Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shower Cleaner

No one can argue about the benefits of using natural ingredients and products but there is one downside that comes to mind, dirtier showers. I don't know if this happens to everyone or if it's just what happens in my house but my shower gets coated with an oily residue that's tough to clean.

My Mom shared this recipe that she uses with me so I thought I should pass it on. It's easy and healthy!

Combine the baking soda and castile soap together in a bowl, and then add the water and lemon juice. You should need about a tablespoon of each but gauge it based on the consistency, which should be a soft paste. Once you have your paste you can scrub the shower and tub clean. Once you rinse your shower should be sparkling!

Bonus cleaning tip – pour some baking soda into your toilet and then add some vinegar! Of course it's not magical, you'll still have to use your muscles and a sponge, but it's a great cleaning solution.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Sampler Bag Giveaway

Hey Beautiful! Welcome to December! This is one of my absolute favorite months of the entire year. I love being able to spend time with my family and of course I adore Christmas! Yesterday we decorated our tree and got the house ready for the season. Now that I'm officially in the Holiday mood I decided that today would be the perfect day to launch a new giveaway!

Are you ready for it? I have another Sampler Bag to give away! You all seemed to really like the last one so I created another one just for you!

This one comes with: Samples from Harvey Prince, Nature's Gate, Jason, Avalon Organics, and Rahua; As well as a deluxe sized Organic Shea Butter Complexion Bar from Out of Africa, travel sized bottle of Body Lotion from Lanikai Bath and Body in Pikake and a full-sized EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm and Coconut Cake Soap from Zeb Botanical Beauty.

This bag would make a great gift for yourself or the beauty lover in your life. You could even break it up and use the contents as stocking stuffers!

I hope you enjoy! Good luck!

To enter please use the Rafflecopter below. Open only to US and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Talk About It - Beecology (+ closed GIVEAWAY)

I feel like I haven't done a skin or hair care review in quite a while so I decided that today was the perfect day to share my thoughts and opinions on the products of Beecology. They sent me quite a few products as well as some extra lip balms, which means that if you read through to the bottom of this post there just might be a little giveaway!

If you know me personally or have been following my blog for a while then you already know of my passion for honey. I think honey is a precious beauty resource so I love anything and everything honey based, which is why I was so intrigued by Beecology and their line of products. Beccology not only produces and sells a line of natural products made with honey, beeswax, and other healthy ingredients; they also give back through their charity,

I first became interested in the company after reading about their Natural Honey and Botanical Sulfate-Free Shampoo and All-Natural Hair Conditioner. While I really like the shampoo, I wasn't as big a fan of the conditioner.

First of all, the shampoo smells so yummy! It's slightly sweet, slightly citrus-y, and slightly herbal, which combine to make a delicious smelling shampoo. It's formula is gentle and effective while providing the hair with brilliant shine and extra softness. The conditioner isn't necessarily bad, it just has a weird after scent that I don't like. I think it reacted strangely with my pH (which happens to me a lot). The conditioner seemed to moisturize my hair well enough but I couldn't get past the smell. My mother loves both products though.

My favorite Beecology product is their Hand and Body Cream, which I got to try in both the Original Honey formula as well as the Cucumber and Green Tea version. Both versions work exactly the same and the formula is so luxurious and rich. It's a very thick cream that is easily absorbed into the skin leaving it feeling hydrated and healthy, never greasy. This formula is perfect for this time of year! My skin has been a little dry due to the cold weather and this hand and body cream soothes my itchy skin. The original scent is a light, clean scent while the Cucumber and Green Tea version smells very fresh and like real cucumbers.

If your skin is feeling a little dull and needs refreshing then look no further than the Natural Honey and Peppermint Body Wash. This body wash leaves my skin tingling in a good way. It smells great, cleans well, and invigorates the skin with each use. It's great for morning use and has become one of my favorites!

I was also sent 4 bars of their soap to try out and review, although I have only used 3 of them. The one I haven't tried is the My Big Fat Greek Yogurt and Honey Soap, which has a juniper scent to it and I'm not a big fan so I'll be talking about the other 3, which are the Honey Oatmeal Morning Peppermint Soap (perfect for perking up skin), Honey Lavender Soap (which makes the perfect bedtime bar of soap), and the Dead Sea Mud Soap (deep cleansing while moisturizing). All 3 bars of soap have proven to be really effective, are lovely to use, and smell great!

