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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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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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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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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.)

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Talk About Hair Care - NATU

I have a habit of loving the first half of every bottle of shampoo and conditioner and then I get bored and can’t stand the last half. Does anyone else have this problem? I hope it’s not just me! Moving on to the reason I brought this subject up – I just finished a set of shampoo and conditioner that I loved throughout the duration of their time in my shower.

Say hello to NATU Natural Hair Care! The NATU line is comprised of two shampoos, two conditioners, and four hair mists that are 96.8%-99.5% natural and are free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, mineral oil, artifical colors, synthetic fragrances, animal ingredients, or any other toxic additives. In simple terms, NATU products are all formulated without toxic chemicals! You can check out their ingredients lists here.

I’ve been using the Liberating Shampoo and Reawakening Conditioner, which are for untreated hair, since the beginning of March. The other set is made up of the Professional Colorist Shampoo and Conditioner for color treated or damaged hair.

The Liberating Shampoo is excellent! It makes my hair feel clean without being stripped. It is very lightweight and leaves my hair really bouncy and fresh. It really helps keep my hair smooth and sleek. The Reawakening Conditioner is the perfect partner for the shampoo. A little bit goes a very long way and seriously hydrates my hair. It doesn’t weigh down my hair but it really helps my ends look healthy and silky. I haven’t noticed as many tangles ors split ends since I’ve been using this duo. I also need to mention that my dandruff has nearly disappeared and my scalp is a lot healthier!

The scent of both is fantastic. They both smell slightly of authentic lavender. The only negative is that I can’t use this every single day I wash my hair because it leaves my hair feeling too soft, if that makes any sense. I have to use something a little more clarifying once or twice a week.

I also received two hair mists to test out, the Reviving Mist and Volumizing Mist. They are both very lightweight and unscented. Neither of them feel sticky or heavy in my hair like some sprays do. They don’t irritate my scalp or leave any build up behind.

The Reviving Mist makes my hair feel immediately stronger and more elastic. I have found that it doesn’t make a difference in the appearance of my hair, other than maybe adding a small amount of shine, but I do feel like it helps it be healthier.

The Volumizing Mist is really awesome and does make my hair appear fuller and thicker. My Mom uses it daily and when she went to get her hair cut a few weeks ago the stylist actually said, “Your hair looks so thick but it’s actually really thin”. That right there says it all!

Since I've run out and started using other products my scalp has become a bit itchy so I think I'm going to have to get my hands on another bottle of this shampoo and conditioner. I highly, highly recommend this line to you! It's amazing. You can learn more about NATU by visiting their website. You can purchase their products by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Talk About It - Spa Sonic Skin Care System Face & Body Polisher

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’ve recently fallen in love with a Face & Body Polisher. When I was contacted by Spa Sonic to review their Skin Care System I was very excited about the opportunity. I’ve been using a drugstore skin cleansing system for the past two years and I really do like it but this one is even more amazing.

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 Spa Sonic Skin Care System works so well I have no interest in trying any other systems.

I’ve been using it for less than two weeks and I’ve already seen such a huge difference in my skin. I’ve even received several compliments on how good my skin has been looking, and this is the only thing in my routine that has changed so I know this tool is the reason. My skin is smoother, clearer, cleaner, and a lot brighter. Before I started using this I had a patch of congested skin on my temple and after using this every day the patch has vanished. 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.

The Spa Sonic Skin Care System Face & Body Polisher set includes:
1 Body polishing unit (in white, pink, or lavender)
2 Small facial brushes
1 Large body brush
1 Facial buffer
1 Pumice stone
Four pack of AA batteries

I don’t really like the body brush and I haven’t used the pumice stone, because I can’t stand the feeling of pumice, but the facial brush and buffer are really great. I use it once a day in the shower (bonus – it’s totally waterproof!). It is a gentle brush but I have found that if you use it for too long or too often it can irritate the skin a bit so you need to figure out what works best for you and your skin.

I think the Spa Sonic Skin Care System would make a fabulous Mother’s Day gift for the special women in your life. This system typically retails for $69.99 but is currently on sale at Drugstore.com. You can also find it on sale at Costco and Target.

You can also check out Spa Sonic on Facebook and Twitter.

(FTC : The company sent me a Spa Sonic Skin Care System free of charge for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. All thoughts, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Talk About It - Pomegranate Nail Lacquer Royal Fairy Tale Collection

Last Halloween I posted a review of Pomegranate Nail Lacquer and my thoughts on a couple of their fall collection polishes and now it’s time to talk about their most recent collection. The company recently launched 14 new lovely shades in a collection entitled the Royal Fairy Tale Collection. The polishes in this collection are fit for any princess and I’m so excited to share with you! 

I was given the opportunity to choose 2 of the Royal Fairy Tale polishes to review and let me tell you how difficult it was to pick. Each and every color in this collection is stunning and it was nearly impossible but in the end I went for Book of Spells and Storm the Castle. 

I have a feeling I will be wearing Book of Spells and spring and summer because I love it so much! The company describes this polish on their website as a “rich bronze metallic foil”. It’s so beautiful! I’ve never worn a shade like this before but it’s so gorgeous I don’t ever want to take it off. It’s everything I dreamed it would be. The formula is divine. It goes on smoothly and easily. It also wears well and has a lovely high shine finish.

The other shade I ended up choosing is Storm the Castle, which is described as a “deep, cloudy teal-grey jelly”. This color is so, so pretty but unfortunately it’s not very flattering with my pale skin. I also found it a little harder to work with than the other Pomegranate polishes I have tried. It is unbelievably shiny which makes me appreciate it more but I’m just not sure this particular polish is for me. I will, however, try it again once my skin gets a bit of color in the warmer months.

As always, I want to point out that there is no such thing as truly natural nail polish but Pomegranate Nail Lacquers are healthier and safer since they are 4-free (meaning no toluene, formaldehyde, DBP or camphor) and cruelty free. Another important selling point is that their polish is made in the USA and retails for $8.50.

Aslo, if you’re interested in picking up a bottle of any of these colors for yourself you might want to act quickly because all Pomegranate Nail Lacquers are available in limited quanities.

