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A beauty blog featuring DIY recipes, tips & tricks as well as natural & organic beauty product reviews.

If you are a reader with a question or a company interested in working with me you can contact me here.

Who writes Beautiful Basics?

 Hi Beautiful! My name is Kassie and I’m a 27 year old from a small town in Oregon. I have a passion for all things beauty, being green, and writing which is why I started Beautiful Basics. In this blog you will find my thoughts on natural and organic beauty products as well as DIY beauty recipes and other odds and ends.

I’m not an expert or a professional but I have learned a lot about beauty and skin care by experimenting and teaching myself.

I like to keep this blog as positive as possible. I love testing out products but I only write about the ones I love.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
I hope you enjoy!

BYDLS

I also have a blog that chronicles my life living with chronic illness.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Talk About It - Schmidt's Deodorant

In September of last year I was sent a box of stench stopping all natural, vegan, and cruelty free deodorants from a company called Schmidt's. I tested the deodorants out a couple of times but wasn't very impressed until I picked up the jar again in March. I have been using the Bergamot + Lime version religiously every single day and I don't really know why I didn't really like Schmidt's Natural Deodorant on the first go around but I'm a huge fan now!


Schmidt's creamy deodorant comes in many different scents besides my beloved Bergamot + Lime (which smells so fresh and summery; I would love to have it in the form of a body fragrance as well) like Cedarwood + Juniper, Ylang-Ylang + Calendula, Lavender + Sage and Fragrance Free. I don't really enjoy all of the scents because my sniffer is quite sensitive but I highly recommend the Fragrance Free and Bergamot + Lime.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with natural deodorant. I hate the thought of chemicals being applied to my underarms but nothing I had tried previously had kept me stink free for long enough. One important thing to take note of is that this deodorant (and any natural deodorant for that matter) will not keep you dry. There is no such thing as a natural anti-perspirant and if you think about it why would you want to stop the sweat that helps remove toxins from your body anyway? With that said, this doesn't keep you as dry as you might be used to but I personally don't mind. I think it does a pretty great job and it keeps me smelling great all day and night without having to reapply!


The form of application isn't ideal and is quite possibly the reason I didn't like it originally. You have to scoop some out with your fingers (or a little spatula) and massage it into your underarms. The cream is thick so it takes a few minutes to warm up and spread evenly on the skin. It's not the end of the world though and since the formula is excellent it's worth it.

One last thought - the company is based in my home state of Oregon, which is awesome!

You can purchase Schmidt's Natural Deodorant online or by locating a retailer near you.

Tagged with: talk about it, deodorant, vegan
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Talk About Cosmetics - Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow

Honeybee Gardens is a company dedicated to bringing high quality, healthy, and non-toxic cosmetics to its customers with a wallet friendly price tag. I reviewed their Truly Natural Mascara way back in October of 2011 and am now bringing you my thoughts on their Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow.


I'm a huge fan of mineral makeup but often struggle, like many of you have told me you do, with the mess that loose powders can make but Honeybee Gardens has released an entire range of pressed shadows that help eliminate the fallout. I have seriously fallen in love with the 3 shades I have been testing and highly recommend them!


I received the shades Porcelain (a matte light pink), Canterbury (a matte light dusty taupe leaning on the side of mauve), and Daredevil (a pretty plum shade of purple). These shadows are super soft and buttery without being powdery or difficult to work with. They provide a rich color payoff and blend flawlessly. They are long wearing, even without a primer, and don't seem to crease easily. These are definitely right up at the top of the list of my favorite eye shadows!

They are vegan, gluten free, cruelty free and score a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep Database. They are also eco friendly since they come only in pan form being shipped in a paper sleeve, meaning they don't come in a clunky plastic package. This means you either have to purchase a reusable palette from the company or something like a Z Palette. Another point I need to make is that these shadows are completely affordable at only $8.99 each!


I'll be using these shadows in upcoming "Get the Green Look" posts soon so keep an eye out!

Tagged with: Mineral Makeup, Eye shadow
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Talk About It - Badger Headache Soother


When I opened my Christmas Stocking this year I discovered a little tin full of soothing wonder that I have been loving the past few months and I thought it was time to share it with you. My Mom picked up the Badger Headache Soother for me at Ulta as stocking filler because she knows how often I am struck down with headaches and/or migraines.

I have been a migraine sufferer all of my life, or at least all of my life since I was about 16, and while this salve doesn't magically make the pain in my head vanish it does provide some much appreciated relief.

It's certified Organic ingredients list is comprised of: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Castor Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Menthol, Essential Oils of Peppermint, Eucalyptus Oil, Mandarin, Sandalwood, as well as Calendula and Rosehip.

It has such a lovely, happy, uplifting scent and I absolutely adore it. It is not too strong or overpowering and you all know how ridiculously scent sensitive I am. I like to massage it onto my temples, forehead, neck, and chest whenever I feel pain or even when I'm a bit down. I particularly like to apply this before hopping in the tub to soak because the combination of the bath and the Headache Soother make a huge difference in the way I feel. I even like to just open the lid and sniff sometimes, just because it makes me happy.

It provides a relaxing and cooling sensation wherever it is applied that feels fantastic. It doesn't burn or last long but the initial feeling is really nice and light. It's also nicely moisturizing without being pore clogging. It is a bit greasy but I like it, and I like to use it as a hand salve as well. A little goes a long way in whatever capacity it is being used so the tin should last quite a while!

