Friday, May 25, 2012

Giveaway Alert!

I have a small giveaway going on over the weekend on my Facebook page. If you would like to win a pair of DeVine Lip Shimmers in Champagne and Vanilla Spritzer all you need to is like the review I posted and be a fan of the Beautiful Basics Facebook page . Once you have liked both just leave a comment on my Facebook wall telling me you would like to be entered to win. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday at Noon PST. Good luck!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Talk About It - DeVine Lip Shimmers

Summer is almost here, which for me, means it's time to streamline my beauty routine. When the temperature starts to rise, I love to use products that do more than one thing, like lip balms that impart moisture as well as nourish, protect, and tint the lips. DeVine Lip Shimmers meet all of my expectations and then some, while being 100% natural and eco-friendly.

DeVine Lip Shimmers utilizes the healthy benefits of wine grapes. Wine grapes are rich in Polyphenols and the super strength antioxidant Resveratrol which helps fight free radicals and help prevent cell damage. In addition to the superhero antioxidants, the company also uses sunflower seed oil, beeswax, castor seed oil, coconut oil, shea butter, grape seed oil, candelilla wax and vitamin E to help hydrate, protect, and soften the thin skin of the lips. They are also gluten and cruelty free.

The company has five flattering shades that are created using mica, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide. The colors are Merlot (a deep berry that smells of berries), Rose (soft pink), Vanilla Spritzer (color and shimmerless, and smells like it's name), Bordeaux (black cherry flavor and hue), and Champagne (sheer nude and smells like strawberries).

Each thin tube of DeVine Lip Shimmer is incredibly smooth and moisturizing. They are not sticky, heavy, greasy, or overpowering. The formulation of this product is light while ultra hydrating. They smell and taste really great too! I just love the different shades. I would have to say that Champagne and Merlot are my favorites, although I do like the entire collection. They go on easily and wear well throughout the day. They last a very long time and make the lips feel comfortable.

You can purchase each lip shimmer individually for $4.50 or in a pack of two for $7. They also sell a gift set that includes 3 lip shimmers for $12.50. To buy your very own DeVine Lip Shimmer or to learn more about the product and the company you can visit them online.

(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.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Every artist in the world knows how important it is to take care of their brushes. Cleaning paintbrushes properly is crucial to their craft. The same can be said about makeup artists, enthusiast, and wearers.

Think about it for a second – bacteria, old makeup, dust and dirt; these things all accumulate on your makeup brushes. Do you want to push bacteria around your face every morning? I didn't think so!

Lots of companies sell brush cleaner but there are a lot of simple options you can find or make at home. You can wash your brushes with the same cleanser you use on your face. If it's gentle enough for your face, it should be gentle enough for your brushes. Don't use anything with acne fighting medications, exfoliators, or other harsh ingredients. It's important to use something gentle and simple. I've never used a bar soap, so I cannot attest to if that works in the same way or not.

Baby Shampoo is a very popular brush cleanser, but I personally can't stand the smell. Is that weird? Instead of baby shampoo you can use a gentle, conditioning shampoo instead. Something with little to no fragrance is best. I'm currently using my Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo to clean my brushes.

You can also make your own brush cleanser by combining natural liquid dish soap (I use Seventh Generation) and olive oil. Just mix them together (more soap than oil) and saturate damp brushes with the mixture. The soap cleans the brush while the olive oil conditions.

Once you have found your preferred cleaner, all you need to do is get the bristles of the brush wet under warm running water. Make sure to hold your brushes down. You only want to get the bristles wet. If water gets in to the metal part, the ferrule, it can cause rust, mold, mildew and other bad things. No one wants that! Once the brush is wet, work your cleanser into the bristles, kind of like how you shampoo your hair. Rinse until the water runs clear again. Once all of the cleanser is rinsed out, reshape your brush and lay flat to dry.

You should clean your brushes at least once a month, but doing so more often ensures a flawless makeup application, longer lasting brushes, and cleaner skin! Keep in mind that some brushes can take quite a while to dry, so don't try this hours before a big event. I always let mine dry for 24 hours, just to be safe!

If you want to quickly santitize your brushes in between deep cleanings you can spritz a little witch hazel or rubbing alcohol onto the bristles. Once wet you can wipe the brush on a towel, gently, to get rid of the makeup. Let them air dry and once they are finished they will be cleaner and sanitized.

Do you have any other brush cleaner recipes or tricks? I'd love to hear them! Send them my way if you do!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cucumber Cooler

Cucumbers are not only incredibly delicious and healthy - They are also good for you, and your skin. Many companies have been infusing their cosmetics and skincare products with cucumbers but you can use this at home recipe I'm going to share with you and get the same benefits. Cucumbers have so many health benefits because they are packed full of vitamins and minerals. They're also made up of 90% water, which makes them hydrating and cooling. Another cool thing they do is work to prevent water retention due to a couple of acids found in their flesh. They're known to soothe and soften.

Today's recipe is for a cucumber toner, and it's so easy!

