Thursday, December 18, 2014

Talk About Body Care - Route One Pumpkins

I meant to get this review up a few weeks ago but a lot of life things have gotten in the way, which also means I'll be taking a few weeks off to get everything sorted (and to enjoy the holidays), before I jump back into writing but I promise I will have a lot of new DIY posts and fun things to share in the new year. I will also be posting on the Facebook page.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand – today I'm sharing my thoughts on Route One Pumpkins. I got to try out some of their products and I think you will really like their line of natural handcrafted soap and skin care products that are made with Organic Sugar Pie Pumpkin Seed Oil and other pure and healthy ingredients. You will never find parabens, phthalates, soy, gluten, nut oils, petroleum based ingredients or anything artificial in their products. They also believe in sourcing their ingredients locally. They are located in Half Moon Bay, Ca and their pumpkins come from Tunitas Creek Family Farm, just South of Half Moon Bay.

In addition to being clean their products are also Leaping Bunny Certified and they even have an English Setter named Finnegan (Fun Fact: I have a cat named Finnegan) and an Irish Red and White Setter named Madeleine on their "staff". How cute is that?

Their soaps are ph-balanced and made with sunflower and pumpkin seed oils as well as avocado, shea butter, organic jojoba, and meadowfoam seed. I got to take the Bee's Knees Bar Soap for a test drive… err, a test shower? Hmm, that didn't work but hopefully you get what I'm trying to say. This particular bar of soap is made with locally and responsibly harvested beeswax and honey as well as blue chamomile. If you have been around Beautiful Basics for a while now you know how obsessed with honey I am, but if you're new around here just trust me when I say I'm crazy for all beauty things related to bees. This soap has a slightly sweet and floral scent. It lathers well, rinses beautifully, and leaves skin feeling lovely. It's perfect for sensitive skin!

I also got to try the Coastal Lavender Crème and Ultra Sensitive Hand and Body Crème; each of these comes in an adorable 4 oz tin with a gorgeous label. The Ultra Sensitive Body Butter is made with shea butter, avocado infused with calendula, cocoa butter, and beeswax. This one has a little sweet orange oil so it has a very light fragrance. The Coastal Lavender is made with organic coconut, shea butter, avocado oil, cocoa butter, pumpkin seed oil and beeswax. It has a wonderful and true lavender scent. They provide intense hydration and work best when applied to skin directly after a bath or shower. It locks in moisture and keeps skin looking and feeling wonderful. I like to use the Sensitive one during the day on my hands and chest in particular and love the Lavender at night before bed. I really enjoy them!

To learn more about Route One Pumpkins or their lineup of products you can very their website by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Talk About Subscription Boxes - Yuzen Winter and Holiday Boxes

I think Subscription Boxes, like Yuzen, make a fantastic gift for any special event you can think of. Birthday? Check. Anniversary? Of course. Just because? Perfect! Christmas? Yes, please! And you might be thinking, "It's probably too late to order a box for Christmas," but you would be wrong. To ensure it arrives by Christmas Eve you just need to get your order in by the 19th.

I first reviewed Yuzen (If you're curious about the name of the box, Yuzen is a beautiful Japanese paper, also known as Chiyogami, and is included in each box) back in July 2012, but I was recently sent their Winter Box and their One Time Holiday Box to review on Beautiful Basics. Both boxes are awesome and I'm excited to get to talk about them today. Included in each box, besides the gorgeous paper, are natural and/or organic and eco-friendly products that are good for your skin, body, home and peace of mind.

Before we get into the contents of the boxes let's talk business. You can purchase a subscription to Yuzen for yourself or as a gift for $33 a box, with a box arriving at your home every season. You can also purchase a single gift box, like the Holiday Box, for $33. The price includes shipping.

Let's talk about the Winter Box (which is for Nov-Jan) first since it is part of the regular subscription. I wasn't as impressed with this box as I was with Holiday Box but my Mom really loved a lot of the items in this one! So, what did I find when I opened the box?

