Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pretty Honest” as Want to Read:
Pretty Honest
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pretty Honest

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,684 ratings  ·  122 reviews
A witty, wise and truthful beauty handbook for real women on what works in real life from Sali Hughes, beloved journalist and broadcaster.

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together” Elizabeth Taylor

Beauty books. Exquisite coffee-table affairs featuring improbably beautiful models with wholly-unachievable-to-most women looks, product review-heav
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 25th 2014 by Fourth Estate (first published September 11th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pretty Honest, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pretty Honest

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Joanne Sheppard
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Most beauty books I’ve come across have been huge coffee-table affairs full of glossy photographs of iconic or avant-garde makeup looks. That’s all well and good, and I enjoy looking at those books as much as the next beauty obsessive, but there’s little in them that makes entertaining reading (rather than looking) and their ideas are fascinating but rarely attainable.

Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest is a different kind of beauty book. Pleasingly chunky and compact, and printed on discreetly sleek mat
Amy Laurens
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Sali Hughes is one to watch: she's shaping up to be one of the most influential people in the British beauty industry. I'm hard pushed to think of anyone else in recent years that has so much to legitimise and democratise beauty. Sali has made smart women unembarrassed and clued up about what they can do with their face--women for whom the whole shebang was previously either too intimidating or opaque to get involved.

If you are one of those women, and you're sick of the word limit imposed on he
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es ist gar nicht mal so der Inhalt, der mich dazu bringt 5 Sterne zu vergeben.
Es ist die Art wie sie schreibt. Ihr Humor. Ihre Art zu motivieren. Ihre Art Komplimente dem Leser zu machen, obwohl sie keine Ahnung hat wer das Buch liest.
Es ist voll von Tipps. Von Make up bis Pflege. Ich konnte definitiv was lernen und bin experimentierfreudig geworden. Ein paar Dinge behalt ich mir bei.
Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob dieses Bich etwas für absolute Schminkgurus ist? Wenn man die Tipps mal außen vor l
Jul 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really did not enjoy this book. It did not offer anything that those vaguely familiar with makeup would know, and the 'facts' were merely 'you should do this because I think it works' rather than based on hard science. Really did not get along with this book and would not recommend.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
I read this book mostly because I needed an easy read and many of my favourite beauty bloggers recommended it. But the only useful part of this book was the first 20 pages or so about skincare. I found the rest of it pretty useless. It was repetative and it was mostly based on what the writer likes personally. Moreover, she had a lot of beauty rules for someone who claims she doesn't believe in beauty rules. A big dissapointment for me.
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I love it because it's brilliant or I love it because I agree with almost all of it. Warm, funny, very real.
Piret Pert
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Useful and well-written.
Dec 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Pikem arvustus siin:
Sali Hughes alustab haaravalt. Ta toob kohe mängu feminismi ja selle, kuidas ilust hoolimist peetakse pinnapealsuseks. See on selline raamat, millele tahaks nii vastu vaielda kui ka kaasa kiita. Ma ei saa aru, mis see on? Kas tõesti mina, ilust huvitatud naine, olen lasknud endale ajupesu teha ja kahtlustan nüüd siiralt, et ilust huvitumine muudab mu pinnapealseks ja rumalaks? Samas, inimesed, kes ainult kreemitotsikutest jahuvad on ju
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 00-standalone
Inhalt: Der unverzichtbare Begleiter in Sachen Schönheitspflege! Ein so hilfreiches wie kluges Schönheitshandbuch mit echten Tipps für jede Frau. Die beliebte Guardian-Kolumnistin und Visagistin Sali Hughes erklärt, was wirklich funktioniert und auf was man getrost verzichten kann. Und das in einer Mischung aus Beautyexpertin und absolut ehrlicher bester Freundin gepaart mit einer erfrischend entspannten Herangehensweise. Von Teenagerhaut bis reifer Schönheit, von rotem Lippenstift bis Parfüm, v ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a great admirer of Sali Hughes: her classy and no-nonsense attitude are present both in her website/youtube channel and in her excellently written columns in The Pool website. This book is a collection of ideas/tips/advice on many aspects of the beauty world, not least the debunking of the idea that women that enjoy beauty are anti-feminists or too focused on appearance. Sali Hughes addresses a few beauty myths with her characteristical honesty and wit, so that you feel that it's okay to lik ...more
Katie Biggs
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was packed with beauty tips and tricks. I loved the recommendations for essential products for your skincare/beauty routine and particularly enjoyed the sections on same-sex marriage bridal make up and beauty and illness, both of which were something I hadn't seen before. The beauty and illness section was particularly well-written and didn't feel patronising or pitying.

