Switching to Safer Beauty Products + Beautycounter Giveaway

If you’re a regular reader here, then you probably already know that I’m a huge proponent of safe beauty products.  I wasn’t always as passionate about this cause.  In fact, if you had asked me five years ago, I would have told you that I would never switch from my favorite tinted moisturizer, bronzer, eye shadow or hair products.  I used those products for years and I was convinced that natural beauty products weren’t as effective or worse yet, experimenting with different products would cause me to break out or have some kind of reaction.  But, there were two main reasons I eventually cleaned out my medicine cabinet completely and started from scratch.

First, my son Michael has incredibly sensitive skin and ever since he was a baby, his skin would break out in rashes due to certain baby lotions I was using.  The problem seemed perpetual because he suffered from horrible eczema so I would try all these different products which only seemed to make it worse.  The doctor prescribed him a steroid cream which did help but we used it a lot and I began to question if there were adverse side effects from long term use.  After doing a bit of investigating, it turns out I wasn’t completely paranoid.  Long-term use of a topical steroid cream containing a hydrocortisone can include thinning of the skin, easy bruising,  permanent dilation of certain blood vessels, liver and kidney damage and a weakened immune system.  Once I became aware of this, I immediately stopped using the steroid creams.  I switched over to this cream which worked wonders fyi. (However, it was on the expensive side and I was going through this cream rather quickly so I was thrilled to discover that Beautycounter has a kids’ line which I’ll discuss in detail in a bit.) Michael also suffers from allergies and asthma which is referred to as the allergic triad so I’m extremely careful what I expose him to in regards to food and personal care products.

Second, my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37 and that scared the living crap out of me.  I considered myself a fairly healthy person prior to her diagnosis but after careful review, I realized that while I was conscious of what I was putting into my body, I wasn’t as vigilant when it came to what I was putting on my body.  This is when I discovered the EWG site where you are able to rate the products you use everyday.  It highlighted for me that I needed to make healthier choices for myself and my family.  Fortunately, after a double mastectomy and months of chemotherapy, my friend is cancer free but it was certainly no walk in the park and words cannot convey how much I admire her strength and perseverance during this most difficult time.  Ladies, please, please, please, do not skip your yearly mammogram!  I started getting yearly mammograms and sonograms at 37 because I live on Long Island where there is a higher cancer rate but at the very least, if you’re 40, you must go!

So, once I decided to do a clean sweep of my medicine cabinet, I won’t lie.  It was a bit daunting.  My skin definitely did not react well to certain products.  But, I kept testing different ones out (you can see all my beauty posts here) and I have found many effective alternatives.  However, ordering one thing from one site and another thing from another site and running to Ulta or Sephora for this and that made the process a bit complicated.  I knew Beautycounter was an option but I wasn’t loving the fact that it was only available on the internet.  I like to test out products before I commit and I didn’t know anyone in town who was a Beautycounter consultant.  So, when Beautycounter collaborated with Target last year, I made a beeline to the store to scoop up a few items.  I ended up loving the creamy facial wash and blogged about it here and that’s how a local consultant discovered me and reached out.  She suggested we meet up for coffee and I’m so glad we did because it turns out we had a few things in common, namely we both have four kids and a blog!  Annie brought along a big bag full of products and she explained why she’s super passionate about safe beauty and her experience with Beautycounter and I was instantly hooked!  I knew this was a cause and a company that I wanted to share here on Taffeta & Tulips and with all my family and friends.

I’ve been testing out a plethora of products over the past few weeks and I’m excited to finally share my favorites!  Plus I’m so confident you guys will love Beautycounter as much as I do that I’m hosting a giveaway here on the blog and over on Instagram.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post for details!  In the meantime, read on to see my picks and please feel to ask any questions in the comments section or via email!


My Three Favorite Skincare Products: 

  1. Cleansing Balm:  Oh my goodness!  This stuff is amazing! If you’re going to splurge on one beauty product, I would highly recommend this one.  You only need a tiny amount to rub into your skin and it comes with a muslin cloth to wipe away dirt and make-up.  Your skin will feel sooo soft and appear hydrated immediately.  It’s hands down my favorite Beautycounter product!  I even got my mom addicted to it and she’s a tough customer.
  2. Rejuvenating Serum:  I’m no spring chicken so I’m all about combatting fine lines and wrinkles as well as firming up my skin.  I’ve been using this serum day and night under my moisturizer and what I love the most is that it’s so lightweight and it absorbs rather quickly which is a bonus since I’m usually in a rush!
  3. Plumping Facial Oil:  This facial oil also helps to prevent fine lines but what I love the most is the intoxicating jasmine scent and the high level of hydration it delivers.  My skin has been incredibly dry this winter but this plumping oil has helped to keep it fresh looking and moisturized.  My dentist even complimented my skin the other day and of course, I told her all about Beautycounter!


My Three Favorite Makeup Products: 

  1. Lengthening Mascara: When I saw Allure’s stamp of approval, I was immediately intrigued.  I’m always on the hunt for a good mascara that will help my not so long lashes.  Plus, mascara is one of those products you need to recycle often because no one wants unnecessary bacteria near their eyes.  Since I was due to purchase a new tube, I decided to try this one and I have to say, it doesn’t clump, it does lengthen, and I love the thin, easy precision brush.
  2. Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer:  Another Allure winner and it comes in such a pretty tube!  But seriously, who doesn’t want skin like J.Lo?  If you like your skin to have that luminous glow with a built in SPF, this product is for you.  I also like the fact that it’s lightweight because with the warmer months right around the corner, I prefer not to wear heavy makeup whether I’m spending the day at the beach or pool or sweating it out in the stands watching my boys play baseball.
  3. Color Shade Eye Duo:  I opted for the shell/malt combo and I love how it subtly accents my eyes without going overboard.  I’m not one for heavy eye makep so this shade is perfect for everyday.  A little tip: dab a bit of this luminizer by RMS on your brow bone for some added sheen.


My Three Favorite Kids’ Products: 

{Patrick loves the Super Duper Kids Body Wash}

  1. Daily Protective Balm:  As I said above, my son Michael has very sensitive skin and it gets particularly dry during the winter.  I’ve been using this protective balm on any rough patches and it has definitely helped to soothe irritation, redness and eczema.
  2. Kids Body Wash:   This kids body wash smells like berries which my kids love and I love the convenient pump which makes it easy to use in the shower.
  3. Kids Shampoo:  This shampoo smells so good!  Plus, the hints of citrus oils and vanilla extract give the shampoo a creamy orange-vanilla swirl so it makes it fun to wash their hair.


Okay, now for the fun part!  I’m going to be giving away two sets, one of them being the one pictured above.  It consists of Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa, and Hydrating Body Lotion in Citrus Mimosa.  It’s an $87 value but anyone who makes a Beautycounter purchase from my site in April will be eligible to win this complete body set!  I’ll be able to see those of you who order and I’ll choose a name at random at the end of the month.   The second set (which I will post to Instagram later today) will be given away to a random Instagram commenter who tags two friends, likes my photo and follows me @taffetatulips.  Be sure to check out my Instagram page here. That winner will be announced next Friday.  Good luck!