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Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick

2.91 of 5 stars 2.91  ·  rating details  ·  952 ratings  ·  248 reviews

As the endearing and witty star of the beloved John Hughes “brat pack” classics Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald defined teenage angst, love, and heartbreak. Now a wife and mother of three, and a star on the current hit television drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Molly is facing a new angst-inducing time in her life—her

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Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published (first published April 8th 2010)
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Melea Rose-Waters
Ok, in my review of this one, I will include a conversation between me and the husband while I was reading it.

DH (dear husband): Whatcha reading?

Me: Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald.

DH: What? What's it about?

Me: Molly Ringwald is telling me about how to get the pretty back.

DH: Why would *she* be writing a book on THAT?!

Me: I don't know... and I don't feel prettier having read this.. I just feel... poor.

So if you want to feel poor and unworldly and unworthy, go right out and pick this o
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Emily
I was anticipating a little bit of intelligence, a little bit of a smart girl's guide to feeling pretty on the inside. I was not anticipating an ILLUSTRATED book with thick pages as if it were made for a child and advice on how to look pretty ranging from how to arrange a cheese plate to how the Birkin bag has too much heft to carry around for long. Oh yes, Molly. I'll run out and pick up a Prada bag like you suggest, and, while I'm at it, I'll stop into a vintage store and look for that 1970's ...more
Melissa
So unfortunate . . . I really, really wanted to like this book. Like many women in their 30s, I was enamored with Molly Ringwald (in a girl-crush, that's who I want to be sort of way) throughout high school. So when I happened upon this book in my local library, I immediately grabbed it. Though I was hoping for an autobiography, I must say that when I read the flap I was intrigued. Molly Ringwald was going to give me advice. How cool is that? And she's going to help me get my "pretty back" (ok, ...more
Kristin
This book is like having your girlfriend write all the articles in a Glamour magazine. They are fluffy, quick, and blunt. However, I could see myself having a glass of wine and having a lot in common with Molly (minus the career and famous part). We are the same age. We both had prior miscarriages, we both ended our first marriages at 33, etc. Very bizarre. Anyway, so far, I have cleaned out half my wardrobe and driven it to goodwill. There isn't much left, but at least I'm realistic about it no ...more
Kimberly
I'll be honest, I skimmed through this book only because I don't care about fashion and I skipped the family and kids part because I don't have that yet (wish I did though, never thought I'd be single still at 34). I did however read the part about relationships/breaking up. Having just being broken up with, it made me feel it was okay to feel what I feel. She mentions that while it's okay to take friends' advice and move on after being broken up with, it's also okay to ignore that advice and ju ...more
Amelia the Strange
I adore just about any 80's movie with Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, For Keeps, 16 Candles...) When I picked this book up, I was thinking it would be more of a memoir but it really should be classified as the dread self-help.

Molly gives some good advice, i.e. make time to be with your friends, make time to take care of yourself, figure out what it is you want to be. But I found a lot of her advice to be unattainable to myself. For example, I cannot afford to spend more tha
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Anne
Oh, Molly.

Very trite. Why was I expecting good writing? I am not a Cosmo reader but this seems to fit the bill.

Superficial fluff for the most part (a black blazer dresses up any outfit? Are we stuck in 1991?). When was Molly a style icon anyway? She seemed to be stretching the advice at the end, as though she had to include it. The food and France parts were the most interesting.

Am I the only one who wonders how her friends feel, about having their private exploits dished in public? Doesn't so
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Lori
I enjoyed Molly Ringwald's autobiography. She focuses on the reader more than herself. I liked that aspect about it. I also enjoy the chick lit feel with fun illustrations and helpful hints. The book is obviously geared for women of my generation (Gen X) and I felt like she was speaking to me. (Sounds cheesy, I know.) But she wrote a good book. Because of her tips on cheese, dinner parties, and wine, I will most likely purchase a copy of this book. The only reason I gave this book four instead o ...more
Amber
Oh, Molly. I SO should not have read this book because now I'm not sure I still adore you. When I can afford Burberry trench coats and Hermes scarves (two examples from your wardrobe "staples") I will give you a second chance. Until then I will freeze you in time so that you are always my 80s darling.
Dawn
Lame, Lame, Lame.

OK, I was as much of a Molly Ringwald fangirl as a young teen as any girl my age, but this is just... such a disappointment. I was rather hoping for a real memoir about her life as an actress, and the fallout of being enshrined forever as the teen redhead in pink.

