Green & Gorgeous: No More Dirty Looks (Book Review & Giveaway)

Welcome to September’s edition of “Green & Gorgeous!” Today I have a treat for you. A few weeks ago I was contacted by the marketing manager at Da Capo Lifelong Books regarding a new book about beauty and cosmetics, and she offered me a copy for review.

The book is called No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics. It is a comprehensive, blow-by-blow look at the cosmetics and beauty industry in America, its history, and its inner-workings.  It’s also a treasure trove of useful information, suggested brands for hair, face, make-up, body, and nails, and even some DIY alternatives.

Written by journalists Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, these two are not just authors and investigators, but they are also women – women who love cosmetics and beauty products. See? Check them out.

The book is eye-opening, interesting, informative, and yes, funny, too. It begins with the background information on how the beauty industry works in the U.S., and how it – well, doesn’t. For those who don’t care to know the history or details of it all, there is a short summary, and then you can jump to the next section, which details the top 20 scary ingredients that you want to avoid in health and beauty products.

Once the foundation is laid, O’Connor and Spunt then dive into each category one at a time: hair, face, make-up, body, and nails. They detail the concerns in each, describing the most typical offenders that you’ll find in mainstream products, and offering suggested clean and non-toxic brands, as well as home recipes and other alternatives, such as aloe vera for your curly hair gel. (note to self: buy some aloe vera)

One thing that I really appreciate about this book is that at the end, the authors address some of the most important issues surrounding beauty: diet and lifestyle. Despite legions of dermatologists who insist that problem skin has nothing to do with what you eat and those who say that lifestyle won’t affect what genes have already determined, it is becoming more obvious than ever that these issues intimately affect each other. O’Connor and Spunt acknowledge this, and offer helpful and practical suggestions for cultivating beauty from the inside out.

The writing style is casual and fun. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the book, when the authors are explaining the regulations and red tape inside of the FDA, and encouraging their readers to stick with them:

“…Because when you begin to proselytize about this to your friends and family, to your boyfriends, and to the stranger on the subway, we don’t want you to be written off as some ill-informed reactionary dork. We want you armed and dangerous with the two most convincing weapons: (1) stone cold facts, and (2) a hotter you. We’re gonna get to the latter soon. Promise.”

As you see, the tone is very approachable and laid-back, as though you’re sitting around having coffee with these ladies. But the most important part of any book is the content – and this content hits the nail on the head. I couldn’t agree more with the message of No More Dirty Looks; I think every woman needs to read it and be aware of the issues surrounding this industry that unfortunately has placed their bottom line as a higher priority than our health and safety.


This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for the winner!
So, today I am very excited to be able to give away one (1) copy of No More Dirty Looks to one lucky Simple Organic reader! This giveaway will be simple: one entry per person. To enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me what you are most interested in learning from No More Dirty Looks. I will close this giveaway on Saturday, September 4th, at 11:59 pm CST (that’s tomorrow – so don’t delay!). Good luck – I hope you win!

So let’s hear it – what do you look forward to learning about from No More Dirty Looks?

Note: Other than my complimentary copy, I did not receive any compensation for this review; I simply read the book and really liked it, and thought you would all like it, too!

About Katie Fox

Katie loves to learn about natural living, and believes that caring for the earth and caring for yourself don't have to be mutually exclusive. She loves to help other people understand how they can both contribute to and benefit from a switch to a more natural and organic lifestyle. She is a stay-at-home mom and a native Texas girl, happily married to her best friend.


  1. This book sounds great! I look most forward to getting all the facts straight about all the artificial ingredients we slather on and put in our bodies. I also look forward to getting some more homemade beauty product ideas!

  2. This book sounds really informative. I am just starting to get into homemade beauty products, but haven’t found an alternative for hair gel, so I was excited when you mentioned aloe vera gel. I would love to read more about their DIY products.

