I just love meeting energetic, intelligent women. They make me excited about the possibilities in my own life and inspire me to reach for success in Equilibrio. The Cosmetics Chef, Conny Oberrauter, is one of those ladies. She’s been in cosmetic research and development for over 20 years and is a qualified Cosmetic Chemist. After years of working in cosmetics companies and later opening her own consultancy, she’s written and self-published an amazing book that shares her insider knowledge of the industry. But this is no normal “tell all” book. It’s a recipe book of over 50 natural skincare, haircare, household and lifestyle products that you can make yourself!



In her mission to do things in a simpler way, Conny has given us an amazing gift. All her recipes can be made in our kitchens, but just because they are easy to make, it doesn’t mean they don’t work, and haven’t been intensively researched.

An example is her Pineapple Oatmeal Enzyme Mask. Equilibrio made this recipe with Conny at a little get-together with our friends. It is simply a mixture of pineapple, oats and olive oil. I immediately wondered how such a basic combination of ingredients could work as well as a salon product. But once I put it on my face and felt the tingle, I knew it was working. Conny explained that it’s the bromelain in the pineapple that provides the enzymatic peeling. It is also rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Once I rinsed the mask off, the olive oil provided nourishment that helped against skin tightness. My skin felt smooth and looked more radiant immediately, but looked even better two days later! I got these great results at the cost of less than R10 and didn’t even need to make an appointment at a spa.

The Cosmetics Chef book contains many skincare and haircare product recipes, but it also caters for the whole family with natural shaving cream for Dad, organic bum cream for Baby and even natural dog shampoo for Rover! There’s also a natural shower, bath and tile cleaner for your home.



It changes your perspective

Conny specialises in formulating natural, organic products, she really knows what she is talking about. Her recipes take into account all sorts of elements which we could never know if we don’t have her experience – like the importance of the right PH in cosmetics and haircare. But what I really love about her book is the extreme honesty, and her mission for balance (Equilibrio!) in her approach.

She goes into detail about why we actually do need safe preservatives in our products and that natural doesn’t always equal better. Yes, we want to avoid harmful synthetic chemicals on our skins, but we don’t want to substitute synthetic with non-renewable natural ingredients that damage the environment. She gives the example of palm oil that is a natural ingredient but the farming of it has a massive impact on the natural habit of animals such as orangutans. She also says that not all synthetics are bad for us, and that some are actually better for the environment than certain natural ingredients.


It will save you money

Let’s face it, it’s tough out there. The economy is under huge pressure and sometimes we feel a little guilty about spending a lot of money on skin potions when some people don’t have basic necessities. This book will help you make beautiful products at a fraction of the price. It will also enable you to reuse packaging like glass jars which will help save money and the environment.


You can make bespoke products

The Cosmetics Chef book will teach you about the benefits of different essential oils e.g. Neroli oil that relaxes and calms and Orange oil that boosts collagen production or Tea Tree oil that helps clear skin infections and acne. Conny will teach you how to substitute oils to make products that are perfect for you.


It will help you make great gifts

Like I mention in my “Five Ways to Have a Greener Christmas” post, it’s so hard not to just buy anything, when people have everything. A homemade gift is much more meaningful. So why not make someone a natural cosmetics product in a beautiful glass jar this Christmas? Or, buy them The Cosmetics Chef book so that they can make their own!


It’s educational

Your kids will love this book. Not only will they be able to help you make cosmetics in the kitchen, they will be learning about chemistry while doing so. I recently made Fizz Bombs with my five-year-old “Little”. She absolutely loved making them and experiencing them in the bath. I think it’s also a great lesson about conscious consumption for her.



Once you’ve bought the book, all you need are the natural ingredients, and in some (more advanced recipe) cases, specialist ingredients like a preserver which can be bought on The Cosmetics Chef site. Most of the recipes contain ingredients that can be bought at your local supermarket and health shop.
Conny makes use of a Thermomix in her recipes but, if you don’t have one, she explains how to substitute with a blender or hand mixer.



Here is the recipe for an awesome Volcanic Detox Mask that we made and tried at our girls get-together last week.

1tsp charcoal powder
4 Disprins
½ tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
A few drops of lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together.
Apply to clean, dry skin.
Leave for 10-15 minutes, then gently massage and rinse off.
It will give you a super deep, purifying cleanse.



The book is available at Scoobs book store or from The Cosmetics Chef website. Click here to buy the book for R350. Or email Conny on [email protected].

This is not a sponsored post.

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