All you need is one medium sized cucumber and 2 tablespoons of distilled water (it's really important to use distilled water when your skin is involved because it doesn't have the heavy minerals, salts, and iron that tap water can have). Take the cucumber and peel the skin off and cut into cubes. Put the cucumber cubes and water into your blender and blend until you get a thick, liquid substance. Now you need to strain the mixture to get rid of the pulp and the seeds and pour it into a bottle.

It is REALLY important to keep this toner in the refrigerator and use it up within 3-5 days. You can always use a smaller cucumber and less water if you don't think you'll use the mixture before it needs to be tossed but I find that in the warmer months it's such a nice, cool treat you'll want to use it all up.
Using a cucumber toner on your face is great all year round, but it's especially helpful in the spring and summer because of the cooling effect it has. When you are hot and uncomfortable, cucumber can calm and cool your skin. It's great for every day use on your face or for helping to put out the fire that sunburns cause. Try putting your mixture into a spray bottle, keeping it in the fridge, and spritzing it on after a long day in the sun. You'll love the feel of it on your skin.

You can also use this mixture to reduce puffy eyes and combat dark under eye circles. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this is perfect for all skin types and tones.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Talk About It - Medicine Mama's Apothecary Bee Magic Wand

It's no secret that I love beauty products and recipes that include honey and other bee ingredients. Medicine Mama's Apothecary is a company who features healthy skin creams made using pure bee and other healthy, organic ingredients. I was sent their latest offering, The Bee Magic Wand, last month to test out and review and have been enjoying it since it arrived.

The Bee Magic Wand is an all in one natural lip and face balm in a convenient .5 oz twist up stick. The ingredient list is short and includes olive oil, avocado oil, beeswax, and Medicine Mama's Proprietary Honey and Propolis Blend. These 4 ingredients blend together to create a rich, hydrating, healing and softening balm that performs many different tasks.

Since honey and propolis are purifying, antibacterial, and antimicrobial and the beeswax is an anti-inflammatory while the oils are moisturizing and protective you can use this balm anywhere on your body! You can use it as a daily or nightly moisturizer (or both!), a lip balm, on your cuticles, for bites, burns, rashes, scars, or sun burns, to moisturize your lashes or under eye area, to tame unruly brows, and anything else you can dream up! I especially love this for my face and eye area!

It doesn't really have an odor, other than the faint scent of olive oil. It goes on heavy and makes your skin look a bit shiny but is absorbed by the skin almost immediately leaving lovely, healthy looking skin behind. It is very gentle and nonirritating while also very effective. It banishes any dry spots and makes my skin glow!

If you're interested in picking up your very own Bee Magic Wand you'll be happy to learn that it sells for $12.95 so it's very affordable. You can order online or check their retailer list to find it locally.

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simple Shampoo for Stressed Strands

I'm one of those girls who washes her hair every day even though I know it's better for your follicles to skip a day in between. I try it once in a while but for the most part I partake in a daily hair cleansing ritual but lately my hair has been really dry so I decided to experiment with making my own DIY shampoo with hydrating properties. I whipped up a batch of homemade olive oil shampoo lat week and I really like it.

What you need:
A small bottle
½ cup of liquid castile soap (I'm using Dr. Bronner's Baby-Mild)
2 tablespoons aloe vera extract (I picked up aloe vera juice that you can drink)
1 teaspoon of olive oil

You can also add essential oils or herbs if you want but I wanted to keep mine as simple as possible.

All you need to do is mix your ingredients together by shaking the bottle. Once it's mixed properly it will appear creamy and opaque. Shake before each use. It lathers surprisingly well!

Castile is a really gentle cleanser than helps get dirt, oil and other gunk out of your hair and off of your scalp while the aloe vera and olive oil will help infuse moisture to your strands. This shampoo leaves my hair so shiny and healthy looking!

Since oil makes it hard to condition I condition first and then shampoo. My hair looks great!

I'm going to continue using this until my bottle is empty and then I'll post an update for you. Let me know if you try it out too!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Talk About It - April 2012 Goodebox

I received the April Goodebox I told you I won from their Facebook page on Friday and it's everything I could have hoped for. Some monthly delivery boxes can let you down in some way but I've been fortunate enough to receive 2 boxes and both blew my mind, in a good way!

If you missed my review of the March Goodebox or need a refresher course let's cover the basics really quickly - for only $16 a month you will receive 6 or more trial sized healthy and natural beauty products shipped directly to your door (or mailbox) around the 15th or 20th of each month! In addition to receiving products to test out, members of Goodebox also receive exclusive discounts and the chance to win free full sized products.

Some monthly boxes are generic and filled with one size fits all products but Goodebox decided to tailor boxes to each members specific needs and concerns. When you sign up you get to fill out a profile detailing your favorite shades of makeup, skin type and tone, and your concerns in addition to several other topics like whether you're a vegan or not. Never again, for example, will you receive a cleanser for oily skin when your have dry skin.

When you're a beauty blogger finding new and exciting brands and products can prove to be difficult, especially in the natural sector, but this month I received products I had never tried before from a few companies I had never heard of. Once again Goodebox did not disappoint.

Let's get to the contents of my box, shall we?

