I have a new hero, and her name is Sophie Uliano. I'd heard of Sophie's first two books, Gorgeously Green and the Gorgeously Green Diet, but had never taken the time to seek them out. I may have been subconsciously put off by the word "gorgeous" in the titles. It just seems like such a high standard to aspire to - really, who as the time to be gorgeous these days? But I was intrigued by the premise of her latest eco-friendly DIY manual, Do It Gorgeously, so I happily accepted an invitation to the book launch event.
As her guests munched on tea and cookies at T Salon, Sophie explained the philosophy behind her book: We can make everything from beauty products to household cleaners to baby clothes more affordably, of higher quality and in a more eco-friendly way when we do it ourselves. Further, doing so is joyfully empowering. She intended to put us to work concocting three of the skin care recipes from Do It Gorgeously. On the menu: Vitamin C Serum, Pomegranate Eye Serum and Gentle Facial Exfoliating Scrub. Sophie demonstrated how to make the three beauty concoctions and then sent us off to work stations equipped with all the proper ingredients, bottles and labels so we could make our own. A half hour later, I was on my way home with a bag full of freshly made, completely non-toxic beauty products that would've cost me a fortune at any department store.
The simplest to make (and one that I've found to be remarkably effective at making my skin glow) is the Vitamin C Serum. Sophie explained that vitamin C loses its potency remarkably quickly, so chances are you're wasting your money on store-bought serums. The best approach is to buy the ingredients yourself and mix it up in small batches to use within a couple of weeks. And you'll save a ton of dough in the process. Here's the recipe:
Dissolve 1/4 tsp L-ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C - available in powder form at most drugstores and health food stores) in 1 tsp distilled water.
Once dissolved, mix in 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (also available at health food stores).
Pour into a dark glass bottle and store up to one month in the refrigerator. This serum can be used under your moisturizer every morning and evening.
Note: If you prefer to use completely natural ingredients (L-ascorbic acid is made in a lab), you can use Camu Camu powder in place of the L-Ascrobic acid. Camu Camu is a superfruit that's insanely high in vitamin C and is also available at health food stores.
I am endlessly inspired by the tips and recipes in Do It Gorgeously and can't recommend the book highly enough; I'm even buying copies for my friends so that we can pool our resources to buy all of our ingredients and then have beauty product-making parties. If you purchase the book on Amazon.com, 10 percent of the profit will be donated to Canwerlink, an organization that provides free non-toxic housecleaning services to cancer patients.