On My Beauty Bookshelf: Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

On My Beauty Bookshelf - Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

I’ve been meaning to review this book for a while now, but I wasn’t sure if you’d be up for a book review here on BA. I took to Twitter for opinions and the consensus was a resounding yes! A good book to start with would be one of the best beauty books that I’ve read in a while, and that’s Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes.

If you’re unsure about who Sali Hughes is, she’s a popular journalist in the UK (in 2011, she became The Guardian Weekly’s beauty columnist) and makes regular radio and TV appearances. She started out as an assistant makeup artist and worked her arse off to where she is today. She’s a good friend of my skincare hero, Caroline Hirons (you should watch their YouTube videos on Hughes’ channel. They’re hilarious!).

On My Beauty Bookshelf - Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

Pretty Honest is what I’d call a no-bullshit beauty bible. It covers topics like your daily skincare routine, how to manage beauty counter staff, how to look good in a picture, salon etiquette, how to get Botox, acne and much more. She covers a range from teen to mature beauty. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but she jumps from one unrelated topic to another from chapter to chapter. It’s not exactly a smooth transition of topics. I actually like the way it’s written because I don’t have to skip to the “good and juicy” bits of the book right off the bat.

On My Beauty Bookshelf - Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

If you’re expecting a lot of pictures in the book, you’ll be sorely disappointed because for a beauty book, there are barely any. It’s a thick book with lots and lots of words, which is not the typical sort for the beauty genre. But it makes sense because why put in pictures of products that may be outdated in a few years to come when the words alone would suffice? Hughes’ dry sense of humour is clear throughout the book and it makes a very entertaining read even though it’s just blocks of text page after page.

On My Beauty Bookshelf - Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

One of my favourite chapters in the book turned out to be the second last chapter in the book called “Saving the best for now”. She talked about how she saved a large pack of very expensive La Mer products for special occasions because they were so expensive to use. I’m not going to give you any spoilers here in case you’d like to read the book but that chapter resonated very well with me. It made me question why I’m keeping all the good stuff that I have for last when I should really be using them right now.

On My Beauty Bookshelf - Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

Reading the book is like talking to a girlfriend about beauty. It was a very enjoyable read. I read this on my Kindle but I liked it so much that I purchased a hardback copy of it for my bookshelf. I’ve also given this book to friends.

There are plenty of beauty books in the market but few really give you the lowdown. There are beauty books that I enjoy purely for the pictures but when it comes to something I’d happily read over and over, I’d pick Pretty Honest. I’m currently re-reading the book and I’m still enjoying it.

If you like reading about beauty and a bit of goss about the beauty industry, I highly recommend Pretty Honest. Personally, the hardback version isn’t really necessary if you’re happier reading books on your Kindle or other mobile devices. Like I said, there are only a few photos in the book and they’re not essential to be viewed on a physical copy. But will a physical copy look good on your bookshelf? Hell yeah. 😛

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes is available on Amazon and all major bookstores nationally.

Have you read this book? Do you enjoy reading beauty books? Which one’s your favourite?

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11 comments… add one
  1. Asha

    HA! Love Caroline Hirons! These two posts:

    Were the first beauty related things that actually made me snort with laughter, the beauty world tends to take itself too seriously in general (“If you don’t have this serum, you will absolutely DIE! No, I won’t its friggin’ serum, priorities people!) so it was completely refreshing to read something that didn’t!

    1. Tine

      HAHAHAHAHAHA how did I miss those?! OMG so funny! I love it when she says things like “product X is good but it’s not the second coming of Jesus”. Cracks me up big time.

  2. Robert C

    I love Sali’s in the bathroom series! Especially the one with Mary Greenwell cause she’s my make-up hero. Okay, let’s be honest, I have tons of make-up heroes on my list including Lisa and Pat ha. I got the book late last year and I’ve read it cover to cover in just 2-3 days haha. I find her advice and stories very interesting. It’s interesting for me because it’s like reading these topics from someone else’s perspective I guess. My favourite skin-care/beauty related books currently are Sali’s and Paula’s. The latter can be abit encyclopedia-ish hahaha
    Robert C recently posted..[review] Kate Somerville – Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF50+ PA+++ Anti-Aging SunscreenMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Me too! I usually take a while to read a book but I breezed through this one. It’s so good. My next beauty book review would be Madeleine Marsh’s Compacts And Cosmetics. Have you read it? I haven’t finished it yet but omg it’s so good. Best sort of history books to read, really. 😛
      I’ve got Lisa Eldridge’s Face Paint on pre-order. Cannot. Wait.

  3. MonicaP

    Good review! I’m glad you showed a few pages .. rather makes me want to pick this book up ~ asap.

    MonicaP recently posted..Christie Brinkley Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating PolishMy Profile

    1. Tine

      The Kindle version is sufficient because it’s so wordy but I reckon you’ll want the physical copy because that’s one heck of a book. Looks great on a bookshelf too if I may say so. 😛

  4. Cocoa

    You have a great review! I follow Sali Hughes on YouTube, and I love how she is such a level-headed woman. It makes her fresh air in the world of never-ending shiny, sparkly makeup and beauty. Initially, I was skeptical about her book. She appears unreal at times. I am so glad your review has cleared up the air for me. I am ordering a copy now.
    Cocoa recently posted..Travel Theme: Grasses | Lush CarpetMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Sali’s different from, say, Caroline Hirons. She does come across as aloof at times in her videos. But I cannot recommend this book enough if you want to learn more about beauty. I wouldn’t say that most of what she wrote will be new to you but it’s a good perspective into her outlook of beauty as well as some juicy titbits that she shares in the book.

      1. Cocoa

        I find that you have successfully shown me something new – her perspective, and that is something I could learn. A lot of information will not be new to people of a certain age – those who watch YouTube makeup when Michelle Phan only had five videos. Yet there is always space for more! Looking forward to receiving my books in the mail!
        Cocoa recently posted..Singapore Skyline | TravelMy Profile

  5. Joyce | bronzer bunny

    i’ve been wanting to read this but have found that i’m SO bad now and never read books I buy. so, if i read some of the other things I have, then i’ll get this one. Thanks for the review!
    Joyce | bronzer bunny recently posted..Glow & Go With RenMy Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure, Joyce! This was definitely a good read. Like reading fun beauty blogs back to back 😛

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