Book review: The make-up manual by Lisa Potter-Dixon

Book review: The make-up manual by Lisa Potter-Dixon

A few weeks ago, I was watching a video from Caroline Hirons, one of my favorite bloggers. If you aren’t familiar with Caroline, run—don’t walk—to your computer and pull up her blog or YouTube channel. She’s a delight to watch, and has so much killer information to share. She saved my skin, but that’s a post for a different day.


In the video in question, she had a guest, Lisa Potter-Dixon, a make-up artist and fellow YouTuber. I’m not sure how, but Lisa has somehow gone undetected on my Internet radar. I had never heard of her, despite the fact that she seems to offer much of what I look for in beauty content.


In the video, she happened to mention that she just came out with a new book. From what I can tell, it seems to be her second. She has a long history of working in the industry at the editorial level and also works for Benefit Cosmetics.


Although I don’t often feel compelled to pick up beauty books, this one looked interesting to me because it seemed so comprehensive.


I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed one bit!


The book is broken down by subject area, which in this case means according to the step in one’s make-up (or skincare) routine. There are sections on skincare, foundation, concealing/color correction, eyeshadow, blush, contouring, highlighting and more.


The book excels at providing a foundation for someone who is either just becoming interested in make-up or for someone who is looking to lift their make-up skills a few levels.


I also enjoyed the fact that she includes tips for different levels of intensity. For example, she specifies different types of brow or foundation application to fit different looks, i.e. daywear, full glam or more Instagram-style application. She also emphasizes that make-up is something that should be experimented with, as it can easily be washed off.


I was impressed by this fact because, although on a daily basis I don’t tend to indulge in a lot of the beautiful trends we see, it’s fun to try them. If you’re someone whose natural preference is to wear those trends all the time, then there is plenty of content in this book for you as well.


It’s also worth mentioning that she discusses beauty for women of a large age range. I would say that the intended audience is of an age range that begins around 20 (very loosely), but there does not seem to be an upper limit. We rarely see consideration being made for women over “a certain age.” Just because we hit a certain age does not mean that we completely lose interest in make-up or beauty, so it’s nice to see someone taking this into account.


She also has a very thorough section devoted to brows, which I think is worth checking out. I note this because of her connection to Benefit, which has placed itself as a brow expert in the cosmetics market. She discusses natural brow techniques, more intense techniques and “bold” techniques.


As I touched upon before, one of the most noteworthy aspects of this book is that it addresses both “natural” make-up as well as “trend” make-up. It doesn’t shy away from the fact that there are indeed many people who enjoy heavier-handed looks. Although that might not be my cup of tea, personally, I think it’s important for there to be room for all iterations of make-up or style. And as she is wont to say throughout the book, make-up is meant to be played with. After all, you can always wash it off.


In sum, if you’re looking for a reasonably priced beauty guide, this one is definitely worth checking out. It’s especially for you if:


  • You want to begin to familiarize yourself with make-up techniques
  • You want to spruce up your routine
  • You are an aspiring make-up artist
  • Are looking to add more skills to your make-up repertoire
  • Just like make-up period!


It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but I don’t think that’s necessary or the point here. Lisa does an excellent job of sharing her talent and passion.


Hugs and peppermint mochas,


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