The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty


Robert Rose Publisher was so kind to send me a copy of  Sunny Subramanian’s book The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty to review. I was impressed to discover Sunny Subramanian has an expansive background as one of the first vegan beauty bloggers and has been writing Vegan Beauty Review since 2007.  Her work has also been featured in LA Times, Women’s World Magazine, and Allure.

I readily agreed to review this book. I love make-up and skincare products and have a teenager who does too. It’s important to us to only use cruelty-free and vegan products but some of them come with a premium price.

All the recipes in this book are gluten-free and non-toxic and many of the ingredients can be found in your kitchen cupboards making them inexpensive and simple.

I was lucky the day I reviewed this book because I had three teenagers with nothing to do on the first snowday of the school year. My daughter Miss M. asked if her friends Mr. J. and Miss E. could come over for the day. I said yes but made her agree to a  deal.

The deal was I would let them hang out, eat all the vegan food they wanted, and watch movies in exchange for trying out some recipes in the book. Since, like most teenagers, they make decisions with their stomachs, they agreed.

The first recipe we tried was a mask made with simple ingredients: coffee, coconut oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup.


Since Mr. J. is an exceptionally good sport, he agreed to try the mask with Miss M.. It smelled delicious and it was super easy to make. Both kids said their skin felt great after they washed it off.

img_3485The second experiment was for Miss E. She chose to make an eyeshadow with shea butter and cocoa. Easy!


Here’s a recipe taken from the book so you can try out your own DIY beauty:

Shimmer Blush, page 208

It’s time to talk about your sweet cheeks (the ones upstairs, not your hindquarters). Using blush is a fabulous way to appear youthful and healthy, and this natural option rocks at rosying up your complexion.

Best for: All skin types

Top Tip: Make sure your beet root powder is super-duper finely ground, and then grind it some more in a blender. The finer it is, the better it’ll adhere to your skin.

Superstar ingredient: 
Beets contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Red beets also contain a pigment called betanin, which gives them their bright magenta coloring. In addition to using beet root powder to make blush, you can also use it as natural food coloring.

  • Makeup sifter jar

1 tsp            finely ground beet root powder, alkanet root powder or 
hibiscus flower powder 5 mL

1⁄2 tsp        arrowroot powder                                             2 mL

1⁄4 tsp        unsweetened cocoa powder                    1 mL

Pinch          gold mica powder                                           Pinch

3 to 5          drops lavender essential oil                      3 to 5

  1. Pour beet root powder into a small bowl. Whisk in arrowroot powder and cocoa powder, a little at a time, until desired shade is achieved. Discard any remaining arrowroot powder and cocoa powder.
  2. Whisk in mica powder and lavender essential oil until well combined. Pour into jar.
  3. Sprinkle blush onto a fluffy blush brush and apply to cheeks.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to 6 months.


Matte Blush: Omit gold mica for 
a matte finish.

We had fun with this book and you will too! You may have to order some of the ingredients in some recipes online (e.g. jojoba oil, clay, essential oils) but many are readily available and inexpensive.

And the best part? No one gets hurt in the process.




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