Sali Hughes Pretty Honest

Sali Hughes Pretty Honest Book 4Sali Hughes Pretty Honest Book 3Sali Hughes Pretty Honest Book 2
Other than my features, something else I’ve inherited from my father is my love for a good book. As a child I would steal his books on just about everything from East African politics to encyclopaedia’s and deem them my bedtime stories. 9 year old Hafsa would also take her mother’s beauty books from the late 80’s and 90’s – that’s where it all began. Despite the now outdated advice, I learned all about the manicure and frosted lipstick from my mother’s books. I was 16 and in a Dubai bookshop when she bought me my first Bobbi Brown book, and I’ve since acquired many more for my coffee table such as Pretty PowerfulFrancois Nars’ Makeup Your Mind Express Yourself and Makeup Is Art by Jana Ririnui and Lan Nguyen. The latest addition to my coffee table, Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest, is somewhat different to the previously mentioned books - there are no glossy images, smoke and mirrors, instead what you have is a book armed with simple, honest advice.. beauty without the marketing nonsense.

Already being a reader of Sali Hughes‘ Guardian column I find her writing style to be straightforward and refreshing, but also rather friendly. The advice is timeless, mainly because Hughes covers topics that women will want to know throughout time such as teen beauty and how a bride can look great on her big day, but also because there aren’t any product reviews – the internet is a great medium for news and reviews due to its dynamic and ever evolving nature, but it’s not so with books. I’ve flicked through many a beauty book to find specific mentions and reviews of a product only to later find that it’s been discontinued or the formula has changed. Hughes on the other hand chooses to mention general brands she finds are great for products such as Mario Badescu, Clarins and Pixi being great for liquid exfoliants and NARSGuerlain and Rimmel for bronzers perfect on women of colour.

Referring back to the so-called print vs. online dichotomy, Hughes proves that the two can come together by recommending beauty blogs and other online beauty resources thus making Pretty Honest a beauty book of our time and definitely nothing like my mother’s old books. Moreover, with chapters dedicated entirely to red lipstick, the Little Black Dress of beauty, and beauty during sickness (very few consider the therapeutic effect that self-care can have when one is faced with ill health) Hughes’ book is a game changer if I’m pretty honest.

The Mixstress Workshop | Peppermint and Frankincense Foot Scrub

Body Scrub

It was only until recently after speaking to a journalist from The Sunday Times Style about my love for whipping up my own beauty products that I realised it’s been a very long time since I’ve shared a recipe – and so I confess.. I haven’t made anything in months. With my bathroom cabinet bursting at the seams with products to finish and continuously forgetting to stock up on ingredients it just hasn’t happened. However I’m promising myself to find the time to get back into the kitchen and rediscover the Mixstress. I have a few things I want to try like a bath oil with lots of heady jasmine and ylang ylang, a massage bar à la Lush and even a bath bomb or two. But in the meantime I thought I’d share a recipe I’ve perfected over the years and adore very much, a peppermint and frankincense foot scrub. The amount of body scrubs I routinely get through make me somewhat of a body scrub connoisseur, and for me most foot scrubs in the market lack the grit and exfoliating power I look for in a scrub; they’re often useless jojoba beads suspended in a shower gel-like formula so you’re not able to get the kind of exfoliation your feet needs. However this scrub of mine is super thick and creamy thanks to a special foaming butter but there’s also ground pumice in the scrub to really smoothen the skin. I’ve thrown in peppermint, tea tree and frankincense essential oils for their antifungal properties and together create a great fragrance.

This scrub will ideally keep for two weeks – for roughly three cups you’ll need:

  • One full cup of foaming butter and half a cup of any carrier oil of your choice such as almond oil, olive or even coconut (but note that the latter may solidify). Using an electrical whisk, blend the butter and carrier oil so that the butter softens to a fluffy texture.
  • Frankincense, peppermint and tea tree essential oils – add a couple of drops of the essential oils each into the mixture whilst whisking.
  • Now it’s time for the exciting bit! Add the ground pumice to the mixture very slowly and gradually – too quick and you risk the pumice flying everywhere! I use around 2 cups for a super gritty scrub, but use more or less depending on your butter to exfoliant ratio preference.

Maybelline Colour Show Nail Polish in Berry Fusion

Maybelline Berry Fusion
Essie The Lace is On

Essie’s The Lace is On

Limited edition products and collections seem to be a double edged sword – while something may be unique and one off, once you’ve forced the last drops out of the packaging you’re left desperate to find an alternative. The culprit? Essie’s The Lace Is On from their Fall 2013 collection. Described by Essie as a jewel toned and pearlescent fuchsia, I fell for the colour last year after a manicure at the Paul Edmonds salon in Knightsbridge and it was just recently at the Maybelline Lounge in Somerset House that I discovered their Colour Show Nail Polish in Berry Fusion which only after my manicure did I realise just how similar they are.

With the autumn months fast approaching, Berry Fusion or any deep fuchsia/magenta nail colour for that matter is a great way of breaking away from the typical berries and plums we all turn to at this time of the year. While I still gravitate towards those colours, others I’ll be wearing include:

Kiko Quick Dry Nail Lacquer in 819

Essie Nail Polish in Decadent Dish

Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Oxblood

Nail Paint by Barry M in Cappuccino

Mavala Nail Colour Cream in Hearth

L’Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Pure Reds

Loreal Pure Reds 1If you’ve yet to find your perfect red lipstick we’ll blame it on the fact that there are 285 shades of red visibly different to the naked eye – there are just too many to choose from! In an attempt to filter out the noise and help with finding that all important signature red lip, L’Oreal Paris have launched their Collection Exclusive Pure Reds* which will be available across pharmacies from September 2014.

Collection Exclusive by Blake - Pure red lips for the most iconic of looks

Collection Exclusive by Julianne - Lips of a vermillion red from the most exquisite fabrics

Collection Exclusive by Liya - Theatrical red lips for an opera of intensity

Collection Exclusive by Eva - Unexpected urban chic brick red lips

To cover a spectrum of women, L’Oreal Paris have based four lipsticks on their faces, Liya KebedeEva Longoria, Blake Lively and Julianne Moore so you have a lipstick suited for those with olive tones to their skin, redheads, black women and blondes like Blake Lively. Interestingly enough, I quite like the Blake Lively lipstick which could be due to it having warm undertones whereas the one by Liya would complement cooler undertones; Liya‘s lipstick still is my favourite however, it’s a true red that would look absolutely beautiful against brown skin.

Loreal Pure Reds 2 Loreal Pure Reds 3

Onto the formula and feel of the lipsticks, I tend to shy away from mattes, namely MAC, as they can be quite drying. However I’m wearing Liya‘s shade while I type this up and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a matte lipstick, rather the formula is quite hydrating for a matte which is down to the jojoba in the lipstick. Granted you’ve given your lips a good scrub with a toothbrush or whatever else you use, there’s no reason why this matte wouldn’t look great. Not to mention the lipstick packs a punch in pigment, so if the idea of a red lip makes you run for the covers you’ll need to shed that fear or follow Karim Rahman, makeup expert for L’Oreal Paris‘ advice, “for a very trendy blur effect, apply the colour with your finger by tapping from the heart of your lips towards the corners”.

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