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Babushka's Beauty Secrets

June 4, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 20 Comments
Thanks to Laura, who is well-connected in the book world, I have been given a sneak preview of a new beauty book called Babushka's Beauty Secrets (Hachette Book Group). Despite its folksy appearance, Babushka (or at least her granddaughter) is Raisa Ruder, brow tamer and esthetician to the stars. With an all natural stack of beauty recipes culled from raiding the larder and fridge, she promises to make us glamorous for a fraction of the price of all those potions and lotions based on her Ukranian granny's tips and techniques.

One of my favorites is what Raisa calls her alternative to Revitalash (the eyelash growth stimulator that uses a glaucoma drug as its active ingredient). Raisa's Revitalash is quite simply castor oil. She admits that it takes patience to see results. But at least it won't cost much to give it a try. And while you are about it, you can blend some olive and canola oil for a budget, but efficient mascara remover.

Some of her remedies require time on your hands. I liked the idea of her apple and butter solution for lips until I realized I was supposed to massage my pout with a slice of apple for five minutes before bed. This is not going to happen. Others require fortitude. Here's one that I'm only going to try if a) I am in agony and b) sleeping alone for the night. When Raisa's feet are killing her after a day in 4-inch Manolos, she slather's Vick's VapoRub on her feet and dons a pair of socks before hobbling to bed.

There are plenty of little gems though. How about slicing a grape in half and rubbing it on your crow's feet every day. Or mash up some banana for dark under eye circles. A slice of potato works well too apparently. I also like the sound of a body scrub with rolled oats, brown sugar, aloe vera and lemon juice. Less so, spicy mustard and vodka. Talking of which, vodka has a multitude of uses that I was until now unaware of such as cleaning the lenses of my glasses, removing adhesive and extending the life of razor blades.

Raisa is also a big fan of vitamin E. Mixed up with some olive oil, she swears by it for stretch marks. And she even keeps a bottle of olive oil in the shower. Along with these, her "key" ingredients are honey, milk and egg yolks with smatterings of papaya, carrot and cocoa. Hmm, I feel the urge to raid the fridge, whip up a mask and raise a glass of antioxidant wine to Ms R and her granny.

  • January 7, 2013

    by anita

    I heard about this book from my sister. I want to read as soon as poosible, Lindsey Can you please send me too:)

  • December 23, 2010

    by Lindsey E.

    Hey Junko! Well, we ARE giving this book away today :) If you’re on Twitter, Tweet us @TruthInAging with your wackiest beauty tip for your chance to win - feel free to review it if you do!

  • December 23, 2010

    by Lindsey E.

    Hi Kim! If you haven't bought this book yet we’re giving it away RIGHT NOW! If you’re on Twitter, Tweet us @TruthInAging with your wackiest beauty tip for your chance to win Babushka's Beauty Secrets. Good luck!

  • December 23, 2010

    by Lindsey E.

    Hi Leslie! Did you ever buy a copy of BBS? If not, we’re giving this book away RIGHT NOW! If you’re on Twitter, Tweet us @TruthInAging with your wackiest beauty tip for your chance to win!

  • November 24, 2010

    by Daniel

    Olive oil is wonderful for the skin. I made a body scrub using olive oil and sugar and essential oils . Worked an absolute treat and a body wash removed the excess and left the skin very soft and supple . How ever!!!! I got out of the shower and didn't think about the soles of my feet and slipped on the floor and knocked myself out lol lol on the corner of the bath. Be warned lol.

  • June 12, 2010

    by Tammy

    There's a contest for this book? Darn... Soon as I read Marta's review, I went to amazon and pre-ordered the kindle version :-) I've been using natural products for cleaning, laundry, beauty for a better part of my 41 years. So seeing a book available that uses right out of the fridge items... I was (quite literally) sold!

  • June 11, 2010

    by Kammi

    I am following truthinaging on twitter. I tweeted the contest. I am @kammikoza. I am a fan of truthinaging on facebook and shared the page w/ over 400 friends on fb. Would love to try those products.

