Book Reviews: Simply Sustainable Beauty by Emilie Woodger-Smith and Make Your Own Indoor Garden by Sarah Durber

 I have never tried making my own beauty/skin products, but it is something I am interested in and would like to try.  When I was asked if I wanted to review this book 'simply beautiful beauty' by Emilie Woodger-Smith I immediately said yes.  I have not paid for this book nor have I been paid to write this review; my words and opinions are as ever my own.

If you are interested in making your own skincare products then this book is an ideal starting point.  It is full of beautiful and useful photographs, so you can see what you are going to be working with and what it should look like at the end.

Emilie patiently talks us through what ingredients you need and why they are used.  She explains what they do in the process such as Vitamin E - which Emilie describes as '... the nectar of the gods when it comes to skin care!' (p.15). 

None of the recipes are complicated and some are very very straightforward such as the fizzy lavender and lemon foot soak (p.79).   Some recipes are to calm and restore you, some are cosmetics such as the berry lip and cheek tint.  There is a core of ingredients that appear in many of the recipes and just like you stock a store cupboard with things you cook with often, once you have gathered together a few core ingredients then you are set up to explore through the book at will.  Essential oils are used frequently, as is shea butter and sweet almond oil.  You soon get to grips with what you need to buy.

Emilie writes calmly and inspiringly.  I really like this book and if you have an interest in wanting to start to make your own skincare products then this book is for you.

Simply Sustainable Beauty by Emilie Woodger-Smith is published by White Owl/Pen & Sword Books.

I think you probably can have too many books on houseplants, but when I get to that stage I will let you know.  I wanted to review this book as house plants are something I continue to be obsessed with.  I have not paid for this book nor have I been paid to write this review;  my words and opinions remain my own.

I love the style of this book, even before starting to read it I was flipping through the pages loving the clear layout and the excellent photography.  I did settle down to actually read it properly which is of course the sensible thing to do.

Sarah talks us through how to start a plant collection,  which is a really useful introduction to growing plants indoors as Sarah goes through the needs of light and watering and the challenges of modern homes such as central heating.  Sarah then goes on to talk about terrariums: closed and open ones.  Sarah tells us about common indoor plant problems of which I can own up to several: I have killed many plants with kindness, or over-watering as it is often called.  Sarah made me smile where she talks about the problem of too many people caring for plants.  Sarah describes an office situation where the whole team were watering the plants so they had too much water, then they all stopped watering them so the plants had too little water and then finally an agreement about who would do what.  I recognise that scenario well.

Very usefully for me there is a section on Tillandsias, or 'air plants', I have recently bought a couple.  I bought one for my daughter and was looking after it until I could give it to her.  This meant I fell in love with it and had to buy another for myself.  They are a plant I knew nothing about so any help with keeping them alive is much needed.

Sarah even talks us through how to propagate our houseplants, always a useful thing to do.

I really liked this book, it is set out clearly and Sarah writes knowledgeably in a way that is easy to understand.  A definite useful additional to your houseplant book collection or a great gift.

Make Your Own Indoor Garden by Sarah Durber is published by White Owl/Pen & Sword Books.

Stay safe all and be kind.

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