“One up, one down,” is the ECU student-led fan group chant at the baseball games after the Pirates get an out. I find myself now starting to say this every week that comes and goes during quarantine. Anyways, I’m not here to talk about ECU baseball chants but something completely opposite: beauty and skincare! A new “hobby” or interest I decided to take-up during this season of quarantine is cleaner beauty products. By no means will I call myself any sort of expert. My skincare routine up until a couple months ago consisted of washing my face at night before bed, if I felt like it, and that’s it. Nope, not even moisturizing! I kept seeing people that I follow who would rock a natural look with minimal makeup and their skin would be flawless. I wanted to “wake up like that” as Queen B says. So, I’m going to share some of the why, how and what I’ve switched to now that I’ve really started caring about my skin and makeup products!
Why at almost 27 years old did I now just start to care? Honestly, I think it probably has to do with some of my boredom with quarantine but also finally having time to do some research. I also started to notice some wrinkles and I’m so terrified of getting wrinkles that while I should’ve been doing this a long time ago, I figured better late than never! I will say that I’m pretty blessed when it comes to my parents genetics in that they don’t really have many wrinkles. Granted, they’re on the younger side of parents with kids my age, but you’d still expect them to have more wrinkles than they do (sorry mom and dad)! Seeing friends with naturally glowing and soft-looking skin also inspired me and I couldn’t help but think about how much money they’re probably saving in not having to wear as much makeup. You know me, always trying to save a buck somehow. Once I made up my mind, very quickly and easily I might add, I decided to do some research to figure out what skincare products I was going to use. I should also mention that I’m pretty fortunate, again due to my genetics, that I’ve never really struggled with breakouts or acne so that also played a part in why I didn’t care as much about my skin.
I’m an indecisive person. I truly wish I was more decisive but I’m not, so choosing a product kind of stressed me out. I’m going to be brutally honest real quick and I think a lot of you probably can relate with me on this. Typically, anytime I saw an Instagram story or Facebook post from one of my friends trying to sell some sort of beauty or skincare line, I just quickly scrolled by it. I truly am not trying to disrespect any beauty or skincare consultant, I’m just being honest and my attitude towards that has definitely changed. Through social media I had seen ads or consultants selling Arbonne, Rodan and Fields, BeautyCounter, and Glossier just to name a few. A major turn-off to me with skincare or beauty product lines was always the cost. I wanted a regimen but they were always seemed so expensive. I actually tried to create my own regimen with cheap products I found at Marshall’s but they actually made my skin breakout more!
So how did I decide? I’m not going to go into detail of each of those brands I mentioned but I ended up deciding BeautyCounter was the route I wanted to go. For me looking at the cost, the quality and honestly what the company values stood out to me. It also helped that they had a deal going on for 10% off! Again, can’t ever pass up a deal. This is where my mind on consultants also changed. My sweet friend Hannah from college became a consultant for BeautyCounter which is where I started to see the brand more and more. What I appreciate about Hannah is how real and honest she is in her posts about BeautyCounter. It was never with the sole motivation to make money. She truly just wanted to educate people on cleaner products and what BeautyCounter as a company is doing to try and influence that. So, I reached out to Hannah and bless her sweet soul for being patient with me and all my questions and always being so thorough in her answers.
Hannah also introduced me to this site and app by a group called Environmental Working Group (EWG). This site allows you to put products in and it gives you a rating on how safe and healthy it is for you based on the ingredients. I highly recommend the app for your phone! I spent a Saturday going through my cabinets scanning all my products and was shocked that some of my absolute favorite products had ingredients linked to causing cancer. I’ll be honest in that if a product didn’t rate a 1 or 2 which are good ratings, I didn’t just throw it away. Sometimes allergy concerns is what causes the rating to not be as high and so as long as it didn’t have high risk for cancer, I kept the product and will finish using it.
Now that I’ve gone through how I decided on BeautyCounter, I wanted to share which products I got and how I’ve liked them. I went all out in that I chose to get a skincare and makeup regimen. To me, it’s an already identified step-by-step process that makes it easier for me to follow. Yes, I wanted the easiest thing with the least amount of work. How millennial of me!
