{ r e v i e w } Vintage Hairstyling + Retro Makeup

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Vintage Hairstyling and Retro Makeup are two vintage look guides I've admired for a while. The hair book is one of the most popular with vintage girls staring out with styling, as it breaks down techniques and styles with step by step photos and written instructions. I love how much is dedicated to pin curls, Lauren Rennells has extensive knowledge on wet sets and passes that on to the reader. 

That being said, most of the styles in the book are achieved using hot rollers. Adjustments can be made for a wet set, but the styles are generally softer, focusing on more 1940s pin-up styles.  

I would highly recommend this guidebook for anyone wanting to try out more vintage styles, or someone who needs a brush up. The only downside I found was that most of the styles called for collar bone length or longer hair, however I did experiment with a different pin curl technique than my usual, and liked the larger curls that resulted. 

The makeup book is possibly my favorite, as it's full of historic background and facts on top of the actual tutorials. You can read about techniques, colors, tools, and the stories behind them. I'm not much of a makeup person, I generally do some eyeliner, blush, and red lipstick, so I decided to try something different. 
I gave one of the 1950s looks a try and loved it, complete with false eyelashes and pink lipstick, both of which are something I wouldn't try without a little guidance. 

I'm really happy with the book because I can achieve various eras pretty easily, the steps are very easy to follow. 

Overall I would say these two books are my favorite of their kind on the market right now. They present these looks in a modern, clean cut way that's very easy to understand. 

Books courtesy of HRST Books

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Witchcrafted Life said...

Pre-wig days, I bought the hair book and thoroughly enjoyed it, though did make note of the same point regarding hot rollers (something that my natural, bone straight, hair could never hold a decent curl with). I tried a couple of styles with wet sets and got decent, though not identical (to the photos) kinds of results (on my real hair back in the day).

I'd love to add a copy of the makeup book to my collection, too. No matter what's going on atop my head, I'll always need make-up and welcome fresh new ideas and tips such as those I'd imagine Retro Makeup would deliver.

Great review, dear gal!

♥ Jessica

Kristian said...

I've had the vintage hair book a while and love it! My hair dresser borrowed it to give my bridesmaids '50s hairdos and ended up buying a copy of her own. The only downsides as you point out are they are definitely designed with longer hair lengths in mind.

Might have to give that make up book a try too.

Caramella said...

I just love those hairstyles, I wish I could make my hair look like that, but it's very difficult.


I Art Fashion said...

This was very helpful.
I will add them to my birthday wish list :)



Vivian de Violet said...

I have both of the books and they are so helpful, every time I see someone posting about them on their blog, I think "yay, my fav makeup and hair books" :)

CiCi said...

Agree - these two books are both excellent, but the makeup one in particular is both interesting for the history and brilliant for easy-to-follow tutorials on looks beyond your average eyeliner and red lipstick combo!

I struggle following the styles in the hairstyle book, finding it difficult to set rollers on myself in any way that doesn't come out looking like a mess. I also have long, thick hair to complicate matters!

But the makeup book is a must-have. The styles are so easy to follow even I can do them - and indeed have followed a few on my blog to great effect. Probably my all-time favourite book purchase on retro style.



jaime said...

Great resources for beginner vintage lovers! :) I'm finally growing out my hair and I hope I can try some styles out. I'll keep my eye on these!

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of the Vintage Hairstyling book, and I have found it really helpful in expanding my knowledge and creativity with vintage styles. However I've noted the same thing you mentioned: that most of the styles use hot rollers. I've never had much success curling my hair with hot rollers, and I found it difficult to begin with to figure out how to adjust the styles to use pin curls instead. I'm an old pro at it now though!

BaronessVonVintage said...

I must check out the make-up one! Great review!

rachlovespenguins said...

I love the makeup book! And I'm not just saying that because my copy came from a fab giveaway here, though that does make it extra special. :) I use said book with relative frequency and have found it to be a fantastic reference. It definitely makes trying a different look feel less daunting.
Thanks for noting the hot rollers in the hairstyle book- that won't stop me from purchasing, but I'll also have to adjust. I've not had much success with hot rollers either.

Anonymous said...

I've almost bought these books several times. Now that I know the hair book requires heat, I won't get it. I'm quite certain that my hair will disintegrate if any heat is applied to it because it's so damaged. I may buy the makeup book, though!

Life of Mabel

Unknown said...

I seen and wondered about the hair book before, it's a bit dissapointing that most of the styles call for hot rollers, I try my best not to use heat too often on my hair. I've never heard of the makeup one though, I may have to look that one up. Thanks for the reviews :)

Catt said...

I was just thinking to myself this morning, that I need to brush up (so to speak) on some other ways to achieve a vintage look besides the one I've been using. I'll definitely check this one out (with my--hooray--collar bone-length hair)! Thanks, Solanah

CBoyer said...

We nominated you for The Elegant Blogger award!


-The Boyer Family Singers

Lainie said...

I love the 50s makeup, I personally really like pink and rose lipstick with cat eye eyeliner....as a thin lipped gal I really think it flatters me more. And I really think you look great with it too!

Donna said...

I really enjoyed the hairstyle book because it was helpful to see the direction to set the curlers in, even though I use foam curlers instead of heat rollers. Some of the ways to pin up the front and sides were great as well.

With regards to shorter hairstyles, this copy of a hairstyling book from 1952 has been circulation round Tumblr, and shows several sets for short hair.