Thursday, March 31, 2016

Talk About It - Pacifica 7 Free Nail Color Trio

All Pacifica products are cruelty-free and vegan and it’s pretty obvious by now that I really like a lot of their products so it’s no shock that I’m also a fan of their 7 free nail polish. Sometimes less toxic nail polishes tend to be hard to apply, streaky, or not very opaque, but their polishes are super!

Not only are they healthier, eco and animal friendly but they also go on beautifully and look heavenly after a single coat. I’m not great at painting my super short nails but this formula was so easy to use! It went on smoothly and didn’t bubble or become patchy in any way shape or form. One coat gave me flawless and opaque color (on Super Fox and Midnight Rambler, Star Dust Memories makes a great polish topper or two layer polish) that looks absolutely beautiful on the nails.

This trio features the shades Midnight Rambler, Super Fox, and Star Dust Memories. I’m actually a pink, orange and coral lovin’ lady so I wasn’t sure I would love these colors but it turns out that I really do. These shades are really pretty. 

Super Fox is a really gorgeous teal shade with silver shimmer. 

Midnight Rambler is a deep midnight blue
and Star Dust Memories is a silvery gray shimmer.

Again, please forgive my terrible application but hopefully you can get a good feel for the colors and the formula.

Another thing to note is that Midnight Rambler was a bit hard to remove. I had to scrub my nails a little more than with the others but eventually got it all off.

Check out Pacifica’s website or you can find them on (and in stores). You can also follow Pacifica on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Talk About Cosmetics - Orglamix Enlighten Cream Luminizer

I had a couple of you Beauties ask me to talk more about the Orglamix Enlighten Cream Luminizer in Illume that I received in my MarchGoodbeing box, so I wanted to devote an entire post to this magical little pot of glow.

Before I start talking about the product, I just want to tell you how impressed I am with the company and their customer service. I told you I had an issue with the product falling out of the jar every time I tried to use it. I wrote to the company and they quickly sent out a new one so I’ve got the perfect product in the perfect little pot.

I would also like to take a second to say thank you to Goodbeing for introducing me to Orglamix. I wasn’t familiar with the brand or their products before receiving this Luminizer in my latest Goodbeing box, but after checking out their website there are so many products that I’m interested in. Too bad I’m on a no-buy!

Anyway, the Enlighten Cream Luminizer comes in 3 different shades with Illume being the pinker champagne toned highlighter. I tried so many times to get a good swatch of this beautiful product but it is so much prettier in person than I can get it to look in any photo I take.

This stunning product is made with Coconut Oil, Candellila Wax, Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Rosemary Extract, Lavender Oil, Titanium Dioxide and Mica. It is vegan friendly and cruelty-free.

This creamy dream is easy to use and blends in to the skin seamlessly. It never looks glittery, greasy, overly shiny, or heavy. It somehow looks like really healthy, flawless glowing skin. I really like the formula and the finish.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this stuff amazes me. It is everything I have ever wanted in a luminizer, and more! I have dry skin that tends to look a bit flat and this cream adds so much life and vibrancy to my face. It doesn’t settle into any of my fine lines nor does it emphasize my pores. It wears well throughout the day and doesn’t end up looking splotchy or patchy at all. It actually seems to look even prettier throughout the day. This particular shade is perfect for me, too. I would have though it was too pink upon first glance but it works so well with my light skin and pairs perfectly with any blush or bronzer I decide to wear with it.

I think I should quit now because I could talk about how beautiful this product is for hours. If you’re interested in learning more about this product or checking out the other shades you can click here. You can also check out the rest of Orglamix’ offerings by checking out their website. You can also get a free $10 gift card if you sign up with your e-mail. I don’t get anything for that, I just thought I should share!  

(FTC: I received this product in my March Goodbeing box. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Talk About Hair Care - Madre Labs Thickening Shampoo

I was recently selected to try out one of iHerb’s own products from Madre Labs. I was sent their Madre LabsThickening Shampoo. I am generally super picky about shampoo, but was so excited about the pH balanced, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly shampoo. This shampoo is designed to make your hair look and feel thicker, fuller, and healthier. It’s fortified with Biotin, Panthenol, Quinoa, Flax Proteins, and Vicia Faba Seed and Loquat Extract.

Unfortunately, I was only able to use this shampoo once because of the scent. It smells absolutely lovely in the bottle, like a light and fresh citrus, but smells incredibly masculine and slightly musky once on my hair. The smell is so strong and doesn’t go away. I mean it seriously does not fade throughout the day. It took several washes to get rid of the scent.

