I’m very excited today to bring you my first book giveaway courtesy of CICO Books! This is the new book by Karen Gilbert and is called A Green Guide to Natural Beauty. It contains 35 step-by-step projects for homemade beauty and if you love making then this is a great book to add to your collection.
I had the pleasure of styling all of the images in this book earlier this year to help create the look for it, working with the wonderful photographer Stuart West in his studio. It was a really fun and informative few days and with Karen making the projects in front of us, it was like receiving our own private tutorials.
There are so many projects in the book that I would definitely make myself, even as a total beauty product-making novice. Many require no heat, but for the ones that do you simply follow the steps like a recipe and it is just like cooking, but you end up with beauty products at a fraction of the price of the high street. As Karen says: “making your own beauty products is so simple once you know how – it really is no different to cooking. In most cases it’s actually easier – if you can make a sauce, you can make a lotion”
Karen is a natural skincare and fragrance expert and runs artisan perfumery and natural beauty workshops. She originally trained as a make-up artist and cosmetic scientist at The London College of Fashion and went on to work as a fragrance evaluator for one of the world’s largest perfume manufacturers. After many years she decided to pursue her lifelong passion for natural health and beauty by training in aromatherapy and joining the product development team at Neal’s Yard Remedies, helping to create many of their award-winning products. A Green Guide to Natural Beauty was published in August and is her first book. If you have a moment pop by Karen’s website.
We also spent a few days in different beautiful locations photographing the finished projects in charming surroundings and it was great to style the book from cover to cover. Stuart is a fantastic food photographer and regularly works for clients including Waitrose, John Lewis, Costa Coffee, Delicious Magazine and many more.
The book is fab with 35 recipe projects, 144 pages and 200 colour photos. It includes a chapter on getting started and then projects falling into three categories: ‘for the face’, ‘for the body’ and ‘bath and shower’. Karen shows you how to make your own beauty products in your kitchen at home, using easy-to-obtain, natural ingredients and easy-to-follow methods. For the face, there are moisturisers, face masks and cleansers; for the body there are scrubs and shower gels, soaps and body lotions. And when you need some extra-special pampering, there are recipes for lip balms, massage bars, bath oils and eye gels.
You can try your hand at making a neroli hydrating spritz or a jojoba and aloe vera moisturiser, mango and lime body butter or lemon and tea tree foot balm, bergamot and grapefruit wake-up wash or cocoa butter lip balm – the hardest part is choosing which project to try first! Each recipe has clear step-by-step photographs to guide you, and there are numerous variations.
I was naturally drawn to the bath chapter of the book, the chocolate bath melts smelled divine whilst we were making them and would be wonderful gifts to give away too, as would many of the other projects in this chapter. This book would make a great gift, perhaps accompanied with some beautiful empty bottles and raw ingredients for the recipient to start making their own beauty products straight away. Or just keep it all for yourself and make lots of things to give away as gifts.
And here is the good news, CICO Books have let me have one copy worth £14.99/$19.95 to give away to one of you and it’s open to everyone, worldwide!
All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and simply tell me – what do you like making?
The closing date for entries is midnight 1st December 2011 and I will enter everyone’s name in a draw and select a winner by random. The winner will be notified by email.
Great, hey? So you could be getting an extra Christmas present this year if you’re the lucky one!
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
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