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

   

Who writes Beautiful Basics?

 My name is Kassie and I’m a chronically ill 28-year-old from a small town in Oregon. I have a passion for all things beauty and green living. I write about natural and organic beauty products as well as DIY beauty recipes and other odds and ends. I'm also an animal lover and believe beauty should be cruelty free. I'm a proud cat mommy and vegetarian.

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 my posts 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!

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

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Monday, August 3, 2015

NOW Solutions Giveaway!!!


Hello there Beautiful! Remember the post I uploaded last week sharing my thoughts on NOW Solutions? Well, if you're in the US and you're interested in trying everything I received I'm giving you all the opportunity to enter to win your own box full of goodies.

If you missed my review or want a refresher on what you can win you can check out my post by clicking here.


If you're interested in winning all of these natural goodies you can use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. All entries will be verified. This one is only open to those of you in the US. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Thanks Giveaway!

My posting has been a little sparse this summer because I've got a lot going on in my life. My Dad has a fairly rare type of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma and he is currently in the hospital 5 hours away from home. He just received a bone marrow transplant and is on his way to kicking cancers butt! And you might also know that I am also chronically ill and I've been feeling quite under the weather as of lately. As you can imagine the whole situation is making for a very different kind of summer.

I'm trying to write as much as possible but I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for your patience and support. Beautiful Basics means so much to and I absolutely love being able to share my thoughts on natural products with you all. I test products and write about them for each and every one of you. Thank you for liking my blog and sharing posts and leaving comments. Each time I get to interact with you I am so appreciative of the support.


I've got two of my popular beauty grab bags to give to two lucky Beautiful Basics readers. This giveaway is open internationally, because so many of you come from places in the world that I've only ever dreamed of going. Give this post a like and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. There are a lot of options but only two that are mandatory. You can do as many or a few entry options as you would like. All entries will be verified. The first randomly selected winner will be able to pick which bag he or she would like. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Talk About It - NOW Solutions

Whether you're new to natural beauty or you've been enjoying the spoils of the natural beauty aisles for a while now, you're probably somewhat familiar with NOW Solutions. I was contacted by the company and offered the chance to feature them on Beautiful Basics. NOW Solutions is a family owned company that has been creating and selling cruelty free personal care products made with only pure ingredients since 1968. Their products are high quality, affordable, and accessible! They have a fantastic selection of products you can use to stock your beauty pantry with, like essential oils and carrier oils, or ready to use formulas, like cleansers and moisturizers.

I think the products from their line that stand out most for someone like me, who likes DIY beauty, is what I like to call the beauty pantry staples. These are the products that you can use to produce your own beauty creations that every green goddess needs in her arsenal.


They have so many essential oils, organic and not, to choose from. Peppermint is my absolute all-time favorite essential so I obviously had to try the NOW version and I also selected 3 more of my favorites to test out. I went for the Certified Organic Essential Oils and I'm so pleased with them, with the exception of the Lavender – more on that in a sec. The Peppermint is such a beautiful and true essential oil. I'm in love with it. I'm a migraineur so I'm always appreciative of a good peppermint and this one is pleasant, perfect, and refreshing. The Tea Tree is your typical Tea Tree and the Orange is light and fresh, my Mom's favorite! I'm not really sure why I don't like the Lavender but it smells like artificial lavender to my oversensitive sniffer. Maybe I just don't like Lavender Essential Oil? I've always used another well-known brands essentials oils but these are far superior and I highly recommend them. I also love the bottles and simple but pretty labels.

Next on the agenda is the rest of the DIY lineup including a humectant, carrier oils, and clay. You can mix and match these oils to your hearts content to come up with the perfect ration for you and your skin type. I've been experimenting with Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, and Organic Argan Oil. All of NOW's oils that I just mentioned, with the exception of the Organic Argan Oil which comes in a dark glass bottle with a dropper, are housed in clear bottles that contains UV light protection. They are all expeller-pressed and Hexane free.


Each oil has wonderful hydrating properties and can be used for different things. I love to add a few drops of Castor Oil to my hair conditioner and I love to use the Coconut Oil as a base for scrub recipes while the Almond and Argan Oils make great skin moisturizers. I think the Avocado Oil is my favorite because it's so rich and deeply hydrating which is perfect for us dry skinned gals.


Vegetable Glycerin is a must have humectant that helps bind water to the skin and is great to add into almost any DIY beauty recipe. You can add a few drops it to your shampoo, conditioner, facial moisturizer, or serum for an extra boost of hydration. The Moroccan Red Clay Powder has become one of my favorite go to products for an easy mask that is gentle on my sensitive skin but helps purify, brighten, and make my skin look better. I love the stuff! It's messy but that's part of the fun. I simply mix some of the powder with water, adding honey sometimes for an extra something special, and apply the paste to my skin and let dry. I can feel it tightening my pores as it dries but it's not one of those masks that hurts or feels really uncomfortable. My skin loves it and I love the result once I rinse it off.

Now let's move on to my thoughts on their personal care products that I've been testing out.


I've been alternating between the Vitamin C & Oryza Sativa Gentle Scrub and Nature's Microderm when my skin needs a little exfoliation. Both are surprisingly gentle but pack quite the brightening punch. My skin has a tendency to get a bit irritated but these two scrubs are mild and leave my skin looking renewed and healthy without the redness that sometimes goes along with exfoliation.


I was also sent the Vitamin C & Sea Buckthorn Moisturizer for face and the Vitamin C & Sea Buckthorn Lotion for body. I absolutely love the Moisturizer and the way it makes my face feel. It's the perfect day cream and wears beautifully under makeup and doesn't cause any meltdown. The body lotion is nice but nothing special. Both have a very nice scent and leave behind a lovely amount of moisture without feeling tacky, sticky, or greasy.


Finally, let's discuss the Citrus Moisture Shampoo and Citrus Moisture Conditioner. I really like the way these smell, very light and clean. They are both fairly basic but they're nice and leave my hair feeling manageable and soft. The shampoo lathers really well and the conditioner is very moisturizing without being heavy and it never leaves my hair looking limp or greasy.

To learn more about NOW you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Antonym Cosmetics

So many of you have asked me to review Antonym Cosmetics and your wish is my desire so, here is a run down on some of their products. If you haven't heard of Antonym Cosmetics yet here is what you need to know: They are an eco-friendly cosmetics company combining technology and natural ingredients to create luxurious and healthy products that are Ecocert Certified and cruelty free. The range is made up of premium quality eye shadows, lipstick pencils, mascara, eye pencils, baked foundations and baked blushes as well as a complete collection of 20 vegan makeup brushes.

First thing is first, the packaging is amazing and super ecosexy. Have you ever seen such lovely products? I don't think I have and luckily the actual products inside the pretty packaging are pretty awesome too, so this brand is a big time winner in my book.


The Baked Blush in Rose is the newest addition to the Antonym roster and it's my new favorite blush, hands down. I have been using this blush and only this blush since it arrived. There is something so magical about this blush. It's the perfect combination of brown and pink. It's been great for these warmer weather months but I think it will also transition beautifully into the colder seasons. It gives me a natural flush that adds a vibrant and healthy look to my skin. I always feel pretty when I'm wearing it. It's a flirty shade that never looks over the top and goes with any and all eye looks and lip combinations. The formula is buttery, rich, and weightless so it never looks flaky or powdery. It seems to melt into the skin and looks absolutely stunning and fresh. It lasts throughout the day and doesn't tend to fade. I also think you're getting a lot of product for your money so it's definitely worth the $36 price tag. It's perfect! I can't recommend this beautiful blush enough.


I've also been playing with the Lipstick Pencil in Pinkish. These chummy pencils are always great purse lippies because they're easy to apply. This one is a really pretty neutral shimmery pink. The color is fun and feminine! I'm impressed with the staying power! It lasts a very long time on my lips. I don't find it very hydrating but it's also not drying or irritating on my ridiculously sensitive lips.


I was also sent the Lip Brush #15 but I haven't really gotten a lot of use of it. I love the handle but I find that I do a better job of applying lip color with the actual product so I don't tend to reach for this brush often.


The final thing I got to experiment with is the Lola Lash Mascara. I really love the wand, which is curved and I also love how black the formula is. It provides my lashes with a natural but defined look and seems to do an excellent job conditioning lashes. It's a great daily mascara but I do find that I get some smudging throughout the day. It's very gentle and doesn't irritate my eyes at all.

I'm wearing all of the products mentioned above. The Baked Blush in Rose is on my cheeks and eyes. 


Have you tried any of their products or do you have your eye on any? I'm coveting their Baked Foundation in Light and the Noisette Eye Shadow Quattro as well as their full range of blushes. If you couldn't tell, I really love their blush!

