Review: Pretty Honest

04 May

Hello dear reader(s) and welcome back to another instalment of Nessa reads and reviews! I’m reviewing Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion with a full face of makeup. It’s a Saturday afternoon and my plans for today consist of writing up this review and sitting on the couch catching


A tropical fruit basket I tell ya!

up on David Attenborough’s Our Planet documentary on Netflix. Still, I did a green smoky eye, put on foundation, blush, highlight and toped everything with a red lipstick just for the heck of it. Because I enjoy the combination of green eyeshadow and red lipstick. Because it’s the weekend, I have no prior obligations and I can play with makeup. However, if a friend invited me out for coffee or dinner or just to hang out… I have absolutely no problem going out of the house looking like a tropical fruit basket. 🙂 I happen to enjoy colourful eye looks, and greens and blues are among my favourite colours. What can I say, I’m a 80s girl. 😀 Although my makeup experimentations are amusing (at least to me they are, and on that high not I’m attaching a picture of me looking like a tropical fruit basket. You’re welcome and I’m sorry. 😀 ) I need to stop digressing and get back to reviewing this book.

Sali Hughes is a Welsh beauty journalist, writer and broadcaster. She wrote pieces for Grazia, ELLE, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, Glamour… She’s Guardian’s resident beauty columnist and those columns are a treat to read. Her no nonsense, smart, concise writing style makes the world of makeup, skincare and beauty in general less intimidating and more approachable to the everyday person who ordinarily might find all of this intimidating and/or confusing. She also has her own website, and she’s pretty active on her social media platforms. Pretty Honest (the book I’m reviewing today) is her first book.

If there was ever a subtitle of a book that pretty much explains what it’s all about and what the reader should expect you got it here with Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion – does what is says on the cover. 🙂 This is a book about beauty, however, it’s not just about the beauty products, their function and how one should put them on etc. Pretty Honest presents Sali Hughes’ view on beauty, her opinions about the meaning of beauty to herself, but also other women. Ms. Hughes writes about the importance of feeling beautiful and looking your best, and how a beauty product can help us cope when everything in life goes to shit. This quote, featured on the cover of the book had me nodding and it perfectly summed up why I think this book is wonderful and a staple item for every beauty lover out there.

The only thing worse than feeling like crap, is looking like crap too. Often we can’t do anything about the former, but I feel passionately that addressing the latter can only help.

I believe looking good to be an important and valid pursuit. All too often, women with an interest in their appearance are assumed to be stupid, shallow or unintelligent. Even traitors to feminism. But it’s perfectly normal to love both lipstick and literature, to be a woman who paints her nails while shouting at Question Time.

I strongly believe that all women, without exception, look better with beauty products. And the key word here is “better”. We don’t look at supermodels and want to look like them, and live on cotton wool and Marlboro Lights. Overwhelmingly, we just want to look like ourselves, only beautiful.

Pretty Honest is an excellent beauty companion for women and everyone who loves or is passionate about beauty. In her first book, Sali Hughes’ poured out all her knowledge about beauty, her passion about the subject and her wonderful no nonsense and approachable writing style. Her voice, opinions and her unique approach make this book a pleasure to read. Although, during my reading I didn’t agree with her opinions on certain subjects – mainly makeup and sometimes on skincare. However, that’s personal preference and difference in styles; the disagreement or difference of opinion was never caused because of the author’s writing style or content. You might experience or have experienced something similar while reading Pretty Honest, and honestly (no pun intended) that’s part of the fun about reading this book. We can agree or disagree with the author, but still acknowledge that she is a fountain of information and knows what she’s talking about.


If you’re debating about picking up this book, I truly recommend it. It’s an interesting and informative read about a fascinating subject, that won’t leave you drained and exhausted. You can read it during your commute to work, or during a lunch break; and even if you leave it on your bedside table a few days and pick it up later you won’t lose track of what you’ve read. 🙂 Which is always a good thing. 🙂 Until next time dear reader(s)!

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Posted by on 04/05/2019 in Literature


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