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Face Painting, A Book Review

Face Painting by Reggie Wells happens to be a book on African-American Beauty Techniques. However, this book is so much more. Written by the Emmy Award-winning Reggie Wells with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, Reggie explains his beliefs, that the application of makeup should not be complicated. The third child of seven, Reggie began to discover his talent while in the second grade. Busy, his parents did not notice. When he became older, and went to work for a Jewish shopkeeper, Reggie’s talents were noticed, and that shopkeeper, Mrs. Mintz, inspired the young man to take his artistic abilities to the next level by going to college.

The book tells of Reggie's struggles as a teacher, his then-chosen profession and of his struggles to break into the makeup business. It also tells of how Reggie's dream started to become reality. Then readers journey with him from height to height as a makeup artist. Highly sought after, the artist behind the brush was then able to put together a formidable portfolio, one that showcased his work in ads for makeup giants Revlon, Almay, and others. He also worked with big-name models, some of whom were Kim Alexis and Janice Dickenson. With those accomplishments, he decided he wanted to work with the models at the predominately African-American Essence magazine.

There are a host of interesting things that took place from that point on, causing Reggie Wells life to become like a whirlwind; one day here, the next, there. He tells of how ‘the business' enabled him to reap benefits he'd previously never dreamed of. I like that the book feels like a conversation, sort of like I'm having with you. It feels as though Reggie is taking us through this beautiful maze that has been his life. He also displays photos, full-color glamorous shots of many of the women he’s worked with. There are photos that most of us have seen, of young angelic voiced Whitney Houston and the rapturous Anita Baker. The photos of beauty pageant diva Vanessa Williams and media titan Oprah Winfrey are to be pored over.

In Face Painting the makeup artist tells stories about each woman and how he and she came to create her signature look. But, my darlings, Mr. Wells didn't stop there. He so graciously offers a whole section of the book that teaches a reader, step by step, with diagrams, how to get the look they desire. Not only does he speak of shading and the different cosmetic brushes to use, he delves into the basics, like proper skin care. I could go on about this book that I so enjoyed, but I will not. I will only say that for me, one who loves makeup and techniques, this book ranks with the best. Do look for it, and when you find it, enjoy!

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