Sunday, March 15, 2020

9th Birthday-to-Birthday Giveaway

Beautiful Basics was born on March 15, 2011. 9 years ago. 9 years! That's nearly a decade of blogging and sharing my thoughts with you all. I can't even believe it.

My 8th year of blogging might not count, though, since I had to take the entire year and then some off to heal from a concussion and chronic neck pain from a car accident. I've seen doctors, gone to physical therapy (twice), and started practicing yoga. I'm not back to me yet but I'm getting there and coming back to Beautiful Basics is a huge step in the right direction and it's time to celebrate.

It's time for the annual Birthday-to-Birthday Giveaway and one of you can win a really fun sample bag full of beauty goodies, both samples and full-sized products. I'll be showing you looks at what is inside on social media.



The giveaway will run from March 15 (my blogiversary) to April 10th (my 33rd birthday). You can live anywhere in the world for this one but I do reserve the right to hold off on shipping until the coronavirus pandemic slows down a bit. I, like I'm sure many of you, am self-quarantining to stay safe.

To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form below. You can do as many or as few of the options as you would like. All entries will be verified, though. Good luck and stay safe out there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Talk About Skincare - Prāz

Masks are sort of my thing. Some people are obsessed with facial oils while others might adore body lotions or even eye creams but masks are my favorite beauty product. I love them and I've been lucky enough to love a lot of different masks in my lifetime, many of which I have shared with you here on Beautiful Basics in the past 9 years and today let's add another one to that list.

The Vitamin C Vitality Mask from Prāz is my latest addiction. I'm going to throw the word favorite out there because this Bentonite Clay and Vitamin C mask does incredible things to my skin. I've actually never had great luck with Vitamin C containing products before. I don't know why but my skin just usually hates it but for some reason I can use this mask and my skin doesn't react poorly. In fact, when I mix up this powdered mask, apply it to my face, let it sit until it's almost dry, and remove it I end up with an unbelievable glow. I'm left seriously glowy, plumped, smooth, clean and clear. When I use it before bed I also wake up and notice how amazing my skin looks. I love this stuff!

Besides the Bentonite Clay and Vitamin C Powder, this mask is also made of Organic Echinacea Powder, Organic Rosehip Fruit Powder, and Organic Avocado Oil. All organic and perfectly safe and natural.

The husband and wife duo behind Prāz "promise to treat animals and the planet with the same kindness and care we show your skin." This Leaping Bunny certified company uses only healthy, safe, and organic ingredients to create their line of naturally luxurious skincare products. From the formulas to the gorgeous packaging they have really thought of everything to give the users a special product and an experience well worth your time and money. They also give a percentage of every purchase to humanitarian efforts and organizations who work to help others and protect our planet.

They have several other products besides the Vitamin C Vitality Mask including another facial mask called Cranberry Detox. I didn't try it but it sounds awesome. The brand's roster also includes their Muscle Conditioner soak, serum, and 2 oils.


I got to try the Face Revive Oil as well as the All in One Oil and I enjoyed both of them a lot but I did prefer the Face Revive Oil. Made with (all organic) Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Rice Bran Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil it is beyond nourishing for dry skin like mine. My skin drank this golden oil right up and never broke up or became irritated which can sometimes happen to me with oils. I like to use it as the last step in my skincare routine and lock in my serum and moisturizer with it. The only thing that I've noticed that I don't really care for is that it can tint white towels and robes because of the orange tint of the Sea Buckthorn Oil but that's an easy thing to work around if you're aware of it. Besides that, this oil leaves my thirty-something skin looking younger, healthier, and much more hydrated. It's meant to be anti-aging and I fully believe those claims. You need a tiny bit of product so I imagine this bottle will last quite some time.

The other oil, the All in One oil is also really nice but not my preferred oil. It's made with (again, all organic) Pure Rice Bran Oil, Sunflower Oil, Avocado Oil, Black Cumin Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Lemon Extract, Eucalyptus Extract, and Purple Coneflower Extract. This one feels a lot lighter so if you have skin that leans towards the oily side this one would be perfect for you! This product is meant to help with scarring, restore dry and thinning hair, and control oil production. Between the 2 oils Prāz has you're bound to find one that works for you and your needs.

As you can tell, I have really been loving this brand, their mission, their beliefs, and what they have to offer. If you're interested in learning more about Prāz you can check out their website by clicking here. You can also visit them on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Talk About Skincare - PAYARU

It's been a long time since a product has wowed me as much as the Mung Bean Scrubs from PAYARU, a brand on a mission to make skincare simple, affordable, and 100% biodegradable. As a vegan I eat mung beans but didn't know they could be turned into a facial scrub that has saved my skin this winter.


