Title: Gorgeous For Good
Author: Sophie Uliano
Price: 11.40$ (paperback) and 10.63$ (kindle)
It’s fair to say that the beauty business is booming—as is the anti-aging industry. Each year, Americans spend more than $30 billion on cosmetics, and, globally, we spend about $260 billion on services and products to enhance our youth. Accompanying the decisions we make around our beauty comes the ever important question of whether to go fake or natural. Do we resort to the latest commercial chemical or surgical quick fix or go completely organic but possibly get less stunning results? Clean beauty guru and New York Times best-selling author of Gorgeously Green, Sophie Uliano offers a solution to this latest beauty dilemma and says you don’t have to choose, and when you look at her, you can tell she has more than a few good secrets.
Unlike other books, Gorgeous for Good takes the middle ground between natural and fake. Rather than focusing on these extremes, Sophie looks at what truly healthy options actually work—and it isn’t necessarily what people might think. In addition, she lays out a beauty perspective that focuses on helping readers create their own unique beauty—inside and out. With her exceptional combination of passionate research and everywoman commonsense, she puts forth a revolutionary, holistic program that covers everything from nutrition to self-care to spiritual connection and includes:
Well-researched, myth-busting information about commercial and natural beauty products
Simple guidelines for buying the best skin care products, and easy recipes for cost-saving beauty products to make at home
Healthy, budget-friendly recipes for food to kick start the new you
Exciting ways to get spiritually connected
In her girl-next-door voice, Sophie brings all of this together in an innovative 30-day Gorgeous for Good program, offering readers tools for a body-and-soul beauty regimen that will help them stay gorgeous—not for six months or a year—but for good!
Sophie Uliano grew up in the bucolic English countryside, picking berries, building camps in the woods with her brother, and breathing sweet, clean air. Fast-forward 30 odd years. Sophie is pregnant and living in Los Angeles. The gardens there were sprayed with pesticides. She was told that the tuna she craved contained a high amount of mercury, and that lots of toxins lurked in her beauty products.
Sophie wanted a return to a more natural life, but without spending all her money on expensive organic foods and air-filters. Determined to make her life less toxic, she became an internationally renowned Green and Healthy Living expert, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a Certified Yoga teacher, started making her own beauty products, and penned several books on green living.
Her latest work is Gorgeous For Good, where Sophie shares all her beauty secrets. Now, if you know me, you know I am sceptical of green beauty. Too often its experts ask us to sacrifice effective and safe synthetic products for natural alternatives that provide less than stellar results at a stellar price tag. But Sophie’s book attracted me because she claims to be a “Beauty Flexitarian, with a foot in both the ‘enhancement’ camp and the one Nature intended”.
I find that’s true. To an extent. It was refreshing to hear Sophie say that not not all man made chemicals are bad for you, and that some can improve your life. She points out how the vitamin c and retinol in natural creams and serums are made in a lab and yet are very good for you. She also tries to reassure her readers that it’s the quantity that makes the poison. Just because a substance is toxic in high doses it doesn’t mean it’ll kill you if you use a tiny amount of it. It won’t.
However, she does throw the word toxic around way too often. Although she recommends balance and tells her readers not to worry too much if they’ve been using products that contain one of the ingredients in her banned list, she clearly leans a lot more in the natural than “enhancement” synthetic camp. If that’s your thing, you’ll find her tips very useful (just don’t try to make your own sunscreen like she recommends. That can be dangerous!).
Her dieting advice is even more radical. She bans not just meat, alcohol, and gluten, but also fish (too much mercury in it). I don’t doubt that her organic diet has lots of benefits for both health and skin, but I personally find it way too drastic.
I’m a big believer that your body needs all kinds of foods, including red meat and sweets, to function properly. It’s just that we need to consume lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds, every day, and little of anything else. Besides, there is no way this Italian girl is ever going to give up pizza and ham. It’d make me too cranky, and that’s not healthy either, is it?
But if you’re interested in this diet, Sophie provides lots of recipes that you can try. Again, while she encourages you to follow her diet strictly, she also understands that some people will struggle a lot with that, and lets you know that it’s ok to stray and start small, one step at a time.
That’s my favourite thing about this book. Although I don’t agree with every tip, I appreciate her compassion. Uliano wants you to make what she thinks are the best choices for you, but doesn’t make you feel guilty or bad if you choose to still use some skincare products made with synthetic ingredients or prefer to follow a less strict diet. She may lean heavily towards the natural camp, but she’s not a fanatic.
This book doesn’t feature just skincare and diet tips. Uliano also talks about the importance of exercise, meditation, and self-care. Her focus is both on outer and inner beauty, and in helping women age as healthily and gracefully as they can. It’s not about getting rid of wrinkles forever (of course that’s impossible), but in living a healthy, beautiful life.
To help you get started, she has created a 30 days programme that you can find at the end of the book. For each day, she shares the beauty routine you should follow, what foods you should eat, the workouts that you should do, and a morning me time routine to help you start the day in the right way. I haven’t followed the programme to a T (again, too drastic for me), but I have tried a few of her meditations and food recipes, and enjoyed them.
Gorgeous For Good didn’t prompt me to change all my habits. I’m all about balance too, but I still lean more towards the middle of the natural vs synthetic spectrum. But, if you’d like to try a more natural approach, this is not a bad place to start at all.
Although Sophie Uliano’s tips are too drastic and natural biased for my taste, her approach is balanced and compassionate enough to make Gorgeous For Good a good starting point for those who want to start leading a more green lifestyle.