Self-help and beauty books enjoy a bump just before we start another year, and I get why. You can make changes at any point in your life, but the new start makes it seem somehow more possible.
“Radical Beauty” by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Kimberly Snyder, C. N. is written in kind of an Ayurvedic medicine vein, and the book is set up into six pillars of lifestyle changes to achieve beauty: 1. Internal Nourishment, 2. External Nourishment, 3. Peak Beauty Sleep, 4. Primal Beauty, 5. Beautiful Movement, and 6. Spiritual Beauty.
Full disclosures-I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. And I’m a skeptic. I like Chopra as a person. I think some of what he pushes is nonsense. I think some of it is great advice for living a good life. This book has both of those things. I can’t totally knock points off for anti-science, though. You’ll get some information on fad diets like paleo that is accurate.
And it starts out with saying it isn’t our to diet prophecy you or demonize certain foods, but then takes commercial breaks to do just that. My guess is some of that is the co-author, who pushes things like detoxes (which science tells us is NOT a thing, or at least not a thing a human needs) and it feels out of sync with the underlying narrative of this collective work. Some of the recipes are impractical (or maybe just impractical for a Southern parent of multiple kids with sensory issues), but the seasonal guide to good eating is pretty useful. I mean I can’t serve kale, but we can eat walnuts.
The rest of it is pretty good. It’s common sense stuff that we still need to remind ourselves of-eat more plants, move more, turn your bedroom into a cave and go the hell to bed earlier. It also has some interesting recipes for your hair and skin in the External Nourishment pillar, like practicing self massage with sesame or coconut oil and dry-brushing your skin beforehand. I found a few hair treatments with everyday ingredients that would work even for my thick and course hair.
And Chopra fans will love the last pillar, here we get the voice we recognize and a lovely uplifting message.
I’d go ahead and recommend this book for someone who needs lifestyle changes (like myself). Grab it and a sensible work-out book you don’t hate and maybe we can have a healthier year.
And, for something lighter, I decided to pair this review with one of my cool library finds, “The Craft: DIY Hair and Beauty” by Lou Teasdale.
It’s a DIY book for those of us who wear dark eyeliner to PTO meetings and don’t mind having violet hair well into their 30’s and beyond.
I hate more traditional look books. This one was fast, fun, and more to my taste, with tutorials and great product recommendations.
Did YOU know you could use your black lipstick as heavy-smudge eyeliner?
The lay-out sort of looks like a teen’s scrap book, but rest assured a grown and accomplished make-up artist wrote it (which means older people like me can legitimately use it, right?) “Radical Beauty” is a longer, more detailed read and this is something you can finish in roughly a lunch-break.
Overall, well worth your anti-mainstream time if you are looking for non-generic beauty. It doesn’t promise to change your life like the heavier read of the other book, but part of that is being your authentic self. And “The Craft” might help with that part.
I’ll leave the closing poem and final thoughts of “Radical Beauty” (pg. 290) here, a well chosen set of lines, if you ask me, when it comes to the idea of true beauty.
The Open Door by Rumi.
People are Constantly Crossing
The Threshold of Eternity
The Door is open
If you can stay awake.
You can also visit Erika at http://writeathomemothering.blogspot.com/