I, like the pair behind the brand, truly believe that simple is best when it comes to skincare and can't stand the thought of an ingredients list that goes on and on so the Original and Cedarwood scrubs are impressive with their 3 and 4 ingredients, respectively.

Mung beans combined with Kaolin Clay and Vegetable Glycerin make this scrub super simple but incredibly gentle, nurturing, and cleansing. It has proven itself a master in getting rid of dry, flaky skin and keeping skin clear and bright. I've had some really great skin days since I started using this product as my morning cleanser.

The original smells slightly earthy, it is made of clay and mung beans after all, but it's not at all an unpleasant scent while the Cedarwood version is not my personal taste but is understandably likable for others, with a deep, rich, and woodsy scent. The texture of the product is interesting and hard to describe because I've never felt anything like it. The beans are scrubby but gentle and never scratchy like some other scrubs can be. It rinses cleanly and leaves only soft skin behind.

It's a little thick, a bit hard to squeeze out of the tube, and I end up having to use a lot of product but for only $12 it's an affordable investment in your skin's health. I can't recommend it enough. Plus, the brand gives back by donating a portion of their profits to the Billion Oyster Project and Project AWARE (click each to learn more).

You can click here to learn more about PAYARU and their mission and products. They also have an Instagram you can check out or their YouTube channel.

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

Monday, January 6, 2020

Back to (Beautiful) Basics

It's a little over a month shy of being one full year since I have been able to blog and I have missed you all so much. I didn't intend to be gone for more than a year. Wait, no. Let's be real - I didn't intend to be gone for any length of time because I didn't intend to get into a car accident. But, I'm finally ready (mostly) to come back and take control once again. 2019 was a really interesting year full of ups and downs but I'm ready for 2020 to be a big, amazing, wonderful year and a huge part of that means building Beautiful Basics up again and turning it in to so much more than it was before.

I want to combine both of my blogs, the beauty and the sick life. I want to be more real and open and honest with you all. Not that I haven't been those things in the past but I just want to let who I really am shine through that much more. Oh. and don't worry, I'll be sure I mark posts with appropriate tags so if you're interested in beauty or my sick blog and not the other you can easily avoid what you want to.

My "new" brain still struggles thanks to the concussion but hopefully I've learned enough strategies to help me get through it and allow me to write, edit, take photos, and do all of the good stuff that blogging entails. My brain is doing better but I'm not where I was before the accident so if things are ever written strangely please bear with me.

New posts coming soon!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Post-Concussion Syndrome and Blogging

It's been 8 full months since I've posted anything on Beautiful Basics. I've popped in on social media every now and then but it's been completely silent here on the blog. I've been creating content since March 2011. That's nearly 8 years and I've never gone this long without posting about my latest beauty finds.

I was involved in a car accident in July. I hit my head and I haven't been myself since. I got a concussion and now I'm living with post-concussion syndrome, which is pretty damn weird.

I'm unable to really get on the computer as technology hurts me pretty badly. It drives my always there headache into overdrive, makes de dizzy, nauseous, and leaves me feeling horrible times a thousand. I've been dealing with some odd new symptoms that make day to day living kind of difficult and blogging is, very sadly, nearly impossible for me to do at the moment.

With my blogiversary coming up in March, though, I refuse to just go away and never come back to this thing that I adore more than almost anything else that I do. 

I'm going to try to come back, with a lot of help to make it work. I'm going to keep trying products and reviewing them because many of you are still e-mailing me and asking me for my thoughts on specific brands and specific products. You need me and I need all of you. Let's be real, though, okay? My brain isn't healthy. I have trouble with words and I get confused easily so if things are a bit weird and a bit off you know why.

I've lost some readers and some subscribers but I hope you decide to stick around. Please bear with me and join me on this journey. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Talk About It - Kneipp Calendula and Orange Foot Care

As soon as it gets a little bit warm outside I'm wearing sandals, and sandals only. Well, I guess that's a lie because I'm often barefoot so the truth is that my feet are always out and on display. I personally don't make it a habit of looking at the feet of other people so I assume they don't look at mine but I like to keep them as soft and as smooth as I possibly can for myself and the off chance that someone might take a peek. Rough feet aren't very nice. They feel gross and downright unpleasant so I like to use products that help me out because I really need it.