To learn more about Antonym Cosmetics and their product offerings you can visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Talk About Nail Polish - mint

There are a lot of nail polish brands out there with fabulous color ranges and formulas that are smooth and easy to work with but I think I may have recently discovered the polish of my dreams. If you haven't heard of mint, you need to head over to their website and add some beautiful shades to your online shopping cart. Talk about creamy, dreamy, and oh so gorgeous! If you're looking for high quality, vegan and cruelty free nail color without toxic chemicals then you're going to absolutely love this Californian brand.


Please remember that I'm not a nail polish blogger, nor am I very good at painting my nails but I have fun trying and wanted to show you all these awesome polishes even though my cuticles are a mess.


Check out this amazing and super stunning polish called Moonlit Stroll! I'm beyond in love. Do you blame me? I mean, seriously! Look at it! It's beautiful and I feel like it's really flattering with my skin tone. I think it would look great on many different skin tones. It's a whimsical and wearable shade. It's a beautiful and very feminine cross between nude and mauve with a lovely gold shimmer throughout. The formula is beautiful and so easy to work with. I think this may be my favorite polish of all time, or at least very near the top of the list.


Sweet Liberty is the perfect color to tock on tips and toes this summer. I think this particular polish was made to go hand in hand with sunshine and sandals. It's a beautiful creamy bright orange red that just screams warm weather, vacation, and lounging by the pool. I always have a really hard time using crème colors but this one has an excellent formula that is opaque with only one coat.


When I opened the box and saw Peligroso, I wasn't sure I would like it but I'm happy to say that I actually really enjoy the color and the formula. It's a bright orange with a really fun and interesting shimmer in it. The shimmer can look orange, gold, yellow and green depending on the light. The formula is like a jelly polish and is really awesome and easy to use. The color and shimmer build beautifully.


The final polish I was sent is called Tart, which is a really pretty yellow crème. I honestly could not make this one look good on me. The color didn't really work on me and I couldn't get the formula to apply smoothly onto my nail. Remember how I said I usually had a hard time with crème polish? Well, this just cemented that theory. I do think it's a really gorgeous color though!


Also worth a mention are the simple yet beautiful box and glass bottle these polishes are housed in.

If you want to check out mint's shade range or learn more about the company and their product offerings you ca visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Want to know which shades are on my nail polish wish list? Original Mint, Ming, Slumber Party, Dirty Shirley, and Bouquet Toss! Which shades are you coveting?

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Firmoo Glasses Review and Makeup Tips


When I was younger and first needed vision correction I was so appalled by the idea of wearing glasses. I got a pair, but then convinced my parents to let me get contacts. After 3 hours, seriously, of trying to put the flimsy little lenses in my eyeball I finally got the hang of it and wore contacts only for the next 8 or 9 years. Over the past several years I have fallen more and more in love with glasses. Contacts leave my eyes dry, itchy, and irritated but glasses are really comfortable, easy to wear, and stylish. I wear contacts maybe once a month and glasses every other day. I like to have a few pairs to switch between to match my moods and outfits.


I was contacted by Firmoo about a month ago and asked if I wanted to try a pair of their glasses. I, of course, said yes and was so excited to have a pair of their glasses in my arsenal. I chose these frames and I'm so happy with them! I'm a fan of frames that are on the bigger side but not overly massive and these ones are just right for me. They fit me, without needing any adjustments, perfectly and are beyond comfortable. They don't rub anywhere they shouldn't and they're not heavy or bulky or irritating. The lenses are crisp and allow me to see flawlessly. They're also very sturdy and well made.


I love the color of these glasses too. I normally go for black or purple frames so I was a bit worried I wouldn't love the tortoiseshell but I really do! The only thing I don't like is the print on the case they came in but that doesn't really matter in the end, does it? In addition to the case they also come with a pouch, cleaning cloth, and tiny screwdriver.

Shipping was delightfully quick and the whole process of ordering was seamless and easy. I will definitely be ordering from Firmoo.com again and even have my eye on a pair of their sunglasses. I have one pair of RX sunglasses and it's so nice to be able to see and have protection from the sun at the same time.

Makeup can be a little tricky, I find, when wearing glasses. I tend to like to create a smooth and even base with a focus on my brows, cheeks, and lips instead of creating bold or bright eye looks.


Since I have dry skin that has a tendency to look a bit flaky, I like to start of with a primer that hydrates and brightens. My favorite is the 100% Pure Luminous Primer. It makes my skin look so smooth and healthy. I also like to even out my skin tone and make everything look natural but flawless. Lately I've been loving using concealer where needed instead of using foundation on a day to day basis to keep things looking light and fresh. I used the Pacifica Transcendent Concentrated Correcting Concealer in Light on the areas that needed coverage.

When wearing glasses it's important to get rid of any darkness and make the area look brighter. To do this I use Pacifica's Dreamlit Illuminating Under Eye Brightener in Dreamlight, which is one of my absolute favorite products of all-time, under my eyes to cover up my dark circles. I use it under my eyes but I also blend it on to the lid to even the skin there out and since the inner corners of our eyes tend to look very dark I also apply it there to lighten the area. If you have fine lines or wrinkles under your eyes it's also a good idea to moisturize the area because everything will be magnified beneath your lenses and makeup can gather in those areas.

If you have an issue with creasing on the bridge of your nose where your glasses rest you can use an eye primer in that area to keep it from creasing. It makes a huge difference!

I also used the Minimalist Illuminating Serum from Gressa on the tops of my cheekbones and underneath my brow for a healthy highlight. I want my skin to look healthy so adding a touch of this magical elixir makes skin glow.

When wearing glasses it's really crucial that you set your makeup with your favorite setting powder. Setting your makeup will make sure it doesn't slip and slide or go anywhere. Once it's set it's there until you decide to take it off.


Since glasses are very prominent on the face I like to structure my face with a little contouring. I feel like glasses take up so much space that the rest of the face can get a little lost. I used the Alima Pure Sombra Contour Powder to define my cheekbones, nose, and around my temples and forehead. I also blended it into the creases of my eyes to define my lids a bit.

Feel free to play around with different eye looks to figure out what suits your frames. I don't like to wear much eye shadow underneath my glasses, but I wanted a little something extra. If I do wear any eyeshadow while wearing glasses I like to keep it all matte and neutral, although that's just my personal preference. My Mom, who also wears glasses, can totally rock shimmery shades on her eyes beneath her glasses and also wears fun colored liner. I think I look really weird in liner so I skip it more often than not BUT if you like the look of liner you can totally rock it with any pair of frames. Thick frames? Try playing around with thick, graphic liner. Thin frames? Try thin lines of color. Have fun! You can even go for a cat eye liner depending on your frame.

Wearing glasses can cause the face to look a bit washed out; especially if frames are dark or thick rimmed so a bit of color on the cheeks can make a huge difference. I used a light hand and a duo fiber stippling brush to add just a hint of blush on my apples to keep my skin looking naturally flushed and healthy (there's that word again!). I used Jane Iredale's PurePressed Blush in Barely Rose. Feel free to bronzer and blush your skin as you see fit!

Brows are really important when wearing glasses. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul so the brows are kind of like the frame and it's a great idea to define them when wearing frames. I personally like to fill them in a bit more than I would normally when I'm wearing my glasses, but you can do whatever makes you feel comfortable. I used my trusty Zuzu Luxe Russet Cream Brow Pencil.

Lashes are always important and curling them and then following up with a coat or two of your favorite mascara can make eyes with or without glasses look bright, big, and wide awake. Some people don't like curling before wearing glasses because if lashes are long enough they can touch the insides of the lenses. My lashes aren't long enough so when I curl them it just makes them look more defined and fluttery. In this photo I used my new favorite Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara from Pacifica. It keeps my lashes upright and looks natural but really highlights my eyes. I love this stuff.

Any color lipstick or gloss can complete your look when wearing glasses. I truly feel like wearing lip color helps balance out the look of any pair of frames. You can go natural or bold or anywhere in between. Today I went for my favorite lip product of all time, which is Ilia's Shell Shock Tinted Lip Conditioner.

I recommend that you put on your glasses and sit in front of mirror and play with makeup until you figure out what suits you and your glasses best. Remember, there are no rules when it comes to makeup. These are just the things I do and you certainly don't have to do what I do! Makeup is meant to be fun and you can do whatever you want. You can always wash it off if you don't like it.

If you're interested in Firmoo you can learn more about the company and check out their selection of glasses by visiting their website. New customers can also get a discount on frames sitewide. Click here to learn more!

(FTC: These glasses were sent to me free of charge for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. None of the links above are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Makeup Bag Collection + GIVEAWAY!

Are you any of you obsessed with makeup bags? I am and I think it's some kind of weird addiction because let's get serious for a second and ask how many makeup bags a person actually needs? 1 or 2, right? I'm one of those hyper organized people so in addition to using makeup bags for cosmetics and toiletries when I travel I also like to pack everything else in little bags, like chords and accessories so I have a few more than that. Anyway, I've recently watched a few YouTube videos and read a few blog posts where people have shared their bag collections and I thought it would be really fun to do!