My Dad, however, loves this shampoo. He’s been hesitant about going natural over the years because he feels like naturally based products don’t work as well as the chemicals he is used to but after using this he exclaimed, “this is the best shampoo I’ve ever used!” That’s a huge testament to this stuff because he was an avid Pert Plus only kind of guy for 20 years.

Since I couldn’t use this shampoo I asked him to give me his thoughts.

By the way, he lost all his hair last summer while going through chemotherapy and his bone marrow transplant and his hair is now back and healthier and stronger than ever. He thinks this shampoo leaves his hair feeling really clean, squeaky clean, but still soft and hydrated. He doesn’t think it’s made his hair grow thicker or fuller but does in fact make his hair feel really healthy.

So if you’re not sensitive to scents you might want to check out this lovely shampoo. I liked the way it made my hair feel the one time I used it but couldn’t continue using it because of the smell. My Dad is a big fan, though, which is great! He’s actually going on a trip soon and this is all he is planning on taking with him.

I shop at iHerb a lot and absolutely love how many different brands and products they offer. They have amazing shipping and really great prices. You can check out this shampoo at iHerb by clicking here. You can also get $5 off of your first order (with no minimum) by using the code ZJL956 or clicking here.

(FTC: I was sent this shampoo for free by iHerb and am receiving a $25 store credit for sharing my honest thoughts. If you use my coupon code I do receive a $5 credit added to my account and an ongoing 5% commission. This does not change my thoughts about the product.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Quick Talk About It - Little Twig Extra Mild Unscented Shampoo

I’ll be 29 in April but I still love a good bottle of baby shampoo, and I know I’m not the only adult who loves the stuff. Lately I’ve been using Little Twig’s Extra Mild Unscented Shampoo and I think it’s my favorite, ever!

Some baby shampoo formulas leave my hair feeling really dirty and strangely tangled but this stuff works just like a typical shampoo. It leaves my hair feeling silky soft, clean, and majorly shiny. It’s supposed to be unscented but it has a scent that (surprisingly) I really enjoy. It sort of smells like a pear jelly belly and it’s delicious. The scent doesn’t last past lathering so I enjoy the fleeting fragrance while it lasts and then I love the fact that my hair that simply smells fresh and clean without a smell.

I have an itchy scalp that tends to be stupidly sensitive and reactive (just like my lips!) and this shampoo is soothing, nourishing and leaves me itch free. My tendency to have tangles isn’t an issue when I use this shampoo (followed by my favorite Fragrance Free Desert Essence Conditioner)  and my hair seems to stay cleaner for longer.

I’m a big fan of this shampoo and I plan on checking out more of the line very soon.

Do you ever use baby shampoo on your own hair? Or any other products meant for tiny humans? 

(FTC: I purhcased this product with my own money. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March Goodbeing Review + Giveaway

My Goodbeing Box showed up last Thursday and I’ve been having so much fun playing with everything that I received. I was beyond happy when I opened up this month’s package! I think it’s the best one I’ve gotten yet and it makes me feel reenergized about Goodbeing. Not that I wasn’t enjoying it, but this month was a total winner.

Can I be honest? I always am but I need to make an itty-bitty confession. I stalk social media once I get the email telling me that my box is on the way to see what other people are getting to get an idea for what I might get. Do you cheat when it comes to subscription boxes? I try so hard not to but I just can’t help it! I saw that some people had received a Luminizer and I was desperate to be that lucky… and I was! Highlighters are my current favorite makeup product and I can’t get enough. Seeing other posts also told me that I would be receiving another Me to We Bracelet, score! But I had no clue what I would for sure be getting, which makes it exciting.

Anyway, let’s get on with it. I bet you’re anxiously awaiting the contents of my March Goodbeing box so here we go!
ME to WE Water Rafiki Bracelet ($10)
Orglamix Enlighten Luminizer in Illume (Full Size - $18)
Pangea Organics Lip Balm in Egyptian Fennel with Grapefruit & Sweet Orange ($14)
S.W. Basics Cream (Deluxe Mini - $12)
Avitalin C Concentrate Optimal Skin Protector (Deluxe Sample - $34)

It’s always nice to see such generous samples and full sized products in a subscription box and with a value of $88 this box is pretty impressive.

My favorite items from this box are the Water Rafiki Bracelet (I loved my Health Bracelet last month and I’m so excited to have another one!) and the Orglamix Enlighten Luminizer. Illume is seriously gorgeous and I’m really loving it. I appreciate the smoothness of the formula and the fact that it doesn’t have any chunky glitter in it. It’s a dreamy cream formula that makes skin glow. The shade is stunning and it makes skin look so healthy and vibrant.

My only issue with the Orglamix Enlighten Luminizer is that the product within the jar was loose so it actually fell out when I went to use it for the first time and I can’t seem to get it to stick to the pot, which I think is a bit odd, but it doesn’t change how beautiful it is so whatever.

I’ve actually received this exact Pangea Organics Lip Balm before (in a Birchbox, years ago – long before I ever went green) and I’m not a fan but my Mom is! We like to share the contents of sub boxes so I don’t mind when I don’t personally like every single item. She is a serious lip balm addict. You should see her purse! I think at any given time she has 20 of them floating around in there. 20 might be a bit of an overstatement but I’m thinking it might be scarily accurate. Back to the point, she likes this balm and will use it!

I’m a huge fan of S.W. Basics (I reviewed some of their products years ago) and I was actually just looking at their minis at Target but ended up not purchasing them so this little glass jar of goodness arrived at the ideal time. I really like the simplicity of this cream and the size of the jar is so perfect. I’ll be sticking this in my travel beauty bag to take on my next trip but I can assure you it will, in fact, be used and enjoyed.

The only thing I’m not sold on is the Avitalin C Concentrate Optimal Skin Protector. It sounds really nice but I don’t love the smell. I haven’t tested it out because of my issues with smells, but I’m tempted to try it out soon because it sounds like an amazing product. I’ll keep you updated if I do try it out eventually.

And finally (not pictured) is a $10 Swap Credit Code for

How awesome was this box? I’m so impressed! Which product(s) sounds like you something you would love to try? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

If you're interested in signing up for Goodbeing you can use my code by clicking on this link. You'll get a bonus item in your first box. This offer expires on March 30th.

And... I’m giving one away to one of you! To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form below. There is only one mandatory entry and after that you can do as many or as few of the options as you would like. This giveaway is open to those of you in the US only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beautiful Basics 5th Blogiversary

I’m 28 years old (turning 29 on April 10th) 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.

Beautiful Basics was born when I became ill. I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraine, and some other not very fun stuff as well. The original thought and hope when I first became sick was that I would get better but as time passes I find myself getting worse and worse. It was really hard for me to go from working to being disabled and unable to do much of anything so I sat down and thought long and hard about what I could do and what I wanted to do with my time. 

I have a passion for all things beauty and green living and I’ve always loved reading beauty blogs and watching vlogs on YouTube so I decided to try my hand at blogging. Beautiful Basics was originally a place where I shared very basic beauty tips and hacks but it somehow morphed into a natural beauty blog. I now primarily review natural and organic beauty products. It kind of took on a mind of its own and continues to change right in front of my eyes. I never could have imagined how much my little piece of the Internet would grow and what it would become. Something born out of desperation for something resembling normalcy and out of a feeling of uselessness and hopelessness has become a wonderful outlet for me to write, which I love to do, and talk about beauty, which I also love. 

The past 5 years of creating content for Beautiful Basics and being able to interact with all of you has given me hope and something I absolutely love to do. I appreciate this all so much more than you could ever know. I could have never imagined how many people would read my words or what companies would want to work with me. Each day brings something new and exciting in to my life. Each like and comment you leave me means a lot and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow Beautiful Basics. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will bring about!

As a thank you to all of you, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or if you somehow stumbled upon my blog today, I want to give you all the chance to win some fun goodies that I’ve been collecting. You can enter 1, 2, 3 or all 4 giveaways if you would like; However, you can only win one of the prizes. Each giveaway has a separate comment option so you can leave several comments down below. Each giveaway will be open until the 15th. 

There is only one mandatory entry for each giveaway and after that you can do as many or as few of the options as you would like. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions to see where each prize can be shipped. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Clean but not Green - theBalm Blushes

Today we are continuing with the Clean but not Green series and talking about theBalm. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand they make some really gorgeous, fun, innovative, and unique cosmetics and I’m particularly in love with two of their blushes. My Mom’s go-to eyeshadow palette is the Nude Dude palette from theBalm so we’re both lovers of the line.

If you’re a vegan these products aren’t for you because they do contain carmine but they are cruelty free, and made in the US. The two products I’m going to talking about today each score a 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep, meaning they are totally safe but depending on your preferences I suggest you check out the ingredients list and make the decision for yourself.

