Have you heard of the brand Beautycounter (BC)? They strive “To get safer products into the hands of everyone.” Think about how many products we use daily in our routine starting with skincare to any makeup we apply afterward. Most of the products have a long list of ingredients with potentially harmful chemicals. Compared to Europe and Canada who have banned over a thousand chemicals, the US regulations have fallen behind in their screening. BC holds themselves to an even higher standards and have added additional chemicals they avoid using.
Honestly before the Boston Blog Camp event I had only heard about it in passing despite incessantly watching beauty guru reviews on YouTube. I was also wary in the beginning since there are several other brands out there with similar “Green(er) Beauty” platform. Plus I had uncomfortable experiences in the past with multi-level-marketing (MLM) brands who used shadier tactics during my wedding planning phase. Not many people have talked about this brand online (aside from a handful of other bloggers), so I’m hoping my review will be useful for anyone looking for more info. My point of view focuses more on the quality and perceived benefits of the beauty products tested compared to the products I’m accustomed to using such as for my Wedding Day Look. The 2 days I used the products were not long enough to assess the actual long term health benefits of avoiding their never list of ingredients.
I tested out several items from the Nourishing skincare line: cleanser, day cream, night cream, rosewater mist, charcoal mask, face oil, lipstick as well as one of their limited edition holiday palettes! If you want to jump to a specific section you can use the sub-menu to take you there. I currently have an online social set for Friday, December 1 – Thursday, December 14th if you are interested in buying any products and I will link in a separate temporary post.
- Intro & Consultation Picks
- Nourishing Skincare Collection (Minus Exfoliator)
- Charcoal Mask & Face Oil
- Sheer Lipstick: Plum with Swatch
- Ultimate Nudes Eye shadow Palette, Swatches and Look
- Overall Review, Resources, Where to Buy
Intro & Consultation Picks [↑]
The first step in trying out the Beautycounter (BC) brand involves either attending a social or trying out their products through samples facilitated by a BC consultant. For my trial, Kate contacted me via e-mail to obtain more information about my skin concerns and what kind of products I was interested to try such as a berry colored lip shade and eye shadows. We first met at the Blog Camp Boston event as she was one of the vendors. I didn’t have much time in between the lectures to test the products so I was excited to try out them out in the comfort of my own home! I informed Kate that I had combination skin, which resulted in oily areas in the T-zone and dry patches on my cheeks. She curated recommendations for me to try with a nice note and loose guidelines of when to use the products.
During our e-mail communication, we agreed upon a location and the timing worked out in both of our schedules where she would drop the bag of products and palette off on her way to work at my work place on Wednesday. Kate mentioned that she typically allows her clients 2-3 days to try out the products so we decided that we would meet up again on Friday. Not pictured above were also 2 booklets or thick catalogs about BC’s regular line along with the limited edition holiday gifts. One of the unique aspects for BC is that not only do they create safer products but they are also making progress in Washington on changing the legislation. It would be great if they could highlight more of this work they’re doing since I’m genuinely curious!
Nourishing Skincare Collection (Minus Exfoliator) [↑]
Beautycounter has other collections to target other skincare needs such as brightening, plumping, balancing, counter match and rejuvenating. Based on my combo skin I think it makes sense to try something moisturizing. I tried everything in the collection aside from the exfoliator. I also have slightly sensitive skin so in the past I’ve tried products and noticed later on that my skin starts flaking. It’s so sad to immediately discontinue using a promising product from a bad reaction.
Cream Cleanser ($26) – I enjoyed the texture and feel of cleanser after using. It had a pleasant mild aloe and coconut scent! Other cleansers have dried my skin out. I noticed that the plastic cover lid gets gunky if stored facing down. From the entire collection this is on the top of my list to purchase. I’ve tried tons of different cleansers and this one is less expensive per fluid oz. than the Fresh Soy Cleanser!
Day Cream ($43) and Night Cream ($47) – Not sure if it’s just me, but I did not notice a significant difference between the two. Night cream is slightly thicker in consistency. It begs the question of whether you actually need both?
Eye cream ($35) – I know I should be better about using creams, but I’m not sure why I tend to forget this step. This felt nice but made lids oily for daytime. I did not notice any difference from the other eye creams I’ve used in the past.
Rosewater mist ($35) – I enjoyed using this toner mist, however I don’t think this is a must-have item if you can only afford to purchase select items. I loved glass tube packaging with fine mist spritzer. However, the actual ingredients I think people could easily make this themselves for much cheaper.
Charcoal Mask & Face Oil [↑]
No. 3 Balancing Charcoal Mask ($48) – probably the most photographed try-on product from this BC that I’ve seen in the previews. I jumped on the bandwagon and snapped a pic of myself! I only used this product once since using masks too frequently can dry out my skin. Plus I’m lazy and hate washing this off in the sink so I hopped in shower. The mask formula was thick and fully dried down after about 15 minutes of wear on me. After washing the mask off my skin felt slightly softer but I didn’t notice the other claims “purifies and balances, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities”.