To learn more about the company or to purchase your choice of polish you can visit Pomegranate Nail Lacquers website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Talk About It - True Beauty Box

It’s no secret that I love beauty subscription boxes and today I’m here to talk to you about my new absolute favorite, the True Beauty Box. Unlike other monthly boxes this one comes with 3 to 4 all natural, cruelty free, and full sized products! You also get a couple of samples thrown in.

To get started all you have to do is take a short quiz to determine your beauty profile which helps ensure you get products tailored to your style. There are 4 possible beauty profiles including Eco Chic, Organically On Trend, Naturally Beauty and Purely Pretty (which is what I received).

Once you have figured out which beauty profile represents you the best you get to pick which type of box you would like. You can choose from Flirt, Veganista, and Indulge. The Flirt box is described as “a flirty and fun cosmetic package” while the Veganista is made up of completely vegan products. Both of these cost $30, which is more than your average beauty box costs but keep in mind that you’re getting full size products without having to commit, meaning you can chose to buy only one box if you’d like. The final box is the Indulge box, which costs $40, and is comprised of skin, bath, and body products as well as cosmetics.

In each box you can expect to find completely 100% natural products from brands like Lavera, True Natural, Benecos, as well as others.

I was so excited to receive this box and just as thrilled when it finally arrived and I got to open it. I got 5 full sized products from Benecos, Lavera, and Sante Naturkosmetik as well as 3 sample packets from Lavera.

The products in my box were:
Lavera Long Lash Mascara in Black
Benecos Natural Lip Gloss in Kiss Me
Benecos Lipstick in Purple
Benecos Natural Lipliner in Pink
Sante Soleil Color & Care in 03 Magenta

I’ve opened everything with the exception of the mascara (because I’m peculiar when it comes to mascara, I only like to have one open at a time) and I love each and every product I received. The coolest thing is that they’re shades I wouldn’t necessarily have picked for myself, but they all look really nice when I wear them. Also, my sensitive lips aren’t bothered by any of the formulations.

I highly recommend checking out True Beauty Box by visiting their website. In my opinion it’s totally worth the $30 price tag. Let me know what you think of the True Beauty Box in the comments.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Talk About It - LVX Winter Resort 2013

Happy Friday Beautiful! Today I’m bringing you my thoughts on LVX (LVX is Latin and is pronounced lux. It means light; the essence of all color) and 3 of their nail lacquers from the new Winter Resort 2013 Collection.

 The company is devoted to the marriage between beauty and fashion so each color collection is meticulously selected to be the hottest colors of the season. Their website describes it best by saying, “LVX is committed to creating palettes that exceed seasonal trends while maintaining a timeless essence.”

LVX is vegan and well as 5-free, meaning their formula is nontoxic and free from the harmful and dangerous chemicals Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, and Camphor. In addition to being animal friendly all of their products are made in the US. Each bottle retails for $16.

The first thing I want to point out is how lovely the packaging alone is. Each polish comes housed in a chic box and the bottle within the box is sleek, simple, and very attractive. The formula within the bottle is the real breadwinner though. All 3 of the polishes I tried are easy to work with, smooth, extremely shiny, and stunning.

My favorite of the 3 is called Tribute. Tribute is a truly magnificent shade of blue. It’s a deep, yet vibrant, cross between navy, royal blue and indigo. It has a really lovely subtle shimmer throughout that makes it look rich and luxurious. I have never been one to really wear shades like this but this particular one looks amazing with my skin tone. I’m absolutely in love with it!

Next up is Dark Matter, which is an opaque and creamy charcoal gray color. It’s a truly lovely shade of gray and I’m so happy I picked this one. It’s so deep and packs a major wow factor! The color is so saturated I only needed one coat to reach full opacity!

The last color from this collection is called Aubergine. Aubergine is a creamy gray tinged shade of purple. This one is really hard for me to describe! It kind of reminds me of the color of purple potatoes. Is that really weird? Regardless, it’s a gorgeous plummy shade!

To learn more about the company you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also purchase online.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Talk About It - Benjabelle Brush Tree

A couple of weeks ago I received a Benjabelle Brush Tree in the mail and I have to tell you, it just might be the coolest thing EVER! A lot of you have been asking me how to take better care of your brushes and this is a total must have for treating your tools with the respect they deserve. I’m absolutely in love with the Benjabelle Brush Tree and I’m so excited to get to introduce this innovative product to you today!

Benjabelle was born in 2012 at the hands of Ben and Jan of Madison, Wisconsin. Jan wanted something to hang her cosmetic brushes with after cleaning to allow them to dry quickly and take up less space than if they were just laying on the counter. The pair sat down and designed the Brush Tree. Each and every Brush Tree ordered is handmade and assembled by Ben or Jan.

The Brush Tree retails for $34.95 and the shipping is also very reasonable. They even ship worldwide; you can find the rates by clicking here. It comes in three sleek shades including chic black, classic white, and pretty pink.

The Brush Tree itself is easy to assemble, as well as to disband for easy storage, and easy to clean (just wipe down with warm water and a soft cloth). To use the Brush Tree all you have to do is insert brushes from below, allow the brushes to dry, and then pull them through the top when they’re finished. It’s so simple, yet incredibly brilliant.

The Brush Tree allows brushes to dry upside down, which keeps water from entering the ferrule (if water gets into the ferrule it can cause the glue that holds the fibers together to break down and fall apart; it can also cause mildew problems). The way the brushes hang also allows them to dry to their proper shape. I can’t tell you how many times I have laid a brush flat on the counter to dry and come back to a misshapen brush! You can even use it to store your brushes!

The coolest thing about the Brush Tree is that the special slots fit any and every size of brush handle. I have many different brands and types of brushes from short handled, travel sized, long handled, thick and thin, and every brush is able to be hung up to dry. The thinner brushes do hang at an angle but it doesn’t effect the way they dry.

To learn more about the Benjabelle Brush Tree, or to purchase one of your own, check out their website by clicking here. You can also visit them on Facebook or Twitter or check out their Brush Tree Intro video on YouTube.