It's less a memoir and more a series of pretty much random collection of... magazine articles is really the closest thing I can think of. Teen Beat articles on fashion and lipstick colors, only (supposedly) for adult
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Aviva
Part memoir, part Cosmo self help article, I ended up enjoying this book much more than I thought I would early on. My favorite bits tended to be the parts about her life, where I learned fascinating nuggets I never knew about an actress I've long admired. I think she's someone I would enjoy in real life, assuming her book is as honest as it seems. There's no dirt here, just someone who has been successful at living well, especially when it meant taking the path less travelled.

There isn't a lot
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Janeece
I listened to this audiobook while at work. I'm a big fan of Molly's 80's movies, as well as her "Secret Life of the American Teenager" role, so I figured I'd like this. Oh man, how I was wrong. Molly has lived a life that has left her so beyond reality that it's hard to listen to a word she says. This book is full of advice that is laughable to the average person. In this book she talks about things like cheese and the correct way to eat cheese as if the majority of Americans are eating cheeses ...more
Bonnie
I personally enjoyed this book. I picked it up at Dollar Tree (sorry Molly!) so if the content was less than stellar, I didn't lose too much money; but I was pleasantly surprised. It is true that Molly suggests buying key pieces for your wardrobe through Burberry, Herme's and other high dollar items like cheeses that you may be hard pressed to find if you aren't in France or other exotic locations, but that is not the point she is making. What she is saying is that it is important to look your b ...more
Ashley
I found this book when I was shelving the biography section. "O hey- I love Molly. This should be good!" I mean, Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles are 2 of my most favorite movies. But then I read some of the reviews and I didn't know if I wanted to read it. A lot of the reviews were unforgiving, and I didn't want to ruin whatever idea I had of who Molly Ringwald is.

First off, it's not really a biography. Which is really disappointing, I would have loved to have read her autobiography and hear
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Melissa
I hate to admit it, but I really liked this one. The only thing that bothered me is that she doesn't seem to realize that we are not all famous actresses who can afford anything we want. It really makes no difference to me whether Burberry or Prada makes a better trench coat. Mine will be coming from Nordstrom. That said, she makes some great points about remembering who you are when life keeps getting in the way.
Bethany Clark
If you love Molly Ringwald then this is a funny read that you will enjoy!
I know that I loved her in The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, and now I love hearing about her life experiences through the age of 40!
She discusses style, relationships, family, friends, food and so many more topics!

This is a fun read, and I recommend to anyone who loves Molly and is in the same stages in life!
Sara
What did I glean from this book? Some good recipes and the fact that I should clean out all t-shirts with words on them from my closet. (Guess what? I'm keeping them... lol)

I only paid $2 for this (Kindle) and therefore I wasn't irritated that I wasn't that into it. It's got cute illustrations, and she has a good writing style/voice... I just wish the content was a little deeper...
Clacie
A solid 3. I liked Molly's personal stories more than her wardrobe advice, but she did have some good points/ideas. She seems like she'd be a nice person in real life too. I was hoping for a juicier memoir, more talk of her time making movies & tv but there wasn't much of it. Molly narrates the audio & it was great. And did you know she can sing? Well she can.
Felicia
"Keep in mind that different occasions merit different outfits and looks."
Alright, I admit that I was lured in by the really cool watercolor illustrations in this book - and the layout of the book. Overall, however, BLECH!! Her useful tips are all pretty high end.
Erin Cataldi
This is a guide/memoir/anecdotal type book that caters mainly to middle class socialites, but that aside, I still enjoyed the book. Molly gives advice and provides humorous stories about fashion, dating, cooking, friendship, goals, and motherhood. The illustrations add some extra whimsy and lightness to the book. It's not life altering or anything but I did pick up a few new tricks.

Foil the crust of a pie to keep it from burning.
Black cashmere is worth every penny.
Make sure you have enough wi
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Laurel-Rain
Molly Ringwald was one of those iconic eighties stars who was seen in many of the John Hughes films and was dubbed, along with a few of her costars in these productions as well as some others, as part of the "brat pack." She had a signature style that was "copied" in some of her movies, like Pretty in Pink. She shopped vintage and layered a lot. Sort of an "Annie Hall for the Younger Set."