  • June 10, 2010

    by Junko

    L ~ homemade laundry soap sounds way cool. If it goes well can you come back and comment here... and generously share your recipe (if it's not too complex)!!??

  • June 10, 2010

    by L

    I enjoy natural products. My daughters and I will attempt to
    make some homemade laundry soap this week.
    If this book is what I think it is, it would really benefit
    the way we live and still help us maitain, naturally, our
    beauty. Marta, everything that I have purchased from you
    has worked like you said. I feel that this book would also.
    One way or another I will get this book. If you want to give
    it to me, great. If not, great. If you gave it to me, my review
    probably wouldn't be a wordy as others reviews ( I do tremendously
    enjoy others wordy reviews). I am more get to the facts.
    Does it work or not. What's my favorite thing about it.
    Hope you all on TIA have a fantastic day!

  • June 10, 2010

    by Dawn

    I would love to try this book! I have always loved natural remedies, tips and tricks, so this book sounds like it would be a great addition to my library. Plus I have a host of friends who'd be willing to experiment along with me -- we could have a beauty recipes party and try a whole bunch of recipes, together.

  • June 10, 2010

    by Junko

    I think it would be wonderful if Marta would give this book to someone who'd be willing to write a few reviews for the TIA community, on any of Babushka's recipes that they actually find to work!

  • June 10, 2010

    by Ginny

    I am always subscribing and reading about natural forms of keeping my skin smooth and healthy looking. I developed vitilago when I turned 40 and it changed my whole life. One minute you have medium dark skin, the next you're very pale. I was fortunate that most of the damage was done on my extremities but have worked with Dr.'s and cosmetics to try to fade or hide the condition. I also developed very dry skin and have tried numerous natural healing remedies. I really think I could benefit from this book because it's something I truly believe in.

  • June 9, 2010

    by gail

    Babushka means grandmother, and being one myself, I would like to win a free copy of this book. I bet I would benefit from every single page!

  • June 9, 2010

    by Candice

    I Would lap this book up and try every recipe. Folk remedies are tried and true. I love looking gorgeous through natures no how.

  • June 9, 2010

    by Leslie Wayne

    I love this book already. I come from a family of doctors, who naturally believe in scientific blind-study protocols as the only measure of success. But I married into an old world Italian family that has all kinds of natural healing remedies that have been passed down from generation to generation. So I'd love to see what Madame Babushka offers to the stars, a clientele that demands the highest level of efficacy in their beauty products!

  • June 9, 2010

    by kim

    I would absolutely love this book! And I would love to put babushka's secrets to the test for the TIA community. Sounds like so much fun!


  • June 9, 2010

    by Ella

    Hi Marta, thanks for the review!
    I thought I'd have a whirl at making my plea. I think I'm a worthy winner of the book because... I'm a penniless student and am always messing around in my kitchen trying to solve all sorts of skin woes. It's fair to say my concoctions are mostly less than successful (much to the amusement and occasional horror of my house-mate). Egg on my face, literally! I'm intent on discovering why that fresh-from-the-fridge 'glow' eludes me. A recipe book would definitely come in useful! Please save me from any more yoghurty, gooey porridge, baking soda related mishaps!

  • June 4, 2010

    by Junko

    I'm trying Arbonne's Lash Enhancer which contains Castor Oil ~ if Babushka's right, the Arbonne just might work. I think it's the old formula as their new Virtual Illusion formula doesn't have the castor oil.

  • June 4, 2010

    by marta

    Exfoliate and deliver vitamins. So in a good cause, but I can't imagine myself rubbing my lip with an apple slice before bed and what do you do with the rest of the apple besides eat it there and then - not my idea of a nightcap. Although I suppose babushka might approve of juicing it and adding a slug of vodka.

  • June 4, 2010

    by L

    What was the apple rubbed on the lips for five minutes supposed to do?
    Sounds like a neat book.

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