Highsnobiety

A24, the entertainment company behind cult-y hits like Euphoria, Pearl, and Uncut Gems, is releasing a coffee table book on the art of movie makeup — specifically, its ability to transform actors into fantastical, and sometimes frightening, characters.

Aptly titled Beauty of the Beast, the volume is written by Emily Schubert, a makeup artist who has worked with an eclectic mix of public figures, from SOPHIE to Matthew Barney to Bill Clinton.

"Makeup is most often associated with beauty, and by extension, vanity," Schubert writes in the book's introduction. "We will see makeup as a portal. On the other side lies any kind of character or creature to wish to inhabit or conjure in someone else — and, with the help of a camera, immortalize."

Schubert got her start in high school, applying makeup to classmates who wanted to get out of tests — she'd use products like blush and mascara to make them look as if they were suffering from a cold or exhaustion.

In Beauty of the Beast, she shares her secrets to making people look older, younger, sicker, and healthier than they actually are. Schubert also offers step-by-step guides on special effects techniques, like applying prosthetics, bald caps, and fake blood and hair.

A no-nonsense manual written in the straightforward style of a textbook, Beauty of the Beast demystifies the hazy world of character and special effects makeup — a world that is often dominated by men.

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Over the past year, special effects makeup has gradually entered the mainstream, showing up everywhere from the Met Gala red carpet to Fashion Week. "People are more willing to fully transform and be a little bit unrecognizable," Malina Stearns, a special effects makeup artist who works with the likes of Doja Cat and Melanie Martinez, told Highsnobiety in 2023.

Whether you're an aspiring makeup artist or in search of something fantastical, A24's Beauty of the Beast (available online) is your ticket to a new world.

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