You might remember me talking about a brand called Kneipp in January. I posted a review sharing my thoughts on a couple of their Lavender products that help to calm and relax. Well, Kneipp makes a wide array of products. They have so many different products that can be used to help out with so many different problems. Today, however,  I want to focus specifically on their foot care.

Like I said, my feet need help and last week I received the Calendula and Orange Mineral Foot Bath Salt and the Calendula and Orange Foot Repair Butter.


Kneipp's line of foot care products consists of foot creams and bath salts. The line was developed with podiatrists and is made with ingredients like calendula and marigold. They are scented with plant ingredients like citrus and ginger. The line is great for pampering your feet but it's also safe enough for diabetics, so it's good for any and all little tootsies.

The Calendula and Orange Mineral Foot Bath Salt smells so ridiculously strong. I don't really enjoy the scent but the actual salts make a really great foot soak. I like to do it before I shower so I can reap the benefits while still being able to wash off the smell. I use this in a weird way. I fill the sink with hot water, add the salts and then soak. The sink is the weird part. It makes my feet feel so much better! It makes them feel so much softer and then to shower and lock the new softness in with the foot butter (which I'm getting to next). This is the perfect pampering treat.

The Calendula and Orange Foot Repair Butter has a much more gentle scent. It's a bit medicinal smelling. It's not offensive at all and I actually like it. It has both citrus notes and notes of menthol. It reminds me a little of a citronella candle, but in a miss less in your face kind of way. That's probably a horrible description. It's something I've been using nightly. I slather it on, put on some socks, and call it a night. It has left my feet really soft. It is a rich, thick, protective cream that provides long-lasting hydration and softness. It's the perfect conditioner. The texture and formula are fantastic.

If you're in the market for some new foot care products you'll definitely want to check out Kneipp. You can learn more about the company and their products by clicking here. You can also find Kneipp on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Green Leaf Naturals Review + Giveaway

Aloe is an illustrious ingredient for both health and beauty. It is a true superstar. Aloe has been used for thousands and thousands of years. The first recorded report about the spiky, green plant comes from Ancient Egypt and dates back at least 6,000 years ago. Both Cleopatra and Nefertiti held the juice of the aloe plant in high regards and used it in their daily skin care and beauty routines. We're lucky in this day and age, though, because you don't have to be an Egyptian Queen to be able to use aloe to keep your skin looking it's best.

It also doesn't have to be expensive or hard to get thanks to Green Leaf Naturals, a natural skin care company creating healthy, non-toxic beauty products made with aloe, among other really great plant ingredients.

This company (check out their backstory by clicking here) started off with pure Aloe Vera Gel, growing to include the Aloe Vera Spray and then branched out from there. I got to try both Aloe Vera products and the entire range of Women's skin care so grab a snack, settle in, and keep reading.

All Green Life Naturals products are free from parabens, SLS, petrochemicals, dyes, added fragrance, alcohol, and anything else that would make you tremor in fear of toxicity. The line is cruelty-free, all natural, and made in the US.

Let's start with the Aloe products. The Aloe Vera Gel and Aloe Vera Spray are both fantastic. Green Life Naturals uses Texas grown, and Texas Department of Agriculture certified, organic aloe vera plants that they cold press to create their Aloe Vera Gel and Spray. The gel is made with 99.75% organic aloe while the spray is made with 99.8% organic aloe.


Few products are as versatile as these two. I personally like to use both for full body moisturizing, as a facial serum, to cool my post-sun skin, in my hair as a sort of leave in conditioner and softener and I know I'll be using it constantly this summer to calm bug bites. There are a ton of other ways to use them, though! I've read so many things stating that aloe is great for acne scars even. The only difference between the two is that the spray has no thickeners in the formula. I love the idea of having aloe vera in a spray form but you know how sometimes spray products come out leaving huge drops in one place while another ends up bare? Well, this spray aloe is incredible in how even and fine the spray comes out. My Dad is really into it as well. He gets really itchy legs from medication and this aloe has been a necessity for him!


The Amazing Aloe Vera Moisturizing Cream couldn't be any better of a facial moisturizer. It does everything that you would expect a great skincare product to do and it does it at an extremely affordable price. You get a 4 oz jar for $19.95, which is unheard of in the natural beauty world. I love it and when I say I love this stuff I mean I love it A LOT! It has somehow changed my skin in such a dramatic and beautiful way. My skin is so much softer, smoother, more clear and much more plumped up. I have dry, sensitive skin but my skin always looks hydrated with this easily absorbed cream and I love what it's doing for me. It works even better than a lot of very high-end products I've tried and I can't recommend it enough.


