Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Talk About Hair Care - My Hair Dance

As much as I like to try different products I’m actually very set in my hair care ways and hate experimenting because I rarely like anything that goes on my scalp or strands. The reason is because my scalp is so sensitive. It’s actually stupid how sensitive it is, seriously. I’ve been using Desert Essence’s Fragrance-Free Shampoo for years because it doesn’t cause any irritation and is truly unscented but I’ve been using My Hair Dance and have really been enjoying some of the products from their line. 

The Nature’s Treatment Shampoo is my absolute favorite product from the brand. This shampoo is really exhilarating, refreshing, and revitalizing. It stimulates hair follicles and greatly improves scalp health while still being very gentle. It’s a bit of thin formula that doesn’t lather much (although, no natural shampoo should lather very much) but spreads easily through the hair. It feels very cooling and tingly, which always makes me think it’s doing some serious work. The shampoo itself has a strong yet pleasant peppermint scent (the only smell I can handle and actually enjoy) but once you rinse it out there is no residual smell left behind. I’ve found that it’s helped my itchy scalp so much and make my hair really soft, shiny, and smooth. I don’t even need to follow up with conditioner. I adore this stuff!

It is a treatment shampoo so you do need to let it sit on your scalp for 2 minutes. You also need to be sure to shake the bottle before each use. My tip for all treatment shampoo is to do a quick preliminary wash and then apply more and let it sit. This way it can penetrate down to the scalp without any oil getting in the way. My finicky scalp is doing a lot better than it has in a very long time so I’m very pleased with the results.

I’ve also been enjoying the Hair and Root Stimulator but I have to tell you upfront that I haven’t been using it as per the directions. This spray is made to promote healthy hair growth and boost the scalp's blood circulation. I’ve been using it as a treatment leading up to a shower instead of using it after a shower because of the strong, although not unpleasant, scent. I spray it on and leave it for an hour or two before I hop in the shower and rinse it out. You’re meant to use it after shampooing or overnight but it’s too strongly scented for me. I really enjoy the cooling and tingly way it makes my scalp feel. I’ve noticed much less itchiness and flakiness since I’ve started using it.

The other product I’ve been using is the Rejuvenating Hair Oil, which can be used in several different ways. It’s a blend of Walnut, Argan, Avocado, Wheat Germ, Coconut, Grapeseed oils and Shea Butter that smells like almond and reminds me of school Jergens lotion; a scent that is nice and light. I like to use this stuff as a sort of leave in conditioner/frizz fighter/shine enhancer/heat protector. I apply a very small amount to my ends and voila, soft, shiny hair. It makes my hair feel strong and healthy. You can also use it as an oil treatment for a deep conditioning effect.

They also offer an Ultra-Light Instant Conditioning Spray, Moisture and Strength Conditioner, and Silky Touch Dry Shampoo. Both the conditioner and conditioning spray have lemongrass and there is no scent I dislike more than lemongrass so I haven’t used either product but I do intend to take the Silky Touch Dry Shampoo camping with me this summer so I’ll keep you updated on that.

My Hair Dance products are very affordable, something that is often difficult to find in the natural beauty world. The products are cruelty-free and formulated with healthy, beneficial ingredients. If you’ve got scalp issues, like me, I think you might really enjoy the range. You can learn more about the brand and their products by visiting their website.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Talk About Skin Care - SanRe Organic Skinfood

Mother and daughter duo, Sandra and Regina, are the masterminds behind SanRe Organic Skinfood, a company dedicated to creating truly healthy and organic handcrafted beauty products. Each product is personally crafted, tested, improved, finalized and produced by them in small batches to guarantee freshness and quality. They use only USDA Certified Organic ingredients when possible and are firmly committed to staying away from animal based ingredients (besides honey and beeswax) and being completely cruelty-free. Their line features products with healthy ingredients and an ethical stance about animals and the environment so you never have to worry about what you’re slathering on your skin or anything else, for that matter.

My absolute favorite product I’ve tried from SanRe is their Siesta Sunset Avocado and Sea Buckthorn Cream. This stuff is SO good! I mean it, SO good! I can’t tell you how good it is without capitalizing the SO and even then I’m not sure I can explain how good it is. It might just be the richest and luxurious cream I have ever tried before. It’s very heavy and feels thick, and a little greasy, on the skin but that’s not a problem for me. I wake up in the morning after applying it with the most supple, silky skin ever. It plumps up any fine lines, gets rid of any dry spots, and provides my skin with much-needed moisture that goes beyond the surface of my skin. It is so nourishing and is an absolute dream for my dry skin. I can’t say enough good things about this! The ingredients list is wonderful, the texture and scent are great, and the effect it has on my skin is awe-inspiring.

The Like a Baby stick is a really easy to use skin balm in a convenient tube. It also comes in a jar but I love the ease of application with the almost deodorant-like stick. This balm is made with Organic Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Tamanu Oil, Organic Carnauba Wax, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Calendula Oil & Organic Neem Oil. It’s deeply soothing and works great on any dry bits of skin or irritation; I especially love it on my cuticles! My Dad likes this a lot, too. He gets really dry hands and spots on his arms so it’s perfect for him!