  3. Stefani M. says:

    Well, I am really interested in the homemade alternatives, but I’d also love more info so that I can back up my “crazy behavior” with some more facts.

  4. Stephanie P says:

    Yay!! I had a friend put me in touch with their site. I’m totally interested in learning more about the cosmetics industry in general. I know the makeup I’m using right now isn’t the best but many other homemade alternatives I’ve tried just haven’t worked. The thought of making my own makeup scares me a bit but only because of my “failures” elsewhere in the “make your own” realm.

  5. i would be excited to learn the truth about lots of products we use and to hear what stuff is really necessary to eliminate from our use! thanks!

  6. Hey – the book sounds awesome. Because I have problem skin (rosacea, folliculitis), I’m most interested in the part about diet and exercise. I KNOW there’s a connection between what I eat and my skin because I’ve recently made some changes (switching to mostly gluten free and very little yeast) and I can see a huge change for the better.

  7. I am interested in the alternative beauty ideas they suggest…and the health side of it.

  8. This all sounds very interesting to me, I also watched America the Beautiful (documentary) which had the same objective, though it was a low-budget film. I think things like this are so interesting, and am always looking for home DIY makeup ideas!
    Sarah M

  9. Michelle M says:

    I’m interested in the 20 scary ingredients to avoid and what natural alternatives they suggest. I have just sorted through my bathroom cupboard and thrown out a heap of unsavoury stuff, but I’ve been scratching my head about what to use in their place, so this would be so helpful. Fingers crossed!

  10. I’ve recently delved into the homemade beauty routine and have been wondering what the next step is for me. It looks like this book would have plenty of answers.

  11. Oh! This post came at just the right time. Most of my friends think I’m crazy with my diy grooming, but this book would give me the ammo needed to hopefully convince them that I’m right. Thanks for sharing this book. I love the idea of having a hands on resource on top of the dozens of online sites I have bookmarked now.

  12. I’m interested in becoming better educated about beauty products in general, and especially in finding healthy alternatives to my current products. Also, I need a little convincing and motivation to ditch some beauty products altogether — maybe this book will inspire me!

  13. I’m so excited to learn about foundation and concealer! I have had a hard time finding safe, natural foundation and concealer that works well!!

  14. OO this book sounds awesome! if I dont win, I may just go buy it myself! Im interested in the safer makeup and learning about the beauty products we use and how dangerous they are..

  15. i’m interested in learning more about homemade beauty products as well as the effects of diet on skin and hair. thanks for writing about this book! i haven’t heard about it before.

  16. I am interested in finding out how I can still have some ‘stuff’ I want to use, but ones that won’t hurt me in the long run!

  17. I would love to learn what I should be using. What products are best for me.

  18. This book sound very interested. I am aware that the beauty industry is bad news. I am looking for some strategies that can be used for myself and my family so we can be healthier.

  19. My main interest in reading this book is my daughter, she is six. I just realized I have privilege of teachering her all about true beauty over the next few years and I am so excited to be able to without all of those unnesssasary chemicals.

  20. I’m interested in this book to get tips that really work. Every time I try to go green with my face, body and hair products I end up with acne and dandruff.

  21. Would love to hear some all natural products such as the aloe vera (my little girl has curly hair!). We’ve been really searching for products/homemade recipes lately, so this would be great.

  22. I’ve been concerned about this topic and I’ve thrown out all of the beauty products that have hazardous ingredients in them (pretty much everything I owned!). I went “no-poo” and I love it! I’ve been spreading the word about that. Other than that step, I haven’t exactly replaced any of my products or experimented with any homemade products, YET. I would love to win a free copy of this book to keep me moving forward! Thanks!

  23. Wow, 20 ingredients to avoid! Can’t wait to find out all about them. I just started to replace all my beauty products with natural organic alternatives so this book would be really helpful!

  24. I would love to win this book! I think I would be most interested in seeing what they have to say about problem skin, because I am STILL struggling with that in my 30s.

