Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

It’s almost Christmas and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a holiday season filled with love and laughter. Even if you don’t celebrate, I hope you have a beautiful week. I also wish you all health and happiness now and in the New Year.

I also wanted to take a moment to say thank you so much for all of your love and support in 2015. I started Beautiful Basics when I first became ill because I needed something that I could do and call my own. I could have never imagined what this little hobby of mine would eventually turn in to, and it’s because of you, my dear readers, that Beautiful Basics has grown into something I am immensely proud of. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting and sharing. I can’t even explain how much your interaction means to me and I look forward to seeing our community grow even more in 2016.

And also a big thank you to the companies I have worked with in the past year. My readers love learning about new companies and products and your belief in me has been so generous. I look forward to continuing our working relationships.

Thank you. See you all in the New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December Goodbeing Review

I think it’s a safe bet to say that most of us enjoy subscription boxes and the surprise that arrives in our mailboxes or on our doorsteps each month. I’ve been a huge fan of Goodebox since they launched and now they have rebranded as a Beauty, Wellness, and Lifestyle Subscription Box called Goodbeing. They’re still an awesome subscription service (from my beloved state, Oregon) but they’re bigger and better than ever before!

With new options to customize your box you can be sure you are getting products tailored to your preferences. You might be wondering what a Goodbeing is, well the company defines it as “a human being living their best, healthiest, most vivacious life”. This means this box is perfect for all Green Goddesses and those of us trying to live a clean and green life.

If you’re looking for a perfect Holiday gift that keeps giving try gifting a subscription to a friend or family member. With several different plans to choose from you can gift (yourself or someone else) as many or as few boxes as you would like. You can pay as little as $18 for a subscription or $21 per box if you would prefer to pay as you go. 

When you sign up you are asked to fill out a quite lengthy, albeit unobtrusive, survey asking you about your tastes in beauty and lifestyle products. You can get very specific and tell them what shades you love and which ones you don’t, scents you like and dislike (or if you’re like me – that you prefer no scent at all) and other things that will help them pick out the best products to send to you to each month. This way you’re not getting perfume samples when you’re really irritated by fragrance or skin care products created for acne prone skin when you’re dry and sensitive or visa-versa. My biggest issue with subscription boxes is getting products I’ll never use because they’re not suited for me so I’m impressed with the fact that Goodbeing has engineered a way to match people with products that can work for them.

I’ll be talking about Goodeing quite a bit on Beautiful Basics in 2016 and I’m so excited to share my thoughts with you on future boxes but today we are talking about the December box.

So, what did I find inside of my December Goodbeing Box?

Gia Minerals Mineral Blush in Splendid Rose (3 grams - Value: $18)
Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defying Hand Cream (Full Size – Value: $12)
Diana Ralys Specialty Blend Oil (Full Size, 1 oz – Value $53)
Board and Batten My Softer Side Sugar Scrub with Fig & Turmeric (Value: 18)
Graydon Clinical Luxury Superfood Mask + Scrub (5 capsules – Value: $10)

Overall, I’m really happy with the contents of this box. My absolute favorite discovery is the Gia Minerals Blush, which is such a beautiful shade! I’m a big time blush lover so finding cheek products in a subscription box will always be a win for me. The Hand Cream is also really awesome and the Sugar Scrub with Fig & Turmeric is great as well.

The only thing I really wish I wouldn’t have received is the Superfood Mask + Scrub. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know why. This mask and I do not get along, which is a bummer because I’ve heard such good things from other bloggers about it. It will be going into the giveaway pile for the next beauty bag giveaway. Maybe one of you will have better luck with it than I did.

If you're interested in signing up for a subscription you can use this link and you'll get a bonus item in your first box!

That wraps up this review. What are your thoughts on Goodbeing? I’d love to hear what you think so leave me a comment down below.

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Kari Gran Jolene and Shimmer Lip Whip Duo

Kari Gran recently teamed up with Jolene Hart, former beauty editor turned health coach and Author of Eat Pretty, to create a gorgeous new limited edition Lip Whip aptly named after the green wellness warrior herself.

Jolene is a powerhouse of pigment that can be worn boldly or sheered out for a softer pop of pink. It’s a beautiful bright fuchsia shade that makes a lovely statement with any makeup look. I wasn’t initially sure how good this bright pink shade would look on me but after some experimentation I believe that this Lip Whip would look great on any skin tone.

You can purchase Jolene (for $20) alone or pick it up as part of a duo (for $31.50) paired with Shimmer, a gorgeous frosty champagne shade that can go over the top of any color to add a little extra sparkle and shine.
As with all Kari Gran products these two beauties are made with healthy, organic ingredients and housed in gorgeous glass pots. This pair would make the perfect gift for any green and glamorous gal you know. 

Kari Gran also has several other Lip Whips you can check out by clicking here. To learn more about the company and their product offerings you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find the company on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: These products were provided to me free of charge by the company for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Talk About Skin Care - Buff Her House of Exfoliation Exfoliating Food Facial Scrubs

If you believe that food ingredients make the best skin care products you are going to seriously love Buff Her House of Exfoliation and their line of Exfoliating Food Powders! These chemical free and cruelty free formulas are made using only pure and organic ingredients and are suitable for everyone regardless of age or skin type. They are also super easy to add in to your routine because you can mix the powders with water to create a paste or to your favorite cleanser or oil. They are versatile and fun to use!

Each bottle of Exfoliating Food Powder is made with a base of rice and other ingredients are added with different skin loving benefits. Their menu is made up of Apple Granola, Oatmeal Blueberry Cookie, Banana Bread Pudding, Sweet Potato Pie, Strawberry Parfait, Vanilla Bean Latte, Rice & Beans, and Milk & Honey. In addition to their regular line up they have an option where you can create your own blend as well as a blend for men called Hey Poppy. If you're looking for something that foams they also have Strawberry Lemon and Vanilla Almond Foaming Food Facial Scrubs.