The brand recently launched a trio of facial care products that I'll now dive into starting with the Amazing Aloe Vera Facial Cleanser. This lotion-like cleanser is so gentle it feels like a dream on the skin. It cleanses but moisturizes and softens at the same time. It's perfect for sensitive skin like mine but would also be great for all skin types. It leaves skin balanced and feeling healthy.


The Amazing Aloe Vera Facial Toner is another one of the new products they recently released. I'm not a toner person, or at least someone who uses toner regularly, but this one is so refreshing thanks to the aloe and witch hazel combination. This helps to clean any residual residue left behind, close the pores, sooth, refresh and give your skin a healthy glow. It has little to no scent and feels beautiful on the skin.


The final newly launched product is the Organic Rosewater Spray Facial Toner. You guys know I don't love anything rose. I always feel like I'm suffocating or choking when I'm wearing something with a rose scent but let me tell you who loves rose. My Mom! She adores anything rose scented and she is thoroughly enjoying this 100% Organic Rosewater spray.



I was also sent the adorably giftable Body Butter Sampler 3-pack. This trio is comprised of three 2-ounce jars of raw, unrefined butters that are intensely rich, hydrating, and protective of the skin. You get the African Shea Butter, Mango Butter, and Cocoa Butter. All 3 are decadent but I'd say my favorite is the Cocoa Butter. Or maybe my favorite is the Mango Butter. I have to say, the Cocoa Butter is the best smelling Cocoa Butter I have ever smelled in my life. It is so good! Of course, they start off a bit hard but melt as soon as you get them warmed up and you can use them for basically whatever you could ever want to use them for. I especially like them as lip and cuticle balms, heavy-duty foot cream, and any really dry bits of skin I get. I have eczema and they've all been really helpful. And again, they would make a perfect present for anyone! 

They also have a men's line of products. To learn more about Green Leaf Naturals and their products you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram. The brand also offered to do a giveaway, so keep reading!

I am so excited to be able to do this giveaway for my readers in the US of the Amazing Aloe Vera Facial Cleanser, Amazing Aloe Vera Facial Toner, Organic Rosewater Spray Facial Toner, and Amazing Aloe Vera Moisturizing Cream. To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form below. You can do as many or as few of the entry options as you would like, but all entries will be verified. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated for this post. None of the links above are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Talk About Skin Care - BioSphère Naturel

It's always really cool to see beauty companies who have a similar background to your own. Dana, the co-founder of BioSphère Naturel decided, like me and many of you, to make a big change in her life due to illness and embarked on a natural journey. Missing luxury beauty but not willing to compromise when it came to ingredients she created a brand combining luxury and wholesomeness. Of course, there's more to the story (click here to read about it) but I can relate to it and it makes me like the company that much more.

As for the products, they're great, too! They are organic, natural, vegan, cruelty-free, crafted in France, and have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They are free from Parabens, Paraffins, Phthalates, Sulfates, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Silicones, Synthetic Fragrances, and Dyes. You never have to worry about what might be lurking in the ingredients list.


There are 3 products in the line, all of them being moisturizers.

The first is my favorite, the Délice Lait Corps. This body milk is beautifully silky and lightly scented with natural raspberry. It feels so good. The hydration it provides is somehow light but long-lasting. It sinks right in but keeps moisturizing throughout the day to keep skin feeling healthy and soft. It's not sticky, greasy, tacky, or heavy. I don't normally like scented lotions but the slightly sweet and fruity smell of this one is quite nice and fresh.


The other 2 products BioSphère Naturel offers are moisturizers for the face. The first being Lumière Crème Jour, an Anti-Pollution and Mattifying Day Cream. This formula is really cool. It's extremely lightweight and hydrates wonderfully but also mattifies with added rice powder. It's an awesome day cream and works so well under any makeup. It doubles up as a primer and I always love products that can multitask. It smooths, seemingly brightens, hydrates, and keeps an oil from peeking through. I have dry skin but even I can get a little bit of oil here and there. It is meant to be Lotus Blossom scented. I've never smelled Lotus Blossom but this is also quite light and fresh.


Finally, let's talk about the more moisture intensive Jeunesse Crème Anti-Âge, an anti-aging cream. This cream is richer but still not greasy or heavy. It's incredibly creamy. I have dry skin so I thought this would be my favorites but it has a natural rose scent, which many would absolutely adore (my Mom does!), but rose always makes me feel like I'm suffocating. I don't know why. I have tried it a couple of times on my hands and the formula is so lovely. It's meant to plump up fine lines, soften wrinkles, and help dark spots fade.