I love this so much that I'm totally interested in checking out more Badger products. Do you have any Badger recommendations?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Beauty Cabinet and Makeup Storage

If you're interested in how I store my makeup then you have come to the right place. I'm not going to go into great detail because I just want to share the creative way I jazzed up some ugly plastic storage containers.


Take note, this took some time. I measured the inside face of the drawers (one of which is a Sterilite mini 3 drawer and the other is a mini 5 drawer both picked up at my local Fred Meyer, or Kroger as it is called in other parts of the country) with my tiny tape measure, picked out some super cute scrapbooking paper, and got to work cutting. The paper I chose is a light blue/turquoise color with pretty glitter in it and it was a bit hard to cut and then it was a pain because it didn't want to stay in the drawers so I had to tape it inside. I just used plain white paper on the sides. I lined the inside of the drawers with a waffle textured shelf liner to keep products from slipping and sliding.


I have each drawer organized by category and arranged in the order I would use the products. I don't think I'm going to go inside the drawers. Maybe we'll save that for another day if anyone is interested. This diagram will show you where I store things:


My Dad, who is so talented and creative, made me the brush holder. It's made of wood. He spray painted the white parts and then glued my chosen paper to the sides. I have it filled with brown rice (although white would work the same way) to keep my brushes standing up.


I can't tell you how to make it because I'm not handy like my Dad but I did make my Mom one by taking a wide mouthed vase she loves and filling it with rice. You can really get creative with brush holders. You can use anything! Mason jars, vases, bowls, tins, boxes, whatever you think is pretty that can hold your brush collection! The possibilities are endless.

How do you store your makeup and your brushes? Do you love your setup? Share a photo with me on Facebook. I'm nosy and would love to see!

Tagged with: makeup storage
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Talk About Lip Care - MoistStic Natural Lip Protection


I don't think I have ever really used up a lip balm in its entirety before I met MoistStic. I am actually on my 5th tube of this stuff, which is rare for me, and have even purchased some for members of my family. I'm not sure what exactly it is about this little magical tube of goodness but it is, without a doubt, my favorite lip balm of all time and I have tried many.

There's honestly not a lot to say about it but I figured I had to shine a spotlight on it and give it its own post on the blog because I love it so much. It is made with Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Lanolin, Peppermint Oil, Vitamin E, and Tea Tree Oil. I hate the thought of applying sheep grease (lanolin) to my lips but this formula works wonders for me. Even though it is not vegan it is cruelty free.

It smells very fresh thanks to the peppermint and tea tree and tingles slightly upon application. I use it in the day sometimes but I apply it every single night, without fail, before going to bed and I wake up every morning with soft and healthy lips. It is very long lasting and protective. It creates a barrier to the elements and goes on incredibly smooth while doing an amazing job healing. It doesn't taste great but I try not to eat my lip balm anyway so who cares?

I buy mine at my local health food store, and it's cheap, but you can also find it online. I found it in stock on Drugstore.com.

(FTC: I purchased this lip balm, many times, with my own money. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Tagged with: lip balm
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Friday, March 14, 2014

Birthday to Birthday Giveaway!!!!!!


On March 15th Beautiful Basics turns 3 and on April 10th I am turning 27. To celebrate both of my very special days I want to give you all the chance to win some fun prizes!

Between the two dates above you can enter to win 1 of 3 awesome prizes using the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. Open Internationally. The first winner selected will be able to pick which prize they want. The second will be able to choose out of the other two prizes and the third winner will receive the remaining prize. All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tagged with: Giveaway
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hydration is Key


I’m writing something a little bit different today since it’s not technically about beauty although it is a huge factor in any beauty routine. I’m talking water. That’s right, water. Water is vital for healthy skin. I’m a strong believer that the more water you drink the better your skin will look. I’m a waterholic and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I drink SO much water and by so much I mean at the very minimum I drink at least half my weight in ounces of water every single day although I aim for a gallon. Being hydrated makes me feel so much better in general and I can instantly see a difference in my skin when I haven’t had enough.

I drink out of glasses but drinking from my Life Factory bottles is my most beloved and revered way of satiating my need and desire for water. I have two, a 22 ounce with a classic cap that I won a couple of years ago in a blog giveaway that I entered and the other is the 16 ounce with a flip top that I received as a gift this year for Christmas. I’m even planning on putting a smaller size bottle, maybe the 12-ounce with a flip cap, on the wish list for my birthday, which is coming up in April.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Self, what exactly are these Life Factory bottles she is talking about?” They’re amazing, that’s what. No, I’m not being paid to write this review, nor does the company even know about me and my water addiction or my little beauty blog. They are essentially just glass bottles with a silicone sleeve and a lid or cap, but they are eco-friendly and life changing. I fill mine up over and over again and take them everywhere with me. They’re dishwasher friendly and durable!

I used to drink out of plastic water bottles (which contain cancer causing BPA and are super bad for the environment) but have switched completely to Life Factory. I refill my bottles several times every day so I’m being cost effective and doing my part to save the planet. Did you know that the US, alone, consumes 1500 plastic water bottles per second and 80% of those bottles end up in landfills even though there are recycling programs? Plastic is not biodegradable so those bottles just sit in landfills and take up space all while leaching chemicals into the Earth! Drinking tap water is a million (maybe not a million but I did read once that it is about 1000) times cheaper than drinking bottled water.

