Top 14 Things You Need to Know Before Attending a Beautycounter Summit

Maybe you’re a new consultant, like me. Maybe you’ve been working with Beautycounter for a while now, but you’ve never been to a summit. Maybe you are interested in working for Beautycounter, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Either way, maybe you are wondering what the heck IS Leadership Summit? What’s it like? Why should you go and what do you do there?

I just so happen to be on the plane right now, flying back from Beautycounter Leadership Summit 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.* So I’ve got the scoop, and I’m prepared to give you all the juicy details. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The beautiful, the disruptive, and the down-right in need of a touch up. (Honestly, there wasn’t much ugly and only a few areas needed a touchup.)

*I started this blog post in good faith in early May, but spring and early summer hit me like a wrecking ball. So yes, I am just completing this post mid-June. GAW!!!

Thinking about attending a Leadership Summit? Here’s what you should consider.

On board bevies! Yes, please!

1. Leadership Summit Isn’t Cheap. It’s not unreasonable considering how much you get from it, but you may need to consider pricing in advance. It cost me $325 to register, and $360 to split a room at the Hyatt (the best and closest hotel to the convention center) for three nights with a friend. Obviously airfare will depend on where you fly from. It cost me $411 roundtrip to fly from San Diego to Minneapolis.

Don’t forget your in-flight reading. Nailed it!
Just landed in Minneapolis. Woot!

Pricing for the summit obviously doesn’t include some meals, but Beautycounter does really try to hook you up with free breakfast (hello, spinach and feta breakfast burrito!), lunch and snacks. Our up-line also organized an event with free apps, drinks and the like. (More on that later.)  So all in all, we’re looking at an investment of $1096, not counting some meals.

2. Expect some fun perks. Beautycounter really tries to make your experience special. There are loads of treats and perks along the way! For example, the Hyatt offered us “Welcome F’roses” upon arrival!

The F’rose dude…always ready for a boomerang.
We are pleased.
The lovely Hyatt.
Yummy snack spread at the convention center, courtesy of Beautycounter.

Beautycounter also offered FREE professional head shots at the Convention Center upon arrival, and also complimentary manicures (yes, please!)

Beauty counter provided complimentary manicures–first come, first serve.

So yes, lots of killer perks! But there are 4,000 people there, which brings me to my next point…

3. Expect a lot of lines.
After we checked in and cleaned up a bit, we walked right to the convention center to check in. This was no big deal. But after check in…there were lines. Lots of lines. Lines for the bathroom, lines for water and coffee, and lines for all of the freebies they offered like the headshot and the manis.

But with thousands of people at this convention center, I guess lines are unavoidable.

One cool bonus WITHOUT a line was the Beautycounter Studio which featured a hands-on experience to explore the entire line of products.

Boasting the longest line was the Beautycounter store, which is supposed to be the holy grail of Beautycounter shopping. But the line was AN HOUR LONG. I can’t deal with lines, so my friend went in for me and got me what I wanted most….an awesome display with ALL the new lipglosses! Yes! For $98 this was a major score and I knew it would be a hit at my next social. (And yes, armed with this bad boy I have sold LOTS of glosses!)

Come to mama.

People were buying up TONS of stuff…super-cute totes, Beautycounter tank tops, the new spray sunscreen and promotional stuff like stickers and thank you notes. (To be fair, on the last day the summit the lines for the store died down A LOT.)

All goodness aside, the lines were a bit vexing. Like, there is only ONE place in the entire area of the convention center to buy water and coffee. What? So do yourself a solid and don’t show up thirsty, starving, or in need of caffeine. Always pack a water bottle, (You can refill at that bathrooms), some bars, and a coffee, for the love of God!

4. Pack to look your best. Another thing I noticed right away…this was a big group of women. And a big group of pretty, fashionable women! In some ways, this was a little intimidating and brought me back to college when I briefly joined and was subsequently kicked out of my sorority. (Don’t ask.) Large groups of women have always freaked me out a bit and I don’t do well in ladies groups and the like. Too much drama! But I must say…I ended up actually REALLY enjoying seeing all the fun fashion!

I saw Southern Bells in floral dresses, tassel earrings and bright lips. Hairstylists in amazing yellow dress pants and cute graphic t-shirts with geometric haircuts. I saw girls in flared leather skirts and heels. I saw lots of long hair with curls. Girls in cold shoulder tops, high wasted pants and big jewelry. I saw so much fun and inspiring fashion that next year when I attend, I’m going to snap some pics of my favorite ensembles and write a “Beautycounter Summit Fashion” blog post. (Don’t steal my idea! I thought of it first.)

Beautycounter sassiness.
Strike a pose!
Lookin’ good!

Luckily for me, I tend to overpack and had plenty of outfit options, so I felt good about my wardrobe.

It’s good to have options.

But this is definitely an event where you want to look good. So bring it all, ladies. Your cute flats, your sassy and trendy tops, your trendy business-appropriate dresses, and don’t forget your dress and heels for the dance party. (More on that later! ) And no matter what, don’t forget a jacket or scarf, something you can cozy up in because the convention center is COLD!

5. Look beyond the pretty white girls, and you will be surprised at what you find.
Yes, there are lots of pretty white girls here. But looking a little harder, there was really a wide range of ladies…all shapes and all sizes, all colors, most in makeup, some without.  I even saw a few guys.

At the welcoming talks, Gregg Renfrew spoke to this very point…how she is really seeking diversity for Beautycounter.  (This year’s theme was “everyone means everyone.”) Because how can we serve everyone, if we AREN’T everyone? She encouraged consultants to seek out people of color and those of different backgrounds. The mission of Beautycounter, after all, is to get safer beauty products in the hands of everyone. Couldn’t agree more!

Gregg looking stylish and earthy, as always!

6. Find your tribe. The first night out, our up-line organized an awesome event at the Loop–a local restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.  Again, everyone was dressed to the nines…skinny jeans, heels, sassy tops and again I had that old sorority feeling flood over me. Was I dressed up enough? Who WERE all these girls?

But a few glasses of wine in—and some completely delicious and badass appetizers like Mac n cheese balls and buffalo chicken wontons—and my worries melted away. And I am proud to say that our team not only STARTED but ENDED the dance party when we took over the DJ booth with a few choice selections like “Tricky” by Run DMC and Karly’s fav “My Pony” by Ginuine. (The chair doubled as a pony, and and one of the girls even kicked it away when she was done with it. At that moment…I knew I had found my tribe.)

More than a month later, I can say that the girls I met at Summit are just as awesome as I thought they would be after that first dance party!  These ladies are strong, fun, down-to-earth, and HILARIOUS! I am still a little shocked that we are all part of the same team. You couldn’t hand-pick a better bunch of girls! Now when I see them at events around San Diego, it is a happy little reunion!

7. You’re indoors a lot. In huge conference rooms. It’s cold. Bring a jacket or a scarf, and don’t forget to grab water and snacks before you head into a session. I actually started feeling a little sick the first morning…probably dehydrated from the flight, under-caffeinated and over-chardonnayed, and my body was just wondering what was I DOING sitting in conference rooms for hours at a time, when at home, I am working out every morning outside and running errands non-stop. Writing this blog post is the most I have sat down in the same spot for the last 45 days. (Which is probably why it took me so long to do it.) If you work desk job, this will probably feel more natural to you, but I haven’t worked at a desk since 2009 and my body kind of freaked out. I ended up taking a lot of “breaks” outside to get fresh air and sun, and this made me feel a lot better. Next trip I would bring some extra vitamins.

8. You will be inspired. As I mentioned, Gregg Renfrew is just as awesome as you would imagine. No fuss, down to earth and 100% passionate about the mission–what you see is what you get. It’s obvious why she has almost a cult-like following…she’s totally real, smart, inclusive, and DRIVEN! We also heard from the lovely and witty Chief Revenue Officer Gina Murphy, and an incredible story from Ayesha Dawley, a cancer survivor and Managing Director with Beautycounter. I also loved hearing from Erica Schneider who added 29 consultants to her team in her first year, and actually got a commission check for more than $100,000 from Beautycounter in just ONE MONTH! What??

One of my favorites was Lindsay Dahl who spearheads our advocacy work, mission-related campaigns, charitable-giving and sustainability efforts. A tireless leader, she works vigorously to create real change in policy.

This is the chick who led efforts to elimate BPA from sippy cups a few years back. Can you say badass?

I also love this slide of all the district meetings that have taken place in the last year across our country to foster stricter safety standards in personal care products!

And of course–the most memorable session was when Gregg Renfrew interviewed Maria Shriver. I don’t know how I didn’t know this, but Maria Shriver is a total badass and is SUCH an inspiration! She is funny and fearless, real and raw, but also so compassionate. I felt beyond honored to be in her presence (even among thousands) and Amazon-Primed her book before the session got out.

Just feeling lucky right now.

9. You will learn a TON!  The product information and training seminars were super awesome and informative. I can’t believe how many new products are coming down the pipes and how progressive and forward-thinking the product development is! I loved hearing from the Beautycounter development team like Micheal McGeever (formerly of Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth and James) and Xavier Ormancey (who worked at Chanel and Yves Rocher.) They have a super funny banter, and gave us the low-down on all the new skincare products set to hit the market!

Michael McGeever
Xavier Ormancey is the child of witch doctors and grew up in France plucking ingredients for his parents concoctions before he went to work for Chanel. Again, can you say badass?

Ah…the new products!

The new Countersun line has launched since the summit, and I am just crazy about the mist!

A Mineral Sunscreen mist! And NON AEROSOL! hell to the yeah.

We also have the new Cream Illuminating Highlights (I loooooove them, can you tell?) and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel. (We all got a free peel to take home! What?) Which brings me to my next point.

Hooray for highlighters!
The new peel!

We also got to hear from the crazy talented Christy Coleman who is wizard with colors! I took notes like crazy when she shared all of the new goodies headed our way. I wish I could tell you now, but I am sworn to secrecy!

I love this article about Christy Coleman from Dressed to Kill. Check it out here:

10. You will leave with a goody bag PACKED with full-size products. I can’t tell you what’s in there ladies, (except for the peel) but I can promise you it’s the BOMB!

11. Expect some reward lunches. I’m such a badass I got to attend not ONE but TWO reward luncheons with Greg Renfrew and Gina Murphy! (Honestly, I’m not a badass at all, but the starts really aligned for me the first few months!)


The lunches were lovely…a couple hundred of us were seated in the beautiful Seasons rotunda and treated to a healthy grilled chicken salad, fruit and dessert. There was an empty seat next to me at the first lunch, and when Gregg walked around to all of the tables, she sat right next to me!

I got to tell her how much I enjoyed her speech about diversity and she totally expanded on it and chatted with her table for a while until one of her handlers told her she needed to move on to get to everyone. I had the feeling that if she wasn’t told to move on, she would have sat and chatted for hours. And yes, I did get this picture with her! Hooray!

12.  Beautycounter knows how to throw a dance party.  Holy, moly! Beautycounter took over the Armory which is a massive, beautiful events center close to the Convention Center.

Gratuitous pre-party selfie.
Another one.

They hired an incredible lady DJ–Hannah Bronfman– who kicked some serious ass.

We danced (in heels) for about four solid hours until I slipped in someone’s wine and had a real “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up moment.” My tailbone is still sore and it took me out of Pilates and yoga for four weeks! But it was worth it. So the secret is out…if you stayed at the party until the end and were wondering who slipped and fell…yes, it was ME!

Important to note…like all the other parts of the summit, expect lines at any large events. This means lines for food. It was almost damn near impossible to get anything to eat at this event, but it was reasonably simple to get a drink. Which made for lots of drunk chicks! (Including myself.) Next time, I will definitely eat something before I head out to the dance party!

13. Get out on the town. Yes, you are here for Beautycounter but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sample some of the sights, tastes and sounds of what your host town has to offer. Minneapolis is a BLAST and Jesi and I ventured out to Chino Latino for some amazing “equator food” and cocktails. We also paid a visit to the Gay 90s, a local gay bar which was super fun!

14. Return home completely psyched about everything you’ve experienced and learned! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Not only was it an amazing bonding experience with my girls, but I learned sooooo much. But the biggest thing I learned? That our company is run by smart, progressive, talented and most of all–kind people. That means so much to me. Birds of a feather flock together, and the birds I’ve met through Beautycounter have been proven to be lovely indeed!

Did You Wake Up in Your Makeup? No Problem!

Did you drink a few too many glasses of wine at the school art auction? Did you wake up in your makeup with two new pieces of art?

That art may be pretty, but your face isn’t. Beautycounter can help!

Here’s my remedy to deep clean your skin, exfoliate, and get all the yuck out of your pores.

1. First off, remove all last night’s makeup with the Cleansing Balm. This decadent concoction soothes your skin and replenishes moisture while removing every last trace of makeup. It also has vitamin C to brighten the appearance of skin while it hydrates.

2. Next, remove impurities to uncover fresh, radiant skin with the Nourishing Cream Exfoliator. This gentle yet super effective exfoliating cleanser has non-abrasive jojoba beads to help slough off dry skin, while organic coconut oil and aloe soothe and hydrate.

3. Last, get down deep with the Charcoal Mask. This nutrient-rich kaolin clay mask purifies and balances, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities. Activated charcoal minimizes the appearance of pores, giving skin a smooth, refined appearance while salicylic acid stimulates exfoliation.

Can’t even apply the mask correctly: killed too many brain cells.

And that’s it! Now you can tone, apply moisturizer and makeup, and feel as pretty as your new art!


Drinking the Kool-Aid: Why I Decided to be a Beautycounter Consultant

Yes, it’s true: I started working for Beautycounter! For those of you who know me, this is both hilarious and alarming. For many reasons, but mainly: I hate sales. So why am I doing this?

In a nutshell:
1. I was very sad to learn how unregulated the beauty and personal care industry is. (Not school shooting sad, but still very sad.) EU has banned 1400 dangerous and potentially harmful chemicals used in beauty/personal care products. The US has not passed a major law since 1938! The result: we are using harmful chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other problems and we are using them every day. Lame!
2. I love that Beauty Counter is dedicated to bringing high-performing makeup and personal care products to the market that only contain the SAFEST ingredients as rated by the EWG. (Environmental Working Group…super legit.)
3. The products perform. As in, they kick ass! They are made to perform not just in everyday life but on the Red Carpet and the runway. I am slowly replacing my MAC, NARS, Smashbox
and Chanel which all work great! My standards are high. Turns out, when you take a celebrity makeup artist, a top ranking chick from EWG and a concerned mom/consumer and start a company, you can create some good stuff.
4. I have two daughters. 9 year old is already experimenting with makeup and I want to set them right and align myself with a company that makes awesome products AND cares about safety, the environment, and transparency to consumer.
5. I love the products and they arent cheap. I get a discount if I become a consultant.

So there it is. If that’s cool with you, please feel free to check out this part of my blog.  If  you want product or samples, I can get them for you. And you can always check stuff out online here.

Because I hate sales, I’m low key. But I’m here and I have the stuff and am happy to share. I will be putting Beautycounter stuff on this section of my website, Beautycounter Chick. If this annoys you in any way, you can tell me to SUCK IT and BUGGER OFF and I promise I will still love you! Peace out. 🙂

Moshi and I, excited to check out some new products.



When I first heard of BEAUTYCOUNTER, I thought it was just another pyramid-schemey skincare company, a la Rodan & Fields and Nerium. You know, where hard-selling stay-at-home moms flood their Facebook feeds with dramatic before & after pics, pressure you to hold “socials,” and the worst…try to recruit you via social media when you haven’t had a legit conversation in years! (To be fair to Rodan & Fields, I did try Lash Boost and…gasp…I loved it! Who knew? Check out my review here.)

Regardless of how well the products perform, the high-pressure sales approach (from friends, no less) makes me throw up a little in my mouth. It even prompted me to write an angry post on my other blog, here. (To be fair, many of these ladies keep it classy, and have toned down their approach over the last couple of years.)

But imagine my surprise, my horror and shock, when one of my nearest and dearest friends told me she was becoming a CONSULTANT for BEAUTYCOUNTER. How could she? My friend is an artist. She’s a surfer. She is a natural beauty, nothing fake about her. She sent her kids to Waldorf, for goodness sakes. How could she turn to the dark side?

Well, turns out, BEAUTYCOUNTER (based nearby in Santa Monica, CA) has a legit mission.

The BEAUTYCOUNTER story, in a nutshell, for you BEAUTYCOUNTER virgins:

  1. There are about 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products. Only 10% of those chemicals have safety data.
  2. The U.S. has not passed a major federal law to regulate ingredients used in personal care use since 1938.
  3. The EU has restricted or outright BANNED more than 1,400 ingredients used in personal care . The U.S. has only banned 11 ingredients to date. Eleven!
  4. Chemicals linked to breast cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other health issues are ALLOWED IN THE PRODUCTS THAT WE USE EVERY DAY.
  5. BEAUTYCOUNTER’s mission: to get safe, quality products in the hands of everyone.

Well, that seems…nice. Scary, yes, but nice. So BEAUTYCOUNTER has identified 1,500 really harmful or potentially harmful chemicals (1400 of them are banned in Europe, they added another 1,000 for good measure) and creates all of their products without these dangerous substances.

Cool that they actually care?

All this is fine and dandy, but who cares how safe the products are if they don’t perform? The product could be super safe, but if it sucks, its going straight to the trash.

After all, I already have my products. I’ve got my NARS. I’ve got my MAC and my Smashbox and my Murad. I’ve got my skincare routine down. My makeup works great. I think I’m looking good! Yeah, I’m sure there are a few shady ingredients in there, but you’ve got go somehow, right? At least I will die pretty. I’ve always considered myself a “beauty-over-safety” person anyways.

But what if…what if…the BEAUTYCOUNTER products actually worked as well or BETTER than my department store brands? And what if the price was comparable? There was only one way to find out. Buy some products from my friend and see if they worked. Weeeee, shopping!

I picked some things I was running out of. Eye cream, tinted moisturizer (no way could it beat my NARS), concealer, a face mask for good measure.

Here’s what I tried, and here’s how it worked. (And please keep in mind I have rosacea and SUPER SENSITIVE SKIN that erupts in zits when approached by unfamiliar substances, so I was pretty sure at least one of these products would make me break out. Read on to find out which one.)

1.Touchup Skin Concealer Pen, $32. This product is a dead ringer for a similar product by YSL which I own, priced at $38. (Strangely enough, the YSL version isn’t technically a concealer, its supposed to be used to brighten and highlight your face. But everyone uses it as a concealer anyway.) The BEAUTYCOUNTER version is indeed designed as a concealer and it works great. It’s perfect for hiding my dark under eye circles and random redness in my face. And how can you resist the click-pen and brush applicator? This product is a win for me.

2.Eyeshadow Duo, $34. My friend-turned-Beauty-Counter-rep actually gifted this to me, and I was like, “Okay, thanks, whatever” and then I tried it. I was surprised by how much I LOVE this eyeshadow combo and I wear it pretty much…every single day. I got the amethyst/oyster combo. According to the Beauty Counter website, “The satiny powders contain Porcelain Flower Extract, a Thai bloom known for its antioxidant benefits, to help moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes for a flattering, luminous effect.” Ok. And it looks really pretty! It get compliments on it all the time!

3.Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30, $32. I put this on my neck, chest, shoulders and arms (and my legs if I’m in a running skirt) every morning before I go for my run. It goes on easily, no major white streaking, smells good and I haven’t gotten burned. Most “organic” and “non-harmful” sun blocks I have tried are a DISASTER to apply and streak white goop everywhere. Not this one. Another win. What?

4.Nourishing Eye Cream, $35. I use this on my eyes at night. I thought I was hydrating pretty well with the cheapie Neutrogena cream I had going on, but I guess not because my eyes look a lot better! It’s made with aloe and organic coconut oil and doesn’t mess with my contact lenses. I like it!

5. #3 Balancing Facial Mask, $48. It’s a hefty price tag for this charcoal face mask so I was hesitant to invest, but I’m glad I did. I’ve been using it a few times a week for the last few months and my face feels better. Definitely smoother, pores smaller. Another win!

6. Rejuvenating Eye Cream, $58. This is my favorite! Again I hesitated when I saw how expensive it was, but this stuff works. I put it on my eyes every morning and it soothes and de-puffs, and makes me look like I’ve slept, even when my children have been night devils and I’ve had to sleep on the floor in their room to get them to quiet down and go to bed. This product is made with “skin-conditioning wild algae and caffeine.” Maybe that’s why it makes me look awake? Love me some caffeine.

7.Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, $45. This was the product I was most anxious about. I’ve been using my NARS tinted moisturizer for years and love, love, love it. I wear it every day, even when I work out, just to give me a little coverage and a happy glow. I was pretty sure that this BEAUTYCOUNTER product would a) make me break out or b) not give me enough coverage. I put it on after applying the concealer and was pleasantly surprised. My skin looked…dewy! It glowed, really. And super happy and youthful. I had to add more product than my NARS to get the coverage I wanted, but once I added a little more to my nose and cheeks I was delighted with how it looked. I have been wearing it around all day for the last few weeks, and do re-apply (just as I would with my other product) in the afternoon or the evenings if I am going out. And…the clincher…it didn’t make me break out! (To be fair, I will probably alternate this with my NARS when I need a little more staying power or if I have a lunch later in the day I want to look fresh for.) But this product is unique in its dewy, hydrating fresh glow and I can see myself rocking this in the summer with a tan, nude eyes, and coral lips.

So yeah, you can see that I really, really like these products. I was SO ready to NOT like them, because liking them requires change, and I fear change. But my plan, for the time being, is to slowly replace my old products (once I run out of them, let’s face it, makeup isn’t cheap) with BEAUTYCOUNTER products.

Haven’t tried the mascara yet but it’s on my list! Will it work as well as my MAC?

And just so we are clear here, at the moment, I am not a rep or affiliated with BEAUTYCOUNTER in any way. But you know what? Maybe, just MAYBE…given enough time… I too will turn to the dark side.

And if I do, I SWEAR you can PUNCH ME IN THE EYE if I spaz out and try to peddle my products to you. (And I can cover it up with my Beauty Counter concealer to show you how well it works.)

Thanks for reading this, and peace out! And if you’re tried any BEAUTYCOUNTER products please let me know what you think!