For many the beauty industry is an absolute minefield and Sali’s book provides an excellent guide through the difficult and often jargon-filled terrain. The book covers absolutely everything beauty related and does so thoroughly. Sali’s tone is friendly and knowledgeable (and at times matronly, think Mary Poppins). She understands how important beauty is and never trivialises it. This particular passage struck resonance with me, Sali writes: “for many women, looks become especially important at a time you’d least expect. During the darkest periods, beauty takes on an extra significance and, for many, can become one of our most effective coping mechanisms”. (p.3)
Makeup, for me, helps me deal with chronic pain and the limitations that imposes. I take quite a lot of medication which can make my skin look sallow and worn out. Plus I have a 2 year old. I’m knackered pretty much all the time. Makeup helps twofold: it makes me look better/healthier and it makes me feel better. These things aren’t mere fripperies or purely vanity. Makeup actively enhances my life and wellbeing. It helps me cope. And surely that can’t be a bad thing. Similarly, The Pool does a very good series in which Ella Risbridger eloquently writes about how lipstick helps her cope with her boyfriend’s cancer.
Firstly, and most importantly, Hughes describes how to find your skin type. This is a vital starting point. Once you’ve accurately pinpointed your skin type you can then learn how to care for it properly and also what type of makeup formulas are best suited to it. It’s really best you figure out what type you have and don’t let counter staff tell you what they think you have. I remember years ago a Clinique consultant analysed my skin type and it was a horrible experience. I was quite young at the time and she just made me feel even more self-conscious than I already was. So, get to know your own skin. This chapter will really help you get to grips with it.
The chapter on perfume, for example, offers practical yet innovative ways to help select your perfect scent and formula. I find perfume shopping overwhelming, there’s just too many to choose from! Sali offers clever tricks to help reset your nose when smelling several different perfume in a row gets too much, such as a clever trick with coffee. There’s lots of practical advice like this throughout the book that not only will appeal to beauty novices but will also keep aficionados happy too.
Hughes also offers several different methods for achieving different makeup looks, makeup for work, teen makeup for example. There’s a very useful guide to salon etiquette, what you should have in your basic kit, mature beauty, getting botox, beauty in illness, and so on, it’s all covered here. Seriously, everything has been thought of. This book is perfect for anyone interested in beauty. It’s no-fuss, highly readable style is suited for anyone beginning out or more seasoned beauty lovers. The new Sali Hughes Pretty Honest gold edition is beautiful and would make a lovely Mothers’ Day gift.
Have you read Pretty Honest?