Book Club: How to Harness ‘Wild Beauty’ for Self-Care (Plus, a Rose Toner DIY You’ll Love)
With the flood of clean beauty brands to the market in the last few years, it’s easy to get distracted by the shiny newness of it all. Face oils in black bottles. White packaging with gold accents. New ingredients. Bright colors featured on curated Instagram feeds. It’s a constant competition for our eyes—and our pocketbooks.
But what if beauty took us back to our roots, kept us grounded and reconnected us to ourselves (not to mention the planet)? That’s part of the ethos of OG green beauty brand Captain Blankenship, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer. With that anniversary comes the release of a new book, written by Captain Blankenship Founder Jana Blankenship, Wild Beauty: Wisdom & Recipes for Natural Self-Care. The book, which details a bit of Jana’s personal journey alongside educational information about the beauty industry, ingredients to avoid and DIY recipes you can easily make at home, is bursting with beauty itself. “I wanted to pack as much useful information into it as possible,” Jana says. “I want to be able to reach people on a lot of levels.”
What stands out about Wild Beauty from other, similar books is that its recipes are incredibly accessible. They feature ingredients that are easy to find (if you don’t have them already), and if you need to invest in something new, Jana breaks down the best things to start with. “A lot of people think [DIY] is too expensive, too complicated,” says Jana. “I wanted to create this as an easy-to-use guide.”
The book is also full of stories. Stories about the long history of ingredients in beauty, stories about Jana’s experience, stories about the origin of certain recipes. “We’re bombarded with information every day,” Jana says, “and stories cling to you, they anchor themselves in your mind when you go to buy something.” Stories are powerful, she says, and they can help you sort out what ingredients and products are best for you.
The Power of Scent
Jana’s beauty experience is deeply tied to her love of scent, and many of her recipes focus on harnessing the power scents have. As a kid, she’d spend hours creating her own scents by mixing her mother’s conventional perfume—but she eventually developed a sensitivity to the synthetic scents and abandoned it all together until her mid-twenties, when she discovered essential oils. “Scent is the first sense to develop in the womb,” Jana says. “It’s the way a baby recognizes her mother and how a mother recognizes her child. It’s so tied to memory. It doesn’t have a language but it’s so powerful.”
Scent is what can change you beauty ritual from mundane to joyful, she says. “Essential oils add a layer of joy to your day; they bring dimension you don’t get anywhere else.” And, she continues, scent is deeply personal. “You’re the most important ingredient in any DIY recipe,” Jana says. “If something doesn’t smell good to you or on you, follow your nose. Trust yourself and make it your own.”
Beauty as Empowerment
That personal control over your beauty routine is empowering in a culture where we’re bombarded with beauty standards as soon as we pick up our smartphone. It’s what makes Wild Beauty different from other beauty manuals too, as Jana encourages the reader to become informed and feel empowered to make wiser decisions when it comes to beauty, whether that means cleaning up your routine or venturing into the world of DIY. “It’s a holistic guide and a love song to wild beauty,” Jana says.
Wild Beauty also considers the environmental impact of ingredients. “We’re in a new phase of the beauty industry,” Jana says. “As consumers continue to wake up to what’s in their products, they’re demanding not just organic, but also sustainable beauty. It’s better for everyone.”
That sustainability can be found in the book’s nod to seasonal recipes. “Just like we should eat differently according to the seasons, our skin needs different things in different seasons,” Jana says.
Empowerment also comes across in the book’s encouragement towards realistic self-care. Jana says that self-care has changed for her personally since having her two kids, but it’s about reframing her idea of the practice to remind herself that she’s not deficient if she doesn’t have two hours to herself every day. “As a mom and running a business, I find self-care in moments of pause,” she says. “I enjoy putting my face oil on the morning. I revel in taking my Siberian husky for a walk or run. I cherish eating breakfast with my kids. If we can source self-care throughout our day, those moments can become anchors of joy.”
DIY Skincare: Smell the Roses Face Toner and Body Mist
This refreshing mist helps hydrate and clarify skin and smells like a rose bush. It is perfect to put on skin to prime it for face oil. It is best kept in the fridge for freshness and is best enjoyed cold. It is also a great hair perfume and mist. Nothing is more invigorating than a spritz of cool rosy mist on your face, body, and hair on a hot summer day!
YIELD: 8 OUNCES
- 3⁄4 cup witch hazel
- 1⁄4 cup rose hydrosol
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel or juice
- Optional: 8 to 10 drops rose essential oil*
- 8-ounce glass bottle, or two 4-ounce glass bottles, with fine-mist sprayer(s)
*Add rose essential oil for an even rosier scent if you are a rose fanatic like me.
Combine all ingredients in large spouted measuring cup and stir well with spoon. Pour into bottle and attach sprayer. Use morning and night on skin before moisturizer or during the day for a refreshing pick-me-up. Will keep at room temperature for up to 3 months, store in fridge for up to a year.
Interested in other wellness books you should add to your book shelf? Follow our monthly Book Club recommendations.