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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, October 19, 2015

Talk About Lip Care - Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm

I'm a believer in spoiling yourself and taking good care of your skin with luxurious and healthy products and lip care is no exception. If you've been reading Beautiful Basics for a while you already know how sensitive my lips are but if you're new around here all you need to know is that my lips are incredibly finicky and temperamental, so I have to be extremely careful with what I apply to my pout and lately I've been loving Henné Organics and their Luxury Lip Balm.

Beautifully formulated with a simple list of 99% certified organic ingredients (Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Vitamin E) this rich and buttery balm is a powerhouse that soothes, hydrates, and protects. This American made and cruelty free product is housed in a beautiful MIRON violet glass jar that looks great sitting on your vanity/desk/night stand and also protects the balm from harmful UV rays that can potentially change the product and helps extends its shelf life. This lip balm is beautiful inside and out.

With a mission to bring the world something high-end but simple this company brings something special to the green beauty market and I think you'll love Henné Organics' luxe lip balm. If you want to learn more about the company or the product you can visit their website by clicking here. You can also connect with Henné Organics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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

Filed in: lip care
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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, 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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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.

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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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, December 4, 2014

Talk About Cosmetics - Noyah Lipstick

I'm not sure whether it's the fact that a swipe on the lips can change your entire look, or they way it can make you feel more put together, or whatever it may be but I really love lipstick. There is something really special and magical about finding the perfect tube of lipstick that compliments your skin tone and makes you feel great!

Like I said, I really love lipstick and right now I'm really loving Noyah and their stunning lipsticks. With 5 awesome shades of all-natural and kosher lipstick everyone can find the perfect shade to suit them and their tastes. With ingredients like Castor Oil, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax, Sunflower Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, and Vitamin E the lipsticks have a smooth formula that applies like a dream.

I was recently sent all 5 lipsticks and I'm absolutely thrilled that I'm able to tell you all about them. They're amazing! The shades are Empire Red (a true red), Apricot Swirl (a light apricot), Valentine Pink (a soft pink), Hazelnut Cream (a rose), and Deeply in Mauve (a rich mauve). The shades are all creamy, semi-matte shades with the exception of Hazelnut Cream, which has a slight frost to it.

Like I said above, they apply seamlessly and flawlessly. They also wear extremely well throughout the day. I haven't worn them for more than a few hours at a time but they last really nicely! I have found that they can be applied and blended out with a finger for a more sheer look, applied in a single layer for a wash of opaque color, or built up to look more rich and vibrant. Color wise, I originally thought that I was going to love Empire Red the most (it's a gorgeous color but I don't think I can pull it off!) but I was pleasantly surprised by Deeply in Mauve and Valentine Pink. These 2 shades have become my absolute favorites and I have been wearing Deeply in Mauve quite a lot when I go out. It's a little bit vampy while still being classic and easy to wear.

I'm not completely sold on the packaging of these lipsticks but I can deal with it since the lipsticks themselves are so wonderful. I just think it feels a little bit like cheap plastic, but like I said – I can deal. As far as the smell and taste goes there is nothing really to mention on this front since there is only an extremely faint scent that I can't quite place my finger on and no taste. 

If I was a teacher and these lipsticks were my students they would be at the top of their class. Where did that weird teaching reference come from? Not quite sure, but what I'm trying to get at is these rock my socks off and I highly recommend them. They would make fabulous stocking stuffers or gifts for the holidays too!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Soap Cauldron Review and Giveaway!!!!

I'm so excited to be able to introduce you to Soap Cauldron, the home of Three Sisters Apothecary and Soapy Tails. I didn't test out their fantastic looking line of products for our furry friends, but I did get to try some awesome and truly delicious smelling body products from Three Sisters Apothecary. I wish there was a smell function on home computers because theses products are luxurious, fragrant, and amazing.

Soap Cauldron is a small natural artisan soap company located in Sonoma County. The owner, Emma Mann, started making soap after her daughter was born extremely prematurely. She started experimenting in her kitchen with plant oils, pure essential oils, and natural botanicals. For over 10 years they have been making natural herbal soaps and remedies that are healthy, gentle, and nurturing in small batches out of pure and natural ingredients. The result is a line of products that I can't wait for you to check out!

I know that a lot of people hate black licorice (I don't get it!) but I adore its scent and flavor. The Black Licorice & Vanilla Bar Soap has become my number one soap of all time. I know I usually go on and on about how much I love unscented products but this beautiful bar of soap smells beyond good. I'm actually at a loss of words to describe how good it smells. I was a bit worried that a Black Licorice scented soap would be masculine but this particular blend with Vanilla is sweet, but not overly sweet. When I use this soap it makes me smile because I enjoy the scent so much.