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

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Talk About It - Pomegranate Nail Lacquer

Happy Halloween Beauties! I have another nail polish review for you today. I recently discovered Pomegranate Nail Lacquer and I absolutely love their shades and formulations. Pomegranate Nail Lacquers are 4-free (meaning no toluene, formaldehyde, DBP or camphor) and cruelty free. Another important selling point is that their polish is made in the USA and retails for $9.

I always talk about how there is no such thing as natural nail polish and I couldn’t have said it any better than Pomegranate did on their website, “Our nail polish contains the same ingredients as many brands that claim to be organic, vegan, natural or eco-friendly. We prefer not to use these terms to describe our brand as we believe they can be misleading. The industry strives to make nail polish that is as safe as possible, but it's still a long way from being natural!”

Before I get into talking about the individual polishes I picked out I want to talk about the formula. The formula of both polishes I tried is incredibly smooth, easy to apply, and flawless. The formula is neither thick nor thin, which makes it a dream to apply. I have also found that Pomegranates nail polish is superbly longwearing. I also really appreciate the high-shine finish that each of these polishes have.

I got to pick out two polishes, both of which are from their newest collection for fall. The Fall 2012 Collection features 7 stunning shades that are perfect for Autumn, one of which is named after the season itself. Autumnesque is a gorgeous golden pinky copper color. It’s a bit hard to describe since it’s so unique. The hue of this polish is reminiscent of the changing leaves of the season. I knew I had to try this one when I saw it on the website. I believe this particular polish will look amazing on all skin tones since it’s super flattering!

The other shade I picked is Improv Show, which is a dark purple with multicolored shimmer. Inside each bottle of Improv Show lies tons and tons of blue, pink, and silver shimmer. The base color of this polish is the most perfect purple for fall and the shimmer adds something extra special to the mix. I don’t usually gravitate towards polishes like this but have fallen madly in love with this one. I’ve been wearing it on my toes since it arrived in the mail. Improv Show is the perfect mixture of Vampy, feminine, classic and trendy.

To learn more about the company or to purchase your choice of polish you can visit Pomegranate Nail Lacquers website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope that no matter what your plans are for this evening that you stay safe and warm while having tons of fun. I’m planning on staying home and watching spooky movies all night! See you all soon!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Talk About It - Dr.'s Remedy Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink is always in style and this October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month Dr.’s Remedy has teamed up with Living Beyond Breast Cancer and is donating proceeds from the sale of three of their pink nail polishes to the organization.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer is an organization that is dedicated and committed to empowering women through educational programs and services like a website, survivors hotline, national conferences, free teleconferences, heathcare-provider, trainings, networking programs, newsletters and publications.

Dr.’s Remedy is a safe and enriched nail polish that was created by two doctors who are both board certified podiatrists (Dr. Adam Cirlincione and Dr. William Spielfogel) who realized the top concern with their patients is the brittle and discolored nails that is often associated with the harsh chemicals that can be found in commercial nail polish. To read more about the companys background, you can click here to be taken to their website or click here to read my last Dr.’s Remedy review.

Dr.’s Remedy is vegan, 3 Free (formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP – which can cause some serious damage to ones health) and enriched with good for you ingredients like tea tree oil, garlic bulb extract, and wheat protein. These enrichments help promote healthier and stronger nails and also provide anti-fungal properties so it won’t cause any damage. Their nail polish come in a wide variety of gorgeous shades and is safe enough for anyone and everyone; including those who are extremely sensitive to traditional nail polish or chemicals in general. Dr.’s Remedy is the first-ever nail poish created by doctors and approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

The first polish I want to talk about is PURITY Pink, a timeless sheer baby pink. This polish is so classic and is a must have in any nail polish collection. It’s absolutely stunning! It’s very subtle and very simple but adds a little something extra to the nail. One of my best friends just asked me to be a Bridemaid in her wedding next year and I already know that I want to wear this on my nails. It’s so understated and beautiful. It has a very high gloss finish, wears well, and is extremely easy to work with!

My next favorite is HOPEFUL Hot Pink, which is a totally fun and flirty bright pink color. The company describes it as a “Hello Kitty meets bubble gum shade” and I think that is very fitting. It’s so girly! The formula of this one is amazing. It goes on easily and is almost opaque at one coat and looks awesome with my pale skin. I know I’m going to get a lot of use out of this one!

The final polish is NURTURE Nude Pink, described as “a damsel-in-distress, barely there beautiful”. On first glance I expected this one to be my favorite but I was a little dissappointed when I applied it to my nails. This does not look good with my skin tone, at all. I think this might look amazing on darker skin tones though.The formula also isn’t as great at the other polishes. It is a bit thin and streaky. It appears to have a really cool pearly look to it while in the bottle but not on the nails.

Each Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish costs $17 and is sold on their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Talk About It - Acure Organics Argan Stell Cell Leave In Conditioner

Last month on the Beautiful Basics Facebook page we had a conversation about natural hair products, and how hard it is to find effective products that smell good and do the job you expect them to. Even though I do like putting oils in my hair I’m always on the hunt for a good leave in conditioner. I’m extremely picky so it’s tough but I found a really great one from Acure Organics that is formulated with fabulous ingredients.

Many of you suggested that I check out Acure Organics and while I still have yet to try the shampoo and conditioner you said I would like, I did try the Argan Stem Cell Leave In Conditioner. I really, really like it! The formula of this leave in conditioner is extremely lightweight yet hydrating and is perfect for daily use!

I have long, fine hair that gets pretty tangled and this spray has made a huge difference in my hair. I use this once a day on damp hair after getting out of the shower. The product itself is easy to use since it’s a spray and the mist leaves my hair feeling healthier and softer as well as tangle free. It does not weigh down my hair or leave it looking greasy. It leaves an incredible shine behind and smells good too. It is quite strong at first but ends up smelling light and fresh.

Some of the ingredients found in this leave in conditioner are Organic Acai Berry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Rosehips, Organic Pomegranate, Organic Fair Trade Certified Rooibos, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Vera Leaf, Argan Stem Cell, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Argan oil, Argan Stem Cell Culture, Lemongrass, French Lavender, Oakmoss, and Rosemary Essential Oils.

