Safer Beauty Spotlight

I became a consultant with Beautycounter in April, and it has been an amazing experience. The company continues to roll out new products and push forward in the personal care and cosmetic industry. I want to update you all on a few products and provide some reviews. I honestly don’t use many non-Beautycounter products these days. This has helped simplify my routines and saves me much time and money. Without dragging on any longer, here are a few new products I want to share!

Ocean & Pacific Palette 

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Anyone else love the connivence of a makeup palette? I do! Beautycounter occasionally decides to give customers a treat and roll out a limited edition palette. The most recent one speaks to all my heart strings. I was a little nervous about the blue tones at first, but they actually were great for my eye color. The blush? Beautiful! I also appreciate that the palette includes a highlighter and bronzer. It’s a one stop shop! Lately, I’ve been wearing just the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer and the selection in the palette. They will not restock once it sells out, so I recommend grabbing one ASAP! Click here!

Hair Care Collection

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The most challenging part of my transition over the past few years has been the search for safer hair products. I’ve tried countless cleaner and safer brands, but I always go back to products I was using before. It has been extremely frustrating. My husband also deals with eczema, and we’ve struggled to find solid shampoo options for him. I was beyond excited for Beautycounter to launch their hair collection. We’ve been using it for a few weeks now. It definitely performs as well if not better than top salon brands. There are three different lines & all are safe for color treated hair. You can also mix and match between the different lines. I highly recommend giving these products a try if you are in the market for some new shampoo, conditioner, or styling products!

  • Repair & Nourish
    • For dry and/or damaged hair
    • Shampoo + Conditioner + Split End Serum
    • My take – Love this line! It’s the one I use most often. My hair is usually on the oily side, so I make sure to apply the conditioner just to the ends.
  • Smooth & Control
    • For taming frizz and/or hard to manage hair
    • Shampoo + Conditioner + Hair Oil
    • My take – My second favorite line in the collection. The hair oil is definitely worth investing in. I like to use it just at night on the ends of my hair. If you have more dry hair, you can definitely use it after/during styling.
  • Volume & Shape
    • For fine hair
    • Shampoo (currently out of stock) + Conditioner + Volumizing Mist
    • My take – This is my least favorite shampoo and conditioner in the collection, but I also do not have fine hair. Someone with fine hair would love it. I do use the Volumizing Mist before blowdrying my hair, and it definitely helps add some poof!

There you have it! Those are my two most exciting updates on the beauty front. I’m always happy to help connect you to Beautycounter products or answer any questions you have. You can shop via my link by clicking here or feel free to email me at beautycounterwithjess@gmail.com.

June Product Reviews

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I ordered a box of five new goodies in early June (I seriously love mail a little too much), and I am finally ready to share with you my thoughts on each product! 

brighteningcleanser_indielee_608819407210_front_copy_grande-2Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser ($32) – I first used this cleanser several years ago when I switched to safer beauty products. I loved it then and love it equally as much now! The smell reminds me of  fresh strawberries! It has an awesome texture when it comes out of the bottle and lathers onto your skin with ease. The glass bottle packaging is also beautiful. My preference is the use this face wash only in the morning. I don’t love it as much for removing makeup, but it’s lovely for giving you a glowing start to each morning! It can also be used as a mask if you let it sit for 5-10 minutes on your face. Be careful, though, the product comes out of the bottle super fast!

Untitled_design_81_grandeCommon Goods Lavender Linen Water ($7) – Ironing is one of my least favorite chores (can I get an amen?), but this linen water makes it so much more fun. The smell is subtle and just enough to put a smile on your face rather than making you want to seek cover from some sort of fragrance bomb. I spray it on our clothes before ironing them, on our sheets a few times a week, and often on my clothes I wear for the day. It’s a happy, delightful way to spring some lavender into your life!

Untitled_design_26_a5f6b5ef-12b0-46ae-aad3-b7e9a38c23e6_grandeOne Love Organics Cleansing Sponge ($10) – This is a product I could take or leave. My biggest issue is consistently using a cleansing sponge. I’m definitely in the routine of using my hands to wash my face. This sponge dries hard but softens as your run it under the water. It does a good job when it comes to removing makeup and leaving your skin feeling super clean. If you love sponges, this is an affordable and decent one to try! And, seriously, the heart shape is a cute added bonus!

mediterranean_largeVapour Mediterranean Artist Eye Palette ($46) – I’ve used individuals eye shadows
from Vapour, but this is my first palette. I love the color combination and the texture of the eyeshadows. The palette is a little smaller than I expected, but the shadows seem to last a long time. It’s also super easy to pack when traveling. My favorite thing about the cream eyeshadows by Vapour is that they are basically foolproof. You can have zero skill and make these shadows look great! The colors are subtle once applied and last most of the day. The pink shade is definitely my favorite out of the three colors.

