Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Talk About Subscription Boxes - October 2017 Goodbeing

I know a lot of you reading this right now absolutely adore subscription boxes (and I do, too!) because you’re always asking me to talk about more of them on Beautiful Basics. If you’re a fan like I suspect you might be then you’ll love today’s post because we’re talking about Goodbeing and, more specifically, the October box!

If you’ve been with me for a while you know I was previously a Goodbeing Ambassador and I’m back at it, once again. So, for at least the next 2 months I’ll be reviewing the boxes I receive. And please, if you’re a subscriber, share what you got in yours in the comments. I would love to know what you got in your box!

If you’re unfamiliar with Goodbeing I’ll give you a quick breakdown of the service. Goodbeing is a monthly beauty and/or lifestyle subscription box. You can sign up for the monthly plan (where you pay month to month) or purchase a 6-month subscription (this option allows you to save a little bit of money). You can choose either the Goodbeing Standard plan or the Goodbeing Mini plan. With the Mini Goodbeing you’ll receive 2 items per month, either 2 travel size or a full size plus a deluxe sample. This plan has an average value of $15-$20 but this will vary month to month. The Standard plan has an average monthly value of $40-$50 and comes with 4-5 items per month is a mix of sizes that can be full size/deluxe sample sized or full sized. You can also choose either the Beauty box or the Lifestyle box.

First off, I want to start by saying what I most love about Goodbeing is that subscribers now get to pick 1 or 2 of the products they receive each month and I think that is just the coolest! I struggle with surprises. I know that’s weird, but I like to know details in advance so being able to pick an item or two before receiving the box is awesome. And, at least I know I’ll like two of the items if the rest don’t work out for me. Although, when you sign up for Goodbeing you get to fill out a questionnaire that lets you tell them what you like and don’t like so you get a much more personalized box each month.

So, here’s what I received in my box: 
Orglamix Color Correcting Cream in Miracle Worker
St. Tropica Ultimate Hair Mask
AfterSpa Ultra Light and Eye Contouring Sleep Mask
Borika Body Mandarin + Cacao Body Scrub
Modicum Skincare Essential Face Serum

The first item I selected and want to talk about is the Orglamix Color Correcting Cream in Miracle Worker. Orglamix has 5 different color correctors to target and tackle any problem you may have, from dark undereye circles to fatigued or sallow skin, broken capillaries and everything in between, but I selected this one because of the claims that it can camouflage imperfections and brighten while helping to erase the signs of aging. I wanted this to conceal my fine lines, singular age spot, and blur my skin. I really like this formula! It’s intensely illuminating and can almost act like more of a glossy looking highlight. It makes my skin look so beautifully dewy and healthy. I really like it. It doesn’t have much tint to it but I really enjoy mixing this with other products to get an effortlessly lustrous and illuminated look.

The other product I chose is the St. Tropica Ultimate Hair Mask. Selecting this product was kind of cheating the system because I truly believe the whole point of beauty subscription boxes is to try new products, but I’ve had this one before and I really enjoyed it the first time around. I wanted to treat my hair so I chose this luxurious hair mask made of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Biotin, Organic Horsetail, Organic Amla, Organic Hibiscus, Organic Green Tea, Organic Coconut Butter, Organic Coconut Fruit Extract. I really like this rich, thick, and strengthening hair mask. I have such fine, thin hair that I actually get two uses out of the package and my hair is actually falling out from medication and this has already made my hair seem a lot stronger and look a lot healthier.

I’m a connoisseur of eye masks. I love them! And this AfterSpa Ultra Light and Eye Contouring Sleep Mask is excellent.  I love the shape of this. It truly blocks out all light without squishing your eyeballs or the bridge of your nose. It’s also incredibly soft, lightweight and extremely comfortable. In fact, it’s the absolute most comfortable eye mask I’ve ever had. It has an adjustable velcro strap so it will fit everyone with no issue. I’ve seen others receiving patterns and/or different shades but I got a plain black one and I’m very happy with it.

I did receive two products that I can’t personally use. One is the Borika Body Mandarin + Cacao Body Scrub and the other is the Modicum Skincare Essential Face Serum. The body scrub went to Mom who loves scrubs and any scents that are citrusy and she likes this one. The Serum has way too strong of a scent for me so it is going into a giveaway pile and will eventually go to one of you.

I call loving 3 out of 5 products a huge win and I’m really thrilled with this box. I have already chosen my products for next month and can’t wait to see what else I receive. And, if you’re interested in signing up now is the time! With plans starting at $9.95 you’re bound to find an option that works for you whether you’re wanting to try out the beauty box or the lifestyle box. The box ships within the US but also to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A subscription would also make a great gift for any beauty lover in your life.

