Parents' Guide to

Not So Pretty

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Eye-opening doc uncovers hidden dangers in common cosmetics.

TV Max Reality TV 2022
Poster art for the HBO Max miniseries Not So Pretty. A variety of cosmetic containers are pictured in negative on a pink and green background.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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The tone is a bit dry at times, but the series opens up an important conversation about ethics within the beauty industry, and adequate health and safety regulations for consumers and workers alike. Not So Pretty is bound to leave viewers gobsmacked when they see, for instance, a corporation like Claire's denying that their toy eyeshadow palettes contain asbestos -- despite ample evidence from repeated laboratory tests that prove otherwise.

We learn about the slimy methods companies use to shirk responsibility for these issues, and about how frustratingly ineffectual the Food & Drug Administration is because they have no authority when it comes to the regulation of cosmetic products. There's a lot of info relayed here, but episodes are kept short for maximum absorption. Lest you walk away completely despondent after viewing, the show provides recommendations for apps and websites viewers can use to check the safety of the products in their homes, as well as general dos and don'ts and advice on petitions to be signed.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: April 14, 2022
  • Cast: Keke Palmer
  • Network: Max
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Last updated: May 20, 2023

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