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Book Review: Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends by Lauren Cox

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I can only imagine what it was like growing up with a mom like Janice Cox. A leading authority on how to whip up home spa remedies with ingredients found in your kitchen, Janice has three natural beauty books under her belt along with a heap of respect in the beauty and wellness communities. Her first beauty bible of cookbook-style recipes — Natural Beauty at Home — hit the shelves some 15 years ago, when she was also juggling the job of raising two daughters. With two perfect little testers at her side, it's only natural that her gift for creating natural balms, soaks, masks and scrubs would rub off on her girls.

And it apparently has. Lauren Cox, along with help from her well-known mom, has published a beautiful book of home spa recipes that brings the natural beauty phenomenon home to a younger generation of DIYers. Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends is a collection of fun, budget-friendly concoctions for face, body, hair and gift-giving brought to life with artful photos, easy-to-find ingredients and straightforward instructions.

While many of the recipes are variations on time-tested remedies used by home spa chemists for ages, each is spiked with a modern twist. The "Powerful Pomegranate Toner" gives the ol' witch hazel toner of yore an anti-aging kick of pomegranate juice while the "No More Cottage Cheese Thighs" is a brown sugar body scrub that incorporates recent findings on the power of caffeine to diminish the appearance of cellulite. And with the holiday season creeping up on us, the gift-making chapter takes the cake with everything from earth-friendly baskets woven from newspapers to adorable cupcake bath bombs.

The layout of the over-sized book is clean and fresh, the print is large and colorful, and the pictures beautifully illustrate featured finished products. Interspersed in the recipes are helpful sidebars that offer definitions, beauty advice, shopping tips and eco-inspired ideas on how to keep it green. Best of all, the friendly voice and approachable design inspires you to invite the girls over to get messy in the kitchen. It's the kind of book that makes you want to buy two — one to give and one to keep tucked next to your cookbooks.

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