I did, however, leave out some bags because I really do have quite a few and I figured I didn't need to share them all. The bags included in this post are my favorite and the two travel bags from Target were birthday presents from my parents and haven't been used yet. I actually forgot to take the stuffing out before I took the photos so please just ignore that snafu. I'm also doing a giveaway so read through to the bottom and be sure to enter for your chance to win a really cute makeup bag with some fun goodies inside!

Contents Pleased as Punch Weekender Bag

Contents Pleased as Punch Cosmetic Valet


I'll start with the two I mentioned above. They came from Target and are from the brand Contents by Allegro. I've always wanted hanging travel bags so my parents got me these ones and I'm planning on using the bigger one (Weekender Bag) for toiletries and the smaller one (Valet) for cosmetics. I really like all of their pouches, the print, and the fact that they're really nicely made.


How cute is this Catesye London Rooftop Cat Small Bag? I seriously love the print. I love it so much I actually also bought the Coin Purse. It's made of PVC so it's really easy to keep clean and also holds its shape perfectly. It's a great size and it's beyond adorable. They make a ton of other bags with awesome designs so I think these would make fantastic gifts.


I bought this bag from Orla Kiely at Target a year or two ago. It was on clearance but this bag is quite similar. I used it on 3 trips last year and I like it but it's not the biggest bag so it's best for short trips. I especially liked it camping because I put all of my shower stuff in the big pocket and my skin care stuff in the small zippered pouch and it ended up working perfectly.


This is actually a personalized pencil pouch and I won it a few years ago. I actually cannot for the life of me remember what website it came from. This is the bag I use for keeping things that I want on my nightstand when I travel like my sleeping pills, lip balm, eye mask, and earplugs. I don't really know why I like it for that purpose but it's perfect for it!


I originally forgot to take a picture of this next one, which is so wrong because it has been my go-to for the past 8 or 9 years. This train case was part of an Estee Lauder GWP that my parents gave me for Christmas when I was 19. I was away at college at the time so I used it every time I came home and on every trip I took for the next almost decade. I don't know how much use it will get since I have the two new hanging organizers but this bag is sticking around. My Mom and I used to be absolutely obsessed with Estee Lauder and even though I wouldn't ever dream of using their animal tested and chemical laden products again I think I will forever love this red train case.


This is a little bag that I got years and years ago at my local Fred Meyer. It's the perfect purse size and I keep my purse makeup essentials in it. I absolutely love it. It even says, "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" on it so it's kind of perfect for me.


This is my travel brush set from BH Cosmetics. It's not a makeup bag, obviously, but I thought I should share anyway. This was a special last October for Breast Cancer Awareness. It was $5 and 100% of the proceeds went to charity. They're really great brushes!

I'll post a photo of all of my purse organizing bags on Instagram and Facebook. Do you have a makeup bag collection or just a favorite one? I'd love it if you shared a photo with my on my Facebook page.


To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form below. You can choose to do as many or as few options as you would like. All entries will be verified! That little flat iron is worth $50 alone!
This giveaway is open Internationally.
Give this post a "like" and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


(FTC: I purchased these items myself. None of the links above are affiliate links)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Current Cosmetic Favorites

A lot of bloggers and vloggers share monthly favorites, but I'm not someone who is capable of doing that kind of a post. As a beauty lover/junkie I'm constantly trying new things. Sometimes I find products that I really love and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I stick to using the same products for months and others times I switch up products on a daily basis. The beauty routine of a blogger can be a bit erratic at times.

I also have this weird thing where I sometimes find products that I absolutely love but when I go to sit down to write about them I can't find words to say about them. This post is going to be about some of my newly discovered cosmetic items that I haven't talked about on the blog at all that I've been loving and thoroughly enjoying but don't necessarily have a lot to say about.


Studio 78's We Breathe Eyeshadow in 05 Coffee Break is a really stunning color that is easy to wear. It's an earthy milk chocolate shade that packs a pretty, but subtle, shimmery punch. It's perfect for brown shadow lovers like me! The natural and nontoxic formula is delightfully rich and smooth. It blends beautifully and wears well throughout the day with or without primer. Their line is pricey and this buttery shadow is no exception at $30 but you get quite a large pan of product, 2.5 g, for that price. I like everything about this product and they have 7 other gorgeous shadows as well. This is the first product I've tried from Studio 78 and it definitely makes me curious about the rest of their line.


I have eyes that are incredibly sensitive to mascara. I have to be very picky about which mascaras I use. I have to find one that won't irritate my eyes but I also want a formula that will make my lashes look long, defined, dark, and help them keep from loosing their curl and drooping throughout the day. I decided to pick up a tube of the Aquarian Glaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara in Abyss from Pacifica on my last trip to Target and I'm so glad I did! I really, really like this stuff. The color is deep and does everything for my lashes that I desire while keeping my eyes from becoming red and itchy. I can't really tell you how water-resistant it actually is but it doesn't transfer or flake on me at all and it washes off easily at the end of the day. I really like the plastic applicator brush as well.


Check out this gorgeous nail polish from RGB in the shade Fuchsia, which is part of their Metallic line. It's even prettier in person. I tend to lean more towards coral shades in the warmer months but I think this color is so dazzling I've been reaching for it quite a lot. RGB polishes are 5-free, vegan, and cruelty free.


I've mentioned my Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Fig/Date on the blog before (in this post) but I recently picked up Tangerine/Lingonberry and it's got such fun shades for sunny days. I was a little nervous about trying such bright colors (orange and magenta) but I actually really like them! It's nice to have both duos because they take up so little room and give me such a wide range of shades to choose from.


What cosmetics are you currently loving and reaching for?

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Kari Gran Marsala Lip Whip


If you're in the market for a bold and classic shade that packs a pretty punch and delivers moisture and shine then look no further than the newly launched limited edition Lip Whip from Kari Gran. I am pleased to introduce you to Marsala, a rich and shimmery wine color inspired by PANTONE's Color of the Year.


This lush tinted lip balm is extremely hydrating and makes lips feel plush, healthy, and beautiful. It feels so smooth and comfortable on the lips. The formula is so luxurious and the color adds something special to any look. It's a gorgeous brown-based wine color. It's deep but wearable and absolutely stunning. I love the color and the gorgeous shine it gives. It makes my pout look perfectly plump.


This Lip Whip is made up of Organic Castor Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Camellia Seed Oil, Organic Olive, Sunflower & Calendula Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Carmine, Tocopherol (Non GMO Vitamin E From Sunflower) and Organic Peppermint Oil.


To purchase your own pot of Marsala you can click here to be taken to the Kari Gran website.

(FTC: This product was sent to me for free for review purposes. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Talk About Body Care - Mamma Oceania

Raise your hand if you love handmade bar soap that's made with healthy, all-natural ingredients and is never tested on animals? By the way, my hand is in the air, as high up as it can go! If yours is too you'll love what I'm talking about today!


I'd like to introduce you to my new soap love Mamma Oceania, a lovely company created by a beauty product and soap lover from Canada. Anna Mattiuzzo started making soap in 2012 for her own use and also for some of her friends. She began giving them as gifts to her friends and family who in turn asked for her to make more so they could gift them to their friends and family members as well, which is how Mamma Oceania was born.

Mamma Oceania soaps are simple in the best way possible and made with healthy, premium, USDA certified organic Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Canadian Sea Kelp and other ingredients like Banana Extract, Collodial Oatmeal, filtered water, and Sodium Lactate (salt milk). You'll never find anything toxic like dyes, fragrances, or preservatives in these beautifully made bars. Anna has a mission and a strong belief that we need to help create a healthier planet, "Even as a child, I constantly dreamed about harm-free soap, sea-foam, and a cleaner planet for everything that lives – especially mermaids."

Anna contacted me in March and sent me all 8 bars of her wonderful soap to try. I've been using them, and only them, since they arrived. I'm absolutely in love. The 8 different soaps that Anna makes are: 

Baby Clean Soap
Chamomile, Banana, Kelp, Oatmeal
Skin Smoothing Soap
Cucumber, Banana, Kelp, Oatmeal
Antioxidant Soap
Guava, Green Tea, Banana, Kelp
Pore Saver Facial Soap
Mango, Banana, Kelp, Oatmeal
Brightening Facial Soap
Pineapple, Banana, Kelp, Oatmeal
Gentle Exfoliating Soap
Pomegranate, Coconut, Kelp, Oatmeal
Skin Nourishing Soap
Rosehip, Banana, Kelp
Moisturizing Soap
Sea Buckthorn, Banana, Kelp



Each bar has a similar almost fragrance free scent. They just smell very light and fresh, like soap should. There is no fruity, floral, or fragrant scent to them making them the perfect soap for anyone who, like me, are sensitive to fragrances (natural or not) and prefers things to not have much of a smell. They are all extremely gentle but do a great job of leaving skin feeling clean and hydrated at the same time. I have super sensitive skin and these bars are incredible. My skin loves them! Each bar is 4 oz and seems to last quite a while, when kept out of direct water.

Picking a single favorite is nearly impossible but I can say that I'm currently using and loving the Gentle Exfoliating Soap and the Pore Saver Facial Soap, which I'm using on my body, while my Mom is using the Moisturizing Soap and really enjoying it. She's a big fan of anything with Sea Buckthorn in it!

To learn more about Mamma Oceania you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Gressa MINIMALIST Glamour


If you're looking for a foundation that glides on like butter, blends seamlessly into your skin, feels weightless but hydrating, and makes your skin look like you just got a really expensive facial then you should look no further than Gressa and their MINIMALIST Corrective Serum Foundation. You might as well add the Contouring Serum Bronzer and Illuminating Serum to your cart as well because this trio is magical. These products never ever make you look like you're wearing a face full of makeup and instead make your complexion look beautifully flawless and healthy. The radiant and dewy finish is something that is absolutely stunning and jaw dropping.

Okay, before we continue on I'm fully aware that these products are a little pricier than the average cosmetics, but trust me when I tell you they're totally worth it. A single drop of each of these magical elixirs goes a very long way so you won't be using too much too quickly. I fully believe in investing in skin care and these products are skin care with an added cosmetic bonus.

The MINIMALIST Corrective Serum Foundation currently comes in 8 colors and comes in a lovely .5 oz dark glass bottle with a dropper. I would say that this is a light to medium coverage foundation that can be built up. It does a wonderful job evening out skin tone and even conceals blemishes and dark spots. I'm using shade 03 and it's a great match for me. On days when I want more coverage I use 4 drops to cover my entire face but I can get by with 2 on lighter days. Gressa has their own Immaculate Buffing Brush they recommend but I'm currently using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply this foundation. I actually drop the foundation directly onto my brush, although they recommend starting on your hand, and apply to the center of my face blending out.


You know that feeling when you put on foundation but you can't stand how heavy or tacky it feels and you can't wait to be able to wash it off? Well, that doesn't happen with this stuff. After I apply it I forget I'm even wearing it. I have dry skin and this serum to powder foundation glides on easily and doesn't cling to any dry patches. It adds a nice amount of hydration so I never look cakey or dehydrated. I do have to set this with a powder or I've noticed that it transfers fairly easily. I've been using the Pacifica Perfect Lotus Universal Powder in Light to set it (after applying the Contouring Serum and Illuminating Serum) and the combination is really nice.


The MINIMALIST Contouring Serum Bronzer is awesome. It's seriously so good I can't even put it into words. I love bronzer and I love to contour so it sort of seems like this product was created just for me, or at least for people like me. Be careful though because if you use a heavy hand you'll apply way too much, which I have done a couple of times. I've gotten the hang of it though and I now use one single drop on my Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. I dab it onto the back of my hand and then apply to my face and I get the perfect amount to shape and warm up my entire face. It's such a beautiful shade that's not at all orange or muddy. It makes me look makes me look believably bronzed and adds definition to my face. I haven't tried this yet but I bet you can even add it to lotion to make a wash off tan or apply it to foundation to make a darker, more summery shade.


The MINIMALIST Illuminating Serum is a seriously pretty luminous pearly serum that adds a subtle glow to make skin look even more radiant and alive. It's a pink pearlescent shade that adds a hint of something special to the tops of the cheekbones or anywhere else you desire a little highlight. It's not glittery or metallic, nor does it make you look like a disco ball or a little girl who got into her older sisters makeup stash. It's easy to use and I absolutely love the effect. I imagine you could also add this to lotion or foundation to get an all over glow. My only problem with this is that my dropper seems to not work very well. The other two bottles have droppers that are in perfect working order but this particular one is very difficult to get anythinig out of.

I'm only wearing the Gressa MINIMALIST Corrective Serum Foundation, Contouring Serum Bronzer (on cheeks and eyes), and the Illuminating Serum in the following photo. I am also wearing mascara and lip balm, but no added concealer. I also did not retouch these at all.
 

All three of these products have the GRESSA Healing Complex which is a" proprietary powerhouse blend of carefully selected botanical extracts that care for your skin by providing it with overall balance, radiance and clarity", so not only are these products absolutely beautiful they're also good for your skin. What's not to love? Nothing! I'm seriously in love with these 3 products. Thank you Gressa for making such gorgeous, luxurious, and healthy products that lend themselves to making my skin look as good as it possibly can!

Gressa has also mentioned adding eye tints and cheek colors to their collection and I am SO excited about those. I can't wait to read more about them! I also have my eye on their AUX ROUGE Lip Boost. So pretty!

If you're interested in learning more about Gressa or their products you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find Gressa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - Pacifica


Pacifica is an excellent natural beauty brand for so many reasons. They are a cruelty free company who specializes in creating affordable and healthy vegan products that are highly effective and luxurious but available in stores like Target and Ulta. I can also find their products at my local Fred Meyer so I often find myself in front of their display trying to pick which products I need to add to my collection. I seem to be constantly adding products from their line into my beauty arsenal so I figured it was time to talk about Pacifica.

My first experience with Pacifica was several years ago when my Mom gave me a Hawaiian Ruby Guava candle and body butter. As many of you might know, I really love unscented things but even then I still fell really hard for the glorious, tropical, fruity fragrance. The candle was particularly awe-inspiring. Fast forward a few years and many of their cosmetics have become beloved treasures in my makeup drawers.

Their products all have a scent but the most surprising thing is that it doesn't bother me at all. If you're a regular reader of my blog than you know how very sensitive to any kind of scent I am but the Pacifica fragrance is something I actually enjoy. I think it's a bit odd to apply strongly scented makeup to my face but I don't mind it, although it is something to be cautious of if you're also very sensitive. Many of their products also pack quite a shimmery punch so if you don't like shimmer keep that in mind.

I am totally obsessed with Pacifica lip products and their Devocean Deeply Devoted Natural Lipsticks in particular. I only have two of their shades but I adore them. I have Tenderness, a lovely and creamy my lips but better shade that makes my lips look lush and full, and Rebel Sol, a bright and cheerful coral color perfect for the warmer months. My lips are incredibly sensitive so I have to be careful about what I apply on them but these lipsticks are gentle, hydrating, and comfortable to wear. The color lasts quite a long time and wears well. I also love the long tube format and how easy they are to apply. I also have one of their Color Quench Lip Tints in the color Sugared Fig. The scent is divine and while it doesn't provide much color it does add a nice touch of something special to the lips. It is a bit on the drier side so I like to layer it with a lip balm but it's a nice, easy go to product for me.

I've talked about the Dreamlit Illuminating Under Eye Brightener in Dreamlight a few times on Beautiful Basics and for good reason – it's a miracle in a tube. Seriously! It's one of my holy grail products and I have a feeling I'll always have a tube on hand. I have some dark and heavy baggage under my eyes and this creamy product leaves me looking bright-eyed, heavy, and well rested. It also never settles into my fine lines so it's a winner all around. I love the Under Eye Brightener so much that I decided to purchase their Transcendent Concentrated Correcting Concealer in Light as well. It's a bit on the drier side so I have to be careful about applying this only to well hydrated skin but it does a fantastic job of concealing and correcting my skin leaving me looking even all over. It's also the perfect color for me!

The Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation with SPF 17 provides light coverage and helps even out my skin. It's lightweight, smells great, and wears beautifully all day. I can get away with wearing it on it's own but those of you who prefer heavy coverage should look elsewhere or you can layer it with another foundation.

My latest purchase is the Perfect Lotus Universal Powder in Light and it's another winner. I absolutely love the packaging and the powder itself is so soft and smooth. The Light color is perfect for me! I've been having issues with wearing powder for a few months now but there is something magical about this one because it never looks dry or heavy on the skin and instead is almost hydrating. It's the perfect setting powder!

As for the Smolder Eye Lining Gel in Anchor and the Natural Eye Pencil in Bare (not pictured) I can't say that I'm very smitten with either of them. The Eye Pencil in Bare is a creamy colored pencil that goes on smoothly but tends to irritate my eyes a bit. I chalk it up to the fact that I have extremely sensitive eyes when it comes to liner. I do like using it under my brows though. The Smolder Eye Lining Gel is beyond shimmery, which I don't love, and a bit of an odd color on me so it's not necessarily a bad product but it's not the right product for me.

As for my Pacifica wish list I really want to pick up their Power of Love Coconut Infused Mineral Eye Shadow Palette, Love 3 Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow TrioPower of Love Natural Lipstick in Nudie Red, Coconut Kiss Creamy Lip Butter in Shell, and Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Last Mineral Mascara in Black. You read about my favorites and which products I'm coveting and now I want to know which Pacifica products you love or which ones you're interested in trying!

To learn more about Pacifica and their products you can check out their website by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you want to find a retailer near you can use this locator.

