* Prices may differ from that shown
~~~Fashion Angels Make-up & Hair Sketch Portfolio ~~~
I love crafts; I live for crafts, and could quite happily spend the rest of my days doing nothing else. Real life gets in the way from time to time, and I have to do boring things like wash and clean etc. I have two daughters, and whilst one has absolutely no interest in gluing, sticking and colouring, as she calls it; my youngest daughter is following in my footsteps and is a marvel at anything creative.
When I saw this set in the local Hobbycraft I thought it was just the thing to encourage her creativity and imagination, along with her sense of style. This kit is essentially a colouring book, with a more 'grown-up' theme, to the usual colouring books aimed at children on the market. The age recommendation is for 6+, although my niece used this adequately although not without a few minor hitches, from the age of four. When I first purchased this, it cost a whopping £12.99, but this was still a very reasonable price for the play value, and use it's had since then. Looking at Amazon today, you can buy these from as little as £5.93 including postage and packaging, which is an absolute steal in my opinion. OK, it's expensive for a colouring book, but this is so much more than that.
~~~ The Portfolio ~~~
This book measures 25 x 27 cm and set on the landscape. It's quite a substantial size, yet it's not too large for placing on a child's lap tray or small desk. I like the fact that its spiral bound from the top, and the covers rather than being hard backed are constructed from a thick, yet pliable plastic. The benefit to this is, when you are colouring you can actually colour right up to the edges of the design; sometimes with portrait style books, with a bound edge, you end up struggling on the left hand side, especially if your child is left handed. Being spiral bound, also means that it lies flat and doesn't keep trying to close on itself; that always used to bother me as a child.
Inside, you will find in excess of 36 pages of outlines. I've just counted the pages and although there are now 36 pages in there, my daughter has on occasion removed her masterpiece to display upon the kitchen fridge or to present to her grandparents. Although the pages are not perforated, due to the way it is presented, it is extremely easy to tear each page out, without ruining the remaining pages.
~~~ Downfall ~~~
There are three outline designs included - head and shoulders, head, shoulders and hands, and just hands on their own; all in various poses. The outlines are flesh coloured, a rather pale peach colour. This is the only flaw of the portfolio for me. There should be a variation of skin tones available, not everyone on this earth is the same. There should be the addition of Asian skin tones, West Indian etc.; not only would it give this product wider appeal but also to make it a more relevant representation of society.
Also included, is six sheets of stencils. These are construction from some sort of thick acetate, or thin plastic. These are extremely flimsy and flexible, and where my four year old niece found she had trouble. Above the 6 year old age recommendation, they would have better hand eye coordination and better pencil control, in order to utilise the stencils adequately. Younger than this, you may find the stencils to be far too flexible and are more of a hindrance than a help. The stencils contain a vast array of shapes and in a wide range of sizes - there are hair styles, eye brow styles, head bands, embellishments, bracelets and bows, all there to create your own designs.
~~~ Creativity ~~~
To get your creative juices flowing further, at the back of the book there is a selection of inspirational completed pictures featuring both hair and makeup designs, either to copy, or just get inspiration from. The instructions for use are really child friendly and done pictorially. There is also help with colour theory - the science of tints, shades, complementary and harmonious colours, and also colour blending and shading. Whilst this goes over the heads of the younger designer, my daughter now aged almost 10, is beginning to take these considerations on board, and as a consequence, her make-up and hair designs have improved dramatically.
~~~ In summary ~~~
As I think my review reflects, I highly rate this Fashion Angels Make-up and Hair Design Portfolio. It's been a lovely addition to my daughter's craft collection, and is perfect for rainy day play, or just when the mood arises. With the prices available today, it makes a wonderful (not so) little stocking filler or birthday party gift.
Despite it's flaws it still gets five Dooyoo stars from me, along with a glowing recommendation. :)