Beauty product ads always proclaim newfangled “advances” in skin care that will “erase” wrinkles and make you more beautiful than ever before. On one level, everyone knows these claims are a stretch. Still, some ingredients and products must be better and more effective for your skin than others. How’s an eco-girl to choose?
Now comes a book that’ll give you the lowdown on all things green and gorgeous. "Do It Gorgeously: How to Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products" — written by author of "Gorgeously Green," Sophie Uliano, starts with a crash course on eco-friendly skin care that’ll prevent you from ever again wasting money on dud products with big promises.
To be clear, "Do It Gorgeously" isn’t a green shopping guide. It’s a green DIY guide, which means the beauty section is filled with recipes and mixing instructions for cleansing creams, eye gel, makeup remover, deodorant, and more. But to concoct your own beauty products, you have to know the functions and benefits of every ingredient — which Sophie (pictured above) lays out without false promises in easy-to-understand detail.
Read it, and you’ll find out once and for all what “anti-aging” ingredients actually might help defy age and if retinol is worth paying for. That knowledge will help you decide either to go shopping at a drugstore or to try your hand at concocting your own.
And that’s just the first chapter. "Do It Gorgeously" goes on to attack everything from your closet to your apartment balcony garden, showing you easy DIY options to save money while having fun. Get simple directions for sewing a blind hem, creating a DIY boot rack to make shoes last, and making simple yoga pants out of extra-large T-shirts.
Foodies will be glad to know they can go waste-free by concocting everything from condiments to potato chips to ricotta cheese at home. Stressed-out environmentalists can make and light a beeswax candle to relax while following the instructions for self-massage techniques. Fitness fanatics who can’t afford gym memberships can do the conveniently provided 15-minute workout — no expensive equipment required.
Lest you think "Do It Gorgeously" is all girly stuff, rest assured that Sophie shows women to do pretty much anything — cheaply and gorgeously. Why pay hundreds of dollars to a green consultant when you can do your own DIY home energy audit, fix your own toilet leak. and even regrout and recaulk? Along with those bigger projects, Sophie includes smaller practical tips, like picking the best clothesline for your living situation, deciding on the type of compost bin to create, and mixing your own green cleaning products.
"Do It Gorgeously" also has chapters on raising your baby and your pets on the green cheap — which I skipped unceremoniously to get right to the DIY instructions I actually plan to try. The book really is quite complete and detailed — down to instructions for making nontoxic glue with which to stick on identifying labels for your DIY beauty products! Get a sneak peek of "Do It Gorgeously" on Sophie's website; the book is available in stores now for $19.99.