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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Osmosis Mineral Matte Eye Shadow Duos

It's so easy to fall into a makeup rut. It's like we get stuck on autopilot using the same products to create the same look sometimes. I, however, love to play with different products so when I find a brand I've never tried before I get really excited. I had heard a little bit about Osmosis Cosmeceuticals but had never tried any of their products until their Mineral Matte Eye Shadow Duos came into my life. I'm going to kind of spoil the rest of this review by simply saying that I'm completely in love with these pigmented little gems.



There are 5 duos and I've tried 3 of these pretty pairs. Matte is my absolute favorite formula when it comes to anything I apply on my lids so these were made for people like me. They have become my go-to's because they are the most perfect staple shadows for everyday wear that you'll ever come across.

There are 2 purple toned duos (Mystic Mulberry and Crimson Cream) and 3 that are brown-based, which are the ones that I selected.

Chocolate Brulee is a dark neutral brown paired with a light cream.



Sienna Dusk is a very warm pair featuring a medium red-based brown and a light tan.



Truffle Bliss is a combination of a medium cool-toned brown and a light greige.



I love all 3 duos. I expected to love Truffle Bliss most, though, but this summer I've been all about the really warm colors so I've been gravitating towards Sienna Dusk a lot. Chocolate Brulee is a great pair to grab when you're wanting to make a look more dramatic. I think you can easily wear a single duo for a great full look but you can also mix and match to create a custom look if you so choose.

The formulation is so smooth and beautiful. If these babies are any indication of how good the rest of this line is I'll need to pick some other products up ASAP. They are beyond nice. They're rich and luxurious, which isn't something I would normally say to describe eye shadow. They are buttery and softer than soft. They blend so easily and last wonderfully throughout the day. They are seriously long-wearing. I'm really impressed with the pigmentation and the quality of these shadows. The darker shades are especially incredible.

You can apply these for a soft look whether you're going for that "no-makeup-makeup look" or create a romantic, flirty look or build them up for something more dramatic. They're really versatile.

The only thing I don't love is that they have a bit of a rose scent to them. The smell doesn't linger, though, so it's something I don't really mind in the end but it's just something to note.

The packaging is also really great. I like how simple they are. The cases are magnetized so the lids stay closed and if you have more than one they actually stay together, which is nice.

The brand is Leaping Bunny Certified. They also use non-toxic ingredients to create their products and they believe in being good for our bodies and also the environment. Their website states, "We maintain sustainability by using recyclable packaging and materials, BPA and BPS free bottles, and using natural or eco certified ingredients. We design our products to have minimal packaging and maximize the bottle usage so there is limited waste. We are compliant with California Prop 65 as well as the California Air Resource Board with all of our ingredients. Osmosis continues sustainability support by respecting animal life and does not test or harm animals."

Here are some swatches. 
Truffle Bliss, Chocolate Brulee, & Sienna Dusk
I'll post a photo of me wearing these once I start feeling better. By the way, thank you all so much for being so understanding during my health crisis. I appreciate the kind words and well wishes more than I can explain.

To learn more about the company you can visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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

Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer 2017 Giveaway

Summer is almost over. Excuse me while I go cry in a dark corner for a while. Just kidding... sort of! I just can't believe fall is already knocking on our proverbial doorstep. How does time go by so quickly?

I usually do a giveaway like this with products perfect for the warmer weather at the beginning of the season but this summer has been kind of crazy for my family and I. If you don't follow Beautiful Basics - The Sick Life then you're probably not aware of my health problems, as well as my Dads. He hasn't been well all summer, in and out of the hospital, and then last week I wound up in the ER with the worst pain I have ever been so unfortunate to experience. I ended up with a diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia and I've been put on a medication that is making me feel not so good. That's why I didn't post last week and why I'm keeping it pretty simple with a giveaway this week.

On a side note, you can check out the blog post talking about my new diagnosis by clicking here or you can just visit The Sick Life by clicking here if you're interested.

Okay, on to the giveaway! That's why you're really here, anyway, so I won't keep you from it any longer!



The winner will be receiving some skin care goodies from Goddess Garden, Pacifica, and some cute little baby samples.

