Monday, January 30, 2012

Talk About It - Scientific Organics Kombucha Cleanser

Some people love to dine out and experiment with new cuisine, others like to shop and try on the latest trends, and some like to rearrange the furniture and d├ęcor in their home to test the flow of things. Everyone likes to try new things, and I am no exception. I love to try new facial products, cleansers especially, and share my thoughts with you.

If you didn't already guess, today's Talk About It is all about a cleanser by emerginC (a leading professional cosmeceutical skincare line) from their Scientific Organics line of products. Scientific Organics is a new line of natural, paraben, petro-chemical and synthetic free skincare products. Each item is at least 70% Organic and designed to give some serious results.

The Kombucha Cleanser has an all-star lineup of great ingredients like Kombucha (fermented tea known for its medicinal properties), Grape Stem Cells, Algae extract, Glycerin, Palmaria Palmate, Spirulina, Green tea, White tea, Aloe Vera and Maritime Pine Bark extract. All of these ingredients combine to make a great, gentle cleanser that brightens and revives.

I really liked the cleanser. It doesn't irritate my sensitive, irritable skin and it leaves a nice clean feeling behind. It doesn't smell at all. I've noticed a big difference in the clarity and tone of my skin; my skin is so soft and smooth after using this. It's so gentle which is perfect for me (especially since it's winter) and a little goes a long way. It's refreshing, hydrating, and all around lovely.

The thing I love most about the product is that with every Scientific Organics purchase, emerginC plants a tree using Plant-It 2020. Plant-It 2020 is such an awesome non-profit foundation that you should check out at www.plantit2020.org.

If you're interested in learning more about the Scientific Organics line you can visit www.emerginc.com or feel free to leave a comment asking any questions you may have.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cranberry Body Scrub

Fall and winter are the perfect seasons to utilize fresh cranberries, but this recipe features frozen ones which you can find almost anywhere at any time of year. Cranberries are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants which help protect our bodies and skin from free radicals. Cranberries make a wonderful base for beauty products like this body scrub.

What you need:
1/2 cup of frozen cranberries
1/4 cup of oil (coconut, olive, jojoba, grapeseed, whatever you want!)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of oatmeal or oat powder (you need this to be fine so you can put regular oatmeal in a coffee grinder or food processor. If you would like thicker oatmeal you can just leave it and it will get ground a little bit in the first step.)

Put all of your ingredients into a food processor, and turn it on for 30 seconds. That's it! Your body scrub is ready to be applied – you'll want to apply to damp skin and massage in gentle circular motions. This recipe should make enough for your whole body to be scrubbed once. Keep in mind that this can get messy, so I recommend doing it in the tub or shower (with the water off). Once you are done rinse off and don't forget to moisturize after stepping out to lock in your new hydration and radiance.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Talk About It - Ilia Pure Lip Care

Berry stained and barely there are my favorite lip looks and lately all I've been using are my beloved Ilia Lip Conditioners in Arabian Knights and Nobody's Baby. I can't even begin to describe the level of love, adoration, and respect I have for these lip products. I think I have a problem – seriously! I've never loved a colored lip product more (I say colored because if you've been with me for a while now you know of my addiction for lip balm).

Since receiving these two products at the beginning of November, I have reached for them more often than not; which is saying a lot since I have a decently sized lippie collection. I absolutely love them!
First thing I should mention is that the colors are fabulous. Ilia Pure Lip Care offers 6 different color choices but I chose Arabian Knights and Nobody's Baby and I'm so glad that I did.

They apply a lot like a lip balm, with the color payoff of a lipstick, the shine of a gloss, the conditioning ability of a lip treatment and all-natural, organic ingredients (like jojoba oil, cocoa butter, vitamin e, jasmine and orange blossom essential oils, and pomegranate). The color of each is sheer but buildable so you can get a number of different lip looks out of just one lip conditioner. The packaging is also something worthy of noting in this review – they come in an absolutely gorgeous, sleek and chic recycled aluminum tube. They also smell and taste nice.
  