I selected Sweet Potato Pie and Banana Bread Pudding to test out and I really like both. I was sent mini bottles and they might be small but you can get 50+ uses out of them, which is awesome. They have two Buff Her Mini Kits that I think would make perfect gifts or stocking stuffers.

Sweet Potato Pie’s ingredients list is made up of Rice Powder, Organic Sweet Potato, Whole Dry(Milk Powder, and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. This particular formula contains Beta Carotene, thanks to the Sweet Potato, which is great for blemishes and blackheads and also has a brightening and soothing effect thanks to the milk.

The Banana Bread Pudding formula is made of Rice Powder, Whole Dry Milk Powder, Organic Banana Fruit, and Organic Colloidal Oat Flour. This bottle is packed full of ingredients that are great for dry skin because bananas have potassium and Vitamin A while oatmeal is cleansing and moisturizing.

Neither formula has much of a scent. They are both extremely gentle and add something extra to your regular cleansing routine. I love the bottles and the simple ingredients inside. To learn more about the company and their other products you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find Buff Her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

(FTC: These products were provided to me free of charge by the company for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Biba Lips

If you’re looking for a fantastic gift for a green beauty who also happens to be extremely glamorous look no further than Biba Lips and their beautiful Lip Crèmes.

Each luxurious Lip Crème comes housed in a beautiful and eco-friendly gold compact and also comes with a lip brush and pouch. There are three lovely colors to choose from each hand-crafted and made with 100% natural food-grade ingredients. They are also cruelty free and made in the US. 

The packaging is absolutely stunning and feels vintage and special. The Lip Crème inside the beautiful gold metal compact is also something special. The smell is incredible (think rich butterscotch and vanilla) as is the taste and the color is really nice. I received Clarity Nude and even though I am more of a pink or coral kind of girl I was pleasantly surprised to find that this shade actually suits me so much more than I ever thought it would. My Mom and I were calling it a “My Lips but Better and more Brown” shade. It’s not too nude or too brown and looks natural. It’s not too pale, either. It’s the type of shade that makes lips look supple and a lot bigger.

They also have two other shades, a pink called Inspire Pink and a red called Elegant Red. Even though the company only offers 3 shades I am confident in saying that everyone can find one that they fall in love with because the color is sheer but buildable and the formula is silky, smooth and totally dreamy. It’s moisturizing and provides long lasting hydration and doesn’t look super shiny, which I really appreciate.

This product is truly a show stopper and if you want to learn more about the company you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find Biba Lips on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

(FTC: These products were provided to me free of charge by the company for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Kari Gran

I am completely in love with Kari Gran and from the comments and messages I’ve received from you Beauties asking for my thoughts on their line you’re also really interested in the brand! I don’t think it would be an overstatement for me to say that Kari Gran is one of my absolute favorite green beauty brands and I’m so excited to be able to share my review of their cosmetics line with you today.

If you’re new to Beautiful Basics or you want a refresher about Kari Gran all you need to know is that this company is comprised of simple but luxurious cruelty free skin care and cosmetics that are made from natural, wild harvested and non-GMO ingredients that are good for the body and the world. You'll never find any toxic ingredients inside any Kari Gran products. You won't find water either, only natural plant ingredients and essential oils. The line is designed to be gentle and safe for all ages and skin types. 

You can also check out my past reviews of the Kari Gran Starter Kit and the Marsala Lip Whip.

Let’s talk about the products in the order that I apply them starting with the Foundation that you can either use as a powder foundation or as a customizable liquid foundation. By mixing the Essential Serum with as much or as little as you desire of the powder foundation, which comes in 8 different shades, you can create the perfect base for your needs. The combination is a tinted, smoothing, hydrating base that evens out your skin tone while feeding the largest organ in your body essential nutrients. I typically don’t love wearing foundation, choosing to instead use concealer where needed, but this mixture feels lovely on the skin and wears evenly throughout the day.

Kari Gran’s Concealer is one of my absolute favorite products. I mentioned it briefly in my Concealer Menu post but wanted to go in to more detail in this review. I have the color Fair and it’s the perfect shade for me and the formula is divine! The coverage is impressively opaque but still lends a natural and luminous glow to the skin. Both the Mineral Concealer and Foundation have shimmer in them but neither gives the skin that teenaged disco ball look. Instead they go on to the skin and make it look effortless, healthy, and flawless. A little of this concealer goes a long way. I especially love to use it under my eyes and down the center of my face because it does a beautiful job of brightening my complexion.

Next up is the Mineral Setting Powder. This powder has a very short list of ingredients (Mica and Aloe Barbadensis Powder) and is feels absolutely heavenly on the skin. It’s like really silky air that feels so soft going on and keeps my base in place all day long. It sets the skin without building up and looking cakey or heavy. This is the best setting powder I have ever tried and that means a lot coming from someone with dry skin who tends to skip the setting powder step.

The Peony Mineral Blush is universally flattering and can be applied sheer or built up for more intensity. I have found that you can do no wrong when applying this blush because it always looks fresh and natural. The color is so stunning and absolutely beautiful on the cheeks for a pop of pink that I can’t get enough of. I’ve been reaching for it nonstop since it arrived. It’s a great “in from the cold” color but I think it will be a nice cheek topper for all 4 seasons.

I forgot to mention that the Foundation, Blush and Setting Powder each come in a huge 4.5 gram jar so you’re getting a ton of product for your money!  The Concealer comes in a 1.4 gram jar and the Eye Shadow is housed in a .85 gram jar. Each product is also very affordable.

