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Pretty Honest

my favourite book

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

Put your favourite red on, pour yourself a cosy drink and turn off your phone: I promise you will not want to put Pretty Honest down. All my best friends, beloved family and as soon as my niece enters her teen, she too, they will ALL get a copy of Sali Hughes’s book, my beloved beauty journalist from The Guardian, The Pool, Sali Hughes Beauty and Soho radio.

In Pretty Honest, Sali Hughes draws on over 20 years of wisdom, advice and expertise to show real women how to make the most of makeup’s physically and emotionally transformative powers.

It’s part instruction manual (foundation and concealer, what on earth should I be using you for? Do I put my serum underneath or on top of my moisturizer? What should be in my essential beauty kit and what is just nice to have?) and part a love letter to make-up and being proud of who you are, which makes it so wonderful to read.
It covers everything: from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health.

Things Sali taught me and products she inspired me to try:

  • She just turned 40 and is remarkably beautiful. It is a good thing to have inspiring, strong and beautiful women to look up to. Just read her reaction to this moron on twitter. It’s a brilliant lesson for me.
  • There is a red lipstick for everyone and wearing one is can transform you from Clark Kent into Superwoman. I love mine from Guerlain, Chanel and Kiko.
  • ASTALIFT JELLY AQUARISTA is a wonderful and strange red serum from Fuji (!!!), using patented camera film technology that results in the tiniest microparticles of collagen ever used in skincare.
    The texture is strange, like putting gelatine on your face and you really have to use the tiny spatula it comes with. My skin looks really, really good. Everything looks plumper, smoother and even my skin tone is much more healthy than it usually is in winter.
  • DOUBLE WEAR ZERO SMUDGE LENGTHENING MASCARA by Estee Lauder: I have written about this mascara before and it is still my absolute favourite. Thanks to its tubing formula it does not smudge or stream
  • LONG-WEAR CREAM SHADOW STICK by Bobbi Brown’s A long-lasting, do-it-all eye shadow that’s a stroke of genius—just swipe and go. This budge-proof formula stays put for at least 8 hours. My favourite colour is Golden Bronze. PS Italian budget make-up brand Kiko always has a very similar long-wear shadow stick for a fraction of Bobbi’s. I tend to go back to BB but it’s nice for a crazy colour you will not wear much.
  • MASON PEARSON HAIRBRUSH A hand-crafted Mason Pearson leaves hair gleaming, without snag, drag or discomfort.
  • ULTRABLAND FACIAL CLEANSER by Lush. A thick cream made from honey, rosewater, iris and almond oil. for a rich, gentle cleanse. It’s thorough, rich and gentle. Just massage it in your skin, also on your eye make-up, and take it off with a too with a hot flannel. Leaves my skin super soft.
  • PRO LONGWEAR PAINT POT by MAC. A long-wearing blendable cream shadow that can be worn alone or with other products. I use camel which really evens my eye lid skin after which I have a blank palette for cat eye flicks or a ’natural’ make-up face.
  • BLUSH by NARS: a sheer powder blush in a range of natural shades. Yes, I agree with everyone on the planet, Nars’ blush is unbelievably good.
  • LIGHT-EXPERT CLICK BRUSH by Terry. Founded by Terry de Gunzburg, the French cosmetic guru behind Touche Éclat. it gives you a near-perfect base that stays put all day and doesn’t make you shiny. It successfully covers spots and blemishes, contains hyaluronic acid, which helps plump up fine lines, and silicone to give you a super-smooth and dewy finish. How to use this? Watch