Take the Job

I am back! After a long break from posting on my website. Let’s start off with a short video I made about Beautycounter, that explains why I #tookthejob and shares the importance of what Beautycounter is doing as a company.

This week I was lucky enough to see Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter CEO and Founder, as well as Gina Murphy, Chief Revenue Office speak in both Menlo Park and San Francisco. Although I have been with the company for over 2 years, these events are always inspirational. One of my favorite quotes from Gregg Renfrew is:

So let me be clear. I am not here to talk with you about a cosmetics issue. This is a women’s health issue. It is a family health issue. It is our issue. And it’s one we can do something about.

As my team grows, my passion for this job and movement expands beyond what I ever imagine possible. Every person counts in making this change. We need your voice to help us spread the word and share our mission! Click here for more information on Joining our Movement.

Absolute Perk-fection

Get the best of Beautycounter with the launch of our new Band of Beauty Membership. Signing up for $25 a year is a no-brainer when you consider the free gift, alone! During the month of August new members with receive a complimentary travel size Body Collection and cosmetics bag ($4‌8 value).

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Beyond this handy travel set you will also receive:

• 15% Back in Product Credit with every order

• Free Shipping on orders over $100

• Complimentary Gift just for signing up (pictured above)

• Special Offers exclusively for Members

Best of all you can feel good about supporting a company that is working to make positive changes within the cosmetics industry, and making safer products for men, women, children and babies. Read more about our Ingredient Selection Process.

So what are you waiting for? Give yourself the gift of safer beauty today!  JOIN NOW


Berry Lips

This month Beautycounter released a new shade of Lip Gloss in Fig. This buildable, ultra smooth gloss takes your lips from bare to a beautiful berry tint with just enough shine.

Here is how to win one of two Fig Lip Glosses:

  1. Sign up for my monthly newsletter using the Sign Up Now button below by August 31.
  2. If you already receive my newsletter share this post with a friend by tagging them in my facebook post @ Be Well + Beautycounter

Sign Up Now

On September 1st I will draw two names and announce the winners!

Read more about why we love this new shade so much on the blog — 7 Ways to Wear Berry Lips


Heavy Metals in my Makeup?

LEAD–It’s probably the heavy metal you’ve heard about the most. It was removed from gasoline and house paint in the 1970s, which was a great victory for public health: As lead levels in our bodies went down, kids’ IQs went up and violent crime dropped. But lead and other heavy metals are not gone from our lives. They are hiding in things as varied as house dust, car emissions, cigarettes, food, metal belt buckles, kids’ backpacks, and makeup.

Heavy metals occur naturally in the earth but become concentrated with human activities like mining and manufacturing. As a result, we’re exposed to them from several sources, usually in very small amounts measured in parts per million (ppm). That may sound tiny, but even small quantities can be dangerous, because certain metals cause harm at extremely low levels or build up in the food chain and our bodies over time.

In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics decided to see whether rumors about lead hiding in lipsticks were true. The Campaign sent dozens of lipsticks (ranging from drugstore to luxury to natural brands) to an independent lab to test them for lead—and it found low levels in over half the lipsticks. As a follow-up, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted its own expanded, 400-lipstick study, and it too found lead: The average concentration was 1.11 ppm, and the highest value was 7.19 ppm. (To put this in perspective, the FDA’s recommended limit for lead in candy is 0.1 ppm; there isn’t a limit for lead in cosmetics.)

Before we even started to make cosmetics, we knew that we were going to test all color products for heavy metals—it is what we needed to do to uphold our commitment to safety and transparency. So, during our product development process, we packed up our nearly perfected cosmetics formulas and sent them to an independent lab to be tested for 12 heavy metals. We were dismayed to see that even some of our shades contained heavy metals.


How did this happen?

Well, cosmetics companies are not intentionally adding heavy metals to products. The metals are contaminants that tag along with both mineral and synthetic ingredients used to impart color. And as we mentioned, the FDA does not have limits for heavy metal contaminants in color cosmetics, so companies with high levels of metals are not breaking the law.