This line is definitely worth a look if you're in the market for skin care that's made like beauty products you would find a French boutique. It's luxurious and it's natural, what's better than that? You can click here to visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated for this post. None of the links above are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Talk About Subscription Boxes - May Goodbeing Box

Hi there! Welcome back for another installment of Talk About Subscription Boxes. Today we're talking about the May Goodbeing box and I'm sharing what I received. Keep reading if you want to know what I got. You should, by the way, because I got some really great stuff!


Here's a basic breakdown for those unfamiliar with Goodbeing, so skip this if you know how it all works. Goodbeing is a monthly beauty and/or lifestyle box that focuses on natural and cruelty-free products. You can sign up for the month to month plan or purchase an annual subscription which allows you to save 15%. From there, you can choose either the Standard plan or the Mini plan. With the Mini Goodbeing, you’ll receive 2 items per month, either 2 travel size or a full size plus a deluxe sample. This plan has an average value of $15-$20 but will vary month to month. The Standard plan has an average monthly value of $40-$50 and comes with 4-5 items per month in a mix of sizes that can be full size or deluxe sample sized. And, as an extra (awesome) perk you get to choose 1 or 2 items yourself each month. You can truly customize your Goodbeing experience to make it what you want it to be. You start off by filling out a detailed member survey about product preferences and concerns. Click here to check out the different plan options and how it all works.


This month I received: Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell BB Benefit Balm Untinted SPF 30, The Starfish Project Mariah Gold Nugget Round Stud Earrings, Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Luminous Lip Crayon in Malibu, Bug Protector Bug Protector Tick Repellant Spray, and Shamanuti Sunbutter.


The first item I picked was the Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell BB Benefit Balm Untinted SPF 30. I was intrigued by the idea of an untinted BB Cream and since I've been on a hunt for some good SPF products I can wear all summer I was really excited to see the one on the selection list. This is a full-sized, 2 oz, product with a value of $19.95. It has a very slight citrus scent but it isn't too strong or overpowering. I haven't played around with this very much yet since it's been raining like crazy here but I'll be sure to let you know more about it soon. I have dry skin and this one is best for oily and overactive skin but I bet it will still work well for me.


I also selected The Starfish Project Mariah Gold Nugget Round Stud Earrings. This month there were so many beautiful pieces of jewelry to pick from. There were earrings, bracelets, and necklaces and they were all quite pretty. I selected these earrings because I thought I would get the most wear out of them and they're very cute in person. I love what this company stands for and their mission is truly wonderful. You can learn more about The Starfish Project by clicking here. The items members could select from range from $19.99 to $60. These particular earrings have a price of $29.99 on the back of the card they came on but my Goodbeing page says they have a value of $58.


I was most excited about the surprise of the Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Luminous Lip Crayon in Malibu. I haven't tried very much from Juice Beauty but their cosmetics always catch my eye and this lip crayon is stunning. The color is perfect for the summer, but really great no matter the season, since it's a nude pink. I love the color so much! The formula is really beautiful, too, since it's creamy but lightweight. This scent-free chubby crayon feels a lot more like a hydrating balm than a lipstick but it's the best of both worlds. It feels great and it looks great, too. This is one of my favorite items from Goodbeing yet! This is a full size coming in at $22.


I'm terrified of ticks. Shouldn't we all be? I received the Bug Protector Tick Repellent Spray, a 2 oz deluxe sample with a value of $3.99. It's specifically formulated to repel the Dog Tick and the Deer Tick. I haven't tried it yet but I will probably take it with me when we go camping this summer. I also really love the fact that I can also use it on my dog's fur to keep him protected.


Finally, I received two foil packets ($3) of Sunbutter from Shamanuti. This technically isn't marketed as a sunscreen but it is a moisturizer that blocks UVA and UVB rays with the equivalent of SPF 15 thanks to  Zinc, Titanium Dioxide, and B Vitamins. It can be used on face and body. I love the ingredients and I think this moisturizer is really great. I'm even thinking about buying a bottle of it.

My May Goodbeing has a value of $78.93, which is awesome and I'm really pleased with everything! Which items interests you most? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re interested in signing up, you can click here to do so. With plans starting at $9.95 you’re bound to find an option that works for you whether you’re wanting to try out the beauty box or the lifestyle box. The box ships within the US but also to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A subscription would also make a great gift for any beauty lover in your life.

