're wonderful!)