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

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Talk About Hair and Body - Acure Organics

I think Acure Organics is such a great brand for affordable and healthy hair, skin, and body products and I'm also a really big fan of bar soap so I was really excited about the brands Argan Oil Bar Soaps. I was sent all 5 scents to try out and today I'll be sharing my thoughts on them as well as my reviews of a couple of their other products that I picked up myself so let's get right into it, shall we?


The Argan Oil Bar Soaps come in the 5 different versions:
Cinnamon Chai Latte
Mint Cookie + Omega 7
Oatmeal + Apple Pie
Pumpkin + Calendula
Superfruit + Citrus



The Mint Cookie + Omega 7, Oatmeal + Apple Pie, and Superfruit + Citrus are my favorites! If I had to pick only one to be declared my absolute favorite it would be the Mint Cookie… no, it would be the Oatmeal + Apple Pie. Okay, so I can't narrow it down because they're really wonderful bars of soap and they smell fantastic! I do recommend finding these near you so you can smell them before you buy them. They're very strongly scented and might not be for everyone. These soaps are made with healthy, safe, and pure organic oils. They're also vegan and cruelty free like all Acure products are and you'll never see any parabens, sulfates or other toxic ingredients listed on the back of the box. This soap is also gluten free! The Oatmeal + Apple Pie soap has the added benefit of exfoliating the skin with gentle bits of oatmeal.


I picked up the Unscented Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes on a pilgrimage to Target a couple of months ago and I'm so glad I did. Side note – I wish I had a Target near me because I love how many green and natural products they're starting to stock. The nearest one to me is an hour and a half away. Bummer, huh? Anyway, I wasn't sure what to expect with these cleansing wipes. I really like products like this but often find them to be too harsh and drying on my skin. I don't have that issue with these handy little guys. They're awesome! These are beyond gentle and very moist. I like using these before I wash my face to remove the bulk of my makeup. They don't remove every trace of makeup but they do a really good job of paving the way for a cleanser to follow. They have absolutely no scent and don't leave my skin looking irritated or red at all. I think these will be a camping staple for me this summer!


The final product I want to talk about is the Moisturizing Root Repair Argan Stem Cell + Mint Deep Conditioning Hair Mask that I received in a Goodebox. This stuff is incredible. I usually don't like deep conditioners but this one blows me away every single time I use it. It leaves my hair and scalp feeling so healthy, strong and nurtured. The scent doesn't linger but it is lovely and minty. I truly love using this product and what it does to my hair. I use it twice a week in place of my regular conditioner and I have been reaping the beautiful hair benefits of adding this to my routine. I have long, fine hair and this leaves my hair silky soft, tangle free, shiny, and strong. I have nothing but love for this gorgeous product.

You can learn more about Acure and their product offerings by visiting their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to know more about what I think about their products you can check out my reviews here, here, and here. Do you have a favorite Acure product or one that you want to try?

(FTC: I purchased the Unscented Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes with my own money. The Argan Oil Bar Soaps were generously provided to me by the company for review consideration. The Deep Conditioner came out of a Goodebox. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Talk About It - Face Effects by Spa Sonic

I'm a tool kind of girl, and I don't mean hammers or drills. Skin care and cosmetic tools are some of my favorite things in the world and I know I'm not alone. If you're like me and love a good beauty tool than you're going to love Face Effects by Spa Sonic.


Several of you have asked for my thoughts on Clarisonic and their Skin Cleansing Systems but with cheaper alternatives like this, that work super well, I just can't justify the cost. The Face Effects Face Perfecting Polisher works so well I have no interest in trying any other systems.

This facial cleansing brush makes my skin smoother, clearer, cleaner, and a lot brighter. This system gets my skin really clean, deep down to each pore. It also seems to really help my serums and moisturizers absorb more easily, which I greatly appreciate.


The Spa Sonic Face Effects Face Perfecting Polisher 6 Piece Professional Kit includes:
Cleansing Unit - which comes in several designs: Zebra, Cheetah, Polka Dot and metallic Gold and Silver
Facial Brush – a super soft bristled brush that cleanses the skin
Pore Minimizer – a grooved silicone attachment perfect for deep cleaning and tightening pores
Facial Sponge – a latex head that is great for applying moisturizer
Storage Case
Battery 2-Pack


The Face Effects Polisher is water resistant so you can use it in the shower or at the sink without having to worry about ruining the unit. This tool has two speed settings so you can pick whichever speed you prefer. It also comes with batteries so once you've put it together it's all set to go!

I think one of the coolest extra bits is the hard acse in which the brush and heads comes in. It's perfect for storing in your bathroom to keep it safe and clean. I think the case is the perfect addition!

The Spa Sonic Face Effects Face Perfecting Polisher has a price tag of $59.99. You can purchase this system online here and here.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Talk About It - Weleda Toothpaste Comparison and Review

I included the Weleda Salt Toothpaste in my 14 Favorites from 2015 post because it's my absolute favorite toothpaste of all time and I've gone through so many tubes of the stuff but when I suddenly ran out I had to come up with another solution. The Salt Toothpaste isn't sold anywhere in my town so I have to order it online. One of my local grocery stores does, however, carry 2 different formulas of toothpaste from Weleda so I decided to pick them up and try them out while I was waiting for my beloved version to arrive at my doorstep.


I was so excited about finding a toothpaste I could purchase locally and also about doing a comparison review of the 3 Weleda toothpastes that I've tried but, sadly, neither of the new (to me) toothpastes were winners. In one corner of the ring we have my dear Salt Toothpaste and in the other we have the Plant Gel Toothpaste and the Ratanhia Toothpaste.

Before I get into the specifics of the aforementioned fight to be the best toothpaste winner I want to let you all know that I have extremely sensitive lips and mouth. I have to be really careful about lip products and oral care products because I tend to get easily irritated and having an irritated mouth is no fun.

Each Weleda toothpaste has a different purpose and super power. The Ratanhia Toothpaste is meant to cleanse and strengthen the gums. The Plant Gel Toothpaste was made to naturally protect sensitive gums and teeth. The Salt Toothpaste helps protect against plaque and tartar buildup as well as help clean and whiten teeth.

The Weleda Salt Toothpaste is a miracle in a tube. It has helped keep my teeth and gums healthy. It leaves my teeth feeling incredibly clean and my breath smelling fresh for a long time. It takes a little getting used to since it doesn't foam and it tastes quite salty (obviously) but I have purchased multiple tubes and always use every last drop. I'm not sure what it is that makes this formula superior to all other toothpastes I have ever used but it's a wonder product and I can't say enough good things about it.

I simply didn't like the Plant Gel because it instantly bothered my gums and lips. I'm not sure what cause my mouth to rebel against this formula but I just wasn't happy with the results and won't be trying it again. It made my teeth and mouth tingle. Weird, right? It left my breath fresh enough but didn't do enough to make my teeth feel very clean.

The Ratanhia Toothpaste isn't the best thing ever but it leaves my teeth feeling perfectly clean and my gums feeling really tight and healthy. This really does do what it says in that it strengthens my gums and that is something I really appreciate. I don't like the flavor of this toothpaste though and it leaves a bit of an odd scent behind. It's extremely weird because it's a pinkish purple clay-like formula and it takes some getting used to. It also ended up bothering my lips a bit. This is worth a try just for the effects on the gums it provides.

All in all, the Weleda Salt Toothpaste is a must have in my oral care routine and I don't think I'll be straying again. Have you tried any of these or one of their other versions?

(FTC: I purchased these with my own money. I am not being compensated for this post.)

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Talk About Subscription Boxes - March and April 2015 Goodebox Review

Who here loves a good surprise? If I'm being totally honest (which, let's be real here, I always am with you on Beautiful Basics) I'm not a big fan of surprises. Maybe it's the fact that I have anxiety and I like to know exactly what to expect or maybe it's just not natural for everybody to like surprises.

I'm not sure which it is but either way there is one surprise that I do enjoy. I love getting a box of beauty products (trial sized and even some full sized goodies) delivered directly to my mailbox every single month. Even those of us who don't love surprises can appreciate Goodebox, an eco friendly beauty subscription box. My Mom and I like to share the spoils of beauty boxes and between the two of us we always find things we like. I've reviewed Goodebox in the past (you can check out those reviews by clicking here and here) but today I'll be talking about the March and April 2015 boxes. Before we get into the contents of the boxes let's get the basics out of the way.


Goodebox is a service aimed at introducing subscribers to natural, healthy, and non-toxic beauty and personal care products as well as the occasional health and wellness products. This is directly from the Goodebox FAQ section on their website, "All Goodeboxes will contain some type of skin and/or bodycare products. Most months will have a color item (make-up), and some will have hair care, fragrance, sun care, personal care, hygiene products, accessories, supplements, health & beauty related food or beverage items or sustainable living products." You will also receive special offers from some of the brands included in the box.