This giveaway is open Worldwide. You can do as many or as few of the options below that you would like, except for the one mandatory free entry. All entries will be verified. This giveaway isn't sponsored in any way. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Talk About Green Cleaning - Meliora Laundry Powder

On the Beautiful Basics Facebook page, I admitted to you all that I’ve been using Tide Free and Gentle laundry detergent. I can’t even tell you how many natural detergents I’ve tried without finding one that didn’t make me itchy or make my clothes smell weird or leave them feeling kind of gross and stiff. It was the last toxic product I was using in my home and it always bummed me out so much because Tide isn’t an animal-friendly company, nor is it environmentally friendly. I knew it wasn’t a healthy product but I was still shocked when I saw that Tide Free and Gentle received an F on EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

My Mom did a lot of research trying to find something non-toxic, gentle, efficient and cruelty-free so when she discovered Meliora she just went for it and placed an order. I wasn’t super hopeful since my past experiences with natural laundry products hasn’t been great but I was very pleasantly surprised and we have now found our perfect, safe detergent.

Meliora means “Better” in Latin and their products are vegan, cruelty-free and healthy as well as totally safe for our bodies and the planet. The Laundry Powder comes in 3 scents (Lavender, Lemon, or Lemon-Lavender-Clove) as well as their original unscented (which is what my family and I use) and works for standard or HE washers.



The unscented is made with Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Carbonate, Vegetable Soap [Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Water]. If you choose a scented version you get this same formula with added Certified Organic essential oils. The ingredients list is simple and straightforward so you’ll never heave to wonder and worry about what ingredients are lurking in the cardboard and steel canister. You can click this link to check out the explanation of why these use each of the ingredients that they do and to find out more about the product in general.

They received an A on EWG so that’s a massive improvement and I find that it works just as well, if not better since it puts my mind and my green-loving heart at ease, than any other detergent I’ve ever tried. It does such a good job of cleaning my laundry and making them feel really nice, too. You only need half a scoop (if you’re using an HE washer like me) so a little will go a very, very long way.



We even placed another order with Meliora and ordered the 500 HE loads refill set so it’s safe to say that I plan on using this wonderful powder product indefinitely and can’t recommend it enough. You can learn more about the company by clicking here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - BROWFOOD Tinted Brow Enhancing Gelfix

I really like doing my brows when I’m wearing makeup because I feel like it’s the perfect finishing touch for any look, simple or glam, but I hate when they look too intense or dramatic. I recently noticed in some pictures of me (the last few look photos on Instagram and previous posts, actually) that my eyebrows looked insane. I was using a brow gel that was about 5 shades too dark and way too opaque. My Mom had been commenting for weeks how I looked different but we couldn’t figure out why, until I noticed how silly my brows looked in those photos.

Once I realized what was happening I tossed that stuff out immediately and repurchased my all-time favorite brow product. I received a deluxe sample from Sephora of the BROWFOOD Tinted Brow Enhancing Gelfix and even though I really, really liked it I didn’t think it was necessarily a must have. Boy, was I wrong! It is and I’m so glad it’s back in my life.



This product comes in Blonde, Brunette, Dark Brunette as well as Clear. LASHFOOD is a certified cruelty-free company and their products are formulated without toxic ingredients like Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates or Phenoxyethanol, to name a few.

I use Brunette and it’s the perfect color for me. It’s neither too warm nor too cool and is instead the perfect neutral brown shade that adds some oomph to brows. It defines and thickens thanks to microfibers that plump up existing brow hair and makes brows look lush quickly and easily. Think of it kind of like extensions for your brow! It also makes them feel super soft and conditioned, never crispy.



When I use this product my brows always look like a slightly better version of their normal selves. It always looks natural and effortless, which is exactly what I look for in a brow product. This formula also includes a Nano-Peptide Complex that supports brow follicles to give natural brows a fuller, healthier, and stronger appearance with continued use.

I’m so thankful to have found a fuss-free product that turns my decent brows into great brows. I purchased mine at Sephora.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Talk About Green Cleaning - The Unscented Company

I was going to start this off by saying I’m picky about soap. In reality, though, I’m kind of picky about everything. There are so many products out there in the world so I don’t really want to waste my time with ones that don’t work for me, you know? I want to find things that work for me, plain and simple.

After my favorite grocery store stopped carrying the soap that I had been using for a couple of years I went into panic mode and started searching for a replacement. I got pretty lucky, though, and found another soap that I like even more. I was browsing on Vitacost and came across The Unscented Company. The name alone intrigued me thanks to my illnesses and scent sensitivities so I was instantly sold on the idea of a company who makes and sells only unscented products.

The Unscented Company is a Canadian company that launched in 2016 who offers only unscented and natural products. They are a Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free company and every single product they offer is vegan. All of their products are also biodegradable and decompose at least 80% within 28 days. TUC also believes in reducing our collective plastic footprint and offers customers the ability to do refills at home or in-store (if you’re lucky enough to be in Canada).

