Wednesday, January 17, 2018

39 Totally Random and Very Detailed Facts About Me

I started a new medication on Monday and I have been super sleepy. I kept trying to write a beauty review to go up this week but kept failing. I asked on Facebook if you would be okay with/interested in a random facts about me post and many of you said yes, so here we go!

Top Row: All Childhood photos
Middle Row: All high school (Junior Prom, Senior Winter Formal, Senior Photos)
Bottom Row: Age 20 to Age 30

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Closet, New Mindset

If you saw my last post then you’ll already know that I’m making some changes and adding different kinds of content to Beautiful Basics. One of those topics is organization and it seemed like the only proper first post of the year, right?

I've been tidy and organized for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a little girl I spent hours upon hours the week leading up to Christmas organizing my room and decluttering. And then, in the week after Christmas, I like to do it again to give all of the beautiful gifts I received a proper home. Maybe it's OCD, maybe it's just being super diligent about having what I need and loving what I have. Either way, I really enjoy it.

This year, in my stocking, I received Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. I was familiar with it and its basic principals before I opened it up since it's wildly popular but I'm super excited to actually own it. I devoured in a few short hours and while some aspects of the book are downright bizarre a lot of it is so helpful. It is kind of life-changing because it provides a new frame of mind.

In keeping with my own tradition, I went on a heavy organizational/cleaning/decluttering binge right after Christmas keeping the principals of the KonMari method in mind but also using my own organizational theories. I wanted to get everything in order before the clock struck midnight on New Year. I was so desperate to get it all perfected before we welcomed in the new year and somehow, I managed (with help, of course) to get it all done.

I did this in all aspects of my home. I kept only the makeup I enjoy using and that I will use. I kept only the books that I really love.  I got rid of the pans that no longer work well (we actually got a whole new set). I got rid of all of the pieces of jewelry I don’t wear and only kept the pieces that mean the world to me. I got rid of any beauty products I don’t really like. I decluttered everything. I organized everything.

I am (still) so tired, truly beyond exhausted, but I’m proud of how much we tidied up our lives. It feels great to have no unwanted things cluttering my home or being part of my life when they didn’t need to be. I feel lighter, fresher, and ready to tackle whatever comes my way in 2018!

Anyway, this post isn’t intended to be about the KonMari method but I highly recommend the book to all of you. This series is going to be about how I organize things and tips for you but this post, in particular, is about my closet.

I bought my Mom some velvet hangers (these Amazon Basics ones) for Christmas after she mentioned in passing how much she’d like to change out her hangers one day. I was a little worried it wasn’t going to make a great Christmas gift but she loves the effect they had in her closet. It decreased the volume of her wardrobe by at least half, just because of the thinness of the hangers. And, of course, we got rid of a few articles of clothing she no longer loved along the way. I loved what it did for her closet so I ordered some for myself.

My closet has never been messy. Well, not in the past 7 or 8 years, anyway. My high school and college closets? Let’s not talk about those because I was a huge fan of the floordrobe back then. I now pride myself on keeping my closet clean, organized and very tidy. I have a nice, large walk-in closet and I regularly go through my clothing by taking each piece out of the closet and trying things on and making sure they’re still in good condition. I now hate the idea of having a lot of excess stuff that I’ll just never wear. I’m one of those people who wear the same 10 pieces over and over again so why do I need 100? The answer is, I don’t.

This is proof that I've always enjoyed decluttering (and especially more so when I have the help of my little furry friend). This is my declutter from 4 years ago. I've done it since but haven't documented the journey.

So, I decluttered and switched hangers. Of course, it wasn’t just as easy as that.  I went through and removed each item from my closet, took it off the hanger, and played it all out on my bed. I made two bags, donate and trash (these both ended up being more than just a bag each, but you get the idea). I picked up each piece of clothing and asked myself the following questions:

-    First of all, is this in good condition? Any stains or tears?
-    Does this fit me? And does it fit me well?
-    Do I actually like this item?
-    Do I wear it and will I ever wear it again?
-    Do I like the way the fabric feels against my skin?
-    Do I feel good about myself in this?
-    Does it make me happy?

Here is the before. Although, this is after I decluttered some. I just really wanted to show you the difference the hangers made in my closet.