The final Beecology product I got to take for a test drive is their Buzz Balm Peppermint Lip Balm. This balm is made with Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Aloe Butter, Cupuaçu Butter, Olive Oil, Peppermint Oil, Acai Butter, Eucalyptus Oil, Clove Oil, and Tea Tree Oil. It's hydrating, soothing, and protective. It does smell a bit strong due to the oils but it's not offensive, only medicinal. I was experiencing very chapped and dehydrated lips before testing this balm and it really helped heal and protect my lips.

I was sent several extra lip balms so 5 of you will get the chance to win a Buzz Balm of your own! Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win.

To learn more about Beecology and their products, or to order some of your own you can click here to be taken to their website.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Talk About It - Alima Pure Black Tie Gala

One thing that never fails to excite me is when I go to my mailbox and discover a mystery package from Alima Pure. What does this package mean, you may ask? It's time for a new collection and I absolutely love and adore Alimas limited edition collections. Wait, let's get real; I really just adore Alima Pure in general, and their newest collection did not disappoint.

Alima Pures Holiday 2012 Collection is all about glamour, and is appropriately named Black Tie Gala. There are two separate parts of this collection, both of which are gorgeous. I really like all aspects of this collection.

The first is Black Tie Gala – Eye, which comes with 4 shimmery shadows that can be combined in many different ways to add a little dazzle and sparkle to any look. For $36 you get 4 full-sized mineral eyeshadows with a value of $50 in an Alima Pure signature gift box. These shadows are seriously pretty! They wear well and can be used in a subtle or dramatic way.

The Black Tie Gala Eye set includes:
Bijou – shimmering champagne
Minauderie – warm bronze
Ball Gown – mossy green with gold shimmer (while not a shade I would normally be drawn to, I'm really enjoying this eyeshadow since it's stunning!)
Stilettos – deep, smoky purple with silver shimmer

The second piece of the limited edition Holiday puzzle is Black Tie Gala – Face, which is comprised of a matte blush, shimmer eyeliner, and shimmer powder. This set also retails for $36, and has a retail value of $45. These 3 products go perfectly with the eye set, although they look lovely on their own as well.

The Black Tie Gala Face Set includes:
Chandelier Highlighter – peach shimmer  
Red Carpet Blush – warm matte rose (which is an absolutely beautiful blush that is super flattering and wearable. I'm in love with this blush!)
Tuxedo Eyeliner – very deep, blackened purple with shimmer 

 Alima Pure has created yet another collection worth looking into it. You can visit Alima Pure online by clicking here.

(FTC: Alima Pure sent me samples of these products to try out and review. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Talk About It - Pomegranate Nail Lacquer

Happy Halloween Beauties! I have another nail polish review for you today. I recently discovered Pomegranate Nail Lacquer and I absolutely love their shades and formulations. Pomegranate Nail Lacquers are 4-free (meaning no toluene, formaldehyde, DBP or camphor) and cruelty free. Another important selling point is that their polish is made in the USA and retails for $9.

I always talk about how there is no such thing as natural nail polish and I couldn't have said it any better than Pomegranate did on their website, "Our nail polish contains the same ingredients as many brands that claim to be organic, vegan, natural or eco-friendly. We prefer not to use these terms to describe our brand as we believe they can be misleading. The industry strives to make nail polish that is as safe as possible, but it's still a long way from being natural!"

Before I get into talking about the individual polishes I picked out I want to talk about the formula. The formula of both polishes I tried is incredibly smooth, easy to apply, and flawless. The formula is neither thick nor thin, which makes it a dream to apply. I have also found that Pomegranates nail polish is superbly longwearing. I also really appreciate the high-shine finish that each of these polishes have.

I got to pick out two polishes, both of which are from their newest collection for fall. The Fall 2012 Collection features 7 stunning shades that are perfect for Autumn, one of which is named after the season itself. Autumnesque is a gorgeous golden pinky copper color. It's a bit hard to describe since it's so unique. The hue of this polish is reminiscent of the changing leaves of the season. I knew I had to try this one when I saw it on the website. I believe this particular polish will look amazing on all skin tones since it's super flattering!

