Thursday, January 28, 2016

Clean but not Green - First Aid Beauty

If you’re a long time reader of Beautiful Basics you already know how sensitive to smells I am. If you’re new all you need to know if that I am chronically ill and have the nose of a bloodhound. The majority of scents, natural or not, bother me a lot so I have to be really careful with fragrance. I have a joke that unscented is my signature scent. With that being said, a lot of natural products are not scented with added fragrance but do have a natural scent because of the ingredients. With my illnesses I am often unable to handle scent in products, especially in skin care.

For the first installment of the “Clean but not Green” series here on Beautiful Basics I want to tell you about First Aid Beauty and their Face Cleanser and Ultra Repair Cream. These are the only two skin care products I have been using for quite a while and I really, really love and appreciate them. My skin (and nose!) really crave this duo.  Oh, and they’re cruelty free, which is a must!

Both of these products score a 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep so I’m more than okay with using them on a daily basis. They’re both gentle and mild while still being hydrating and nurturing.

The cleanser is simple but works amazingly well both morning and evening. It leaves my skin feel clean but not stripped or lacking in moisture. It seems to balance my skin out and leaves my skin an even texture. It doesn’t cause any redness or irritation.

My dry skin drinks up the Ultra Repair Cream and I absolutely love the way it sinks into my skin and leaves my face, neck, and hands feeling throughout the day. I feel like this moisturizer was made for me! It doesn’t ever feel sticky or heavy or greasy. It also leaves my skin completely balanced.

My skin has never looked better! My skin has normalized using this pair and I don’t get any dry patches or breakouts (besides an occasional hormonal pimple). I really like this line. Not all of First Aid Beauty’s line is healthy but these two are safe and I adore them. Dare I say HOLY GRAIL? Yes, yes I will. These are my perfect products and I imagine I’ll continue using and loving them for years to come.

I also really like the Facial Radiance Pads but I only use them once in a while. My skin always glows after using them, though.

You can shop for their products on the First Aid Beauty website, Ulta, and Sephora
Have you ever tried anything from FAB? Let me know!

(FTC: I purchased these products with my own money. I am not being compensated for this review. All opinions, as always, are my own.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jade Roller Review

I asked for a Jade Roller for Christmas this year after seeing them all over the internet and Santa (aka my Mom!) made sure to wrap one and place it under the tree. I’m a beauty tool loving kind of gal so I thought I would really enjoy it but, I had no clue how much I would truly fall in love with the pretty little green skin care tool.

I’m not going to go into depth about the history of Jade Rollers or anything, but you can google it to learn more. The one I have is from GingerChi and they have really great customer service, which is something that really matters to me. You can check out their website by clicking here.

This is going to sound quite dramatic since I’ve only been using my Jade Roller for exactly a month, but I have seen a massive, enormous, really big difference in my skin! It’s actually kind of insane. I have some fine lines around my eyes, mouth and forehead (I am almost 30, after all!) and a lot of puffiness under my eyes as well.

This tool has somehow smoothed my skin out so much and my fine lines, although still there, have diminished quite a bit and the (3) lines on my forehead have been reduced by at least half. The puffiness under my eyes has gotten so much better and I forgot to tell you about my chronic sinusitis! It has helped my sinus pain, buildup, and pressure so much. It’s unbelievable! I love how cold the stones feel and how it leaves my skin looking and feeling. I’ve been doing it every night and I can see myself continuing the ritual for years and years to come.

I kept this review pretty short but my love for this handy little tool is immense and I highly recommend it to every one of you!

(FTC: This product was a Christmas gift from my wonderful parents. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.) 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DIY Beauty - Sweet Coffee Body Scrub

Beautiful Basics originally started as a page dedicated to simple DIY beauty and even though the blog changed a bit somewhere along the way I still love and appreciate a good kitchen cabinet beauty recipe. If you’re a fan of body scrubs and the full-bodied scent of coffee then look no further than this super easy to make at home scrub.

What you’ll need:
¼ cup of coffee grounds - fresh or used will work fine
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of your favorite skin friendly oil - I used sweet almond but you can use whatever you like most!
10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil – peppermint is my favorite essential oil and the scent is perfect for perking up tired skin
A few drops of vanilla extract – this adds a sweet and delicious scent (this part is optional)

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well to make sure everything is blended together. Store in a jar and use in the shower or tub. This scrub is exfoliating but also hydrating.

