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Designing Your Face, by Way Bandy

By Sheila

While I’ve talked about Way Bandy before, one of our readers mentioned his iconic book Designing Your Face, and I thought I’d give you a little peek into his brilliance.

Way Bandy, who is unfortunately deceased, was THE celebrity makeup of the 70’s and 80’s. As a former literature instructor, he used his teaching skills to write a book to help people understand the bare bones of makeup theory and application techniques – literally!

Way was a firmly believe that you should know your face … that is, you should be well acquainted with your bones and your facial structure, so you could understand exactly how and where to place makeup.

It’s fascinating, really, to see how he approached makeup applications. Very precise and he didn’t really use that many products. He just knew what needed to go where in order to maximize the final effect. There aren’t any photos of his actual clients, but there are plenty of diagrams to tell you what goes where.

Now, there’s one thing that always bothered me, which is the products he used. Transparent fluids? Where the heck are you supposed to get those? They may be products that are no longer available, but still ….

Designing Your Face is no longer in print, but it’s not hard to locate used versions on Amazon.

Have you read any Way Bandy books before?

  • http://thevinylwordandothermusings.blogspot.com Deb

    Old makeup books are always fascinating to me. Some of them are even kind of funny when they have over the top trendy looks.
    I’ve never heard of transparent fluid either. From the look of the product, maybe it’s like a stain?

  • admin

    I guess so …

  • Candi Morgan

    I was given Way Bandy’s designing your face for my 15th birthday. It had just came out and I used the techniques for most of my makeup life. Never did find the liquids he talked of. He wrote another book Styling you face that remind me of Kevyn Aucoins works. Way Bandy was an inspiration to me then and now.

  • admin

    Candi – I was just looking at Way’s books again and it’s striking how he changed the way things were done!

  • Linda

    I too started with Way Bandy and I never found the transparent fluids either. Perhaps it was something that was just available in beauty stores and shops. I recently ordered another copy of his book “Designing Your Face” from amazon as mine is well used and falling apart.

  • Louis Braun

    He was my inspiration at 17, which launched my 30+ year career in the cosmetic industry. His few and basic techniques were the building blocks for what I know now. His books, Designing Your Face and Styling Your Face are the ONLY books anyone needs to learn about makeup. “Makeup artists” now are all about being fabulous and credibility relies on who you’ve “done” and not what you know. With all the digital nonsense, anyone’s work looks good- which isn’t saying much.
    There’s no one like him anymore …
    He was a pioneer …HE STARTED IT ALL.

  • Louis Braun

    About finding his products …it wasn’t about running out and buying everything he used. It was about using like products – even if it meant making it yourself. His whole concept was keeping the skin real, maximizing the eyes with simple tools and finishing with a pretty, kissable mouth…his products were only suggestions.

  • admin

    Yes, I completely agree with you, Louis! It’s so easy to throw out “celebrity” makeup artist these days. Thank you for sharing your memories of Way – such a great talent!

  • Paosjuan

    I wish you could show more of the book :-), it would be a treat to read, way bandy was indeed a legend.

  • Louis Braun

    I have come across something all of our “Wayfans” will find very amusing- (and fabulous) something I found slipped into a first edition “Designing Your Face” publication. How do I get a pic to the site for all to enjoy?

  • Louis Braun

    The coffeetable books, “Scavullo Women” and “Scavullo on Beauty” include several photographic portraits of Way’s work on some of his regular clients…not to mention some outrageously glamourous hair by Maury Hopson and Harry King!

  • admin

    Hi Louis! Send it over to paintedladies2009@gmail.com

  • Anne Schofield

    Hello Ladies,

    I worked with Way during my time at Charles of the Ritz in New York. He was Director of Makeup for Charles of the Ritz and worked in their New York salon before he want freelance.

    I was a Special Consultant for Charles of the Ritz, and during my travels to New York, I would stop by his salon for a big hug, and reminisce. I knew him from 1971 until the end of 1972 when I accepted an assignment in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    He loved to mix colors, and his hands were like butterfly wings floated over ones face. I have a photograph of him making up a fellow consultant. He truly was beautiful, and talented.

    I too have his book Designing Your Face, which I acquired in Johannesburg, and sadly returned to the USA after his passing. I will always remember Way Bandy, and my exciting years with Charles of the Ritz.

    You mentioned transparent fluids, which are not sold in stores or salons, but developed in labs. Which in turn is added to a foundation for its desired color. The first six items on the fluids page (after page 8) are sold over the counter, but in commercial packaging depending on the cosmetic company. To achieve the tone of the tinted foundations, you add the transparent fluid in small doses. Color is a science all its own.

    If anyone has a comment for me, I will be checking this site from time to time.

    I hope this helps, and my best wishes to all.

    Anne Schofield
    San Diego, CA

  • admin

    What a wonderful memory, Anne. Thank you for sharing! And thanks for explaining the fluids – do you have a particular lab you’d recommend?

  • Louis Braun

    I just read Anne Schofield’s post, how exciting!
    On finding a lab, I’ve worked on several lines, putting them together, and found INTERCOS, a lab in Milan is the best. However, for convenience, try THREE CUSTOM COLOR, a small, privately owned “couture” lab out of New York City. They will make up almost anything for you. The owner, Chad is great!

  • Anne Schofield


    Thank you for your great information on labs. Also, check out this site http://www.stylecareer.com/cosmetics_maker.shtml?gclid=CLenlZzY7qsCFSY0Qgod7SJfaw

    The only lab I am familiar with is Yves Rocher, in France, except I do not know if they do private work.

    Getting back to Way and his transparent fluids. It is possible he developed the fluids himself at home. Given the proper ingredients it is quite easy to achieve this. Check out the link above, it is quite an education.

    Best wishes,
    Anne Schofield

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/67499596920/ Jane Schott

    Check out the Way Bandy Association Face Book Page. We are planning a great giveaway of some personal items from Way that I acquired through my friendship with him.

    Join the site and see what we are raffling off in honor of his birthday, August 9th. You might be the lucky winner to own these historical treasures of a legend.

    Jane Schott