The other shade I picked is Improv Show, which is a dark purple with multicolored shimmer. Inside each bottle of Improv Show lies tons and tons of blue, pink, and silver shimmer. The base color of this polish is the most perfect purple for fall and the shimmer adds something extra special to the mix. I don't usually gravitate towards polishes like this but have fallen madly in love with this one. I've been wearing it on my toes since it arrived in the mail. Improv Show is the perfect mixture of Vampy, feminine, classic and trendy.

To learn more about the company or to purchase your choice of polish you can visit Pomegranate Nail Lacquers website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope that no matter what your plans are for this evening that you stay safe and warm while having tons of fun. I'm planning on staying home and watching spooky movies all night! See you all soon!

Monday, October 29, 2012

DIY Blood for Halloween

Here's a fun little fact about me – I have a passion for special effects makeup. Ever since I can remember I have been experimenting with different things to create bruises, scars, scabs, and anything else gory. The only problem with my little hobby is that it's really hard to find natural alternative to stage makeup and fake blood. There are natural eye shadows you can use to make bruises, but there aren't any natural fake bloods that I know of.

In honor of Halloween and my love of special effects makeup this post is going to teach you how you can make your own blood at home. There are no specific measurements, just make this recipe by eye depending on the amount you need and the consistency and color you want. You can substitute regular red food coloring with natural food coloring. Make sure you're using food grade dye. Also, keep in mind that red food coloring stains.

Mix light corn syrup and red dye together until you get the desired blood like color. You can also add a little blue and/or green food coloring to make it look deeper and more realistic, just make sure to add it drop by drop to gauge the color. Keep in mind that you can add color, not remove it. Add a small amount of cocoa powder (chocolate syrup also works) to the mixture. This will make the blood look more life-life and opaque. If you want thinner blood, add a little bit of water very slowly until it is the desired consistency. If you want it thicker, add cornstarch or flower little by little until it is thick enough.

There are other recipes that involve kool-aid, barbecue sauce, ketchup, peanut butter, and beet juice but this one is my tried-and-true favorite. Are you celebrating Halloween? If you are, are you dressing up? I'd love to know what you're planning on being.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hydrating Carrot Mask

For a lot of people, myself included, fall and winter tends to lead to dry (or dryer than normal) skin. I always amp up my facial routine during the colder months and use creamier cleanser, thicker moisturizers, and moisture infusing masks and treatments. If you have oily skin, today's recipe is not for you. If you need a hydrating and nourishing facial mask then look no further!

Combine the yolk with the carrot and apply the mixture to your face. Massage it into your skin and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Make sure to use your favorite moisturizer afterwards to lock in the benefits of the mask.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Talk About It - Monave Mineral Makeup (+ closed Giveaway!)

I'm really happy to bring you another review of a cosmetics company and their wonderful mineral makeup review today. Monave Mineral Makeup is the brainchild of Deborah Bilezikian, who had the dream of creating a line of simple, high quality, and high performance products. To read about the journey that Deborah took to create Monave click here

All Monave products are made using the highest quality mineral makeup ingredients. Their formulas are completely gluten free and 95% of their products are vegan (the other 5%, like their potted and liquid glosses, contain beeswax – the only animal byproduct they use!). You will never see parabens, dyes, or bismuth oxychloride in the ingredient list of any Monave products nor will you need to worry that their products have been tested on animals, because they haven't! To check out the ingredients that make up each product you can click here.

I tried out a few foundation products and love all of them! My absolute favorite, however, is the Loose Mineral Foundation in Kerrie. Kerrie is the perfect color for me and I'm so happy that it works so well. I have fair skin that has a slight yellow undertone. The website says that it's perfect for those who have a "peaches and cream complexion". The coverage this mineral powder provides is really remarkable as it completely evens out the skin tone without making my face look flat. It seems to last all day and stays looking nice. It works well on it's own or over a liquid or cream foundation, which is something I like to do when I want an impeccably flawless finish.