With several membership plans (monthly, every other month, or multi-month), the ability to fill out a profile so you're getting personalized products you're bound to like, and the promise of 4-6 trial sized products for under $20 a month green beauty lovers have nothing to lose by signing up. Here is a quick rundown on Goodebox plans and costs. For $102, or $17 per box, you can sign up for a 6-month membership. If you want a shorter membership you can sign up for 3 months with each box will cost $18 for a total of $54. If you're interested in purchasing a single box without having to make commitment you can pay monthly as you go for $19. Whichever option you go for you will receive free shipping. Please know that this subscription only ships to the US, US Territories, and APO Boxes.

Another important thing to note: Goodebox supports cruelty free beauty brands and screens each potential brand to ensure they are not testing on animals or using ingredients that are tested on animals although not all of the products or brands included are certified Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny. If you're a vegan and mark your profile as such you will not receive any products with ingredients derived from milk, eggs, lanolin, pearl, silk, carmine, or any animal by-products. You may, however, receive products with honey and/or beeswax.


The March 2015 Goodebox is one of the most impressive subscription boxes I have ever encountered. I was ecstatic when I opened the box and discovered so many awesome products inside, including several full sized products! So, what exactly did I find?
Acure Root + Hair Deep Repair – Full size with a value of $14.99
Juice Beauty Defining Eyeliner in Black – Full size with a value of $16
3 Pack Knotted Hair Ties from Poppy and Elle
Eslor Soothing Refiner and Cleanser - .5 oz
Furlesse Lip Sticks, Crows, Rows, and Elevens


Like I said, I was majorly impressed with this box. The value of the Acure and Juice Beauty products alone were worth well over the price of the box itself. I've already used the Acure Root + Hair Deep Repair and absolutely love it. I'm actually planning on giving it its own featured review soon. I gave my Mom the Juice Beauty Eyeliner and she really likes it. The hair ties are adorable and are my favorite type of hair tie so I know I'll get a lot of use out of them. The Eslor Cleanser is a great size and I love the packaging. I'm not sure about the Furlesse though.


I also received the April 2015 Goodebox for review purposes. Here is what was inside:
Preserve Razor – Full size (1 razor and 2 blades) with a value of $8.50
Derma E Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Crème SPF 15 - .5 oz
Gressa Skin Renewing Polish
Kahina Serum
The Seaweed Bath Co, Detox Cellulite Cream


I like this box but it didn't blow me away like the March one did. I completely understand that not every box can have a huge wow factor, though, and some months will be better than others. I think I'm most excited about the Derma E Crème and the Razor. I haven't used either yet but they're both things I think I will really enjoy. My Mom has already tried the Gressa Skin Renewing Polish and couldn't stop telling me how incredible it is. I really like Gressa (and will be posting a review of their Minimalist Glamour line on the blog soon) so I'm happy to see this included in this box.

Also, Goodebox just celebrated their 3rd birthday! Join me in wishing Goodebox congratulations on 3 years of wonderful beauty boxes! Here is to many more years of healthy beauty! If you want to learn more about Goodebox you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find Goodebox on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

One last thing, I'm considering joining Goodebox in order to provide you all with monthly reviews. What do you think? Is that something you would be interested in?

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Talk About Skin Care - Kari Gran

Kari Gran is a self admitted beauty junkie who started looking at exactly what ingredients she was putting on her skin when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in her late twenties. She began searching for natural alternatives and was left wanting more. It wasn't until her forties when she started thinking about developing healthy, simple, and elegant products to meet basic skin needs and nourish a healthy complexion.

Kari, who creates the products, teamed up with her friend Lisa Strain, who runs the business side, to create Kari Gran. Kari Gran is a line of all-natural, cruelty free skin care and cosmetics that are made from natural, wild harvested and non-GMO ingredients that are good for the body and the world. You'll never find any toxic ingredients inside any Kari Gran products. You won't find water either, only natural plant ingredients and essential oils. The line is designed to be gentle and safe for all ages and skin types.

I've heard a lot about Kari Gran in the past and was so excited to be able to try some of their products. I was sent their Starter Kit and two of their popular Lip Whips.


I know that not everyone is a fan of oil based products, but I am and I am so in love with the Kari Gran Cleansing Oil. It's my favorite product of theirs that I have tried and I know a lot of you would like it as well. This cleansing oil is made from Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Organic Lavender Oil, and Non-GMO Vitamin E from Sunflower. This cleansing oil is simple but so luxurious. The formula is deliciously rich and leaves my skin feeling superbly hydrated and supple. My skin absolutely loves it!

The Hydrating Tonic in Rose (which also comes in Lavender) is also really lovely. It adds the perfect touch of extra moisture to my skin and smells divine. I use it as toner but also as a hydration spray over my makeup to get red of any dry patches and make my skin looks fresh and dewy. The texture is perfect and beautifully fine. It does not leave any stickiness or tackiness behind. The bottle is also perfect!

The Essential Serum feels really great on my skin but I really don't like the smell. The scent is so strong but the actual serum leaves my skin looking and feeling so smooth and luminous. I use it at night and love the results when I can get past the smell.


Their Lip Whips, which comes in 4 colored versions and 1 clear, are extremely popular. I've heard so much about these products from other green beauty bloggers so I was excited to get to try them. I received Naked, their original clean lip balm, and Tinted, a perfectly wearable and adorable sheer pink. Their Lip Whips come in two scents, Peppermint and Cinnamon-Pimenta Berry. I really like both scents and both the tinted and untinted balms. I don't really love potted lip balm because I don't like taking them out into the world with me (I'm a germaphobe) but I don't mind using them at home. They work great alone of layered under other lip products.

Have you tried Kari Gran or do you have any of their products on your beauty wish list? I think their line is definitely worth a look because simple and luxurious products are always worth a try in my book. To learn more about the company or their products you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also find Kari Gran on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Talk About Cosmetics - 100% Pure Luminous Primer

I have never been a huge believer in the importance of primer although I have liked to test out different formulas and experiment with them. I became a serious primer lover, though, when my Mom stuck a bottle of the Luminous Primer from 100% Pure in my stocking at Christmas. It's beyond incredible. I mean, seriously. It's amazing. Ingenious. An absolute must have for me now.


Okay, enough accolades for now because you're probably wondering what makes it so great. Am I right? Well, I'm glad you asked. I have fairly dry, dehydrated skin that tends to look really cakey and overloaded with makeup sometimes, especially when it's cold and dry like it has been for the last several months.

When I apply this magical elixir to my skin it creates an impressively smooth canvas that looks healthy, hydrated, smooth, and supple. I'm not going to say it makes me look younger or anything because I'm only 27 and I would never want to be or look 17 again but it does help make everything even and plump (in a good way!). It also feels delightful on my skin and helps my makeup go on nicely and last all day long.

I'm ridiculously in love with this primer. It makes me glow and I will forever have a bottle on my vanity.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lip Lovers Series - Lip Balm

Lip balm is something that is an absolute must have in my life. I get such dry lips and I can't stand the feeling that accompanies flakes and chapped skin. I'm extremely picky when it comes to lip balm and I try so many that don't work for me. It's always a nice surprise when I find a lip balm that I really love and today I want to share my top 5 lip balms with you.

Keep in mind that I have liked a lot of lip balms in the past but these 5 are my current favorites.


EcoLips
has an awesome selection of lip balm and I got the chance to work with them a few years ago. You can check out my review by clicking here. I was in my favorite grocery store a couple of months ago and saw a box of Medicinal Lip Balm and the simple packaging caught my eye. This particular balm is marketed for cold sores but I have taken to using it every single night before bed. It has an earthy tea tree scent but no noticeable taste. It feels incredibly soothing and nourishing on my lips and makes an immediate difference. It has been a miracle worker this winter and I'm so glad I have it in my arsenal. I will be purchasing another tube soon.

The Theraneem Naturals Neem Stick Lip Therapy is a hard product for me to describe. I absolutely hate the scent and flavor. It reminds me of minty chicken bullion. I'm a vegetarian but I am familiar with the scent. It's disgusting. I actually think I don't like the natural scent of Neem because I have noticed this gross scent in a lot of products listing it in their ingredients. So, you're probably wondering why this product is being included on my favorites list when I hate the scent so much. The formula works wonders on irritated and raw lips. It does an excellent job at healing and protecting lips. I can get past the scent because the stuff in the tube is brilliant.

My old trusty MoistStic obviously had to be included in this list. If you've been following Beautiful Basics for a few years you have heard me talk about this stuff a lot. I even have an individual review for this balm. I actually don't use it as much as I used to thanks to the lip balms I talked about above but I do still really enjoy this one. Here is the link to the review.

As far as plain and simple lip balms go I really love the Booda Butter Naked Lip Balm. I always keep a tube of this in my wallet since it comes in a cool kind of flat tube. It is the perfect essential lip balm since it hydrates and moisturizes without any extra frills. It is truly unscented, flavor-free, moisture infusing, and gentle on my ultra sensitive lips. Click here to check out my review

Portland Bee Balm is a dry lip balm meaning it does not have a very wet or slippery formula, nor does it leave lips looking shiny. I absolutely love wearing it under lipstick since it acts as a primer. It lasts a very long time and helps hydrate and protect lips. Here is the link to my full review.