The only thing I did feel was a little strange was that information or anecdotes were sometimes repeated multiple ti
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read it in its entirety on my plane journey back from the UK because I couldn't put it down! Hughes provides a no-nonsense look at beauty that is refreshing. She addresses everything from buying a matching foundation to what indulgent bath treats might help someone who is going through chemotherapy. The most interesting part of the book is that you never feel stupid for caring about beauty. Hughes provides examples of why beauty, skincare and little indulgences are wonderful, all the while maint ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was dithering between 3 and 4 stars: I love Sali's writing, applaud her attitude and agree with her on almost everything, but for a regular follower of hers, there isn't much new in the book. Then I saw that she has included a note on same-sex weddings... Four stars it is.
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i am very, very conflicted about this book, and have swung between 2, 3 and 4 stars whilst reading (and even writing this review). it was sent to me by a friend after i asked about her makeup, and i am very grateful to her both for the gift and for the thoughtfulness! i have a (really) hard time critiquing anything recommended by a friend, though, hence some of my confusion.

i should also say: i did enjoy this book! it has some tips on skincare and basic makeup that i am definitely going to try,
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started surprisingly well and I liked Sali's tone, until about half way, when it it turned sour and became highly opinionated, lecturing, and just naff... if I have to think of subtitle, it would be 'How to look like the stereotypical British woman'. As a continental European living in London, if found myself recoiling in horror to say the least.

Sali tried very hard to sound offbeat, modern, easy going, but it all just ends up being tacky. It felt like beauty advice you by the women in
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I LOVED this book. I share SO many of Hughes' perspectives on the liberatory potential of beauty and grooming. It's such a breath of fresh air to read about products and procedures in the tone of "this is why I love this so much, why makeup is pleasing and adds value to so many people's lives, here are some approaches and products I love, take it or leave it" not the women's magazine approach of "what you have isn't cool or new or flattering enough, GO BUY MORE!!!" Her YouTube channel is just my ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I spent way too much time reading reviews on makeup, skincare, nails etc and waiting for new beauty launches but its something I just can't get enough of! Some of the things Sali talk about I already knew from the many hours of reading beauty blogs but I picked up some great tips, things that I wouldn't have considered before especially with skincare. I liked how she included product recommendations for low end and high end budgets, my bursary doesn't give me much room for £50 serums. I l ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love a beauty column. I love beauty and hair tips, I love spending money on new products and my favourite thing to do is treat myself to a long candlelit bath full of goodies to make myself look and feel better!
I knew that I would adore Hughes' beauty companion when I saw some of my favourite beauty bloggers recommend it.
It's funny and witty, without coming across as patronising, and it's packed with helpful hints and tips to help each woman feel beautiful.
The book is full of hints for all
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Quick easy read on a plane and I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the "beauty books" dont really offer that much new information. Lets face it, in an era of beauty bloggers and youtube gurus, you most likely heard most of these tips at some point anyways. However I quite enjoyed the style Sali used. While passing on tips known to the online beauty community, she does not have the self-important attitude that I feel like I often sense in some blogs. I also like the fact she honestly pointed out ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Well-written and easy to read book about beauty, less of a how-to and more about how looking good is valid and important pursuit, and wanting to look beautiful does not mean you're shallow and self-obsessed. I really liked the essay towards the end about not saving your most expensive beauty products for 'best', but using them and allowing yourself that pleasure and indulgence, for life really is so short. I'm a woman who loves literature and lipstick in equal measure so enjoyed this very much.
Alyssa Foll
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! Sali Hughes is a beauty journalist from the UK. She is smart, unapologetically feminist, and true to the title, is honest about beauty and the beauty industry.

I loved her advice on make-up in illness, teenage beauty, and how to receive compliments (among other chapters). Her no-nonsense tone with British colloquialisms make for a fun read.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
First things first: they say never judge a book by its cover but I think beauty guides are fair game – they are about looking good and the aesthetic of the book should be as enticing as its contents.

