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