You can also find Goodbeing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: I am a Goodbeing Ambassador so this box was sent to me for free for review purposes. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Talk About Body Care - Island Deodorant

Don't judge me for what I'm about to tell you, okay? I stopped wearing deodorant.

I found that I, somehow, smelled better and stayed fresher longer when I skipped it than I did when I applied it. I even tested my theory dozens of times and came to the same conclusion each time. I have no clue why this is but so many of you have been e-mailing me about a certain deodorant, wanting my thoughts on it, that I just knew I had to give it a try.

Let's face it Green Beauties, natural deodorant is tough. Finding a healthy, clean, non-toxic deodorant that does everything we want and/or need it to do is like finding a conflict-free diamond in the rough. It's really hard. It can also be frustrating, so I'm here to help make things a bit easier for you.

I've been testing out the Original Stick Deodorant with Probiotics from Island Deodorant. This deodorant is organic, cruelty-free, vegan, paraben free, alcohol-free, aluminum free, gluten free, BPA free, and free from added fragrance or color. This stick deodorant is made with Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Corn Starch, Baking Soda (naturally aluminum-free), Wild Crafted Candelilla Wax, Organic Jojoba Oil, and Shelf Stable Probiotics.


I'm super impressed with this deodorant. It's hands down the absolute best natural deodorant I have ever tried. I've tried a lot. The list is embarrassing and ridiculously long.

I've been sensitive to deodorant formulated with baking soda in the past but this one is somehow incredibly gentle. It hasn't left my underarms bumpy or irritated at all. It's smooth and feels wonderful on the skin. It has almost zero scent so it's not of those "unscented" products that still smells and you guys know how ridiculously sensitive I am. I really like the formula and how easy it is to apply and go.

Since it does have oil it can stain your clothes but a thin layer gets the job done and I haven't had any issues with yellowing or staining. I typically try to avoid deodorant with coconut oil for that reason oil but we're good to go here.

And then let's talk about the addition of probiotics. It's kind of genius. Probiotics are awesome. They're basically good bacteria that work to get rid of bad bacteria. Whether they're in your tummy or in your armpits they go to war to keep you balanced. Again, they're awesome.

I apply a swipe under each arm after my morning shower and I'm good for the entire day and night with no breakthrough stink. I said I'm impressed with this stuff above but it goes beyond impressed. I'm really pleased. It works as well as its toxic counterparts.

If you've never used natural deodorant before be aware if you give this a try you might have a detox period where you will smell awful for a bit while your body gets rid of the toxins and chemicals it has accumulated. Also, this formula is not an antiperspirant so you will still sweat. Don't be bothered by that, though, because contrary to popular opinion sweat is good. Toxins leave our bodies through sweat. If you plug your pores with chemicals that are designed to keep you dry you're not releasing toxins from your body that need to get out of your system. Wet does not mean bad. Smelly isn't great but wet is.

They offer an Original Stick Deodorant, Sensitive Stick Deodorant, and Original Cream Deodorant. As for their other offerings, they recently launched a lip balm and a few moisturizers.

The Organic Cocoa Butter Lip Balm is made with Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Wild Crafted Candelilla Wax, Organic Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E. It's simple but it's beautifully formulated. It's thick and rich. It's also soothing, protective, and hydrating. It lasts a long time once it's on and feels really good. It also smells great since it's made with cocoa butter. It's got that yummy real chocolate scent and taste.


The recently launched body moisturizers are the Organic Body Lotion, Organic Body Cream, and Organic Body Butter. I was sent the Body Cream, which is made only with Unrefined Shea butter, Organic Unrefined Jojoba Oil, and Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil. It is quite heavy and a tiny bit greasy, as can be expected from the ingredients list alone, but it ends up absorbing really well and leaves skin feeling hydrated and softer than soft. It can be used for face and/or body. It can really be used for anything you want. It's been nice for my eczema, on my cuticles, under my eyes, around my mouth, and everywhere else that I struggle with dryness. A little goes a long way!

I can't recommend this deodorant enough, seriously. The entire line is great. To learn more about Island Deodorant you can check out 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 by the company. I am not being compensated for this post. None of the links above are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Spring Mini Reviews

I want to keep things simple today and talk about several things I've been using that I haven't talked about and would probably never give an entire post to. Some things are good but don't need a dedicated review, you know? Let's get to it!

