Meeting Gregg Renfrew & More Beautycounter products!

I'm not easily starstruck, but every once in a while there's a person who inspires me to such a degree that I feel that little flutter in my stomach when I have the opportunity to be in their presence. I felt it when Bob Iger (Disney's CEO) came to speak at our HBS Entertainment & Media Club Conference in 2009. I felt it when I got to hear Cary Elwes talk about his Princess Bride experience during last year's Wizard World Comic Con. And I felt it last month when I got to meet Gregg Renfrew at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.

If you don't recognize her name, Gregg Renfrew is the founder and CEO of Beautycounter, a non-toxic, safe and high-performing line of personal care products. You probably know by now that I'm a big fan of the brand, since I've talked about them here and here and here, so it should come as no surprise that seeing Gregg's name on the list of speakers at the conference was hugely exciting for me.

Let me tell you guys, Gregg was just as stylish, fabulous, smart and sweet in person as I hoped she'd be. She stole the show on her panel, giving incredibly insightful answers to the questions she was asked, including this tweetable that I shared on my other handle (it's for my other blog, Career & The City should you like to check it out):

All this to say, meeting the woman behind the magic brought Beautycounter back to the top of my personal care product list, so I wanted to come to the blog and write out one more review post on the final three Beautycounter products I received and hadn't yet discussed. These include their eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and eyeshadow duo.

Let's start with the eyeliner.

Here's what I like about it: it comes in the four most classic eyeliner shades (black, brown, purple and navy), it comes with a smudge tip, it's fairly affordable for a high-end liner ($20) and it works nicely.

Here's what I don't like about it: in spite of the Website stating that it has ingredients to give it an emollient feel, I actually find it to be fairly hard to apply. If I try to apply it directly from the pencil, I have to tug fairly hard to get significant color payoff and a crisp line. I do find that the product works better if you sharpen it right before using it, or if you warm it up on the back of your hand first. I also find that while it has pretty good staying power on the upper lash line, it wears off fairly quickly on the waterline, even though it's supposed to be water proof. I have the brown liner right now, but am anxious to try the black and the purple to see if they work similarly!

The eyebrow pencil is awesome. I use the medium shade and it's the perfect color for a brunette with lighter eyebrows, plus it comes with a spooli so you can brush your brows before applying and after to really blend in the color. The pencil comes in three shades (light, medium and dark) so it should suit most skin tones, except possibly a redhead with red-ish tinted brows. At $20, it's also fairly affordable, and I find that because it's a pencil the color lasts longer than a powder product, which has the tendency to rub off. I don't use an eyebrow gel, but if you do, that would probably help the color stay even longer!

As for the eyeshadow, I really do like the duo that I have, which is the oyster/amethyst combo, although I harken back to my original commentary here when I say that nearly all of Beautycounter's products seem intended to live on the very "natural" side of the spectrum, particularly when compared to a brand like MAC where you really do have every color of the rainbow at your disposal. Frankly, for most people that's great, because I think the majority of the population prefers to wear their makeup on the more natural side. For me, while I like a natural look some days, I do tend to go for slightly more dramatic makeup, so I find that I have to be a bit more heavy handed here.

The oyster shade is a really pretty, very light satiny pink with a subtle shimmer, and the complementary purple shade really does make for a great crease color. Each of the colors has a metallic sheen to them, but neither are over the top sparkly, so no disco ball worries here! I find the application to be pretty buttery soft - no chalkiness at all! -- and at $30, you're actually looking at a comparable price point to two single shadows for most mid- to high-end brands. Speaking of single shadows, I do wish that Beautycounter would offer a few single shadows, as there are some individual colors (specifically champagne, malt and slipper) that I'd like to try, but I don't care for the other color they come with, so I'd be hard pressed to shell out $30 for them.

All in all, I'll continue to rave about Beautycounter products and hope that people continue to explore what the brand offers. I don't think all of their items are perfect or necessarily worth the money, but I believe so deeply in their mission and definitely think they've got some winners in their roster. If you're a Beautycounter fan, let me know what your favorite products are in the comments section below!

Til next time...


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