  25. That looks like a fantastic book! I would love to see the suggested brands and the DIY alternatives. I have safe alternatives for shampoo’s and lotions, but need to find safe makeup!

  26. I really want to learn about eye makeups. Mascara in particular along with moisturizing eyes. This book would be incredible!

  27. I have been dying to read this book. I am looking for dyi methods (one of the reasons I have read too). I follow their blog and I’m a big fan!

  28. Christine S says:

    I’m interested to read about makeup, and skin care in general. That is one area I seem to be dependent on unsavory ingredients.

  29. I’ve battled with terrible skin (adult acne) my whole life, so I’d love to hear what they have to say. Thanks!

  30. I’m most interested in learning what brands are actually safe to use. The claims made on the packaging can be very misleading and I would love to see a quick list of brands I can trust, instead of wandering around the drugstore trying to read all the labels of every brand!

  31. I’d love to read this! I’m in the process of trying to clean all the toxins out of my cleaning/beauty supplies. The cleaning has been easy (yay for vinegar!) but I’m really struggling to find things to replace all of my make-up, etc. I can’t wait to see what guidance the book offers.

  32. The book sounds wonderful! I have to admit, I’ve been defeated by trying to use natural products for my beauty routine- they just don’t work the way I want them to!

    I love to be educated on a subject; I bet that I would be much more likely to find options that suit me if I could see the big picture. I want to find some beauty products that WORK, and that won’t make me feel like a big hypocrite!

  33. I am most interested in the hair products, because that is the only thing I use every day which consistently has a bunch of multi-syllable ingredients. Didn’t think I could get around it with curly hair. But seriously? Aloe vera? Wow… I need to know more!

  34. Sounds like a great book! I would be more interested in finding out what brands are better to use and what to avoid and what natural things to use instead.

  35. I would be most interested in learning some natural ways to clear up my acne. I’m 30 and it is still a problem. I eat a pretty good diet (raw fruits/veggies and freshly ground grain) and I exercise regularly, and it’s helped a little, but I still look like a teenager.

  36. Some good hair products… I have curly hair and would love to know a natural way to tame the curls. Also skin care tips :)

  37. I’m most interested int the top ingredients to look out for.

  38. Lina Hardman says:

    I want to know what to avoid as well as check out their DIY ideas.

  39. Oh I would love a run down on which products to avoid!

  40. Wow! this book looks great, I would love to learn more about which brands to use and the DIY options they have. I love teaching and showing my friends different ways to look beautiful naturally!

  41. Looking for a good moisturizer. I don’t like all the yuck in mainstream products so I don’t use anything…which during my 20’s was all fine and good, but now that I am in my 30’s and seeing the effects of aging, I could use some insight. thanks for the great giveaway!

  42. I’m looking forward to the information about their recommended products and their recipes for homemade products!

  43. What a great give away!
    OK, so….. like everyone it seems I’m most interested in finding out about some cold hard facts that I can present to people to back up my *crazy* ways.:) And some new homemade beauty recipes. This books sounds right up my ally!
    Also I would pass it along to friends so they could be informed and raise their daughters to be informed.

  44. I’m in the process of switching my cosmetics to healthier alternatives and this book would be a huge help I’m sure! It’s hard to know where to start sometimes. =) Thanks!

  45. I would love everything about this book! I’ve started trying to ditch the chemicals, but it’s hard to find good affordable products! I’m constantly searching for better solutions! Great giveaway!

  46. Super interested in learning about what diet and lifestyle changes I can make to build a better (hotter) me. they promised.

  47. Ooh, do we have to narrow it down to one thing? I’m interested in every topic you mentioned!

  48. I’m interested to hear what they have to say about Clinique and the other “upscale” cosmetic companies!

  49. I think I would be most excited to learn about the DIY recipes. I always like to make things that people assume they HAVE to buy!!

  50. Sounds great! I’d like some help with natural hair info.