No. 2 Plumping Facial Oil ($68) – As someone with combo skin I’m always hesitant adding more oil to my face. The formula was smooth and I used it both during the day and nighttime. It felt too slick during the day but my skin felt quite hydrated throughout. I’ve tried Argan, Maracuja, and various other oils for skin and I did not notice anything different about this blend to be honest. Again the skin care products overall probably require long term use to see results matching their claims.
Sheer Lipstick: Plum with Swatch [↑]
Sheer Lipstick in Plum ($30) – I have no idea why it’s called “sheer” when the coverage is quite buildable with noticeable pigment! I was thinking the texture would be more like a tinted lip balm. Perhaps it’s just the Berry shade I tried. In fact the formula is creamy, non-sticky, and feels moisturizing at first. However, oddly enough as a few hours pass it turns quite dry bordering on uncomfortable. I noticed that the color on website is much than in person.
It might just be me, but this reminded me of Tarte Lip Sculptor formula and package design! I liked how thin and sleek the lipstick bullet was for more precision. The price point is comparable for 0.12 oz of high end lipstick, but I’m still hung up on the sheer label.
For my eyes I used a combination of Soft Peach, Canyon, Copper, Cashmere, and Bordeaux. No primer. Other reviews online mentioned that it can crease with an oily lid like mine but I didn’t wear it long enough to independently verify.
Ultimate Nudes Eye shadow Palette, Swatches and Look [↑]
Ultimate Nudes Eye shadow Palette ($88) – I love palette sets and probably own way to many of these already! You get 18 limited edition/NEW shades in square pans in the thin booklet. The colors are not available in their regular line yet. It also comes with a double ended brush and large mirror removable mirror. The included brush had a soft fluffy end for blending and an angled brush side. The quality of the shadows in the top 2 rows completely surprised me.
They swatched beautifully on my arm! They felt smooth and buttery with slight fall out. The look above that I used for the before/after lipstick photos also has the look I created using this palette. I of course used my own regular products for the foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara and brows since I didn’t try those cosmetic products from the BC.
Once you get over the initial sticker price shock, the overall quality of the palette is good. You get 26.40 g of product in total, about 0.68 g per pan at ~$3.33 per gram / $4.89 per shade, which is in the average price range of palettes. If they sold the middle row individually or in duos/quads, I would definitely purchase. If you look at the ingredients list the first two are Mica and Talc which are frequently used in most palettes these days to create the rich color. They also offer smaller eye shadow duos with a lighter and darker shade if you don’t want to make the commitment to a large palette.
My personal favorite shadow was a tie between Storm and Copper. They are both so pigmented and I don’t think I have any other shade like Storm (metallic blueish gray) currently in my collection! My least favorite was Eggshell in the bottom row, which you can barely see on my arm. The consistency of the matte shade was way too chalky to use. Soft Peach is also an honorable mention since it is versatile for me as a great transition and blending color from the lid to brow bone.
Overall Review, Resources, Where to Buy [↑]
I am so glad I had the chance try the products above and learn more about the company! I truly admire that they are invested in female empowerment along with trying to create lasting change in Washington over the US standards for ingredient screening. One of the nicest features on the website was that you can easily see ALL of the ingredients used along with a link to their ingredients glossary to learn more what it is used for. Of course you can also research this independently on your own. I tried several of the ingredients and you can see in the glossary what other product examples it is used in. For some reason the Boron Nitride link was not showing up properly.
Beautycounter is a good place to start as an introduction to using cleaner beauty products as they are transparent about everything they use. However, keep in mind they are not the “greenest” or “cleanest” as some of their products do use other chemicals and they are not all natural. I am still unsure about their mission statement about getting “…safer products into the hands of everyone” with their MLM strategy and high price points. The only way to purchase is through a BC consultant or to become one yourself in order to get the discount if you want to go all-in on this brand. Despite the skepticism, it is still much better knowing that you are using products from Beautycounter free from chemicals identified as an informed consumer! As this was a First Impression type assessment I am not going to assign a star rating since I don’t think I have the authority to judge the entire brand on the samples.
Resources for Safer/More Informed Beauty
- Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database – online profiles for cosmetics and personal care products and their potential hazards and health concerns.
- Think Dirty App – mobile app allows you to learn about potentially toxic ingredients while shopping
- Safe Cosmetics – Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners tons of resources and information.
Where to Buy?!
So you might be horrified with your current personal care products and the unknown chemicals like me, or just excited to try a more socially conscious clean beauty brand?! I actually have a social event planned as I mentioned in the beginning! I will create a separate post later this week dedicated to the event and update this section with the link to the post. I can’t post it now, as there’s a strict 30 day window in which the link under Kate’s beauty consultant profile and for my event is valid for promotional rewards.
However, if you want to save this on your calendar with a reminder, please comment below and I can invite you to the event on Facebook with the information!
Friday, December 1 – Thursday, December 14th.
Have you tried Beautycounter before? If so what was your experience?