First up is HURRAW! and their lip balm. I've purchased several of these for my Mom in the past but never tried it myself. I'm really picky when it comes to lip balm but I've really been enjoying these balms. I have both the unscented and the mint but HURRAW! makes so many different scents you're bound to find something that piques your interest. Mint is my favorite scent and this one, in particular, is a true mint scent/flavor. It's really fresh, slightly sweet, and really beautiful. The unscented has the tiniest bit of a cocoa butter vibe but has no other scent or flavor going on besides that, which is impressive.


The impossibly smooth balm is soothing, gentle, hydrating and rich. I have really sensitive lips and these have never caused any irritation. It's a glossier formula than I normally go for, as I usually prefer dry balms that look a bit matte once on, but these both look really pretty on the lips. It provides long-lasting hydration and works perfectly alone or under or on top of any lipstick. I love the safe, healthy ingredients and the fact that they're vegan, cruelty-free, raw, non-GMO, gluten-free and totally safe.

Continuing on with lip balm, I recently purchased a couple more tubes of Portland Bee Balm. In Oregon Mint and Unscented. Have you noticed I stick to what I like? Always mint and always unscented. Anyway, I reviewed these lip balms a long time ago and ended up giving a lot of them away to you ladies and even gentlemen. I still like the formula. Unlike HURRAW! These balms are quite dry and very matte once on.


I recently picked up their latest offering which is the Solar Eclipse Unscented balm. This tube is basically their regular unscented balm with 8% non-nano zinc oxide added to provide mineral-based SPF 15. The weather has been insane here, with snow one minute and sunshine the next, but I've been preparing for summer since before my birthday. I'm ready and this lip SPF is a perfect warm weather companion. It does have a white cast and it can make your lips look a little dead if you apply too much but I've found that I can apply a very thin layer for protection and only a little dulling of my natural lip color, which I'm all for. I don't need super pigmented lips while I'm spending time outdoors.

Next up on the agenda is the Honest Beauty Invisible Blurring Powder. Ever since Honest Beauty first launched I've been curious about the line but I just haven't made a purchase until I dropped this powder into my Target.com cart around the first of the year. I needed a new powder and this one sounded simple but packed a list of claims that made me want it.


This powder is made with Corn Starch, Silica, Rice Starch, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Stearate, and Iron Oxides. It's meant to even out the complexion, blur imperfections and soften the appearance of fine lines and pores. It sounds like the perfect powder, doesn't it? It feels silky and smooth and does a great job of setting my makeup. It's very finely milled and the container is rather large. I also love the fact that it has a way to close the inside so you don't make a mess. I like to sprinkle out a small amount of powder into the lid and close it up so I don't get too much that will inevitably end up everywhere. It's a bit expensive but should last a long time.

I don't much about the brand found (all lowercase on purpose) besides the fact that I started seeing photos of their line in my feed from bloggers I follow earlier this year. I also know they can be found only at Walmart (or on their website I just discovered). Let me tell you something, I'm not an elitist, I promise, but I dislike Walmart with a deep passion. I don't use the word hate but I'm close to hating Walmart. I just don't like it. I actually have a Walmart in my town, not much else, but I refuse to go there. I end up there once or twice a year but refuse any other time. I always get a terrible migraine from the lighting (or a seizure if I'm really unlucky), get nausea from all the outgassing smells, and end up with a panic attack because people there tend to have no space boundaries. Okay, enough complaining. I had to stop in for something about 2 months ago and saw that they had a whole display for found setup.


It was pretty picked over but since I love concealer I decided to grab this Full Coverage Concealer (in the shade Light). I told you recently that I tend to judge makeup lines on how much I like or dislike their concealer. Well, I don't like this one at all. It's one of those stick concealers so I probably should have known before I got it home, seeing as how I don't typically like stick formulas. Found describes it as creamy but I don't find it be creamy, whatsoever, It is SO incredibly dry. It makes me look crepey and Sahara-desert level dry. I'm not a fan of this as a concealer, although I've been playing around with it as an eye primer and since it's so dry it seems to work well.

Are there products you've purchased lately that you love or hate or aren't sure about yet? Leave me a comment about it!

(FTC: I purchased all of these items with my own money. I am not being compensated for this post.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Talk About Subscription Boxes - April 2018 Goodbeing

A lot has changed since I last posted, including the fact that I'm 31 now! I had the best birthday, maybe ever. I have been feeling so good and so happy. It's finally spring here, too, and I've been enjoying the sunshine, flowers, listening to the birds, and loving all things spring has to offer. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I posted about needing to take a little bit of time away because I was dealing with even more pain than usual but now I'm back to myself and ready to start posting again. So, let's get to it by talking about my April Goodbeing box today.