To learn more about SanRe Organic Skinfood you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner Trio

I love lip products. In fact, I think lipstick might be my favorite type of cosmetic. Actually, I don’t know about that because it’s too hard to choose just one favorite but I really do adore lipstick. I think there is something so wonderfully transformative about a swipe or two of a flattering lipstick applied to the lips. It’s like magic, or like the icing on top of a cake, or maybe the cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae

Anyway, enough with the weird metaphors (I guess I have food on the brain) because I’ve got the Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner Trio on the agenda for today and it’s a good one so let’s get started!

My parents got me this for my birthday. I found it on and put it on my wish list. When I opened it on my special day it made me smile because it’s even better in person that I thought it would be! These are the smallest and cutest little lippies I have ever seen!

I’m a huge fan of Ilia and have done a review on Beautiful Basics in the past (you can find that here) and a couple of years ago my Mom surprised me with Shell Shock which became my absolute favorite lip product of life. I love their Tinted Lip Conditioners so this set was a match made in beauty heaven for me!

I have a secret to tell you, I’ve never finished an entire lipstick before it goes bad so this size is a dream come true! This set comes with 3 of their Tinted Lip Conditioners that are miniaturized down to an adorable 1.4 gram (or .04 ounce) size. They’re perfectly portable and can fit in your smallest clutch or your tightest jean pocket.

It’s important to note that the lipsticks are housed in plastic tubes instead of the classic Ilia metal but that doesn’t bother me. As for the shades, you get Blossom Lady, Bang Bang, and Arabian Knights in the box. Let’s take a minute to talk about how beautiful the box itself is. It’s sturdy and beautiful with its pink and rose gold aesthetic. Back to the colors inside the box, though, which are all so pretty.

Blossom Lady is a gorgeous pink shade, perfect for daily wear. It’s such a pretty pink color that looks very feminine and soft. Bang Bang is a classic, but easy to wear, red that is absolutely gorgeous. Arabian Knights is a buildable berry shade that is super flattering on.

Top Left: Arabian Knights   Top Right: Bang Bang
Bottom Left: Blossom Lady

The Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioners are a really cool hybrid product. They are super nourishing and hydrating on the lips so they feel like a lip balm but they pack a pretty punch of color that is more reminiscent of a lipstick. The colors are effortless and can be applied for a sheer wash of color or built up for a more intense and opaque look. They are truly versatile!

As with all Ilia products, these little babies are cruelty-free, gluten-free and made with certified organic ingredients. They’re beautiful, nontoxic, and so fun to wear! This set is a winner in my book! Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Have you tried any products from Ilia? Do you have a favorite? 
Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Talk About Oral Care - WooBamboo + GIVEAWAY!

Earth Day is coming up on the 22nd of April so I thought today was the perfect day to talk about WooBamboo and their line of awesome eco-friendly (or as they say, eco-awesome) oral care products. The company actually launched on Earth Day 2013 so they’re coming up on their 4th anniversary and in that fairly short amount of time they have become available in over 2.500 stores and more than a dozen countries. Instead of traditional plastic, they create toothbrushes made of natural and sustainable bamboo so the handles are completely biodegradable, meaning less waste! That’s a big win for Mother Nature!

The bamboo used to make WooBamboo brushes is called Moso bamboo and is grown naturally without any chemicals, pesticides or toxins in the mountains of China. It’s also sustainably grown and harvested. The handles of the brushes are coated with natural wax to keep it smooth and dry and the bamboo itself is antimicrobial, naturally, so you’ll never have to worry about what germs might be growing and breeding on your toothbrush.

They offer an entire line of toothbrushes for every member of the family, including your furry children! They’ll also soon be launching toothpaste (in some really amazing flavors) and mouth rinse. My family, including Hunter the cat and Cooper the dog, has been using WooBamboo brushes and we’ve all become huge fans of their brand and their products.

In all honestly, there’s not much difference between a bamboo toothbrush and a traditional plastic one besides the fact that it’s a sustainable and eco-friendly product you can feel good about using. They work just as well, if not better than any other toothbrush I’ve tried. I love the smooth handles and the density of the bristles. They do a great job of cleaning my teeth and they also happen to be quite pretty so they look great sitting next to my sink. Even Cooper and Hunter have been enjoying using theirs, it’s adorable!

Top: Slim Handle
Bottom: Standard Handle

As for the adult sized brushes, they offer a standard handled brush or a slim brush. They also come with super soft, soft, and medium bristles, depending on your preferences. The pet brushes available are a small breed brush (perfect for cats or small dogs) or large breed brush (best for dogs). 

They also have floss, which is made of natural, biodegradable silk and coated with natural wax. It comes in the coolest floss container you’ll ever see!

