My Makeup Story
Mary Quant’s book Classic Makeup & Beauty was published by DK under the series DK Living in 1998.
I got this book 10 years ago, around 2007, nearly 10 years after it was published.
I remember very clearly the day and circumstances by which I came in possession of this book. It was late summer, and the days were stiflingly hot. I, 14 at the time, was moping around the house because it was yet another boring summer vacation wherein we did nothing and went nowhere. My mother was a single parent (my father passed away when I was barely two months old), taking care of three old people and two kids while maintaining a position as a college professor of anatomy. Plus, she’d been battling breast cancer since I was about 10. So vacations were probably the last thing on her mind.
Anyway, my aunt and her two children were visiting, and since they were as bored as I was, my aunt decided to take us all to a nearby second hand book shop we enjoyed going to.
It was there that I came upon Mary Quant’s book, Classic Makeup & Beauty. I was mumbling about how the store didn’t have any new books since my last visit, and my aunt pointed out Classic Makeup & Beauty, recalling some Mary Quant lipsticks she had once owned.
So I picked up the book, brought it home, and the rest is history.
Classic Makeup & Beauty by Mary Quant
Although Classic Makeup & Beauty was published nearly 20 years ago, it is interesting to see how trends then and now are so similar.
This book included women of all skin tones and ethnicities; it had chapters on makeup looks, skincare, body care, nails, and step-by-step makeup application.
There’s tips for what looks best on African skin tones, Asian skin tones, and olive undertones, among others.
Mary Quant was teaching cut-creases long before Instagram, as this book shows. She gives a “palette” – a set of tools to help with each technique, and mentions what colors would be best suited for each look. There’s a section on shading and highlighting, glamorous looks for the fall or a date night, and the oh-so-hard-to-achieve No-Makeup Makeup look.
A decade later
Classic Makeup & Beauty by Mary Quant was the first makeup book I ever purchased, and while I bought many, many more after that, this book is so dear to my heart because it helped me get through the most trying time in my life – the gradual decline of my mother’s health, and her death in the spring of 2008, as her nearly five-year-long battle with cancer came to an end.
Armed with this book, some of my mother’s old eyeshadow palettes, and a Rs.100 ($1) kajal from a nearby cosmetics store, I tried and tried recreating the makeup looks within the pages as a way of keeping my mind and body occupied.
I remember the first look I ever tried from this book was the “60s style” one, with heavy kohl rimmed eyes, and nude lips. I ended up looking like the desi version of Beetlejuice, but hey; we all start somewhere.
10 years down the road, the one thing that has never failed to make me smile is makeup. No matter how shitty I feel, whenever I muster up the strength to put on some eyeliner, the day immediately gets a little better.
I have a lot of growing to do; in terms of my makeup journey, and otherwise, but I’m really glad I picked up Classic Makeup & Beauty by Mary Quant that fateful summer, 10 years ago. It has helped me in more ways than one.
Mary Quant was a fashion icon and makeup maven, known most prominently in the 1960s. She helped popularize the “mod” look, which put an emphasis on intense, large eyes, with clean skin, and pale lips.
She was also known for bringing styles like the mini skirt and hot pants to the forefront of fashion, and gave the mini skirt its name.
The pictures above are from her book Classic Makeup & Beauty, published by DK Publishers, under the DK Living Series, in 1998. I do not own any of the content in this book.
Classic Makeup & Beauty by Mary Quant is available here on Amazon.
Mary Quant Cosmetics are available here online.
THIS is my Instagram. Please give me a follow, and tell me how your makeup journey began! I’d love to hear all about it. 💕
Check my Instagram for this Pop-Art look which is perfect for Halloween.
Happy Halloween, all!
How will you be spending your Halloween? I’ll be curled up in bed with a cup of chamomile tea, reading some of my favorite ghost stories by MR James. You’re welcome to join me, if you like.