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub
This is my favorite item included in this box. I have tried a lot of Acure Organics products but never this scrub. I had heard a lot of good things and I'm so glad I got to try it because it's really, really great!
Cowgirl Extreme C Serum
Essence of Vali Sleep
JJ's Sweets Chocolate-Covered Cocomels with Sea Salt
Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Cream
SALUS Shower Bombs in Eucalyptus and Lemongrass
Zents Mandarin Soap 
This soap was what my Mom was most excited about. She loves the scent!

As for the single Holiday Box – I loved it and everything in it! This might be my favorite box that I have ever received because I liked every single item that was included.

Acure Brightening Facial ScrubLike I mentioned above, this scrub is great and I love the size!
SpaRitual Cuti-Coctail Pen & Pusher 
My cuticles have been an absolute mess and this has come in handy! I really like the formula and the applicator.
Eminence Wild Plum Eye CreamI seriously love Eminence and this eye cream is fantastic. It smells great and it actually makes a huge difference in my under eye area.
Kneipp Balancing Lavender Herbal BathI have always wanted to try Kneipp so I was so happy to see this in the box! It's seriously great!
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Ultimate Lash and Brow SerumI haven't used this yet, but I will and I'll let you know what I think.
Sencha Naturals Pink Dragonfruit MintsThese are yummy!
Sranrom Urban Wellness Calm Down Hand CreamThis leaves hands feeling ridiculously soft and hydrated while smelling really nice. It actually smells a lot like Tazo Zen Tea.
If you would like to read more about the products and why Yuzen selected them you can click here. You can also visit their website to learn more about Yuzen or to purchase a subscription or individual box.
Even Hunter likes Yuzen!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Talk About Cosmetics - Noyah Lipstick

I'm not sure whether it's the fact that a swipe on the lips can change your entire look, or they way it can make you feel more put together, or whatever it may be but I really love lipstick. There is something really special and magical about finding the perfect tube of lipstick that compliments your skin tone and makes you feel great!

Like I said, I really love lipstick and right now I'm really loving Noyah and their stunning lipsticks. With 5 awesome shades of all-natural and kosher lipstick everyone can find the perfect shade to suit them and their tastes. With ingredients like Castor Oil, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax, Sunflower Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, and Vitamin E the lipsticks have a smooth formula that applies like a dream.

I was recently sent all 5 lipsticks and I'm absolutely thrilled that I'm able to tell you all about them. They're amazing! The shades are Empire Red (a true red), Apricot Swirl (a light apricot), Valentine Pink (a soft pink), Hazelnut Cream (a rose), and Deeply in Mauve (a rich mauve). The shades are all creamy, semi-matte shades with the exception of Hazelnut Cream, which has a slight frost to it.

Like I said above, they apply seamlessly and flawlessly. They also wear extremely well throughout the day. I haven't worn them for more than a few hours at a time but they last really nicely! I have found that they can be applied and blended out with a finger for a more sheer look, applied in a single layer for a wash of opaque color, or built up to look more rich and vibrant. Color wise, I originally thought that I was going to love Empire Red the most (it's a gorgeous color but I don't think I can pull it off!) but I was pleasantly surprised by Deeply in Mauve and Valentine Pink. These 2 shades have become my absolute favorites and I have been wearing Deeply in Mauve quite a lot when I go out. It's a little bit vampy while still being classic and easy to wear.

I'm not completely sold on the packaging of these lipsticks but I can deal with it since the lipsticks themselves are so wonderful. I just think it feels a little bit like cheap plastic, but like I said – I can deal. As far as the smell and taste goes there is nothing really to mention on this front since there is only an extremely faint scent that I can't quite place my finger on and no taste.

If I was a teacher and these lipsticks were my students they would be at the top of their class. Where did that weird teaching reference come from? Not quite sure, but what I'm trying to get at is these rock my socks off and I highly recommend them. They would make fabulous stocking stuffers or gifts for the holidays too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stuffed Stockings Giveaway (CLOSED)

I love everything about Christmas. The music, decorations, time with family, cookies, and of course the gifts given and received. I can't forget to mention my love for stockings though. There is something really magical about stocking stuffers. I can't explain it but my love for them is deep and rooted in me by my Mother. My Dad likes stockings (although he calls them "socks") but my Mom and I are absolutely crazy for them!

