The Makeup Toolbox by Shen Jiahui: Learn Makeup Techniques, No Need SkillsFuture Credit!
“Chen, who just started attending a makeup course, meets the quiet and mysterious Jane.
As the two begin their journeys to becoming makeup artists, will they be able to handle the challenges ahead?”
Tags and themes:
#career #workplacedrama #professional #motivation #makeup #skills #learning #improvement #urban #romance #drama #adulting #femalelead #seinen #manga
What’s it about and why should I read it?
It is not every day you can come across a comic book created by a qualified professional who can teach practical skills and reveal the inner workings of the trade, but if you’re looking for one of such career-themed comics, you should grab The Makeup Toolbox (MUTB). The creator of the series gave up a stable job in the education sector to pursue her dream, first by obtaining a Professional Diploma in Makeup Artistry, then by toiling away in soul-sucking retail before joining a film crew as an onset makeup artist, dragging heavy tool boxes around some ulu parts of Singapore in ungodly hours. Having dwelled with making comics since her youth, Shen crystalized her knowledge and experiences into a comic series that offers both practical skills and intensely enjoyable drama, told through the encounters and interactions of two talented aspiring makeup artists, Jane and Chen.
Practical techniques delivered in MUTB are interwoven into the plot and deviates from the dry, didactical and text heavy modes of most instructional and educational comics: From how different textures of foundations interacts with various skin types, de-escalating conflicts with demanding clients, working on models who are divas, to last minute hectic damage controls in the backstage, each episode of MUTB offers a realistic glimpse into the highly rigorous training and physically demanding job scopes of novice makeup artists, far away from the one-dimensional media representations of glamorous influencers, youtubers and celebrities.
Thematically, professional makeup application extends beyond narcissistic pursuit of personal beauty, and MUTB presents a variety of situations that require the applications of makeup, such as stage performances, commercial modelling, television and more, at times challenging readers’ assumptions about beauty, gender-conventions, and consumerist culture. As newly independent young adults, Jane and Chen also have to navigate both professional sphere and personal life, where complicated interpersonal relationships are often compounded by unresolved personal insecurities. MUTB speaks to the contemporary working adult with its blurring of work and life, and the intertwining of hardship and passion.
Where can I get it?
Read on WebToon:
Get the physical books directly from the artist:
Purchase books and other goodies from the publisher’s official website:
Get the eBook from Google Play Books:
You can also borrow them from public libraries!
On-going manga series. Physical and digital publication. Available in English and Chinese.
- Volume 1 The Makeup Toolbox: The Foundation Story (2018). 126 pages. Monochrome inner pages.
- Volume 2 The Makeup Toolbox: The Colour Story (2019). 112 pages. Monochrome inner pages.
- Volume 3 (finale) in production.