Each of theBalm’s products are housed in ultra adorable packaging with vintage looking ladies (or men) and are just so fun! The company in general seems to have a really upbeat and uber cool personality that is completely different than your typical beauty brand.

Up first on the agenda is BalmDesert. This beautiful shade is the perfect hybrid between a blush and a bronzer. It’s a rosy brown shade that leaves a lovely looking sheen on the cheeks. It’s glowy but not shimmery or frosty. It’s slightly sheer but can be built up for more intensity if desired. The formula is lightweight but longwearing and super silky and soft without a powdery feeling or finish. It amps up the cheeks but still looks natural and effortless. I also like using this on my eyes. FYI, the majority of theBalm’s cheek products can be used on cheeks and lids so you’re getting a product that pulls double duty. It applies easily and blends seamlessly. This shade is perfect for adding a touch of warmth and can be used solo to create a complete look that makes you look healthy and sunkissed. I like it all year round and reach for it often.

And I’m originally from Palm Springs so I feel a strange connection to this product for that reason. It reminds me of home. Is that weird or what?

Downboy is a really pretty baby pink that adds a flirty flush to the apples of the cheeks. I often use this in conjunction with a bronzer and love the totally natural and fresh look it provides. Like Balm Desert, this powder is so soft and smooth and easy to apply and blend. Their formula is beyond dreamy. If you’re a blush newbie or an old pro you’ll love the way these go on and how they wear throughout the day.

I also have the Bahama Mama bronzer but I’ve used it so much it’s not pretty enough to be photographed anymore. I also depotted it, which is easy to do with these products because they come in a cardboard package that is sturdy but easy to disassemble.

If you’re looking for flawless and finely milled blushes and bronzers you might want to check out theBalm. I absolutely adore the products I’ve tried from them. On my beauty wish list is Mary-Lou Manizer. I’ve almost bought it SO many times but until recently I didn’t love the idea of applying a highly pigmented highligter to my cheekbones but somewhere along the way I became of fan of the luminized look. 

Have you ever tried theBalm? Have a favorite product or one you would like to try? Let me know.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Talk About Lip Care - Kari Gran WonderWhip

Kari Gran is one of the beauty brands of my life. I love this line and their lovely roster of pure skincare and cosmetics. I also love what the company stands for and especially what they’re doing with their later Lip Whip launch, WonderWhip.

WonderWhip is the classic Naked Lip Whip, but with a little something special added to the mix, a hint of sparkle. Not only is this rich, luxurious, and shiny lip balm absolutely beautiful and nourishing on the lips on a daily basis it’s also helping to change lives and make the world a little brighter. 50% of all proceeds from the sale of WonderWhip will be donated to WonderWork, a non-profit organization that provides free, life-changing surgeries for blindness, clubfoot, and burns to children and adults in more than 58 developing countries.

This kind-hearted organization takes local surgeons in the poorest countries in the world and provides them with free training, equipment and financial support to help children, and adults, who need a miracle.

Like all Kari Gran Lip Whips, WonderWhip is intensely hydrating, nourishing, and soothing without being sticky or heavy. It’s perfect alone for a bit of shiny moisture or layered with other lip products. It is housed in the standard beautiful glass pot that all Lip Whips come in and is made with only healthy, organic ingredients (*Castor Seed Oil, *Beeswax, *Avocado Oil, *Camellia Seed Oil, *Olive Oil, *Sunflower Oil, *Calendula Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, non-GMO Vitamin E, and *Peppermint Oil. *Organic)

You can learn more about WonderWork by clicking here. If you want to know more about Kari Gran and their products you can click here. You can also find Kari Gran on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: This product was provided to me for free by the company for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Talk About Cosmetics - Pacifica Dream Big Mascara

How old were you when you first started wearing mascara? I think I was 12 or 13, and I haven’t stopped wearing it since then. Mascara is one of those life-changing products that you can’t ever quit using. Okay, maybe life changing is a bit strong but it is eye opening, seriously, and does a great job of making us look wide awake.

Did you know that mascara dates all the way back to approximately 4000 BC? Ancient Egyptians lined their eyes, covered their lashes, and coated their brows with a mixture of kohl, water, dung, and honey. Mascara was used throughout the centuries and in 1917 the first commercial mascara was created and put on the market. It was a not so healthy combination of petroleum and black coal dust. These days there a hundreds (maybe even thousands) of different mascara formulations available and luckily for green gals (and guys) like us every day more natural options are popping up and gaining popularity.