Do you have a favorite lip balm? Share your must haves with me! I'd love to check them out!

Filed in: lip care, lip balm
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015 Birthday to Birthday Giveaway


March 15 is a very important day in my life. March 15th, 2011 is the day that I started Beautiful Basics. I know you're probably thinking something like, "Beauty Blogging isn't a very big deal so it shouldn't be such an important anniversary", but for me it was a huge deal.

When I was 22 I became seriously ill. In 2009, my entire life changed and I couldn't do anything about it. The person I was before was not the person I was capable of being any longer. I couldn't work or do much of anything and it was really devastating. Being 22 and being sick is incredibly difficult. Let's be real, being sick at any age is really hard but at 22 I had so many goals and plans for my life that were all thrown out the window.

I started to feel lost and hopeless and like I was useless because I couldn't work. I thought about volunteering, but it's hard to make any commitments when you're ill, so I thought about taking up a hobby. What did I enjoy? I thought about it and I realized that I loved to read beauty blogs and watch beauty videos on YouTube. I wasn't (and I'm still not) ready to put myself out there on camera but I have always loved to write so I came up with the concept of Beautiful Basics. The blog originally began as an outlet for my favorite beauty tips and some reviews but took on a life of its own when I began researching green living and eco beauty.

Today, 4 years later, I'm still sick. In fact, I'm worse than I was back then but my attitude and outlook have changed a lot. I'm no longer lost or down about my situation. Life is whatever we choose to make of it and I'm choosing to live a happy life. Beautiful Basics gave me something to do and focus on and gave me hope. Blogging and keeping up with Beautiful Basics is a part of me now and it's something I enjoy doing, very much. In honor of my 4th blogiversary I want to do a giveaway for all of you wonderful people who keep me blogging. Thank you for that, by the way. Your likes, comments, questions, suggestions, and recommendations make this all worth it.

And since my birthday is April 10th (I'll be 28… where does time go?) I want to do a double giveaway that lasts from my blogiversary to my birthday. How does that sound?


There will be 2 winners. The first randomly selected winner will be able to choose which prize they would like. The other bag will go to the second winner. This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide. To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form below. You can choose to do as many or as few options as you would like. All entries will be verified! Give this post a "like" and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lip Lovers Series - Acure Lip Lushes

Acure Organics is a massively popular green brand for a reason. They consistently deliver products that are highly effective, clean, and fun to use at a really affordable price point. I've tried a lot of their products over the years since I first went green and the majority of them have been big time hits in my book and I'd like to introduce you all to their Lip Lushes if you haven't already tried them out.


Like I said earlier in the week in my Favorite Lipsticks post I'm more of a lipstick than lip gloss kind of girl. Gloss is pretty hard for me to fall in love with. I don't like sticky gooey stuff but Acure has created a gloss that has an extreme amount of shine without that gross tacky feeling that some glosses have. I'm wildly impressed with their entire range of Lip Lushes which is comprised of 5 pigmented shades that range from sheer to surprisingly opaque. These aren't your average glosses.

The formula of these glosses is moisturizing and feels silky smooth on the lips. It also smells absolutely delicious! I love the scent so much. It is sweet and slightly fruity. The applicator is easy to use and apply. And… the names are beyond cute - Birthday Suit, Shmexy, No Strings, Date Worthy, and DAAANG! Awesome names, right?

Without further ado I'm going to let the swatches speak for themselves. Stunning, no?


Birthday Suit is essentially a clear gloss with a slight nude tint with no shimmer.
Shmexy is a sheer light pink without shimmer.
No Strings is a great rosy pink with a slight touch of shimmer.
Date Worthy is a really richly pigmented peachy, rosy, nude shade that is super opaque.
DAAANG! Is a shimmery plum berry shade.

I think I would have to say my favorites are Shmexy and Date Worthy, although they all deserve special recognition. Each individual gloss is special and unique. My Mom snagged Birthday Suit and No Strings for herself and she's been wearing them nonstop. There is definitely a shade for everyone. Which one would do you like most?

(FTC: These Lip Lushes were generously provided to me by the company for review purposes. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lip Lovers Series - Lipstick and Tinted Lip Balm

Who here loves lipstick? I do! I do!

Lipstick is my preferred method of applying color to my lips. It's funny because my Mom is a gloss kind of gal but I find something transformative and super special about lipstick. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate gloss (I'll even be sharing a review of 5 gorgeous glosses later this week) but I don't love it nearly as much I love a good tube of lipstick.

Today I'm opening up my makeup stash and pulling out some of my current favorite lippies to share with you. I hope to make this an annual (or maybe seasonal) series if you all like it. Also, please remember that I have super sensitive lips that are easily irritated and none of the following products bother me in the least bit.


Ilia makes gorgeous, stunning, amazing, and unique lip products. They have a superb selection of shades, finishes, and formulas that come in sleek and sophisticated metal tubes. Shell Shock, a Tinted Lip Conditioner, is number 1 on my favorites list. My sweet and thoughtful Mother knew I had this beauty on my wish list and ordered it for me as a surprise. Surprised I was and in love I quickly fell! I think I might even call Shell Shock my signature lip shade. It is a lovely sheer, but buildable, coral pink that brightens up my face and makes me look healthy and awake. We went on a couple of vacations last summer and this is all I packed with me lip wise. It is appropriate for any situation and goes with every makeup look. It applies and wears perfectly. It leaves my lips soft and hydrated.

I talked about Arabian Knights and Nobodys Baby years ago. You can check out that review by clicking here.

Another gift from my Mom (and Dad!) is the Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Date and Fig. First of all, I love the size of this little guy. It's perfect! The colors are great and the formula is exceptional. These particular shades are pretty similar and end up being the perfect MLBB (My Lips But Better) shades for me. They are very long lasting as well! I'm happy to have it! They have several different versions too with some brights and reds but I'm really loving the nude selections in this duo.

I had been eyeing Pacifica's Devocean Lipsticks for quite a while before I settled on Tenderness. I don't know what it is about this color but my lips look huge and full when I wear it. I hate the description I'm about to use but I can't find another way to say it – this lipstick makes my lips look juicy! It's great! Love the tube and the formula. This lipstick definitely makes me curious about the others in the line.

Another Mom gift is the Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint in Sugared Fig that she stuffed in my stocking this past Christmas. I remember receiving one of Pacifica's jumbo tints in a Goodebox years ago and I really didn't like it so I was pleasantly surprised when I ended up loving this one. It doesn't provide a lot of color but it does give a nice little tint to the lips and it smells and tastes excellent. It's perfect for girls on the go because it's effortless and easy to use. I'm actually planning on doing an entire post about Pacifica and the products I've tried from them so keep an eye out for that if you're interested.

I did a whole review of the Noyah lipsticks not too long ago so I'm not going to talk about this next lipstick in depth. You can check out that review by clicking here. Anyway, Deeply in Mauve surprised me by becoming my favorite of the range. It's a beautiful shade that suits me. It's not a fuss free shade since it's on the darker side but if you have some time to dedicate to applying it you won't regret it. I think this color would look great on so many different skin tones.

My final favorite is Hannah PureMoist Lipstick by Jane Iredale. The Jane Iredale website decribes this shade as a creamy matte brown plum but it ends up being a pretty brick color on me. It is very wearable and works day to day or for evenings as well. It has a gorgeous smooth and velvety formula that makes lips look and feel soft. I also love the rose gold packaging!


I want to know what your favorites are so please feel free to comment on the Facebook page and share what you love with me!

(FTC: Some of these were gifts from my beautiful Mother and some of these were prizes that I won from giveaways. The Noyah lipstick was given to me as a PR sample by the company. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and honest, as always.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Beautiful Baking - Organic Scones

Can I make a confession? I can't cook. Well, I can… because I believe that everyone can do anything if they try hard enough but I don't like cooking. In fact,I kind of hate it. It's not fun and I never like anything I make. I think food tastes a lot better when someone else cooks it for you. Am I alone here? Anyway, despite my aversion to cooking I find that I really enjoy baking. It's so fun to mess around with different recipes and create something, that is hopefully super yummy, for my loved ones.


Scones have become my "thing". I love baking scones! I don't know exactly why I love it so much but it's a ton of fun for me and I really love experimenting with making different flavors of scones.

I know that Beautiful Basics is a beauty blog but I love scones so much and a lot of you expressed interest in the recipe when I shared a photo a while back so I hope you won't mind too much that I'm posting about food.

I have found that when it comes to baking recipes are pretty much just suggestions. You can make substitutions or add other ingredients and create something unique. Baking is a fun process of trial and error. The following is my base recipe for scones and then I had things, by eye, to create different flavors. The photos in this post are of Blueberry and Plain scones but I have also made chocolate chip (the favorite of my family) and Peanut Butter. Feel free to add anything you want to your mix! Also, I use all organic ingredients but you can feel free to use whatever you prefer.