The company describes their single Eye Shadow as Sandalwood, a perfect brown for everyone that can be applied sheer or opaque. You can use this shadow wet or dry depending on the look that you’re going for. It’s a beautiful color that makes my blue eyes pop, but it would be great on anyone. It has a very fine silver shimmer throughout but it never looks over the top or too heavily sparkly. I’m a matte kind of gal but still find that this particular eye shadow is very wearable. It blends beautifully and wears evenly throughout the day. It’s the perfect product for doing a one-shadow look because it can be applied in so many ways that it’s almost like having more than one eye shadow.

In the following look I am wearing only Kari Gran Cosmetics with the exception of my brow pencil and mascara, The color on my lips is a thin layer of the Tinted Lip Whip with another thin layer of Jolene Lip Whip on top.

I was originally going to talk about the Lip Whips in this post but I’m actually going to devote an entire review to the newest Limited Edition Lip Whip, Jolene, soon. However, the one in the photo above is the Naked Cinnamon Pimenta Berry and it’s one of my very favorite lip products… ever! We’ll talk about them more soon, though.

To learn more about Kari Gran and her lovely line up of products you can visit the website by clicking here. You can also find Kari Gran on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a comment and let me know if you have tried any Kari Gran products or if you have your eye on any of them. Don’t forget to check back soon for my Lip Whip Overview. See you then!

(FTC: These products were provided to me free of charge by the company for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.)

Monday, November 23, 2015

2015 Stuffed Stocking Giveaway

Every year when the weather gets cold and the Christmas decorations come out and the stores start playing carols 24/7 I like to give away a prize (or two!) that would make perfect stocking stuffers. I know not everyone does stockings but my family and I are big-time stocking lovers and go crazy every year stuffing them as full as possible.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not this giveaway features a couple of really fun prizes that will go to two lucky winners. This giveaway is open Internationally but the prize containing the mini nail polish can only go to one of you in North America, so if you’re an International reader you can only enter to win the lip balm duo.

All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. You can do as many or as few entry options as you would like. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Concealer Menu

If you read my last post, Looking Your Best While Ill, you know that I depend on concealer when I want to look bright-eyed, healthy, and awake, so today I want to share my favorites with you. 

Most days I actually prefer using concealer on any areas that need evening out instead of using a foundation. For this I like to use the Transcendent Concentrated Correcting Concealer by Pacifica. I like to apply this in stripes down the nose, a few on each cheek, and a bit on my forehead and chin and then blend outwards. It provides a beautiful coverage, blends out like a dream, wears well throughout the day, and never settles into any fine lines. My skin tends to be a bit dry and this provides a hydrating coverage that I really love. It feels great on the skin and looks flawless.

I also have two mineral concealer powders that I love from Alima Pure, in the color Sand, and Kari Gran, in Fair. I’m planning on doing a review of the entire range of Kari Gran cosmetics in the next week or two so I’m going to skip giving you a thorough review in this post. Just know that I really, really, really love it! I actually prefer Kari Gran’s concealer but the Alima Pure one is also really nice and the amount of coverage it provides is incredible. I’ve also found that on days when I need super duper coverage I can layer one of these powder concealers over my Pacifica for a look that’s flawless.

The area I feel I need the most coverage is under my eyes. I have dark circles and heavy baggage so the majority of my concealers are specifically formulated for the under eye region. I’m beyond in love with the Dreamlit Illuminating  Under Eye Brightener from Pacifica. It comes in 2 shades, Bare (yellow based) and Dreamlight (pink based), and I really like both. The formula is silky and buttery and feels more like a high-end treatment for your skin than an affordably priced cosmetic. They go on smoothly and make my dry skin looks bright, hydrated, and concealed. I’m a huge fan! I also like the wand applicator.

I recently picked up the Alba Botanica Fast Fix for Underye Circles Vanishing Concealer and I’m impressed. I wasn’t expecting much because I got this for $4.99 and thought it wasn’t going to be very effective but I was so happy to be proven wrong. It’s a yellow-based cream that feels unbelievably soft and makes undereyes look effortlessly light and healthy. It feels so nice and blends seamlessly into my skin. I’m super impressed and happy with my purchase.

This concludes my Concealer menu and I’m looking forward to hearing about your favorites!

(FTC: I purchased all of these with my own money with the exception of the Kari Gran which was provided to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.) 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Looking Your Best While Ill

I’m 28 years old and since 2009 I’ve been living with chronic illness. I’m disabled and unable to live the typical life of a twenty something, but I don’t let that stop me from living a happy and positive life. Life is what we make it so it’s really important to keep an open and positive mind and to embrace every day and every moment. Life is short but life is also beautiful.

I’m living with invisible illnesses but sometimes I wake up and you can tell that I’m sick so today I’m going to share my easy tips and beauty routine on how to make the version of you that doesn’t look or feel 100% look healthy, awake, and vibrant.

If you’re new to Beautiful Basics, I also want to point out that I believe in the healing power of natural products. I don’t use any chemicals on my skin or products that have been tested on animals. I don’t think animals should have to suffer for our beauty nor do I think that toxic ingredients in products are the way to go. Green can be glamorous and gorgeous!

Hydration is really important, so before applying any makeup you need to make sure your skin is moisturized from the inside out. Drinking enough water and using products meant for your skin type are key. And yes, even if you have oily skin you still need to moisturize. Using a hydrating primer is also a good idea but not necessary.

Even out your skin by using your choice of base. I love using concealer to get everything to look even. I think too often we feel the need to cover every inch of our skin when we really only need to apply base to certain places where we have discoloration. I have a lot of redness around my nose, mouth, and chin so I add product directly to the center of my face and blend out for a natural look.