We wanted to know if heavy metal contamination was a problem beyond lead in lipstick and beyond our in-formulation cosmetics, so we purchased 12 types of products (eye shadows, lip colors, blushes, and bronzers) from six other cosmetics brands. We sent the products to the lab to test for 12 different metals at very low levels of detection. The results revealed that every single product—from luxury brands that use synthetic colorants to natural brands that use mineral colorants—contained heavy metals. The most disturbing finding was 240 ppm of lead in a natural, mineral-based product meant for use on the lips. This level is so far above the FDA findings that we asked the lab to run the sample again. The second run of the test showed the same staggeringly high results.

We were shocked. But at least now we knew that the problem of heavy metal contamination in cosmetics is a big one—and rarely discussed. As we worked with suppliers and formulators to better understand how and why heavy metals might be contaminating the colorants we were using, it became clear that obtaining no-detect metals—while always the goal—simply wasn’t going to be an option across the board. (For example, we found that one batch of powders might have no detectable nickel, but another batch of the same formula made with colorants from a different lot did.)

We needed to define our own allowable limits of heavy metal levels in order to institute a standard that would be mindful of consumers’ health and keep this issue front and center for suppliers, formulators, and ourselves. We wanted these levels to be as health-conscious and protective as possible—but not so strict that they were unattainable and therefore would prevent us from bringing our color cosmetics to market.

So, in the absence of governmental guidance, we determined our allowable limits based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits for heavy metals in drinking water, the FDA’s limit for lead in candy, the lowest levels we saw from our external brand testing, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and FDA studies. For the most dangerous metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium), these levels are usually undetectable, but we ensure that they are always under 2 ppm. This is unprecedented in the cosmetics industry.


Here is the bottom line:

The only way to be sure that you’re not applying heavy metals to your skin is to refrain from using color cosmetics. The only way to be sure that your color cosmetics have undetectable or only extremely low levels of heavy metals is to use Beautycounter. We believe we’re using the strictest standards in the industry, testing all of our color products during formulation, at the end of formulation, and before we order any new batch. That is our commitment to you.

Check out our infographic to learn more about heavy metals, and read our behind-the-scenes story about our Color Cosmetics Collection.

This Blog post is from Beautycounter.com


Together with Beautycounter, I am raising awareness and funds for SU2C to support critical cancer research and prevention. Beautycounter has generously offered to match each dollar raised (up to $50,000), allowing us to double our impact. Join the movement today at SU2C. I will also be donating 10% of my commission from all Beautycounter purchases in July. Shop my SU2C Social to contribute.


We deliver on our mission in three important ways: through our beautiful products, education, and by advocating for more laws protecting health. Our campaign with Stand Up To Cancer is an example of our mission in action.

We believe that preventing exposure to potentially harmful ingredients in the products we use every day is simply the right thing to do.

At Beautycounter, we’ve banned more than 1,500 ingredients, setting a new health and safety standard—intentionally screening each ingredient used for safety.

This is about progress—not perfection. Because every little bit counts.


SU2C brings together the best and the brightest researchers and mandates collaboration among the cancer community. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C has set out to generate awareness, educate the public on cancer prevention, and help more people diagnosed with cancer become long-term survivors.

Since inception, Stand Up To Cancer has funded more than 1,100 researchers across 131 institutions and has planned, launched or completed more than 160 clinical trials.

Stand Up To Cancer is currently working with more than 130 leading health and medical institutions across the nation.

In May 2009, SU2C launched its first five scientific Dream Teams. Today, 19 Dream Teams and 2 Translational Research Teams are already hard at work, driven by the same principles that laid the foundation of the Stand Up To Cancer model:



Worry about what to wear, not what’s in your products! Shop the Summer Nights Set for $50 (a $64 value) now through July 22. Beautycounter’s Color Shade Eye Duo Peach/Bronze is a summertime favorite and complements every complexion, while Lip Sheer in Twig (a best seller) gives lips a touch of color. Shimmering bronzed eyes. Naturally nude lips. It’s a fresh, safer take on a nighttime look.

