Sali Hughes Pretty Honest

{Cult Beauty} Sali, you must be constantly inundated with beauty questions and concerns. What do you get asked most often (and what's your answer)?

{Sali Hughes} I am most commonly asked how to shrink pores, because the vast majority of women are convinced they have a pore problem. Nine times out of ten, I examine their skin and find they simply don't! I think women lose sight of the fact that no one scrutinises your face like you do - life is too short to be staring in the mirror, mining for faults. So as much as I will recommend proper cleansing, a liquid exfoliant, a great primer... I also suggest you stop obsessing. No one is thinking about your pores but you, I promise.

{CB} If the world went mad and you were only allowed one skin care and one make up product from Cult Beauty, which things would you put up a serious fight for?

{SH} I am never without Zelens {Daily Defence} close to hand, because I genuinely believe it's the best sunblock launch in years. I'm not neurotic about sun protection, but for extended periods in outdoor sunshine, this is my weapon of choice. It's moist, comfortable, non-greasy and fresh feeling. And I never go anywhere without my cheeks on, so I'd choose Stila's {Convertible Color} in 'Peony' which can be dabbed on lips too - it's a classic.

Sali Hughes Pretty Honest

{CB} 'Beauty' and feminism have had a tempestuous relationship. With feminism very much back in the spotlight, what are you thoughts on the supposed disparity between looking one's best and expecting equality?

{SH} There is a difference between 'Beauty' and the 'Beauty Industry'. It is perfectly possible to love the former unapologetically, while challenging the messages of the latter. Our instinct to groom is innate - I find it insulting to be told it's being forced on me against my will. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask questions, challenge stereotypes and demand change. Women - people - are complex. We can have many interests at once. Loving beauty certainly does not mean you're stupid or shallow.

{CB} What's your ultimate beauty pearl of wisdom?

{SH} It's a boring one, but for God's sake, cleanse every night before bed. Nothing will improve your skin so decisively and so visibly. Within a week of using a proper balm, oil or cream in conjunction with a flannel, you will see a difference, I promise.

And that's just for starters! If (like us), you're desperate for more of Sali's straight-talking insights, scoop up her brilliant book {Pretty Honest} - it's a thing of beauty, a joy to read and an instruction manual for those completely clueless when it comes to cosmetics. No prizes for guessing what Cult Beauty mums, sisters and friends will be getting this Christmas...