Make-Up Art

Make-Up Art coverMake-Up Art

Submitter: This book looked like a good choice back in 1991. However it has not circulated in some time. It’s pretty grubby with what I hope are just makeup stains. Some of the sketches are let’s say… Interesting.

Holly: Ummm…yeah. The Chinese Mask is definitely a no-go. Cultural appropriation is not cute. The back of the book (image below) says it’s the “most modern” on the subject. This is a series – I wonder what’s in the other volumes??

Chinese mask


The Duchess

Make-Up Art back cover


  1. This book just reminds me how toxic the whole human race has become. People will look at the Chinese makeup and scream cultural appropriation which they can’t tell apart from cultural appreciation but they probably still eat Chinese food. They’ll look at the kid with the animal face and scream that they’re a “furry” who does it with animals. I’ll bet soon we won’t even be able to have pets or like animals at all without being called a furry.

    Stop the world, I want to get off.

    1. This is a tough issue to navigate. I have often noted that people from the culture being appropriated actually love it and are thrilled and excited when people outside the culture use it. Perhaps this is because, in my case, these are usually people from outside the US who have moved here? I don’t want to offend, but am not quite sure what is offensive.

      1. There is always the chance, similar with most risks. Legitimate response is reducing the risk, and if it is still too high in your judgement, dropping the idea. Focus groups are the butt of much ridicule, but they exist so people can find out from those who know. If I don’t know, I want someone who does to tell me if I’m incorrect, or insulting.

  2. There are so many new techniques and materials, so this is even more out of date than you might suspect at first glance.

    The sketches are, well, sketchy.

  3. Now I need to go watch some “Skin Wars” to remind me what real makeup and body art can do!

  4. “Ummm…yeah. The Chinese Mask is definitely a no-go. Cultural appropriation is not cute.”

    Do you refuse to buy particular books for a public library on those grounds?

  5. Let me just say that I am by no means right-wing, more middle Left, but I am so not down with offense taken by so-called “cultural appropriation.” So for Halloween, let’s say, a Mexican child is not allowed to dress as Heidi because that’s biting off of the Swiss? A Korean woman cannot dress as a Pilgrim? What about in a play? Can a Nigerian man play the part of a Kenyan, or must a Nigerian be cast? Do we have to then find a Nigerian who is from the exact village the character is supposed to come from? The same street? Can a German actress play an Italian? Can an Italian play the part of Cleopatra? Can I participate in the ethnic dancing at a Greek Orthodox wedding reception or is that cultural appropriation because I am of German descent? It’s nonsense. This is especially ridiculous when it comes to children playing, to tell a child you are not allowed to pretend to be anything other than what you are “because you are not that, and that is cultural appropriation.” The PC helicopter police need to give it a rest. Or maybe we should just cancel everything, including society and all human interaction because someone might be offended or micro-offended. And this is coming from the Left. Just stop it.

    1. Exactly. Like, is Ben Kingsley only allowed to play characters who are, ethnically speaking, part Indian and part white English? He’s played everything from Iranian to Jewish to gentile white guy. So much appropriation!

    2. I think you are not understanding the point of this website. For the most part librarians are concerned if books misrepresents a particular group or culture. If you read the comments on this post you might realize that not everyone is necessarily in agreement that this qualifies as cultural appropriation.
      Also, you are confusing cultural appropriation with cultural appreciation. Participating in cultural activities or wanting to learn more is appreciation. Most of your examples are appreciation. Appropriation is problematic when historically marginalized groups are exploited by those in power. Examples are when stereotypes are reinforced or culturally important symbols, art, and religion are misused.

      1. What do you thing the appropriation is in this specific case? It misrepresents real Chinese masks? There’s something exploitive about a non-Chinese kid painting their face to look like one? Does the mask have some type of religious significance?

      2. I’m guessing the Chinese mask is offensive because it makes the kid look like the stereotypical inscrutable East Asian villain?

        1. I Googled “Chinese mask,” and this face painting appears similar to some of the masks used in Chinese opera.

  6. I think 90% of this cultural appropriation thing is a total PC crock. How long a “don’t” list do kids have to abide by when wearing a COSTUME for Halloween or even a play? Obviously some extremes can be avoided, but geez, this woke world is killing us with self righteous rules.

  7. great book for learning the John Wayne Gacy method of clown makeup application

  8. Holy heck, I REMEMBER THIS BOOK! For some reason as a kid I read it over and over again at the library alongside a Roald Dahl cookbook.

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