My feelings about the DIY movement can be summed up in two words: punk rock. That’s the vibe I get when flipping through the pages of DIY Beauty by Ina De Clercq.
Well, that’s the short version of this title. The real title couldn’t possibly be that simple: DIY Beauty: Easy, All-Natural Recipes Based on Your Favorites from Lush, Kiehl’s, Burt’s Bees, Bumble and bumble, Laura Mercier, and More! (Amazon, $12.32)
(The awkwardly placed lemon on this book cover is hiding a very ugly “REVIEW COPY ONLY” sticker that was placed with industrial adhesive that will never come off.)
There are over 400 books on Amazon with “DIY Beauty” in the title somewhere, but this one has something the others don’t: direct comparisons to branded products.
And that’s ultimately what we all want when we pick up a DIY beauty book, isn’t it? When we whip up these wholesome, “natural” recipes, we want the product to do the same things that our prestige and drugstore beauty products do. Sure, honey and yogurt are good for your skin, but is combining them and slathering the mixture all over going to replicate the results of my favorite mask? (The answer is… sometimes.) Doctoring up DIY skincare projects is fun and all, but when you’re looking for results, many DIY beauty books seem more like kid activities than actual skincare alternatives. That’s where this book sets itself apart.
I’ve flipped through my fair share of DIY beauty recipe books, and I’m comfortable calling this one my favorite. Not only are the direct product comparisons helpful, but De Clercq tackled some products that might have even amateur crafters at least a little intimidated. Like De Clercq, I love a good challenge, and her crafting background has definitely been instrumental in how comprehensive and clever this book is.
In the true spirit of DIY, the products in DIY Beauty are presented as though they were equally as valuable as the products they’re being compared to. And despite the beautiful presentation and thoughtful photography, the book never manages to let you forget that it’s all achievable. De Clercq even has a full list of DIY beauty ingredients and supplies on her website! Oh, that reminds me…
A little background on Ina De Clercq:
She founded TheMakeupDummy.com after being diagnosed with eczema, a skincare condition that I, too, was diagnosed with in my teens. Through her blog, she explored the world of cosmetics from the perspective of someone with very sensitive skin, and with that comes a pretty impressive knowledge of cosmetic ingredients and their potential reactions.
Many of the skincare products out there, both luxury and affordable, have ingredients that can cause irritation to the skin, and thanks to the magic of skin conditions, everyone reacts to something different. So for people with chaotic and temperamental skin, the idea of using common ingredients that you know are safe to make skincare and beauty products sounds like potential relief with a side of fun and crafting.
After De Clercq started sharing her own personal skincare recipes on her blog, the demand for more started growing, and that’s how we got her first book: DIY Beauty. It’s pretty freaking awesome.
A good example of De Clercq’s ambition and cleverness are the You’re Golden Eye Masks (above). She successfully came up with a formula to replicate the insanely popular self-adhesive under-eye masks using agar agar, a clever ingredient made from algae. It’s found in dessert recipes from all over Asia because it acts like gelatin, or pectin. If you can imagine a Jell-O jiggler full of skin-loving nutrients, it’s something kinda close to that. An ambitious crafter could make several sets of these in an afternoon for actual pennies on the dollar. You can buy every one of the four ingredients in this recipe for under $15, and you probably have half of them in your pantry already!
Some of the Beauty Products You’ll Find Dupes For:
- MAC Cleanse Off Oil
- Burt’s Bees Hand Salve
- Demalogica Daily Microfoliant
- Bumble and bumble Surf Spray
- Dr. Jart+ Shake & Shot Rubber Masks
- Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
Okay, okay, okay, that’s enough spoilers. Pick up DIY Beauty from Amazon for only $12.32!
A copy of DIY Beauty by Ina De Clercq was sent to me gratis for review.
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