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?