The final selling point of this product is the fact that it’s affordable! For $9.99 you can purchase this healthy and non-toxic hair product. You can learn more about the Argan Stem Cell Leave In Conditioner by clicking here.

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

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Talk About It - Soulstice Nail Colour

It’s officially fall which means Soulstice Spa has launched 4 new nail colours named after cities around the world like Napa (a classic red with golden undertones), Nevis (a bright green), and St. Barts (liquid teal). I got to try one of the new shades, as well as one of the older ones.

If you missed my previous reviews of their polishes (which you can read here & here) or are unfamiliar with Soulstice, I would like to take this moment to introduce you to my absolute favorite nail polish. Soulstice Nail Colour is 100% Vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, 3-free (meaning it does not contain toluene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate), gluten free and made in the United States. The company also donates a portion of all proceeds to non-profit social and environmental organizations.

In addition to all of the amazing things I mentioned above, the formula of each and every Soulstice polish I have tried is nothing short of amazing. These polishes are easy to work with and apply, long wearing, and totally gorgeous. I seriously cannot say enough good things about Soulstice and their phenomenal nail varnishes.

The new shade I got to test out is called Santa Monica. At first glance Santa Monica just looks like a pretty light purple shade but upon closer inspection it is a soft lavender shade with tons of fun pearlescent sparkle. It’s absolutely gorgeous and has so much personality to it. I love the fact that the shimmer can appear purple, pink, blue or white at any given second but sadly it didn’t turn out in the photos I took.

(Right - Indoor Light with 2 coats. Left - Natural Light with 2 coats.)

The other shade I got to play with is Cassis, which is my new go-to shade for fall. Cassis is a gorgeous blackberry shade with a very subtle metallic silver shimmer. I really need to learn how to take better nail polish photos because Cassis is so much prettier in person!

I adore everything about Soulstice Nail Colours and highly recommend you check them out. They have so many gorgeous shades and such a wonderful formula. On my to-buy list are Napa, Monterey, and Kyoto. What colors do you have on your wish list?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk About It - DeodoMom + Giveaway! (closed)

Sometimes being a beauty blogger means sharing personal details that might be a bit embarrassing to announce on the internet; which brings me to my next point – I’ve always had problems with my underarms. What does that mean exactly? Well, I’ve always had to use clinical strength deodorant because I sweat like a man, especially when it’s warm outside. However; deodorant is one of the scariest and most unhealthy personal care products out there. Switching to natural deodorant was a challenge for me though because of my underarm troubles but I finally found one that I like!

The husband and wife team of 30someweeks.com contacted me and offered me their DeodoMom Jar and Roll-on deodorants (same formula, different applicators). I’ve tried a lot of natural deodorants with minimal success so I was a bit skeptical but I decided to try it anyway and I’m so glad I did!

The company specializes in toxin-free and hypoallergenic deodorant for pregnant women. Wait, stop! Before we go any further, no I am not pregnant. Their deodorant is also suitable for men, women, and children of any age who are health-conscious. Their deodorant is vegan as well as paraben, fragrance, alcohol, dye, and aluminum free. The deodorant is simply made with magnesium hydroxide and water.

For whatever reason, this stuff really works! I almost gave up on it though because the first few days left me smelling a little less than fresh. To be quite frank, I smelled but then the formula started working for me (I blame this one the purging process). I have been using for over a month now and I’m planning to stick with it. I typically apply once in the morning and once in the evening and I stay clean smelling all day.

I started off by trying the cream in the jar which is applied with your fingers to your armpit much like you would apply moisturizer to your face. It’s odd. It doesn’t gross me out but it just seems odd to me. I then switched to the roll-on version, which I like a lot better, although they both work. If you apply too much it can leave you with some white marks so just keep that in mind and it takes it a few minutes to dry so you are left with a temporary wet feeling.  If you like fancy packaging you might not like these products since they are very plain and simple, but that honestly doesn't matter to me. The jar costs $10 while the roll-on costs $12.

I also have to add that I cannot vouch for how well it works during a vigorous workout session or strenuous activity, so keep that in mind.

You can find DeodoMom deodorant online by clicking here. You can also be one of 5 lucky Beautiful Basics readers to win your choice of a cream or roll on DeodoMom deodorant by clicking here.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Talk About It - Yuzen

Ted and Jen, husband and wife have created a new kind of monthly subscription service; a service dedicated to reconnecting with the quiet, peaceful and wise place inside of each and every one of us. Yuzen (which gets it's name from Chiyogami, a Japanese paper that is included in each month's box) is all about natural and/or organic and eco-friendly products that are good for your skin, body, home and peace of mind. 

 Even though this one costs a little bit more than other subscription boxes, ringing in it at $26 a month, the contents of each Yuzen box is valued at $60 or more. Many of the featured products inside Yuzen boxes are deluxe sample sized or full-sized and are carefully chosen after being evaluated for a number of different qualities. The Yuzen website states, "We evaluate its performance, experience the benefits first hand, and then we share our favorites. The selected companies are the highest of quality, transparent in mission, and beautiful."

 July's box was filled with an assortment of wonderful goodies for the home, complexion, and taste buds, with a value of $79, including products from Primavera, Lotus Wei, Himala Salt, PeopleTowels, Kopali Organics, and Teatulia.

Primavera's Revitalizing Facial Scrub is the product I was most excited to discover upon opening my Yuzen Box. This product is full sized and retails for $28. It's a really gentle yet effective exfoliating cleanser. It leaves skin feeling so silky, smooth, and clean without stripping or damaging the skin. It's completely natural, pure and healthy!

From Lotus Wei were three glass vials of their mists in Infinite Love Mist, Quiet Mind Mist, and Joy Juice Mist. Joy Juice is absolutely divine and hands down my favorite although all three are nice.

Also included was a 1.8 oz shaker of HimalaSalt Himalayan Pink Salt, which I have tried before. I'm a salty kind of girl and I really like this one. I had run out of it so I'm glad to have more!

PeopleTowels are a really great eco-friendly company that created an alternative to paper towels. I had heard of this company before but after receiving one of their towels in my Yuzen box I'm even more interested. They use lightweight fabric and eco-friendly dyes while encouraging people to create less waste. They are a very cool company with a really cool product.

Like I mentioned, I have more of a "salt-tooth" than a sweet-tooth but I do like dark chocolate so I was intrigued by the Kopali Organics Dark Chocolate Covered Mulberries. I had never had a Mulberry before so I wasn't sure what to expect but these are so yummy! My entire family likes these and I can't wait to get my hands on more.

The final products included in this month’s Yuzen Box were a couple of bags of tea from Teatulia in Organic Lemongrass Herbal Infusion Tea and Organic White Tea. I really dislike lemongrass so I'm not going to try that one but I do love white tea so I'm excited to test that one out.

If you're interested in learning more about the company you can visit their website. You can also order your own Yuzen box by clicking here. Overall, Yuzen is an innovative and eco friendly company offering a sampling of a wide variety of products. It is well worth a second look. Visit them on their website or Facebook today!

(FTC: The company generously provided me with the July box for review consideration. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Talk About It - Karma Organic Spa Nail Polish

Flashback to October of 2007 and Karma Organic Spa was one of the first organic spas to open in New Jersey. The spa itself is an organic haven featuring furniture made out of recycled materials, carbonized bamboo flooring and non-toxic paint. Their own brand of products (which includes hand and foot lotion, exfoliating scrub, essential oils, nail polish and nail polish remover) is also non-toxic and eco-friendly.

Karma Organic Spa offers a wide variety of Karma Hues that are all 3-free, meaning they do not contain the harmful and toxic chemicals toluene, formaldehyde and DBP. I got to test drive 5 gorgeous shades which I’ll be reviewing for you today. All of the shades I tested applied similarly and were fairly consistent. The formula is a bit thick but evens out nicely after two coats. The consistency and application reminds me a lot of Essie but unlike Essie, Karma Organic Spa is cruelty free.

 The first one I tried is French White, which is an opaque white. I have been looking for a good white polish and I really like this one. It takes 2 to 3 coats to build up to complete opacity.

Next up is May Blossoms, an opalescent sheer baby pink shade. It is also buildable so it can be more or less sheer. I think this is a very subtle nail polish with a little something special hidden within it’s finely milled shimmer. It is very pretty and appropriate for any occasion.

Skyline Sunset is my favorite of the 5! It’s unlike any other shade I have and looks fantastic with my skin tone. I would describe it as a creamy, bright, true medium pink reminiscent of something Barbie would wear on her nails. I’m currently rocking this color on my toes and will return to it many, many times throughout the summer. The only thing I feel I should point out about this particular polish is that it dries down a bit darker than it appears in the bottle.

If you love berry shades then you will adore the medium cool berry polish called Springtime Bouquet. This one is my Mom’s favorite. She looks better than I do in blue-based polishes so this one is perfect for her.

The last polish I got to try is Summer Nights, which is perfectly named. It’s a hot coral color that leans more on the orange side of the spectrum. It reminds me of a sunset, especially the ones that I used to see when I lived in Florida. It’s gorgeous and perfect for the hotter months.

As you can see I chose polishes from the pink family but they have so many different colors so they will probably have something you’ll absolutely love. Check them out online if you would like to view their other shades or purchase a bottle of your own.

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review - Nature's Beauty Secrets

I have dreamed of being a writer since I was a very young girl so I have a natural affinity for the written word. I love books and I love to read. I always have an eye out for natural beauty books and had yet to find one that I absolutely loved until I stumbled upon Nature's Beauty Secrets written by Dawn Gallagher. This book sounded right up my alley so I emailed Dawn who kindly offered to send me a copy and also gave me the opportunity for one of you to win your own copy, (we'll talk more about the giveaway toward the end of this post).

When I received the book, I was pleasantly surprised. Never had I seen such a visually stunning book that is also full of helpful information and natural beauty recipes. It is a fantastic resource for creating your own products or at home spa experience. It also acts as a travel guide to wonderful spas around the world.

Dawn Gallagher is not only an author, (of this book as well as another called Naturally Beautiful: Earth's Secrets and Recipes for Skin, Body, and Spirit), and a natural beauty lover; she also happens to be a fashion model who has been on the cover of more than 300 magazines as well as a television host. Her work in the industry has allowed her to travel the world and learn about the culture, beauty secrets and treatments of many different regions. Visiting local spas during her travels led her to think about beauty in a more holistic way and while not everyone can travel to exotic places, they can prepare the simple natural beauty recipes in this book.

In Nature's Beauty Secrets, you will find dozens of easy to follow, all-natural beauty recipes based on treatments found in spas across the globe in places like Bali, Thailand, Tanzania, India, Spain, and Sri Lanka just to name a few. There are countless wonderful recipes featured in this book that are simple and easily made using many common ingredients found in your kitchen or pantry. There are recipes for the skin, hair, nails, and body. In addition to recipes, she included information on how to care for your skin from the inside out, nutrition tips, proper skin care techniques, and tons of other helpful information.

I have tried a handful of the recipes (including the Fresh-As-A-Peach Moisturizer, Banana-Cucumber Delight Mask, Chocolate Honey Body Mask, and several others), and enjoyed them all. Dawn is absolutely gorgeous so I have no qualms following her beauty advice. I can't wait to work my way through each and every recipe in this book and I know my Mom and I are going to have a ton of fun trying them all.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Talk About It - Kara's Way

You beautiful readers know how much I love monthly subscription services but I think the newest eco-friendly beauty box on the block has become one of my absolute favorites. This month, Kara’s Way debuted, and did not disappoint at all. I’m so happy to have been lucky enough to experience the inaugural Kara’s Way box and all of the wonderful products inside.

Kara’s Way is a subscription service that provides subscribers with 5-10 eco-friendly beauty samples every month for $15. The Kara’s Way team personally tests each and every product and includes the very best in the box. From skin, hair and body care to cosmetics and even nail polish you’ll find a wonderful varied selection of green products. You will even receive special coupons and discount codes to purchase the full size versions of your favorites!

