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Summer reads

Summer reads
Palette: A Black beauty bible by Funmi Fetto (Hodder & Stoughton)

Palette: A Black beauty bible by Funmi Fetto (Hodder & Stoughton)

Seasoned journalist Funmi Fetto has written the ultimate guide to what makeup, hair and skincare products really work for women of colour. The Vogue and Observer editor knows from personal and professional experience how underserved Black women have been by the beauty industry, and how hit and miss products can be. So, this gorgeously illustrated book is both a rallying cry for all brands to engage with diverse beauty, and Fetto’s expert take on 200 or so go-to products – all delivered in her irresistibly warm writing style.

The New Beauty: A modern look at beauty, culture and fashion by Kari Molvar (Gestalten)

The New Beauty: A modern look at beauty, culture and fashion by Kari Molvar (Gestalten)

This thoughtful coffee table tome by The New York Times writer Kari Molvar is a deep dive into the culture of beauty and how rigid ideals are finally dissolving to make way for individual expressions of identity. Looking back at the social histories that have shaped beauty standards, The New Beauty then brings us up to date on innovations that are changing perceptions today. Whether its gender-subverting makeup brands or the body positivity movement, we’re in a time when the rules are constantly in flux.

Good Hair: The essential guide to afro, textured and curly hair by Charlotte Mensah (Penguin)

Good Hair: The essential guide to afro, textured and curly hair by Charlotte Mensah (Penguin)

Legendary hair artist Charlotte Mensah imparts her wisdom on afro, textured and curly hair in this celebratory book. With a foreword by Zadie Smith, it’s packed with anecdotes and advice covering off subjects such as identifying curl patterns, tackling hair loss and how to hone the art of cornrows and bantu knots. Mensah also examines the power and politics of Black hair and shares her personal journey from Ghana to opening her west London salon and becoming an authority on natural hair health.

Red Lipstick: An ode to a beauty icon by Rachel Felder (Harper Collins)

Red Lipstick: An ode to a beauty icon by Rachel Felder (Harper Collins)

A jam-packed compendium revelling in the history and allure of the world’s most iconic lipstick shade. Beauty writer Rachel Felder reveals the facts, faces and fascinations that have made red lips irresistible throughout the ages. With devotees ranging from Cleopatra to Rihanna, its associations with royalty and rebellion and its influence on fine art and literature, red lipstick has the ability to captivate like no other. As Felder writes, ‘Red is transformative; each little hit of colour brings with it a greater self-assurance, sexiness, glamour, magnetism, beauty and authority.

Nailed it: Nails, fashion, technique by Marian Newman (Laurence King)

Nailed it: Nails, fashion, technique by Marian Newman (Laurence King)

Nail supremo Marian Newman has been one of the most influential names in fashion and beauty for over two decades with celebrities, magazines and brands all lining up for her magic touch. Kate Moss, Gisele and Lady Gaga? Check. Over 50 Vogue covers? Done. Westwood, Dior and McQueen? Nailed it. In this book, she details some of her most renowned designs and tells us how to achieve these spectacular looks. She also shares what’s in her essential toolkit and some behind the scenes stories of her success.

Black Skin: The definitive skincare guide by Dija Ayodele

Black Skin: The definitive skincare guide by Dija Ayodele

‘Black skin is dynamic. Black skin tells a story. Black skin is beautiful.’ These lessons are at the heart of Dija Ayodele’s in-depth book. The aesthetician offers a guide to nurturing melanated skin including everyday routines, dealing with discolouration and dryness, and the low-down in key ingredients, debunking common myths and misconceptions along the way. ‘Black will crack if you slack,’ she warns. In addition, Ayodele examines how historic racism in the beauty industry led to damaging products such as skin bleaching creams. Conversely, Ayodele’s intelligent mantras are all about loving the skin you’re in.