Introduction to BeautyCounter + Skin Care First Impressions Review

Did you know that there are about 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products and that only 10% of those chemicals have safety data?

Did you know that the European Union has spent the past two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 ingredients, yet the United States has only banned 11 to date?

Did you know that the average woman uses at least 12 personal care products every morning, yet most of these women have no idea what ingredients they're using?

It's statistics like these that personally led me to change up my beauty and skin care routine a few years ago, and to this day, it still shocks me to hear how little the cosmetics industry is regulated.

This leads me to the purpose of today's post: introducing you to BeautyCounter. You probably haven't heard of it, a) because it's a fairly new line and b) because it's another company that employs a direct sales model (like Mary Kay, Ava Anderson, etc.), but I'm hoping that after reading my first impressions review that you'll take a moment and check it out.

How did I discover BeautyCounter? It seems like it was fate!

A few weeks ago, I attended a fitness expo and as I was wandering the booths in the marketplace, I stumbled upon a gorgeous set-up covered in beauty products. Naturally, this drew my eye, although I frankly assumed that this was another standard line of chemical-filled products. Rather, Kerry - a Director at BeautyCounter and the woman manning the booth - immediately handed me a "never list" and started explaining to me why I should avoid these ingredients in my products. Now she was speaking my language! Naturally, I spoke to Kerry about my blog and she agreed to meet up with me a week later to talk more about the line.

According to BeautyCounter's press materials, the company's mission is "to get safe products into the hands of everyone." And although I'm no scientist, the more you read about the company's ingredient selection process and threshold for lack of safety data, the more you start to believe that they're truly doing what they claim.

Of course, it's one thing to develop a natural product, and another thing entirely to develop natural products that work. To ask that these natural products work AND have beautiful packaging is almost always asking for something you'll never receive.

But BeautyCounter was two for three with me as I learned more about the line. The packaging was pretty gorgeous and didn't "look natural," but rather looked like something you'd find in the high-end section of Sephora. Now it was time to find out how the products performed.

Kerry agreed to let me borrow her complete line of skin care products for a week to try things out. I got to try the full Essentials collection (made up of a cream cleanser, exfoliator, AM and PM cream, eye cream and rosewater toner) and the Countertime collection, which is their anti-aging line and contains face wash, treatment pads, a firming serum, AM and PM cream, cleansing balm and eye cream. I also got to try their shampoo, everyday body lotion and their three "Lustro" oils, which are complementary to the moisturizers.

I didn't get to keep anything, and I was rushing a bit to try as many of the products as I could, but I was willing to go for it for a chance to see if the products were as good as they seemed!

Want to know what I think?

PROS:

  • Do I have to say for a third time just how gorgeous the packaging is? Unlike the Ava Anderson products that I blogged about previously that feel cheap and a little childish, BeautyCounter's products look and feel high-end, sophisticated and elegant. I loved the glass Rosewater bottle and the sleek Lustro oils, not to mention the ENTIRE Countertime line, which reminds me of something I'd see at some expensive French line like Givenchy or Guerlain. Love, love, love.
  • The Essentials line Routine Clean Cream Cleanser is hands down my favorite product. As the name states, it's a cream consistency and it lathers beautifully and smells great, with a subtle citrus fragrance (quite similar to the Ava Anderson products truthfully). But my favorite thing about it? It acts as a makeup remover! At night I simply massaged the product gently all over my face and my eyes, and voila! Makeup was totally gone with no residue. Anything that simplifies my routine and I'm sold! Not to mention, the cleanser was super gentle and didn't leave my skin feeling stripped.
  • The #3 Lustro oil (ylang ylang and chamomile) is phenomenal and smells superb! Formulated to balance oil production and soothe skin, this oil mixed easily into my nightly moisturizer (just a couple drops) and in just a few applications started helping my chest acne clear up. I couldn't believe it!
  • I loved basically the entire Countertime line. Sure, it's made for women in a slightly higher age bracket, but I liked the all-white packaging and the way the creams were formulated with a thicker, creamier texture. I also preferred the cream-based eye cream over the Essentials line, which had a thinner, gel consistency. And no, none of the products aggravated my acne-prone skin.

CONS:

  • The only product that I truly didn't care for at all was the Essentials Collection Gentle Exfoliator. Why? Because it was TOO gentle. For someone with primarily oily skin, when I want to exfoliate, I really want to exfoliate. And this hardly had any exfoliating beads, plus the ones in there were way too big to feel like they were really scraping off any dead skin cells. Especially next to my favorite exfoliator from Acure, which has a sand-like texture, and even next to my Ava exfoliator, this one just didn't cut it.
  • The packaging for the Every Day AM & PM Hydrating Creams in the Essentials Collection could use a redesign. It's beautiful, for sure, but it's that kind of pump that you can't disassemble when the pump can no longer grab any more product. I'm the type of girl that likes to take things apart and dig out the product that's stuck to the sides or bottom, but with this packaging, you're stuck when the pump stops pumping. To me, that means you're wasting product and especially for how much these creams cost, I want to get every ounce that I'm paying for!
  • Speaking of prices, this is NOT a cheap line. Now I'm a big proponent of the adage "you get what you pay for," so I'm not fighting the prices, but if you're on a shoestring budget, most of these skin care items (they range from $24 to $75 dollars each) are likely going to be out of scope for you. The Essentials Line is the more cost effective of the two, but even then to get the 6 core products in the line, you're shelling out $185. 

Overall, from a first-impressions standpoint, I'm pretty pleased with my BeautyCounter experience, and I will definitely be purchasing some of these products once my Ava Anderson skincare line runs out. Based on my experience, here are the products I'd personally suggest giving a shot if you decide to try out the line:


I'd skip the shampoo and the lotion, not because anything's wrong with them, but there are a lot of natural alternatives out there that I think deliver better product, particularly for the price point. The sunscreen is also pictured here, although I didn't get around to trying that one either. I do hear that it's won a bunch of awards recently, so it may be worth a go, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the summers.

As I mentioned, BeautyCounter IS a direct sales business - they say it's because they think the BeautyCounter story is better told person to person. So if you're interested in buying any of their products, I'd love it if you'd go through my new friend Kerry's web site to give her credit for the sale: www.beautycounter.com/kerrylenehan. Of course, if this makes you uncomfortable, you can order through the main site directly, but why not help support a woman trying to run a small business AND get the word out about healthier personal care products? :)

If any of you have ever tried BeautyCounter, I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you liked/didn't like. Or if there are other natural and organic beauty lines that you think are great, let me know about them, too!


*NOTE: None of the links used are affiliate links. I will not make any money off of you clicking on the links and/or buying the products. They're just there to help you find things more easily!






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