Thursday, 23 October 2014

STORY TIME: Sali Hughes' Pretty Honest

It's our very first book review! I was very, very excited when I heard about Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest. I love and adore Sali Hughes, because she always talks about makeup and beauty eloquently and intelligently, and now she’s packed up all that intelligence and eloquence into a lovely pretty pink book to read.

It’s separated into chapters based sometimes on a particular type of beauty product (eg. foundations) and sometimes on a situation (makeup on the bus, morning after makeup, etc. etc.) and it’s just beautiful. It’s not, as you might expect based on other beauty books, just full of lovely pictures of makeup or products. There are very few pictures – and, while we’re at it, they’re lovely and accompanied by excellent quotes on beauty by excellent people throughout history – because this isn’t a book for Sali Hughes to say ‘look at these pretty faces, look at their pretty makeup’; it says ‘this is what I know, and I want you to know it too.’

I love that. I don’t necessarily agree with all the advice she gives – sorry, Sali, but you’ll have to pry my toner from my cold, dead hands – but I want to hear it anyway. Man or woman, young or old (there are chapters on that too) I promise that you will learn at least one incredible tip that you will probably use for the rest of your life. Even if you don’t feel that the book will be for you, you should read the  opening chapter (which you can find here on Amazon). It’s essentially an essay on what makeup and beauty means, and what it should mean for everyone, and what it shouldn’t mean but does to some.

It’s a reassuring perspective to read from an established professional woman, especially for people like me and Poppy. Even before this blog, we’ve always spent a lot of time talking about makeup, reading magazines at the back of the bus on the way to school, debating at length the benefits of one type of mascara brush over another. We’ve also experienced the ridiculous attitudes of other people in reaction to this kind of conversation about beauty - lots of blank looks, sometimes eye rolls. A lot of people seem to see it as a lesser interest, a shallow hobby, which is just bollocks, and Sali Hughes gets that. As she puts it, why can’t she paint her nails why shouting at Question Time? Well, she can, and so can I, and I’ll do it much better now that I’ve read her chapter on nails.  

Essentially, reading this book is like having a great long chat about beauty with a knowledgeable friend, which sounds like a fucking great afternoon to me, so I absolutely recommend you go and pick up a copy, make a cup of tea and crack on with it. My first instinct when I started writing this post was to go all A-Level English on you and pack it with quotes, but I’m not going to do that – instead I’m going to leave you with only my very favourite, the words that convinced me that Sali Hughes was my type of person and that I wanted to hear her opinion about everything:

“What balls.”
Hughes, Sali (2014)

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