Top Beauty Reads

Top Beauty Reads

Hey Sweeties,

If you’re like me where you’re relatively new to the beauty world and crave information and knowledge to get yourself up to speed and kept up to date with the latest trends in all things beauty then this post is for you! I love reading blogs as they are great for product reviews and general beauty chatter -like you would do with your best friends- but from time to time, you need advice from the professionals, those that really know their shit and this comes in three ways 1. in store consultation 2. books 3. magazines.

In my time, I have had 2 consultations (well technically 3 but I’ll explain). The first was with MAC in 2010, Mum and I had one in Bath when I lived there for Uni and I got a look done I could recreate for the summer ball. I have also had another consultation with Benefit at the Harvey Nichols store in Bristol, again while at Uni which I basically got pulled into the chair to try out the They’re Real mascara. I went back for a second time a couple of weeks later and the same make-up artist did me a smokey eye look which was amazing. But, being honest with you guys, I wasn’t at that time in a position to really enjoy and spend my money on makeup and beauty products. It’s only since entering the professional chapter of my life where I now really invest my time and money into the beauty industry, before this it just wasn’t practical and I am glad to be honest. I have always worn makeup, black eyeliner being my staple throughout my teenage years but I am pleased I wasn’t obsessed with having a full face of makeup during that time; I had too many other things keeping my attention.

I started picking up bits and pieces of makeup when I lived in London when doing my Dental Nurse training. I started to realise I would benefit from a foundation, a bit of bronzer etc. and I turned to one of my best friends, Char for help here. Not where I would ask her outright, but I would sneak a look at what she was wearing and how she was applying various products when getting ready for a night out and would then venture to Boots and make similar purchases. The rest I have picked up as I went along from anywhere I could. Now, I am so thankful for YouTube!!

So, I find myself at 27 and feel as though I am playing catch up. Not with products but with knowledge which is where books and magazines come into play. With magazines, I have read these for as long as I can remember but never paid too much attention to the beauty section; one of the reasons probably is because they always showcase products that are just too expensive but I enjoy seeing the looks that can be created. I appreciate that in my posts I make myself sound like such a scroungy bitch but price really is an important factor for me. I’ll happily spend £30-40 in Boots within a single transaction but I want a full basket of stuff to show for that. I love my make-up but I don’t need a £30 foundation to achieve my everyday look and I don’t go anywhere nice enough on a regular basis to warrant a high end collection. One or two items for special occasion wearing is fine enough for me…for now.

Beauty Magazines

Along with my loyal Elle, I have recently started buying Allure magazine which I can only get hold of when I go into London for work or a day trip. It’s an American publication (hence why it costs £4.80) but I really like it. Of course many of the products I can’t see or buy myself but it’s great for advice and articles from the industry. I have also recently made a point of picking up the free magazines from Boots, Superdrug and the like -if you’re in town and you want something to read over a cappuccino then these are well worth getting as they are packed full of advice and tips! You really can’t go wrong.

Beauty Books

For books, for me there are two key players here -the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual and the recently published Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

Bobbi Brown I picked up a few months ago when I was initially seeking some reading material and this one came up as one of the best and having now read it, I can see why. It’s simply a fantastically visual but concise bible for all things makeup and skincare. For me, I don’t feel I need to read pages and pages of text, I just want to know the basics from looking at examples and step by step instructions. A few months ago I got myself all confused as to when you apply concealer -is it before or after foundation, or does it not matter? I also struggled to find out the process for using cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Really bloody simple things but if you haven’t got a Mum in the know or a big sister or best friend that are into these things then where do you find out without hearing advice that doesn’t conflict with someone else?? The Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual is spot on if you’re like me and you want simple, easy to digest information, the brand is irrelevant.

Sali Hughes Pretty Honest

At work my colleague -who doesn’t really wear makeup- loves Sali Hughes. For me, I haven’t ever found I particularly engage with her column in the Guardian… that was until I picked up Pretty Honest. Oh. My. Days! I have wanted to write this post for a while and just as I was about to, Pretty Honest got released so I figured I better get hold of it so that I can add it into the review. When it landed on my doorstep from Amazon, I was disappointed; it’s 330 pages of text. My nightmare. However, it is quite possibly one of the best things I have ever read. Sali Hughes is the Queen of beauty advice and her writing style is brilliant. The knowledge I have now absorbed is unbelievable and I have not even finished the book yet. Sali just tells it like it is -what to do, what not to do, what to spend your money on, what to not bother with and everything else. You want the beauty know how; it’s all in this book! Go and get it!

Until next time x


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