Book Review: Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

September 5, 2016

Book Review: Pretty Honest by Sali HughesPretty Honest by Sali Hughes
Published by Fourth Estate on 11th September 2014
Source: Gifted
Pages: 331
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models with wholly-unachievable-to-most women looks, product review-heavy volumes which become almost instantly outdated, or tracts of holistic mumbo jumbo, like how to make an unproven face pack from organic molasses and rough-hewn porridge oats.

Not anymore.

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. Covering everything from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health, it's a work that is part instruction manual, part love letter to makeup – in a writing style that combines beauty editor, feminist and painfully funny best friend.

I’m an avid beauty and skincare fan. I read beauty blogs almost daily, and I’m constantly spending my money on makeup, (when I’m not buying books, of course) much to my boyfriend’s despair. So when Pretty Honest was released, I, along with many other beauty aficionados were giddy with excitement.

Sali Hughes knows her stuff. She’s The Guardian’s beauty editor, and has tons of experience when it comes to beauty. So you can guarantee that the products mentioned in Pretty Honest are one’s Sali truly loves and believes in. This isn’t a book filled with paid endorsements, this is a book filled with genuine product recommendations. And it includes practically everything you could ever need to know – from your skincare routine, to how to apply eyeliner, to following proper salon etiquette, this book has you covered.

It’s obvious as you read Pretty Honest that Sali Hughes is genuinely passionate about beauty. It’s not only her job – it’s her hobby. She draws on a lot of her own experiences in Pretty Honest, some of which has me busting up in a fit of giggles – although waxing is no laughing matter! It’s to the point, but it reads as though you’re having a chat with Sali instead of being lectured by her.

Pretty Honest is a book I will not hesitate to recommend to any beauty fan of any age. There’s something for everyone to learn here, it’s a total gem of a book that you shouldn’t miss, if only for the excellent introduction alone.

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.

January 9, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Published by Walker on 6th December 2011
Source: Gifted
Pages: 496
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
I have been anticipating this book ever since I finished reading Clockwork Angel in 2010. Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors, and I absolutely love her Infernal Devices series, so I have been desperately waiting for this book and luckily enough, I received it this past Christmas. Happy Hollie, haha!

What worked for me: Absolutely everything. I loved the development all the characters went through, and that we got to see more of Charlotte and Henry too. The plot had so many twists and turns, yet I just could not stop reading it! Also, just to get this out in the open, I am now a firm, firm member of Team Jem. There’s one particular scene that I ended up reading three times because I could not get enough of it. I absolutely adored his and Tessa’s relationship, and I really, really hope that this continues in the next installment of this series or my heart may just possibly break into tiny little pieces.

Also, I think Tessa has really come into her own in this book, and, if we’re to compare Clary and Tessa, I prefer Tessa. I just think she’s got more spark about her. (Not to say that I don’t love Clary, because I do). I liked the twist that came about her heritage, and that it was left to be solved in the next installment of the series.

What didn’t work for me: At the risk of sounding awfully lame, the fact that Clockwork Princess doesn’t come out until the latter end of this year.

This has been a highly anticipated release for every Cassandra Clare fan, and for me, this really did not disappoint.