The area I feel I need the most coverage, though, is my under my eyes. I have dark circles (and some major baggage) that make me look as tired as I often feel. I like to cover only the shadow of the circle, which helps hide the darkness. If your circles are blue toned go for a pink/peach shade and if they are more purple a yellow-based concealer will be your best bet. I also extend the concealer to the inner corners of my eyelids. My absolute favorites for this are the Pacifica Dreamlit Illuminating Under Eye Brightener. I use both shades, Bare (yellow) and Dreamlight (pink), depending on what color my undereyes appear on any particular day. They’re brightening and moisturizing and I absolutely love them. I also really like the Alba Fast Fix for Undereye Circles. 

Next we need to define the skin and add a little color back in to it. I love adding a bit of bronzer to my face where the sun would naturally hit. I apply a light dusting to the forehead, cheeks, and a bit on the nose and chin. I then like to follow up with a pretty pink or coral blush. The brighter the better when you’re not feeling great. I normally prefer matte products but a little shimmer cat add a gorgeous luminosity to skin that isn’t at it’s best. I like to use a dual fiber brush so I don’t apply too much but still get a pretty flushed look. I've been reaching for Kari Gran's Mineral Blush a lot lately because it provides a perfect pink pop to my cheeks.

Adding highlight is a great way to make skin look luminous and supple. I apply to the tops of my cheekbones and on to the apple of my cheek, in a c shape above the brow and down the center of the nose, as well as on my cupids bow.

Lip color is a simple and effective way of looking healthier. Find a color that makes your skin tone pop. Mine is coral. When I’m feeling really sick I like to add a splash of coral to my lips and it makes me look much more vibrant and awake. Shell Shock Tinted Lip Conditioner by Ilia is my go to shade. Whichever type of lipstick you decide to go for make sure your lips are moisturized! Dry lips are a dead giveaway that something is wrong.

Don’t forget to curl your lashes and apply a generous coat of mascara to make your eyes appear bigger and brighter. I also like to add some definition to my brows, since they do frame the face. And I take a little of the same bronzer I used on my face and blend it through my crease.

Makeup isn’t all mighty or important but it can make you look better than you feel sometimes which in turn can help you feel better on the inside as well. You can do as little or as much as you feel like doing. 

If you didn't know, I also have a blog detailing my journey of being well while living with chronic illness. You can check it out by clicking here.

Do you have any beauty tips for when you’re not feeling well, whether you’re chronically ill like me or occasionally catch a cold or the flu?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Planner Giveaway!

I’ve been a big, huge, enormous fan of paper planners for years. I used them in high school, then college, and continued into adulthood. I’ve noticed that lately paper planning has become a trendy thing with YouTube channels devoted to decorating and planning videos. I’m not that obsessed but I do love using my planner as a sort of memory book, writing down important events and things that I want to remember. I also use my planner for blogging purposes, medical appointments and keeping track of symptoms, and my shopping habits.

I usually pick up a new planner every year from Target (anyone else here absolutely love Target? I could spend hours in there just getting lost and looking at everything) and last year I picked up a Sugar Paper Planner that I really, really loved. Recently, however, I won an Erin Condren gift card so I’m currently using one of their LifePlanners. I’m still getting used to it because it’s quite different than my last one, but I am really enjoying it. Check out my cute interchangeable cover in the photo below. Isn’t it the cutest? That’s my favorite picture of Hunter and I’m so excited to have him on my cover.

Anyway, before the Erin Condren came into my life I was planning on using this one from Sakroots. I’m not going to be using it now, though, so I wanted to give it away to one of you!

All you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. All entries will be verified. Good luck! Open Worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Talk About Tools - José Eber QuickShine Infrared Blow Dryer

I used the same dryer for over 10 years. It was pink and perfect and I absolutely loved it. I remember getting it the day before my family and I went on vacation for spring break in Cabo San Lucas my senior year in high school. We had to drive an hour and a half away to get to the airport and we had an early flight so we stayed the night before and did some shopping at the mall (since we don’t have one in the tiny country town where we live). We got it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It was around $40 and I remember thinking that was kind of expensive at the time but it lasted so long and was a perfect hair dryer through college and beyond.

Sadly, it passed away in May and at the same time I was offered the chance to test out and possibly review the José Eber QuickShine Infrared Blow Dryer. The timing was ideal and even though I was sad about the death of my beloved dryer, I was so excited to try a new one, especially from a hair genius like José Eber. I’m always trying to incorporate reviews of tools and other beauty related products to the Beautiful Basics roster.

 At $160 this particular model isn’t cheap but it works beautifully, leaving my hair dry, soft, and surprisingly luminous. It claims to dry hair at least 50% more quickly than standard dryers and while I haven’t timed my drying process (ever) I can verify that my hair is dried really quickly but gently without any damage.  It leaves my strands shiny and smooth.

The unit itself is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. It fits perfectly in my hand and easy use to hold up and handle. I absolutely love the size of this dryer. It’s small but packs a full size punch that can compete with any blow dryer around. It’s also fairly quiet.

Here are some of the advertised features of this blow dryer from their website:
- Far infrared light infuses gentle, healthy heat into the core of the cuticle - not the surface of the hair shaft like traditional blow dryers - providing high shine and smoothness.
- Never feels too hot, the Infrared Blow Dryer emits a cooler heat as it dries, eliminating burns and hot spots to the hair and scalp.
- Quick drying time by 50%. Even with a cooler heat, the QuickShine Dryer dries hair in half the time.
- Four variable speed and heat settings allow great control and adjustment ability for any hair type. Plus, a cool shot button helps set any style.
- Ultra Lightweight design.
- Built with a lightweight D/C motor. 
- 1500 watts

If you’re in the market for a new dryer I highly recommend this one. You can learn more about this particular model by clicking here or you can visit the José Eber website by clicking here.

