Easy on the Eyes is a make-up tutorial book from Lisa Potter-Dixon, head make-up and trend artist for Benefit cosmetics. A great marketing exercise for the brand, as the prominent product photos used throughout are almost entirely by Benefit. Aimed at make-up novices and those who’ve never experimented with their techniques, the premise of Easy on the Eyes is to offer a range of looks for all levels of ability that range in complexity and take between 5, 15 or 30 minutes to complete.
As a book, Easy on the Eyes is beautifully packaged with a hard back cover, textured canvas-like finish and embossed title. However the grey and lilac tones seem dated, and the illustration makes a poor cover image considering the strong photography in the book. The hit and miss feelings I have for the cover reflect my feelings for the title on the whole. I picked this up after seeing it on Confetti & Curves 10 Great beauty books list, but I am glad I didn’t pay full price for it.
The pros of Easy on the Eyes include:
- Stylish model and product photography throughout the book.
- A good selection of skin types, ages and colour represented by diverse models.
- Covers all the basics of what different products do and how to use them, from mascara to false lashes, great for the make-up beginner.
- Covers the need for /a uses of more specialised products like concealers and primers, highlighters and brow treatments.
- Lots of enthusiasm and encouragement to experiment- for example try using one product in multiple ways, use lipstick as rouge, or gloss on the eyes.
- Diagrams and step by step guides- I liked the page on eye shapes and complimentary shades for specific eye colours.
However, the cons for me of Easy on the Eyes are:
- Basic- The level of information maybe too basic for some readers
- Filler- I don’t really care about the Make-up artist’s back story, or seeing pics of her at fashion week.
- Overdone – A lot of the looks lack subtlety, maybe so they would photograph better? Idk, but the 1980s called and they want their purple eye shadows and blue mascaras back.
- Garish- some of the looks are a bit out there and go a bit beyond experimental. Some of the examples I can’t see appealing to anyone e.g. weird unaccompanied pink eyeliner (pink eye anyone?) Or covering your eyes with rhinestones (ouch!)
- Cheesy titles- Lots of headings feature puns like the kind you get on Benefit products, it gets grating. Proving it is possible to try too hard for a rhyme.
Ultimately, I wasn’t wowed by Easy on the Eyes as a make-up master class. But in the age of the Youtube beauty guru I’m not sure if any make-up tutorial book can compete. Perhaps books are useful to refer back to, but they can’t keep up with the change in trends and beauty product innovations that You-tube creators can address instantly. Nothing quite beats seeing a video demonstration of a make-up enthusiast carefully talking through their techniques.
I hope you enjoyed the review of Easy on the Eyes. Would you buy it? And what do you think about make-up tutorial books? Are they headed the way of the Dodo, extinct in the face of online make-up tutorials? Or have I just not found the right book yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.