I love giving things away to you Beauties so it only seemed appropriate to make a prize pack (or two!) full of items perfect for stuffing stockings, whether it is for your own (I promise I won't judge you if you want to keep them for yourself!) or someone else's "sock". One is a makeup and skin products and the other is body and pampering products. The first randomly selected winner will get to pick the set he or she wants and the other winner will receive the remaining set.

This giveaway is open worldwide. To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. By the way, I know the changes in Rafflecopter are kind of iffy so if you encounter any problems feel free to e-mail me or contact me about it. There is only one required entry, all others are optional and you can do as many or as few as you like but keep in mind that the more entries you have the more chances you have to win. Give this post a like and get your entries in! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 3, 2014

Soap Cauldron Review

I'm so excited to be able to introduce you to Soap Cauldron, the home of Three Sisters Apothecary and Soapy Tails. I didn't test out their fantastic looking line of products for our furry friends, but I did get to try some awesome and truly delicious smelling body products from Three Sisters Apothecary. I wish there was a smell function on home computers because theses products are luxurious, fragrant, and amazing.

Soap Cauldron is a small natural artisan soap company located in Sonoma County. The owner, Emma Mann, started making soap after her daughter was born extremely prematurely. She started experimenting in her kitchen with plant oils, pure essential oils, and natural botanicals. For over 10 years they have been making natural herbal soaps and remedies that are healthy, gentle, and nurturing in small batches out of pure and natural ingredients. The result is a line of products that I can't wait for you to check out!

I know that a lot of people hate black licorice (I don't get it!) but I adore its scent and flavor. The Black Licorice & Vanilla Bar Soap has become my number one soap of all time. I know I usually go on and on about how much I love unscented products but this beautiful bar of soap smells beyond good. I'm actually at a loss of words to describe how good it smells. I was a bit worried that a Black Licorice scented soap would be masculine but this particular blend with Vanilla is sweet, but not overly sweet. When I use this soap it makes me smile because I enjoy the scent so much.

I also got to test out the California Mission Fig & Honey Bar Soap as well as the Harvest Pumpkin & Cinnamon Soap, whose scents I also really enjoy. These two are also visually lovely. If you want to purchase beautiful, perfectly scented soap for a gift for someone you should seriously check out their line up. The formula of all three soaps is wonderful. They cleanse my skin thoroughly but never leave me feeling dry, tight, or itchy. They actually leave my skin feeling soft and slightly moisturized. I also want to mention that the scents are strong while being used but gently fade afterwards, which is a HUGE plus in my book. I like the scents a lot but I don't want them to linger forever.

As far as extra hydration goes, I also received two tins of Body Butter in California Mission Fig & Honey and Harvest Pumpkin & Cinnamon. As a side note, I seriously need to place an order for a tub of the Black Licorice & Vanilla Body Butter. I love the scent THAT much. With ingredients like Shea Butter, Avocado Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Beeswax the formula leaves my skin feeling incredibly silky and provides moisture that lasts all day long. It's a thick balm so I find it best to apply to the skin directly after stepping out of the bath or shower. It spreads easily when I applied to warm skin.

If you're really interested in the scents of the soap and body butter you can also get a matching lip balm. I received the Harvest Pumpkin & Cinnamon Lip Soother and the Black Licorice & Vanilla Lip Shimmer and I think they are awesome! The formula of these balms is smooth, creamy, and lush. They leave lips feeling nice, although I find they don't last a super long time and need to be reapplied. They taste and smell divine! It's not very strong, but in a good way. The Soother looks slightly shiny but not glossy and the Shimmer has a very minimal shimmery look. They are both made with Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, and Avocado Oil, just to name a few. The only thing I don't love is the fact that they come in a tin. I'm a bit of a germ freak so I don't like the thought of being out and about and then dipping my finger in so I use them at home.

You can find all of these products, and more in a wide range of scents, on They are all really beautiful. I seriously love the packaging, the logo, and the wonderful scents and formulas. Also, all of the products are really generously sized and affordable. I don't think you can go wrong with purchasing anything that strikes your fancy from them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Talk About Lip Care - Portland Bee Balm

I'm a big fan of no frills lip balm. My lips are way too sensitive to deal with unnecessary ingredients so I'm always looking for simple and natural lip balms that nourish and promote health with no extra bells or whistles. When I was contacted by Portland Bee Balm, I hopped on the net and checked out their website and got super excited to try out their product.