Arabian Knights is possibly my favorite of the two but only by a hair. It's a flattering berry shade that looks a bit intimidating in the tube but looks gorgeous on the lips. Like I said it's sheer but buildable so you can wear it as a light berry stain or a more burgundy lip. Here is its official description: "Off in a far distant land, you wait under a warm, desert moon. Arabian Knights offers a fantasy of mystery and seduction. The deep tones of violet, and burgundy melt together forming a beautiful berry stain. An ideal shade that is easily carried from day to night.

Nobody's Baby is on the opposite end of the color spectrum. It's a pretty nude color that is neither too pink nor too brown. It doesn't make me look dead like some nudes can and it compliments any and every eye makeup look. I think it would look fantastic on any complexion! Here is the description from their website: "The perfect, sheer nude suited for any occasion. Nobody's Baby reflects your subtle need for quiet independence. You always get what you want, and tend to move through any situation with grace and ease."

If you're interested in learning more about Ilia Pure Lip Care you can find them online at http://iliabeauty.com/ where you can view the shades they offer, find a store who sells their products, and even shop online for your favorite lip conditioner.

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thought and opinions, as always, and my own and honest.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Here's Lookin' At You!

I'm obsessed with eye cream! I have such dry undereyes that I have a compulsion to keep them hydrated at all times. Eye cream can get pretty pricey though so I'm pleased to introduce this DIY moisturizing eye gel. This is a very light, yet moisturizing gel that won't irritate the eyes or cause milia (tiny white bumps underneath the eyes that can be caused by heavy products). It's simple to make and although it's very basic, it's effective.

What you need:
¼ cup of aloe vera gel (make sure you get 100% aloe)
1 vitamin E capsule (I love these things!)

Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight jar or other container. This will last for about 3 weeks so it's important to keep the container sealed tightly. If you want your eye gel to have antioxidants you can add 3 drops of green tea extract (which you can buy or make yourself). If you want a cooling eye cream you can add ½ teaspoon of cucumber water (which again you can buy or make by pureeing and straining a whole cucumber). If you add any extras you will need to keep the gel in the fridge.

Here's to youthful looking undereyes! See you soon!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Clean Sweep

Hi beautiful! I'm so excited about this idea – I know it's probably not original but it's still really awesome and I'm thrilled to share it with you. If you have been with me since the beginning of Beautiful Basics you know how much I love using oils to remove stubborn eye makeup. This DIY recipe puts a twist on natural eye makeup remover.

Pre-moistened makeup removing wipes are a big deal for a good reason – they're so simple and easy to use! This is a recipe for eye makeup removing wipes and they are incredibly uncomplicated to make and use.


What you need:

1 ounce of extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce of jojoba oil
1 vitamin E capsule (or a few drops of vitamin E oil)

You will also need cotton rounds or squares (not balls) and a container with a secure lid. You can use a glass or plastic jar, Tupperware, or anything else you have handy.

Mix all of the ingredients together and saturate your cotton in the mixture. You will then want to stack the rounds or squares in your container. If you have any liquid left over you can pour it into the container once the cotton is all in place.

That's it! Simple, easy, and cheap! One pad will work to get all the makeup off your eyes while conditioning the surrounding delicate skin. It won't leave you greasy or dry, just comfortably clean. These DIY eye makeup remover pads cost a fraction of the ones that the stores sell. How cool is that?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pimple Blaster

Pimple suddenly pop up and threaten to ruin your day? I've bragged and boasted about how much I adore honey, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice individually so today's post is especially thrilling. Here is a recipe for a quick and powerful zit buster made using the 3 kitchen staples.

What you need:
An equal amount of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (depending on how much you want to make, a small squirt should do)
Honey

Mix the lemon juice and vinegar together and apply directly onto the clean, affected area. Once it's on the pimple apply a small amount of honey.

The lemon juice and vinegar will help to kill the bacteria and reduce the inflammation and redness while the honey forms a barricade from the elements. Honey is also antibacterial.

If you wish to sleep with this on your face and you're not a back sleeper I would suggest putting a band aid over the top just to protect your pillowcases, although honey does dry so it won't stay sticky all night.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Talk About It - J.R. Watkins

Hi beautiful! Today's Talk About It is a long overdue review of an awesome, affordable, and accessible company you may or may not be familiar with. J.R. Watkins has been around for over 140 years (the company was founded in 1868) and they create and sell personal and home care products in addition to remedies for common ailments and cooking supplements like spices, oils, seasonings, sauce mixes, and extracts. Everything they produce is made with the highest quality natural ingredients.