I also tested out the Cream Foundation and Vegan Mousse Foundations in the color Claire. Claire is a light shade that works for those with neutral or pink undertones. I said above that I have a yellow undertone but it's very slight so I can also use shades like this one. The Cream Foundation is a little heavier and thicker than the Vegan Moisture Mousse but both formulas are really great. Both varieties apply easily, blend well, and look nice on the skin while providing coverage. They both sink into my skin as opposed to sitting on top so it doesn't ever look like I'm wearing a mask or too much makeup. I like both a lot but I'd say that I've been reaching for the cream version more often since it feels so silky smooth and since my Mom raided my makeup stash (which she is more than welcome to do as often as she wishes) and fell in love with the mousse.

I decided to choose a very neutral, every day wear kind of eye shadow to test out from Monave and ending up going for Crème Brulee. This shade is completely matte and works wonderfully as a base shade on the lid. It helps cover up redness and allows the eyelid to become a blank canvas, which is the perfect first step in doing any eye look. This is a bit darker than my skin tone so it looks nice on it's own too. The formula is very smooth and easy to blend and work with.

The last product, and the only one I didn't like, is the Mineral Bronzer in the color Gran Marnier. It is totally my fault that I didn't fall in love with this product. There is nothing wrong with the formula, it's just this particular shade doesn't do anything at all for my skin tone. The powder itself is nice and smooth but the color I picked doesn't really show up on my skin. On a brighter note - it's matte, which is a quality I look for in a bronzer.

(Wearing the Cream Foundation in Claire, Loose Mineral Foundation in Kerrie, Gran Marnier Bronzer, and Creme Brulee Eyeshadow)

In addition to mineral makeup, Monave sells a wide variety of other products including facial and body skin care, hair care, kits to create your own products, and they even do wholesale. Deborah believes that "all women deserve high quality, natural makeup, so Monavé has a wide array of shades for all complexions, lifestyles and ages." There is literally a Monave product that is perfect for everyone so check out the website today!

Monave has so graciously offered a DIY Natural Lip Kit for one of you, my lovely readers, to win! To enter to win use the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Skin Clearing Facial

It's been a while since I've talked about the skin benefits of apple cider vinegar, but if you've been with me since the beginning you remember how much I love the magical, amber colored liquid for toning and taming breakouts as well as using to clean nails before a manicure or using it as a rinse for hair. Since I've had several readers asking for DIY recipes that are perfect for oily and acne prone skin, I figured now was the perfect time to bust out ACV again.

The three, simple ingredients in this recipe combine to create a nourishing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial mask so it's perfect for using on blemished skin. It's also good for those of us who want to clarify our skin. Be sure to patch test this mask (like all masks, treatments, and scrubs) before applying to your face.

This mask is supposed to be a bit runny so you may need to adjust the ingredients until you have a consistency you're happy with. Once you have the consistency you desire, apply to a clean face. Let the mask sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with water. Be sure to follow up with your favorite moisturizer!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Talk About It - Red Apple Lipstick

Fall is the perfect time to play around with makeup. Bolder lips and darker eyes are fun ways to experiment with new looks and I recently got to try a couple of products from Red Apple Lipsticks. I got to pick two products to try so I chose one lipstick (the companies name is Red Apple Lipsticks so I didn't want to skip trying one of their lip products) and an eye shadow. I know you Beauties have been asking me to do more makeup reviews so here it is!

Red Apple Lipstick was created by Texan Jay Adam Harper in 2007 and has only grown since then. All of Harper's products are completely safe and healthy, meaning they are free from parabens, gluten, lead, soy and animal byproducts. Are they also cruelty free and made in the US? You betcha!

The lipstick I selected is Strawberry Lips, which is a gorgeous muted red with a touch of brown in it. It is glitter and shimmer free, which is my preferred type of lipstick finish, although it does have a very subtle shine to it. This shade is wonderfully buildable. It can be worn as a pretty dark pink or a deeper red, with each layer making the look darker. I'm not sure if what I'm about to say is going to make any sense at all but I consider this shade to be a nude red. It's almost the color of my lips, but richer. I can see why this is one of their best sellers! Also, Strawberry Lips is the perfect name for this one since it is reminiscent of the color of ripe strawberries.