Here's a basic breakdown for those unfamiliar with Goodbeing, so skip this if you know how it all works. Goodbeing is a monthly beauty and/or lifestyle box that focuses on natural and cruelty-free products. You can sign up for the month to month plan or purchase an annual subscription which allows you to save 15%. From there, you can choose either the Standard plan or the Mini plan. With the Mini Goodbeing, you’ll receive 2 items per month, either 2 travel size or a full size plus a deluxe sample. This plan has an average value of $15-$20 but will vary month to month. The Standard plan has an average monthly value of $40-$50 and comes with 4-5 items per month in a mix of sizes that can be full size or deluxe sample sized. And, as an extra (awesome) perk you get to choose 1 or 2 items yourself each month. You can truly customize your Goodbeing experience to make it what you want it to be. You start off by filling out a detailed member survey about product preferences and concerns. Click here to check out the different plan options and how it all works.



There were so many really great choices to select from this month and I'm happy, yet again, with what I received. Spoiler alert, next month looks awesome, too!



The first item I selected this month is the kVoss NYC Lip Lover Scrub. I received the kVoss MagiK Shimmer a few months ago and sadly couldn't use it because of the scent so I was really happy to be able to try something else out from the brand. This scrub, first of all, is humungous. I've never seen a lip scrub come in anything other than a small little pot but this one comes in a 2 oz jar. It retails for $28, which seems a bit pricey at first but I think this will last for a really long time, even with frequent use. It smells like a delicious almond pastry and does a superb job of exfoliating the lips. I typically only use sugar scrubs but this one has pumice, as well, so it's even more scrubby and efficient than I'm used to. It gets off every single bit of dry skin and leaves the lips feeling soft, plump, supple, smooth and fresh. I'm loving this!



The Airbiotics StaBiotic Mist is the second item I chose to be in my box. This particular product is a new find, and obsession, but I've loved Airbiotics for a while now.  I loved this travel bottle so much, in fact, that I ordered a big bottle of it this weekend and I'm looking forward to it arriving so I can use it all over my home. This product, and every other product I've tried from this brand, has no smell at all and works to clean, protect, and freshen your home. It helps minimize allergens and control odors. My dog, Cooper, is unwell and had to go to the emergency vet last week so he can't have a bath. He's way past due but I used this spray on him (it says you can and they even make a separate pet spray) and it made him smell almost clean. He didn't even mind the fine mist. This is a wonder product. I'm also obsessed with their Probiotic All Purpose Cleanser and their Probiotic Natural Hand Cleaner. Their products are basically just water and probiotics. They are so cool!



I was really happy to find the Pure Anada Black Mascara in my box, too. I've only tried a single lipstick from Pure Anada, and I really liked it, but I'm always looking to test out more natural makeup. I currently have a mascara open so I haven't tried this one yet but I am so impressed with the tube itself. It feels incredibly luxurious. It's made of a weighty metal and it seems lavish. It has a beautifully simple ingredients list (Water, Rice Bran Wax, Olive Oil,  Cetyl Alcohol, Carnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax, Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Acacia Gum, Iron Oxide, Aminomethyl Propanediol, and Phenoxyethanol) and is designed to build volume and length. I'm looking forward to trying it.

I also received Eco Armour Shaving Foam in Mint + Eucalyptus. I've tried this before, maybe from a Goodbeing years ago or maybe another subscription box? I'm not sure but either way, it's nice. It smells fresh and a bit earthy. It's nicely moisturizing and works great for shaving. I don't typically use shaving aids like this because I stick to an electric razor or my typical soap/shampoo/conditioner. I hate shaving so I don't like to make it an extra step and add in additional products, if that makes sense. You use it quite differently than you would a normal shaving product and I think it's really interesting. It works as a barrier on both skin and the razor. Very neat.

And finally, I found a snack sized bag of Lesser Evil Himalayan Pink Salt Organic Popcorn in my box. I don't eat popcorn but my Dad loved this.

In total, my box had a value of $77.60 and I'll absolutely use every item I received.

If you’re interested in signing up, you can click here to do so. With plans starting at $9.95 you’re bound to find an option that works for you whether you’re wanting to try out the beauty box or the lifestyle box. The box ships within the US but also to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A subscription would also make a great gift for any beauty lover in your life.

You can also find Goodbeing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

And if you’re already a member I would love to know what you received so be sure to leave a comment below.

(FTC: I am a Goodbeing Ambassador so this box was sent to me for free for review purposes. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)