I could go on and on but you get the point. Plastic water bottles are bad for our bodies and bad for the Earth so why not make the switch to glass? I’m obsessed with my Life Factory bottles. They even have baby bottles and kid sized bottles! If you’re interested you can check out their website.

Tagged with: talk about it
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Simple Sea Salt Solution for Troubled Skin

Have you ever been fortunate enough to spend some quality time at a beach, enjoying the sunshine and salt water? If you have you may have noticed that the salty ocean water helps to clear up skin and makes it look radiant and fresh. Nothing does the body, or the soul, better than a relaxing beach getaway but if you’re like me you’re stuck in a cold, gray part of the world with no coastline in sight. I do have one of the largest lakes in North America nearby, but it’s currently frozen and full of algae.

Anyway, the point is, you can make your own salt water treatment at home if you’re not lucky enough to be able to take a dip in the sea! Please be warned, this is not for those of you with dry skin!

All you need is some finely ground pure sea salt and some warm purified water! Combine the two and let sit until the salt is completely dissolved. I’m not going to give you exact measurements for this recipe because it all comes down to your personal tastes. You can use more or less salt depending on how oily/blemished your skin is. You can put it in a spray bottle if you would like to spritz your face and body or you can just apply it with a cotton pad.

I use this as a toner on my face, neck, chest, and back as needed. I also like soaking a washcloth in hot salt water and applying the cloth directly to my problem area(s). Remember to rinse the solution off though, because leaving it on too long will cause dryness. It’s a nice little relaxing treat that helps purify the skin!

Try it out! It’s incredibly cheap and easy and is an excellent spot zapper. You can also use it as a spot treatment if you’re worried about drying your skin out too much. Enjoy!

This is what the closest ocean to me looks like. Not quite tropical and warm enough to dive in, but still pretty! We go there often just to enjoy nature. What about you? Do you live near the ocean or frequent the beach?

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Talk About It - Petit Vour + GIVEAWAY!

Petit Vour is a monthly service that provides subscribers with deluxe and full sized vegan and cruelty free beauty products delivered directly to their mailbox each month. Upon receiving and opening each Petit Vour (named after the small, beautifully decorated dessert called “petit four”, although the F in four has been replaced with a V for vegan) box you will discover new furry friend friendly products (like the alliteration?) – because really, why should Fluffy have to suffer for beauty? In addition to being able to test out fun new products you will also receive exclusive discounts that you can use to purchase your favorites in full-size.

If you’re curious about purchasing a subscription for yourself or a friend there are several plans to choose from including a month-to-month plan that costs $15, a 3-month plan with a price tag of $45, or the $90 6-month subscription. Those of you in Canada or other parts of the world also have the option to purchase a monthly plan that you can cancel at any time! Keep in mind though, yours are a little bit more expensive at $23 CAD a month and $30 International.

I first reviewed Petit Vour back in November, and if you want to read that post you can click here, but today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the February box! AND If you read through this entire blog post you will find the opportunity to enter to win your very own Petit Vour Box!

Okay, let’s put the business stuff aside and move on to what you’re really curious about – the goods inside the pretty pink box! This box is all about love and the card that came in the box reads, “Love is in the hare… The best of beauty without the broken hearts”. Cute, no?

This month's box featured:
Everyday Minerals Sunlight Corrector
(I’m definielty most excited about this! It’s awesome)
Everyday Minerals Tinted Lip Butter
(I received the shade Fairly Mauve)
OFRA Pressed Blush
(I received this in the color Charm)
AMALA Purifying Cleanser, Moisturizer, and Mask
(2 sample packets of each)
R.L. Linden & Co. Ms. Tilly Rosalie’s Beauty Tea

If you want to win your very own Petit Vour box just use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. Also, if you leave a comment and it doesn’t show up don’t worry because I can see it. Don't forget to give this post a like and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Just Kissed Giveaway

In honor of Valentine's Day (although it is my least favorite holiday) I decided it was time to post the perfect giveaway! If you want to enter to win a brand new tube of the Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain by Jane Iredale just use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. Also, don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away. I can see it!

Don't forget to give this post a "like" and good luck!
(FTC : I purchased this with my own money. I am not being compensated for hosting this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tagged with: Giveaway
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Natural Joy Beauty Review and Giveaway!!!

On Earth Day of 2008 Utah based Natural Joy Beauty launched online and is now a one-stop internet destination for carefully selected cruelty free beauty and personal care products made with only the healthiest ingredients. With so many greenwashed and falsely labeled products out there Joy puts a lot of thought and research into each product she sells. You can feel confident that when shopping at Natural Joy Beauty you won’t be purchasing any products made with toxic ingredients like parabens, petroleum, synthetic fragrances or colors, triclosan, or formaldehyde, just to name a few.

Before being contacted by Joy to possibly do a review I had never browsed Natural Joy Beauty but I’m so glad to have been introduced to the web store and the wide variety of goods she offers. I discovered a ton of products and brands I had never tried before, let alone heard of.

I was generously offered the chance to pick out two products for review, the first being the Creamy Mineral Face Concealer by PRIIA Cosmetics. I selected the color Neutral Ivory and it couldn’t have been a more perfect match! This natural, vegan, and gluten free concealer applies seamlessly and wears extremely well throughout the day. Unlike a lot of other concealers made with natural ingredients this one seems to stick to the skin a little longer due to its slightly drier texture. Don’t let that scare you though because it’s not too dry to be applied to my dehydrated undereye area. I like using this to even out my skin tone and then setting it with a light dusting of mineral powder. On a side note, it smells great – slightly sweet with a touch of cinnamon!