Preheat your oven to 425 and then get your dough ready! You will need:
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugaryou can add less or more depending on your tastes and the final flavor you're going for. I go for ¼ cup when using chocolate chips or other sweet ingredients.
¾ cup milk
8 tablespoons of cold cut up butter - I actually use 4 tablespoons of real butter and 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance and it works beautifully. I have found that using only Earth Balance doesn't work as well but if you're a vegan feel free to substitute for the butter

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt before adding the butter. Let the butter incorporate and then add your sugar. Once those ingredients are mixed add your milk. If you're making plain scones you're done but if you're not then this is the point where you will add your other ingredients – berries, chocolate chips, etc. You'll know when the mixture is ready because it becomes a sticky but packed dough ball. At this point you can cut up your dough and stick it on a cookie sheet. I like to form a ball and flatten the bottom on my cutting board. I then take a pizza cutter and cut the dough like a pie. You can make your scones as large or as small as you would like.

Bake your scones until they are a lovely shade of golden brown. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on racks. Now you're done and you should have a tasty batch of scones. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Talk About It - SpaRitual

I don't know about you but I think there is something really whimsical and magical about sparkle and glitter. Anything that glints and gleams is sure to catch my eye and if you're the same way then you'll want to keep reading because I've got three fabulous glittering, shimmering nail polishes from SpaRitual to talk about.

Let's start with some basic facts about the company and their products, shall we? SpaRitual polishes are vegan and formulated without DBP, toulene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. The coolest part about these polishes (other than how gorgeous they are!) is the fact that they don't feel awkward and rough on the nail. Some glitters have a tendency to feel share and snag on fabric but not these ones. They can be applied in a thin layer to add a little something extra to an already painted nail or built up to be more opaque.


Snow Globe is a Glitter Top Effect and is a lovely iridescent mix of gold shimmer and white glitter chunks. It would look gorgeous on top of any shade and add a fun snowy look to any polish.

Beyond Love is my absolute favorite. It's so eye-catching! It's a polish made up of chunky pink glitter. I actually think that Beyond Love works well on its own if it's built up. I used 3 coats and didn't need anything underneath, although you can always apply it in a thin layer over another polish to get a multi-faceted effect. 

Home is a combination of teal, silver, and gold glitter pieces. I think it would look fantastic with a multitude of different polishes – gold, teal, white, silver! Every time I look at it I think Mardi Gras. I'm not really sure why that is but it's a beautiful glitter that would work all year round.

Now, this next polish isn't a glitter but it by now you've probably noticed that Pantone's Color of the Year, Marsala, is everywhere. Marsala is described as a naturally robust and earthy wine red shade. It's the hottest hue on the planet right now and if you're on the hunt for the perfect must have nail lacquer you might want to check out SpaRitual's Fall in Love. It's the perfect shimmery shade that is the right mix of red and brown. It's a classic and wearable color that will flatter so many different skin tones.


These polishes are healthy, stunning, and fun to use and wear! Do you have your eye on any of these or any other SpaRitual polishes?

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

14 of 2014

Happy New Year-I just realized this is my first post of 2015. To celebrate the new year, I decided to talk about my 14 favorite products of 2014. First of all, I want to talk about how difficult it was for me to write this post. I don't like picking "favorite" products because I'm picky and finicky and sometimes I change my opinion from one moment to the next. When it came to choosing 14 favorites I wanted to make sure they were products that I had used for a long time and products that I really, really loved. There were a lot of products that I wanted to include that I hadn't been using for very long so they were not added to the list. With that huge disclaimer out of the way, let's get started!

John Masters Organics Zinc and Sage Shampoo with Conditioner
I have gone through 3 bottles of this stuff and I don't plan on quitting using it any time soon. Using multiple bottles of shampoo is a really big deal for me. I hardly ever fall in love with any hair product but this one is absolutely worth it. It smells delicious, sort of like vanilla and butterscotch, and leaves my hair looking and feeling fantastic. Check out my full review by clicking here

Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner
Let's be real, this conditioner is very plain and simple but I really love it. I actually don't have much to say about this because it's a no frills kind of product but it gets the job done, is really affordable, and doesn't bother my sensitive nose. I've actually lost track of how many tubes I've purchased but I can safely say I've replenished this product at least 6 times.

Three Sisters Apothecary Black Licorice Vanilla Soap
I received a bar of this soap, as well as other products from the brand, for review purposes but I fell so hard for this stuff that I ended up ordering 2 more. With 2 bars down and 1 remaining I feel confident enough to say that I will be ordering another 2, maybe even 3, bars very soon. My skin loves this soap and so does my nose. I know black licorice is a love it or leave it kind of thing so this won't be for everyone but the formula of soap definitely is. It does a fantastic job cleansing while leaving skin feeling super soft and smooth. It lathers well and rinses clean. It's incredible! Here is the link to my full review. 

Seventh Generation Free and Clean Unscented Hand Soap
Is it super weird to include hand soap on this list? Well, regardless of the answer, it's a definite favorite. It's the only hand soap I use! It's truly fragrance free and is very gentle on my hands. I deviated from this soap once and my hands were not happy with the change so I will continue to repurchase. I also love their new packaging!

Weleda Salt Toothpaste
This toothpaste is a little pricey but it has really helped keep my teeth and gums healthy. It leaves my teeth feeling incredibly clean and my breath smelling fresh for a long time. It takes a little getting used to since it doesn't foam and it tastes quite salty (obviously) but I have purchased multiple tubes of this and I will continue to use it.

MoistStic
I went through 4 tubes of this lip balm in 2014. I'm no longer using this but not because I stopped loving it. I'm just experimenting with other products right now. Here is the link to my full review.

100% Pure Nourishing Carrot Facial Scrub
I'm going to make a bold statement and say that this is one of my Holy Grail facial products. I have dryish, sensitive skin and this stuff is so gentle and nourishing (as the name suggests). My skin really loves this! I'm on my second tube and will definitely repurchase when I run out.

Natralia Dry Skin Lotion
This is another kind of boring, no-frills product but it's a staple in my house. Every member of my family uses this lotion on a daily basis. We all have a bottle in our rooms and we purchase more the second we run out. It has no scent, which is exactly how I like my lotions, and does an impeccable job of proving long lasting moisture and relieving itchiness while feeling lightweight and non-greasy on this skin. My only complaint is the bottle and pump. The pump stops working properly when the bottle is half full. Click here to check out my full review.

Niora Naturals Alpha Clear Cleanser
This was my cleanser of choice during the warmer months. It helped clear up my skin and left me looking glowing and smooth. I'm not longer using it because my skin needs extra hydration thanks to the cold right now but I have a feeling I'll be going back to it. You can check out my full Niora Naturals review here.

Ilia Shell Shock Tinted Lip Conditioner
My Mom sweetly surprised me with this because it had been on my wish list for a long time and I fell in love right away! The formula is fantastic and the color is perfect! It's such a subtle but gorgeous shade that brightens up my face and makes me look healthy and awake. I wore it almost every day in the summer and I'll be going back to it once it gets sunny around here again.

ZuZu Luxe Cream Brow Pencil
I use the shade Russet and I am so in love with this pencil. I'm not completely sure why it's called a Cream Brown Pencil because it seems to be quite dry in formula but I really like it. It also happens to be the perfect color for me. It's super easy to use and it looks natural once applied. It also lasts all day! It's my perfect brow product!

Pacifica Dreamlit Illuminating Under Eye Brightner
I use the shade Dreamlight and it does a fantastic job of hiding my dark circles. It makes me look bright eyed and bushy tailed… well, maybe not bushy tailed because what does that even mean? It has a luxuriously silky texture that blends seamlessly into the skin and provides luminous coverage. I love the doe foot applicator and every single thing about this product.

Jane Iredale Corrective Colors
I have been planning on doing a full review of this product for a long time so I don't want to say too much about it right now but I love it. I have stopped using cream or liquid foundation for the most part and stick to using concealer to provide an even base before applying mineral foundation. I really love this palette. I really love mixing the beige and yellow tones together to even out my skin. The only shade I don't get much use out of is the lilac shade.

Alima Pure Sombra Contour Powder
Contouring is one of my absolute favorite parts of doing my makeup. I know a lot of you have expressed that contouring is something you want to try but are a bit nervous about so I suggest you check out this powder! It is such an easy to use product and leaves cheeks looking chiseled and defined. The color is buildable, blendable, and absolutely lovely.

Another disclaimer, I had a thing for a lot of products in 2014, so just because it wasn't included on this list doesn't mean I didn't love it. It's really hard for me to make lists like this!

Now I want to know what your favorites from 2014 were! Please share!

(FTC: Some of these products were provided to me free of charge for review consideration while others were purchased by me. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)