You can learn more about WooBamboo by visiting their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The brand was also kind enough to send me some extras so one of you will be receiving this awesome sampler set so you can try their toothbrushes and floss! Simply use the Rafflecopter form below to get entered and good luck! All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Talk About It - Earth Fixx Market

I’ve been a huge fan and very loyal customer to a specific online natural and organic beauty megastore for years and years. However, this store recently changed it’s pricing and shipping policies and is no longer very transparent about their practices so they’ve lost my business. I was so happy when Earth Fixx Market reached out to me because their online shop filled the void in my life and gave me a new online shopping destination to explore.

Derek Randall and his sister Kellie Bellinger founded Earth Fixx Market in 2015 with the intention of providing consumers with access to safe and high-quality organic and natural products, focusing on stocking brands who share their values of wanting to protect the Earth. They are both animal lovers, like me, and they have made a firm commitment to donate 10% of their net proceeds to Earth Fix Project to help protect animals and the environment. You can check out the rest of their story by clicking here. You can also check out which organizations they support by clicking here.

Like I mentioned above, Kellie reached out to me and offered me a chance to try out their online store. I picked out a few products and placed an order. While I was placing my order I made a very embarrassing mistake and Kellie helped me right away and resolved the issue so I’m happy to say that their customer service is incredible and good customer service matters to me.

The website itself is made up of page after page of natural and nontoxic products from all categories. It’s pretty easy to use although I would say it’s best if you know what kind of product you’re intending to buy. Although, isn’t that the truth will all online shops? You can browse for hours discovering interesting products, whether you’re looking for beauty products, herbal supplements, snacks, pet products, whatever!

The shipping took about a little over a week and everything was well packaged when it arrived.

The first product I selected was the Devita Moisture Tint in Light. I’ve heard so many good things about Devita over the years but had yet to try anything and since summer is coming and I like to spend as much time outdoors in the warmer months as humanly possible I like to use tinted moisturizers with SPF generously to keep my skin healthy.

This particular formula is really nice. It feels very cooling on the skin, which is a nice touch, and it feels hydrating and nourishing but also light and airy. The color looks quite odd on first glance since it’s kind of orange but somehow blends beautifully into the skin to provide little coverage but does even out skin tone. I really like to use this product as a primer since it leaves skin soft, smooth, even and provides protection from harsh UVA and UVB rays. It works really well with other products layered on top of it. It even makes my makeup last a lot longer and wear more evenly throughout the day.

It has a slight citrus scent that isn’t heavy and doesn’t linger after application. This has definitely become a staple for me. It’s got a great list of ingredients, is made in the US, has no GMOs, and is completely gluten free as well as cruelty-free.

Next up on the agenda is the Rainbow Research French Green Clay Facial Treatment Mask. This generously-sized 8-ounce tub of pure green clay has become my go-to facial treatment. I’ve always loved using clay on my skin and this one is no exception. This clay becomes a purifying, cleansing, and detoxifying superhero when mixed with your choice of liquid. You can use water, yogurt, egg, lemon juice, honey, oil, avocado or whatever else your heart (or skin) desires. I mostly use water and add in some honey every once in a while. Every single time I use this mask I am left with cleaner, clearer skin that feels beyond soft and appears to glow with clarity. I’m a huge fan! I reach for this powder once or twice a week and it helps decongest and brighten. Love it!

I’ve also been testing out the Fragrance-Free Nature’s Baby Organics Face and Body Moisturizer. This lotion is really nice but I’m not a fan of the packaging, at all. It’s the thinnest, weirdest plastic bottle that I’ve ever seen. It’s kind of hard to use and it gets weirdly crinkled but that doesn’t affect the product inside. I’m always looking for good unscented lotions thanks to my scent sensitivities and dry skin and this one is as good as any other lotion I’ve tried. It still has a bit of a scent but it’s nothing offensive, nor does it last. The lotion is thick and lovely but easily and quickly absorbed. It’s nourishing and hydrating while not being sticky or tacky. I haven’t tried it on my face but my hands love it!

They also carry some of my absolute favorite products like my beloved Evolution Salt Sole Bath Soap in Peppermint (that I have repurchased so many times I’ve lost count but it’s definitely more than 12!) and the Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub (which I'm obsessed with and have also purchased many times!). They have so many awesome products!

If you’re interested in shopping at Earth Fixx Market you can use the code BBASICS10 for 10% off your order. That code was generously provided by the company exclusively for Beautiful Basics readers! You can visit the shop by clicking here.

(FTC: I was given a $40 credit to spend at my discretion the Earth Fixx website. The code was provided by the company. I am not being compensated for this post or any purchases you may make using the code above..) 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Talk About Tools - Tarte LE Magic Wands Brush Set

I’ve said it so many times now that I’m sure you all know it really well, but I’ll say it again – I love beauty tools! Seriously, I don’t feel like I can ever have too many makeup brushes. It’s not super logical because how many cosmetic brushes can one girl use? Right? But the truth is, I get really, really excited about brushes and I can’t help but collect them and when I saw the latest Tarte launch I couldn’t help but put them in my cart on and hit that checkout button.