Because, let’s be real, who wants to coat their lashes in poo or toxic chemicals? I certainly don’t and neither do the lovely folks at Pacifica who have recently launched a brand new mascara guaranteed to give lashes length and volume without harming our bodies, being tested on our furry friends, or causing damage to our beautiful planet. As always, Pacifica products are vegan and cruelty free as well as free from any toxic or harmful ingredients.

The Dream Big Lash Extending 7 in 1 Mascara makes a lot of claims, but it backs them up. This mascara promises to lengthen lashes, lift and separate, volumize, condition, provide rich color, feed your lashes with a built in lash serum, and comes with a really cool 2 in 1 brush. You get a long lengthening brush that turns into a shorter more dense brush with just a simple twist of the base of the wand. This plastic bristled brush can be used one way or the other depending on the look you’re going for but can also be combined. The box suggests applying your first layer of product with the long side, letting it dry, then twisting the wand and applying a second coat with the shorter brush. You can then layer from there as you wish.

Length brush

Volume Brush

 I’ve been using this mascara, and only this mascara, and I’m really impressed. I have been applying as the box suggests and applying several layers. This formula leaves my lashes looking natural but plumped up, long, and richly pigmented. It never clumps and never flakes. It also doesn’t irritate my eyes and is easy to remove at the end of the day, which is important to me. It doesn’t drag my lashes down or leave them looking limp and tired.

Top photo: No mascara
Middle photo: Length mascara on left side only, none on right
Bottom photot: Both steps on both eyes
I have tried the other formulas Pacifica offers and I like them, but I love the way Dream Big makes my lashes look. I can’t attest to the lash serum factor of this mascara yet, but I can tell you that my lashes feel soft and extremely healthy.

Have you tried any of Pacifica’s mascaras? What do you think about the really cool brush that Dream Big has? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

(FTC: This mascara was provided to me for free by the company for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Talk About Fragrance - Pacifica (+GIVEAWAY!)

While I’m someone who prefers to go be fragrance free a lot of you have told me that the thing you miss most since going green is perfume, so today I’m here to tell you that you can smell beautiful without dousing yourself with highly toxic and dangerous chemicals.
Pacifica has mastered the art of fragrance and has a line of solid, spray, and rollerball perfumes created with only healthy, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients. They have so many different scents, whether you’re a fruity or floral kind of gal, and you are bound to have something you’ll fall head over heels for.

Even I, the Queen of Unscented, has found a Pacifica fragrance that I really like (Hawaiian Ruby Guava) and don’t mind when my Mom wears their products around me. Each of their fragrances is true to life and pure so there is no gross chemical smell or lingering stench.

I was recently sent some of their lovely fragrances in the form of the Daydreamer Roll On Trio as well as the Hand Cream Duo.

The Daydreamer Roll On Trio comes with .33 oz Roll On Perfumes in Tahitian Gardenia, Indian Coconut Nectar, and Tuscan Blood Orange. This trio has a $36 value but it sells for $19. This would make a perfect gift for anyone who loves fragrance! Each one is travel friendly and pops easily into any handbag for scent touch ups anywhere, anytime.

Tuscan Blood Orange is a “sparkling orange, spicy Italian mandarin and red raspberry notes”.
Indian Coconut Nectar is a “warm, sultry blend of coconut and delicate creamy vanilla”.
Tahitian Gardeina is a “sweet, smooth and slightly citrusy aroma reminiscent of jasmine, sweet orange and tea leaves”.

My Mom is a huge fan of Tuscan Blood Orange, in any form, and loves this rollerball and it’s matching hand cream. She likes to apply it on her pulse points and wears it on a daily basis. This is such a sweet and fresh fruity scent and it’s really nice. My favorite, however, is Indian Coconut Nectar. This fragrance is so rich and warm but also light and fun. It reminds me of summer and I really like it.

I have not been able to test out the Tahitian Gardenia because I’m allergic, but my Mom has smelled this scent before and she really likes it. Since I can’t use it and my Mom can’t use it around me, I’m giving this away to one of you! Read through to the end to see how you can enter to win.

 The Pacifica Hand Creams are ultra rich and hydrating and combine an ultra moisturizing formula with a fragrance that isn’t overpowering. The scent is nice and lasts without being too strong. The tube that houses this hand cream is perfect for keeping on your desk, because it’s gorgeous, or popping into your purse for revitalizing and soothing your hands on the go. 

Have you tried any fragrances from Pacifica? Do you have a favorite? Let me know what you think about the line in the comments. If you want to be entered to win the Tahitian Gardenia Roll On simply use the Rafflecopter form below. US only. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

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