Sali Hughes – Pretty Honest: Beauty Book Review

By Get Lippie

I love beauty books, I’ve been collecting them for years now, and even have some that date back to the mid 1800’s.  There’s a special joy in reading beauty regimes from days gone by, and if the book dates back far enough, they’re a wonderful historical document, opening your eyes to just what life was like for women back in the day.  On the flip-side of that coin, there’s the special joy that comes from reading a mid-1980’s beauty book, and laughing at all the pictures and wondering how the hell no one noticed just how INSANE they looked. I have a lot of books from the 80s for some reason … funny that.

Traditionally, “modern” beauty books fall into two categories: the picture heavy “How To” tome, usually presented by a makeup artist, filled with impossible to follow “simple” instructions, which are usually dated the second they’re sent out from the printer, and the second is a “lifestyle” kind of tome, filled with snippets of how the author (usually a “celebrity” of some kind) lives their “beautiful” life, replete with soft-focus heavily posed pictures of said celebrity in yoga positions, arranging flowers, diet tips, and a small interview with their hairdresser or makeup artist towards the back.

Delightfully, Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes doesn’t fall into either of these categories, being on the text-heavy side, and providing more of a guide for people who fall into the “What the hell are they talking about now?” category when faced with a “helpful” sales assistant in Debenhams. We’ve all been there. I’ve actually been known to say it to them, which is why I had to move to London where no one recognises me in the department stores any more.

Pretty Honest is logically laid out, with discrete chapters on every aspect of skincare and make up, for all ages, and whether you like to where a little makeup or a lot.  Sali (rightfully) avoids the trap of recommending specific products for specific uses. This can be a particular pitfall of so many books because, as we all know brands tend to discontinue things (or change the formulation) the very second people fall in love with them. Yes, I’m looking at you, Chanel India Pink lipstick.

Refreshingly candid, funny and down-to-earth, I enjoyed reading (and I do mean actually reading, as opposed to flicking through and admiring the pictures) Pretty Honest a great deal.  It reminds me, in the very best of ways, of how beauty blogs used to be before the hidden sponsorship and “lifestyle” prettiness took over a year or so ago.  I love the pretty blogs, actually, but I do genuinely prefer meaty content to beautiful pictures and Pretty Honest has that in spades.

It’s actually a consumer guide on to how to use products (and avoid skincare problems), disguised as a beauty book and I, for one, am glad that it exists.  Sali’s a great bunch of lads, and whilst I think she’s frankly insane on the issue of foundation primers, there’s a lot of great information in here.

It’ll make a fantastic beauty-related gift for anyone who’s ever worn lipstick.  It’s £22 and available in all good bookstores now.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

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1 Comment

  1. October 30, 2014 / 9:47 pm

    What an honest review ! I think i am going to read this book soon.

    I am really curious about the beauty book collection. I would love to see some of these insane pictures.

    Thank you for sharing.

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