Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of Whole Beauty in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart.
“Self-care is about more than eating clean and exercising. When you approach beauty rituals with reverence, you begin a wellness journey that will connect you to your deepest self and honor the essence of your being.” — Whole Beauty: Daily Rituals and Natural Recipes for Lifelong Beauty and Wellness by Shiva Rose. Are you still there? I feel like I might have lost a few of you with the last part of that quote — the bit about connecting to your “deepest self” and honoring “the essence of your being”. It sounds New Age-y (and it definitely is), but give it time (which is kind of what the book is about) and Whole Beauty grows on you. Inside are more than 40 natural recipes for masks, exfoliants, tonics, deodorant and toothpaste; how-to’s on Ayurvedic practices like dry brushing, oil brushing, smudging and sage-ing; and numerous ways to use essential oils. It’s informative, beautiful and easy to read — sometimes more aspirational than anything else (I feel like sourcing some of the ingredients locally would be impossible for a lot of readers, but a list of online vendors is included) but inspiring all the same. 10 years ago Shiva Rose was broken (which you can read more about in the book) and today (by practicing natural health and beauty and mindful rituals) she is not only healed, but a leader in the world of all-natural beauty and lifestyle. Here’s a look inside Whole Beauty.
Shiva explains how bringing goddess energy into our lives can help women “balance ourselves and the world around us”. She offers a primer on her favourite goddesses — Venus, Parvati, Lakshmi, Freyja, Artemis and Lalita — and shares suggested prayers and objects that can be used on an altar to call in each one. (For more on altars, I like this Vogue interview with Shiva.)
“I truly believe that there is no outer beauty without inner beauty, and inner beauty starts with a compassionate heart and a mind that is free from fear, worry, and stress — plus we all know stress accelerates aging! Meditation helps to open your heart and calm your minds, but I was always terrified of it because I have such a monkey brain.” — Shiva Rose, Whole Beauty
A chapter on Kundalini and Mindfulness Practices offers two guided meditations (one for empowering yourself in the face of challenges, another for banishing negativity and fear), and guides to chakras, mantras, yoni eggs and tea ceremonies.
Rose quartz crystals are used in a Clearing Bath recipe to bring in love. Shiva says the crystals’ energy is amplified when combined with salt, herbs and flowers, and they’re beautiful to look at. There’s also a Balancing Bath (made with banana, yogurt, honey, milk and ghee), Cleopatra’s Secret Bath Recipe (a nourishing treat that removes impurities and softens skin), a Relaxing Mineral Bath (rich in magnesium) and an Awakening Bath (using ginger to revive and relax).
Images excerpted from Whole Beauty by Shiva Rose (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo. Used with permission from the publisher.