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144 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2004
I bought this book because of a friend who developed an allergy to the aluminum used in anti-perspirants/deodorants and wanted to know if I could come up with some hand made creation to help her out. I have my own soap and toiletries business so I am constantly playing around with recipes for soaps and beauty treatments and this book sounded very interesting.

And it is. Janice Cox is an amazingly clever and inventive person whose pleasant personality comes through in the pages of this book. I was happy to find four different recipes for deodorants, but there was SO much more.

I have stopped spending major dollars for a small tube of a certain famous brand's hair dressing creme -- I now just make my own, slathering mayonnaise and honey and mashed avocado and egg yolk on my hair, which has never looked better. The recipes for facial creams and masques and potions and powders are endlessly fascinating, if you like this sort of thing.

If you are weary of paying top dollar for boutique or spa beauty treatments that you have already halfway suspected could be made at home (better and more cheaply), then this is definitely the book for you. Have fun with it and take note of how these simple, down-home beauty recipes actually WORK.
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161 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2007
I was VERY disappointed in this book for several reasons:

1). The author mentions the use of mineral oil and petrolatum as a moisturizer (for those of you that don't know these are byproducts of gasoline and are AWFUL for your skin, the cosmetic/beauty industry only use it because it is dirt cheap and never goes bad).

2). It is not practical to put your time and effort into making something for one application (will we really see results after just one use?). I suppose you can multiply the recipes but most of the recipes need to be used ASAP or they spoil. Needless to say I have not found a happy medium!

3). I have coarse curly hair- I tried one of the "hair packs" and needless to say it was a MESS! It took several shampoos to get all of the stuff out of my hair.

In conclusion, I would reccommend you research what products are actually good for you and not just convienient for the makers!
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130 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2002
I had high expectations of this book, especially because Ms. Cox says sh e is a chemist, in the introduction. I was a bit disappointed. Although many of her ideas are good and innovative, it seems like she hasn't spent much time refining her recipes. The cold creams came out more like lumpy, bubbly goop, rather unnerving if you're expecting something like Ponds. Plus she doesn't tell you that if you opt to use the blender, you will spend an hour scrubbing and cleaning out the thing. If you want cream, the best recipe can be found in Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal (Rosemary's Perfect Cream). The Mermaid lotion in this book turned out like opaque white gelatin and felt like it too, although using Irish Moss as a moisturizer is a nice idea. All in all, it's an okay book for a beginner. The recipes I've tried, although disappointing in appearance and texture (and labor intensive, as far as cleaning up goes), perform reasonably well, so I guess that makes them okay. If you're going to give them as gifts, warn the recipients that they will look kinda weird, but feel okay.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 1999
Probably the best of Janice Cox's books. No sloppy kitchen cosmetics of dubious value. These easily made recipes yield professional grade, therapeutic products with excellent shelf life. Very sound, basic chemistry. The only other book in this class is "Make Your Own Cosmetics" from Neal's Yard Remedies in London, who specialize in use of natural essential oils and herbal preparations.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2000
I was looking for a book that had items I already have in my kitchen and that is what I found. The recipes are easy. This is an excellent book if you are interested in making your own beauty products for yourself or as gifts. I love it!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2006
I love this book. I always have a few extra strawberries or some yogurt or mayonnaise in my fridge. Simple, nontoxic, often edible ingredients that make great beauty recipes. I have tried quite a few selections from the book thus far and have been very pleased with the way my hair and face feel after using these simple beauty recipes. A far better buy than running to the department store and paying extortionary prices for products that don't work any better. P.S. I worked for Lancome for 7 yrs., so I feel confident making that claim!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2005
I remember my grandmother when I was a kid, with cucumber slices on her face... I would always find it funny and always thought there is no much use using natural stuff on your face, till I grow older. With all this crappy cosmetics on the market full of preservatives and artificial components, how can that be good for your face... there is nothing better than cucumber slices for tired eyes or yogourt for sun-burned skin... this book uses commonly found ingredients, easy recipes, has everything for natural beauty at home.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2005
SUCH a great book! So many great recipes. As the author says, I'm sure that I will get addicted to natural beauty product making. I have been looking for a book like this for a while and it is absolutely great. The one thing I am worried about is how long the products will last...she doesnt really address that. otherwise, great format--easy, fun!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 1998
Inspiration for anyone who is trying to remove harmful chemicals their skin and hair.The Book is beautifully laid out and easy to use. The quiet time it takes to prepare these recipes is another way of taking good care of ourselves. This book teaches how to go about that. The recipes are clear, and given the ingredients and Janice Cox's research should work as described. Certainly have for me.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2009
I bought this book very recently, and am a novice at making skincare products. I tried a few lotion & cream recipes from this book so far, and am pleased with the results overall - for a beginner. However, I feel that the author should have refined and perfected her recipes before presenting them in a book for sale.

Like another reviewer, I too will not use mineral oil, petroleum jelly, or lanolin - no petroleum or animal products for me! Do you really want crude-oil and abused-animal products on your body??

The "Basic Moisturizer" is way too waxy & tacky feeling from using too much stearic acid. I adjusted my 2nd batch by reducing the stearic acid. It would have made a nice lotion, but I whipped it in the blender for too long, and so it became a rich, thick cream - my fault. It still is very nice, and yet still a bit waxy which will work well at work where I have to frequently wash my hands. Next time I'll either reduce the stearic acid content further, or else use beeswax instead. I do like that it is unscented.

The "Lecithin Moisturizer" was very runny, and smelled weird and a bit dark (light tan) from too much liquid lecithin. I saved that runny batch by mixing it with my own devised batch of cream (1/2 cup of organic, unrefined macadamia nut oil mixed with a small borax & distilled water solution), and I added essential oils to mask the still-smelly lecithin (lecithin has a sickly sweet scent IMHO). My revised batch resulted in an incredibly rich lotion which at first I feared was too greasy, but it sinks into my skin quickly and feels velvety. Only a tiny bit of lotion is needed, so one bottle of my own revised recipe will last a very long time.

The "Basic Cold Cream" is very nice! Initially it seemed a bit waxy, even after I added some grapefruit & vanilla essential oils, but by the next day it had a wonderful, rich creamy texture (not waxy) and now I love it!

The "Coconut-Almond Lip Gloss" is a simple, quick, basic recipe, and works very well and feels great on the lips. However, since I prefer to use a tube instead of a jar, I will use more beeswax the next time to make it firmer. It does work in a tube as is, but needs to be firmer for the tube so that it will glide on easily.

I'm giving this book a 4 rating because although it needs improvement, it is by far the best of the 5 books I bought so far. As in cooking foods, if you experiment with the recipes you will eventually find your own personal preferences. If you seemingly ruin a batch, chances are high that you can easily salvage it- or even transform it to something wonderful - with a little ingenuity & experimentation. Also, if you don't like the initial recipe result, you can most likely use it for another purpose - e.g., for knees and heels instead of face, or for cream cleanser instead of day cream...

As for cleaning the pots and bowls, etc. after making the lotion & cream recipes, I found it quite easy. After all, soaps & dish liquids are made with oils, and so they easily clean up similar substances.

I found some great free skin care recipe sites online, and I compare similar recipes for a general idea of what proportions of various ingredients to use. At any rate, I much prefer my homemade products to most store-bought versions,and the only store-bought versions that I like are just too expensive for me. Why pay $18.00 and up for a bottle of lotion when you can make better lotions for much less money?
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