The masterminds behind Portland Bee Balm, Brad (a man with a beekeeping hobby and a love for honey bees) and Anika, decided to create a high quality product and a business that supports the health and well-being of the environment, community, and bees and their keepers. Their all natural three and four ingredient lip balms are hand made from local and sustainable sources in Southeast Portland and their labels are made of non-pulped wood and printed with soy based ink, so the product is good for the planet as well as the people who use it.

Portland Bee Balm comes in Unscented and Oregon Mint. Both are made of Local NW Oregon Beeswax, Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, and Organic California Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Oregon Mint lip balm has one extra ingredient – Organic Oregon Peppermint Essential Oil. That's it!

The first time I used Portland Bee Balm I was a little unsure because it seemed quite dry and it was a little difficult to apply but the product warmed up within seconds and won me over. It leaves lips feeling intensely hydrated and healthy. It also lasts an amazingly long time. It's not a very wet or slippery formula, nor does it leave lips looking shiny, which is a plus in my book. It works well alone but I love to wear it under lipstick as well.

My favorite is the Unscented, of course, but the Oregon Mint is also quite nice. It has a lovely fresh mint scent and feels slightly cool on the lips. My sensitive lips are loving Portland Bee Balm and I know you will too!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Talk About Skin Care - SeabuckWonders

You have probably heard a lot about Sea Buckthorn as an ingredient in personal care products, and with good reason. Sea Buckthorn is a superfruit that is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids and Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9. This means it's good for you, really good, inside and out. SeabuckWonders has been making products from sea buckthorn oils from the Tibetan Plateau since 1994. Their line of products is USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified as well as vegan, dairy and gluten free and Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning they are cruelty free.

I think the Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion is absolutely fantastic. The lotion comes in a tube and the lotion is the perfect consistency to easily squeeze out the desired amount. I keep it on the nightstand next to my bed and I really love the simple design and functionality of the packaging. The lotion itself has a very slight and gentle citrus scent and goes on smoothly and effortlessly to leave skin feeling ridiculously soft and silky. It is very rich but not even a little bit greasy. I especially love applying to my skin at night because I wake up with hydrated and healthy skin in the morning.

The Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Facial Cleanser is a gentle cleanser with jojoba beads that cleanses and refreshes the complexion. It seems like a fairly basic facial cleanser with the added benefit of exfoliating beads. I don't use it every single time I wash because I don't like to over exfoliate but I do tend to use it most mornings so the citrus scent is refreshing and invigorating. It leaves my skin looking visibly brighter and more radiant, which is awesome!

I always follow the Exfoliating Facial Cleanser with a healthy dose of the Sea Buckthorn Facial Cream. It is a fairly thick facial cream that is easily absorbed and leaves my face feeling soft, supple, and healthy. It calms my sometimes unfriendly skin and I really, really love this stuff! I also really love the airless packaging. It dispenses the perfect amount of moisturizer every single time! It feels quite nice once it dries and doesn't leave my face feeling sticky or overloaded at all. It leaves my skin feeling comfortable for a really long time. It also doesn't look at all shiny and instead leaves my skin feeling semi-matte but still glowing. I'm not really sure how I can look both matte and glowing at the same time but I'm really digging the results! Did I just say digging? I wish I had a bigger bottle!

Please remember that I might love things that you don't and you might fall head over heels for something that I didn't like very much. With that being said, I love serums but I'm just not a fan of the Sea Buckthorn Deep Hydrating Serum. I've tried it on its own after cleansing and before applying moisturizer and I even mixed it in with the cream but I really don't like the texture, and I can't move past it. It's sticky, and I mean it's REALLY sticky. Beyond sticky. Besides being sticky it doesn't do much for my skin at all and leaves me feeling sort of itchy and dry.