This concealer is made with the following ingredients:
Jojoba Seed Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Candelilla Wax, Rice Bran Oil, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Boron Nitride, Silica, Allantoin, ProVitamin B5, Bisabolol, Iron Oxides. May Contain: Chromium Oxide Green, Ultramarine Blue.

The other product I selected was the Peppermint Earthpaste, a truly natural toothpaste that many other green beauty bloggers seem to obsess over. I had heard so many good things about this stuff that I just had to try it for myself! Made with only Purified Water, Food Grade Redmond Clay, Xylitol, Peppermint Essential Oil, Menthol, Redmond Sea Salt and Tea Tree Oil it is unlike any other toothpaste I have ever tried. I can’t say that I love the taste (it tastes a lot like earth and clay) but it gets teeth superbly clean. My teeth feel like I have just come from the dentist after using this stuff! Earthpaste also comes in Cinnamon, Wintergreen, Lemon Twist, and Spearmint.

Natural Joy Beauty has so many different products that you have to check it out for yourself! You can also try a lot of the products for sale in sample size for a fraction of the price before making the decision to purchase the full version.

You can save 15% off storewide now - 3/15/14 with promo code: BB15.

To enter to win a $20 gift code to Natural Joy Beauty, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. This giveaway is only open to those in the US. Also, don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away. I can see it! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(FTC: I was kindly sent these products for review by Natural Joy Beauty and given the opportunity to do a gift code giveaway for free. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Talk About Skin Care - Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator

It’s not always love upon first application with products but I like to give some products second, and even third chances to change my mind. The first time I tried the Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator I was really offended by the scent, the texture, and the way the product itself looked but I continued to massage it onto my skin, left it on my face for the recommended time, and rinsed it off.

I wasn’t very impressed until the next day when my Mom asked me why my skin looked so amazing. I, personally, couldn’t really see any difference in my skin but she was adamant about how fantastic my face looked. I tried it a couple of more times with the same results so I put it in my facial drawer and sort of forgot about it.

I picked up the jar again last week and have suddenly discovered the appeal and value of this awesome stuff. Don’t get me wrong about how I feel about the scent, I think it absolutely stinks - like a combination of curry and my favorite Tazo Zen Green Tea, it’s just plain weird but I’m most decidedly not offended by it anymore for whatever reason.

I like to wash my face using my Spa Sonic and then gently massage the goopy green stuff all over my face, moving in small circular motions for around 4 or 5 minutes. I then leave it on for about 45 minutes before removing with a warm, damp washcloth. My skin is left feeling ridiculously smooth and even. It doesn’t look particularly good immediately afterwards but the next day I wake up with clear, glowing skin. Even though I prefer instant gratification I can certainly sit tight to wait for these awesome results to show up.

It also somehow makes my pores look smaller and my skin looks more refined in general. I don’t know why I didn’t instantly adore this stuff but my dull winter skin is thoroughly enjoying it! Even though it’s pretty pricey at $60 for 1.5 oz I would definitely recommend it if you have the available funds and the desire for ridiculously radiant skin.

You can learn more about the ingredients in this exfoliator by clicking here. You can also learn more about Josh Rosebrook and his other product offerings by visiting his website here.

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

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Talk About Skin Care - Natralia

It’s that cold time of year again when our skin needs a lot of extra help to be healthy and hydrated and I have become totally obsessed with Australian based Natralia and their line of moisturizing products. I was fortunate enough to try out several of their body care products and have really enjoyed them all, as have the other members of my family.

My entire family is particularly in love with their Dry Skin Lotion; in fact, a second bottle has been purchased and we will be picking up a third very soon. I’m pleased to say that it is my new all-time favorite lotion. I think I’ve told you all how picky I am when it comes to body lotion and this one meets and exceeds all of my requirements.

I am very dry, scaly, and itchy and once I smooth this lotion across my skin these problems are immediately fixed! This product is a miracle in a bottle and makes my skin feel so healthy and good! I’m so thankful for the fact that it works so hard to get rid of the itch because I can’t stand it! It is not greasy, sticky, heavy, tacky, or heavily scented. It absorbs super quickly but leaves a very light protective layer behind. It leaves me feeling hydrated all day and all night and I can’t say enough good things about this stuff!

My only real issue with this lotion is the bottle and the pump. Once the lotion starts migrating towards the bottom of the bottle the pump seems to stop dispensing the lotion. This, however, is a problem easily solved by taking off the pump and pouring directly into the hand from the bottle, which isn’t that big of an issue.

As for the Dry Skin Wash – I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. I feel like it is fairly average as far as body washes go. I don’t notice a huge difference in the dryness or itchiness of my skin after using it but it does get me clean so it still gets thumbs up from me!

Finally, on to the Heel Balm – this product has become one of my Moms absolute favorite products of all time. She might not want me to tell you this but her feet are always dryer than the Sahara Desert; however, this lotion has really helped her heal! She applies it every night and I have seen a hugely enormous change in the texture of her heels and toes. Natralia hit it out of the park with another miracle in a bottle with this one!