CC_2016_Product_grandeConscious Coconut Oil ($16) – I’m going to be completely honest here…I will not be purchasing this product again. It’s likely user error, but I’ve had the toughest time with the coconut oil in the tube. I am sure it’s wonderful for people who travel a lot or don’t like the idea of dipping into a jar. For me, I really struggled to use the tube. I ran it under hot water, squeezed it, and a forceful amount of coconut oil came out and ended up all over my bathroom. I decided to give it another try and the exact same thing happened. I haven’t been able to get anything out of the tube without warming it up, but I fail each time to warm up the entire amount inside, which create a strange amount of pressure in the tube. I love the company and the idea of the product, but it’s just not for me!

Questions? Feel free to comment below!

-Jess

10 Safer Beauty Favorites Under $30

Beauty and personal care products can be pricey, but you don’t have to break the bank to begin making changes. I’ve rounded up 10 lovely items from two of my favorite places to purchase safer products– Fig & Flower and Beautycounter.

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Pinkerton_480_1024x1024_f1a28e5d-4dac-40cd-b056-88e51806be6c_grande100% Pure Creamy Nail Polish ($12)

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Indie Lee Blemish Lotion ($26)

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Suntegrity Mineral Sunscreen for Body ($24)

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BC Hydrating Body Lotion in Citrus Mimosa ($24)

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BC Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa ($20)

 
 

Lip Perfection

I haven’t always been a fan of lipstick. Typically, I would put it on first thing in the morning and then forget to reapply during the day. All of that changed as I transitioned to cleaner products. I now actually enjoy wearing lipstick. Here are some of my favorites!

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  1. Lip Sheer by Beautycounter
    • Don’t let the name fool you. There is no shortage of color here! I have a major love for this lipstick right now. I like it so much that I’ve purchased it in three colors (Twig, Plum, & Rose). It’s silky soft, fun to wear, and the color selection is awesome! I can’t wait to collect them all. It’s one of the first lipsticks I actually reapply throughout the day!
  2. Lip C.P.R. by Suntegrity
    • Lip color plus sunscreen? Sign me up! This lipstick helps reduce the appearance of lip lines and wrinkles while protecting you from the sun!
  3. Lip Glaze by 100% Pure
    • This was my first clean lipstick product and it’s still a favorite. I used the same tube for an entire year! I’m not even sure that you’re supposed to do that. It’s nourishing and easy to apply!

What are some of your favorite clean lipsticks? If you haven’t tried any, these are a great place to start!

My Beautycounter “Why”

Never in a million years did I see myself as a consultant for any product. I’ve dreamt off and on about opening a small, retail business whether in natural cosmetics, fashion, or a lovely store full of all things paper and journals. I grew up at my grandparent’s small business, and it’s definitely in my blood to want to connect people to products and provide an amazing customer service experience. Yet, I’ve hesitated to dive right in and run my own business largely because of financial and time commitments.

As I started researching safer beauty product lines, I discovered Beautycounter during their popup shop with Target and through browsing the Skin Deep website. I kept meaning to make a purchase, but I never did and time just slipped away. I later learned that I could not only purchase the products directly from the Beautycounter website, but I could also join the movement and become a consultant. I started the consultant signup process only to discover that I would have to choose a mentor, which promptly led me to close out of the page. To this day, I’m not sure why I was so opposed to the idea of having a mentor. I’m stubbornly independent at times so there’s your likely answer!

After I started Pretty Well, a friend contacted me about becoming a Beautycounter consultant. She felt that I was a perfect fit for the mission and the products. She no longer lives in Georgia, but I knew her and felt comfortable with her being my mentor. I took a few days to think about the opportunity and to weigh out the pros and cons. I determined that this was actually a great, relatively risk-free way for me to enter the cosmetic industry and be able to connect people directly to awesome products all in one place. And, in some sense, learn a few things about running a business.

Why I became a Beautycounter consultant: 

  • I have the most sensitive skin. I’ve yet to find a Beautycounter product that hasn’t been wonderful for me. It truly speaks to the awesome quality of the products. I LOVE THEM ALL!
  • I enjoy connecting people with solutions. Whether that’s beauty products or everyday advice, I am a solution driven person. Beautycounter gives me tons of solutions right at my fingertips.
  • The startup cost was low. There are several packages to choose from when getting started. You can choose your initial investment when getting started as a consultant.
  • I am a cosmetic nerd. Seriously, I love this stuff! Sending out samples, hosting socials, and giving people information is so much fun!
  • We deserve better! This is the most important part! I often feel like the cosmetic industry could care less about the impact ingredients are having on our bodies and health. Beautycounter has made safer products, continues to do research, and advocate for industry changes. That is a mission I love taking part in and sharing with others.
  • It’s nice to make a little extra money. Who doesn’t love making extra money doing something they love?