I also got to test out the California Mission Fig & Honey Bar Soap as well as the Harvest Pumpkin & Cinnamon Soap, whose scents I also really enjoy. These two are also visually lovely. If you want to purchase beautiful, perfectly scented soap for a gift for someone you should seriously check out their line up. The formula of all three soaps is wonderful. They cleanse my skin thoroughly but never leave me feeling dry, tight, or itchy. They actually leave my skin feeling soft and slightly moisturized. I also want to mention that the scents are strong while being used but gently fade afterwards, which is a HUGE plus in my book. I like the scents a lot but I don't want them to linger forever.

As far as extra hydration goes, I also received two tins of Body Butter in California Mission Fig & Honey and Harvest Pumpkin & Cinnamon. As a side note, I seriously need to place an order for a tub of the Black Licorice & Vanilla Body Butter. I love the scent THAT much. With ingredients like Shea Butter, Avocado Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Beeswax the formula leaves my skin feeling incredibly silky and provides moisture that lasts all day long. It's a thick balm so I find it best to apply to the skin directly after stepping out of the bath or shower. It spreads easily when I applied to warm skin.

If you're really interested in the scents of the soap and body butter you can also get a matching lip balm. I received the Harvest Pumpkin & Cinnamon Lip Soother and the Black Licorice & Vanilla Lip Shimmer and I think they are awesome! The formula of these balms is smooth, creamy, and lush. They leave lips feeling nice, although I find they don't last a super long time and need to be reapplied. They taste and smell divine! It's not very strong, but in a good way. The Soother looks slightly shiny but not glossy and the Shimmer has a very minimal shimmery look. They are both made with Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, and Avocado Oil, just to name a few. The only thing I don't love is the fact that they come in a tin. I'm a bit of a germ freak so I don't like the thought of being out and about and then dipping my finger in so I use them at home.

You can find all of these products, and more in a wide range of scents, on SoapCauldron.com. They are all really beautiful. I seriously love the packaging, the logo, and the wonderful scents and formulas. Also, all of the products are really generously sized and affordable. I don't think you can go wrong with purchasing anything that strikes your fancy from them.

Want to try a Body Butter and Bar of Soap from Soap Cauldron? Well, it's your lucky day because you can enter to win your choice of a Sweet Orange or Lavender Muslin Gift Set. To enter just give this post a "like" and then use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. All entries will be verified. US Only. Good luck!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Talk About Lip Care - Portland Bee Balm (+ closed GIVEAWAY!)

I'm a big fan of no frills lip balm. My lips are way too sensitive to deal with unnecessary ingredients so I'm always looking for simple and natural lip balms that nourish and promote health with no extra bells or whistles. When I was contacted by Portland Bee Balm, I hopped on the net and checked out their website and got super excited to try out their product.

The masterminds behind Portland Bee Balm, Brad (a man with a beekeeping hobby and a love for honey bees) and Anika, decided to create a high quality product and a business that supports the health and well-being of the environment, community, and bees and their keepers. Their all natural three and four ingredient lip balms are hand made from local and sustainable sources in Southeast Portland and their labels are made of non-pulped wood and printed with soy based ink, so the product is good for the planet as well as the people who use it.

Portland Bee Balm comes in Unscented and Oregon Mint. Both are made of Local NW Oregon Beeswax, Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, and Organic California Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Oregon Mint lip balm has one extra ingredient – Organic Oregon Peppermint Essential Oil. That's it!

The first time I used Portland Bee Balm I was a little unsure because it seemed quite dry and it was a little difficult to apply but the product warmed up within seconds and won me over. It leaves lips feeling intensely hydrated and healthy. It also lasts an amazingly long time. It's not a very wet or slippery formula, nor does it leave lips looking shiny, which is a plus in my book. It works well alone but I love to wear it under lipstick as well.

My favorite is the Unscented, of course, but the Oregon Mint is also quite nice. It has a lovely fresh mint scent and feels slightly cool on the lips. My sensitive lips are loving Portland Bee Balm and I know you will too, which is why I am offering you the chance to win a set of these lip balms for yourself!

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open Internationally, since I will be shipping the prize myself. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Talk About Lip Care - noya

I feel like I'm on a roll when it comes to discovering awesome (new to me) lip balms that don't irritate my ridiculously sensitive and persnickety pout and I'm having so much fun sharing them with you! Today I would like to introduce you to noya and their collection of all-natural lip balms that are simply made with only 4-6 ingredients and are highly effective, cruelty-free and certified kosher.

Noya offers a Classic, unscented balm as well as 3 other varieties – Cherry, Spearmint, and Vanilla. If you know me at all you know that I almost always go for plain, unscented balms and I do really love this one but I also, surprisingly, love the other flavors as well. The Vanilla in particular is delicious and reminiscent of a tasty cupcake or a bowl full of frosting, and I can't deny that I love baked goods and their scent. My Mom has become partial to the Spearmint while the Cherry balm has found a home with a friend.