I forced myself to be completely honest and if I answered no to anything above then I got rid of the item in question. I only hung things back up that I know I want to wear and that I love. I donated the things I no longer like, the things I hate the feeling of against my skin, and the things I have never worn and tossed out the items that were no longer in good condition. I kept only things I will wear right now, with my body as in (no keeping things for when I gain or lose weight), with my current personal tastes. Instead of keeping items that I thought I could one day wear in a certain setting (like a fancy top or a skirt) I got rid of them. I did, however, keep my nice dresses. They’re stored in another closet.

I got rid of all feelings of guilt, thanked them silently for their service (this is a KonMari thing, and it sounds insane but it actually helps allow me to get rid of things without feeling bad), and kept the things that I truly love and will use.

And here's how it looked after. 

Having a closet full of clothes I like and want to wear is really great. I can go to my closet and pick out any item and know that I’ll love it. They all fit me and feel great. Liking every piece that I own makes it so I don’t ever feel like I don’t have anything to wear. Have you ever opened up your closet and felt that way? It’s the worst.

By the way, I also organized by color but you can do it however you want. I think organization only works when it works for the individual. The book also suggests keeping all clothing in your closet, even if it's not in season, but I chose to keep shorts, rash guards, and bathing suits in my dresser. That's what made the most sense for me.

Doing this whole thing has also kept me from shopping much. It’s made me realize I don’t really need clothes, with a few exceptions here and there. It has made me a much smarter shopper and much less impulsive. Let's be real, I don't really need anything so I have been taking my time to decide if an item I want actually adds value to my closet and/or to my life. I have decided to keep a handwritten list of items that I've found and would like to buy. I'm going to keep going back to the list and making sure I actually want whatever the thing is and if it's still on the list after a month then, and only then, can I buy it. However, I also believe that life is too short to not spoil yourself something.

Oh! And one last thing I want to talk about is not saving items you love for special occasions. I’ve done this in the past and refuse to do it ever again. For example, I wouldn’t wear my favorite jeans or sweater because I wanted to save them for nicer occasions and I didn’t want to “waste” them. The only waste is them not being worn. Life is short, wear your nice clothing.

So, that was it. The first post of the new Beautiful Basics, but not the last. I’ll be posting more about organization in the future and showing you how I organize and declutter all other aspects of my home, as well. Anyway, let me know if this post was helpful in any way. How do you organize your closet? Do you have any tips you want to share?

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New Content

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I did! I am so grateful for the really special time I got to spend with my family. It was so great that I wrote about it over on The Sick Life. And now here we all are, entering a brand-new year! I am hoping you all have an incredible year ahead of you full of love, laughter, and light. We can make this year a really wonderful one!

Since it’s a new year I think it’s time for some change. 2018 will bring many changes to Beautiful Basics. I still love all things beauty but I have a lot of other interests that I want to start sharing with you all. I love organizing and decluttering. I love jewelry, a lot. I enjoy trying to find comfort, whether that be in the form of comfy and soft clothes or tools that aid in relaxation. I love my cat and my dog, and the things they enjoy like treats or toys. I love to read and watch television and movies. That all sounds random, but I think what I’m wanting to do from here on out is to create content about living a comfortable and happy life. Or really, I just want to talk about living my best life and all that entails. And, let’s be real, I’ll still post mostly about beauty but there’s going to be more thrown into the mix.

I’ll be back to posting soon, in the next couple of weeks. Until then, take care and have a great beginning of the year!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Talk About Subscription Boxes - December 2017 Goodbeing

Okay, ladies and gents, this is it! This is the very last Beautiful Basics post of 2017. I’ve shared 40 different posts this year, a little less than last year but I blame that on recent health developments. I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by. Can you? I think I say this every year. I guess we all do, though. Where exactly does time go? And, speaking of time flying by, today we’re talking about the December Goodbeing box, even though it seems like I just posted about November yesterday!

Let’s get the breakdown out of the way for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Goodbeing, a monthly beauty and/or lifestyle box that focuses on natural and cruelty-free products. You can sign up for the month to month plan or purchase a 6-month subscription (this option allows you to save a little bit of money). From there, you can choose either the Standard plan or the Mini plan. With the Mini Goodbeing, you’ll receive 2 items per month, either 2 travel size or a full size plus a deluxe sample. This plan has an average value of $15-$20 but will vary month to month. The Standard plan has an average monthly value of $40-$50 and comes with 4-5 items per month in a mix of sizes that can be full size or deluxe sample sized. And, as an extra (awesome) perk you get to choose 1 or 2 items yourself each month. You can truly customize your Goodbeing experience to make it what you want it to be. Click here to check out the different plan options.