If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about then let me introduce you to the limited edition Magic Wands Brush Set. Whether you’re into magic and unicorns or not you absolutely cannot deny that these particular tools are wondrous. I’ve seen them all over YouTube, Instagram, and the Blogosphere since they launched and I tried, maybe   not very hard, to resist but I obviously couldn’t for long. They’re so beautiful and they make me happy, so why not?

I wanted to get this review up pretty quickly since they’re limited edition and I didn’t want any of you who want to pick up your own set to miss out.

This set is vegan-friendly and completely cruelty-free, the bristles of the brushes are synthetic so you can rest assured that no real unicorns were harmed in creating these beauties. You get 5 brushes fit for any princess packaged in unicorn tissue paper and a lovely box. These would make a great gift for someone who needs a little magic in their life! You could easily gift these to a makeup beginner, a brush hoarder or anyone in between because I can’t see these not being a huge hit!

Each brush has a lovely golden unicorn horn handle and colored hair. You get a magenta contour brush, pink powder brush, green blending eyeshadow brush, blue shading eyeshadow brush and purple liquid foundation brush. 

They are extremely lightweight and the shape of the handle makes them very easy to work with. Each brush is beautifully shaped and super soft. There is no sign of shedding and the color doesn’t bleed, even when washed with soap and warm water. I love the shape of each brush and find that I can create an entire look using only this set. This collection is pretty much perfect and I can’t find a single bad word to say about these little gems.

You can find them on or at Sephora, online or in store.

Be sure to let me know what you think of these brushes! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think they’re as awesome as I do or are they too silly for you? 

(FTC: I paid for these with my own money. I am not being compensated for this post. None of the links are affiliate links)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Talk About Skin Care - NAYELLE

Today I would like to introduce you to a company whose core values are “honesty, integrity, and quality”. Canadian based NAYELLE offers a complete Rejuvenating Skincare Regime made with bioactive ingredients. Their line is completely cruelty-free and formulated without gluten, parabens, propylene glycol or other yucky stuff. Instead, you’ll find ingredients like Probiotic Goat Milk Kefir, Sea Kelp, Glacial Organic Clay and Snow Mushroom.

Image from
NAYELLE is a four-step process scientifically designed by Peter Jurkemilk, CEO and Chief Biochemist, to help rejuvenate and repair the cells at the cellular level and make skin healthier and more radiant. Peter said, ” It’s the difference between eating processed canned, shelf food — versus — organic, live fresh food!” I adore that philosophy.

You can learn more about the company, their philosophy, and their ingredients by clicking here.

First up is their facial cleanser, aptly called CLEANSE. I need to get this out of the way and tell you that this is my least favorite part of the regime. This cleanser is a cream formulated with exfoliating bamboo and glacial oceanic clay. It’s designed to be gentle enough for all skin types but my dry, sensitive skin just didn’t love this particular cleanser. It’s a bit too much for me to use regularly but I do like it for days when I need a deep clean. I think anyone with oily, congested skin would be a huge fan.

My favorite product, hands down, is the PURIFY Clay Face Mask. This mask has become my ultimate go to when my skin needs a little something special. I’ve been using it once, sometimes even twice, a week since it arrived and I think it does something really wonderful and magical to my skin. It somehow purifies and hydrates, which is an uncommon combination. It’s like the Unicorn of my skincare routine! This magic mask is made with mineral rich clay composed of 60 rare minerals and ions that detoxifies impurities, restore the skin’s pH balance, helps restore damaged skin cells and hydrates, tightens and tones. Every time I use this mask I’m left with vibrant, clearer, healthier, softer skin that seems to glow from within. I’m always impressed after I rinse it off, as it makes an immediate and noticeable difference.

NAYELLE has two moisturizing products, HYDRATE, a moisturizing cream, and REJUVENATE, an anti-aging night cream.

HYDRATE is formulated with a very high concentration of Snow Mushroom which is said to be 3x more hydrating than hyaluronic acid and has the highest source of Vitamin D found in nature. It’s instantly hydrating and makes the skin feel really velvety and smooth. It’s not too heavy to wear under makeup so it’s perfect for daily use.

REJUVENATE is my favorite of the two creams, however, because it is so delightfully thick and rich. My dry skin adores it! It was created with all for of their core ingredients I mentioned above and is rich in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It leaves my skin with such a gorgeous glow and makes my skin feel so plump and fresh. I love applying this before bed and when I wake up I’ve got a super healthy, happy, hydrated complexion. Love the stuff!

All of the products come in fairly simple but lovely packages. The two creams are in airless jars and the other two products are in squeeze tubes. Each of the four products has a slight citrus scent, which is light and fresh.

I think many people with different skin types can easily fall in love with this line and their products. You can learn more about NAYELLE by visiting their website by clicking here. You can also find the brand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Avril Cosmétiques

I am so excited today because I love skincare and I love all things beauty related but I think I love makeup the most. There’s something so fun about experimenting with cosmetics and recently a French brand reached out to me and offered to send me some products. I was beyond ecstatic when I got the e-mail and thrilled when the products arrived (in 5 days, by the way! That’s insane!) because they’re absolutely stunning!

The first thing you need to know is that they are completely cruelty-free! In accordance with European regulation, they do no animal testing and are also certified by PETA. The brand launched in April of 2012 and has four main values in their mission of making organic cosmetics affordable for every woman and those values are quality, ecology, price, and service. Their organic range is certified by Ecocert, which guarantees that at least 95% of the total ingredients in each product are natural or from natural origin and at least 10% of the ingredients are organic. To check out their mission statement and read more about their values you can click here.

I selected a few products that I thought looked nice from their website and wound up completely blown away by them once they arrived. The products I’ve tried are on par with luxury products, with steep price tags, that I’ve tried for a fraction of the price. They are so richly pigmented, beautifully formulated, easy to apply and wear wonderfully throughout the day. I am so impressed that I can’t even find the words to describe how good I think these products are. Of course, I haven’t tried everything from the line but the ones I have tried are delightful.

The Eye Shadow Palette Nude is probably my favorite of the bunch. There are 6 brown-toned shadows housed in a very thin, but sturdy, cardboard package. Each individual pan of product is quite large (1.5g, to be exact) and the powders are quite pigmented so you’re getting a lot of product for your buck. You’re getting 3 shades described as iridescent in the top row and 3 mattes on the bottom. I find that I can create multiple looks using only this palette and all six shades pair well together or wear well individually. They are all buttery smooth, easy to blend and stay put on the eyes. I like each color a lot and I find that the formula is just so beautiful.

Next up, let’s talk about the L’Highlighter, a beautiful champagne-toned highlighting powder. This little compact is gorgeous. It’s slightly powdery because it’s so finely milled but it’s nothing too difficult to deal with it. I’ve found that it goes on so smoothly and looks so natural and effortless once applied. It’s not all glittery or chunky and just blends seamlessly into the skin to make you look glowy and ethereal. I’m a huge fan!

The L’Anti-Cernes, or Concealer, in Ivorie, is a product that I’m not completely sold on. It actually has a really great finish that looks like real skin, it's quite luminous, but it has a scent that I don’t adore. It’s thin and easy to apply. It seems to melt into the skin but I can continue to smell it once it’s on my skin and I don’t like that part. I’ll have to keep experimenting with it because the finish is so great.

The Lipstick Pencil in Corail is so pretty! I love the shade, a matte coral color, and the formula is really nice, as well. These crayon-type lip colors are so easy to use and make application a breeze. I’m so happy because this product doesn’t irritate my lips at all, and you know how sensitive my lips can be! It doesn’t tug or drag and seems to provide a nice level of hydration. It’s a perfect lip product to keep in your purse!

Finally is the Mascara Volume Noir. I adore the brush, and the formula is really nice! It’s a nice teddy bear bristle brush with a great shape that really helps define and add volume. The formula is gentle and perfectly pigmented. It seems like a really dry mascara at first but is buildable so each swipe makes the lashes look more and more volumized and long. I like to use about 3 coats for a full lashy look. It lasts really well throughout the day and doesn't irritate my eyes at all. It’s a really nice, natural mascara.

If you’re interested in learning more about Avril or checking out their entire range you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

6th Blogiversary + 2017 Birthday-to-Birthday Giveaway

Today is a really special day because on this exact day six years ago I decided to try something new and enter into this world that I essentially knew nothing about. I was never really someone to put myself out there but I decided to take a chance and here we are six years, hundreds of blog posts, and thousands of followers later.

Many of you already know the story but I’ll dive into it just a bit for those of you who might be new around here. Beautiful Basics was created because I became ill in 2009 at the age of 22. I went from being able to do anything and everything I could have ever possibly dreamt of doing to being bedridden most days. When I first got sick I thought with all of my heart that I would get better but with time I found myself getting a little worse each and every day. I can’t even tell you how hard it was to go from being a normal 22-year-old with a job I loved and endless possibilities to being as sick as I was. I wasn’t doing anything and I needed to do something.

I really thought long and hard about things that I enjoyed and what I could possibly still do. I couldn’t go for a run or take up mounting climbing or anything strenuous so that narrowed my possibilities. In my free time, which was essentially all of my time, I watched a lot of beauty videos on YouTube and I read a lot of beauty blogs. I realized how much I loved it and wanted to try it myself so Beautiful Basics was born. It started as something very different than what it has become. It was originally a place where I shared very basic beauty tips and hacks but it morphed into a natural beauty blog where I now primarily review natural and organic beauty products. It kind of took on a mind of its own and continues to grow and change. Something born out of desperation for something resembling normalcy and out of a feeling of uselessness and hopelessness has become a wonderful outlet for me to write, which I love to do, and talk about beauty, which I also love.

I also created Beautiful Basics – The Sick Life as a way for me to share my journey to being well while living with chronic illness. Blogging has changed my life in a lot of ways because I have a way to get out my feelings while forming relationships with all of you. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or if you somehow stumbled upon my blog today I want to tell you how thankful I am for you. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.

The past 6 years of creating content for Beautiful Basics and being able to interact with all of you has given me hope and something I absolutely love to do. I appreciate this all so much more than you could ever know. I could have never imagined how many people would read my words or what companies would want to work with me. Each day brings something new and exciting into my life. Each like and comment you leave me mean a lot and I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with you all.

Today I’m launching the annual Birthday-to-Birthday giveaway for this year.  I put together one of those super popular sampler bags you all seem to enjoy. I like to do this as a way to say thank you. I only wish I could give you all a special prize because you mean a lot to me.

There is only one mandatory entry for the giveaway and after that you can do as many or as few of the options as you would like. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

You Tell Me

I created Beautiful Basics, almost 6 years ago, for myself initially but it has become something I continue to do for each and every one of you.

Please help me out and leave a comment below letting me what you like to see on Beautiful Basics, and what you want more of.

What type of blog posts do you enjoy
seeing on Beautiful Basics the most? 

Skin Care Reviews

Cosmetics Reviews and Beauty Looks

Lifestyle posts (fashion, food, sick posts, etc)

Hair Care Reviews

DIY Beauty Recipes

Bath and Body Product Reviews

Or something else...

I'll be reading whatever comments you leave below. 
Thank you!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Talk About Skin Care - Wedderspoon Honey

Dearest Honey, I want you to know that I adore you. You’re a sweet treat for the taste buds but also for the skin. You never fail to brighten and hydrate and you always succeed in perking up my skin and making it feel soft and smooth. I can also turn to you when I’m getting spotty or my skin needs a helping hand. You’re my absolute favorite kitchen beauty staple and I need you in my life.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten my love letter to honey out of the way let’s talk about Wedderspoon. I’ve known about Manuka Honey for years but hadn’t tried it until I got a pot of their Raw Manuka Honey KFactor 16 and I absolutely love it. Manuka Honey is a special kind of honey that comes from the Manuka Flower, which grows on New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The plant itself is related to the Tea Tree Plant and has a very short blooming season. This stuff is like liquid gold!

Of course, it tastes delicious and has a lot of great health benefits but since Beautiful Basics is all about natural, holistic beauty I’m really into slathering the stuff all over my face and reaping the benefits. Manuka Honey is rich in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, acting as a humectant, promoting skin regeneration, repairing cellular damage and helps heal scars. 

I like to coat my entire face (lips, too!) in Manuka Honey once or twice a week and let it sit for as long as it can. I usually do it the bathtub so it’s part of a perfect self-pampering routine. I also occasionally use it as a facial cleanser and a spot treatment. This honey really helps my dry, sensitive skin in so many ways. It’s one of the most important steps in my skin care routine.

I’ve noticed that Manuka Honey has a much stronger smell than your average honey but it still smells sweet and slightly floral. While it’s a bit pricier than you might expect it spreads easily and a little goes a long way so a single jar should last quite a long time.

I’ve also been experimenting with the Gourmet Gift Set, containing 5.3-ounce jars of Wedderspoon Gold Raw Beechwood, Wedderspoon Gold Raw Dandelion, and Wedderspoon Gold Raw Rata Honeys.  They each taste delicious and work beautifully on their own as a skin treatment or mixed with other DIY beauty ingredients. It would make a fantastic gift!

Whether you’re looking for honey to consume or honey to take care of your skin Wedderspoon has something for you. They also have soap, lip balm and night cream. You can check out their products by clicking here or you can click here to learn more about the company. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Skin Tools

I’m pretty serious when it comes to beauty tools. There are few things I love more than a good makeup brush or a really cool skincare tool. My Dad, who has a huge collection of goodies out in the garage, has always taught me how important tools are. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite skin tools with you today so keep on reading to see what gizmos and gadgets I have and use.

Have you heard of Derma Rolling or Micro-Needling? It initially sounds a lot scarier than it is. It’s when you use a plastic wand-like instrument with hundreds of tiny, sharp needles to cause micro-injuries all over your face. The tool comes in varying sizes and the needles penetrate the skin and make your body think it needs to send collagen to the area to heal it, which in turn makes the skin look fresh and youthful. It is also said to help get rid of acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines.

I have 3 different Derma Rollers ranging in size from a .3 mm to a 1 mm. I would have to say that the .5 and 1 are my favorite, though. They do the most for my skin so I can’t personally recommend going any higher or any lower.

So, how it works is you use the roller all over your face and you roll in each area 10 times horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. You want to make sure you get every single area on your face repeatedly. It doesn’t really hurt but it is a bit uncomfortable, although you definitely get used to it with each treatment. It also leaves me a little red so I only like to do it before bed. I wake up without any redness or irritation so I feel like getting some sleep really helps heal my skin. Anyway, afterward it’s really important to use good skin care because any and every single product you apply after will be quickly and easily absorbed into the skin.