J.R. Watkins was the very first natural apothecary and product maker. He pioneered the natural lifestyle that is gaining popularity in America today. The company started when J.R. created his original product, Natural Pain Relieving Liniment, in his kitchen, which he sold door to door in Minnesota. Mr. Watkins was far ahead of his time and extremely innovative. He even offered the very first money back guarantee. Now the company has grown to have a catalogue of around 400 products, all created using the same standards that Watkins strived for.

The company's line of personal care products is made up of natural and eco-friendly ingredients that come from renewable and sustainable sources. You'll never find any of the scary stuff like parabens, sulfates, phthalates or the rest of the bad beauty product additives in their offerings. They are even certified by the Natural Products Association. The packaging of their products is recyclable and they never test their formulations on our furry friends.

I love their spices (I have many in my cupboard) and cleaning solutions but today is all about their personal care products. I was so fortunate to be able to try several things and there is not a single product that I dislike in the bunch. First up is the Sugar and Shea Body Scrub in Coconut Milk and Honey – it smells so delicious! This 100% natural formula leaves my body feeling hydrated, supple, and radiant by buffing all of my dead skin cells off while conditioning the skin. I love using it in the shower. It's gentle yet effective and I just adore it. I feel as though I can't stop touching my arms and legs after exfoliating with this yummy scrub.



After exfoliating I have a compulsion to moisturize to really lock in my new found hydration and their Hand and Body Lotion in Vanilla is just perfect. I use it daily, not just after exfoliating, because it's extraordinarily moisturizing while being neither too thick nor too thin. It's the perfect consistency and it leaves me feeling comfortable in my own skin. The vanilla scent is divine - it smells like a tasty cupcake covered in butter cream!



Speaking of cupcakes they make a wonderful Shea Butter Hand Cream that comes in several scents. I got to try out the Lemon Cream (which smells like a lemon cake!) and Mango. Their hand cream formula is rich and thick! It works hard to moisturize and refresh dry hands. It's also wonderful for the feet. The scents of both are great, but they do linger for hours and are very strong so if you're sensitive to smells you might want to skip these.



Another product that I use (almost) nightly is the Lavender Body Oil. I add a little to my warm, nightly bath and soak. My skin absorbs all of the oil and the scent helps me get ready for bed. Lavender is my signal that it's time to settle down and relax. It's a very simple, straight-forward yet fabulous product. A little goes a very long way! You can use body oil in a multitude of ways but I like using it in the tub.



Last but certainly not least are the lip products I got to try. I received two of their Lip Tints in Strike-A-Rose and Stardust. I like these a lot! They're minty, hydrating, shimmery, and tinted. Strike-A-Rose is a fairly pigmented, cool pink and Stardust is a really pretty champagne/clear shimmer. I've gotten more use out of the rose shade but I like both. They go on smoothly and last a long time on the lips too. They have very finely milled shimmer so it doesn't look like you've piled a bunch of glitter on your pout.


The other lip products I tried came in a set called the Lil' Lip Combo Pack. This set came in a little plastic, zippered pouch stuffed with 4 balms - two Weatherproofing Lip Balms in Raspberry and the Natural Beeswax Lip Balm in both stick and tin form. The Weatherproofing Lip Balm is yummy smelling. It's also perfect for the harsh winter months because it forms a moisturizer barrier against the elements. It's not sticky or too thick. It's a great balm but so is their Natural Beeswax version. The Natural Beeswax Lip Balm is packed full of refreshing peppermint scent and flavor. It's also got tons of beneficial ingredients to keep lips soft, full, and hydrated. It definitely helps chase away the chap.

You can check out and purchase these and other great J.R. Watkins products on their website by clicking here. I know they sell their products at my local Fred Meyer and Rite-Aid so check in stores near you to find out if they're available locally. You can even join their Clear Conscious Club to discover members only benefits like discounts, news, tips and advice, and exclusive updates.

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me 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.)