You can learn more about Natralia and their products by visiting their website by clicking here.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Talk About Skin Care - Laventine

I quit! - using facial cleansing cloths to remove my makeup that is. For years, I used packaged cloths to take off my makeup before washing my face with my regular cleanser but I have recently discovered an amazing alternative. Readers, I would like to introduce you to one of my new loves Olive Forte Water-soluble Facial Cleansing Oil by Laventine. This magical oil also works as a regular daily cleanser but I prefer using it to remove makeup.

The bottle was full when it arrived but I didn't get a good photo! My apologies.

Made up of just Olive Oil, Olive Oil Esters, Olive Squalene, and Vitamin E this oil completely removes all traces of makeup on the skin in one simple step. All it takes is pouring a small amount into the hands and then massaging the oil onto dry skin in a circular motion. When it’s time to remove the oil all you have to do is add a little water and rinse it off! I actually use a microfiber cloth to remove the cleanser when I’m wearing heavy makeup and the combo dissolves my makeup, including mascara.

It leaves skin looking and feeling cleansed, soft, and smooth. I typically follow up with an exfoliant on days when I wear makeup but you can certainly use this as a cleanser by its lonesome.

Just a heads up, if you don’t like the scent of olive oil you won’t like this. This smells exactly like a good bottle of pure olive oil. I also want to mention that Laventine’s products are cruelty free!

To learn more the Olive Forte Water-soluble Facial Cleansing Oil you can click here. To learn more about Laventine and their other product offerings you can visit their website.

(FTC: This product was sent to me by the company free of charge for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spa Sonic Giveaway

In May, I posted a review of the Spa Sonic Face and Body Polisher, which you can read here, and I am still very much a fan and avid user of the system. I use the brush several times a week and notice a huge difference in my skin!

Tools like this make the perfect holiday gift and this year there are several awesome deals going on that make the Spa Sonic even more affordable. Check them out!

Spa Sonic Holiday Deals
● Visit www.target.com on Black Friday to purchase the Spa Sonic system for $33 and Cyber Monday through Cyber Week for $32.

● Now through December 30th, www.walmart.com is offering the Spa Sonic system for $39.99.

● The new DermaLight will be on sale for $119.99 and the Spa Sonic system $35.99 at www.drugstore.com. Offer valid November 24th through December 7th.

One lucky Beautiful Basics reader will win their very own Spa Sonic Skin Care System in their choice of color (white, pink, or lavender).

To enter all you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to "like" this post. It may take a moment or two to load so please be patient. Also, if you leave a comment and it doesn't show up right away, don't worry because I can see it. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Filed in: Giveaway
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Talk About Cosmetics - Gabriel Cosmetics Multi Pot Review

Once it starts getting chilly outside I love switching from powder to cream products and lately I have been experimenting with the Multi Pot from Gabriel Cosmetics. When you purchase a Multi Pot for a little less than $30 you’re getting a natural and healthy 3 in 1 product designed to be used on lips, cheeks, and eyes that comes in 4 flattering shades.

I have the shade Florentina, which is described by the company as a “bronzed pink with neutral undertones”. While it can be used in 3 different ways, my favorite way to use this particular shade is as a blush. It can be applied as a sheer wash of color or built up to be a little more bold, which is what I prefer. It is a very natural looking color and defines my cheeks in a very pretty and subtle way.

Please apologize the fingerprints in the product. The photos I took before I used it didn't turn out.

It also wears extremely well on my cheeks and doesn’t fade or turn patchy throughout the day. It is moisturizing without being too heavy or thick and gives my skin a nice fresh, dewy look.

I don’t really enjoy using this as a lip color because it is slightly drying (totally weird since it feels so silky on my cheeks) on my sensitive lips. It is also nearly the exact color of my lips but it makes them look flat and strange.

I do like it as a sheer eye shadow though. Since it is a bronze-pink shade it doesn’t make me look like I’m ill or have pink eye, and it’s an easy product to apply in a hurry to look like I put a little effort into my makeup look. It doesn’t seem to crease much on my lids either. 

In this photo I am wearing Florentina on my lids, lips and cheeks.

The other downside is the packaging. It isn’t the most sturdy packaging ever and it feels a little cheap but that doesn’t affect the product inside so it’s really not that big of a deal unless you’re only attracted to fancy packaging.

The ingredients list is super simple and made up of only the following: Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Olive Fruit Extract, Mica, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Magnolia Acumita Bark Extract and Iron Oxides. It is also gluten-free as well as cruelty free and made in the US! I don’t detect a scent or a flavor, so it would be perfect for even those with the most sensitive noses.

You can learn more about Gabriel Cosmetics by visiting their website here. You can also check out the other shades of the Multi Pot, or purchase your favorite one, by clicking here.

(FTC : This product was given to me free of charge for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and honest. Being given this product for free has not changed my opinion about it. )

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scent-tacular Holiday Giveaway

It's time for the perfect holiday giveaway! I'm giving away one bottle (1.7 fl oz) of Pure Vanilla fragrance from Lavanila Laboratories. This perfume has a retail value of $58 and will make the perfect give for you or someone you love!

This fragrance is made without petrochemicals, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthethic dyes, sulfates, and parabens. Lavanila is also cruelty free!

To enter all you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to "like" this post. It may take a moment or two to load so please be patient. Also, if you leave a comment and it doesn't show up right away don't worry because I can see it. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall Sampler GIVEAWAY

Fall is here and I’m already in love with the gorgeous colors of autumn, the cool breeze, warm and comfy clothing, and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea underneath a fuzzy blanket. I haven’t always been a fan of fall but I have been converted and it is now my favorite season, or one of them anyway. I like 3 out of 4; guess which one I don’t like! I’ll give you a second…… did you guess winter? If you did, you’re right! I’m not a snow loving gal.

