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Good Living Books That Are as Beautiful as They Are Inspiring


clean living books

Our belief in clean beauty goes well beyond makeup — to the little life changes you can make that bring about a greater impact. While there’s plenty of information out there on clean living, there are a few books that we go back to time and time again.

Whether implementing clean practices in bits and pieces (like Leaf Supply’s tips on introducing house plants with natural detoxifying benefits into the home) or fully jumping into the clean lifestyle (like best-selling author Candice Kumai’s Clean Green Eats that are full of flavor and boast healthy, long term benefits), there’s a book for you. Here, part one of our three part book series.

Skin Deep book cover

Perfect for when you … want pro-level beauty tips

Skin Deep: Women on Skin Care, Makeup, and Looking Their Best by Bee Shapiro

A treasure trove of beauty knowledge is at your fingertips in the New York Times beauty writer’s collection of interviews with celebrities, makeup artists, athletes and others. These interviews reveal the surprisingly intimate, universal way beauty shapes all of us — like Elle Macpherson’s belief that beauty is “from the inside out.”

Perfect for when you … want to zen out

Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance by Emily Fletcher

Meditation is one of the quickest ways to reduce stress, boost productivity and enhance sleep quality, so it’s time to make it a part of your everyday routine. Intended for busy bees, Fletcher’s “Z Technique,” based on the trifecta of mindfulness, meditation and manifestation, is a non-intimidating introduction to the practice that allows you to reset — even in the workplace.

Perfect for when you’re … thinking of adopting a plant

Leaf Supply: A Guide to Keeping Happy House Plants by Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan

Green thumb or not, this readable Plant 101 course will be your guide to keeping house plants alive and thriving (even if you’re a city dweller). The authors are owners of Sydney-based houseplant delivery company (also named Leaf Supply), which curates plants and pots from local nurseries. You’ll get practical advice for over 100+ plant varieties, from light, water and soil basics to the best vessel for your greenest, leafiest friends.

Bad Girls Throughout History book cover

Perfect for when you … need a dose of girl power

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen

This condensed, beautifully illustrated book looks at rule-breaking women who forever shaped history. Among more commonly known figures like Cleopatra, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Malala Yousafzai, you may even discover new female heroes, like Ada Lovelace (the first computer programmer, Junko Tabei (the first woman to climb all Seven Summits) and others who will leave you Googling for more!

Perfect for when you … want to go green from the inside-out

Clean Green Eats by Candice Kumai

If “clean eating” is enticing but fear-inducing, fear not. Former Top Chef contestant Candace Kumai’s stunning plant-focused recipes are all full of flavor and free of Gluten. Unlike the impossible-to-find ingredients often found in clean recipes, Kumai infuses healthy ingredients that you likely already have stocked in your kitchen. Picky eaters can find their fix too with 100+ recipes that are adjustable to taste.

Perfect for when you … want to be inspired by the next generation

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker

Professional photographer Kate T. Parker highlights girls in their natural habitats — from the wrestling mat to the ballet barre. Each girl (ranging in age from 4 to 18) shares an empowering message about her take on who she is or what she loves about herself. It’s perfect inspiration for anyone, no matter what age.

Zero Waste Home book cover

Perfect for when you … want to do your part for the planet

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson

Guided by the “5 Rs” (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot), French blogger Bea Johnson has greatly reduced her family of four’s waste, producing only a quart of trash a year. Even if you’re not looking to go completely zero waste, Johnson details realistic ways everyone can lead a more sustainable home life, with a list of necessities for every room, tips for upcycling furniture, eliminating packaging and more.

Perfect for when you … need some interior inspiration

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living by Nathan Williams

Need a nudge to rid your home of clutter? Kinfolk’s founder interviews the owners of 35 stunning, “slow living” homes spanning the globe, each filled with pared down essentials that are meaningful to their inhabitants. The stunning homes featured may be aspirational but decorating your home to tell your own story works on any budget.

Perfect for when you … want a reminder of nature’s beauty

Flower Color Guide by Darroch and Michael Putnam

NYC’s all-star editorial/event florist Putnam & Putnam has created a compilation of 400 stunning floral portraits arranged by color, from white Azaleas to the Purple Black Cala Lily. The handheld guide is a flower lover’s dream, with care tips and details on how to place ever flower in an arrangement.

Perfect for when you … want to see how beautiful the world really is

The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits by Mihaela Noroc

As Noroc says in the book’s introduction, “true beauty is more than what we so often see in the media.” Plowing through language barriers of women from more than 50 countries and of all races and socioeconomic statuses, Noroc has a way of retelling the everyday lives of women, whether they’re vegetable vendors, students, refugees or lawyers.

What's Gaby Cooking Everyday California Food book cover

Perfect for when you … want nourishing, easy meals

What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food by Gaby Dalkin

Infusing the laidback West Coast lifestyle is the cornerstone of LA-based chef and blogger Gabby Dalkin’s recipes. In this read, Gabby brings “California Girl” food right to your kitchen, regardless of where you live. Take away easy tips, like kitchen staples to stock in the pantry and sauces or dressings to keep at the ready — plus, a few indulgent crowd pleasers like Chocolate Chip S’mookies!

Perfect for when you … want accessible beauty advice

Ageless Beauty the French Way: Secrets from Three Generations of French Beauty Editors by Clemence von Mueffling

The French are notorious for their certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to beauty — an approach that focuses on easy ways to take care of yourself. Here, three generations of beauty editors provide smart, practical advice for embracing beauty at every age: touching on skincare, hair, perfume, “The Four Pillars of French Wellness,” and everyday essentials.