Beauty inside and out
Bookseller Anne Haas reviews two beauty titles, Sali Hughes' Pretty Honest and Grace Helbig’s Grace and Style, new to paperback.
Beauty comes in all forms, no matter what shape or size, internal or external.Yet, our daily lives are bombarded with social media expectations of beauty; measurements we should fit and 101 unrealistic, unaffordable and potentially health risky was to get to superficial goals. It is always a breath of fresh air when we come across some real advice, something genuine, honest and achievable for the everyday person.
Regardless of how long you take to get ready, how much make-up you do or don’t wear, if you want some frank guidance and a witty read, Sali Hughes' Pretty Honest and Grace Helbig’s Grace and Style are the books to get your hands on.
Sali Hughes, beauty consultant, editor of Vogue and author of Pretty Honest, knows her stuff. Her knowledge is practical, clear and concise. She recognises society’s passion for beauty as a way to express creativity and individuality rather than as an aid to ‘fix imperfections’. She believes we are 'better versions of ourselves when we are confident and beautiful’ which can be partly accomplished through beauty and style. That is not to say this is the only way to reach confidence, but this element of control can make the day just that bit brighter. She deals with the question of whether women wear make-up for themselves or for men, to which she replies that the question itself ‘implies real feminists ignore male desire on principal, that appearing attractive is never a self-serving exercise but always one of piteous obligation and repression’ which clearly is not the case.
Sali is brutally honest. She goes further than advising on make-up products and gives the reader preparation for real life style. She talks about make-up application on the go, and preparation for the ‘walk of shame’, beauty in illness and even the ins and outs of managing beauty-counter staff.
Pretty Honest is written in short chapters, snippets of raw advice that cover anything beauty related you could need without being intimidating or unattainable. She is informative without being preachy and it is great to see something different from the typical glossy style magazines full of enhanced photography.
This is one to add to your library.
Secondly, Grace Helbig’s new release Grace and Style is an incredibly witty and light-hearted perspective on beauty and style. Her personality is refreshing, and although she opens with some hard hitting personal truths, the origin of her passion for beauty and style becomes obvious almost immediately. She is grounded and her honesty and humour reflects that.
Grace openly admits she is not an expert in fashion or beauty but her writing shines enthusiasm for wanting to share tips for anyone who needs guidance, and/or fancies a fun read. She encourages comfort and individuality in style and beauty, encouraging the wear of ‘sweatpants’ and her Mum’s advice.
It is not your typical ‘style-guide’, it is fun, inventive and reflective of Grace. There are many autobiographical elements of the book, making it personal and relatable, as well as bursts of colour and fun photography to remind us Grace’s bubbly character and our freedom with style and beauty.
What I really like about these books is that they, at no point, state a right and wrong. They give direction but encourage the reader to take charge of their own appearance and never stress the importance of the link between inner and outer beauty.
A witty, wise and truthful beauty handbook for real women on what works in real life from Sali Hughes, beloved journalist and broadcaster.
An illustrated, tongue-in-cheek guide to fashion and beauty from YouTube comedian and bestselling author, Grace Helbig