Okay, let’s get to the point of this post. It’s GIVEAWAY time!

Here is what you can win:
Giovanni Wellness System Shampoo and Conditioner (both 2 fl oz)
.5 oz Lavender-Sage Shmidts Deodorant
Acure Dark Chocolate and Mint Lip Balm
13 natural beauty foil samples from Juice Beauty, Borage Therapy, Hugo Naturals, MyChelle, etc.

To enter all you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to "like" this post. It may take a moment or two to load so please be patient. Also, if you leave a comment and it doesn't show up right away don't worry because I can see it. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Papaya Glow

One of my favorite foods in the entire world is a fresh, ripe papaya. I could eat a million papayas and not get sick of them! I find them so delicious I just can’t get enough! I don’t only enjoy eating them though. Whenever I finish eating a papaya, I take the peel into the shower with me and rub it directly onto my face, chest, and neck.

Papaya is rich in antioxidants and has a special enzyme called papain that acts as a natural exfoliator. The natural alpha hydroxy acids in the fruit help break down dead skin cells leaving skin looking smoother, brighter, more even in tone and texture, and overall healthier looking and feeling.

Lately I have been leaving a little extra papaya meat behind to mix with honey to use as a facial mask. I take a fork and just mash the papaya until its mostly broken down and then add a spoonful of raw honey. After washing my face with a gentle cleanser I apply the mixture to my face and neck and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Since there are natural acids in the fruit it can burn a little but it is nothing to worry about. Rinse off with lukewarm water and a wash cloth and apply your favorite serum and/or moisturizer. With continued use, this mask should help with uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and blemishes. It will also leave your skin looking more radiant and glowing!

Remember, it is important try a small amount on your arm to check if you’re allergic. If it feels more intense than very minor stinging you may be allergic or too sensitive to use this mask so rinse off right away.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Talk About It - Green Grab Bag

A couple of years ago I reviewed a subscription service by White Apricot called Green Grab Bag. Green Grab Bag has been completely remodeled and changed into what I would like to call “The Subscription Box of the Future”. When I saw what the company had up their sleeve I knew I had to try the new service and share it with all of you.

Instead of receiving a monthly box full of surprise beauty products that you may or may not have a use for; White Apricot is now giving you full control of what you will receive in your Green Grab Bag. “Build a Box” gives you the option to pick exactly what sample-sized, deluxe-sample, or full-sized products you want to try. You will get to choose at least 6 samples for your personalized box.

There are 3 levels you can purchase depending on which products you choose to put in your box. Level 1 is $15, while Level 2 is $25, and Level 3 is the most expensive at $35. You will also find two columns. The left side is smaller samples and trial sizes while the right is made up of deluxe and travel sized samples as well as full size products. They add new products monthly.

Here is a little more information about the service directly from their website: “Our box levels are based on a combination of number of products, types of products and weight. So, based on what you put in your box, it will move you into the appropriate level. The fun is in experimenting!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited this makes me! Being able to pick and choose things for yourself to include in a sample box is the coolest idea ever. Do I even need to mention what a fantastic gift this would make? I would love to receive a gift code for my birthday or Christmas, wouldn’t you?

Okay, I bet you want to know what I chose – am I right? Let’s get into it!

I selected: 
Claivoyant Beauty Refreshing Cucumber Facial Toner
(A full size 8 fl oz bottle with a value of $24)

Mineral Fusion Bronzer in Sparkle
(this is a .10 sample size compact and it just might be the cutest thing ever!)

Sumbody Natural Sumsoaps in Simply Parfait
(1.0 oz sample bar)

Beeseline
(.5 oz jar)

EVOLVh Ultrashine Moisture Shampoo
(2 oz travel bottle)

Purity Normal/Oily Skin Deep Pore Cleanser
(it says 4 oz but I actually think it’s closer to 2)

All of this came out to be a Level 2 box, so the toner itself would have covered the cost of the box. I didn’t love everything I selected but that’s okay, that is the whole point of trying smaller sizes out. I absolutely adore the bronzer, toner, and soap though so overall I’m very happy!

To learn more about Green Grab Bag and the samples they offer you can visit their website here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

(FTC: The company kindly gave me a gift code to build my own Green Grab Bag for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Talk About Cosmetics - Painted Earth Mineral Sheer Matte Bronzer

Hellllllooooo Beautiful! I hope you are having a fantastic day! 

I can freely and openly admit to the world that I am a bronzer junkie. I like to think of myself as an expert on all things bronze so I decree that from this moment on you should refer to me only as THE Bronzer Queen… just kidding! That would be super weird if I did that, but in reality, I do love bronzer! I love makeup in general but if I absolutely had to pick a favorite type of product I would no doubt choose bronzer. I can even go as far as to select a favorite bronzing product, which I have been using fanatically since it made its home in my makeup collection in May.

I am talking about Painted Earth’s Mineral Sheer Matte Bronzer in Sunkissed. Never have I worn a bronzer that convinces those around me that I have a natural sunkissed glow about me as well as this one does. When I use this bronzer it’s frankly like I am applying hours of basking in the sun directly to my face with a brush, instead of harmful UV rays. The color is perfect and never looks orange, muddy, or dirty and the texture of the powder is so fine and silky soft it seems to blend into the skin.