This month I received: Elate Cosmetics Liquid EyeLine in Joy (full-size), Brazilian Brown Sugar with Cocoa Butter Body Polish, Jivi Moisturizer with Sun Protection in Cucumber Sage (full-size), Jivi Exfoliating Face Wash in Eucalyptus Mint, Fred + Far Greeting Card and Trillion Pin (full-size), as well as a WooBamboo Standard Adult Soft Toothbrush (full-size).

I went a little outside of my comfort zone this month by selecting the Elate Cosmetics Gold Liquid Eyeliner. I don’t really wear eyeliner and if I do I certainly don’t wear liquid, but this looked so beautiful online that I couldn’t pass it up. It looks like liquid gold. It looked that way online but it actually looks that way in person, too. Who can say no to rocking a little liquid gold on their eyes, especially at this time of year? I picked it out with the intention of using it on my inner corners for a little pop of glam, or using it all over the lid for a little something extra. So, I’m not going to use it for its intended purpose (are you kidding? Me? Trying to use a liquid liner with my tremor?) but I’m certainly going to use it as often as possible.  It doesn’t smudge or flake away! The tube is also lovely.

The second item I selected in from Pangea Organics. This brand is one that my Mom absolutely loves so I just had to go for the Brazilian Brown Sugar with Brown Sugar Body Scrub for her. Remember how I said, last month, that I love picking one item for me and one for her? I love sharing the Goodbeing goodies! I tried it first, though, because how could I pass on this? You get 2 ounces of this scrub in a substantial, weighty tub and it smells divine. It’s also a pleasure to use! It is exfoliating and softening, all that you could ever want in a body scrub.

I’ve never actually heard of Jivi before so it’s awesome to be introduced to a new brand. The company itself sounds incredible because for every bottle purchased they donate a meal through food banks across the country to a person in need in your community. And, their products are so natural that they’re edible! I won’t use the Exfoliating Face Wash in Eucalyptus Mint, even though it sounds nice, but the Moisturizer with Sun Protection in Cucumber Sage intrigues me. One of my resolutions for this past year was to finish products completely before opening a new one, because as a beauty blogger I sometimes have multiples on the go at any given moment and some things end up going bad, so I won’t try this one until I’m done with the current moisturizer I’m using but I’ll let you know how it goes. It has great ingredients and it smells nice from what I can tell without opening it.

I love WooBamboo toothbrushes. I worked with them earlier this year and did many giveaways, so I think a lot of you are now fans, too, from what you’ve told me!

Fred + Far is all about self-love and commitment to yourself and the last two items I received are from there. The Trillion pin is all about shining bright, like the diamond you are while the All of You, That’s What I love Greeting Card is a great reminder for someone you love, or even yourself. You can mail it out or keep it on the fridge. I really love the design.

Altogether, my box came to a total of at least $50. I say at least because I didn’t receive a card for the Jivi products so I’m not sure how much the face wash sample is worth.

If you’re interested in signing up, you can click here to do so. With plans starting at $9.95 you’re bound to find an option that works for you whether you’re wanting to try out the beauty box or the lifestyle box. The box ships within the US but also to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A subscription would also make a great gift for any beauty lover in your life.

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

And if you’re already a member I would love to know what you received so be sure to leave a comment below.

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Naked Truth Beauty

No matter the time of year I’m all about creamy products that make my dry skin look healthy, flushed and as glowy as possible. But, especially at this time of year, I like looking like I just came inside from spending an hour or two outside in the snow caroling and building snowmen. I live where it’s very cold and snows quite a lot so I’m not disillusioned into believing there’s anything attractive about a windblown and snow cold face. I don’t know about you, but I turn red and blue and purple and it isn’t cute, but I know how to fake it using cream products.

There is something seriously wonderful about a cream blush and highlighter pairing that makes you look like you’re radiating light from the inside out and that’s what Naked Truth Beauty does. They’ve been helping me fake looking snow-kissed and radiant while still looking natural and effortless. They also make it easy with their multi-use, hydrating and worry-free products.

Naked Truth Beauty is committed to socially responsible beauty, products that are good for our bodies, communities, and environment. They believe we should all have access to safe and sustainable products, so their entire line is made by hand by in small batches using simple but high-quality ingredients that come from Mother Nature herself. They also package their healthy, cruelty-free and non-toxic products in recyclable, compostable and/or biodegradable packaging (including their stickers and mailers) that are made from recycled material.

I received two goodies to try out and I’ve absolutely been loving them. I’ve had them for quite a while now but with being in the hospital and being sick for so long they kind of took a backseat. That is not, however, an indicator of their worth or value because they are truly excellent. I’m still unable to wear makeup most days but when I can I definitely reach for these two.

I got to try out the Beam Highlighter in Arwen and Promise Me, Rose Lip + Cheek. In addition to the Beam Highlighters and Lip + Cheek sticks, they also have an assortment of Lid colors. As a side note, all of the products have the cutest names, like As If, you have seen Clueless, right? And Wednesdays, it’s a hot pink color. Get the Mean Girls reference? And of course, there’s the one I picked. I was most attracted to the shade of Promise Me, Rose but Titanic is actually my favorite movie OF ALL TIME. I have seen Titanic an embarrassing number of times. Like upwards of 50. My family moved one summer and I didn’t know anyone where we moved (from California to Florida) so I just watched it on VHS every single day that summer. I can quote it almost verbatim.

Okay, sorry about going off about Titanic. Let’s talk about the products, shall we?

Arwen is an iridescent white-light highlighter that makes me shine in the most beautiful way possible. These very light icy kinds of highlighters always get my heart aflutter and this one is particularly special. It packs a really pretty punch but doesn’t look like I just painted on a ton of chunks of glitter or anything, like some other highlighters can do. It just makes me look healthy and I’m all about that healthy glow. It’s absolutely stunning. 

Promise Me, Rose is the prettiest rosy pink shade that is so soft and feminine. It’s gorgeous! This is one of those must-have go-to kinds of colors to have any makeup collection. I believe this color would suit anyone because it can be worn very sheer or built-up for more wow. It looks great on lips and/or cheeks and I really enjoy wearing it on both.

They are so beautifully formulated that they blend seamlessly into the skin. They don’t feel heavy or sticky at all and seem to just be a part of my skincare regimen. That’s how good they feel when they are on! They’re made with organic ingredients like Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Beeswax and Vitamin E (to name a few) so they feel so rich and creamy. I usually like to apply a cream and then a powder for lasting power but these last well without needing to be set. They are a bit firm when you first go to apply so you need to warm the product up first and then apply as you wish.

As you can tell from the photos, big scarves and messy top knots are the perfect finishing touches to any winter look.

You can learn more about Naked Truth Beauty and check out their entire product lineup by visiting their website. You can also find the brand on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Feature Friday - Healthline Article

Being ill comes with a lot of questions. Since first getting sick I’ve done countless hours of research and one of the websites that I frequent is Healthline. They are the second largest consumer health information site on the web, with an audience of over 60 million users (me included). They have proven to be a trusted and valued source of information for me (and so many others) so when they asked me if I would write an article for them I was beyond elated. I was honored beyond belief. I’m just a normal girl writing from my basement about natural beauty and lifestyle products so the fact that they would reach out to me, considering me a go-to source for organic beauty was unbelievable and truly flattering. 

Anyway, I was asked to put together a list of my favorite organic products so I created an all-star lineup of products that I use and love. I don't want to give anything away, but I included 7 beauty product staples and 1 household hero. If you want to know what made the cut then you’ll have to click here to check out the article. They have tons of other beauty related articles, besides mine, that I’m sure you’ll love as well so prepare to get lost on their wonderful website.

Here’s that link again if you want to see what I wrote for Healthline, and what they wrote about me --> Organic Beauty Products for Radiant Skin.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Talk About Subscription Boxes - November 2017 Goodbeing + Black Friday

I can’t believe we are almost already through November. The end of the year always seems to go so quickly, doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the holiday season, so I have no complaints. But it really does seem like just yesterday that I was writing about the October Goodbeing box but here we are, talking about the November box and the goodies I received. Make sure you read through to the bottom because I’m also sharing the Goodbeing Black Friday Deals… and they’ve never had a discount like this before so it’s a pretty cool deal!

Anyway, here’s the quick breakdown of Goodbeing for anyone new to Beautiful Basics who missed the last review or are simply unfamiliar with the monthly beauty and/or lifestyle subscription box. You can sign up for the month to month plan or purchase a 6-month subscription (this option allows you to save a little bit of money). From there, you can choose either the Standard plan or the Mini plan. With the Mini Goodbeing you’ll receive 2 items per month, either 2 travel size or a full size plus a deluxe sample. This plan has an average value of $15-$20 but will vary month to month. The Standard plan has an average monthly value of $40-$50 and comes with 4-5 items per month in a mix of sizes that can be full size or deluxe sample sized. You can also choose either the Beauty box or the Lifestyle box. And as an extra (awesome) perk you get to choose 1 or 2 items yourself each month. You can truly customize your Goodbeing experience to make it what you want it to be.

This month I received: Au Naturale The Anywhere Creme Blush Stick in the shade Adrenaline (my selection), Alima Pure Indigo Eyeliner Pencil (my other choice), Yarok Feed Your Ends, K Voss Nourish MagiK Shimmer Body Lotion, and Plaine Products Body Wash.

My favorite feature of Goodbeing is that I get to choose 1 or 2 of the products I receive in each monthly box. I always know that I’ll at least really enjoy a product or two and this month I am especially in love with the items I selected.

The Anywhere Crème Blush Stick by Au Naturale is formulated so beautifully that it’s absolutely perfect. I am head over heels in love with this gorgeous product. We received deluxe samples in a 3g glass jar instead of the actual 9g stick form the blush usually comes in, but I am really impressed with both the hefty jar and the size. I have a feeling that this product will last a very long time, even with very frequent use. I chose the shade Adrenaline, described as a vivid pink with magenta undertones, but subscribers had many different color options to pick from. I adore these bright pinkish blue shades for the winter. They give my light skin this lovely just in from the cold kind of look and I have already worn this organic, vegan, cruelty-free and completely ethical blush 4 times since I received it last week. I’ve also been using it on my lips and it lasts a crazy long time with no touchups needed. I am so, so happy with this little beauty!

The Alima Pure Indigo Eyeliner Pencil is probably the prettiest blue eyeliner I have ever seen in my life, and I’ve tried my fair share. This shimmering, rich blue eyeliner is so smooth and easy to use. It lasts well and looks gorgeous on.

I haven’t used the Plaine Products Body Wash yet because I’ve put it into my travel stash, but it smells insanely good. It smells of mint and vanilla and comes in the coolest eco-responsible, returnable, refillable and reusable aluminum bottles.

The K Voss Nourish MagiK Shimmer Body Lotion is so cool. It looks so beautiful and I was excited about it but unfortunately it smells too strong for me, and my extremely sensitive nose. If you know me from my blog at all you know that I am extremely sensitive to any smells at all, natural or not, and this is scented to sandalwood essential oil that just doesn’t work for me. This is a full size, though, and it really is gorgeous.

The last product I received is YAROK’s Feed Your Ends. This is a detangler, heat protector and leave-in conditioning spray. I’ve actually worked with YAROK in the past, trying their line, and this product just isn’t for me.

This awesome box has a value of $75. The whole point of subscription boxes is to find some new products you fall in love with and I absolutely have with this one. This box was a big win for me! And I just want to remind you that I’ll be putting everything that didn’t work for me into a giveaway for you. It’s a win-win situation!

As for the Black Friday deals, from November 23rd-Nov 27th:
  • - Anyone who shops (you don't have to be a member) Standard Goodbeing Gift Memberships will automatically get a 20% discount
  • - Regular Members will get 30% off Standard Goodbeing Gift Memberships
(Discount is not applicable to regular memberships or mini gifts.)
Both of these deals will be limited until they run out!

Also, if you are on their email list you will get early access to the special offers code on Wednesday via email.

If you’re interested in signing up, you can click here to do so. With plans starting at $9.95 you’re bound to find an option that works for you whether you’re wanting to try out the beauty box or the lifestyle box. The box ships within the US but also to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A subscription would also make a great gift for any beauty lover in your life.

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

And if you’re already a member I would love to know what you received so be sure to leave a comment below.