Side note - These lip balms would make great little gifts since they come in really adorable boxes. They are also nicely priced at $3.99 each.

If you're curious about the ingredients list the Classic Balm is made with Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Organic Stevia. While this balm is not suitable for those of you who are vegan it is appropriate for anyone looking for a moisturizing, soothing, and long-lasting lip balm. This formula has a nice medium glide, meaning it goes on easily, locks in hydrating, and lasts on the lips. It is perfect alone or under a colored lip product of your choosing.

Speaking of colored lip products, I was also sent the Summertime Peach lipgloss. This gloss coats the lips with a lovely sheer and shimmery nudey peach color and feels and wears more like a balm than a typical gloss. I don't find the color to be very buildable, and instead provides a natural looking wash of color. It's not super shiny but I personally don't like the look of overly glossy looking lips on myself. I tend to reach for lipstick more often than gloss but this one feels great and looks nice. It's not sticky or goopy and my hair doesn't seem to naturally gravitate towards it and get stuck in it. It has no discernable scent or taste. Also, the packaging is quite lovely.

The company also has 3 other shades of Lipgloss as well as 4 lipsticks (one of which has especially caught my eye, hello Apricot Swirl!). Overall, I'm a huge fan! You can learn more about the company and their product offerings by clicking here to visit their website. You can purchase noya online here or you can find a reatiler near you by clicking here.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Talk About It - Alima Pure + GIVEAWAY!

I am a huge fan of Portland based natural beauty superstar, Alima Pure, and their line of lovely cosmetics. I seriously adore the brand and their vast selection of cruelty free, high quality, and eco-friendly mineral makeup. A few weeks ago I posted a Wish List Wednesday on the Beautiful Basics Facebook page featuring the Sombra Contour Powder and many of you e-mailed me asking me to review it which prompted me to write to the company. The founder of the company, Kate O'Brien, generously sent me the Contour Powder and a couple of other products I'll get to shortly.

I'm a firm believer in the power of contouring. It's actually my favorite part of applying makeup and it's something I always, always do. I have always used my favorite bronzer to shape my face but have often found that the color is unconvincing. Don't get me wrong, bronzing is another favorite step in my makeup routine but it tends to work better as a way to warm up the face rather than sculpt it. Alima Pure's Sombra Contour Powder has become my absolute favorite, must have makeup product.

Sombra is a dusty tan color, with no red or orange in it at all, that is very pigmented but easy to blend. It's also buildable so it's extremely versatile. It's incredibly natural looking and helps define bone structure. I apply this powder to the hollows of my cheekbones, the crease of my eyelids, and the sides of my nose to create definition and slim out my face. It mimics natural shadows and adds so much depth to my face. I don't think I will ever be without this wonderful powder.

I am wearing Sombra in this photo on my cheeks, nose, & eyes - No other eye shadows or cheek products.
I am also wearing the Lip Tint and Natural Definition Mascara that I talk about below.

I have also been experimenting with the Natural Definition Mascara in Black, another product that many of you have asked me about. I have very sensitive eyes and mascara can be a huge irritant for me but this formula is awesome! It goes on smoothly, wears well throughout the day, feels soft instead of crispy, and provides natural looking length and definition. I would say this works as well as any traditional mascara without the harsh and scary ingredients.

I have always been curious about Alima Pure's Lip Tints so I was excited to see that I had been sent one! I received the shade Holly Berry, which if you're a regular reader you probably know is right up my color alley. This particular shade is described as Spiced Rose and on me equates to a "My Lips but Better" color. It is surprisingly pigmented which makes me curious about the rest of the lineup! The formula is wonderfully moisturizing and gentle on my sensitive lips. It smells (and tastes a little) like a delicious, organic chocolate bar and lasts quite a long time!

I have nothing but good things to say about these products, and Alima Pure as a whole, and hopefully the lucky reader who wins the giveaway with fall in love with this trio as much as I have. If you want the chance to win these products, as well as the cute pink Alima Pure makeup bag, all you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. It may take a moment or two to load. Don't forget to "like" this post. All entries will be verified. Giveaway open only to US readers. Good luck!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Talk About Lip Care - Yu-Be

I am extremely picky and somewhat snobby about the lip balms I use. You can call me a lip balm connoisseur if you would like because I like what I like and I know what works. There have been many lip balms that I have hated, some I have liked but only two that I have loved. I have raved about my favorite lip balm many times over the past couple of years on Beautiful Basics, but today I'm excited to share my thoughts on Yu-Be, the first lip balm to even compare to my beloved Moist Stic. For the record, I can't pick which one I love more because they're different so just know that this is a part of my top two.

