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Monde Shops 22 July 2021

Book Club: Beauty By The Pages

An in-depth selection of books to help you find the beauty in you.

Beauty can be hard to define, however, that didn't stop the variety of authors below giving it a go. Exploring the topic of beauty, wellness, and identity can be both light and dark, as the meaning of beauty through the ages has caused both harm and delight. Our curated list of books, novels and how-tos down below explore just how beauty can exist in all and any form, whether it comes from within, or a bottle, a surgeon, or a simply from acceptance.


Words By Olivia Davendra

Practical Guides to Beauty

You can either be born with it or you can learn it.

Make-up is both an art form and a ritualistic form of expression – and with both, practice makes perfect!

An all-inclusive guide for all your make-up, skincare, and wellness needs, we’ll make your morning and evening beauty regimes an easy breeze.

Authors have been methodizing essential beauty routines for as long as we knew how to pass information from generation to generation.

If you’re after something simple, like how to make a DIY face mask or the best way to moisturize, these books have you covered. Or, if you’re searching for the perfect contour technique to sculpt your face, we’ve still got you covered.

Here is a selection of guides that teach you ways to effectively beautify and glamorize your skin, from a range of make-up, beauty, and wellness bibles to keep close, in case of a beauty emergency.

Skinformation by Terry Vinson, was $29.95 now $24.25, Booktopia

Historical Explorations of Beauty

History should be studied and learnt, particularly, so the secrets and hidden rules of beauty can be excavated for a new era.

Time has learnt us beauty icons like Cleopatra, Frieda Kahlo and Padmavati.

Retro beauty secrets should not remain relics of the past and with these historians detailing the evolution of beauty through the ages and by-gone beauty icons, it will not.

It’s always interesting to see how time can change us, how we used to wear our hair to what we used to bathe in.

Beauty knowledge and myths have always been gifted to us by our grandma’s, black and white photographs of our ancestors, and starlets of the past and it is our job to absorb those gifts and pass that on to the next generations to come.

It’s fun to learn what to do and what not to do, from understanding our ancestors’ fatal beauty mistakes and successes. Like, the use of honey (a success) or the phenomenon of lead foundation (fatal).

On a lighter note, here are some of histories greatest hits when it comes to beauty.

Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge, was $39.99 now $30.95, Booktopia

Feminist Theory on Beauty

Beauty comes from within. In feminist theory, the feminist face has been a continuous topic.

Great activists of our time can teach us so much about what it means to be beautiful from the outside to within. To feel and, rather than, to see it.

Early feminist theorists discussed how beauty rules affected femininity through the ages, while modern takes involve analysis around the make-up industry and social media.

The concept of beauty is ever-evolving, no two people will ever have an identical philosophy.

Beauty is something that should be discussed critically and academically so that harsh norms that negatively affect society, can be eradicated. Beauty must be free and open to discussion.

Legends of the feminist movements, including Simone De-Beauvoir and Roxanne Gay, have given their voices to discuss beauty and how it can define and destroy us.

Let’s take a look at some brilliant feminist discourses surrounding the evolving rules, regulations and protests of beauty.

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given, was $29.99 now $24.25, Booktopia

Biographical Memoirs on Beauty

Beauty is personal and different for all. We aren’t born with the same skin and we all live through different experiences.

What beauty means to us, can mean something completely different to another.

In a world of individuality, we must cherish, listen and emphasise the experiences of others, and with that to be able to create an idea of beauty that is inclusive and free.

Our relationship with beauty developed when we are young, follows us through adulthood, and to our mature years.

Reading someone’s beauty journey, their life journey or their journey to self-acceptance can teach us so much about ourselves and others and can be a hard, emotional but worthwhile discovery.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholders down below have beautiful, devastating, and poetic truths to tell.

Here are the vulnerable, witty and impactful takes of Earth’s gorgeous people on beauty, love, self-acceptance, and wellness.

Everybody (Else) Is Perfect by Gabrielle Korn, $25.95, Booktopia

Where Identity and Beauty Meet

While our identities come from within, we sometimes wear them on the outside.

We live in a time that explorations of identity and what it means to be our true selves can be discussed more openly than ever before. Beauty and identity go hand in hand, they exist together.

Learning from people who have struggled, or have been empowered by their beauty and wellness journeys can enrich our beauty philosophies.

When ideas of beauty evade the constraints of imposing societal norms, we can create something truly beautiful – beauty that comes from being able to freely express ourselves.

Today, we are lucky to have publishers providing platforms to alternate beauty philosophies and forms of self-acceptance and identity.

Categories and labels to the side, beauty comes in every shape, colour, or form and these books can help you understand yourself and those around you.

Brilliant minds, like Nobel-Prize winning author Toni Morrison, lend their voices to us by exploring the different identities and experiences of the world that forever changes us.

Seeing Gender by Iris Gottlieb, was $55 now $39.75, Booktopia