The master of makeup shows howKevyn Aucoin,...


The master of makeup shows how

Kevyn Aucoin, makeup artist to the superstars, believes every woman can find her inner child, inner vamp, inner Madonna in a makeup box. "I want to encourage women to look at another side of themselves. Society teaches us to suppress anything unique, to conform. That's why we read about people who flip out with machine guns. They're so repressed being something they are not.

"Conversely, celebrities do not subjugate their uniqueness, they hold on to it and make the most of it," he says.

Aucoin, who is almost as famous as some of the celebrities he beautifies, makes his point in his second book, "Making Faces," (Little, Brown and Co., $29.95). It's a how-to guide, although its sophisticated approach and glossy shots by top fashion photographers are more akin to a coffee-table showpiece.

The faces are almost life-size and intimate, clear enough to see every nuance and eyelash. He shows us how Cher's dreamy eyelids, Julia Roberts' sensuous mouth and Courtney Love's dancing eyes are made. His artistry is most dramatic in his transformations of "real" people. "My mission is to truly expand the definition of beautiful -- women of different ethnicity, women who refuse to wear makeup, women who wear a lot of makeup, men who wear eyeliner, everybody," he says.

A turn through the book proves anything is possible. Explicit instructions and techniques show how a face can go from OK to fabulous.

Aucoin doesn't push products. There are no quick fixes, he says. "Try. Experiment. You can do it. You have hands and eyes, but you have to take the time to learn."

Forever chic

This season black is again the new black, unlike seasons past when brown or navy were. Comes a book across the desk, "The Little Black Dress," which makes the point from a historical perspective. Black dresses have caused scandals, built empires, made stars and protected widows from unwelcome attentions. Queen Victoria, Betty Boop and Marilyn Monroe wore black with great style. As Coco Chanel said about design: "Scheherazade is easy. A little black dress is difficult." The richly illustrated book -- black and white, of course -- by Amy Holman Edelman (Simon & Shuster, $30) is an entertaining look at black fashion moments.

Closet cures

"Secrets of a Fashion Therapist," by Betty Halbreich and Sally Wadyka, is a workbook on getting a wardrobe in shape. Halbreich, a pioneer personal shopper for Bergdorf Goodman, has an insider's knowledge of how to get around bad purchases. She's good at convincing us that intelligence counts more than money. True. We all know that one great handbag is worth more than three cheapies, but we need periodic reminders. This book, from HarperCollins ($25), is a good crash course in keeping your head while those around you are running amok in velvet platform boots.

Pub Date: 10/12/97

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