It doesn’t appear they ship to the US (I really hope they change this soon!) but like I mentioned above I found the brand and their products on Vitacost, which I believe has worldwide shipping. Vitacost doesn’t have the gorgeous glass bottles they offer in Canada, though, which is a bummer.



My first TUC love is their Soap Bar. You get 2 in each box and they last a fairly long time. Some soap dissolves so quickly but I’m impressed with the lasting power of this soap. It’s truly unscented and supremely moisturizing. It’s gentle and I’m absolutely in love. My sensitive dry skin and sensitive sense of smell are in agreement that this lovely bar of soap is a winner across the board. It creates an impressive amount of delicate, cleansing, hydrating lather that makes sudsing up an absolute pleasure. I’ve even used this on my face and I typically hate bar soap on my face so that’s a big indicator of how nice this soap is. It also seems to tame my eczema. I love this soap so much that I actually have 8 boxes underneath my bathroom sink so I never run out. I’m not even kidding. It’s that good!



I also purchased the Hand Soap, which is another hard for me to find product. If I use a soap that my skin doesn’t like the eczema on my hands gets so bad. I had actually been using a really mild facial cleanser as hand wash because it didn’t make my hands flare so I was a bit nervous to switch it up but, like the Bar Soap, the Hand Soap is remarkably gentle. It is a really, surprisingly, thin formula that is almost the consistency of water but it does such a nice job of cleansing but also nourishing the hands. I don’t like the pump of the bottle because it tends to shoot out way too much product but the soap itself is so nice. I only have one bottle at the moment but plan to put it at every sink in my house.




Besides the Bar Soap, my favorite product is the Dish Soap. I was previously using Seventh Generation, which I really like, but I’m so glad I decided to pick a bottle of this up. It’s the best dish soap I’ve ever used. It has zero scent, doesn’t irritate my skin, and does a fantastic job of getting my dishes clean. It comes in a really great bottle, too. I don’t have a lot to say about it because what can you really say about dish soap? It’s excellent, though.

The All Purpose Cleaner is nice but it’s not an absolute must have for me. It’s good but I find that it has a slightly powdery scent, barely there, and I just find that I still reach for my Better Life spray more often. It’s nice, though.



My least favorite product I’ve tried is the Lotion. I’m not a fan. The formula is soothing and hydrating but it has a bit of an odd smell on me. That happens to me a lot, though. I think I must have weird pH because the lotion itself doesn’t smell but it does on me.



Their prices are great and the products themselves are really awesome. I’m such a fan of The Unscented Company and can’t get enough of their line. I hope their product line expands one day in the future because I’d love to try other things (like shampoo and skincare) from a company who believes in unscented, nontoxic and simple products that are effective and beautifully formulated.

You can check out The Unscented Company by visiting their website. You can also click here to find the company and their products on Vitacost.

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Elevé Cosmetics Hibernation’s Over, Beaches!





















Bronzer is my absolute favorite makeup product in the summer. There are few things prettier, in my humble opinion, than a bronzed and beautiful look when the mercury starts to rise. Hibernation’s Over, Beaches! That’s the name of the bronzer that just launched for summer from Elevé Cosmetics and it’s also what I’m talking about today.



This bronzer is gorgeous! It’s a true brown infused with some seriously stunning golden shimmer. It has the most perfect illuminating finish that leaves the skin looking golden and glowy. The shade of the bronzer is identical to what a natural tan might look like, with added gold flecks for a little something special. Since it has shimmer I like to use it as a blush and it also makes an incredible eye shadow!


The formula is so nice. It’s pigmented but easy to work with and blend. It blends seamlessly into the skin and feels so lightweight once it’s on. It can be applied in a sheer way for just a touch of color or built up without ever looking too intense or powdery. Even though it’s a powder it seems to melt into skin, because it’s so silky once applied. The glitter never feels or looks chunky or out of place. I usually prefer matte bronzers but this one has just a touch of subtle shimmer.

I had never tried anything from Elevé Cosmetics but the company seems really awesome. The line was created by former ballet dancer and makeup artist Gertie Wilson, who saw how much makeup could boost confidence and promote positive self-esteem. She wanted her products to inspire women to “rise up” and feel their best. She’s doing this with a lineup of high-quality natural cosmetics made with healthy, non-toxic ingredients. The products are enhanced with skin-loving beneficial ingredients and the entire line is cruelty-free, vegan based, and free of GMOs, gluten, parabens, phthalates or anything else questionable.

To learn more about the brand you can visit the website by clicking here. You can also find Elevé Cosmetics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(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.) 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Talk About Sun Care - CoTZ SPF

Sunscreen is a tough product to fall in love with, for me at least. My Mom and I recently placed a big order on Ulta.com just for sunscreen and we decided to try out CoTZ. CoTZ is completely free of oils, fragrances, preservatives, parabens, PABA, gluten, phthalates or any harmful chemical. Their gentle formulas are simple but provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, thanks to Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide while being water and sweat resistant. This brand has some really high ratings and great reviews. And since it’s cruelty-free and nontoxic we wanted to give it a try.



We decided on the Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40, Flawless Complexion SPF 50, and Sensitive SPF 40. Each costs $19.99 but is currently at Ulta for Buy One Get One-Half Off and we had an additional coupon so it ended up being a pretty good deal, but is a decent price anyway.



My favorite is the Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40. It has the most amazing texture and finish. It is so silky! I don’t even have words to describe accurately how dreamy and creamy the formula is.  Once it’s dried down it is completely weightless and hardly noticeable. It doesn’t smother or suffocate my skin and instead seems to meld into the skin and become part of it. It never feels sticky, tacky, heavy, greasy, or gross in any way. It layers beautifully and makes an amazing primer for under makeup but is also excellent on its own. The formula is absolutely perfect. It is beautifully matte (and even though I have dry skin and I usually like to look dewy when it comes to sunscreen I hate that super shiny look) and seems to do a good job of blurring and making skin look so smooth. I initially thought that the tint was going to be way too dark for my light skin but it blends easily and matches my skin perfectly. It comes in a fairly small tube (1.5 oz) but I’m so in love with the product itself that size doesn't really bother me. Last summer I was loyal to Coola but I’m definitely making this change permanent.



My Mom adores the Flawless Complexion SPF 50, as does my Dad (who hates sunscreen with a fiery passion). This is also tinted but it has just enough sheer color to combat that icky white cast some SPF has. It works on my light Mom and darker Dad. It’s not at all like makeup, so it would work well for any member of the family. This comes in a larger tube (2.5 oz) and is a little oilier and a bit sticky compared to the other formula. It does, however, dry down completely and leaves skin soft and smooth. It can also be layered with makeup or worn alone.



The Sensitive SPF 40 was designed for people with special skin needs and conditions like those with medication or health condition induced sun sensitivities or anyone who has had a skin treatment. This sounded really great for my family because my illness makes me photosensitive and the same for my Dad since his chemo makes him very sensitive. This formula is nice but I don't find that this is anything special, especially not when compared to the others mentioned above. It's a bit thick and sticky and has that typical sunscreen smell and feel.



CoTZ creates truly effective products to help protect your entire family from the harsh rays of the sun. They have no scent and are safe and gentle. This is sunscreen you can feel really good about. You can learn more about the company and their products by visiting their website. Or you can purchase them at Ulta like I did.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

I’ve been using the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream for about 2 years now and I’m not really sure why I’ve never talked about it before. Since I have dry skin this particular product has been really great for me since it’s super moisturizing but also provides some nice coverage with the added bonus of SPF 30.



I’m such a fan of this formula because it’s extremely hydrating while also being lightweight. The gel cream has such a cool consistency because it’s silky smooth and feels kind of watery but creamy. Weird description, I know. The formula also feels very cooling, which I love. I find that the coverage is sheer but can be built up for more coverage and it has a gorgeous dewy finish that makes skin look super radiant, plumped up and supple. I love the amount of glow it gives my very parched skin, as it’s not something that any other foundation really gives me. I think this product is absolutely perfect for normal to dry skinned folks and I really don’t think oily skinned guys and gals will be fans.

It’s super easy and quick to apply because it blends seamlessly into the skin and looks so natural and beautiful. You can wear it alone or layer it with other products. I feel like it’s nice on its own but also makes a great base layer for other products since it acts almost like a primer. Since it’s so hydrating it does a great job of smoothing the skin and evening out texture. I will say that I don’t use this as just a sunscreen, though. I find that it is too dewy for kayaking or hiking for me. I just use this as makeup. I think it also wears really well throughout the day, although I don’t think it would get a gold star from somebody wanting their makeup to last through any activity for a very long time. It lasts me all day but I’m only ever wearing makeup for a maximum of 8 or so hours.