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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Talk About Kari Gran - Bath Soak & Essential Balm

It’s November, which means the holidays are rapidly approaching. This is my favorite time of the year for a million and one reasons. I love the holiday season so much! And even though I’m more about the memory-making than the material things, one little fun part of this time of year, in my opinion, is all of the incredible beauty launches. There are so many awesome new products being released and wonderfully priced value sets and kits, and it gets me really excited!

And one of the most beautiful sets I’ve seen, maybe ever, comes from Kari Gran and features two brand new products. Bath Soak would be a perfect gift, for yourself or someone you love, because I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy taking some time out of their day to pamper their skin and relax. I mean, I love baths and I love adding something special to the water to make my self-care session even better.

This lovely set comes in the signature Kari Gran jute makeup bag and is tied with a beautiful black satin bow. The products within the bag are gorgeous, as well, because both the Bath Soak Crystals and the Bath Soak Oil come in the classic Kari Gran dark violet MIRON glass that is recyclable but also repurpose-able.

The Bath Soak Crystals are made of Himalayan Pink Salts and Magnesium Flakes (from the Dead Sea), while the Bath Soak Oil is comprised of Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Bulgarian Lavender Oil and Non-GMO Vitamin E from Sunflower. Like the rest of the Kari Gran line, these products are simply formulated but incredibly rich and luxurious.  I adore how they have separated the dry ingredients from the oils because this allows them to stay fresh for a much longer amount of time and allows room for customization.

The suggested ritual is to “add 2 capfuls of Bath Soak crystals followed by 5 dropperfuls (not drops) of Bath Oil under running bath water and enjoy. Customize your experience by varying the amounts of each or using them on their own.”

I’ve been following this suggestion and I am so impressed with this Bath Soak. It makes for an incredible bathing experience and ends up leaving my skin so unbelievably soft and silky when I get out. It does a great job of helping me relax and detox from the day and helps give me a nice, relaxing spa-like atmosphere. The scent is perfect, neither too heavy or too light, and the formula is dreamy.

This set is gorgeous and luxurious and thoughtful. With a lovely presentation, the soothing set of products (that also look gorgeous on any bathroom counter or vanity), and a price of $58, you really can’t go wrong. You can check out the product by clicking here.

I have another newly launched product to briefly mention, as well, and that is their Essential Balm. This thick, eco-luxe balm is their beloved Essential Serum in a much more velvety form. If you’re already a fan of the Essential Serum than this multi-tasking, luxurious, golden-hued balm is for you. You can use it on your face, neck, eye area, décolleté, hands, dry spots on your body and even your lips. The glass jar is impressive and comes with so much product that it will last you a long time since a little goes a long way. This will be perfect to combat any winter-weather skin woes!

If you’re interested in learning more about Kari Gran you can click here to visit their website. Kari Gran is also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Oh! They also recently just commissioned their Third Annual Green Barometer Survey among American Women, which has some really interesting facts about the demand and growth of green beauty. You can check that out by clicking here.

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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Talk About Subscription Boxes - October 2017 Goodbeing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can click here to sign up!

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

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Talk About Tech - Fitbit Flex 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Talk About Hair Care - ABBA Moisture Shampoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - MyChelle Sheer Lip Hint Conditioning Lip Balm

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

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

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

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

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

From left to right: Nude, Berry, Plum. 

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kari Gran Little Black Dress Annual Skin Care Sale

It's that time of year again when the days become shorter and the nights become colder thanks to the ever-dropping temperatures, it's time for football games and hot apple cider, time to bring the boots and cardigans out of storage, and make sure to take the time to appreciate the leaves and how breathtaking they are as they turn rust-colored and golden-hued. It's also that time of the year when Kari Gran has their Little Black Dress Annual Skin Care Sale when established lovers of the brand can stock up on their favorites or newbies who want to try the beloved line can test out some products for 20% off between September 15th and the 30th. Now is the time to add those products to your online cart and hit that checkout button!

I've done a lot of Kari Gran product reviews in the past and you can click here to be taken to a page that features every post that Kari Gran has ever been mentioned on Beautiful Basics if you want to know what I think about the products I've tried.

As for the products I think are absolute must-haves during the sale, you really can't go wrong with any Lip Whip or the Cleansing Oil. I adore both and think they are totally awesome and worth picking up.

