This Year’s Best New Makeup & Skincare Books Will Help You Break Out Of A Beauty Rut

By Ashleigh Cometti
Refresh your skincare and makeup routine with helpful tips from 2023’s best new beauty books. Photo / Guy Coombes

Inside these new beauty books you’ll find a makeup masterclass, a skincare regime builder, a natural hair tutorial and more.

Forget bathroom cabinets brimming with skincare, a drawer full of hot tools or a makeup case that would make Charlotte Tilbury herself wink, in 2023 the mark of a bona

Sure, you can trawl the internet for tips, but few things are quite as satisfying as hearing that spine-splitting sound as you dive into the pages of a book penned by an expert in their field.

Below, we round up the best beauty books of the year — perfect for thumbing through during your summer holiday, only to arrive home feeling inspired to overhaul your beauty regime in time for 2024.

By Hannah Martin (HarperCollins, $53)

British makeup artist and YouTube sensation Hannah Martin extends her beauty expertise beyond the makeup chair with her new book Makeup: A Masterclass in Beauty, touted as a “go-to glow-up handbook” for beauty rookies and experts alike.

Whether you need a refresher in makeup basics or want to extend your skills into special occasion looks, every section includes step-by-step photography, alongside helpful tips and product lists to DIY your way to a flawless finish.

It covers the importance of good skincare, which tools to buy and why, plus a breakdown on every type of makeup product (from powders to creams and everything in between) and which one works best for your skin type, lifestyle and the looks you wish to create.

By Marisa Meltzer (Simon & Schuster, $55)

It’s the brand that started out as a blog and quickly became a global phenomenon. Journalist Marisa Meltzer’s juicy tell-all Glossy charts the rise and rise of Emily Weiss’ Glossier.

Consider this a deep dive into the millennial pink world of Glossier, the billion-dollar beauty start-up that amassed millions of loyal followers across the globe.

The dishy read recounts a handful of scandals that swirled around the brand since its 2010 launch, including its hiring and firing practices, product launches and recent celebrity ambassador announcement, as told by former employees, investors and featuring commentary from Weiss herself.

By Sophie Hannah (HarperCollins, $49)

Famed for her outlandish special-effects makeup and the steadiest of hands with which to apply her signature vixen eyeliner, content creator Sophie Hannah regularly shares her work with her 1.6 million followers on Instagram.

Now, she’s spilled her top beauty secrets in Beauty, Hair, Style — a guide to self-expression and empowerment by way of hair and makeup looks.

If you’ve fallen into bad beauty habits, remind yourself of the basics with a guide to skincare to try and products to fill your makeup kit. But if you consider yourself somewhat of a makeup maestro, the tome goes one step further with aspirational ideas to help you discover and develop your unique beauty look.

By Zahra Hankir (Penguin Random House, $57)

In Eyeliner, author Zahra Hankir explores the power and influence of one iconic makeup product worn by some of the most influential figures in history.

From Cleopatra to Amy Winehouse, Hankir unpacks the transformative power of the kohl pencils, gel pots, and felt-tipped pens which have endured since time immemorial. The rich cultural significance of eyeliner is examined through intimate reporting with communities across the globe — nomads in Chad, geishas in Japan, dancers in India, drag queens in New York and more.

A thought-provoking read sure to change the way you think about (and use) the very same eyeliner which lives in your makeup bag.

By Natalie Setareh (Setareh Beauty, $68)

Ready to brush up on your skills? In Be Your Own Makeup Artist, expect to learn the art of makeup application for all ages, genders, skin types and skin tones.

The 114-page beginner’s guide aims to empower individuals to highlight their best features and create myriad makeup looks — from everyday beauty looks to special occasion makeup — to suit their lifestyle and personal preferences.

It first lays a good foundation — how to identify your skin type, tone and undertone — before walking through the different makeup stages from those all-important base layers to radiance-giving highlights.

By Caroline Hirons (HarperCollins, $43)

Less than two years after the first edition was published, no-nonsense skincare expert and aesthetician Caroline Hirons unveiled an updated version of her book, Skincare.

Rather than motivate readers to overspend on products they don’t need, her approach to skincare is one that’s honest (at times, brutally so) — tailoring skincare regimes that actually work and educating readers about the changing needs of their skin as they age.

The revised edition includes important industry updates and new product recommendations, alongside detailed sections on caring for Black skin, SPF, maskne, perimenopause and menopause.

By Eugene M. Helveston (Indiana University Press, $24)

From its discovery in 1817 in contaminated sausages to its use in appearance medicine clinics from the 1970s onwards, Death to Beauty charts the rise and research behind Botox.

The historical recount calls into question how one of the world’s deadliest toxins became a routine cosmetic procedure — what was originally a treatment for crossed eyes morphed into one available to the everyday man and celebrity set alike.

Available from January 2024.

By Sheila Burlock, Melissa Burlock and Sylvia Burlock (Broadleaf Books, $54)

Penned by three sisters, one of whom has had a personal experience with a form of alopecia, My Divine Natural Hair falls into the self-help category as much as it does a practical how-to guide.

It was written to help Black women and girls embrace their natural hair and heal from past haircare trauma, alongside helpful tips on how to grow and consistently care for coils. It unpacks the dark history of discrimination against Black hair and societal pressure to alter their natural hair texture.

The three co-authors work through topics like hair loss, the comparison trap and self-doubt, while simultaneously offering tips on hair growth, style and maintenance as part of the Salon Chair Sessions.

Available from March 2024.

Skincare, makeup and beauty-industry mavens.

Bobs, Bangs And Barrel Curls: How To Choose A Haircut For Your Face Shape. Stuck in a hair rut? Try one of these styles next time you’re in the chair.

Meet The New Eco-Luxe Skincare Brand That Was 100 Million Years In The Making. It’s the first time Bioactive Totarol has been used in products to rejuvenate skin.

Ask The Beauty Editor: How Can I Stop My Blonde Hair From Looking So Dull? Turns out your purple shampoo could be doing more harm than good.

10 Your-Skin-But-Better Tints That Will Have You Rethinking Foundation. The makeup-as-skincare hybrid offers light coverage with skin-benefiting ingredients.

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