So, all in all, SeabuckWonders and their line of products are great with 3 out of 4 being a hit at Beautiful Basics. You can learn more about the company and their product line by visiting their website. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Talk About Hair Care - John Masters Organics Zinc and Sage Shampoo with Conditioner

I'm always on the hunt for a good bottle of shampoo. It's almost embarrassing to talk about how many shampoos I have tried and how many have failed to meet my requirements but I have found one in the past year that I really enjoy. Before I get any further, I would like to mention that I am completely 100% open to hearing your natural shampoo recommendations so feel free to leave a comment on this post or on Facebook. Back to the topic I would like to discuss today – John Masters Organics and their Zinc and Sage Shampoo with Conditioner. I ended up ordering this particular hair cleanser after doing a little research on the World Wide Web and I sure am glad I did!

I have an incredibly sensitive and highly reactive scalp. My roots and on the normal to oily side and my ends are rather dry. All of these things combine to create one very difficult to please head of hair. It typically works like this: If I find something that soothes my scalp it makes my roots overly oily and if I find something that makes my hair look like silk it irritates my scalp until its sore and raw. Or some other combination of those things, but you get the point.

I ordered the Zinc and Sage Shampoo with Conditioner hoping it would cleanse my scalp and hair while soothing the delicate skin on my scalp. I had read mostly good things about the product so I was really excited to test it out. I opened the bottle once it arrived at my doorstep and was completely blown away by the glorious, delicious scent! Never in my life had I ever smelled such a wonderfully fragranced shampoo before, and this is coming from someone who considers "fragrance free" to be her signature scent. It smells like vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel but not in a disgusting sickly sweet kind of way. I wish I could describe just how yummy this scent is!

The scent isn't all that won me over. This shampoo is gentle but cleanses thoroughly. I wouldn't say that it's a 2 in 1 like the "+ conditioner" claim might have you believe but it does make my hair feel decently soft on its own although I almost always follow up with my favorite Desert Essence conditioner. It leaves my hair smelling great throughout the day and I have even received quite a few compliments about how great my locks smell. My scalp stays itch and flake free and my hair seems healthy, shiny, strong and vibrant. My tangles are also easy to manage when I use this shampoo!

I originally thought that this shampoo was nice but not anything super special. I was proven wrong when I stopped using it for a week and my scalp became irritated, sore, and beyond itchy. I went back to using the John Masters Organics and my scalp has gone back to normal. My only complaint is that I wish a single 8 fl ounce bottle wasn't $20. I know there are a lot of hair products that cost a lot more but it still seems a bit pricey. I'll buy another bottle as soon as I run out of this one though and that's a great indication that I really love this stuff!

Have you ever tried this particular shampoo or any other John Masters Organics products?

(FTC: I bought this shampoo with my own money. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Sample Bag GIVEAWAY - CLOSED!

The seasons are changing and I don't know what has gotten into me this year but I'm totally excited for autumn to arrive. There is something really beautiful and special about fall and I'm looking forward to layering, seeing the leaves change, comfort food, and cooler days and nights.

The first official day of fall this year is September 22, and in honor of the changing seasons I thought now was the perfect time to give you all the chance to win a sampler bag! I haven't put together one of these sampler bags in quite a while but I know how much you all love them since they always go over so well. You have all been so supportive of Beautiful Basics that I wish I could give each and every one of you a prize but alas, only one of you will be able to win this one. It's open Internationally so feel free to enter regardless of where you live!

I'm going to say that this bag has an estimated value of $40 and it has a ton of fun beauty goodies inside like a bottle of No Frizz Oil from Balanced Guru (ARV $13), a rollerball of Yogini from Harvey Prince ($21) and two masks from 7th Heaven ($2.99 each). Of course, there are some other products included. Check out the picture to see all of the samples you could win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 5, 2014

Phenomé SOOTHING anti-redness base Review

Phenomé, a brand from the European Union comprised of natural and healthy skincare products, believes that nature, beauty, and well-being go hand and hand. If you're wondering about the name of the company it is pronounced FEH-NOM-EH. In their luxurious lineup of cruelty free and vegan products for face, body, and hands (as well as a men's line) you will find only pure, sustainable, and healthy ingredients in award winning eco-friendly packaging (it is both recycled and recyclable).

Another cool point I want to mention is that instead of using regular old water in their products they use pure plant water instead. That, to me, makes it feel so much fancier! You never have to be curious about what ingredients are in the product you're using because the company believes in total transparency. Their website and the packaging of each product features the "Phenomé Transparency Chart" which details exactly what you're using on your skin.