The Cleansing Oil is one of the best I have ever tried. It's made with Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Organic Lavender Oil, and Non-GMO Vitamin E from Sunflower. It's simple but wonderfully luxurious. It leaves skin looking and feeling pampered, clean, hydrated and super soft. It's gentle but does its intended job really well.

Lip Whips are my hands-down favorite KG product, though. They are so good and come in an array of stunning shades. There are ten beautiful colors as well as non-tinted versions called Naked in either Peppermint or Cinnamon. There is also a really great Lip Scrub. The formula is excellent and provides soothes while providing shine, moisture, and a beautiful tint. I like each color I have tried and highly suggest you pick up whichever color strikes your fancy during the sale. Suji Red and Jeannie are my current go-to shades.

It's also worth mentioning that all Kari Gran products are packaged beautifully. They come in sleek and weighty dark violet glass that protects the product inside. Every package is also finished with a handwritten expiration date on the bottom, which I think is a really nice personal touch.

You can shop the Kari Gran Little Black Dress Annual Skin Care Sale to get your 20% off by visiting their website by clicking here. You can also find Kari Gran on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: I often work with Kari Gran so I am sent free product in exchange for review consideration. I am not, however, being compensated for this post and none of the links above are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Talk About Skin Care - MyChelle Dermaceuticals Perfect C Cleansing Oil

I’ve been really hesitant to try new skincare products lately but when I received a package from MyChelle Dermaceuticals with their latest cleanser launch inside I was both excited and intrigued. The Perfect C Cleansing Oil is a product I have fallen hard for, much to my surprise.

I know cleansing oils are really on trend right now and while I have tried some I really enjoy (like the one from Kari Gran) most tend to cause my sensitive, dry skin to break out, hence why I was nervous to try out the Perfect C Cleansing Oil. I was so impressed with the formulation, consistency, and efficacy of this golden-hued skin-cleansing dream.

This oil is made using rich and nourishing ingredients that help to hydrate and brighten while also cleansing. This product starts off as your typical oil, one that you massage onto your dry or slightly damp skin, and somehow lathers once warm water is introduced and becomes so luxurious and lovely. It rinses cleanly, completely cleanly, so you’re never left with a sticky or heavy feeling layer on your skin. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and supple while also doing an incredible job of brightening. It's so good!

It does have a scent and I don’t really like it. I can’t quite place my finger on what it smells like but it gives me kids chewable vitamin vibes. However, the scent goes away so quickly and completely that it’s almost like it was never even there in the first place. Even for someone like me who is incredibly sensitive to scents, it’s not an issue.

It’s also nicely priced at $18 for 4.2 fl oz and since you only need a pump or two to cleanse your face a little goes a long way. I’m so impressed with this cleansing oil and I am so happy to add it to my skin care routine.

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

Monday, September 4, 2017

Talk About Skin Care - Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask

I won a gift card to Nordstrom (yay!) and one of the things I decided that I absolutely needed was the Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask from Herbivore Botanicals. I don't really know what made me need it so desperately but I am so glad that I picked up a jar because this stuff is incredible. It is so good that I think this mask must have come from a different planet or something because it can't be real.

I had never tried anything from Herbivore Botanicals but I had heard a lot of very good things. I had never heard of this particular mask, though. Adding this to my basket was one of the best (skin) decisions I have ever made and I made it on a total whim. Lucky for me!

This mask is made with plant based, food-grade ingredients including Organic Pineapple and Papaya fruit acids and Brazilian Micronized Tourmaline Gemstone Powder. It's so exquisitely formulated to be gentle but powerful. It's kind of supernatural because it exfoliates, brightens, softens, smoothes, hydrates and leaves the skin looking and feeling fresh, healthy, and rejuvenated.

The glass jar is eco-friendly, weighty, and really nicely made while the mask itself is lush and dreamy. You only need a small amount so a jar should last you a very long time. It also smells fantastic! It's so good! The product as a whole, including the experience of using it, is incredibly luxurious, from start to finish.

My skin loves this beautiful and sumptuous mask. I honestly can't get enough and I'm not sure I would want to go without it. I notice immediate results after use and I've seen a big change in my skin since I started using this. I absolutely love it. It's the perfect way to pamper my skin and I couldn't adore it more than I already do.

And of course, Herbivore Botanics products are cruelty-free and free of animal ingredients. You can learn more about the company by visiting their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.