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

Talk About Lip Care - Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm

I'm a believer in spoiling yourself and taking good care of your skin with luxurious and healthy products and lip care is no exception. If you've been reading Beautiful Basics for a while you already know how sensitive my lips are but if you're new around here all you need to know is that my lips are incredibly finicky and temperamental, so I have to be extremely careful with what I apply to my pout and lately I've been loving Henné Organics and their Luxury Lip Balm.

Beautifully formulated with a simple list of 99% certified organic ingredients (Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Vitamin E) this rich and buttery balm is a powerhouse that soothes, hydrates, and protects. This American made and cruelty free product is housed in a beautiful MIRON violet glass jar that looks great sitting on your vanity/desk/night stand and also protects the balm from harmful UV rays that can potentially change the product and helps extends its shelf life. This lip balm is beautiful inside and out.

With a mission to bring the world something high-end but simple this company brings something special to the green beauty market and I think you'll love Henné Organics' luxe lip balm. If you want to learn more about the company or the product you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also connect with Henné Organics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Travel Beauty Bag Giveaway (CLOSED)

I haven't always appreciated fall and all the beauty it has to offer, but this year I am fully embracing it and my love for the changing leaves, crisp air, cute sweaters and boots, and just about everything else that makes this beautiful season what it is. When I was younger I would have told you that summer was my favorite season but I think I have to go with fall now and even my pup, Cooper, is loving it! To celebrate fall and this magical time of year I have a little giveaway for you today.

One lucky winner, from anywhere in the world, will win this cute bag full of beauty goodies. The beauty products in this bag aren't very fall-ish but they're all great anyway! The travel-sized goodies inside the bag are Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner from Desert Essence, Shikai Yuzu Shower Gel, Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer, and a Whole Foods Organic Lip Balm in Cranberry Orange.

To enter the giveaway use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. You can do as many or as few options as you would like. All entries will be verified. Don't forget to "like" this post and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 5, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Gabriel Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trios

Gabriel Cosmetics is a really awesome company that creates a broad line of affordable cruelty-free and non-toxic cosmetics and I'm a big fan. Judging from how many of you ask for my thoughts on their products and the brand itself I'm guessing a lot of you are fans too!

I recently got the opportunity to test out all three of their new Eyeshadow Trios, two of which are all matte and the other is shimmery. These trios are set up to be all you need to create a complete eye look with a highlight, lid shade, and crease color. They are completely vegan, gluten-free, and are made up of a short list of healthy ingredients. Want to know what I think about each individual trio? Keep reading!

One of the three palettes really stood out for me and became an absolute favorite and go-to palette and that would be the Classic Trio, a lovely combination of matte nude shadows that are perfect for daily wear. This particular trio features a cool soft pink, neutral deep brown, and warm taupe. Each shade is beautifully pigmented and formulated. These shadows are so rich and buttery. They also apply and blend flawlessly. I'm so in love with this trio and if these shades are the type you gravitate towards I would have to suggest that you place an order right now. You won't be disappointed! These are nude matte shadows at their finest! I have been using this trio almost every time I've worn makeup since receiving these and I have been able to use the three shades in many different ways to come up with various nude and classic looking eyes. It leaves me with a very soft and feminine look that I adore.

The other matte one is the Smokey Trio, comprised of a neutral ivory, cool charcoal gray, and cool soft gray shadows. I'm a bit disappointed with this trio. With the stunning pigmentation of the Classic Trio I was expecting this one to be similar but it is lacking a bit. However, I think this particular trio would be fantastic for makeup beginners or younger girls (or guys!) because it's really hard to go overboard with these shadows. I'm quite fair and I have to do a lot of building to get these shades to show up very well on my skin, with the exception of the charcoal color, which is my favorite of the three. I like using it as a very soft powder liner on days when I want definition without having to do much work.

Smokey Shimmer is the final trio that has a soft pink with platinum shimmer, charcoal black with gold shimmer, and sandy taupe with warm shimmer. I think this trio is the most pigmented of the bunch and the shadows have a really luxurious feel to them. They do have a bit of fallout but nothing too extreme that a powder brush can't sweep away. I personally would never wear only shimmer shadows on my eyes so this isn't a complete palette for me but I love each shade and use them as accent colors with different products. These ones are really fun and I like them a lot!

Are you a fan of Gabriel Cosmetics? I want to know what your favorite products are so leave me a comment and let me know!

To learn more about Gabriel Cosmetics and their products you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Talk About Skin Care - Rooted Beauty

I'm always willing to splash out a little extra cash for skincare because skin is important and we need to protect it for an entire lifetime but as more and more consumers start caring about what ingredients are in their personal care products and as green beauty becomes more mainstream we are starting to see highly effective and affordable products popping up all over the market.

Rooted Beauty has a line of high quality and healthy products as well as an awesome cause and platform. Through their Woman2Woman Project each Rooted Beauty product helps a specific woman escape extreme poverty and trafficking. This project helps women all over the world become self-sufficient and allows each woman to ensure long-term stability and freedom. Once a project has been fully funded they select a new woman to sponsor, as part of a continuous cycle. You can actually learn about the women and their personal goals by clicking here.

Rooted Beauty products are free from any toxic chemicals and are instead created using all natural ingredients that are beneficial and completely safe for the skin and the planet. In addition, their products are cruelty free and housed in an Eco-Squeeze Tube that is made from 35% PCR and is completely recyclable. Oh, and if you avoid Gluten you're in luck because their entire range is 100% Gluten Free!