I actually have 3 shades that I mix and match depending on the time of year and how much sun I have (or haven’t) seen. Vanilla 02 is my perfect winter shade while Buttercream 03 is my base summer color. I also have Natural 05 which I add in for a touch warmth or when I’m a bit darker than normal.



If you have dry or dehydrated skin I highly recommend you check out this makeup equivalent of a cool drink of water; Lame comparison but truly accurate. I’m a huge fan and have no doubt that I’ll continue using this magical stuff for a very long time. You can find this little gem at anywhere bareMinerals is sold like Sephora, Ulta, Macy's, Nordstrom, etc.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Talk About Lip Care - Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15

I know I just talked about a lip SPF that I love last week but I wanted to talk about the Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner with SPF 15 right now. I love the uber affordable Pacifica balms but I’m also totally digging the more luxurious and decadent Ilia version, as well.



Ilia makes some of my absolute favorite lip products and with their dreamy, creamy, and beautiful formulation it’s no wonder why. They’re also housed in nicely weighted metal tubes that happen to be gorgeous. They’re all made with oils and butters so they go on like a dream and blanket your lips with soothing, smoothing hydration and a gorgeous sheer but buildable wash of color.



I have Darlin’, which is a really pretty sheer nude with peach and apricot undertones. It’s a gorgeous shade for summer and I love the way it looks with a bit of a tan. I find that it’s a super flattering shade for my light but sun-kissed skin and I bet it would look fantastic on most skin tones. It’s such an easy color to toss on with any look, minimal to glamorous and everywhere between, and I adore it. I feel like this lippie and bronzer are the perfect pair because they just go so well together!



If you caught my last Ilia review (here) you already know how much I love the Tinted Lip Conditioner and the added SPF is just a nice bonus. It’s so rich and just lovely to apply. It makes my lips feel so soft and healthy while also protecting them from the sun. It's also got a really lovely shine to it. I’m a fan, that’s for sure, and it’s become a go-to lip product for me.


I purchased mine from Sephora.com.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Talk About Sun Care - Pacifica Sun + Lipcare SPF 30

I really like Pacifica as a whole. I think they have some really great products and I love how widely available they are. I think the whole idea of vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic beauty being mainstream is just so awesome. The fact that anyone can go into a Target or an Ulta (or some other store) and pick up a natural product that hasn’t been tested on animals is so great.

I, sadly, live two hours away from a Target (which is my favorite store) but we popped in recently on a trip to the doctor and I picked up the new Pacifica Sun + Lipcare SPF 30 in Nude. It was so cheap I just couldn’t resist. I put it on as soon as we got into the car and after the doctor, before we headed home, I ran back into the store to pick up the other color, Peach, they had on the shelf. I would have also gotten the clear version if they had it but they were sold out.



I absolutely love these! They’re so beautiful and feel so wonderful on my lips, which are ridiculously sensitive to most lip products. The scent/flavor is so light it’s hardly noticeable once it’s been on for a few minutes, although definitely strong when you sniff the product directly, but it’s a pleasant summery scent reminiscent of coconuts and sunbathing.

I’m always on the lookout for SPF products for my lips because, like mentioned above, my lips are so sensitive they go absolutely bonkers when exposed to UV rays. I usually hate how white and dry most natural SPF lip balms are, though, so the fact that these are tinted with the prettiest peach and nude tones make these gems from Pacifica a total winner.

I actually just got a $26 Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner with SPF that I do really like but these babies are just $4.99 each and they’re as good as the Ilia version. Although, I don’t feel bad using the Pacifica ones out on the water in my kayak when I did feel a little guilty about using such a luxury product in the great outdoors. I’ll definitely use up the Ilia as well as the Pacifica, but they’ve each got their own place.



I’ll talk about the Ilia next week, but for now let’s get back to the Pacifica, shall we? They do a great job of moisturizing and forming a protective layer between the lips and the elements. It’s also remarkably long-wearing and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. The color is sheer but super pretty. I like both the Peach and the Nude but I’d have to say that I love the Nude the most. It’s the perfect tan nude shade for summer days!




The balms are housed in a thick and sturdy plastic tube. They're cute, albeit a bit cheap, and will definitely be durable enough for any summer outing whether it's in your pocket, tossed in your beach bag, or in the bottom of your backpack. It's easy to pop the top off, twist up the tube and apply on the go.

Good job, Pacifica! You’ve created an awesome product that is now one of my must-have products for this summer!