It is meant to be a surprise though and you won’t find out what you are getting until is actually arrives at your doorstep. Not only was the box totally awesome, (which we’ll get to in a minute), but they also have stellar customer service and shipping.

When you sign up anytime during a month you will receive the next months box, so if you sign up right now you will receive your first box in June. As soon as your box ships you’ll receive a shipping notice. The company’s headquarters are in San Francisco so it can take approximately 5-10 days to receive your box. They ship all boxes by the 15th of the month.
I didn’t know what to expect but I couldn’t have been any happier upon seeing the contents of the box. I was thrilled! The samples in the box were wrapped very nicely with green tissue paper and a ribbon with a wildflower seed Kara’s Way tag. They also included a hand written card, which was so thoughtful and personal. I just love personal touches like that!

The samples (and full sized products!) included were:

A full sized Honeybee Gardens Water-Based Nail Enamel, which I received in the color Valentine, a matte bubblegum pink shade. This polish alone is worth $9.99! I love Honeybee Gardens but have never tried one of their polishes so I’m very excited about this!

A full sized Keeki Pure & Simple Lip Shimmer in the shade Sassy. This has a retail value of $6.99 so these two products alone justify the cost of the box. This is a gorgeous lightly golden shimmery lip balm with a sweet scent to it reminiscent of a candy cane. It’s completely organic and perfect for summer.

Next, we have a 2 fl oz bottle of Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera. I love witch hazel and this one smells delicious! It is also the perfect size for traveling!

Also included was a 1 oz tube of Daily Active Sunscreen with SPF 15 from Beyond Coastal. I love sunscreen, especially small tubes like this that I can just toss in my purse. I love the ingredient list and the fact that the tube is actually full! This tube retails for $5.99.

I love Argan Oil (which I still have a post coming at some time on) and the Kara’s Way team included the cutest little glass bottle of Naturelle d’Argan, It is .27 fl oz but it will last a very long time since a little Argan Oil goes a very long way. This is the perfect bottle for keeping in your makeup bag or purse!

I also found an organza bag inside the box with 3 samples from a company called Native Touch. They included a sample of Dream Catcher Soap, Blue Corn Sugar Scrub, and Rooting Bear Rub. I have never heard of this company and the products are so unique.

Lastly were two samples from LA Fresh. One was their Oil-Free Face Cleanser and the other their Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover. I really love nail polish removing wipes and this one has great ingredients, a fresh Tuscan orange scent, and is 100% biodegradable so I’m excited to test this out!
I’m so happy with every single item in this box and I’m excited to see how the company grows and where it goes from here. They could not have had a better launch. Check them out online or on Facebook and let me know what you think! Are you going to sign up?

(FTC: The company was kind enough to provide me with a box for no charge to review. I am not being compensated. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Talk About It - April Goodebox

I received the April Goodebox I told you I won from their Facebook page on Friday and it's everything I could have hoped for. Some monthly delivery boxes can let you down in some way but I've been fortunate enough to receive 2 boxes and both blew my mind, in a good way!

If you missed my review of the March Goodebox or need a refresher course let's cover the basics really quickly - for only $16 a month you will receive 6 or more trial sized healthy and natural beauty products shipped directly to your door (or mailbox) around the 15th or 20th of each month! In addition to receiving products to test out, members of Goodebox also receive exclusive discounts and the chance to win free full sized products.

Some monthly boxes are generic and filled with one size fits all products but Goodebox decided to tailor boxes to each members specific needs and concerns. When you sign up you get to fill out a profile detailing your favorite shades of makeup, skin type and tone, and your concerns in addition to several other topics like whether you're a vegan or not. Never again, for example, will you receive a cleanser for oily skin when your have dry skin.

When you're a beauty blogger finding new and exciting brands and products can prove to be difficult, especially in the natural sector, but this month I received products I had never tried before from a few companies I had never heard of. Once again Goodebox did not disappoint.

Let's get to the contents of my box, shall we?

I received two 0.17 oz of Weleda Iris Day Cream and Iris Night Cream. I have both heard of and tried Weleda products before but never these two. They do smell quite strong (which is a problem I have with a lot of Weleda's offerings) but they do smell nice.

Next was the cutest little travel size of True Natural Sunscreen Active Sunscreen SPF 40. I was so excited to get this in my box! I'm sun sensitive so I like to keep sunscreen on hand at all times and this is the perfect purse-sized tube. I haven't tried it yet but I love natural sunscreen so I'm sure I'll love this one!

I love lip products so I was happy to see a full sized Devine Lip Shimmer in the box. I received Champagne and absolutely love it. I have a full review of Devine Lip Shimmers coming in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that.

I had never heard of Linda Kammins before but I received 3 of her products to test out. The first is her Lavender Daily Shine Shampoo which is a concentrated shampoo so they also included a separate bottle to mix it with water in. Also in the box was her Peppermint Daily Shine Rinse, which smells SO good! The final Linda Kammins product is her Tea Tonic Rinse, a sachet of tea with a bottle to mix in.

The last product in my April Goodebox was a body butter from Get Creamed Body in their Pink Citrus Paradise scent. I'm in love with this body cream. I'm super scentsitive but this smells fantastic. It's a light, fresh, pink grapefruit scent that is not too overpowering or overwhelming. It's also incredibly luscious and hydrating. It makes my skin feel so silky soft and healthy that I'm planning on ordering myself a tub.

8 great products to try for only $16? I'm all for Goodebox and can't wait to sign up for more. Unfortunately I missed the deadline to receive the May box but if you're interested in signing up for the June box you need to do so before May 30th. Let me know if you sign up too!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Talk About It - Soulstice Spa Spring Shades

My favorite nail polish brand Soulstice Spa recently released four gorgeous new shades in honor of spring and I was lucky enough to receive two of them to try and review. If you read my review from a couple of months ago about Soulstice you probably remember how much I love these nail varnishes!

Soulstice Nail Colour is 100% Vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, 3-free (doesn’t contain toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate), and made in the United States. The company also donates a portion of all proceeds to non-profit social and environmental organizations. They have a wide variety of colors so there is undauntedly something for everyone, including the on trend new releases.