I swirl the colors together with a big, fluffy Kabuki brush and apply to the points of my face where the sun would naturally hit (forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose) and get a lovely wash of bronze glow from it. I have also used this bronzer on my eyelids as well. I could go on and on about this stuff but I’ll leave it at this – I’m in love with it! It’s a little pricey at $33 but since a little goes a long way I think it is totally worth the investment.

You can visit Painted Earth online by clicking here to be taken to their website. You can also visit Painted Earth on Facebook and Twitter.

(FTC : This bronzer was given to me free of charge for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and honest. Being given this product for free has not changed my opinion about it. )

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Talk About Cosmetics - Mineral Hygienics

Lets talk minerals… mineral makeup that is! I first started experimenting with mineral foundation way back in 2006 during my college days. I discovered that applying a light dusting of the stuff was much easier and more time efficient than liquids and creams when I was running late to class. I also discovered that I preferred the feel and finish of mineral powder.

These days I have been using Mineral Hygienics and their cruelty free, 100% natural formulas. I have really been enjoying the look and feel of the products I got to try. In addition to being pure, animal friendly, and fabulous, the products actually come in fairly large jars so you’re getting a good amount of product for your dollar!

The company has 15 shades of their Sheer Mineral Foundation with both cool and warm undertones, from the fairest of the fair to deep shades, so everyone should be able to find their perfect shade. I was sent Light, Medium Light, and Medium. Light and Medium are perfect for me since they have a slightly more yellow undertone (Medium Light is a little pink and is perfect for my Mom!) and I actually wear both at the same time. What I do is use Light in the center of my face and Medium around the outer parts of my face, which helps add dimension. However, they are very similar in color and both work well for my skin tone.

The ingredients list of Mineral Hygienics foundation is comprised of Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Mica and may also contain Iron Oxides and Ultra Marines. The formula is very fine in texture and blends into the skin really easily. It almost melts into the skin once applied and looks flawless, but not in an artificial way. It never looks flat, nor does it have shimmer that makes it look overly luminous. The formula has a very natural looking finish that can be applied in a sheer layer or built up for more coverage. It also doesn’t irritate my skin like some other mineral foundations can.

In addition to the Sheer Mineral Foundation I have also been using the Sheer Perfection Mineral Finish in Transluscent. It seems a little strange to set powder with powder but this particular product can be used as a powder primer that evens out the tone and texture of the skin or as a finishing touch on top of foundation. I find that I don’t use this every day but I do, however, like to use this to touch up when I start to get a little shiny in the afternoon or evening.

The final Mineral Hygienics product that I have been using is the Cool Kiss Mineral Bronzer. This product is a shimmery, cool-toned Mineral Enhancer that doesn’t look great on my skin. I have found that it is just a touch too shimmery for my tastes for me to wear as a cheek product but it looks so amazing as an eye shadow! I’ve been rocking it on my lids and really love the effect!

I was also sent the Full Coverage Kabuki Brush and it couldn’t be more perfect for buffing my minerals into the skin with. It provides such an even coverage, has super soft and fairly dense bristles, and is the perfect size and shape. I absolutely love the handle because it makes it a little easier to use than regular kabuki brushes.

You can learn more about the company and their product offerings by visiting their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Talk About It - Petit Vour Box + GIVEAWAY!

Monthly subscription boxes make me so happy and I can’t get enough of them! There is nothing more exciting than discovering a box of surprise goodies in your mail and this month I got to experience Petit Vour, a service that provides subscribers with deluxe-sized (and sometimes even full-size) vegan and cruelty free beauty products each month. If you read through this entire blog post you will find the opportunity to enter to win your very own Petit Vour Box!

If you’re wondering about the name Petit Vour, it is named after the small, beautifully decorated dessert called “petit four”, although the F in four has been replaced with a V for vegan. Madeline Alcott, the Founder and Creative Director of the company, believes that no animal should suffer for the sake of beauty and I couldn’t agree more! This belief and her desire to find animal friendly and luxurious products in one place with a risk free way to shop led to the birth of Petit Vour.

In fact, I think this sentence from the Behind the Brand section of the Petit Vour website pretty much sums it up, “Our goal at Petit Vour is to make your shopping fun and effortless and to let you sample new cruelty-free products -- hidden gems, makeup artist-approved and everything in between.” 

You can choose from 3 different subscription plans including a month-to-month plan that costs $15, a 3-month plan with a price tag of $45, or the $90 6-month subscription. If you’re Canadian you can purchase a month-to-month box for $25. Keep in mind that if you’re in Texas there is tax.

Once you have decided on a plan you will be sent cruelty-free products from around the world. You will be able to try new products and then take surveys that will allow you to earn points, which you can use to score free boxes. In addition to being able to test out fun new products you will also receive exclusive discounts that you can use to purchase your favorites in full-size. 

Okay, okay! Let’s get to the good stuff – the contents of the August Petit Vour box! This box was themed around products that will fit perfectly into your travel makeup bag with Labor Day in mind. The card that came inside the box says, “In the box, we focus on lightweight, nutrient-dense items that do our bodies good, from head to toe.”