To start off with the obvious, Phenomé products are packaged in lovely glass containers. The SOOTHING anti-redness base comes in a 1.0 fl. oz amber colored frosted glass bottle with a metal pump. It looks so nice sitting on my vanity. It's visually pleasing and I love it!

I also happen to love the contents of the glass bottle. The packaging lists this product as a "daily miracle" and while I can't go as far as to say this lotion moves mountains I can say that it is a really special treat for my super sensitive skin. It has a lotion-like consistency but is a little richer than the average lotion. It's extremely gentle on my skin but really effective when it comes to soothing (just like the name suggests), hydrating, and reducing redness. I love it as a daily moisturizer, on its own or under makeup.

It is really easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin. It feels fresh and clean while still providing moisture. It seems to create a barrier that helps to protect skin from the elements. It has a very soft, matte texture once it dries. It leaves my skin looking shine free but healthy. I love the way it leaves my skin looking and how comfortable it leaves my skin feeling.

The only negative thing I have to say is that I really don't like the scent, but if you've been around Beautiful Basics for a while you know that I rarely like anything that has any scent at all. My nose is a snob. I can't help it. The scent of this product is very strong at first but it goes away quickly and doesn't bother me in the long run.

To learn more about Phenomé, their product offerings, and their ingredients you can visit their website by clicking here.

(FTC: The company provided me with the SOOTHING anti-redness base for review consideration at no charge. They also provided me with the opportunity to host a giveaway. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Talk About Cosmetics - Red Apple Lipstick Eyeshadow Review

Way back in October of 2012, I posted a review of a couple of gluten free and glam cosmetics from a company called Red Apple Lipstick. Jay Harper, the man behind the brand, had a dream to create a line of safe, healthy, and gorgeous products made from high quality ingredients and in 2007, the dream became a reality. The brand is constantly growing and expanding to include more and more gluten free, paraben free, lead free, soy free, vegan and cruelty free healthy cosmetics that are made in the US.

While the company does include the word Lipstick in their name it doesn't mean lipstick is all they do. Their product offering includes: lipsticks, glosses, lip pencils, eyeshadows, a newly launched mascara, eyeliner, an exfoliating stick and a lip balm called Rallye Balm. They have an awesome selection of shades so everyone can find colored cosmetics that set their heart aflutter.

When I did my first review of Red Apple Lipstick in 2012 I fell hard for their eyeshadow in Twinkle Taupe. The color payoff, texture, and wear absolutely stole my heart and I'm so excited to be able to share my review of their City Starter Palette today. The company offers individual shadows that you can purchase, (they come in pan form so you can put them into a magnetic palette, which is also available for purchase on the website), or pre-designed palettes that come complete with a special Red Apple Lipstick Z-Palette.

For under $70 The City Starter Palette comes with 3 mattes and a shimmer in wearable shades; Porcelain, Iced Mocha, Brownie Points, and Espresso. This palette is great for makeup beginners, or cosmetic addicts looking for the perfect collection of shadows that can be worn every day.

Here is a breakdown of the shades included in the City Starter Palette:
Porcelain is a matte creamy off-white color
Iced Mocha is a shimmery taupe that leans a little on the purple/lilac side
Brownie Points is a matte medium brown that is described as a red based brown but looks neutral on me
Espresso is a matte dark brown

The formula of these shadows is divine. They are beyond creamy and superbly soft. If you're looking for powdery, chalky, dry eyeshadows you might want to look somewhere else because you'll be disappointed in these ones. They feel like silk or cashmere or any other luxurious material you can think of. They apply evenly and blend seamlessly. They wear incredibly well throughout the day, with or without primer. The color payoff is absolutely stunning. These shadows pack a serious punch. Fall out? What's fall out?

I also want to quickly talk about their Professional Angled Eye Brush and Wet/Dry Eye Shadow Brush. I don't know if you know this about me but I'm a big time makeup brush junkie, seriously. I love brushes but I'm actually pretty picky so I'm happy to be able to tell you that I really like these vegan brushes! The synthetic fibers are soft and gentle but firm and effective. I really like the handles as well. The Wet/Dry Brush is great for packing on color with the Angled Eye Brush makes a fantastic liner brush.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Talk About Skin Care - Sel Terre Spa Collection Review

I'm a big fan of all things natural and all things created in my beautiful home state of Oregon so Sel Terre and their line of pure, handcrafted products are a big homerun for my beauty routine. Their products, made in Eugene – a city I frequent often thanks to family who live there, are simple and affordable while still being luxurious. You won't find any toxic or unhealthy ingredients in their cruelty free and earth friendly products so they're perfect for anyone looking for safe products.