I noticed a result the very first time I used it and have continued to see brighter, clearer, healthier and younger looking skin with each use. I absolutely love the effect and my skin looks really great. I also feel like I get an incredible tightening boost, especially in my forehead area. I can’t move my forehead and make my wrinkles appear after I roll, in a good way. I’m not sure if this is common but I love it. Granted, I’m only 29 so it’s not like I have massive wrinkles but they’re still there and I love looking smooth and youthful.

One final note, it’s really important to keep your roller clean and sanitized. Isopropyl Alcohol will be your best friend if you decide to start rolling.

It’s definitely not for everyone but I really, really love it.

I also love using Jade on my face. I’ve got a roller, which I did a full review on, a Gua Sha stone and a kind of spiky roller (not sure what it’s actually called), and I really like all 3. I won’t go into too much detail on the roller since I have a dedicated review on it so click here to check that out.

Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to stimulate blood flow and healing. I didn’t think I would like this little jade stone very much but I really enjoy using it. It helps my skin look fresh and bright and I’ve noticed my skin being so much clearer since using it. Although, it’s hard to say exactly which tool is helping the most since I use them all regularly. This tool seems to work really well and get my blood flowing so there’s no stagnation. It also seems to tighten and lift a bit.

The spiky jade tool is kind of like a cross between a Derma Roller and my regular Jade Roller. It’s nice and does a good job of stimulating my skin but isn’t what I reach for first. If you’re afraid of using actual needles on your skin I would highly recommend you get one of these instead.

Finally, I’ve got some Orbits Eye Stones. These little donut shaped stones are made from Finnish bedrock that is more than 2 billion years old. All you have to do is simply set them on your eyes and relax. You can chill them in the fridge for extra relief but I find that they stay pretty cool on their own. They’re perfect for relieving puffiness, itchiness, or just helping tired eyes feel less strained. I love the way these feel and use them every night before bed.

I also use a Foreo Luna Mini, but also have a separate review for that so you can click if you’re interested in learning more.

That’s it for now. I might do a post on my favorite makeup brushes and tools if that’s something you want to know more about. Let me know in the comments and be sure to let me know what your favorite tools are, as well!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Look featuring Honeybee Gardens

Valentine’s Day is a fun reason to get dolled up whether you’ve got a special someone to celebrate with or you’re just a fan of the gorgeous shades of pink and red, frilly hearts, and sweet treats that are often associated with the holiday. We’re not big on Valentine’s Day in my household because the 15th is my Dad’s birthday so we like to celebrate him instead but I still love creating romantic looks during this time of year so I wanted to share with you my current soft and pretty look that I’m loving using Honeybee Gardens products.

I like to keep my look fresh but elevated with super soft and feminine shades. I used three PowderColors Stackable Mineral Colors on my eyes. I used Flirtatious, a light matte pink, all over my lid and up to my browbone. I then blended Chai, a lovely matte pale creamy coffee shade, through my crease and finished with a bit of Angelic, a sparkly iridescent pink, on the lid for a touch of shimmer and shine. I finished up with several coats of mascara for long, dramatic lashes.

On my cheeks I applied a healthy dusting of Complexion Perfecting Blush in Euphoria. Euphoria is a gorgeous shade that can be described as a peachy pink and it’s such a flattering, healthy looking flushed shade and I can’t recommend it enough. I think it would look stunning on every skin tone! I tend to go quite heavy handed with blush, because I like having color on my cheeks, but I make sure to blend it all out so it looks as natural as possible.

I used Brown Sugar, a light matte brown, Effortless Eye Liner on my brows and also under my lower lashes for a bit of extra definition.

I’m wearing the Truly Natural Lipstick in Romance, a medium neutral mauve with red undertones, on my lips and I am so completely in love with this shade and the way it looks on. I think it’s my favorite Honeybee Gardens lipstick! It’s a perfect color that brightens up my complexion and looks so good on! It always wears beautifully, like all of the Truly Natural Lipsticks do, and feels so silky soft and soothing.

So there it is, my fresh and flirty look that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day, really! What do you have planned for Valentine's Day? Anything fun? Leave a comment below and let me know!

(FTC: I'm an ambassador for Honeybee Gardens and these products were sent to me for free by the company. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Marin Bee Review and GIVEAWAY

Marin Bee is a fairly new company hitting the green beauty scene with bee-loving and environmentally friendly personal care products. This company, founded by backyard beekeepers Debra and Bill Tomaszewski, has a mission to help spread the word about the worldwide die-off of the honey bee due to Colony Collapse Disorder and other environmental factors.

The pair also started a nonprofit called the Planet Bee Foundation, with a goal of empowering the next generation of environmental stewards. “Planet Bee offers free and low-cost backyard beekeeping workshops and hands-on bee education lessons to schools, nonprofits, community gardens, environmental centers, businesses, and communities.”