Be aware that using oils in products in the shower or bathtub can leave behind a slick film, so be sure to be careful after using. It might even be a good idea to clean your shower after using, that’s what I always do!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January Goodbeing

Oh Goodbeing, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

Okay, that was a bit Shakespearean for my tastes, but I really do love receiving subscription box Goodbeing in my mailbox every month. There is something really special about going out to receive your mail and discovering a box full of healthy, non-toxic beauty, wellness and lifestyle products. And since I am a Goodbeing Ambassador I get to share the experience with you, the Beautiful Basics family, every month.

If you’re not familiar with Goodbeing all you need to know is that it is a customizable subscription service with several different plans to choose from. You can purchase a subscription or a single box for yourself or as a gift for someone else. Depending on which plan you purchase you can pay as little as $18 for a subscription or $21 per box if you would prefer to pay as you go. Each month you will receive 4-5 trial-sized (and sometimes even full sized) products that have been selected for you based on your member profile. You get to tell Goodbeing exactly what you like and dislike in the in depth survey you are asked to fill out when you sign up. You can specify scents you like and dislike, particular shades of cosmetics you’re interested in, and what your skin is like.

If you want to see what I received in my December Goodbeing Box before we move on the January Box you can click here to check out my review by clicking here.

What was in my January Goodbeing Box:
Curandera Kapalabati Cold & Sinus Herbal Oil
Graydon Clinical All Over Face & Body Lotion
Balanced Guru Face it Off Cleansing Oil
Balanced Guru Tone it Smoothly Toner
Balanced Guru Nourish Me Facial Serum (Full Size!)

I think this box featured an interesting assortment of products. I’m not a big fan of Graydon Clinical Luxury and the Cold & Sinus Oil is way too strong smelling for me to use (even if I were sick) but I like the fact that an entire skincare regimen was included. The cleansing oil is good, gentle but effective, and the serum is also really nice.

Overall, I’m happy with the box because I was introduced to some new skincare products that I may not have tried otherwise and I’m looking forward to my next box!

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

(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.) 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lina Hanson Global Baby Serum

Have you heard of celebrity makeup artist and natural beauty expert Lina Hanson and her luxe line consisting of three totally natural and glorious oils (one for face, one for body, and another for baby) and perfume oil? If you haven’t you should click here to check out their website because their products are pure, simple, beautiful, and highly effective.

I gave my Mom the Global Body Serum for Mother’s Day and she constantly made comments about how much she enjoyed the dreamy oil. She loved everything about it from the delicious creamy orangesicle scent to the intensely moisturizing, but not greasy hydration it provided her skin and the way it left her skin looking and feeling.

Her bottle has, however, very sadly run out, but she knew that I’ve been lusting over the Global Baby Serum, which is just as luxurious as it’s older sister but without any scent whatsoever, so she gave me a bottle for Christmas. Yes, the product has the word “baby” in the name but it would be suitable for anyone and I’m now a huge fan.

I haven’t been using it very long but I absolutely love the stuff! If you’re new to Beautiful Basics you might not know how sensitive I am to scent and fragrance, artificial or pure and natural. I’m pleased to be able to tell you that this rich and magically light oil is completely free from any scent at all. I apply it to damp skin when I step out of the shower and it is easy to apply and absorbs quickly into my skin leaving behind the slight sheen of healthy, happy, and hydrated skin.

It is 100% natural, vegan, cruelty free and free from essential oils, tree nut oil, parabens, artificial fragrance, silicone, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances or any other chemical ingredient. It’s a powerhouse of a product  that managed to be extremely gentle while doing a super job of nourishing, healing, softening and hydrating. I tend to get quite itchy and have eczema on my hands but this serum has helped my skin heal quite dramatically.

Here is a list of the ingredients that make this product such a superstar:
Watermelon Seed Oil, Safflower Seed Oil*, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Sunflower Seed Oil*, Camellia Seed Oil*, Apricot Kernel Oil, Grape Seed Oil, and Non-GMO Tocopherol. *Certified Organic

Thanks Mom for getting me this wonderful serum!

I really love it and can’t recommend it enough. If you’re sensitive to scent like I am, or you’re a Mother with a baby (or even an older child) you might want to check this product out. If you’re more like my Mom and love beautifully scented products you can check out the Global Body Serum instead. Both are absolutely lovely products to add into your beauty arsenal!

(FTC: This product was a Christmas gift from my wonderful parents. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.) 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

San Francisco Salt Company Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt

I really love taking baths and I especially love taking salty baths, with a particular fondness for Pink Himalayan Salt. As someone who is ill and often in pain I can really appreciate a good bottle, bag, box, or jar of bath salts. However, anyone can benefit from a good soak because your body will absorb the nutrients and minerals from the water and soften skin and soothe muscle aches and pains. To keep this post short and sweet you should head over to Google and search the benefits of soaking in a Himalayan Salt Bath, the list is long.

