I am a huge fan of coffee table books – those big, glossy books full of photos that live nearby and that you pick up whenever you’re in need of inspiration. One of the latest releases from Plexus Books, Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty by Laura Slater, is a prime example of that, so I’m pleased to be reviewing it on the blog today!
Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty is packed full of glorious pictures, seamlessly featuring both classic Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth and modern celebs like Emma Stone and Beyoncé. The striking images of these amazing ladies looking their best definitely serves as strong inspiration for vintage styling. But before you think it’s just nice to look at, let me tell you that it’s also full of substance as well!
The first section, ‘Makeup’, covers everything from preparing your face even before you think about putting makeup on to your all over skincare routine. Author Lauren Slater takes us through Westmore’s seven face shapes, dictated by the Westmores of Hollywood who ruled the beauty scene from the 1920s to the 1960s. They came up with seven distinct face shapes, each with a famous beauty icon, and provided ‘rules’ by which to best style yourself. After checking with those closest to me (both in life and at the time of writing) I think that I best fit the ‘Oval’ face shape, which apparently means I should avoid contouring – just as well, as I have never learnt how to do it! There is also a myriad of advice on matters like building a beauty kit (day and night lipsticks and blushers are definitely a thing) and sticking to a beauty budget, as well as tips and tricks such as homemade beauty treatments, how to apply rouge, and the best way to paint the perfect vintage lip.
The second half of Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty is dedicated to hair – how to care for it, and how to style it. There are some great tips for combatting frizz from stars like Ginger Rodgers and Jean Harlow which I am super keen to try as frizz is a major enemy of mine too. You can also find out the best type of hair cut for your face shape (going back to Westmore’s seven face shapes earlier), and then the basic tools and tricks you’ll need for styling it. Right at the back there’s a section of mini hair tutorials inspired by those iconic looks from the lovely ladies of days gone by such as Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara ‘do and Grace Kelly’s classic chignon. Of course I had to give some of these hairdos a go for myself, so I’ve included the links to a couple of Youtube tutorials for these below.
Pompadour hair tutorial:
Holly Golightly hair tutorial:
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Overall I think this is such a great book to come back to time after time for inspiration or to try out a new technique. You can grab your own copy of Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty through Amazon for £12.98/$23NZD, and they will ship internationally within a couple of weeks. You can also check out many more amazing Plexus Books on their website, including ‘Hollywood Diet and Fitness’ (another volume in the Vintage Secrets series) and ‘100 Reasons to Love Audrey Hepburn’ which both already have me intrigued!
Thank you so much to Emily from Plexus Publishing for this opportunity, to @cmjsnz for the snaps, and to his parents for letting us shoot these photos in their designer bathroom!
Miss Hero Holliday