Sali Hughes Pretty Honest


Hello beauties,

Today is an unusual post as I am reviewing one of my favourite books, Sali Hughes Pretty Honest: The Straight Talking Beauty Companion. Sali Hughes is one of my favourite beauty writers, she has a column in The Guardian on a Saturday and on that morning it is my go to section. I also really enjoy her beauty videos on her website where she interviews people in the industry called “In The Bathroom With”. Check them out, but be prepared to get hooked and spend a LOT of time watching!

Pretty Honest is an amazing book whether you are 18 or 80, it has brilliant straight forward advice written in such a friendly style. I always feel that Sali is telling me some of her best secrets that I hadn’t heard from anyone else. I will do a short synopsis of each chapter. This is a bit of an epic post so grab a cuppa and get comfy.

  • What’s Your Skin Type

Until I  was about 20 and had a consultation at a counter, I didn’t really know much about skin types. I knew I was oily but didn’t know the best way to treat my skin. Sali explains how to diagnose your skin type in this chapter

  • Managing Counter Staff

If you are anything like me, you are a beauty junkie but I am slightly intimidated by Counter Staff whenever I go into a store. I know, I am an adult I shouldn’t be afraid to browse but I do find some staff pounce on me too quickly and it puts me off. Sali guides you here with the best tips that will give you confidence when you are next at your local beauty counter.

  • Your Daily Skincare Routine

In this chapter Sali demonstrates a basic routine for skin maintenance, you may have your own opinion of what your daily regime should be, but Sali goes through her reasons why she prefers particular steps and in which order products should be used.

  • How To Look Good in a Picture

As Sali has to be photographed for her job, she takes us through the common pitfalls that can happen when we take photos and what we can do to fix them. Ideal chapter for those who loves their selfies!

  • Basic Kit: The Products You Need Now (And the Stuff You Don’t)

This is one of my favourite chapters, I am extremely nosey and I love to know what people like to use in their daily routines. Sali gives you the basics here and why. What I do really enjoy about this one is Sali gives you some high end brands but also more budget friendly ones too. And also tells us those things you don’t need like cellulite treatments (you can’t get rid of it) so we can all save our hard earned cash! Again, like the daily routine chapter you may not agree totally, for example I do use a separate eye cream as I get great results from it, however there is good reasoning behind Sali’s guidance.

  • Salon Etiquette

Another chapter I read with great interest, I enjoy a salon/spa treatment but it happens very rarely so it is good to know what the salon therapist expects of you and exactly what you can expect by having certain treatments. Sali gives you sensible advice here even down to what you should wear.

  • Foundation

One of the most expensive beauty mistakes women can make is shopping for foundation. Sali states what kind of bases their are from BB creams to mineral powder and how you should choose your shade and the best way to apply.

  • Anti Ageing

A mind boggling beauty subject if ever there was one! Sali explains the basics of what happens to skin as we age and the best things we can do (or not) to get the best out of our skin. Beauty brands are forever telling us of the new miraculous ingredient that will stave off ageing, but there are some proven things for example the use of retinols and sunscreen that really are helpful.

  • How To Get Botox

I am very much of the opinion that badly done, Botox and fillers can actually make you look worse and sometimes give you a very plastic apperance. However, if this is something that you are interested in trying, this chapter gives the best tips to achieve a realistic result.

  • Brows

You can’t go anywhere in beauty land without someone telling you how key eyebrows are to the structure of your face. I am extremely lazy with mine, but I am lucky in that I have very dark and bushy brows. I must take Sali’s advice here though and get mine professionally seen to!

  • Public Displays of Grooming

Not a thing I agree with, I don’t want to see you applying your makeup on the bus, just get up earlier! However Sali disagrees here and gives you the correct etiquette on how to apply your makeup on the go and specific tasks that should be left at home.

  • To Wax or Not To Wax

An entertaining chapter here but nontheless with sensible guidance on hair removal, some advice I wish I had received as a teenager when I started shaving my legs.

  • Teen Beauty

This a great chapter, again advice I had wish I had received at the time, going through some excellent dos and don’ts you can easily pass on to any Teens in your life.

  • Perfume

I do enjoy a lovely fragrance and before I was interested in beauty I didn’t know the differences between EDT and EDP. Sali reveals each fragrance formula and how you should choose them.