I selected two of their facial care products, the Hydrating Mango Passion Facial Cleanser and the Calming Kiwi Melon Facial Scrub, to test out and I've fallen in love with the entire experience of Rooted Beauty. To begin with, the tubes are absolutely lovely with bold, fun coloring. They are also really generously sized and each has a price tag of under $10, making these products an incredible value.

The Hydrating Mango Passion Facial Cleanser smells lightly fruity and fresh. This cleanser is packed with powerhouse antioxidants like Thanaka Root, a powerful ingredient that comes from the root or bark of a Wood Apple Tree that helps protect and hydrate skin, Passionfruit, which helps firm and tighten the skin, and Mango, which is very moisturizing. This cleanser is extremely gentle but leaves the skin feeling hydrated, refreshed, and cleansed without stripping the skin or interrupting the natural balance of healthy moisture. It lathers nicely and leaves my skin feeling so clean and clear.

The Calming Kiwi Melon Facial Scrub is an extremely gentle scrub that can be used daily or as frequently as you would like. It keeps pores clean while calming skin that is easily irritated. This product packs a big time skin renewing punch thanks to Goji Berry while Kiwi and Melon calm and soothe. It leaves my skin looking and feeling fresh, instead of feeling itchy or irritated and never leaves my skin looking red like some scrubs can. Like the cleanser, this scrub also has a beautiful fresh and fruity scent.

Rooted Beauty is a company with a vision and a beautiful mission to inspire women around the world and keep our bodies and the planet healthy. You can learn more about Rooted Beauty by visiting their website. You can also check out their full range of products here. You can also connect with Rooted Beauty on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Whole Foods Travel Bag GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

I don't live anywhere near a Whole Foods, which is kind of sad but is ultimately a good thing for my bank account, but my parents were in Portland during my Dad's Bone Marrow Transplant and my Mom managed to snag a couple of these awesome travel bags that have a retail value of $40. I had her get one for me and I, of course, couldn't forget about you guys so she grabbed one for you as well.

I'm going to open this up to all of you, whether you're located in the US or somewhere super exotic that I've never even heard of. However, if you're an International reader and you happen to be the lucky winner I'm going to remove the nail polish from your prize. If you're in the US you'll get everything featured in the pictures.

Without further ado, to enter the giveaway give this post a like and use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. There is only one mandatory entry and after that you can do as many or as few of the options as you wish. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 17, 2015

Talk About It - Chloe + Isabel (+GIVEAWAY - CLOSED)

A little while ago on the Beautiful Basics Facebook page I asked you all if you would be interested in seeing posts about things other than beauty. The majority of you said you would love to see some fashion and style posts so today we're trying something new and talking about jewelry.

I've been watching Royal Pains on Netflix and the two leading ladies wear the most spectacular and drool worthy necklaces, as well as other jewelry. Anyone else watch Royal Pains? It's great! You should check it out. Anyway, my adoration of the stunning statement necklaces that Divya and Paige wear helped lead me to Chloe + Isabel. I'm seriously, ridiculously obsessed with the product line. I have a few pieces and absolutely love each and every one of them. The quality is impressive, and even comes with a lifetime guarantee, and the pieces are gorgeous. They feature a vast array of jewelry and there is something for everyone, whether you prefer trendy pieces or classics.

I'm hosting a Pop Up through Victoria Mast and if you're interested you can get some really awesome deals and also enter a giveaway at the bottom of this post. Before that though, I want to share a little more about Chloe + Isabel with you.

Chloe + Isabel was founded by a woman named Chantel Waterbury after a 15-year career in jewelry design, development, and merchandising at corporations like Target, Macy's, Gap and brands like Kenneth Cole, Cartier, and Tiffany. With the economy in a not very good place she wondered how she could use her experience and skill set to make a difference in the lives of young women which is how Chloe + Isabel was born. It is a brand that can allow any woman to be an entrepreneur.

Victoria, for example, is a Chloe +Isabel Merchandiser but she is also an actress. Here is her bio from her boutique page: "As a struggling actress, any roles I am cast in at this point are unpaid, so I needed a way to fund my career. Haha! Don't hear that too often! C+I had been a blessing, helping me pay my bills & allowing me to follow my dreams. Since C+I allows me to make my own hours, I can still audition, film, attend classes & work my other jobs. Thank you for all your support! Merci!"

I think the Deco Fanfare Statement Pendant Necklace is one of my favorite necklaces of all time. I love mixed metals and it's such a statement without being too over the top. It's a heavy piece but not in an uncomfortable way. I have gotten so many compliments while wearing it. I like to wear it with a simple, solid v-neck t-shirt and jeans but you can easily dress it up. I can't recommend it enough.

As a lot of you know I am very ill. Part of my illness is that my fingers swell and I can't wear rings. I have the Lunette Open Band Ring and the open design allows me to wear it pain free. I really enjoy it and I feel like it adds a little something special to any outfit.

When bracelet stacking became so popular I was so excited because I love the look of multiple bracelets. It's such a fun way to express yourself. I love how easy this Bead + Chain Multi-Wrap Bracelet is to wear. It's incredibly comfortable as well, which is super important. This bracelet is essentially me in bracelet form. They have many different colors so you're bound to find one you love. You can also wear it as a necklace, which is just as fun!

These Pearl + Crystal Floral Filigree Earrings are so pretty! I can never get over how gorgeous they are. They're not uncomfortable and they don't drag my ears down at all.

Victoria is offering some really awesome deals just for you Beauties if you shop through this link!
Every new customer order gets free round studs (and if you want your specific birthstone you can message her on her Facebook page with your order number and let her know which one you want)
Orders of $100+ get free shipping
Orders of $150+ get a charm or 2 birthstone rings (you can message her about your preference)
And she usually sends freebies for new customers!