If you're new to Beautiful Basics or unfamiliar with my blog and the tales of my irritable lips here is a very quick background: My lips are extremely sensitive; beyond sensitive. Most lip products irritate my lips so when I find one that I like enough to share on my blog please know that it is extremely gentle unless otherwise noted. I get these weird rashes when I try new products that my lips don't like. They become painfully inflamed, red, and start to peel and flake. It typically takes a while for them to heal. I'm not sure what causes my lips to go haywire but it happens fairly regularly. As a beauty blogger I am constantly trying new products but I am always very apprehensive to try new lip stuff. I always get very excited to discover a product that doesn't bother my sensitive lips and I become very loyal to it.

Meet Yu-Be, an all-natural lip balm from Japan made of Soybean Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Camphor, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Stevia, and Rosemary Extract. This formula was created by pharmacist Yoshikiyo Nowatari in 1957 and has been a favorite and bestseller in Japan for over 57 years.

Days before this lip balm arrived I had a reaction to some lipsticks I was testing out. My lips were raw, dehydrated, and inflamed. I can't say that I was excited to try out another lip product but I thought that the camphor in the Yu-Be could only help my uncomfortable lips. I was right! My lips were completely healed after only using this balm for two nights in a row.

The formula is fantastic – It's undeniably healing as well as being soothing, hydrating, and protective without being greasy, heavy, or tacky. It doesn't taste or smell very good but it's so therapeutic that I don't care very much. It's very medicinal and therefore does a great job of healing. It lasts an extraordinarily long time on the lips. I apply a generous coating to my lips at bedtime and wake up with quite a bit of moisture left.

If you're interested in Yu-Be you can learn more by visiting their website. Youu can locate a retailer near you by clicking here.

(FTC: This product was provided to me 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.)

Filed in: lip care, lip balm
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Talk About Lip Care - MoistStic Natural Lip Protection

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

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

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

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

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

Filed in: lip care, lip balm
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Travel Friendly Vegan Lip Scrub

Super soft and healthy lips are a must for me and I love making my own lip scrub but my favorite recipe is olive oil based so it's a little hard to travel with. This summer if you're on the go and want flake free lips you can make a jar of this lip scrub to toss in your bag, and since it's made of coconut oil it will fare a little better in your luggage. Just be warned that coconut oil does melt when it gets hot. Also, this recipe is vegan! 

Put the coconut oil in a bowl and place the bowl in hot water until the oil is liquefied. Stir in the sugar and agave and pour the mixture into a small lip balm or skin care pot. Apply to your lips and massage gently. Obviously this scrub is edible so you can lick it off if you would like but I prefer using a warm, damp washcloth. I like using this scrub at night before I go to bed and I always follow up with a heavy-duty lip balm to lock in the hydration the oil provides.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Talk About It - Booda Organics

I want to share my newest obsession with you today, which just so happens to be a little tin of magical goodness called Booda Butter. Booda Butter is a 100% pure and natural multitasking moisturizer that can be used from head to toe; in fact, you can even check out the 50 ways the company suggests you can use this product by clicking here

 Booda Butter is made with only a handful of healthy and organic ingredients. The all-star ingredient lineup is made up of Organic Shea Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, and Organic Olive Oil. The company promises to only use pure, organic, and vegan ingredients and never include any toxic chemicals or yucky preservatives. All of their products are cruelty free and handmade in the USA. 

Booda Organics' Booda Butter has become an absolute staple in my daily routine. I use it for moisturizing my body after I get out the shower, hydrating my hands and cuticles, as an eye cream, on dry patches on my face, as a lip balm, and even to tame flyaways but I'm still in the process of discovering additional ways to use this delicious smelling solid yet soft butter.

It starts off as a solid but melts as it gets warmed up between your fingers. It is not scented with any type of fragrance but it does naturally smell of cocoa butter. It smells delicious and feels amazing on the skin. It is very thick and nourishing but is not sticky or heavy. It provides long lasting hydration that leaves skin feeling soft and healthy.

Speaking of long lasting hydration, the company also makes a Booda Butter Naked Lip Balm, which is formulated with Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Olive Oil and Candelilla Wax. It is truly unscented, flavor-free, moisture infusing, and gentle on my ultra sensitive lips. 

I'm such a big fan of Booda Organics and their wonderful line of products. I even adore the packaging. I give them 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend you check them out. To learn more about the company you can visit their website by clicking here.

The Booda Butter comes in two sizes, a 2.3 oz tin and an 8.4 oz BPA-free jar. The Naked Lip Butter comes in a flat .15 oz tube. You can purchase online by clicking here or locate where you can purchase near you by clicking here.

(FTC : These products were provided to me by the company free of charge 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, November 13, 2012

Talk About It - Beecology (+ closed GIVEAWAY)

I feel like I haven't done a skin or hair care review in quite a while so I decided that today was the perfect day to share my thoughts and opinions on the products of Beecology. They sent me quite a few products as well as some extra lip balms, which means that if you read through to the bottom of this post there just might be a little giveaway!

If you know me personally or have been following my blog for a while then you already know of my passion for honey. I think honey is a precious beauty resource so I love anything and everything honey based, which is why I was so intrigued by Beecology and their line of products. Beccology not only produces and sells a line of natural products made with honey, beeswax, and other healthy ingredients; they also give back through their charity, Sweetyear.org.

I first became interested in the company after reading about their Natural Honey and Botanical Sulfate-Free Shampoo and All-Natural Hair Conditioner. While I really like the shampoo, I wasn't as big a fan of the conditioner. 

First of all, the shampoo smells so yummy! It's slightly sweet, slightly citrus-y, and slightly herbal, which combine to make a delicious smelling shampoo. It's formula is gentle and effective while providing the hair with brilliant shine and extra softness. The conditioner isn't necessarily bad, it just has a weird after scent that I don't like. I think it reacted strangely with my pH (which happens to me a lot). The conditioner seemed to moisturize my hair well enough but I couldn't get past the smell. My mother loves both products though.

My favorite Beecology product is their Hand and Body Cream, which I got to try in both the Original Honey formula as well as the Cucumber and Green Tea version. Both versions work exactly the same and the formula is so luxurious and rich. It's a very thick cream that is easily absorbed into the skin leaving it feeling hydrated and healthy, never greasy. This formula is perfect for this time of year! My skin has been a little dry due to the cold weather and this hand and body cream soothes my itchy skin. The original scent is a light, clean scent while the Cucumber and Green Tea version smells very fresh and like real cucumbers.

If your skin is feeling a little dull and needs refreshing then look no further than the Natural Honey and Peppermint Body Wash. This body wash leaves my skin tingling in a good way. It smells great, cleans well, and invigorates the skin with each use. It's great for morning use and has become one of my favorites!

I was also sent 4 bars of their soap to try out and review, although I have only used 3 of them. The one I haven't tried is the My Big Fat Greek Yogurt and Honey Soap, which has a juniper scent to it and I'm not a big fan so I'll be talking about the other 3, which are the Honey Oatmeal Morning Peppermint Soap (perfect for perking up skin), Honey Lavender Soap (which makes the perfect bedtime bar of soap), and the Dead Sea Mud Soap (deep cleansing while moisturizing). All 3 bars of soap have proven to be really effective, are lovely to use, and smell great!

The final Beecology product I got to take for a test drive is their Buzz Balm Peppermint Lip Balm. This balm is made with Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Aloe Butter, Cupuaçu Butter, Olive Oil, Peppermint Oil, Acai Butter, Eucalyptus Oil, Clove Oil, and Tea Tree Oil. It's hydrating, soothing, and protective. It does smell a bit strong due to the oils but it's not offensive, only medicinal. I was experiencing very chapped and dehydrated lips before testing this balm and it really helped heal and protect my lips.

I was sent several extra lip balms so 5 of you will get the chance to win a Buzz Balm of your own! Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win.

To learn more about Beecology and their products, or to order some of your own you can click here to be taken to their website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Talk About It - Eco Lips +Giveaway! (closed)

Today we are talking lip balm, which is one of my absolute favorite topics. I have said it before and will say it time and time again, the truth is I'm obsessed with lip balms. However deep my love for lip balms runs, I'm very picky. I consider myself to be a connoisseur of lip balm and love trying new ones. I recently got to pick and try several Eco Lips lip balms and have found love with all four of them. None of them irritate my super sensitive lips, are handcrafted in the USA (Cedar Rapids, Iowa to be exact), and are cruelty free, eco-friendly and made with certified organic ingredients.

The first one I tried (and one of you will actually get to win your own tube of) is the Eco Lips Gold USDA Certified Organic Lip Balm. This lip balm is Fair Trade Certified, unflavored, unscented, and highly moisturizing. Its ingredient list is made up of Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Baobab Oil, Fair Trade Certified Organic Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, Organic Rosemary Extract, and Organic Calendula Extract. It's a simple lip balm but it's incredibly long lasting and hydrating. My lips adore this balm and anybody and everybody would feel the same way. This lip balm (and the one that is up for giveaway) came with an Eco-Clip, which is a handy recycled aluminum carabiner.

Up next is the Ecotints lip balm I selected. I chose Plush Red, which is a gorgeous sheer red shade that suits me and my coloring. It has a very slight vanilla scent and flavor. It is very moisturizing and provides such a lovely buildable color. I absolutely love tinted lip balms and have decided that this one is my new favorite. I want to purchase the other shades too because this tinted lip balm is excellent and worth picking up in every color. It is very natural looking and smoothing. It's ingredient list is comprised of Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vanilla, Organic Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, and Candelilla Wax.

I was really excited when I came across a lip balm created in mirror image of my favorite juice by Honest Kids. Despite that fact that I'm 25 years old, I still really love the Berry Berry Good Lemonade juice pouches and couldn't pass up the Honest Kids Berry Berry Good Lemonade Lip Balm. Made up of Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Berry Flavor, Organic Lemon Flavor, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, and Organic Calendula Flower Extract it is 100% edible. It smells and tastes just like the juice I love so much. It's seriously yummy!

The final lip balm I chose to take for a test drive is the ONE WORLD Relax Calming Lip Balm in Lavender Lemon. This lip balm is made with Fair Trade Cocoa Butter and Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Vitamin E, Organic Essential Oils of Lemon, Lavender, and Sweet Orange. It comes in an oversized tube coming in at .25 ounces. It smells so good, although it doesn't have much of a flavor. It's hydrating, soothing, and the lavender helps keep you relaxed. The combination of real lavender, lemon, and vanilla is a winner!

To learn more about the company and their products please click here to be taken to their website.

To win your very own Eco Lips Gold Lip Balm with an Eco Clip click HERE.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Lip Licking Lip Balm

Today, we are talking chocolate. Whether you are a fan of milk, white or dark you'll really love this simple, DIY lip balm recipe.

What you need:
1 teaspoon of cocoa butter
½ teaspoon of coconut oil
1-3 Chocolate chips or 1 square of a chocolate bar (you can use any type of chocolate you want)
A few drops of Vitamin E Oil
Optional: A couple drops of vanilla or peppermint oil

Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter together slowly over a double boiler and then add the chocolate and Vitamin E. Add the essential oil at this point if you would like. Mix everything together and pour into an old lip balm tin or container. Pop into the freezer until it sets. Feel free to apply as often as you like. Keep in mind that the chocolate will add a slight tint to your lips.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Talk About It - DeVine Lip Shimmers

Summer is almost here, which for me, means it's time to streamline my beauty routine. When the temperature starts to rise, I love to use products that do more than one thing, like lip balms that impart moisture as well as nourish, protect, and tint the lips. DeVine Lip Shimmers meet all of my expectations and then some, while being 100% natural and eco-friendly.

DeVine Lip Shimmers utilizes the healthy benefits of wine grapes. Wine grapes are rich in Polyphenols and the super strength antioxidant Resveratrol which helps fight free radicals and help prevent cell damage. In addition to the superhero antioxidants, the company also uses sunflower seed oil, beeswax, castor seed oil, coconut oil, shea butter, grape seed oil, candelilla wax and vitamin E to help hydrate, protect, and soften the thin skin of the lips. They are also gluten and cruelty free.

The company has five flattering shades that are created using mica, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide. The colors are Merlot (a deep berry that smells of berries), Rose (soft pink), Vanilla Spritzer (color and shimmerless, and smells like it's name), Bordeaux (black cherry flavor and hue), and Champagne (sheer nude and smells like strawberries).

Each thin tube of DeVine Lip Shimmer is incredibly smooth and moisturizing. They are not sticky, heavy, greasy, or overpowering. The formulation of this product is light while ultra hydrating. They smell and taste really great too! I just love the different shades. I would have to say that Champagne and Merlot are my favorites, although I do like the entire collection. They go on easily and wear well throughout the day. They last a very long time and make the lips feel comfortable.

You can purchase each lip shimmer individually for $4.50 or in a pack of two for $7. They also sell a gift set that includes 3 lip shimmers for $12.50. To buy your very own DeVine Lip Shimmer or to learn more about the product and the company you can visit them online.

(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, May 10, 2012

Talk About It - Medicine Mama's Apothecary Bee Magic Wand

It's no secret that I love beauty products and recipes that include honey and other bee ingredients. Medicine Mama's Apothecary is a company who features healthy skin creams made using pure bee and other healthy, organic ingredients. I was sent their latest offering, The Bee Magic Wand, last month to test out and review and have been enjoying it since it arrived.

The Bee Magic Wand is an all in one natural lip and face balm in a convenient .5 oz twist up stick. The ingredient list is short and includes olive oil, avocado oil, beeswax, and Medicine Mama's Proprietary Honey and Propolis Blend. These 4 ingredients blend together to create a rich, hydrating, healing and softening balm that performs many different tasks. 

Since honey and propolis are purifying, antibacterial, and antimicrobial and the beeswax is an anti-inflammatory while the oils are moisturizing and protective you can use this balm anywhere on your body! You can use it as a daily or nightly moisturizer (or both!), a lip balm, on your cuticles, for bites, burns, rashes, scars, or sun burns, to moisturize your lashes or under eye area, to tame unruly brows, and anything else you can dream up! I especially love this for my face and eye area!

It doesn't really have an odor, other than the faint scent of olive oil. It goes on heavy and makes your skin look a bit shiny but is absorbed by the skin almost immediately leaving lovely, healthy looking skin behind. It is very gentle and nonirritating while also very effective. It banishes any dry spots and makes my skin glow! 

If you're interested in picking up your very own Bee Magic Wand you'll be happy to learn that it sells for $12.95 so it's very affordable. You can order online or check their retailer list to find it locally. 

(FTC: This product was so generously provided to me for review consideration by the PR 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.)

Filed in: lip care, lip balm
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Winter Balm

Winter can be harsh on the skin depending on the climate in your region. It's especially cold and dry where I live in Southern Oregon. We usually have a lot of snow in the colder seasons but this year it's been really dry and particularly rough on my skin, and especially on my lips.

I'm obsessed with lip balms, creams and treatments but sometimes commercial products just don't get the job done. If you're having a hard time with dry, flaky lips then try this DIY recipe.

What you need:
1 tablespoon of beeswax
5 tablespoons of your favorite skin friendly oil (I like olive and jojoba for lips)
1 teaspoon of liquid vegetable glycerin
(Optional – a few drops of essential oil (I like peppermint best) for scent and flavor or honey for extra healing properties.)

The first step involves using a double boiler (a bowl placed in a pan filled with hot water) to melt the beeswax and the oil together. Once it's combined and fully liquid remove from the heat and add the glycerin and essential oil if you so desire. Make sure to blend all of the ingredients thoroughly and evenly.

Once it's all mixed it is time to pour the liquid balm into a container like a small jar or tin. I buy small plastic twist top jars at Wal-Mart in the travel beauty section – they cost .97 cents for 2. Be careful not to spill the mixture because it's still hot and can burn you. Let it sit until it's completely cool and solid.

I hope this helps revive and rejuvenate your tired winter lips!

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Lip Lovin' Scrub

Towards the beginning of my blog I posted a lip scrub recipe (Luxurious Lip Scrub) which proved to be very popular. I'm back today with another lip scrub recipe and I hope you enjoy it just as much as the last! This scrub has the same basic base as the last but has powdered milk which aids in exfoliation due to the lactic acid it contains. Oatmeal is the final ingredient and is a gentle yet effective sloughing agent. After using this scrub your lips will feel healthy and look super soft and supple.

 What you need:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of honey

½ tablespoon of powdered milk

1 tablespoon of oatmeal


Mix all of the ingredients together into a bowl and apply to lips using your fingers. Massage the mixture on to your lips for at least 30 seconds and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This mixture is highly moisturizing while also exfoliating. Leaving this on your lips after massaging will ensure that your lips drink in extra moisture. Rinse off and apply a rich lip balm to lock in your new found hydration.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Talk About It - Ilia Pure Lip Care

Berry stained and barely there are my favorite lip looks and lately all I've been using are my beloved Ilia Lip Conditioners in Arabian Knights and Nobody's Baby. I can't even begin to describe the level of love, adoration, and respect I have for these lip products. I think I have a problem – seriously! I've never loved a colored lip product more (I say colored because if you've been with me for a while now you know of my addiction for lip balm).

Since receiving these two products at the beginning of November, I have reached for them more often than not; which is saying a lot since I have a decently sized lippie collection. I absolutely love them!

First thing I should mention is that the colors are fabulous. Ilia Pure Lip Care offers 6 different color choices but I chose Arabian Knights and Nobody's Baby and I'm so glad that I did. They apply a lot like a lip balm, with the color payoff of a lipstick, the shine of a gloss, the conditioning ability of a lip treatment and all-natural, organic ingredients (like jojoba oil, cocoa butter, vitamin e, jasmine and orange blossom essential oils, and pomegranate). The color of each is sheer but buildable so you can get a number of different lip looks out of just one lip conditioner. The packaging is also something worthy of noting in this review – they come in an absolutely gorgeous, sleek and chic recycled aluminum tube. They also smell and taste nice. Arabian Knights is possibly my favorite of the two but only by a hair. It's a flattering berry shade that looks a bit intimidating in the tube but looks gorgeous on the lips. Like I said it's sheer but buildable so you can wear it as a light berry stain or a more burgundy lip. Here is its official description: "Off in a far distant land, you wait under a warm, desert moon. Arabian Knights offers a fantasy of mystery and seduction. The deep tones of violet, and burgundy melt together forming a beautiful berry stain. An ideal shade that is easily carried from day to night.

Nobody's Baby is on the opposite end of the color spectrum. It's a pretty nude color that is neither too pink nor too brown. It doesn't make me look dead like some nudes can and it compliments any and every eye makeup look. I think it would look fantastic on any complexion! Here is the description from their website: "The perfect, sheer nude suited for any occasion. Nobody's Baby reflects your subtle need for quiet independence. You always get what you want, and tend to move through any situation with grace and ease."

If you're interested in learning more about Ilia Pure Lip Care you can find them online at http://iliabeauty.com/ where you can view the shades they offer, find a store who sells their products, and even shop online for your favorite lip conditioner.

(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 thought and opinions, as always, and my own and honest.)

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Talk About It - J.R. Watkins

Hi beautiful! Today's Talk About It is a long overdue review of an awesome, affordable, and accessible company you may or may not be familiar with. J.R. Watkins has been around for over 140 years (the company was founded in 1868) and they create and sell personal and home care products in addition to remedies for common ailments and cooking supplements like spices, oils, seasonings, sauce mixes, and extracts. Everything they produce is made with the highest quality natural ingredients.

J.R. Watkins was the very first natural apothecary and product maker. He pioneered the natural lifestyle that is gaining popularity in America today. The company started when J.R. created his original product, Natural Pain Relieving Liniment, in his kitchen, which he sold door to door in Minnesota. Mr. Watkins was far ahead of his time and extremely innovative. He even offered the very first money back guarantee. Now the company has grown to have a catalogue of around 400 products, all created using the same standards that Watkins strived for.

The company's line of personal care products is made up of natural and eco-friendly ingredients that come from renewable and sustainable sources. You'll never find any of the scary stuff like parabens, sulfates, phthalates or the rest of the bad beauty product additives in their offerings. They are even certified by the Natural Products Association. The packaging of their products is recyclable and they never test their formulations on our furry friends.

I love their spices (I have many in my cupboard) and cleaning solutions but today is all about their personal care products. I was so fortunate to be able to try several things and there is not a single product that I dislike in the bunch. First up is the Sugar and Shea Body Scrub in Coconut Milk and Honey – it smells so delicious! This 100% natural formula leaves my body feeling hydrated, supple, and radiant by buffing all of my dead skin cells off while conditioning the skin. I love using it in the shower. It's gentle yet effective and I just adore it. I feel as though I can't stop touching my arms and legs after exfoliating with this yummy scrub.

After exfoliating I have a compulsion to moisturize to really lock in my new found hydration and their Hand and Body Lotion in Vanilla is just perfect. I use it daily, not just after exfoliating, because it's extraordinarily moisturizing while being neither too thick nor too thin. It's the perfect consistency and it leaves me feeling comfortable in my own skin. The vanilla scent is divine - it smells like a tasty cupcake covered in butter cream!

Speaking of cupcakes they make a wonderful Shea Butter Hand Cream that comes in several scents. I got to try out the Lemon Cream (which smells like a lemon cake!) and Mango. Their hand cream formula is rich and thick! It works hard to moisturize and refresh dry hands. It's also wonderful for the feet. The scents of both are great, but they do linger for hours and are very strong so if you're sensitive to smells you might want to skip these.

Another product that I use (almost) nightly is the Lavender Body Oil. I add a little to my warm, nightly bath and soak. My skin absorbs all of the oil and the scent helps me get ready for bed. Lavender is my signal that it's time to settle down and relax. It's a very simple, straight-forward yet fabulous product. A little goes a very long way! You can use body oil in a multitude of ways but I like using it in the tub.

Last but certainly not least are the lip products I got to try. I received two of their Lip Tints in Strike-A-Rose and Stardust. I like these a lot! They're minty, hydrating, shimmery, and tinted. Strike-A-Rose is a fairly pigmented, cool pink and Stardust is a really pretty champagne/clear shimmer. I've gotten more use out of the rose shade but I like both. They go on smoothly and last a long time on the lips too. They have very finely milled shimmer so it doesn't look like you've piled a bunch of glitter on your pout.

The other lip products I tried came in a set called the Lil' Lip Combo Pack. This set came in a little plastic, zippered pouch stuffed with 4 balms - two Weatherproofing Lip Balms in Raspberry and the Natural Beeswax Lip Balm in both stick and tin form. The Weatherproofing Lip Balm is yummy smelling. It's also perfect for the harsh winter months because it forms a moisturizer barrier against the elements. It's not sticky or too thick. It's a great balm but so is their Natural Beeswax version. The Natural Beeswax Lip Balm is packed full of refreshing peppermint scent and flavor. It's also got tons of beneficial ingredients to keep lips soft, full, and hydrated. It definitely helps chase away the chap.

You can check out and purchase these and other great J.R. Watkins products on their website by clicking here. I know they sell their products at my local Fred Meyer and Rite-Aid so check in stores near you to find out if they're available locally. You can even join their Clear Conscious Club to discover members only benefits like discounts, news, tips and advice, and exclusive updates.

(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.)