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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Compassionate Chick's Guide to DIY Beauty: Book Review


Consumers are increasingly concerned about what's in the products they buy, whether its food, household cleaners, or cosmetics.  We have become far more aware of the many harmful ingredients that can be found in many conventional products and are looking for ones that are less toxic for our health and for the environment.  The problem is, most of the brands on the market that fit the bill in that regard are super expensive. Often way above our budget.  So what to do?  DIY!

Now, you know I'm not much of a DIYer, but if its simple and there are big payoffs, hey, I am all over it!

I was thrilled to review The Compassionate Chick's Guide to DIY Beauty, because (1) The recipes are simple, (2) They are affordable, and definitely way cheaper than purchasing similar products, and (3) I have 2 girls, already interested in makeup, who I thought would enjoy getting their hands dirty with this stuff - and I am not ready to buy them make up yet, they're too young!

Boy was I right about the girls! In fact, they fought over the book - which led to screaming and tears - and then poured over it making a (very long) list of all the recipes they want to try.

What was very pleasing to me is that I already have a lot of the ingredients on hand, because many of them come straight from your kitchen.  Unfortunately, I also discovered that I am all out of most of the essential oils I had, so I have to go load up on new ones. I also have to buy some appropriate containers before I can make many of the cosmetics with the girls.

The book is written by Sunny Subramanian, who writes the veganbeautyreview.com, and health writer, Chrystle Fiedler.

I like that its written in very playful, laid back language and isn't too judgy/preachy about veganism, though referring to eggs as chicken periods might be a bit over the top.

Before the girls and I can try the long list of recipes they want to make, we have to get the necessary supplies, so I decided to start with the product I was most interested in for myself, and is super simple: hairspray!

I don't worry much about the gel and other gunk I put in my hair because you don't absorb it into your body, but hairspray you tend to breathe in, and that worries me.  I have bought a whole lot of natural hairsprays in the past and they have all been very expensive and sucked.  Like really didn't do much at all.

They call their version Hair Spray-bilizer, and all it is, is filtered water, vegan granulated sugar, and essential oil of choice.  The process to make couldn't be simpler, just dissolve sugar in pot of boiling water, let cool and add essential oils. Pour into a spray bottle.  The more sugar you add, the stiffer the hold. 

I planned to add vanilla and grapefruit essential oils, but, as I mentioned, discovered all my bottles were empty, so I used a few drops of tea tree oil, because that's all I had.  Okay, not the best smelling stuff, but it keeps away lice, which is always useful if you have kids or work around them!

I honestly had little confidence that it work well with my difficult to manage, dry, curly hair, especially in the summer heat and humidity.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it does a great job of keeping my hair from frizzing, and doesn't give it that crunchy feel that commercial hairsprays do.  I am committed, this is now my go-to hairspray, I don't think I will ever buy hairspray again!

There are chapters devoted to:
  • Face care
  • Bath and body care
  • Hair care
  • Makeup and cosmetics, and
  • Unisex beauty essentials
The appendices are filled with information and tips, and there are resources for supplies and vegan living at the end.

As soon as we have a chance, the girls and I are going to go shopping so we can try out more recipes.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely! Why not make your own healthy, natural products when its easy and affordable!

Disclosure: I was sent the book to review buy all opinions on this blog are my own.

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