You can click here to sign up!

You can also find Goodbeing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

(FTC: This box was sent to me for free for review purposes. I am not being compensated for this post. Although, if you sign up with my link I can get a longer subscription for free + boxes to give away to my readers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Talk About Tech - Fitbit Flex 2

With being ill I’m not always as active as I would like to be. In fact, exercising often makes me feel a lot worse. I’m tall and I’m fairly thin but I’m certainly not in shape. I’ve always tried to, gently, walk and I like to kayak and swim (in the summer) but that’s about it for physical activity. When I was young and didn’t carry around a medical card listing several conditions I liked to play tennis and job and be active but that isn’t the case now.

My Mom got a Fitbit for her Birthday (which was yesterday, on the 18th) last year and I’ve seen a huge difference in her but I didn’t really think much about it until she got my Dad one for their 30th anniversary this year.  The change in him has been remarkable. He is getting up and getting moving more than I’ve seen. He is also ill, with cancer among other conditions, and seeing him working to achieving his Fit Bit goals has been better than any advertisement the company could ever dream of creating. So, I got one as well.

I’ve never been really interested in wearable tech before now. I don’t know why except there’s something that really bothers me in an intrinsic sort of way. It seems so wrong to wear technology on your person to me but here I am wearing a piece of tech on my wrist day in and day out and it isn’t the end of the world. I am so appreciative of how hard this little pink piece of silicone wrapped around my wrist is making me work for steps, miles, and goals in a gentle buzzing kind of a way.

Like I said above, my illness makes me kind of lethargic. It’s not an excuse but I do tend to sit and/or rest when I should be moving because I don’t feel well. I’ve also always had this weird thing where if I decided I’m going to be more concerned with fitness I hop on the treadmill and walk a few miles at a pace that my body doesn’t like. I either do nothing or I push myself too hard and myself sicker than I already am.

My Fitbit Flex 2, however, encourages me to walk at whatever pace I can at least once an hour. I proactively seek out my steps but if I’ve slacked off it will remind me at ten to the hour to get my 250 in, which is great when I get sucked into Buzzfeed or get lost writing about beauty products. It also helps me drink more because I’m competitive, even with myself, and I want to reach all of my daily goals, whether it’s getting in my 75-fl. oz. of water daily or meeting my goal of 10,000 steps or just simply making sure that I get my 250 steps during each hour.

If my family and I are watching TV at night and we have been sitting we all get buzzed at the same time and one of us will shout, “MARCH”! We’ll all get up and march around the house to make sure we get out 250 steps in for that hour and often we’ll do more just so we can add some more steps to our daily count. It’s so cool and it’s especially nice that the whole household has one.

There are a lot of different versions at different price points but we chose to go with the super basic Fitbit Flex 2 and it works for us. It also comes in some pretty cool colors. I have the Magenta one, my Mom has Lavender and my Dad has the black one. The silicone strap is comfortable and doesn’t get in the way, which is something I thought would be an issue.

You can also use it for sleep tracking, which my parents do, but I haven’t tried it for that. I don’t like having any jewelry or accessories on when I go to sleep. You also get the option of having it alert you to phone calls and texts, but again I don’t use that feature like my parents do. I strictly use it for activity tracking and step reminders but you’re free to use yours however you want to.

It encourages me to be active and get my blood flowing without pushing me so hard that I’m left in pain or too exhausted to do anything else. I love how it’s getting me going. I think it’s safe to say that this technology-phobic old lady is now a fan.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Talk About Hair Care - ABBA Moisture Shampoo

For years and years, probably like 3 or 4, I used the Fragrance-Free Desert Essence Shampoo. My scalp is very sensitive and can be irritatingly fickle, temperamental and highly reactive. For the past (almost) decade I have struggled with itching and flaking and just having an overall hard time with my scalp and strands. I decided to try something else earlier this year and I am so thankful I did because I really, really love the ABBA Moisture Shampoo.

My hair (and scalp) have never looked or felt better. My tresses are tamed, soft, shiny, and healthy while my scalp is moisturized, not greasy, and itch/flake free. This shampoo is so gentle and soothing that it can be used daily, I’m a daily washer, but it still leaves me feeling clean. If you do a double cleanse and let the product sit on your scalp for a few minutes you can get a nice, refreshing tingle.
The formula is rich and hydrating but magically never leaves me feeling weighed down or like I have any build up. It also leaves my typically tangled long but fine hair smooth and knot free while also tackling any frizz issues. Oh, and it even makes my hair feel really strong! It’s a winner all around.