I truly believe everyone should give Beautycounter a try. There is a 60 day money back guarantee on the products. There are ways to try samples; I am always happy to connect you with some. And, if you love the products, then becoming a consultant could likely be your next step!

So, I am totally one of those consultant nerds now. I am loving it, though! And, perhaps, one day I will create a business of my own. For now, this is great training!

Shop Beautycounter by clicking here!

Interested in becoming a consultant or learning more about our products? Shoot me an email at prettywellblog@gmail.com or visit this link.

Follow my Beautycounter journey through Instagram and Facebook!

-Jess

When Natural Beauty Fails

I was sifting through old pictures on my phone a few days ago. I found a few pictures from my early days of switching to natural beauty products, and they gave me a good laugh. They reminded me of the phase I went through in elementary school of using hairspray to spray down every single flyaway in my hair. I seriously looked like a greaser. In all fairness, there was no reasoning with me so my mom just let me go at it every morning. My youngest sister also went through this phase a few years back…hair slicked right down to her head. I guess it just runs in the family! It’s a wonder all of my hair didn’t fall out during that period.

As I experimented with natural products, there were definitely items that did not work for me. I thought I looked good but the fact that I did not continue to use those products and the photographic evidence prove otherwise. And, it wasn’t just makeup. I remember my skin feeling like a seashell from the natural body wash I was using. My hair also returned to early greaser days as I switched to natural hair products. Then, there were my attempts at making homemade laundry detergent, which my husband eventually (and so kindly) asked me to step away from. The entire process ended up being wildly disappointing. I looked older and worse than ever and our clothes felt dirty. Great.

Sometimes natural products do not work. 

Like everything in life, we often have to work to find a great fit. What may work for one person may be a total misfit for another. I had to learn to step away from reviews and start trusting my gut on certain products and, for a while, I did go back to my less than natural favorites. I went back to my trusted products that I had used for years because at least I looked okay while using them. I came back around, though, and was determined to discover new favorites that were also safer and without completely breaking the bank. I also had to accept a few things about myself. Like the fact that I am not a maker of products. There are plenty of laundry detergents out there that are safe and do not require me to spend time grating soap. You may be very skilled at that, but it just wasn’t for me.

Sometimes you find a wonderful natural product that you just can’t live without!

I decided to really use samples to my advantage, and that is one of the best pieces of advice I can give to anyone making a transition with their beauty products. I quickly learned that there are a few brands that I love and that work for me. I try to stick with those companies rather than spending all of my time trying new brands and products. Along the way, I’ve discovered some really awful products. Some really disappointing brands. I’ve also discovered that what may be awful for me may be your absolute favorite and that is perfectly okay.

What works for me? 

  • Beautycounter: Seriously my favorite brand at this time. I use so many of their products. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, facial oil, foundation, lipstick, etc. I LOVE that I can get all of these products in one place. My husband even uses it and loves it. I also love that I get to work as a consultant and connect friends and family directly with items I believe in! Let me know if you’re interested in any samples by emailing prettywellblog@gmail.com. 
  • One Love Organics:  I haven’t used anything by One Love that I haven’t loved. Everything is made in small batches and you can really tell that they put a lot of thought into the quality. LOVE!
  • Indie Lee: I love their glass bottles and I love their products even more. Only one product from them has not worked for me. Everything else has been a dream!
  • Vapour Organic Beauty: I would call Vapour the Cadillac of natural beauty. It’s luxurious plus they offer samples so you can try it before diving right in!

Of course, there are very popular companies that have not worked for me & are not on my list. There are also a ton of companies I have not tried at this point. My best advice: find what works for you slowly but surely. And, for goodness’ sake, do not turn into a greaser! If it’s not working, move on!

-Jess

A Sea of Choices

I tend to get overwhelmed when I have too many choices to make at once. Heck, I even get a little overwhelmed when trying to decide what to eat for dinner. We have so many options screaming at us in all areas of life on a daily basis. There is social media (pick your favorite). Many websites are unusable due to the vast amount of ads flanking the pages. Decisions lurking around every corner and so many things competition for our attention, our time, and our money. It’s becoming our norm as a society and, honestly, sometimes it scares me. I don’t want this place, Pretty + Well, to be a source of confusion for you. I don’t want you to have to feel like you need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff NOW…because you don’t! I want you to be able to make healthy choices for your life in your time and in your way.

After I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and realized it was time to make some changes, I did feel this urge to change everything  at once. I had moments of filling my online cart with tons of new items to begin transitioning into a more natural lifestyle. I placed unnecessary pressure on myself to make changes really quickly. Throughout the journey, I have experiences times of great success  and times of regret when a product failed after spending good money on it. I realize the journey can be frustrating, and the many options before you can be overwhelming. Here are my tips for navigating through the sea of choices when it comes to beauty products (and anything else for that matter)!