Anyway, my parents gave me a big bag of San Francisco Salt Company’s Sherpa Pink Himalayan Bath Salts as a Christmas Gift and it’s probably the best bath salt I have ever used. My parents got me the medium grains so they take a little more time than your average fine bath salt to dissolve but they do so thoroughly. These granules turn the water slightly pink and makes a noticeable and almost immediate difference in my skin and the way my body feels in the tub as well as when I get out. I always feel better after bathing in these ancient and very beautiful pink grains of salt that have been dissolved in a tub of blissfully warm water.

They leave me feeling more balanced, do a great job of decreasing my aches, and leave my skin feeling detoxified and super soft. The company has a long list of other types of salts, some unscented and some with scent, so there should be something for everyone. I really love my bag of Pink Himalayan Bath Salts so I’m a big fan of the company even though I’ve only tried one of their product offerings. You can visit their website by clicking here.

Do you have a favorite salt or bath soak? 
Leave me a comment and let me know!

(FTC: This product was a Christmas gift from my wonderful parents. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Green Truth

I think it’s important that I always stay completely true and honest with you all. I never had the intention of creating a false vision of myself on Beautiful Basics but I think that’s exactly what I have done. I try to live my life as cleanly and as greenly (is that a word) as possible but sometimes I use products that aren’t totally pure or I decide I have to have a piece of candy that's not very healthy or organic.

Don’t get me wrong, I always read levels and I always make sure products that I use have not been tested on animals but I do, in fact, use some products that are not totally natural and/or organic and I’m okay with that. I started out using only products that were certified organic and natural but have been branching out as of late. I think there is a lot of pressure in this community to be perfectly, 100% green and I believe in reading labels and finding products that work for you whether the product is branded as a totally green product or not.

For example, I love First Aid Beauty. Their basic line (with the blue label) features a 1 rating on EWG Skin Deep, meaning the products are totally safe. First Aid Beauty isn’t marketed as a natural beauty brand but a lot of their products are healthy and clean. I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but I am really sensitive to fragrance, natural or otherwise, and sometimes natural skin care companies are too strong for me. First Aid Beauty’s Cleanser and Ultra Repair Cream have no scent, are suitable for my super sensitive skin, and make me skin look and feel great.

Lately I’ve been using an eyeshadow palette from IT Cosmetics, another not natural company. If you check out the ingredients list on the back of the package, though, the palette is safe and healthy. The same goes for one of my favorite brands of all time, The Balm. TheBalm is a great company who makes beautiful blushes, highlighters, and eyeshadows that are safe for those of us who are concerned with what we put in and on our bodies. 

Other companies that I like include: Too Faced, Essence, PUR and Butter London. Tarte is a brand that is technically marketed as a natural beauty company but their products aren’t totally green like you might think. They are, however, a really great company that makes some products that are more healthy than others. 

Remember, always read the packaging. Some products might have parabens and other toxic sludge so be careful but also know that you don’t have to shop for only organic beauty to find products that are healthy. Not all products from these Clean but not Green companies are perfect for people trying to live a clean life but if you read the ingredients you’ll be able to find many products that are.

As for food, that’s a whole other story but I think that living a balanced life is the best option. I’m a vegetarian who eats 95% natural, as much organic as I can get, but sometimes gives in to cravings because life would be boring otherwise.

So, tell me in the comments how green you are? Are you, like me, and interested more in ingredients lists than green marketing? Would you be interested in a Clean but not Green series where I feature healthy products from brands that aren’t truly natural? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, New Giveaway

Can you believe that it's 2016? It feels like we were just beginning 2015 and somehow the year flew by and here we are. It's a fresh year with new opportunities, people to meet, sights to see, things to accomplish, and blog posts to write (or read!).

As a small thank you I want to give away this gorgeous gold wishbone necklace to one of you. I really wish I could give each and every one of you something because you have no idea how much I appreciate you and your support of Beautiful Basics. I started this blog for myself when I became ill but I have continued it for you. Every like, each comment you leave, and every time you interact with my heart is filled with so much joy and inspiration. Your continued support lets me do something that I love.

The wishbone is a symbol of luck and I want to give away something meaningful to start the year off right so I'll be giving one of you  this beautiful 18k gold plated over sterling silver wishbone necklace with a rose gold chain.

So, here's to 2016 and all of the wishes you'll make and the dreams you will have. 
I hope they all come true and that the year ahead of you is truly wonderful.

To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to all of you, wherever you may live in the world. There is only one madatory option and after that you may do as many or as few of the entry options as you would like. All entries will be verified. Thank you again for your support and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway