Ellis Faas' first book "On the Edge of Beauty" is a collection of her makeup for her brand, editorials, and exhibitions. It presents an example of Faas' multifaceted work as a makeup expert and artist; an audacious and imaginative visual adventure that challenges the status quo, sparks creativity, and provides inspiration on the daring and innovative world of beauty.
I struggled with my rating on this one.... My first instinct was to give it 3 stars; however, after re-evaluating the book in terms of its overall content, I feel good giving this book a 4 star rating and here's why:
First, a little info on Ellis Faas. I think it's important to know who Ellis Faas is and what she does before you consider buying this book. If you are a professional makeup artist and you don't know who Ellis Faas is, I think you should turn in your brushes. For the general public though, she is not as recognized as lets say Kevyn Aucoin or Pat McGrath is. The most important thing to know about Ellis Faas is this: Vogue Paris called Ellis Faas "one of the most influential make-up artists of her time," and I would have to agree with that statement.
Ellis Faas was born and raised in the Netherlands. he packed up and went to Paris where she studied makeup and sfx at Christian Chauveau’s Technical School of Artistic Makeup. After she graduated, she returned to the Netherlands where she worked as a makeup artist for numerous fashion magazines. She then trekked off to London where used her sfx training to imitate various skin diseases for medical inserts.
Enter Mario Testino... famed photographer.... He had come to Amsterdam to shoot a series for L’Uomo Vogue. He searched for a local mua who would be able to run with his concept(s). He looked at the books of every artist in the country, and picked Ellis Faas. Ellis started travelling with Testino to Paris, London, New York and LA. Things really came to fruition for her when she met French fashion editor Emmanuelle Alt, who in turn introduced her to Karl Lagerfeld. She was an overnight sensation for the most part, and she started managing an army of mua's and instructing them how to apply the makeup she had designed for Lagerfeld’s, Fendi's and Chanel's shows. The rest, as they say, is makeup history...
If you are looking for an instructional/tutorial type of book, this one is not for you. The photos in this book are stunning; however, but if you already follow Ellis Faas' work, you've probably already seen most of the photos in this book, as it is a compilation of pre-released images and marketing slogans, and it lacks any 'educational' value. So why the 4 star rating? What Ellis Faas does is flat out fascinating. Talk about 'outside of the box' thinkers... Her work really cannot be categorized... some of her work it is awe inspiring and ethereal.... some of her work is disturbing and just plum crazy. Any way one chooses to look at her work, everything she does is deeply thought provoking. Ellis Faas shows us what is possible, not what is conventional. This book offers insight into her thinking process minus the words, and I think that is why I find this book so deeply moving as an artist. In my opinion, it is well worth the $20.