The Spa Collection retails for $50 and is comprised of the Deep Cleansing Emulsion, Balm Riche, Bar of Soap of Choice, and a Facial Masque of Choice. I received the Dead Sea Clay & Irish Moss Seaweed Facial Masque and Red Alaea Salt & Rose Kaolin Clay Soap.

Oil cleansing is not something new to me but I know that a lot of you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with it but the Pecan & Peach Kernel Deep Cleansing Emulsion is so smooth and absolutely dreamy to use. I use 2-3 pumps, rub my hands together, and massage the oil onto my dry face. It quickly, and seemingly magically, removes every last trace of makeup and rinses off completely. It doesn't sting my eyes or leave a film behind. It makes my complexion glow and leaves my skin smooth and hydrated. When it first arrived the plastic packaging was hot and smelled terrible but the oil itself doesn't have much of a scent. My only complaint would be that I wish it came in a glass bottle, but then again, I always wish things were packaged in glass.

The Red Alaea Salt & Rose Kaolin Clay Soap is gorgeous, gentle, and rich. My sensitive sniffer can't pick up a discernable scent from this bar of soap, which is always a plus for me. It's great for cleansing the body but also works well on the face. It leaves my skin feeling so soft, and not at all stripped or dry. I also really like to use it for shaving!

The Balm Riche, made of Mangosteen Butter and Peach Kernel Oil, as well as other natural and hydrating oils, is an intensely powerful moisturizer that can be used on any part of the body. I really love it as a lip balm, eye cream, cuticle and hand moisturizer, and on my chest at night. I don't love the smell but it gets the job done.

The Dead Sea Clay & Irish Moss Seaweed Facial Masque is not a product that has made my Love List, but only due to its odor. My family and I went to the beach once where a lot of seaweed had washed up on the shore and began to decompose. The smell of this mask takes me right back to that beach every single time I unscrew the lid. But before I go on please remember that my nose is akin to that of a bloodhound and I am easily offended; also, the smell of this mask makes total sense since it is made with Seaweed. I have used this mask several times, trying my best to ignore the smell, and the results are fantastic. It's a gentle mask that is easy to apply and rinse off. It makes my skin look supple, glowing from the inside out, and ridiculously soft. My Mom compliments my skin each time I use this mask so I'll continue using it, hating the smell, and loving what it does to my skin.

To learn more about Sel Terre or their products you can visit their website by clicking here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Talk About Skin Care - Laurel Whole Plant Organics

In May, Laurel Whole Plant Organics, formerly known as Sequoia Beauty, contacted me asking if I would be interested in testing out any of their products. I had never tried Sequoia Beauty but had heard a lot about their products from other green beauty bloggers so I was intrigued and eager to try their re-branded and reformulated products. I got to try out samples of their Eye Balm, Healing Balm, Nightly Balm, and Detox Mask as well as a full size bottle of their Ant-inflammatory Serum. My favorites out of the group are the Serum and Eye Balm.

I tried writing a brief background on the company but I couldn't do a better job than they did on their website so click here to learn more about Laurel Whole Plant Organics.

After just a few short days of using the Anti-Inflammatory Facial Serum twice daily my Mom started complimenting me on my skin, and how clear and glowy I looked. Despite the fact that this serum induces compliments I have a love/hate relationship with this oil. I love the oil itself, a lot, but I absolutely hate the smell of it.

This Serum is made with 26 whole, organic, active ingredients (like Chinese Skullcap, Licorice, Chamomile, and Astragalus, just to name a few), and is best for those with sensitive and/or reactive skin, cystic acne, rosacea and anyone showing signs of inflammation (which can include dry patches, redness, uneven skin tone, breakouts, eczema, collagen loss, and/or broken capillaries). This particular serum appealed to me because I struggle with many of these problems so I knew it would be perfect for my skin!