As for the formula, you know how sensitive my lips are and this lipstick irritates them a bit but it isn't my typical full-blown reaction so I'm not sure what's going on. My lips are so weird! Anyway, this lipstick is easy to apply and wear. It's not superbly moisturizing but it's not drying either and it's comfortable on the lips. I like wearing it with a balm underneath (which is something I do with most lipsticks).

If you're curious about the ingredients, the following are what make up the lipstick: Ricinus Communis, Candelilla Wax, Shea Butter, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Carnauba Wax, Cera Alba, Sesame Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate from an all natural non gluten source, Almond Oil , Tangerine Peel Oil, Essence of Vanilla, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide ,Manganese Violet, Mica, Iron Oxide.

The star of the show for me is the Red Apple Lipstick Eye Shadow I tried. I chose Twinkle Taupe and I couldn't be happier with my choice. It's an absolutely stunning shade that is a must have in any makeup lovers collection. It is described by the company as a "plum based bronze". It is the perfect shade for amping up any neutral look. It's extremely wearable and flattering. It has a satin finish so it's suitable for all ages. The formula of this shadow is lovely. It's smooth, pigmented, longwearing, and easy to blend. The slogan on the back of the packaging says "Gluten Free Mineral Eye Shadow That Totally Rocks" and I couldn't agree more. This eye shadow really does rock!
The eye shadow is made with: Mica, Zinc Oxide, Silica, Ascorbyl Palmitate. May contain iron oxides, titanium dioxide, chromium, green, and ultra marines.

(Strawberry Lips - 1 coat, Strawberry Lips - 3 Coats, Twinkle Taupe)

You can learn more about the company or the produts by clicking here. You can also check out the many different shades they have available and purchase your favorites on their website.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweet and Sour Scrub

I absolutely love to exfoliate my skin. It's my favorite step in taking care of my skin so I love playing around and experimenting with different scrubs. This one features pantry staples including my favorite DIY beauty ingredient, honey, as well as lemon and sugar. It's super simple and easy to make and use. This scrub comes in handy for people with discolored and uneven skin, dull skin, large pores, or acne.

Any of the aforementioned skin types will benefit from using this scrub, however it's important to test how your skin reacts to the ingredients, especially since many people have sensitivities to citrus. Lemon juice, as all citrus juice, will make skin sensitive to the sun so be sure to use SPF if you do this during the day; however, I recommend using facial scrubs like this before going to bed so your skin has time to regenerate.

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and apply to your freshly cleansed face. Massage the mixture gently into your skin for several (2-3) minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Be sure to avoid the delicate eye area. Make sure to follow up with your favorite serum or moisturizer.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Talk About It - Acure Organics Argan Stell Cell Leave In Conditioner

Last month on the Beautiful Basics Facebook page we had a conversation about natural hair products, and how hard it is to find effective products that smell good and do the job you expect them to. Even though I do like putting oils in my hair I'm always on the hunt for a good leave in conditioner. I'm extremely picky so it's tough but I found a really great one from Acure Organics that is formulated with fabulous ingredients.

Many of you suggested that I check out Acure Organics and while I still have yet to try the shampoo and conditioner you said I would like, I did try the Argan Stem Cell Leave In Conditioner. I really, really like it! The formula of this leave in conditioner is extremely lightweight yet hydrating and is perfect for daily use!

I have long, fine hair that gets pretty tangled and this spray has made a huge difference in my hair. I use this once a day on damp hair after getting out of the shower. The product itself is easy to use since it's a spray and the mist leaves my hair feeling healthier and softer as well as tangle free. It does not weigh down my hair or leave it looking greasy. It leaves an incredible shine behind and smells good too. It is quite strong at first but ends up smelling light and fresh.

Some of the ingredients found in this leave in conditioner are Organic Acai Berry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Rosehips, Organic Pomegranate, Organic Fair Trade Certified Rooibos, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Vera Leaf, Argan Stem Cell, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Argan oil, Argan Stem Cell Culture, Lemongrass, French Lavender, Oakmoss, and Rosemary Essential Oils.

The final selling point of this product is the fact that it's affordable! For $9.99 you can purchase this healthy and non-toxic hair product. You can learn more about the Argan Stem Cell Leave In Conditioner by clicking here.

(FTC: This product was provided to me for free for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sampler Bag Giveaway (closed)

Happy October Beauties! There is no better way to start the month off right other than throwing a giveaway. Up for grabs is a cute makeup bag filled with 21 different samples from the following companies: Jane Iredale, Harvey Prince, Sibu Beauty, Miessence, Absolutely Natural, LA Fresh, Lavanila, Giovanni, Sparklehearts, Jao, Honore De Pres, and Shir-Organic. There is also a mini-size Zoya nail polish in the color Caitlyn.

This bag is an awesome way to try out new natural products and have some fun experimenting. It will also be a fun surprise for the winner!

Good luck Beauties! To enter the giveaway please wait for the Rafflecopter form to load below! If you're having issues with it loading you can also enter via FB by clicking here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bath Bliss

It's that time of year again - time for long, warm, relaxing baths! There is nothing more comforting that hopping into the tub for some me time during the fall, however our skin can get a bit tight, dry, and itchy from the warmth of the water as well as the cold, dry air outside and the high temperatures from indoor heaters.

The next time your skin needs hydrated and soothed try this quick and simple recipe.

What you need:

1/2 cup of rose water
(You can buy rose water or make your own by following my recipe which you can find here) 
1/2 cup of coconut milk

Just pour both ingredients into your tub full of warm water, sit back, and relax for the next half an hour. You skin will thank you!

The coconut milk can leave your tub a bit slippery so be extra careful and wipe down your tub afterwards.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Talk About It - Soulstice Nail Colour

It's officially fall which means Soulstice Spa has launched 4 new nail colours named after cities around the world like Napa (a classic red with golden undertones), Nevis (a bright green), and St. Barts (liquid teal). I got to try one of the new shades, as well as one of the older ones.

If you missed my previous reviews of their polishes (which you can read here & here) or are unfamiliar with Soulstice, I would like to take this moment to introduce you to my absolute favorite nail polish. Soulstice Nail Colour is 100% Vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, 3-free (meaning it does not contain toluene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate), gluten free and made in the United States. The company also donates a portion of all proceeds to non-profit social and environmental organizations.

In addition to all of the amazing things I mentioned above, the formula of each and every Soulstice polish I have tried is nothing short of amazing. These polishes are easy to work with and apply, long wearing, and totally gorgeous. I seriously cannot say enough good things about Soulstice and their phenomenal nail varnishes.

The new shade I got to test out is called Santa Monica. At first glance Santa Monica just looks like a pretty light purple shade but upon closer inspection it is a soft lavender shade with tons of fun pearlescent sparkle. It's absolutely gorgeous and has so much personality to it. I love the fact that the shimmer can appear purple, pink, blue or white at any given second but sadly it didn't turn out in the photos I took.

(Right - Indoor Light with 2 coats. Left - Natural Light with 2 coats.)

The other shade I got to play with is Cassis, which is my new go-to shade for fall. Cassis is a gorgeous blackberry shade with a very subtle metallic silver shimmer. I really need to learn how to take better nail polish photos because Cassis is so much prettier in person!

I adore everything about Soulstice Nail Colours and highly recommend you check them out. They have so many gorgeous shades and such a wonderful formula. On my to-buy list are Napa, Monterey, and Kyoto. What colors do you have on your wish list?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Applesauce Hand Scrub

My hands are really dry right now, with the changing of the seasons, so I thought a hand scrub recipe would be appropriate for today's post! By the way, Happy first week of fall! This scrub stars applesauce, which is a natural exfoliant that contains calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Apples are hard workers when it comes to fighting bacteria, being an antioxidant and an astringent. It also makes a wonderful and nutritious snack for children of all ages.

What you need:
3 tablespoons of natural applesauce
(you can buy some or make your own)
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Once you have all of the ingredients together, put them into a small bowl or container and mix thoroughly. Massage into your dry hands in the fashion of washing your hands, before rinsing off with warm water. Your hands will look and feel like they have been pampered by a professional. Oh, this scrub also smells incredibly delicious. You'll love it! It's one of my favorite beauty recipes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk About It - DeodoMom

Sometimes being a beauty blogger means sharing personal details that might be a bit embarrassing to announce on the internet; which brings me to my next point – I've always had problems with my underarms. What does that mean exactly? Well, I've always had to use clinical strength deodorant because I sweat like a man, especially when it's warm outside. However; deodorant is one of the scariest and most unhealthy personal care products out there. Switching to natural deodorant was a challenge for me though because of my underarm troubles but I finally found one that I like!

The husband and wife team of contacted me and offered me their DeodoMom Jar and Roll-on deodorants (same formula, different applicators). I've tried a lot of natural deodorants with minimal success so I was a bit skeptical but I decided to try it anyway and I'm so glad I did!

The company specializes in toxin-free and hypoallergenic deodorant for pregnant women. Wait, stop! Before we go any further, no I am not pregnant. Their deodorant is also suitable for men, women, and children of any age who are health-conscious. Their deodorant is vegan as well as paraben, fragrance, alcohol, dye, and aluminum free. The deodorant is simply made with magnesium hydroxide and water.

For whatever reason, this stuff really works! I almost gave up on it though because the first few days left me smelling a little less than fresh. To be quite frank, I smelled but then the formula started working for me (I blame this one the purging process). I have been using for over a month now and I'm planning to stick with it. I typically apply once in the morning and once in the evening and I stay clean smelling all day.

I started off by trying the cream in the jar which is applied with your fingers to your armpit much like you would apply moisturizer to your face. It's odd. It doesn't gross me out but it just seems odd to me. I then switched to the roll-on version, which I like a lot better, although they both work. If you apply too much it can leave you with some white marks so just keep that in mind and it takes it a few minutes to dry so you are left with a temporary wet feeling.  If you like fancy packaging you might not like these products since they are very plain and simple, but that honestly doesn't matter to me. The jar costs $10 while the roll-on costs $12.

I also have to add that I cannot vouch for how well it works during a vigorous workout session or strenuous activity, so keep that in mind.

You can find DeodoMom deodorant online by clicking here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Talk About It - MarieNatie Cosmetics

Today I have a couple of great cosmetics to talk about from a Canadian company called MarieNatie. Marie, the founder of MarieNatie Cosmetics, discovered that many products contain harsh and toxic chemicals so she set out to create her own line of healthy, natural cosmetics. She researched, carefully selected ingredients, and tested and retested formulas until she was confident that she had created the best natural cosmetics available.

All MarieNatie Cosmetics are free from parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and fragrances, petro-chemicals and phthalates. In addition to creating safe cosmetics MarieNatie is also cruelty free. All of their products are made in Canada.

I got to try out 3 of their products, my favorite of which is a Loose Mineral Eyeshadow in Chocolate. This eyeshadow is made from Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Ultra Silk Mica, Sericite Mica, Kaolin Clay, and Mica. The formula is incredibly smooth, easy to apply, easy to blend, and easy to wear. The color is long lasting and insanely gorgeous! Chocolate is a cocoa brown color with golden shimmer. They have 9 lovely shades but Chocolate was practically made for me! I'm not afraid to say that I'm slightly obsessed.

Next up is one of the most flattering and wearable lip-glosses I have in my collection, which is the MarieNatie Lip Gloss in Sexy Red. This gloss is made of Jojoba Oil, Carnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax, Vitamin E and Vitamin E Acetate, Pomegranate Oil, Sunflower Oil, Grapefruit Seed Oil, Mica, and Essential Oil. It's superbly hydrating, non-sticky, and long lasting. The packaging is almost as lovely as the color. Sexy Red sounds like it might be a bold, deep red but it's actually a sheer slightly rusty orange-red shade that looks very natural on my lips. It isn't overly shiny, and is actually quite subtle. It's absolutely gorgeous and it doesn't irritate my lips in the least bit.