All of their polishes are named after cities around the globe and the newbies are no exception. The two I didn’t receive (but I think I’m going to purchase) are called Kauai, a rich berry pink with gold shimmer, and St. Tropez, a shimmery nude. The two I received are Cape Cod and Harbour Island.

Cape Cod is described as “a delicate pearlescent blue-grey” and I agree! It’s absolutely gorgeous and totally reminds me of Cape Cod (even though I’ve never been there) and sailing. It’s a perfect shade for spring and summer. Blue is one of my favorite colors but I tend to avoid it for my digits because I actually have blue and/or purple extremities (a side effect of my illness) but this doesn’t make my feet and hands look dead, which is a huge plus!

Harbour Island is stunning. It’s described as “pink sands; a sugary pastel”. It’s a super shimmer sheer shade of peachy pink and it’s very feminine and flattering. As far as glittery polishes go it’s one of my new favorites. It is very reminiscent of something sweet and sugary like cotton candy and I really love it. It looks wonderful indoors or out and shimmers and shines beautifully in the sun.

If you’re interested in checking out Soulstice for yourself you can visit them online. Each polish retails for $8 or you can purchase a pack of five for $30. You can also find them on Facebook.

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Talk About It - Goodebox

A few weeks ago my Mom sent me a link to Goodebox’s website so I could check it out. Upon reading about the company, I immediately sent them an e-mail asking if I could review their service. It turns out Goodebox is one of the coolest monthly delivery services out there and I couldn’t be any more excited about them and their offering. For only $16 a month you have the ability to receive 6 or more trial sized healthy and natural beauty products delivered directly to your door (or mailbox)! This service is perfect for us Green Goddesses who love to try new products to add to our beauty arsenal.

If you’re a regular around this part of the World Wide Web you know how much I love monthly delivery services and today I’m pleased to be able to share my thoughts on Goodebox. Samples not enough for you? In addition to receiving products to test out members of Goodebox also receive exclusive discounts and the chance to win free full sized products.

I received the March Goodebox (funny enough, I actually won an April Goodebox from the company’s Facebook page so I’ll be able to review that for you once it arrives in case you need to see more!) for review and I was so excited to open it once it arrived. I was not at all disappointed. This box was packed full of awesome goodies that I was just thrilled to be able to try including:

Alima Pure Luminous Blush in Freja and Bronzer in Belize –I love and adore Alima Pure so I was so excited to be able to try these particular shades. Freja is a gorgeous medium warm pink color with subtle shimmer. It looks very natural but gives the skin a gorgeous glowing effect. The shimmer is very fine so it is not too over the top. Belize is a shimmery, medium bronze shade perfect for getting a sun kissed look.

Travel Size of Bear Naked Wipes from Josie Maran – I have always wanted to try these wipes so I was ecstatic when I opened the box and discovered them. It’s the cutest package ever and the wipes themselves are great! They are very moist (which is something I look for in cleansing wipes!), have a very light and fresh scent, and do a great job at getting makeup off. There are 8 wipes in the travel-sized package worth $6.

Stark Skincare Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm - I had never tried Stark Skincare before receiving these samples but I’m definitely impressed. I haven’t used the Cleanse + Hydrate Balm very much but I really like it. It smells lovely and works really well as a multitasking product for cleansing and moisturizing. I have a similar product from One Love, so I know I’ll love it.

Stark Skincare Green Tea Detox Clay Mask - The Mask from Stark is also really great. It’s a powder that you can add tea, water, or even fruit juice to. It dries quickly and tightens.

Clairvoyant Beauty De-puffing Cucumber & Cranberry Eye Gel – Clairvoyant is another company I’ve been interested in but had never tried before. I think this eye gel is fantastic and it’s full size (.50 oz) so I’ll be able to continue using it for quite a while. My eyes have a tendency to get irritated by some eye treatments but this one really refreshes and cools my eyes. It’s great for day or night use and really helps shrink my puffy bags. It also smells delicious! This product alone is worth $32, which far exceeds the cost of the Goodebox.

Clairvoyant Beauty Rosehip Oil & Hibiscus Facial Serum – I have a hypersensitive sense of smell and this smells so strongly of flowers that I couldn’t use it. However; My Mom has been using it and really enjoys it!

If you’re worried about receiving products that don’t suit your skin tone or type you have no need to worry. Goodebox offers personalized boxes designed to suit particular concerns or needs. When you sign up for the service you fill out a profile that details your age, skin and hair type, and personal preferences. You even have the option of receiving only Vegan products. Finally, a subscription service that keeps you Vegans in mind!

You can learn more or sign up for your own Goodebox by visiting their website. I know I’m going to sign up for the next months box so I can continue receiving awesome samples. It’s more than worth the $16 monthly fee in my opinion. What about you? Does Goodebox pique your interest?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Talk About It - Engage Green

Remember last month when I told you how much I like handbags? Well, today I have another handbag review from the coolest company and I'm so excited to be able to share it with you!

The founder and designer of the company is Venezuela born Leonor Mendoza. She now lives in Brooklyn and works with 12 other eco-minded people who make up Engage Green. Engage Green is a company who believes in using sustainable and recyclable materials to create functional and fashionable handbags, totes, wristlets, backpacks, and other types of bags. Their designs are created using recycled paper and plastic as well as sustainable organic cotton, cork and hemp. They believe in using sustainable materials to conserve resources, minimize waste, and protect the environment.

Their brand has the cutest logo that is featured on all of their bags. The story behind their logo that they share on their website is amazing and admirable: "Our story began with our concern about Global Warming, about our Planet. . . and about Team Work. . . We thought about the Penguin, whose natural environment was melting away. We thought about the Chicken, whose natural environment was being flooded by the glaciers that were getting smaller. A penguin and a chicken -- two birds living in very different environments, both dealing with the consequences of climate changes. It is a metaphor of our times -- a penguin from the glaciers and a chicken from the land. Even though they cannot fly, they can ride and team together toward a common project, to help Stop Global Warming. . . to ENGAGE GREEN!!!- This is what our logo represents".