If you want to know which pieces are on my wish list I'm really loving the Bora Bora Short Pendant Necklace, Silver and Navy Bead + Chain Multi-Wrap Bracelet, and the Morningtide Convertible Collar Necklace.

If you want to shop and pick up a piece or two (or three or four!) use this link. It should automatically put you into my Pop Up but if it doesn't please select my name, Kassie Harris, from the drop down menu. You can also find Victoria on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

She is also doing a giveaway for you and I'm so excited about it because the set is amazing! If you enter the giveaway you can possibly win a Lunette Set, which includes the Oval Drop Earrings, Stackable Cuff Bracelet Set and Convertible Pendant Necklace. How gorgeous are these?

If you want to enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. There is only one mandatory entry. You can do as many or as few of the options as you would like. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 3, 2015

NOW Solutions Giveaway!!! (CLOSED)

Hello there Beautiful! Remember the post I uploaded last week sharing my thoughts on NOW Solutions? Well, if you're in the US and you're interested in trying everything I received I'm giving you all the opportunity to enter to win your own box full of goodies.

If you missed my review or want a refresher on what you can win you can check out my post by clicking here.

If you're interested in winning all of these natural goodies you can use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. All entries will be verified. This one is only open to those of you in the US. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Talk About It - NOW Solutions

Whether you're new to natural beauty or you've been enjoying the spoils of the natural beauty aisles for a while now, you're probably somewhat familiar with NOW Solutions. I was contacted by the company and offered the chance to feature them on Beautiful Basics. NOW Solutions is a family owned company that has been creating and selling cruelty free personal care products made with only pure ingredients since 1968. Their products are high quality, affordable, and accessible! They have a fantastic selection of products you can use to stock your beauty pantry with, like essential oils and carrier oils, or ready to use formulas, like cleansers and moisturizers.

I think the products from their line that stand out most for someone like me, who likes DIY beauty, is what I like to call the beauty pantry staples. These are the products that you can use to produce your own beauty creations that every green goddess needs in her arsenal.

They have so many essential oils, organic and not, to choose from. Peppermint is my absolute all-time favorite essential so I obviously had to try the NOW version and I also selected 3 more of my favorites to test out. I went for the Certified Organic Essential Oils and I'm so pleased with them, with the exception of the Lavender – more on that in a sec. The Peppermint is such a beautiful and true essential oil. I'm in love with it. I'm a migraineur so I'm always appreciative of a good peppermint and this one is pleasant, perfect, and refreshing. The Tea Tree is your typical Tea Tree and the Orange is light and fresh, my Mom's favorite! I'm not really sure why I don't like the Lavender but it smells like artificial lavender to my oversensitive sniffer. Maybe I just don't like Lavender Essential Oil? I've always used another well-known brands essentials oils but these are far superior and I highly recommend them. I also love the bottles and simple but pretty labels.

Next on the agenda is the rest of the DIY lineup including a humectant, carrier oils, and clay. You can mix and match these oils to your hearts content to come up with the perfect ration for you and your skin type. I've been experimenting with Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, and Organic Argan Oil. All of NOW's oils that I just mentioned, with the exception of the Organic Argan Oil which comes in a dark glass bottle with a dropper, are housed in clear bottles that contains UV light protection. They are all expeller-pressed and Hexane free.

Each oil has wonderful hydrating properties and can be used for different things. I love to add a few drops of Castor Oil to my hair conditioner and I love to use the Coconut Oil as a base for scrub recipes while the Almond and Argan Oils make great skin moisturizers. I think the Avocado Oil is my favorite because it's so rich and deeply hydrating which is perfect for us dry skinned gals.

Vegetable Glycerin is a must have humectant that helps bind water to the skin and is great to add into almost any DIY beauty recipe. You can add a few drops it to your shampoo, conditioner, facial moisturizer, or serum for an extra boost of hydration. The Moroccan Red Clay Powder has become one of my favorite go to products for an easy mask that is gentle on my sensitive skin but helps purify, brighten, and make my skin look better. I love the stuff! It's messy but that's part of the fun. I simply mix some of the powder with water, adding honey sometimes for an extra something special, and apply the paste to my skin and let dry. I can feel it tightening my pores as it dries but it's not one of those masks that hurts or feels really uncomfortable. My skin loves it and I love the result once I rinse it off.

Now let's move on to my thoughts on their personal care products that I've been testing out.

I've been alternating between the Vitamin C & Oryza Sativa Gentle Scrub and Nature's Microderm when my skin needs a little exfoliation. Both are surprisingly gentle but pack quite the brightening punch. My skin has a tendency to get a bit irritated but these two scrubs are mild and leave my skin looking renewed and healthy without the redness that sometimes goes along with exfoliation.

I was also sent the Vitamin C & Sea Buckthorn Moisturizer for face and the Vitamin C & Sea Buckthorn Lotion for body. I absolutely love the Moisturizer and the way it makes my face feel. It's the perfect day cream and wears beautifully under makeup and doesn't cause any meltdown. The body lotion is nice but nothing special. Both have a very nice scent and leave behind a lovely amount of moisture without feeling tacky, sticky, or greasy.

Finally, let's discuss the Citrus Moisture Shampoo and Citrus Moisture Conditioner. I really like the way these smell, very light and clean. They are both fairly basic but they're nice and leave my hair feeling manageable and soft. The shampoo lathers really well and the conditioner is very moisturizing without being heavy and it never leaves my hair looking limp or greasy.

To learn more about NOW you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Thanks Giveaway! (CLOSED)

My posting has been a little sparse this summer because I've got a lot going on in my life. My Dad has a fairly rare type of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma and he is currently in the hospital 5 hours away from home. He just received a bone marrow transplant and is on his way to kicking cancers butt! And you might also know that I am also chronically ill and I've been feeling quite under the weather as of lately. As you can imagine the whole situation is making for a very different kind of summer.