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Quick Tips:
Color Shade Eye Duo Peach/Bronze
• Sweep Peach across entire eyelid, then apply Bronze through the crease to the outside corner of the eye for a sculpted look.
• Lightly press Bronze onto the lower lash line for definition.

Lip Sheer Twig
• Apply with your ring finger for a more natural look, or with the applicator for a stronger finish.

Passion Meets Opportunity

When my son was two months old, I was set to go back to teaching full-time. Luckily, I was able to take advantage of the family leave act and take 12 weeks unpaid, extending my time at home with him; but honestly, it wasn’t enough. The one thing I wanted more than anything else in the world was to spend my days with Grant. I had underestimated how much I valued and enjoyed the experience of motherhood. By the time I had my second baby, we had moved from San Francisco to San Rafael, and I was able to take a full year off!

One year turned into eight (and counting), and I don’t foresee going back to a traditional job anytime soon. As it turns out, my husband lost his job the same year I stopped teaching.  There we were, with two small children and no jobs. This might sound vaguely familiar if you were affected by the 2008 downturn. Looking back, I often wonder how we made through those years; at the time it was devastating, but we got creative and made it through. Hitting rock bottom forced us to seek out new careers that align with our passions.

Fast forward to the present–I have designed a life that I previously envied. I am an entrepreneur, mother of two, business owner, and coach. I call the shots, choose my own hours, and mentor a team of incredible, like-minded women across the U.S. and Canada. I have combined my love of teaching and education with my dedication to health and wellness in a company that supports me, lifts me up and lets my passion soar. My potential is based on the effort I put in — there is no limit, no cap, no glass ceiling.

It’s been almost two years since I started working with Beautycounter, and I love it today as much as I did the day I started (if not more). I am grateful to have a profession that is not only flexible, but has significant social impact, while also being financially rewarding. There are so many great companies out there, so why Beautycounter? Once I became aware of the fact that all my cosmetics are absorbed into my blood, I realized I needed to switch to safer products. Beautycounter is completely in-line with all of my standards for safety and performance. After using the products for 3 months, I decide to share my passion for health and education with everyone I know.

Beautycounter is still in it’s infancy and we need many more voices to share our social mission to “place safer products into the hands of everyone”.  I am not sure that eight years ago, I would have been open to this business model, but having no job, certainly opened  my mind and my eyes to a nontraditional business model. If you have never considered it, here are a few reasons you might benefit from expanding your perspective:

  1. Unlike starting a traditional business, the start up costs is extremely low and can be recouped within a few months. Not only do you get a beautiful, professional website that you get to plop your name and photo on, you get a back office for tracking clients, orders, your team and earnings, as well as materials to help you get your business started.
  2. Flexibility–as I mention above, you create your “office hours” around your kids, exercise, another job, classes or anything that needs to take priority in your life. As a teacher, I needed to get a sub and write out extensive teaching plans in order to take a day off, whereas now I can schedule days off whenever I want.
  3. Work anywhere. I choose to work from home most of the time, but I often meet people at coffee shops or schedule events at wine bars and cafes. I can travel and work, or head to the pool and enjoy time outside while getting some work in.
  4. The Zoe Report describes Beautycounter as a “side hustle that actually makes money!” You get out what you put in, and are paid directly on the amount of effort you put in. This is a real job and when you treat it as such, it can replace your salary, and then some!
  5. Training–all the tools you need to be successful are at your fingertips, complete with mentoring and one-one coaching to ensure your success. What other job comes with a free coaching?
  6. Beautycounter is unique in that our focus is education first, and our mission to get safe products into the hands of everyone.  We are advocating for change and better laws around personal care products.  Beautycounter’s vision is to empower consumers with the information they need to protect themselves AND make advances in the cosmetics industry from secrets to TRANSPARENCY.
  7.  Community–working for yourself sounds great and all, but it can get lonely. Working with other women (mostly) who share my passion for safe products is motivating and inspiring.
  8. Serving others is rewarding. Helping someone find products that they love and are safer goes far beyond selling.

If any of this sounds interesting to you or you would like to know more, please contact me or leave a comment. And if it is not a fit for you, please pass this along to others you think might be interested in this company. I love to send referral gifts.