I was sent their Large Spanish Mosaic Tote Bag in Orange and I couldn't be any happier. The bag is made out of recycled plastic which comes from used water bottles. Approximately 18 16 oz water bottles are used to make 1 yard of their fabric. How cool is that?0 Now to describe the bag - The first thing I noticed about this bag was how well it is crafted! It's so sturdy and durable. Its attractive carrying handles are strong and functional while adding a nice contrast and detail to the bag. The straps are also extremely comfortable to carry on the shoulder.

It's more of a burnt orange color, so it will be perfect for all 4 seasons. The Spanish Mosaic pattern is fun and funky while still being chic. The bag is almost a neutral color with a touch of brown, black, and blue. It's large enough to hold whatever one may need to tote around and even my laptop fits in it. It has a convenient organizer and a zipper side pouch so everything has a perfect place.

Engage Green is a great company with a strong message and a powerful mission. They even support numerous charities and non-profits like The Nature Conservancy, American Red Cross, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society just to name a few. Please see their website to learn more about their brand and products. You can also purchase your favorites online.

(FTC: This tote was so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Talk About It - SpaRitual Gold Collection

This season every girl will be able to sparkle and shine with a little help from SpaRitual’s Limited Edition Gold Collection. For dazzling digits you can apply a couple of coats of one of six polishes from their Gold Collection. Each of the polishes in this collection is infused with real 24K gold particles! If you’re a lover of golden or metallic shades then prepare to be wowed!

SpaRitual polishes are all DBP, Toulene, and Formaldehyde free which makes them a safer and healthier option that traditional lacquers. They are also Vegan and cruelty free! Their formulas are naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes. They use ingredients from around the world like wild plant essences. The bottle itself is chic and comes with their patented Plum Cap which makes opening easier. This collection is topped with a limited edition golden colored cap.

Each shade is very easy to apply, wears incredibly well and looks great on fingers and toes. The only problem I had with these polishes is the fact that the gold shimmer was a bit hard to remove. Some gold particles remained behind after the removal process, but it was a lot easier to remove than tricky glitter polish. All in all I really like the formula and quality of SpaRitual.

There are six shades with golden shimmer in this collection so there is a shade that will suit every skin tone. The colors are aptly named as well. 

First up is Gilded Age, which is a golden pink. I have a feeling this will be the most popular shade of this entire set because rose gold is wildly popular these days. I love this color! I actually wore it on my 25th Birthday and got a ton of compliments on it. It suits my fair skin and adds a touch of color without being too much. It’s definitely one of my favorites!

My next favorite is Rusted Lux. I actually think this in my number one from this collection. It’s seriously breathtaking! Rusted Lux is a red gold shimmer that turns out looking a bit like fire. It’s so pretty! I wore this to go see The Hunger Games because it reminded me of Katniss, and her Girl on Fire costume. I’ve also worn this on my toes and love the way it looks.

Alchemy is a really nice a white golden shimmer shade. It can be built up to opacity or it can be worn on the sheer side. I think this would even work as a sort of topcoat to add golden shimmer to any nail polish. It’s very pretty!

Copper for summer with a tan sounds perfect to me, which is where Conduit comes into play. It’s a copper shimmer shade that is really interesting. It’s part copper and part gold so it’s perfectly metallic. This will be a summer favorite!

Electrum is the most interesting polish in the Gold Collection and I think you will either love it or hate it. It’s a golden green color and it’s so pretty! It won’t work on all skin tones but it’s definitely worth checking out. I like this one a lot!

Aurum is a pure gold shade. It’s a very deep yellow gold and while I love the color I’m not sure if it will love me back. 

Gold is a precious metal and now you will have access to it at the tip of your fingers for $12 a bottle. You can visit them online to learn more or purchase polish or you can use their locator to find SpaRitual near you. Do you like this collection? Which one is your favorite?

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Talk About It - EOS

Easter has always been one of my absolute favorite holidays. I just can't hide my love for chicks, bunnies, candy, egg hunts, and baskets full of fun. It also doesn't hurt that Easter is always right around my birthday (this year it's only 2 days before my 25th). Ever since I can remember I have adored this holiday, and so does the rest of my family. We go all out with each others Easter baskets but lets face it, a candy only basket can get a little boring which is where EOS, or Evolution of Smooth, products come into the picture.

You all know of my deep love and affection for all things lip balm and EOS lips balms are definitely on my list of favorites. Their colorful packaging, safe and natural ingredients, and delicious flavors make them the perfect Easter basket stuffers! They even look like little colorful eggs, which couldn't be any more perfect. Let me say though, EOS Lip Balms make appropriate gifts all year round and I use mine constantly.

Evolution of Smooth offers their Lip Sphere in 6 mouth-watering flavors like Sweet Mint, Summer Fruit, Strawberry Sorbet, Medicated Tangerine, Honeysuckle Honeydew, and Lemon Drop SPF 15. Not only are they totally yummy, they are also 100% natural, hydrating, and gluten-free. Their luxuoriously smooth recipe includes olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, blueberry and peach fruit extracts, and more healthy ingredients. They are Certified Organic and don't have any scary parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum.

I have tried all six flavors and choosing a favorite is just way too difficult! I love them all in different ways! I would say though that I have been reaching for the Medicated Tangerine the most lately because my lips have been very irritated. I didn’t really like the initial smell or flavor of the Tangerine but I love the way it feels once applied to my lips. The flavor goes away quickly and leaves my lips feeling cool and so much better. I really love the smell and taste of the Strawberry Sorbet, it's so sweet and candy-like. I also really love the Summer Fruit, Sweet Mint, and Honeysuckle Honeydew. I like the Lemon Drop too but it's not my favorite (which is funny because I normally gravitate towards lemon scented products) although I think it will come in handy during the summer since it has SPF.

All six varieties leave lips feeling soft and hydrated. They apply evenly and go on extremely smoothly. They provide lips with much needed moisture and are very affordable and easy to find. These Lip Spheres are also really easy to find in your handbag (losing lip balm in bags happens to other people too, right?) because of their large size and unique shape.

To learn more you can visit EOS online or you can find a retailer near you by using the locator feature.

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)