  1. Set a budget! My husband, being oh so wise, decided to give me a budget for buying products to begin with. This helped me set some initial goals and get some of the excitement out of my system.
  2. Set expectations! Do you plan to just transition your beauty products? Makeup? Haircare? Do you also plan to transition to natural household products? It’s important to decide what your goals are for making changes!
  3. Replace one product at a time! Change takes time, and I am more on board with a “slow and steady wins the race” approach rather than a hurried approach that may not stick. For me, I knew mascara had to be first since it was causing me issues every day. For you, it may be another product.
  4. Research before shopping! The Environmental Watch Group has a database called Skin Deep. This was the most helpful tool for browsing products in specific categories. It was also a helpful way to explore my current products to decide what I should no longer use!
  5. Visit a store in person! I was so excited to learn about a natural beauty store in Atlanta called Fig & Flower. My husband and I decided to go check it out, and this is where I spent my initial budget. I felt like I was in heaven. I was able to get some product sample and advice from the store owner, Sara. It also helped me narrow down the product selection. The brands I discovered in Fig & Flower are still my favorite, and I still buy many of my items from the website. Check them out!
  6. Samples are your friend! Many products have a sample option on their website if you do not live near a store. You often have to pay for them, but it’s an affordable way to try out different shades of makeup and beauty products. It’s also useful if you are like me and like to change things up frequently!
  7. Give yourself a break! Lifestyle changes can be hard, so please remember to HAVE FUN! Include friends and family on your journey. Connect with bloggers. Find a way to share your journey and let it be an adventure rather than a burden.

I hope this helps with you with your plans to transition into natural products. I am rooting for you, and I am always happy to answer any questions you have!

-Jess

Sunny Saturday Makeup Day

Saturday mornings at home bring me much happiness. There is nothing like opening the blinds and watching the sun pour in while cooking breakfast. The pace is easy  and there is no pressure to rush off into the world. We haven’t spent a relaxing Saturday morning at home in several weeks, so I was thrilled to sit around in my pajamas and sip coffee (always decaf) this morning. The only thing on the agenda was buying some new plants for the front yard. Feeling inspired by the sun and easiness of the day, I decided to bring out some of my favorite pinks and shimmers while doing my makeup for plant shopping.

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I recently took advantage of the 21 Days of Beauty sale at Ulta. It’s an awesome way to try out products for half of the price. Not all of their products are natural, but you can shop some great brands like Tarte and Juice Beauty. There are still a few more days left of the promotions! I’ve included a few of the new products in my look today. Ohhhh, my super cute t-shirt is from a company called Milk and Honey Tees. I am really into stylish t-shirts these days as my stomach continues to make room for our little one. It’s perfect for a casual Saturday look and unbelievably comfortable.

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Here’s to sunny Saturdays and easy weekends. It sure is doing this girl some good, and I wish the same for you! Please let me know if you have any questions about the products listed.

New Products

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Confidence Creamy Powder: I am always hesitant to use powder foundations alone. I typically always pair them with a liquid to avoid spotty coverage. I am always looking for an easy powder foundation for days like Saturdays when I don’t want to spend the time applying liquid. I am still on the fence with this Tarte Creamy Powder. You definitely need to moisturize well underneath to prevent any dry spots. My favorite thing is that it tends to look better and better as the day progresses, but I am not crazy about how it looks immediately.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara: My all-time favorite mascara! I purchase it again and again. This is my first time using the “lashes” version rather than the “splashes” version. This one is not waterproof, and I like it better. Splashes is super hard to remove.

LORAC PRO Matte Lip Color, Pink Taupe: Pink lipstick is my weakness. This one is super silky and stays put for a decent amount of time. There is a great color selection available if pink isn’t your thing!

Other Products

LORAC Pro Contour Palette Plus Contour Brush

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush 

bareMinerals Eyeshadow

RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow – Color – Lunar [Net Wt 4.25/0.25oz]

Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 15 Moisturizer, 1.7 fl. oz.

One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm 

Quick & Easy Makeup Days

I’ve never exactly been a morning person, and my mornings always end up in a mad dash to get out the door. There are times when I long to be the girl who can hop out of bed and look oh so fabulous. Instead, it takes me a good hour or more each morning to go through my routine. To combat this, I’ve been experimenting with quick and easy makeup routines for my on-the-run mornings. I am all for simple and streamlined. Here is one of my favorite looks so far!

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What’s in the look?

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Product Links:

One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm

Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation – s115

Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation

RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow – Lunar

RMS BEAUTY – Cream Eyeshadow – Magnetic [Net Wt 5.67g/0.20oz]

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Peaceful 0.2 oz

Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick Park Ave Princess Nude