Wednesday 15 October 2014

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

I wasn't going to review this for two reasons. The first was that I used to work for the publishers so it may seem like sucking up. It's not. The second is that it has so many reviews but then I remembered that this is my blog and I'll do what I bloody well like.

Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion has made me question whether I should keep blogging at all. When I started this blog in 2006 it was partly because I was always being asked advice by my friends (based on the obscene amount of products I owned. I thought if I put it down in writing it would be there as an online reference. Now all you need to know is here in one book.
Pretty Honest by Sali HughesMy writing is nowhere near the standard of Sali's but it's where I hope I'm heading. We both have an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge and an almost obsessive interest in beauty and skincare that I don't think is that common. Yes there are tons of beauty blogs out there but I wonder how many of the writers relentlessly read and research the ingredients in all their products so they can know more about how everything actually works. I am one of these people. And so is Sali Hughes.

When I first heard about this book it was described to me, and I've heard Sali describe it, as a series of essays it put me off rather. I didn't want to read essays on someone's opinion on skincare and make-up. This is not what it is. Yes I suppose technically you could call it essays but the book does not read like that. It is sections on everything from your daily skincare routine (with all skin types properly covered) to anti-aging, foundation to blusher, bridal make-up, pregnancy and pretty much everything in-between.
There are a few things I don't agree with. I do believe that toners work though I think that Sali is referring to the old style of toners where as now more and more are containing acids so when she refers to acid exfoliators I think of that as my toner. And I am going to continue using (mens) disposable razors to shave my legs.
But what I love most about this book is how it has completely captivated so many people - nearly all my female friends are reading it, my Twitter friends are all over it and changing their skin routines and the way they approach make-up. With so many beauty blogs out there a lot of women don't have the time to sift through all the review on every product. Pretty Honest found a gap in the beauty market and it filed it perfectly.

This is not all down to Sali's reputation as a beauty writer but it's the style in which this book is written. No nonsense, no fuss, no extra words, no slang words removed by the editors (that I can see), not that she uses 'slang' but you feel more as if she were sitting on the edge of the bath in your bathroom telling you what to do with your eyebrows, how to wear a red lip or what ingredient you actually need in your 'anti-aging' products. It's not patronising, there is not too much information, just enough. Just what you need to know.

The production of Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion is absolutely beautiful, the photographs perfect and the layout easy to follow - the whole book has a polished but personal feel. I wish I had a teenage girl relative that I could give this book to, I wish this book had been available to me when I was younger - though I love having it now. It fits all ages, all skin types, all personality types. I think this is my book of the year.

You can see Sali talking about her book here and watch lots of lovely videos by her on the rest of her YouTube channel, and at many signings and events. Probably best to follow her on Twitter to get the latest info.

2016 UPDATE: Pretty Honest is now available in beautiful gold-foiled paperback and Sali's next book Pretty Iconic is out in October 2016.


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