Pretty Honest is not the large coffee table type of guide with glossy, colour printed pages like Bobbi Brown’s Make Up Manual (a must-have book for any make up fan). The cover is a delicate, light shade of pink contrasted with black – which looks beautiful but it lacks a dust jacket which seems a li
Behiye Hassan
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this! I'm a huge beauty and Sali Hughes fan so was excited to read this. It's so useful and full of practical advice. I have actually booked marked pages for future reference. A must read for any beauty fanatic.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is the book that has graced many a coffee table, provided a beautiful back drop for one too many lipsticks shots for that oh so perfect blog post and is a prominent feature displayed on bookshelves around the globe. The book in question Pretty Honest written by the credential lipstick loving babe that is Sali Hughes.

So lets start with the lady the in question shall we? Sali Hughes is a renowned journalist with a keen interest…okay obsession with beauty and that of owning one too many lipstick
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
OK, I am slightly lying by saying that I have finished this BUT I have one book to go on my challenge and today is THE LAST DAY!!!! So I am cheating a little by reviewing this one BEFORE I have completely finished.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for about three years, I think (or there abouts at a guess) and I have skimmed bits and pieces over those years but never read it in its entirety.

This December I picked it up and have been reading it gradually over the past couple of days since
Emily Ritchie
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
The perfect gift for anyone who wants to look good. Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes covers everything from how to look good in a picture, to how to pay and receive compliments and is one of the more detailed beauty bibles currently on the market. The book itself covers all aspects of beauty and grooming etiquette that one might need to know throughout ones lifetime from teenage beauty to motherhood.
Each chapter is a concise guide with step by steps and dos and don’ts. The beautiful aesthetics are
Bianca Orita
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For all the beauty lovers out there, this is the perfect book to read.It has a little bit of everything and Sali doesn't hide around the corner, she tells you exactly what she thinks and what is good and what is not.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love this book! The humour and honesty are fantastic. I particularly love the section on anti-aging - probably because it very much endorses my approach to chocolate! Now off to read the next tome from Sali.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
Solid book. These days, anyone can start a YouTube channel and call themselves a beauty guru (or "influencer"), but a lot of the content is specious. Not so here. Sali Hughes knows what she's talking about. The book is a good combination of sensible advice, delivered with warmth and wit. Like a glamourous, loving aunt.

Recommended for anyone into beauty. The tips are very beginner-friendly, but even someone who thinks she already knows the basics could benefit from reading this. There's always a
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very informative, comprehensive and well written book. I read all of it, even the chapters that did not apply (like teen make up or bridal) just because I found the nuggets of information she gave were very interesting, and I just liked the way she wrote. I am an aficionado of women's magazines, and online bloggers, so I know a lot of stuff already but there were still a few new ideas and bits of information for me.

If you were new to the idea of make up, skin care or just plain taking care of
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Playing to the Gallery
  • Private Eye The First 50 Years
  • Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies
  • X-Treme Latin: All the Latin You Need to Know for Surviving the 21st Century
  • First-time Parent
  • Robin Ince's Bad Book Club: One Man's Quest to Uncover the Books that Time Forgot
  • Face Paint: The Story of Makeup
  • I Murdered My Library
  • Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime
  • Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro
  • The Goddess Experience: Custom-made for You
  • Two Lipsticks and a Lover
  • Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (the Right) Attitude
  • The Perfect Man: The Muscular Life and Times of Eugen Sandow, Victorian Strongman
  • The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour
  • Super Crafty: Over 75 Amazing How-To Projects
  • Deal with It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a gURL
  • Living with a Black Dog: His Name Is Depression
Sali Hughes is a journalist, broadcaster, Guardian columnist and founder of the award-winning A former magazine editor, she has written for many publications including Grazia, the Observer, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Glamour. She is Contributing Editor on Red magazine and Beauty Editor on the Guardian. She is a consultant to major beauty and fashion brands, ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I believe it’s perfectly normal to love both lipstick and literature, to be a woman who paints her nails while shouting at Question Time.” 14 likes
“But I see good grooming and feminism as entirely complementary. For some, beauty is a matter of pride and self-respect, of feeling your best and worthy of attention. While a man with an interest in football, wine, Formula 1 or even paintballing would never see his intelligence called into question, a woman with an interest in surface is perceived to have no depth.” 3 likes
More quotes…