It's pricey coming in at $72 for 30ml (or just over 1 oz) but a small amount of this serum goes a very long way so you're actually getting a good amount of product for your money. It comes in a lovely, simple glass bottle with an efficient dropper that makes dispensing the right amount of product easy.

I love the formulation of this serum. It is easily absorbed into the skin and provides long lasting hydration without residual greasiness. After absorption it actually leaves my skin looking slightly matte instead of making me look shiny faced and oily. It is a pretty serious hydrator that isn't heavy or pore suffocating. My skin drinks this stuff up and is left feeling calm and balanced while looking fresh and healthy.

As you can probably tell I love this liquid magic, but like I mentioned above, I can't stand the smell. I've mentioned in previous blog posts that a lot of products, both natural and not, smell really weird on me. I'm not sure if I have a weird pH that interacts with ingredients or what but this product smells horrendous to me (and to people around me who are within sniffing distance). It doesn't smell offensive in the bottle, and actually smells kind of sweet, but once applied to my skin it has a really strong fishy odor that doesn't go away. It lingers for hours after hours and it's such a bummer because I love this oil and the way it makes me skin feel. I still use the serum and I enjoy the results but I wish desperately that it had no scent.

The Eye Balm starts as a solid and transforms into a luxurious liquid that goes on as smoothly as butter. I have ridiculously sensitive eyes and this balm doesn't irritate them at all. It's not too heavy but it is highly moisturizing and helps hydrate and plump up the fine, delicate skin under the eyes. It also has no scent, which is a really nice bonus!

The Healing Balm is an excellent multi-tasking balm that can be used anywhere on the face or body. It's great for serious dry patches and irritated skin. The Detox Mask didn't make much of an impression on me. I don't like or dislike it. I think it would be worth a try for those of who mask addicts who like mixing your own powdered masks. While I like the formula of the Night Balm I'm not a big fan of the scent.

To learn more about Laurel Whole Plant Organics you can visit their website here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mom Talks - My Berry Organics Wild Blueberry Face Creme

I am so lucky that I get to try some of the fantastic products that Kassie receives. She thought it was time that I start reviewing some of them so here we go!

I have older, more mature skin than Kassie does, but that's because I am older and of course, more mature. In the past year, my skin has become much more sensitive and reactive. I have to be extremely careful what goes on it. I have the dreaded dry skin and over 40, (ok, closer to 50), wrinkles and fine lines. With that being said, I want to share with you my thoughts on the My Berry Organics Wild Blueberry Face Crème. This crème is wonderful. It is light and moisturizing and my face loves its texture. I also love the smell. It smells like real blueberries but with a hint of something else. Wild Blueberries are full of antioxidants, and this moisturizer includes 23 antioxidants for radiant skin. I have been using this for quite some time and Kassie has been complimenting my skin often. During the day, I wear it under my make up, but at night, I use it with a thicker serum to heal my skin while I sleep. My skin is softer and much more hydrated than before I began using this product.

When it arrived in the mail, it came wrapped in beautiful tissue paper. (Kassie's notes: I failed at taking photos when it arrived. They all came out blurry so please forgive the lack of pictures. My apologies.) The bottle is a dark blue plastic. I feel it is moderately priced at $28.00 for 2 ounces. A little goes a long way so it is definitely worth the price. My Berry Organics is all natural and organic, and vegan friendly. It does not contain any petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, or synthetics.

To read the story behind the brand, click here. While at their site, be sure to read all of the amazing ingredients in this crème. I love the label; it lists the scientific name for each ingredient, followed by the common name. The only drawback for me is that since the product uses only the freshest of ingredients, it is only good for 3 months. I love all natural though so its something I am willing to put up with. Check out the My Berry Organics line.

(FTC: This product was provided to me by the company free of charge for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Niora Naturals Acne Solutions Giveaway

I'm in love with Niora Naturals and their line of products for adult acne; If you missed my review post and declaration of love you can check it out by clicking here. George, the mastermind behind the company, kindly and generously gave me the go ahead to share the love with you all and host a giveaway for an entire Niora Acne Solutions set!

To enter to win all you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. This giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada. Don't forget to like this post! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway