A line up of some of my favorite non-fiction reads in the beauty / luxury / technology space.
An amazing sequencing of the history of beauty through different cultures, spanning millenia. It's an awesome art historical resource for anyone who wants to understand on a macro scale the idea of "beauty trends." The pendulum of what's beautiful is always swinging, and I find myself comparing what I've read here whenever I anticipate new trends in UX, skincare, brows, etc.
I started reading Tufte back in 2009 with Visualizing Information and later came to this one which is such an amazing tour of the history of visualizations. When trying to visualize and demonstrate complex concepts in consumer experience, Tufte reminds us that the simplest way always works best. Keep it simple!
Even if you aren't a cosmetic scientist and you're just looking to navigate your own skincare regimen, this is a very helpful book that helps navigate ingredient lists and distinguish the good the bad and the ugly. I point out this book to clients who are developing their product, it helps anyone be able to speak confidently in the language of skincare and makeup.
I had the pleasure of working on some of the shoots featured in this book, an incredible collection that pushes the edge of what's considered beautiful, and culturally documents the extremes by which culture subjects itself in pursuit of beauty. A vital and constant aesthetic reference, featuring the likes of Irving Penn, David Sims, Steven Klein and more.
Unless you've been in the habit of reading WWD for the past 30-40 years, this book is an excellent resource filled with case studies of different luxury brands — what they did right and what they did wrong. Even though I believe that luxury now is "experience" instead of "commodity" it's helpful context for positioning in luxury retail sector.
I find myself thinking about pieces from this 18th century book by the famous philosopher whenever I try to describe the very 21st century difficulty in color matching foundations and concealers. A seminal book about how light literally changes the experience of color — it's important in not just color theory but the quite literal applied science of color.
By 2018, researchers projected that 60% majority of consumer sales would be mobile. That seemed wild to hear in 2013, but now that we're well in 2017, that doesn't seem far off at all. This book lays out exactly why dynamism is key; being able to quickly pivot is essential, especially in the technological sense.