In this inclusive, illustrated history and guide to skin care and beauty, journalist and founder of Very Good Light David Yi teaches us that self-care, wellness, and feeling beautiful transcends time, boundaries, and binaries—and that pretty boys can change the world
Chanel and Goop might have seemed ahead of the curve when they launched their men’s beauty and wellness lines, but pharaohs were exfoliating, moisturizing, and masking eons earlier. Thousands of years before Harry Styles strutted down the red carpet with multicolored fingernails, Babylonian army officials had their own personal manicure sets. And BTS might have become an international sensation for their smoky eyes and perfect pouts, but the Korean Hwarang warriors who put on a full face before battle preceded them by centuries.
Pretty Boys unearths diverse and surprising beauty icons who have redefined what masculinity and gender expression look like throughout history, to empower us to live and look our truths. Whether you're brand new to beauty, or you already have a ten-step routine, Pretty Boys will inspire and teach you how to find your best self through tutorials, beauty secrets, and advice from the biggest names in the beauty industry, Hollywood, and social media.
From Frank Ocean’s skin-care routine to Clark Gable’s perfectly styled hair, Rami Malek’s subtle eyeliner to a face beat to the gods à la Boy George or Kimchi the drag queen, K-Beauty to clean beauty, Pretty Boys will completely change the way we all see gender expression and identity.
About the Author
DAVID YI is the founder of Very Good Light, a site that has aimed to redefine masculinity through a beauty lens. Prior to Very Good Light, David launched fashion and beauty verticals at Mashable, reported for WWD, and was the fashion editor at the New York Daily News, in addition to writing for many other publications. He has received a GLAAD Award and two Webby nominations, and was named one of “25 People Changing the Beauty Conversation” in Marie Claire.
"A visual journey worth your time. David’s unique take on beauty is compelling and stunning, a must have." —Jonathan Van Ness, New York Times bestselling author of Over The Top and host of Queer Eye
"Before I became Patrick Starrr, I was like any other young boy trying to figure it all out. Pretty Boys is a beautiful collection of relatability that guides us through a similar emotion that many prominent people have felt throughout history. It proves that beauty has always been tied to all people no matter their backgrounds." —Patrick Starrr, Beauty Guru & Founder of ONE/SIZE
"It's time to learn your history, darling! David's storytelling and research bring to life the deep connections between masculinity and mascara! The idea of what a man is has changed throughout time, and keeps changing...so smear on some eyeshadow, draw on a lip, and bring out the "Pretty Boy" inside!"—Sasha Velour, Drag Queen Extraordinaire
“What I really love about beauty is that it makes me embrace the full power of Bretman Rock. But not everyone is comfortable with the power that is associated with feeling beautiful. This book proves that men and gender non-conforming people like myself have always used makeup and cosmetics as a way to elevate their look and spirit; giving themselves the power to change the world. Yes, pretty is powerful, and Pretty Boys has the receipts!”—Bretman Rock, Social Media Guru
"The beauty industry is so important as it allows different demographics to feel seen and represented. But for far too long, the beauty industry has excluded men from the conversation. David transformed the beauty landscape by creating a safe space for guys to also participate not only in beauty, but find others like them. Pretty Boys will do the same and showcase men in all forms. When this book hits shelves, it will absolutely be revolutionary." —Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Soko Glam and author of The Little Book of Skincare
"In a political time that seems rather dark, it's encouraging to know we have a beacon of light. David has challenged the notions of masculinity since he started his mission and continues to do so with Pretty Boys. Pretty Boys is more important now more than ever and will certainly inspire future generations to push culture forward."—Joe Zee, fashion editor and producer
"David's work in both the beauty and masculinity space is not only important, it's culture-pushing. It also inspires anyone and everyone to embrace their authentic selves. We need a bold, beautiful, glittery beacon of hope more than ever and I know that that comes in the form of Pretty Boys."—Nicola Formichetti, artistic director and designer