A portion of the profits from Marin Bee products purchased goes directly to the Planet Bee Foundation. So when you click that checkout button to pick up a product or two you’re not only getting a natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free product but you’re also helping to save the planet in a small, but meaningful way.

I can’t tell you that I’m an avid shaving cream user because I lean towards the lazy side and just use whatever shampoo, conditioner or soap is already in my shower. I mean it. I’m super lazy when it comes to removing hair so I usually just give myself the quickest pass of a razor ever but Honey Shave is such a rich and luxurious cream that gives you a taste of an ultra luxurious spa treatment right in your very own shower or tub.

Made with luxe hydrating and conditioning ingredients you need only a small amount of this concentrated cream to coat the surface of the skin. The formula allows your razorblade to glide effortlessly along your soon to be super smooth and silky skin protecting the skin from any nicks or cuts and making sure you get as close a shave as possible. Without any artificial fragrances or chemicals this cream smells a bit herbal, a bit citrusy and very spa like. It’s very gentle and I find that it leaves my legs feeling soft afterward, as well, without feeling like there is a thick coat of anything left behind. They just feel naturally moisturized and supple.

 Marin Bee’s Lip Repair is an uber glossy, smooth and soothing lip balm with a touch of light pinkish color and some shimmer. It’s thick and hydrating but not sticky so it’s a perfect winter balm for day to day. They even suggest you can use it before bed but I’m not someone who likes to put on shimmer to go to sleep. The formula would allow you to wake up with ridiculously plump and juicy lips, though!

And now for some extra exciting news (although, you may have already guessed it from the heading of this post)… it’s time for a giveaway! With Valentine’s Day coming up now is the perfect time for soft lips and smooth legs so one of you Beauties will win this pretty pair for yourself. If you want to enter to win Honey Shave and Lip Repair just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Pixllady Lipstick + GIVEAWAY

Hey there, Lovely! Welcome to the first post on Beautiful Basics in the new year. Can you believe it’s 2017? I don’t know how last year went so quickly but I guess that happens as you get older, doesn’t it? With a new year comes new (whether newly launched or simply new to me) brands to discover, new products to try out, and new and reviews to post so I can share my thoughts with all of you and today is a perfect review kind of day and guess what we’re talking about? One of my absolute favorite types of beauty products to blog about and to just wear in my daily life, lipstick!

Traditional lipstick can be really scary with a terrifying roster of toxic ingredients but every day more and more green beauty companies are coming out with beautiful, hydrating and healthy lippies that prove green can be glam. Pixllady Cosmetics is one of those companies. With 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free lipsticks in a range of stunning shades, you’ll want to collect them all.

Simply made but beautifully formulated this line of lip products is made with ingredients like Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Candelilla Wax, Unrefined Shea Butter, Cold Pressed Castor Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Boron Nitride, and Organic Benzoin Resin and may also contain Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, and Manganese Violet for color. Each tube of Pixllady Lipstick is smooth, buttery, and gorgeously pigmented. I have 3 of them and really enjoy each of them!

I also have the Cocoa Shimmer Gloss that is rich and luxuriously moisturizing while giving the lips a shiny, shimmery finish. It’s lovely on its own or layered on top of lipstick. It’s got a yummy cocoa butter scent and flavor that is absolutely dreamy!

Now on to the colors! I selected Brussels, Sofia, and Budapest. All 3 are surprisingly wearable and flattering. I like them all and can’t decide if Sofia or Brussels is my top pick so it’s a toss up between the 2.
Budapest, Brussels and Sofia
Brussels is described as “a warm rose with medium coverage and a satin finish.” This particular shade is a bit lighter than what I normally gravitate towards and I really love what it does for my complexion!

Sofia is described as “a beige-rose with medium coverage and a satin finish.” This is a perfect MLBB (my-lips-but-better) shade for me and makes my lips look plump and perfected.

Budapest is described as “a dark brick with high coverage and a satin finish.” This is the only one that surprised me color-wise because it looks much more brown in person. It’s a chocolate kind of color on me. Once I saw it in real life I wasn’t sure I would love it on me but I actually do! I’ve even gotten a couple of compliments about it when I’ve worn it. This is a very on-trend shade since it’s kind of reminiscent of shades from the 90s!

Top Row: Left - Brussels  Right - Sofia
Bottom Row: Left - Budapest  Right - Cocoa Shimmer Gloss

Like I mentioned above, all of these lip products are super softening and feel like they do an excellent job of hydrating, smoothing, soothing, and protecting the lips. They have a very light scent that is uplifting and fresh but doesn’t appear to linger. I’m a big fan! 

As for other colors I would love to try, I’ve got my eye on South Beach! I think it’ll be the perfect warm weather lip color! The entire collection is beyond pretty, though, and I don’t think you can make a wrong choice! In fact, one of you Beauties will win your choice of lipstick! How awesome is that? Simply enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway