Browsing Tag



Clean Makeup 101

June 24, 2020

Over the last five years I’ve come a LONG way in my learnings and understanding of what “clean” truly means in terms of skincare and color cosmetics. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but one of the biggest areas of growth I’ve experienced personally has been becoming a more critical thinker who knows how to ask the right questions and find the right answers even if I don’t know the answer off the top of my head. I’ve also learned to sort out what is just marketing BS designed to make products appear safer without actually being safer.

Most of the time I’m busy talking about skincare because I tend not to wear lots of makeup and think healthy, glowing skin is the best base for any makeup you put on top of that skin. But makeup is a topic that’s important to talk about and dive deeper into because of the high level of contamination of traditional color cosmetics.

You’ve probably heard companies market their makeup as “natural.” Sounds good, clean and safe for you to be using natural makeup, right? Not so fast. As you become a critical thinker about the products that you put on your body, you’ll notice those greenwashing marketing claims when you see them.

When it comes to “natural” makeup, the biggest issue is heavy metals. Are companies adding heavy metals to their products intentionally? No. BUT heavy metals are common contaminants as they are found in the raw materials of naturally mined colors used in makeup. When those colors are mined? Well, it’s not all that uncommon for those heavy metals to come along for the ride and be found in the finished product of the makeup you put on your face.

Your BS-meter should be going off if you hear a company say their products are “heavy metal free” or “lead free” because that’s simply not possible since these are naturally occurring contaminants. What’s more important is the amount allowed and the screening process for those heavy metals and contaminants.

For me, as a busy wife and mom wearing many hats, it’s important for me to trust that the company producing the makeup I put on my face. Especially as my girls get older and like to play with my makeup + my baby loves to kiss my face, I want to know that the product I’m using are not doing more harm to our family than good.

It’s also important to remember that the FDA does not have the authority to recall cosmetics as it does food and drugs, so even if a product is found to contain harmful substances there is nothing that would require a retailer to remove said product from their shelves. This was evident very recently with the case of asbestos found in kid’s makeup at Claire’s.

It can all feel a little overwhelming if this is the first time you’ve started digging into this. I totally get it! I felt the same when I was new to my clean living journey. Instead of learning to read each individual label and learn about each ingredient, I started by finding a company whose process and screening I trusted. Spoiler alert: that company was Beautycounter. Is Beautycounter the ONLY company doing this well? Of course not. But I think Beautycounter’s screening process is one of the best around.

Let’s dive in…

To get a full rundown of Beautycounter’s stance on color cosmetics and heavy metals screening you can do so HERE. What I respect and value most about their screening process is both their strict standards for the allowable amounts of heavy metals in their color cosmetics as well as their rigorous screening process before products are allowed to go to market.

From Beautycounter directly:

We test the ingredients used in our color cosmetics and finished cosmetic products obsessively—multiple times—before they go to market. We only use validated test methods and the most advanced laboratory equipment available (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer, ICP-MS). This allows us to test for heavy metals at concentrations ten times lower than what is standard practice in the beauty industry (1 part per billion vs 10 parts per million).

To break this down a step further, we check for heavy metals in products at the lowest concentrations scientifically possible through at least a 1ppb detection limit, whereas some equipment has detection limits of 10 ppm. Under this scenario, anything less than 10 ppm would appear as “passing” (or, in scientific lingo, “non-detect”). It is common to use less precise testing, if testing is performed at all. This is why it’s critically important to understand how brands are testing for heavy metals, since catchy headlines don’t tell the full story.

As you can see, the process for getting our products into your hands – safely – isn’t one that BC takes lightly. You can view recent test results for heavy metals HERE and for talc HERE.

I’ll be back with a follow-up post about the makeup I’ve been using + loving lately – rich in pigment and with stellar performance without the questionable ingredients. But I hope this gives a little insight into WHY I think it’s so important to make educated choices as it relates to the makeup we use.

Family, Fashion

Fall Skincare 101

September 18, 2018

Hello, friends! Today we are talking about SKINCARE and finding healthy, safe options as we transition into the cooler temps. While it’s still summer-feeling over here in Iowa, cold temps are right around the corner and it’s important to make sure that your skincare routine adapts to the weather.

It’s also worth noting that if the recommendations below don’t fit your needs, I’m always happy to do an individualized skincare consultation with you! You can always email and I’m happy to consult you more individually on your needs.

That said, today I’m sharing three different sets of “must have” products based on your skin type so you are sure to have all the hydration your skin needs going into the cooler months. Because when your skin is pale and your summer tan has faded, you better at least have skin that’s blemish-free and glowing, right?

*Please note this isn’t a one-size-fits all recommendation and your actual best fit might be different/varied from what’s mentioned above. This is a general recommendation only.

If you have….

DRY, SENSITIVE SKIN (not acne prone)
1. Countermatch Cleansing Milk
2. Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion & Recovery Sleeping Cream
2. Balancing Face Oil
3. Overnight Resurfacing Peel (used just 1x per week)

OILY, ACNE PRONE SKIN (not sensitive)
1. Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser
2. Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream
3. Countrcontrol SOS Spot Treatment
4. Overnight Resurfacing Peel (used 2-3x per week)

DULL NORMAL SKIN (not sensitive or acne prone)
1. Nourishing Cream Cleanser
2. Rejuvenating Day Cream and Rejuvenating Night Cream
3. Brightening Face Oil
4. Overnight Resurfacing Peel (used 2-3x per week)

Personally, I follow the “Dry, Sensitive Skin” recommendation above and it’s been working SO well for me! My skin has literally never been happier. Don’t believe me? I’m wearing ZERO foundation or tinted moisturizer in the photo below. That glow? Well it’s the Overnight Resurfacing Peel in action!



No-Makeup Makeup Look // Before and After

April 11, 2016


Since I work from home, most days I’m rocking the “no-makeup makeup” look. Let’s be clear: I have no qualms about going makeup-free, but I realized quickly that a little makeup and a few minutes will go a long way to making my “no makeup” look feel a little more polished. Plus, it makes me feel more productive when I’m working from home.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to look fresh and pulled together without putting on a full face of makeup, I’ve got you covered with the tutorial below!

My key products being an amazing tinted moisturizer (SPF is a must!) and a really good blush for brightening up your face and making you look a little more alive.

Other products used // Matte Bronzer 1, Brow Pencil in Medium and L’Oreal Butterfly Lash Mascara


Quick & Easy Every Day Makeup

March 17, 2016


Good morning! If you’re time-pressed like I am most days, then you probably find getting ready every morning to be a little bit of a pain. Hey, I want to look put-together and pretty like everyone else, but the idea of spending a lot of time doing so isn’t my jam.

Thankfully over the last number of months as a mom I’ve perfected my quick and easy makeup routine. It takes about 6 minutes (maybe less when I’m not trying to do it with a baby at my feet!) and leaves me feeling fresh, polished and put together.

Want to see how it’s done? Check out the video below!

1. Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (#2)
2. Tint Skin Foundation (Linen)
3. Mattify Skin Finishing Powder + Powder Brush
4. Color Pinch Cream Blusher 
5. Color Contour Matte Bronzer
6. Color Define Brow Pencil 
7. Color Outline Eye Pencil
8. L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara


Only the best for you, baby

March 3, 2016


If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you already know that I can’t stop talking about the new Beautycounter Baby line that launched this week. I’ve said this before, but when I was trying to get pregnant with Ainsley (and having some trouble) I became increasingly interested and aware of the impact skincare products can have on our health, hormones and more. It was around that time that I discovered Beautycounter and started using their skincare, and later their makeup, too.


When Ainsley was born I sort of assumed that Johnson & Johnson products were safe. I mean, they sort of just symbolized childhood and babyhood to me. How could something so familiar be unsafe for my baby? I like to think of myself as a wise and discerning consumer, but I really wasn’t in this area. Just this week Time posted an article about toxicity in the personal care products we use which was eye-opening to many.

So it’s safe to say that I care deeply about what I put on my skin (and consequently into my body) but I care even more about what goes onto Ainsley’s skin and body. To me, it’s so much more than a marketing ploy or an effort to drive sales, it’s about helping inform and enable moms to make safe choices for the littlest members of their families.

Although Beautycounter kids has been around for a while (it’s what I’ve been using on Ainsley the past few months) the baby line was highly anticipated. Now that I’ve had a chance to give the products a try myself, I can safely say that they are amazing. They’re unscented for baby’s delicate skin and made with many organic ingredients. Plus, I love knowing that Beautycounter has some of the highest quality and safety standards in the beauty industry, banning over 1,400 ingredients from all of their products. Plus, how pretty is the packaging? Finally a baby product that looks pretty in my bathroom! 😉

If you’re interested in placing an order for yourself, use any of the links provided. And as always, don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you want to talk about the products in greater detail. (