I received two 0.17 oz of Weleda Iris Day Cream and Iris Night Cream. I have both heard of and tried Weleda products before but never these two. They do smell quite strong (which is a problem I have with a lot of Weleda's offerings) but they do smell nice.

Next was the cutest little travel size of True Natural Sunscreen Active Sunscreen SPF 40. I was so excited to get this in my box! I'm sun sensitive so I like to keep sunscreen on hand at all times and this is the perfect purse-sized tube. I haven't tried it yet but I love natural sunscreen so I'm sure I'll love this one!

I love lip products so I was happy to see a full sized Devine Lip Shimmer in the box. I received Champagne and absolutely love it. I have a full review of Devine Lip Shimmers coming in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that.

I had never heard of Linda Kammins before but I received 3 of her products to test out. The first is her Lavender Daily Shine Shampoo which is a concentrated shampoo so they also included a separate bottle to mix it with water in. Also in the box was her Peppermint Daily Shine Rinse, which smells SO good! The final Linda Kammins product is her Tea Tonic Rinse, a sachet of tea with a bottle to mix in.

The last product in my April Goodebox was a body butter from Get Creamed Body in their Pink Citrus Paradise scent. I'm in love with this body cream. I'm super scentsitive but this smells fantastic. It's a light, fresh, pink grapefruit scent that is not too overpowering or overwhelming. It's also incredibly luscious and hydrating. It makes my skin feel so silky soft and healthy that I'm planning on ordering myself a tub.

8 great products to try for only $16? I'm all for Goodebox and can't wait to sign up for more. Unfortunately I missed the deadline to receive the May box but if you're interested in signing up for the June box you need to do so before May 30th. Let me know if you sign up too!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Berry Body Scrub

Let's continue with the strawberry trend from the other day with a recipe for a strawberry body scrub that is delectable and perfect for pampering yourself or a loved one with. It's so simple and easy to make and use.

What you need:
10 big, ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons of your favorite skin friendly oil (I really like olive and grape seed for body scrubs)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Blend the strawberries and oil together to make a liquid but keep in mind that it's okay if there are still some chunks of berry left. It doesn't need to be totally liquefied. Pour into a bowl and add the sea salt and brown sugar. I really love to use both sea salt and brown sugar when making a scrub because the different sized granules are really effective at sloughing off dead skin cells.

I always use scrubs on damp skin, but everyone is different. I especially love this one for my hands and feet but it works great on arms and legs too. If you have any of your mixture left you can store it in an airtight container for about a week.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Talk About It - Soulstice Spa Spring Shades

My favorite nail polish brand Soulstice Spa recently released four gorgeous new shades in honor of spring and I was lucky enough to receive two of them to try and review. If you read my review from a couple of months ago about Soulstice you probably remember how much I love these nail varnishes!

Soulstice Nail Colour is 100% Vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, 3-free (doesn't contain toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate), and made in the United States. The company also donates a portion of all proceeds to non-profit social and environmental organizations. They have a wide variety of colors so there is undauntedly something for everyone, including the on trend new releases.

All of their polishes are named after cities around the globe and the newbies are no exception. The two I didn't receive (but I think I'm going to purchase) are called Kauai, a rich berry pink with gold shimmer, and St. Tropez, a shimmery nude. The two I received are Cape Cod and Harbour Island.

Cape Cod is described as "a delicate pearlescent blue-grey" and I agree! It's absolutely gorgeous and totally reminds me of Cape Cod (even though I've never been there) and sailing. It's a perfect shade for spring and summer. Blue is one of my favorite colors but I tend to avoid it for my digits because I actually have blue and/or purple extremities (a side effect of my illness) but this doesn't make my feet and hands look dead, which is a huge plus!

Harbour Island is stunning. It's described as "pink sands; a sugary pastel". It's a super shimmer sheer shade of peachy pink and it's very feminine and flattering. As far as glittery polishes go it's one of my new favorites. It is very reminiscent of something sweet and sugary like cotton candy and I really love it. It looks wonderful indoors or out and shimmers and shines beautifully in the sun.

If you're interested in checking out Soulstice for yourself you can visit them online. Each polish retails for $8 or you can purchase a pack of five for $30. You can also find them on Facebook.
(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.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Creamy Berry Facial

Strawberries are superheroes when it comes to nourishing skin and fighting acne. They also happen to be one of my favorite fruits (actually, one of my favorite foods in general!). I took my first steps for a ripe, red strawberry and now in addition to eating them regularly, I use them to supplement my skin care routine. Strawberries are in season and perfect for the picking right now so it's a terrific time to share a berry great facial mask.

Since strawberries have a natural type of salicylic acid in them they are perfect for those of you with oily or acne prone skin, but they're also beneficial for normal skin. They help soften, exfoliate, and brighten the skin. You can use them on their own or you can mix up a batch of the following facial mask:

What you need:½ cup of fresh strawberries (this is around 3-5 berries)
1 tablespoon of plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt for my skin)
2 teaspoons of honey

You can either use a blender to mix the ingredients with a fork to mash them. You should end up with a consistency similar to a smoothie. Apply on your clean face and let your skin soak up the nutrients for 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.