(I'm actually wearing the Chocolate Loose Mineral Eyeshadow and Sexy Red Lip Gloss in this photo)

The last product I got to try out is the Blue Eyeliner, which is my least favorite product. Don't get me wrong, the eyeliner isn't bad, it just isn't phenomenal like the other two products I got to test out. This liner is formulated with Jojoba Oil, Castor Oil, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Oxide, and Mica. The problem I have with most natural liners is that they tug, skip and drag but this one is actually pretty smooth. The color is a lovely blue shade and it's very wearable. I just find that I don't reach for this very often, but it is nice and I do like it.

(Swatches of Blue Eyeliner, Sexy Red Lip Gloss, and Chocolate Loose Mineral Eyeshadow)

Overall, MarieNatie Cosmetics are worth trying out. Their products are made of really great ingredients and are high quality cosmetics with a wide variety of gorgeous shades. You can learn more about the company or products by visiting them online, where you can also purchase their cosmetics.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick Tip - Longer Lashes

Instead of forking over a ton of cash for pricey lash growth serums just head to your natural health store to pick up some 100% natural and pure Castor oil. Next time you use up a mascara keep the wand and rinse it off using natural soap or shampoo (you can also purchase disposable mascara wands). Dip your mascara wand into some Castor oil every night (and day if you want) and your lashes, or even your brows, will become longer in time and thicker.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Talk About It - Sage Stone Botanicals

When I was contacted by Alyson of Sage Stone Botanicals to test her products and possibly review them I became very excited for a number of different reasons. Sage Stone Botanicals is a small company based out of Eugene, Oregon (one of my favorite cities that I visit often!) that began as a hobby and is now a full-fledged business. Using only natural ingredients, Alyson has created a line of products that includes hand crèmes, liquid hand soap, bath and shower gel, lotion, lip balm and even bug spray and citronella lotion.

Alyson was so generous and sent me several different products to try, all of which I really like! She sent me a few different 2 oz lotions in Unscented, Jasmine, and Milk and Honey. Sage Stone's lotion is formulated with Certified Organic ingredients such as Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, Shea Butter, and Cocoa Butter, to name a few. The formula is smooth, non-greasy, quick to absorb, and hydrating. The scents are lovely, clean, and fresh. You know how much I love my unscented lotions but I also really love the scent of the Milk and Honey. The Jasmine is also really nice. My Mom stole it since she loves florals and this one smells exactly like its namesake!

The next product I really need to share with you is the Citronella Lotion. I was a bit skeptical about it but this stuff is seriously amazing! My family and I went to a mosquito-infested area for a picnic (sounds nice, right?) and ended up with no bites after slathering our skin with this lotion. My Dad is almost always outdoors and he usually gets eaten alive by mosquitoes but his insect problem is no longer an issue thanks to this lotion. He absolutely loves it and he's pretty picky about what he'll use on his skin. I also want to mention that this doesn't smell bad. It smells like citronella, but it's not gross or heavy. This product is now a must have in my home.

The final product I got to try is the Lavender Bath and Shower Gel, which is made of Distilled Water, Certified Organic Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, and Jojoba Oil as well as Lavender Essential Oil and Potassium Hydroxide. The scent is lovely since it's a real lavender fragrance and the formula is moisturizing. It gets quite a bit of lather, which I love, and it does a wonderful job of cleansing skin without stripping it.

Check out Sage Stone Botanicals online to learn more about their products, find where you can purchase products if you're also in Oregon, or purchase online.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DIY Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is increasingly popular but I have to say that I have tried a lot of dry shampoos in the past and pretty much hated them all. I recently started experimenting with ingredients to try to make my own dry shampoo powder and I think I hit hair gold!

After grinding the oatmeal into a fine powder, I combined all three ingredients and ground the mixture again just to ensure everything was mixed and fine enough. Then I poured the powder into an old salt shaker (but you can use whatever you have handy. I think a powdered sugar sifter would be even better!). When your hair needs a little freshening up you can just sprinkle some of the powder onto your roots, massage into scalp, let sit for a minute or two, and then brush out.

If you're dark haired you shouldn't worry about having a white or gray ashen residue. I have medium colored hair and don't have any problem with it being visible. I love using this on days when I need to go out and have little time or just don't want to wash my hair – admit it, we all have those days!

Try it out and let me know what you think!