I'm trying to write as much as possible but I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for your patience and support. Beautiful Basics means so much to and I absolutely love being able to share my thoughts on natural products with you all. I test products and write about them for each and every one of you. Thank you for liking my blog and sharing posts and leaving comments. Each time I get to interact with you I am so appreciative of the support.

I've got two of my popular beauty grab bags to give to two lucky Beautiful Basics readers. This giveaway is open internationally, because so many of you come from places in the world that I've only ever dreamed of going. Give this post a like and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. There are a lot of options but only two that are mandatory. You can do as many or a few entry options as you would like. All entries will be verified. The first randomly selected winner will be able to pick which bag he or she would like. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Antonym Cosmetics

So many of you have asked me to review Antonym Cosmetics and your wish is my desire so, here is a run down on some of their products. If you haven't heard of Antonym Cosmetics yet here is what you need to know: They are an eco-friendly cosmetics company combining technology and natural ingredients to create luxurious and healthy products that are Ecocert Certified and cruelty free. The range is made up of premium quality eye shadows, lipstick pencils, mascara, eye pencils, baked foundations and baked blushes as well as a complete collection of 20 vegan makeup brushes.

First thing is first, the packaging is amazing and ecosexy. Have you ever seen such lovely products? I don't think I have and luckily the actual products inside the pretty packaging are pretty awesome too, so this brand is a big time winner in my book.

The Baked Blush in Rose is the newest addition to the Antonym roster and it's my new favorite blush, hands down. I have been using this blush and only this blush since it arrived. There is something so magical about this blush. It's the perfect combination of brown and pink. It's been great for these warmer weather months but I think it will also transition beautifully into the colder seasons. It gives me a natural flush that adds a vibrant and healthy look to my skin. I always feel pretty when I'm wearing it. It's a flirty shade that never looks over the top and goes with any and all eye looks and lip combinations. The formula is buttery, rich, and weightless so it never looks flaky or powdery. It seems to melt into the skin and looks absolutely stunning and fresh. It lasts throughout the day and doesn't tend to fade. I also think you're getting a lot of product for your money so it's definitely worth the $36 price tag. It's perfect! I can't recommend this beautiful blush enough.

I've also been playing with the Lipstick Pencil in Pinkish. These chummy pencils are always great purse lippies because they're easy to apply. This one is a really pretty neutral shimmery pink. The color is fun and feminine! I'm impressed with the staying power! It lasts a very long time on my lips. I don't find it very hydrating but it's also not drying or irritating on my ridiculously sensitive lips.

I was also sent the Lip Brush #15 but I haven't really gotten a lot of use of it. I love the handle but I find that I do a better job of applying lip color with the actual product so I don't tend to reach for this brush often.

The final thing I got to experiment with is the Lola Lash Mascara. I really love the wand, which is curved and I also love how black the formula is. It provides my lashes with a natural but defined look and seems to do an excellent job conditioning lashes. It's a great daily mascara but I do find that I get some smudging throughout the day. It's very gentle and doesn't irritate my eyes at all.

Have you tried any of their products or do you have your eye on any? I'm coveting their Baked Foundation in Light and the Noisette Eye Shadow Quattro as well as their full range of blushes. If you couldn't tell, I really love their blush!

To learn more about Antonym Cosmetics and their product offerings you can visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Talk About Nail Polish - mint

There are a lot of nail polish brands out there with fabulous color ranges and formulas that are smooth and easy to work with but I think I may have recently discovered the polish of my dreams. If you haven't heard of mint, you need to head over to their website and add some beautiful shades to your online shopping cart. Talk about creamy, dreamy, and oh so gorgeous! If you're looking for high quality, vegan and cruelty free nail color without toxic chemicals then you're going to absolutely love this Californian brand.

Please remember that I'm not a nail polish blogger, nor am I very good at painting my nails but I have fun trying and wanted to show you all these awesome polishes even though my cuticles are a mess.

Check out this amazing and super stunning polish called Moonlit Stroll! I'm beyond in love. Do you blame me? I mean, seriously! Look at it! It's beautiful and I feel like it's really flattering with my skin tone. I think it would look great on many different skin tones. It's a whimsical and wearable shade. It's a beautiful and very feminine cross between nude and mauve with a lovely gold shimmer throughout. The formula is beautiful and so easy to work with. I think this may be my favorite polish of all time, or at least very near the top of the list.

Sweet Liberty is the perfect color to tock on tips and toes this summer. I think this particular polish was made to go hand in hand with sunshine and sandals. It's a beautiful creamy bright orange red that just screams warm weather, vacation, and lounging by the pool. I always have a really hard time using crème colors but this one has an excellent formula that is opaque with only one coat.

When I opened the box and saw Peligroso, I wasn't sure I would like it but I'm happy to say that I actually really enjoy the color and the formula. It's a bright orange with a really fun and interesting shimmer in it. The shimmer can look orange, gold, yellow and green depending on the light. The formula is like a jelly polish and is really awesome and easy to use. The color and shimmer build beautifully.

The final polish I was sent is called Tart, which is a really pretty yellow crème. I honestly could not make this one look good on me. The color didn't really work on me and I couldn't get the formula to apply smoothly onto my nail. Remember how I said I usually had a hard time with crème polish? Well, this just cemented that theory. I do think it's a really gorgeous color though!

Also worth a mention are the simple yet beautiful box and glass bottle these polishes are housed in.

If you want to check out mint's shade range or learn more about the company and their product offerings you ca visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Want to know which shades are on my nail polish wish list? Original Mint, Ming, Slumber Party, Dirty Shirley, and Bouquet Toss! Which shades are you coveting?