Which beauty products and brands are really worth the hype? Sali Hughes’ new book looks set to provide a hit list of the ones you really can’t do without

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A biography told through some of the industry's best-loved and bestselling beauty products, Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes is a must-read for those whose love of beauty goes beyond skin-deep.

Described as a ‘beauty mixtape’ by the respected writer, journalist and broadcaster, Sali takes readers on a tour through history recalling the most influential and memorable beauty products made in recent times, with her expert commentary acting as the most informative of guides to separate the fact from the fad. What qualifies as worthy of the title, ‘iconic’ in Sali’s opinion? She freely admits that the term is hugely subjective and is “seen very much through the lens of a 41-year-old British woman.” That being said though, there are products for all shades of beauty throughout and her honest and straight-talking narrative about the need for greater inclusivity in the beauty industry is a message that deeply resonates with us - “especially, I might add, when brands are asking women of all colours, shapes, sizes and physical abilities to hand over their hard-earned cash” - hear, hear Sali.

Her top picks come at a refreshing range of price points - from budget to blowout - with their success measured by not just their performance, but also by their personal significance (the best beauty products can be as emotive as they are effective in our experience) and the mark they've made on the industry. Chapters are separated into The Icons, The Nostalgics, The Gamechangers, The Rites of Passage and The Future Icons and expect to find a real variety of products each having forged a valuable place in beauty history in their own right (you’ll most definitely want to go shopping afterwards). From Chanel No 5 to Urban Decay’s Naked Palette, Lip Smackers to Mr Matey, Jo Malone to J.Lo Glow, it’s a highly relatable (we found ourselves saying “Ah snap Sali!” on more than one occasion), unpretentious and hugely authoritative read.

Funny, witty and wonderfully engaging, it’s more than an edit - it’s an encyclopaedia of beauty knowledge from one of the most trusted voices in the industry that should take pride of place on any beauty fan’s bookshelf.

Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products that Changed the World by Sali Hughes, photography by Jake Walters, published by Fourth Estate, is priced at £26 and available  to buy online here .

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