Then we didn't see her for a few years, except in less well-known movies. She moved to France for awhile. Th
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Rebecca Dobrinski
Molly Ringwald is a writer?!?!? Am I the last person on the planet to discover this? While looking for something else on Amazon (isn’t that when you find the best stuff anyway?), I stumbled across her book, Getting the Pretty Back.

Being a child of the 1980s, I HAD to read this book. Yes, I watched Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and – of course – Sixteen Candles over and over again. I attempted to emulate the styles of the characters she played. Although, I will admit, by the time Breakfast
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Tracy
It was fun becoming reacquainted with Molly Ringwald again after a few decades. All I had to see was her red hair on the cover and the book got tucked under my arm. It didn't hurt that I was turning 40, and it's about securing vibrancy for yourself as women head toward middle-age. So, there's food, fashion tips, and personal dish about her life as a person--not as an actress (so no Breakfast Club dish...well, not really). Some of it made me smile: her obsession with Jean Seberg, all things Frenc ...more
Alivia Hegarty
Alivia Hegarty
Myths
Period 3
3-13-13
“Getting the Pretty Back”
I read the book “Getting the Pretty Back”, by Molly Ringwald. I got this book for Christmas by my grandmother cause she knows Sixteen Candles. I honestly didn’t think I would like the book, but I turned out loving it. I related to something in each chapter. It was funny, humorous, and truthful.
In this book she starts out talking about her how when you get older your body changes, and how people describe you. Such as gorgeous, beautiful
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Tanya
Nov 24, 2012 Tanya rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women age 40+, particularly moms
Recommended to Tanya by: GoodReads recommendation
Shelves: 2012-books
A fast and fun read. Like talking to a girlfriend who will give you her perspective on what works for her and is just sensible for a 40+ year old mom. Don't expect the flow of conversation to flow linearly, but with some variety of topics and some will be ones you wish there was more time to talk about and others less (for me, hair was covered way too much). In the end, however, you may find this was an enjoyable diversion and a fun afternoon (please don't be offended that I am overusing the wor ...more
nicole
Ruminations on life, love and make-up from everyone's favorite 80s everygirl.

So.

I have a confession to make.

I frequently read books without really having any idea what they're actually about beforehand.

In early January, I went on an e-book buying blitz.I bought easily a dozen titles and sat on my Nook unread, because holiday cash provides you that sort of decadent luxury. I handpicked these titles based on what my current library of choice wasn't carrying. I was so sad they had refused to purcha
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TheGeekyBlogger
What I Loved: Molly narrated her own book and I think this works for this book. She has a good reading voice.

What I Liked: This book covers everything from dinner parties to lipstick. I can't think of a topic that she did not cover. In that aspect, this book delivered on it's promise to give you advice on how to handle anything. I also enjoyed when she threw in antidotes about her life over the years. Those little stories were the best part of the book.

What I thought was So-So/Didn't Like: I rea
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Bookish
I was hoping this book would be more about Molly and less a self-help(ish) book, but ultimately that was not the case. She has lots of advice - some of it good, most of it ok, none of it great - and she sprinkled in some interesting anecdotes about her life, but overall this was less about her than about what she has learned now that she's a 40-something. Interestingly, not much different from what most other 40-somethings who are reasonably accomplished have learned, albeit in a more glamorous ...more
Alex
The back of my Good Housekeeping from a few months ago (that I just read last week) had a snippet of this book that I really enjoyed. It was all about how Molly was supposed to name her daughter after her mother-in-law, per Greek tradition, and was just really funny to read. I had no idea Molly Ringwald even had a book, so I went and got it at the library right away. I love reading celebrity books for some reason, and couldn't resist hearing about the Breakfast Club's iconic teenager.

Unfortunate
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Jen
I read this in two quick sittings. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed, as I found this to be much shallower than I expected it to be. The book is divided into chapters on different topics-friendship/girlfriends, fashion, makeup, food and cooking, entertaining, motherhood, etc. The chapters are a mix of advice on the topic and some memoir/stories from Molly's life. I had been hoping for a little more of the reverse mix. The advice was sensible, there were some good tips and thoughts on dre ...more
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Molly Kathleen Ringwald is an American actress, singer, dancer and author. Having appeared in the John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986), Ringwald is part of the "Brat Pack" and has been called the greatest teen star of all time. She has also played Anne Juergens in the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
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