I’ll be honest, the first regimen I got from BeautyCounter was CounterControl. I chose this one honestly because it was the cheapest (I got it for $108 with the deal) and it mentioned helping with oily skin, which I am a very oily person. I’m Greek, I can’t help it. With regimens you are supposed to use them in the morning and night. The first time I used it, no big issues. It was the second, third and fourth time that after doing the regimen I would have a rash on my face. Below is after one of the times I used it. After this happened multiple times, I reached out to Hannah for plan B. One of the other reasons I chose BeautyCounter is you have 60 days to return the product for a full refund. In this case, you have to return the whole regimen. But, you could literally use a product for a while and then decide to return it if you don’t like it.
After talking to Hannah and deciding the regimen I tried was too harsh and strong for my skin given that I really don’t breakout, she recommended the CounterMatch regimen. This one adapts to your skin and matches the natural structure. I have been using it for over a month in the morning and night and love it! I honestly wasn’t sure that I’d truly be able to notice a difference but I have and actually others have pointed it out too! Above is a picture I took a couple days ago, no makeup on. LOOK AT THAT GLOW. This one is a pricier regimen. I got it for $150 because I actually had a product credit for signing up for the $29 membership! Real quick, I recommend doing the membership because it has literally already paid back itself and more. Between the product credit I used here and the free charcoal mask (obsessed with this btw) I got when I placed my first order, because in addition to 10% off if you signed up for the membership you got the free charcoal mask, I’ve already gotten over $60 worth of free stuff #worthit! Anyways, the regimen comes with a cleanser, toner, and serum you use both in the morning and evening and then a moisturizer you use at night and a moisturizer you use in the morning. They are all good-sized products and let me tell you, a little goes a LONG way.
As with my skincare, I wanted a makeup regimen that was easy and manageable to do every day. The amount of money I spend on makeup is ridiculous. MAC has always been my go-to, and whenever I ran out of something I was easily walking out of there spending hundreds of dollars. When I broke down the cost of the makeup products with BeautyCounter (I spent $135 for the set after the discount), it ended up being the same or even less than I would spend on makeup. Not to mention, I should be wearing less of it now since my natural skin looks #onfleek (is this still a thing?). I had actually seen a lot about the Flawless in Five and so that’s what I decided I wanted to do. I chose to do the Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation in honey because I wanted some coverage. Looking back, I kind of wish I did the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer because it has 20 SPF in it and it’s really low coverage and I feel like during the summer, with a tan, I don’t need as much. But, that’s just on the list for something I’ll try next! I’ll admit, I was a little surprised by the size of the foundation tube because the skincare products were so much bigger than I expected. That being said, as with the skincare products, a little goes a long way with this foundation. Also, I had to remind myself it is for light-medium coverage so I shouldn’t be using much anyway. After selecting the foundation, you select your concealer color and then you choose between a brow pencil or gel. I did the gel. I have DARK eyebrows, I’m talking black. They were out of the light black color for the gel or I would’ve done that but since they didn’t, I did the dark. When I brush it over my brow it’s fine and matches great. Because I started waxing at eight years-old, again I’m Greek, years of waxing too far over has left a patch where hair won’t grow so I try to draw it in. The dark gel color doesn’t work well for this part of my brow as there’s a distinct difference in color. For the mascara I chose the lengthening option because I have short eyelashes. I want to try the volumizing one, but since I have a volumizing mascara I’m currently using I decided to get the lengthening one and use both together. For the blush, the site actually recommended the “date” color based on my foundation tone and let me just say, the blush is my favorite product of the six I got in the Flawless in Five set. Last was the lip gloss which again it recommended “rosewood” and that’s the color I got. It matches my natural lip color almost perfectly which is my preference, natural colors. I only have to do one swipe of the lips for it to get full coverage. It really does only take five minutes to do all the steps in this set so I no longer have an excuse to show up to work looking like trash.
I know this post is long, but I wanted to share my experience because it did include some trial and error. I am not a consultant, but, if you’re interested in BeautyCounter and want to shop, use this link and you will be entered into a give away for a full size product! The winner will be drawn and announced at the end of next week! You will also be supporting my friend Hannah and who doesn’t love supporting one another?! It’s also a good time to shop because they’re offering 20% off your first order which is more than I got!
Also, if you’re interested in hearing and learning more about cleaner beauty products, Hannah and I will be doing a Facebook Live event on Sunday, May 18th at 8 pm EST! Grab a glass of your drink of choice and come hang with us! Men, BeautyCounter has men products too! You’ll also have a chance to win a free full size skincare product!
Stay safe and healthy everyone!