  • Beauty and The Careerwoman

We all have different makeup looks for difference places, work, home or great night out. Sali gives the essentials you should have in your desk and what is appropriate for the workplace.

  • Mature Beauty

Just with the Teen chapter, Sali lets us know in a very kindly way how to make the best of ourselves as we get older and gives us troubleshooting ideas that help rather than hinder. Especially when she advises to ditch the magnifying mirror!

  • Acne

Some excellent advice here for anyone that suffers with acne not just for the appearance of your skin but the health of it too. Sali advises not just going to a GP but also recommends a dermatologist if you have a severe case of acne. There is lots of advice here for parents that is useful too.

  • What Men Want

An interesting chapter on whether us ladies wear makeup for us or to be more attractive to men. There is some advice on Date Night makeup and also what you may need for the “Walk of Shame”.

  • Showing Some Skin

In this chapter, Sali discusses specific skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and how you can get advice and treatments. I gleaned more about the conditions I have and what I can do to manage them.

  • Beauty Gifts

This is a great chapter on giving you ideas of the best beauty gifts you can buy and for whom. A lot of us wouldn’t spend £30 on one lipstick for ourselves, however that would make a fantastic gift for your best friend for her birthday or at Christmas.

  • Red Lipstick

As Sali so rightly says, a red lipstick is the little black dress of beauty. Here is how to find your best shade and the best way to apply.

  • Hair Problem Solving

Sali gives you fixes for the most common hair problems and products that actually work. Dry Shampoo being a favourite as well as mousse, curl cream and heated rollers.

  • Beauty Icons

Sali’s 12 Beauty Icons.

  • Beauty and Motherhood

In this part of the book Sali imparts how skin and hair can change through pregnancy and also those pesky things that can turn up after birth. As well, there are some beauty treatments to consider before B Day.

  • Getting the perfect Manicure and Pedicure

The best tips and tricks that will get you great results for your mani/pedi at home.

  • How to Pay and Receive Compliments

Something that we British are rubbish at doing, Sali says they are like medicine. You might not want to take them, but they are good for you! Sali then tells us of the sisterly feedback we should give to stop others looking crap.

  • Beauty in Illness

How we can not just make ourselves look better but feel better when we are faced with illness. I particularly related to this chapter as I have tons of makeup yet rarely use it. I feel better when I do so I really should make the effort.

  • Colour Rules: Who can Wear What

Straight forward rules on colour combining and what suits your skin tone.

  • Some Things You Think That are Hard But Aren’t

Sali tells us the things we think are tricky really aren’t (for example winged eyeliner) and how to do them. In this chapter Sali discusses good quality makeup brushes and the ones you should own in your kit.

  • Bridal

Excellent guidance on makeup, hair styles, treatments and the emergency kits you may need on your wedding day and those things that are best left alone! I can honestly say I will NOT be wearing a French manicure to my wedding.

  • Specialist Shops

Places that you may never having considered going before and where you may find a gem of a product.

  • Saving The Best for Now

Don’t save that red lippy for special occasions, use it today! Never keep things for best. Sali tells us how long products last  and when we really ought to bin something.

  • Beauty Resources: Where To Get Real Advice

Sali shares her contact book here and points us towards some remarkable beauty gurus, Caroline Hirons and Ruth Crilly are two of my go to’s.

So if you have got to the end of this post thank you! I hope it wasn’t boring, I wanted to give a good run down of what happens in this brilliant guide. Go and buy it!

Till next time,


Lucy xxx


Published by


I'm a beauty junkie and nail polish addict. Love Instagram and reading other beauty blogs.

8 thoughts on “Sali Hughes Pretty Honest”

  1. Hi Lucy, I’ve been wanting to get this book for ages, I love Sali, her column on the Guardian and her attitude. She seems like a very strong woman, one to be inspired by. Your review is great, I love that you made this little recaps, now i have a better idea of what it contains, as I wasn’t quite sure about it before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Silvia, thank you! I’m glad you liked it. It’s a great reference book that I enjoy reading, I’m a big fan of Sali’s writing and also her YouTube videos where she interviews people in their bathrooms. Great for nosy people like me lol xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s