Book Review: Handmade Beauty (& keeping life cruelty-free by making my own)

If you missed my blog post last month on living a cruelty-free life, you might be a little baffled by the title of this book review post. I’ve made the decision to make my life as cruelty-free as possible – cosmetics, food, toiletries, even household cleaning products – so when I was offered the chance to review Handmade Beauty (and share some of these thrifty recipes with you for free) I couldn’t resist. After all, what’s more cruelty-free than making your own, eh?!Bath Bombs - StyleI’m also rather keen on the idea of knowing exactly what ingredients have gone into the products that I’m using on my face, hair and body. Having particularly sensitive skin, it’s sometimes hard for me to find ‘off the shelf’ products that are gentle enough for me. Even the fresh and almost-good-enough-to-eat products at LUSH are sometimes not quite right for me so I’d rather mix the ingredients together myself and know exactly what’s in there and what isn’t. Plus, I’m sure that I could probably be saving quite a lot of money by making my own scrubs, bath bombs, balms and hair treatments.Pineapple Clay Mask - StyledFair enough, my homemade beauty products might not last as long as ones packed with preservatives, but I can make smaller batches or mix up only the amount that I need at that moment. And never again will I have to throw away a half-used tub of fresh face mask because it’s gone a bit funky after sitting in my bathroom for two months longer than its use-by date, oops..!Cover_HandmadeBeautyThe book that I’ve been testing out is Handmade Beauty: Natural Recipes for Your Face, Body and Hair by Juliette Goggin and Abi Righton. Each recipe contains step-by-step instructions for mixing up your own lotions and potions – much like a cookery book – and tells you how long the finished product will last and how to store it . The authors even give advice for labelling and prettifying so that you can give away your handmade treats as gifts – another great money-saving tip!Hair Rinse with Beer - StyledThe two free PDF recipes that I’m sharing with you today really caught my eye, thanks to the interesting combination of fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions. The first is for a really delicious-sounding Hair Rinse with Beer, Lemon and Rosemary and the second recipe is a Pineapple and Yoghurt Smoothie Clay Mask. Hair Rinse with Beer + Lemon + Rosemary - Step 1I was attracted to the hair rinse recipe because it (and many other recipes in this book) uses fresh ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen – including craft beer (yes, always!), lemon, cider vinegar, water and rosemary. Pretty easy so far, eh? Download the free PDF recipe extract for the Hair Rinse with Beer, Lemon and Rosemary here and try it for yourself. The protein in beer is well-known for strengthening and nourishing hair so this can only be a good addition to your haircare routine – and it’s a good way to use up leftover beer on the day after a party!Hair Rinse with Beer + Lemon + Rosemary - Step 2

Extracted from Handmade Beauty: Natural recipes for your face, body and hair by Juliette Goggin and Abi Righton. Photography by Amanda Heywood. Published by Jacqui Small (£20)

Pineapple Clay Mask - Step 1The second recipe is a very fresh Instant Pineapple and Yoghurt Smoothie Clay Mask and you can download the PDF for free here. By using fresh ingredients you can even save a little money by buying reduced over-ripe fruit – market stalls are good for this – and use them in the recipe straight away. Again, if you’ve already got some pineapple leftovers at home, you can whip up a mask rather than throw it away – you only need 5 chunks for this mask. The slightly-more-specialist ingredient kaolin (white clay) can be substituted with coconut flour or oat flour so you don’t need to go out and buy specialist ingredients just for this one recipe.Pineapple Clay Mask - Step 2If you come across a recipe in this book where you don’t already have the ingredients at home, most of the ingredients can be found in health food stores or pharmacies. Any of the more technical ingredients can, of course, be found online so there’s no excuse for not buying a few extra bits and pieces and getting started on creating your own beauty products in the kitchen. Pineapple Clay Mask - Step 3bWhat do you think about making your own beauty products at home? I love the idea of knowing exactly what I’m putting onto my skin and into my hair. And I’m especially happy that I know 100% that my beauty products are cruelty-free because (unless my cat gets a little too close while sniffing a bowl of yoghurt!) they definitely won’t have been tested on animals. Which makes me very happy indeed. Let me know if you’ve tried making your own beauty products already by leaving me a comment below and please tweet me a photo if you try out either of these recipes – I’d love to see how you get on with it!

Handmade Beauty: Natural Recipes for your Face, Body and Hair is available to buy on Amazon at the reduced price of only £16.59 – enjoy!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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