Thursday, January 12, 2012

No More Dirty Looks - A Beauty Au Natural Book Report

I have been mentioning this book for months now and naughty me, it has taken me a while to finish it.  I have not been a good reader lately so I need to really find the stress-free time to sit down and focus, plus with low-back issues, it is hard to sit for a while and stay comfy enough to read.  This bad librarian has finally finished her homework and is writing a book report.  
My copy of No More Dirty Looks and my Cynthia Rowley reading glasses

The book:  No More Dirty Looks by journalists Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt
The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe & Clean Cosmetics

They also have a website & blog at: 

How did I find this book?  - My officemate knew I am into natural cosmetics and saw the authors on TV. She suggested it to me and I picked it up at our local Borders. I guess that confession admits how long I have been reading this book since Borders closed LOL 

I am a huge fan of this book. I already know I want to go natural so the book was mostly informative and encouraging to something I have already decided to do.  You will likely get upset reading it.  You will either get mad about how many chemicals are out there and allowed in our stuff OR you will get mad and put the book down and go back to your usual beauty routine.  This is your decision but I am happy this information is out there.  All I can say is I learned a lot and what I already knew was confirmed.  I am very happy to have this resource at my side for my future in trying to stay natural. It isn't all facts and boring stuff either, the include personal stories and expert advice. 

About the book:

Chapter 1 - Why We're Coming Clean
You get to read the story of the authors and why they first started looking into beauty products ingredients and why they went natural.
Chapter 2 - The Regulation Game
This is the background chapter.  By far the least fun to read but in some ways, the most important.  This is all about the industry and the lack of regulations of the beauty industry in the USA. To quote the book, "Companies can and do use pretty much anything they like in their products, because that's how the laws are written." (page 9)  You will get a lot of history and industry info in this chapter.
Chapter 3 - Dirty Ingredients
Here we go. This is the chapter all about the bad guys, those nasty chemicals we want to avoid. I love the way this is written because it really lays out the details on each ingredient or chemical group.  I found many I have been avoiding for years but learned about more I should really start keeping an eye out for.  Some on the list are the ones I have bad reactions to so in some ways, I am grateful to my system for not letting me wear such things.
Chapter 4 -  Your Hair
Now the chapters are broken down into product type which is really easy to follow and also great depending on which products you are more concerned with.  I do great with staying natural with skincare but hair...I still could use some work.  This chapter was a learning experience for me.  It deals with the many products that may be used on your hair and also talks about different techniques for washing your hair.  You have likely heard or read how we shouldn't be shampooing our hair all the time.  I use a natural shampoo and conditioner right now but might consider testing out the technique described in the book.  I think I need to work up to it and see how my hair does.  Not only do they describe the bad chemicals, they list products they have tested and like that are not full of nasty chemicals.  I definitely want to try some of these out.  It is so hard to find good products for curly hair but I have fine curly hair which adds another aspect to it.  It would be nice to get my hair routine truly natural. 
Chapter 5 - Your Face
A great chapter all about your face.  They discuss your face, how skin works.  They also talk about all the many products we might use on our poor faces.  Of course, on a happy note, there are plenty of great suggested natural products listed.  This chapter is where I learned about facial oils and decided to give them another try and have to say THANK YOU to No More Dirty Looks because this may be one of the best skin routine changes I have ever made.  Oh my happy face! There is actually a step-by-step guide on how you should wash your fave on page 127. Another great part of the suggested brands suggestion is a little boxed off area in each chapter with a list of drugstore items.  You can go natural without ordering expensive products, you can find friendlier brands at your drugstore or Target. 
Chapter 6 - Your Makeup
Another chapter with tons of info.  This one is all about natural forms of makeup and what to look for to make sure they are the good stuff.  They also have great tips from Jessa Blades, a natural makeup artist. There is a step-by-step guide on how to wash your brushes. They have info on how to make your own cosmetics. Then of course, their suggested brands.  I am happy to report that Bare Escentuals original spf 15 foundation is listed as well as other great brands like Alima Pure.
Chapter 7 - Your Body
Info about your body, your skin and the fact that hooray, this is one of the product types with tons of natural options out there.  They talk about everything from lotion to body scrubs to self tanner (which is most never natural or good for you, there are really only 2 safe self-tanners out there). They have info on do it yourself body scrubs and deodorant.  I think I might try these out. Their suggested self-tanner is by Lavera and I have heard amazing things so I plan to test this one out.
Chapter 8 - Your Nails
You have seen me post before about nail polishes needing to be 3-free.  That means they are free of the worst 3 chemicals found in most nail polishes.  Brands like OPI, Zoya, Butter LONDON and more are all 3-free.  Keep an eye out for polished that are not.  Also, you need to be wary of nail strengtheners and treatments.  Check those ingredients. They talk about everything from fake nails to buffing manicures.  They have do it yourself suggestions and suggested products. 
Chapter 9 - Your Diet
Yes, that is right.  Your diet plays a huge role in how your skin, hair and nails look.  You are what you eat and if you eat a lot of might just look like it.  I am not one to judge.  I eat far too many sweets and am the first to admit it but I try very hard to eat less processed and drive thru food and stick with more natural unprocessed foods.  Lots of info on supplements, foods that help, drinking water, and they include a shopping list to help you out. When a beauty diet list contains great foods like tomatoes, green tea, salmon and extra virgin olive oil...I am sold.  I am not so good about the green leafy stuff but those, yes please! They also have dark chocolate on that list. 
Chapter 10 - Your Lifestyle
What this chapter talks about is how your lifestyle can affect your looks.  Things like stress, sleep, working out, love and sex, meditation, smoking, and yoga.  Of course, some of these are great for you and some are bad.
Then the book closes with and afterword and an Appendix. The first appendix is the ingredient black list.  Needless to say, I photocopied this and plan to take it around the house to check my ingredient lists, then I will take it shopping with me. The next appendix is full of resources for more reading.

I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased this book myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

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  1. I so need to buy this book... very interesting :)

  2. I want this book, now, too! What haircare do you currently use? I love Salon Naturals. I found them via the cosmetics database; everything they make is a 0 or 1! I don't have curly hair, so I can't comment on their curly formula, but I adore the hydrating shampoo and conditioner.

  3. Right now I use Nature's Gate organic shampoo and conditioner but most of my styling products are from Deva Curl. They aren't too bad but not as natural as I would like.


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