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.
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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.

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