It’s got a really beautiful and fresh peppermint scent that I love, even though I usually only use unscented products. This shampoo is so nice and softening that I don’t even have to use a conditioner afterward. I haven’t used one in months and months, although I do use an aloe leave in spray every so often when I’m going to use heat on my hair.

It says it is safe and gentle for color-treated hair but I can’t attest to that personally since my hair is all-natural. It doesn’t lather much, but that’s a good thing that should be expected since it doesn’t have any scary, toxic ingredients. ABBA products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and made from plant-derived botanicals. This formula is made using ingredients like Olive Butter, Peppermint Oil, and ProQuinoa Complex. Parabens? Sulfates? Gluten? Phthalates? Synthetic color? Don’t worry, because the answer is no to all of the above.

Also, a little goes a long way. I originally bought a small bottle to see if I liked it but I’ve been working on the same liter bottle since July. I like to get a liter during the Ulta Jumbo Event sale and typically only need one bottle from the summer event and one from the winter event to get me through the year. The smaller bottle is easier to use, though, so I fill it up and keep it in my shower.

If you’re in the market for a new shampoo you might want to give this one a try. I can’t even describe just how much I love this one from ABBA. It’s one of my all-time favorite hair products.

(FTC: I purchased this product with my own money. I am not being compensated for this post. None of the links above are affiliate links.) 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - MyChelle Sheer Lip Hint Conditioning Lip Balm

I’ve been keeping a secret product under wraps since it arrived at my doorstep but I can now officially talk about the latest launch from MyChelle and I’m excited because they’re so good.

The brand recently launched their Sheer Lip Hint Conditioning Lip Balm but now they’re set to release three more shades. There’s the original Sheer as well as Nude, Berry, and Plum. These potted beauties are described as a 4-in-1 lip treatment that nourishes, soothes, deeply hydrates, and primes lips. One of the nicest things about this product is that they can be worn on their own for just a little something on the lips or layered with other products.

They add a tiny but still noticeable touch of color, a beautiful shine, and so much rich moisture to the lips. They also have a fresh spearmint scent (and flavor) which I’m totally into. The formula is so well done. They never feel sticky, heavy, or too thick and instead feel supremely comfortable while also being super luxe.

The Nude has the most intense color payoff and does a fantastic job of toning down my natural lip tone and looks moist like an actual lip color. It looks like a pigmented lip gloss. On me, the Berry is the most like my natural lip color so it just adds a little hint of brightness and shine. The Plum adds just a smidgen of rich color perfect for the cooler weather.  Plum and Berry seem to have some pretty shimmer in them but I don’t notice it once applied. All four add such a wonderful luminosity to the lips and liven up my complexion, regardless of which one I apply. I’ve never been a fan of the completely matte and dry looking lip trend that’s been so popular so it’s really nice to see a product like this come out, and it’s especially nice that it’s such a treat to wear.

I'll be posting some photos of me actually wearing them soon (I'm still not well enough for makeup and photo shoots) but for now here are some heavy arm swatches. Keep in mind, they sheer out on the lips, although they can be built up a bit.

From left to right: Nude, Berry, Plum. 

My biggest complaint is that they come in a pot. The pot itself is quite nice and looks great on any vanity thanks to the heavy, frosted glass containers but I’m a major germaphobe and don’t typically like dipping my finger into potted products. I originally tried using a lip brush to apply these but they really do need the heat and warmth from your skin to melt into something useable. After the balm has warmed up a bit it becomes so creamy and buttery that it’s just an absolute dream to apply to the lips.

They are surprisingly long-lasting once they’re on and continue to provide color, shine, and hydrating throughout the day. I’m such a fan. Even after you remove it you’re left with a protective layer that continues hydrating.

Don’t ask me to pick a favorite, because I can’t. Every day calls for a different shade. The Sheer is my favorite for simple conditioning, though, and since it’s translucent it’s the easiest to just slap on when my lips are looking a little dry and dehydrated. I also love putting it on at the start of my makeup routine because then my lips are plumped and ready for whatever I put on next. They’re great on their own but I’ve also found that they look gorgeous on top of just a simple lipliner.

With pure plant oils and waxes and 100% mineral pigments you can feel good about what you’re putting on your lips. These are also completely vegetarian and cruelty-free. You can visit MyChelle Dermaceuticals’ website and learn more by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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