Here we go:
Kroma Makeup Botanical Lipgloss/Lipstick ($29)
Bodyography Veil Foundation Primer (.53 oz with a value of $10)
Enfusia Dead Sea Bath Salts ($2.99)
Shorganics Lavendar Lip Balm and Unscented Body Lotion ($4)
Kelapo 100% Virgin Coconut Oil ($0.42)

I’m not going to go into depth about each product since it would make this post ridiculously long (but if you’re curious about any of the products please let me know and I can review it/them separately) but overall I’m very impressed. The Kroma Makeup Botanical Lipgloss/Lipstick is gorgeous and has a value of $29 alone, which makes this box worth a lot more than its $15 price tag.

The only thing that frustrates me a little bit is the Enfusia Dead Sea Bath Salts. I received the Rose scented version and it smells so strong that I could smell it in my mailbox.The scent has coated all of the products in the box as well and since I’m so sensitive to fragrance it is slightly bothersome. I am, however, letting the products air out and I gave the bath salts to my Mom. She really loves the scent so all is well!

To learn more about Petit Vour you can visit their website by clicking here.

If you’re interested in winning your very own Petit Vour box just use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. If you cannot see your comment right away don’t worry because I can. Good luck, Beautiful!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(FTC : Petit Vour generously sent me a box for free for review consideration and has allowed me to host a giveway for my lovely readers. This is not a sponsered post and I am not being compensated for writing it. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Talk About Skin Care - Seventh Generation Boosts + GIVEAWAY! (closed)

Hey Beautiful! In today’s post I’m delighted to be able to introduce you to the Seventh Generation Boosts, a healthy and affordable line of natural skin boosting serums. With 6 versions to choose from there is something for everyone, regardless of skin type. I have been using the Soothing Boost for several weeks now and have really fallen in love with it, for good reason. If you’re interested in learning more about this product or finding out how you can enter to win a bottle of the Boost of your choice, then keep reading!

My family and I have been long time fans of Seventh Generation and their line of household cleaning products (especially their Free and Clear All Purpose Cleanser, Free and Clear Natural Dish Liquid, and Hand Soap) so when the company reached out to tell me about their new skin care serums and present me with the opportunity to try it I naturally said yes, please!

Step one involved selecting the right formula for me. The company has 6 different Boosts you can choose from, all waterless and made from pure, plant-based ingredients. In these cruelty free skin serums you won’t find any parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances or color, or animal ingredients or byproducts.

The 6 varieties are:
Hydrating: Restores Moisture Balance with Jojoba Oil
Soothing: Calms and Relieves with Oat Extract
Clearing: Reduces Impurities with Tea Tree Oil
Firming: Strengthens and Tones with Baobob
Revitalizing: Smooths Fine Lines with Rosehip
Protecting: Defends Against the Elements with Prickly Pear

I selected the Soothing Boost because it sounded super simple (in a good way!) and gentle. The instructions for use say you can add the serum to your regular cleanser and/or moisturizer or use directly on your skin as a treatment, which is my preferred way of using it. I have also used it in conjunction with my nighttime moisturizer and it works well as an added layer of protection and hydration.

I have actually been using it as my daily moisturizer after washing my face in the morning. It absorbs easily and quickly so I don’t get shiny or greasy throughout the day. It works well alone or under mineral makeup. It’s extremely light but also superbly hydrating and makes a huge difference in my skin. My skin has been so dehydrated and this soothing oil makes my face and neck so much better, I can’t even fully describe it! I feel like it hydrates deep down and plumps up my dry skin. It doesn’t clog my pores or cause any irritation either!

You can learn more about Seventh Generation Boosts by clicking here, where you can also print out a $3 off coupon. This serum is already affordable so the coupon is an awesome bonus! You can also follow Seventh Generation on Facebook or Twitter

If you’re interested in entering to win a bottle of the boost of your choice just use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. Also, don't be worried if your comment doesn't show up right away. I can see it! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Talk About It - Mia Tempo

Mia Tempo is a monthly subscription box with the drive and determination to provide its patrons with natural and organic beauty products and treatments designed to help relax, refresh, and renew. Each box features healthy full-size products that are cruelty free, made in the US, and delivered directly to your doorstep each month for $39.95 (or less if you choose to pay for a 3, 6, or 12 month plan).

Each month the box is themed and August’s subject is all about protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the summer sun. Traditional sunscreen is full of yucky, scary, and toxic chemicals but this particular box is jam packed with products made with healthy ingredients to keep you skin cancer free during the hotter months of the year.

Without further ado, here is what I received in the August Mia Tempo box:
Aubrey Natural Sun SPF 30 Green Tea Antioxidant
Aubrey After Sun Face and Body Moisturizer
100% Pure SPF 30 Everywhere Sun Stick
Purple Prairie Sun Stuff Lip Balm
Foldable Wide Brim Sun Hat

Also worth mentioning, Mia Tempo is contributing a portion of sales from every box this month to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

I’m pretty happy with this box, although it would have made a lot more sense to send sun care products out in June or July although it is important to protect your skin year round so having SPF on hand at all times is a necessity!

As you can tell, I didn’t take a photo of the hat. You can sort of see it in the photo that shows an overview of the products but I didn’t get one of it on its own. I’ve been wearing it when I go in the pool but it doesn’t look very good on me. It’s a nicely made hat that performs its function very well, and I’m sure it would look good on other people – just not me, or my Mom!

You can learn more about Mia Tempo by visiting their website. You can also follow them on Facebook.

(FTC : Mia Tempo provided me with the August box free of charge for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)